Gerard takes Frank out to say thank you for letting him stay the night, though ends up letting him down.
Seven o clock fast approached as Frank checked his appearance for what seemed like the hundredth time. The fact that he wasn’t entirely sure what the meeting with Gerard would be classified as – it certainly wasn’t a date, but for some reason it seemed slightly more than just ‘hanging out’ – meant that he’d had no clue was to wear. After going through at least a dozen tops, he’d eventually ended up with a simple grey t-shirt with a small black skull over his heart and skin tight black jeans with a pair of much loved Converses. He wore the faintest hints of eyeliner smudged around his eyes and a white and black chequered belt, not threaded through the belt loops, instead hanging loosely around his hips. One final last look in the mirror, he made his way downstairs, waiting for Gerard to arrive.
Thankfully he didn’t have to wait that long which could only be a good thing – patience wasn’t Frank’s strong point, waiting around making him irritable. When the sound of someone knocking on the front door reached his ears, he jumped up and bolted to reach the door, but didn’t manage to get there before his mum, who he was certain was still convinced he was meeting some girl.
Sighing, he reached the front door and hovered uncertainly behind his mum, offering Gerard what he hoped was a reassuring smile. When the older boy spoke though, it appeared that he didn’t need Frank’s reassurance, already having more than enough confidence to suffice.
“Good evening, Mrs...Frank. I’m Gerard Way.” He smiled politely when Frank’s mum supplied her last name. “Mrs Iero. Me and Frank were hoping to grab a couple of drinks at a pub near my house tonight, non-alcoholic of course, as long as that’s okay with you.”
Frank was virtually speechless. Everything about Gerard, from the charming smile on his lips to the confident tone he used, presented a calm aura which he could never hope to replicate. It seemed that his mum was just as surprised that someone as self-assured as Gerard could be friends with someone as socially awkward as her son. He did his best to ignore the internal monologue which was going on, pointing out the fact that they weren’t even friends.
“That’s perfectly fine, just as long as you aren’t too late back. Frank has school tomorrow, after all.”
Oh god, why?!
Gerard though merely laughed. “As do I. Don’t worry, Mrs Iero. I’ll have him back before midnight.”
Oh god, it just got worse and worse. “Okay, great. Mum, I’ll see you later.” Frank breezed past his mum and grabbed hold of the top of Gerard’s arm, effectively pulling him away from the door and all of the embarrassment which was about to unfold. Only when they were in Gerard’s car did Frank speak again and that was predominately so he could glare at the other boy. “Why would you say that?! It sounded like-”
“We were going on a date?” Gerard helpfully supplied. “Yeah I know, that’s why I said it.”
Dark eyes widened as Frank stared at Gerard, going as far as parting his lips slightly in shock. “What?! Why?”
Placing the keys into the ignition and turning the engine on, the older boy shot Frank an amused glance. “Because it was funny.” His tone made it seem like the most obvious thing in the world, though Frank failed to see why he’d done it.
“That isn’t funny. That’s as far from funny as possible. I’m not gay. And neither are you from what I’ve heard.” Frank being straight might not have been strictly true. His sexuality was something he had been wondering about for a while but with no girls, let alone boys, taking an interest in him and being far too awkward to approach someone himself, he had very limited means of testing it.
Any movement Gerard was about to make to drive off was promptly halted as he turned slowly to fix Frank with a measured stare. The seconds ticked by as he just stared at the younger boy and Frank began to wonder whether he was actually going to say anything. When he did though, all joking had left his tone, leaving his voice not angry but strangely soft. “And what exactly have you heard?” He waited for a brief moment and, when Frank didn’t immediately reply, he carried on. “As it happens, I’m actually bi. If that’s a problem though, feel free to get out the car now and we’ll pretend this never happened.”
Eyes wide, he promptly shook his head, shocked by the sudden change in Gerard’s mood. It was mixed in with something else though. Almost an admiration for being able to come out and say he was bi to someone he barely knew far outweighed any shock at Gerard’s apparent irritation; Frank knew he’d never be confident enough to do that. “’Course that’s not a problem! What sort of person do you think I am?”
And just like that, Gerard’s carefree smile returned with vengeance. “Cool. Didn’t think you seemed the sort. Anyway, ain’t we got a pub to get to?”
Looking around the pub they’d just stepped in to, Frank couldn’t help but feel very young indeed. If he didn’t count himself, Gerard was the youngest there by a good twenty years, if not considerably more.
As if able to read his mind, Gerard turned to him and shot him a wry smile. “Sorry it’s not the liveliest place we could have gone to, but places where people our age go are way more expensive. Seeing as we’re on soft drinks all night, it doesn’t really seem worth it.” His dark gaze, framed by even darker eye-makeup which was applied a sight more thickly than that which Frank wore, trailed across the seats and tables available and he eventually nodded towards as small two-person table in the far corner. “Go grab us a seat and I’ll bring the drinks over. Drinks are on me all night. Lemonade alright?”
“Perfect,” Frank replied with a grin before moving through the pub towards the table Gerard had gestured to. If he’d stayed with Gerard, he would have noticed when the older boy asked for two shots of vodka to be put into his own lemonade. Nor did he notice when it happened with the next drink and the next.
At least, he didn’t until it was too late.
A little over an hour later and Gerard was leaning across the table, one hand sloppily propping up his head though he’d already slipped and ended up head-butting the table once. Everything Frank said was met with a wide eyed stare, a too wide grin and, most surprisingly of all, a giggle. Gerard Way, arguably one of the most attractive and definitely one of the most popular guys in school, was sat giggling at a ridiculously awkward kid two years below him.
“Gerard...are you okay? You seem kinda...drunk?” He couldn’t be drunk though. How could he when he’d been on lemonade all night, just as Frank had?
There was that damned giggle again. “Nooo Frankie. ‘M not drunk. I’m good. Really good actually!” As if to demonstrate just how ‘good’ he was, Gerard’s hand slipped out from under his head, causing it to once again go cascading into the table. Landing against the wood with a dull thump, his fringe fell unceremoniously in front of his face as he burst into near hysterical laughter.
He didn’t even bother replying to that and instead leant forward slightly and snatched up the still half full glass of lemonade. Sniffing it carefully, Frank frowned when he was unable to smell any alcohol over the scent of the lemonade. When he took a tentative sip of it though, it took about half a second for him to stick his tongue out in disgust. There was definitely something alcoholic in there. “Gerard, what is in this drink?”
“Nothing,” the older boy replied in a sing-song voice, head still resting on the table.
“Oh for god’s sake.” Pushing his chair away from the table, drink still held in his hand, he stormed over to the bar and pointed at Gerard who was now slumped back in the chair, head lolling to the side, laughing at nothing in particular. “Excuse me? Have any of you been putting alcohol in that guy’s drink?”
A barman of about fifty years old nodded and moved closer to speak to Frank. “He asked for two shots of vodka in his first drink and then three in every other one. He was quite insistent. Look kid, he’s got I.D, so if that’s fake I’m gonna have to-”
“No, no, he’s old enough.” The last thing he wanted to do was get Gerard wrongly in trouble. “Seeing as he told me he was on soft drinks, I just wondered why he was acting like, well that.” He shook his head as Gerard began to bang his hands on the table, apparently trying to play out some drum beat while singing very loudly and very out of tune.
“He’s acting like that because he’s had about eleven shots of vodka.”
Well, that explained everything. Sighing, he placed the lemonade/vodka on the bar and reluctantly made his way over to Gerard, knowing that this time it wouldn’t be quite as simple as just dragging him up the drive and dropping him onto the sofa. When he reached the boy, he tapped him on the shoulder.
“C’mon, Gerard. It’s time to go home.”
“Nooo, I don’t wanna!”
Tough shit. Knowing that getting annoyed wouldn’t get him anywhere though, he simply took a deep breath and tried again. “C’mon, buddy. We’ve gotta go. We’ve got school in the morning and you need to sleep this off.” Taking hold of Gerard’s wrist he managed to pull him to his feet, only to have the boy throw his arms around him and fall onto him. Staggering slightly under the sudden weight, Frank straightened up slightly and began heading towards the door. It was slow and it was painful, but they eventually managed to make it into the cool night air. Moving Gerard towards a low nearby wall, he sat them both down on it, desperately hoping the cold air would help to sober him up a little.
Only when his gaze wandered over to Gerard’s car sat silently a couple of metres away, the fact that it was even there enough to taunt Frank over how unlucky he was, did he realise how utterly screwed he was. Gerard was clearly in no state to drive them home which meant that unless Frank thought of something, they were stuck there.
Pulling a face when Gerard slumped onto him, Frank tried the only thing he could think of. “Where do you live?”
“In a house...with my...with what’s his name? Mikeeeeey!”
Dear lord, this was completely hopeless. Then, like a light in the dark, Frank suddenly had an idea. “Give me your phone.” Gerard, unsurprisingly, began to bitch and whine and generally make a great deal of fuss when it wasn’t needed and Frank found that his patience was beginning to wear thin. The first time he’d found the boy drunk was different; it had been luck, or perhaps a lack of it, which had brought the other boy to the pavement outside his house. This time though, Gerard had actually promised him that he wouldn’t get drunk. The unmistakable sense of being let down swirled uncomfortably in the pit of his stomach and, though he wasn’t sure why Gerard lying to him annoyed him so much, it wasn’t a feeling he was fond of. “Gerard, just give me your damn phone!”
Apparently something in his tone proved to the older boy that he wasn’t messing around, for he pushed himself away from Frank’s shoulder, eyes wide and blinking in shock at the irate sixteen year old. Three attempts eventually had his hand in his pocket and pulling out his phone, before promptly dropping it on the floor when he tried to pass it to Frank.
Once again, Frank was forced to wonder what possessed Gerard to get himself in this state, particularly considering he’d basically been getting drunk alone. Consuming copious amounts of alcohol at a party was one thing, but doing the same just a few days later when there was no one else to share in your buzz was another thing entirely. There were more important things to worry about right now though. Picking up the phone from the floor, Frank quickly clicked through the contacts until he found the one he was looking for. Ringing the number, he anxiously tapped his foot as he waited for the phone to be answered.
“Hi, Mikey? It’s Frank...the kid whose house Gerard stayed round at the weekend.”
“Why are you on Gerard’s phone?”
Frank would have smiled had he still not been thoroughly pissed off; Mikey was no more talkative on the phone than he was in person. “Gerard’s drunk,” again “and I need to know what your address is so I can have a taxi take him home.”
Hearing something which sounded strangely like an irritated sigh, Mikey eventually gave Frank the address and said just to come in when they arrived before hanging up without even a goodbye.
Deciding he’d keep hold of Gerard’s phone for the mean time, he quickly dialled the number of the local taxi service, while coming to the conclusion that there was something incredibly wrong with the Way brothers.