"It's a Christmas card, Frankie!" Oneshot.
“Gerard, it’s snowing!” A small, excited six-year old boy perched on the windowsill of his best friend’s house, his nose pressed against the cold window as the little flakes of snow drifted down from the grey sky. Frank Iero grinned and he ran over to where Gerard sat, cross legged, on the front room carpet.
“It’s very pretty, isn’t it?” he said, not looking up from the paper that he was drawing on with his crayons.
“Will you come play in the snow with me?” asked Frank, looking away from the window.
“Come on, I want to make a snowman!”
“But I’m drawing!”
“I’m not going to see you for a while another day after now, though. Can’t we do drawing later?” Gerard looked up at Frank’s pouting face and cocked his head to one side.
“You can draw too. It’s a Christmas card, see! You fold the card in half, and then you decorate with a drawing in all greens and gold and red. See?” he said, holding up his own drawing. Frank nodded, nibbling on the skin around his pinky finger, and hopped down from the windowsill.
“Why greens and golds and red?”
“Because they’re Christmas colours. Look at the tree, Frankie, it’s green and has all those coloured bobbles on it,” said Gerard, pointing at the tree that sat in the corner. It was indeed covered with red baubles, gold tinsel and silver lights. Okay, about a square meter at the front of the tree was decorated beautifully, as the two little boys couldn’t reach any higher when they were asked to decorate said tree. Their parents did even it out later on.
Frank took a green crayon and folded a piece of paper in half; Gerard put aside his first drawing and did the same, but this time with his red crayon. They both began to decorate their cards, Gerard poking his tongue out between the gap in his teeth - his first front tooth had fallen out just a few weeks ago and he was very proud of the hole.
The snowflakes continued to drift down gently outside the window, making the scene outside frosty and cold - but the fire that crackled in the fireplace kept the two friends warm. Frank forgot all about going outside and playing in the new - Gerard’s hobby was actually quite interesting, he found.
“Sweetie, we need to go soon!” called Frank’s mum, walking into the front room.
“No! I’m nearly done!” said Frank, leaning over his card so the top of his nose was practically touching the paper.
“Mummy, are we going to walk Frankie home?” asked Gerard, glancing up from his own work. Mrs Way smiled.
“Of course, sweetie. We can leave your brother with Daddy.”
“Okay! I’m done!” he said, hopping to his feet.
“Go and get your coat then, Gerard,” said Mrs Way. Gerard grinned and pulled it on just as Frank finished his drawing with a flourish of the grey crayon.
“I made you a card, Gee,” he said, walking next to Gerard as they lead their mums out of the front door.
“That’s so nice, Frank. I made a card for you, too. But we have to give them to each other when we say goodbye, because it’s more special that way.”
“Oh, I see!” They walked along quietly for a while before Frank sighed and shivered. “I’m cold!”
“Where’s your coat?”
“I forgot it.”
“You silly! It’s snowing! And snow means cold! Come here...” Gerard took his scarf off and quickly wrapped it around Frank’s face.
“Scarves don’t go on your face, Gerard, they go round your neck.”
“But your face went all cold and blue and you need to stay warm,” said Gerard, shaking his head at the younger boy as they reached his house.
“Do I give you your card now, Gee?”
“Yes, and you get mine.” Gerard handed over his card, slightly crinkled from where he’d been clutching it in his hand. It was covered in five-pointed stars, with ‘Merry Christmas Frankie!’ written inside in big red letters. Frank’s was grey, with a giant sparkling green tree on the front - Gerard had shown Frank glitter, much to his mother’s dismay. The entire thing was covered in a thick layer of sparkles, even the inside. ‘To my bestst frend Gee I lov you and merry christmasx’ was inside in Frank’s messy, six-year old scrawl. The black letters were overlapping it other and the crayon was slightly smudged, but Gerard’s grin spread across his face when he saw it.
“It’s beautiful, Frankie,” he said, hugging his little friend goodbye.
Ten Years Later
“I’m cold!” complained Frank, huddling his knees to his chest. He, Gerard, Mikey and Ray were all lying down in the icy grass just on Gerard and Mikey’s front lawn, on the Christmas eve just a week after their various schools had broken up for the holidays.
“You should have brought a jumper or something,” said Mikey, throwing a lump of frost at Ray’s head. The afro-ed friend scowled at him.
“I wasn’t planning on sitting outside freezing my butt off.”
“Well, go inside! Just don’t complain,” said Ray, throwing some ice back at Mikey’s head, who dodged it. It narrowly missed Frank’s head. “Whoops. Sorry.”
“You will be,” he muttered, clambering to his feet and stalking inside the house.
“Who pissed in his cheerios?” asked Mikey, pulling frost out of his hair.
“He’s grumpy because he’s never, ever, in the history of the world, ever remember that when it’s cold, he’s supposed to wear a coat,” said Gerard, looking up from the book he was reading. “I’m not even sure if he owns one.”
“He’s a moron,” said Ray, throwing some more frost at Mikey.
“He never wore a coat when we were little either,” said Gerard.
“Were you some sort of wardrobe counselor even then? The homo started at a young age,” said Ray. Mikey giggled and threw a pebble at Ray, getting it caught in his curly hair.
“He used to get angry when my shoelaces didn’t match,” he said.
“Totally. I file and index the contents of all of your wardrobes. I keep a camera in there and watch you get changed in the morning, making a diary of your fashion choice,” said Gerard, pulling a cross-eyed face.
“All of it?!”
“I even know about the whip and lacy panties Frank keeps right at the bottom of his underwear drawer.”
“Nice,” said Mikey. “Like we needed to know.”
“Keep your guys sex life quiet, would you?” said Ray. Gerard rolled his eyes.
“I only know that he doesn’t own a coat. You actually expect me to know what he keeps at the bottom of his underwear drawer?”
“Well, you’re pretty much the entire school’s fashion counselor, so it wouldn’t surprise me.”
“Well, I don’t.”
“We both know you wish you did,” said Ray. “Fantasizing about his fluffy handcuffs.” Mikey threw Gerard’s book at his head, a look of complete terror on his face. Gerard rolled his eyes, retrieved his book and lay on his back to watch the clouds gather in a grey bundle overhead.
Okay, he couldn’t completely deny that Ray had a point. Although to Gerard’s knowledge, Frank would rather jump off a cliff than admit to owning a pair of fluffy handcuffs. Or a whip. Or lacy panties. He shook the thoughts from his head, watching his brother and best friend start to bicker. Kink like that was neither boy’s style. Their relationship had instead grown into something along the lines of sometimes, Gerard hurt to much to even look at Frank.
Sometimes, people would think they’d been fighting, or they’d had some sort of fall out. Gerard knew better; he adored spending time with Frank, laughing, sharing pizza, throwing things at each other... it hurt too much. Every time he looked at Frank it made his heart leap with some emotion, something that had slowly developed deep inside his chest over the years they’d known each other. As far as he could tell, Frank was blissfully oblivious to Gerard’s lovesick stomach ache.
The strained feelings that Gerard felt towards Frank were nothing new. He just wished they were.
“I don’t fancy walking home in this weather, guys,” said Frank later on, as he said next to Gerard on the sofa, watching Mikey and Ray playing video games. The snow was flurrying down thick and fast outside, almost thick enough so that the road outside the front path was invisible.
“It’s not too far. You can borrow a jacket of mine, if you want,” said Gerard, keeping his eyes glued to his sketchpad. That was one way he could combat the bubbling feelings of longing in his chest when near Frank, was concentrating on his art.
“Everything of yours is massive! I’m only little,” said Frank, pouting. Gerard laughing, poking his tongue through his teeth, a habit he hadn’t given up from when he’d lost his first tooth all those years ago.
“Well, you look sweet in oversized clothes,” he said, as if he hadn’t really been thinking about his words. Ray and Mikey both stopped their games and turned to stare a Gerard. Frank raised his eyebrows.
“You just said Frank looks sweet? What the heck?” asked Ray. Gerard shrugged, ignoring the leaping in his chest.
“It’s a fact. People look cute in jackets that are too big for them. Especially if they’re vertically challenged.”
“Hey, thanks!” said Frank, throwing the TV handset at Gerard’s head.
“Saying I’m a midget.”
“I didn’t say you’re a midget, I said you’re vertically challenged.”
“You smell funny.”
“Guys!” shouted Mikey. Frank and Gerard stopped bickering to look at him. He just rolled his eyes and turned back to his and Ray’s video game.
“You two are like a freaking married couple. Picked the engagement ring?” asked Ray. Both Frank and Gerard flushed red, but the latter kept his eyes on his sketchpad.
“Ha. Aha ha ha. I’m laughing so hard right now,” he said in a monotone. Frank giggled.
“Well you sound intelligent.”
“I’ll take that as a very sarcastic compliment,” said Gerard, but he lifted his head and smiled at Frank, who tried to stifle his giggles with his fist. “But on another note, Happy Christmas!” He handed over what he’d been working on, which wasn’t actually part of his pad at all, but a Christmas Card. It had a cartoon sketch of Frank’s face on the front, head wreathed with tinsel, a glowing candle ‘10’ in the corner.
“Aww, thanks Gee. Why ten?”
“Because it’s ten years ago today that I first made you a Christmas Card.” Frank made a little ‘awww’ sound and opened it to read the message written in Gerard’s distinct, loopy scrawl.
“Excuse me, I only need to go and vomit,” said Ray, turning back towards the TV screen.
“I totally forget! God, I’m such an arse. I can’t believe I’ve known you for ten years already.” For the whole ten years, Gerard and Frank had drawn each other a Christmas card on Christmas ever. Almost having become a tradition, every year since Gerard had shown Frank how Christmas colours worked.
“It’s okay, dude. S’long as I get a card, you can’t forget our decade anniversary!” said Gerard camply, putting his hand over his heart. Frank laughed, and Mikey just groaned.
“I’ll join you in the vomiting process,” said Mikey, smiling with mock pleasantry at Ray.
“Get used to it, guys,” said Gerard, winking over at Frank, who blushed again. He’s just joking, thought Frank. He only jokes because he knows it pisses off Mikey... That monologue did nothing to the fact that, once again, Frank’s tummy was filing with butterflies. Just the same way it always did when he was with Gerard. Thank God he never noticed, else it would be hello Chain of Chagrin for him. Nor did Gerard notice that Frank did in fact have a card tucked in his pocket...
“Bye Mikes!” called Frank back into the house as he left that night.
“Later, lovebirds!” called Mikey. Gerard chuckled and rolled his eyes, leaving the house right after Frank.
“He’s a twat,” he said. Frank smiled and nodded his agreement, but his heart sunk a little. Yeah. He only ever jokes...
“I know. I wish Mikey wouldn’t keep going on. He doesn’t seem to notice that he does exactly that with his best friends,” said Frank. Oops, accidental friendzone.
“I’m related to him, you can stop complaining.”
“I know, I pity you. You didn’t have to walk me home, by the way.”
“No, it’s fine! You said you didn’t fancy walking, but I don’t have a car, and I guessed it would be nicer to walk with someone,” said Gerard. Frank grinned.
“Thanks. But you said you’d give me a jacket.”
“Oh, shit. I’m sorry dude, I forgot...”
“I’m fine! I’ll just freeze to death right here, it’s fine,” said Frank, wrapping his arms tightly around himself. Gerard rolled his eyes and unwrapped his scarf from around his neck.
“Nobody ever remembers that winter means cold, do they? Why don’t you get yourself a jacket, Frankie?” he asked.
“Eh,” said Frank, shrugging and snuggling into the scarf. It was warm from Gerard’s body heat... and it smelled like him too. It was like a wreath, or a comfort that made Frank feel like he was in fact wrapped up close to Gerard. “You gave me your scarf ten years ago, too. When we were walking home back then?”
“Yeah, I remember. You haven’t grown since then,” said Gerard, smiling.
“Hey! Stop being mean!” said Frank, hitting him on the arm. Gerard pouted.
“Girlfriend, you did not just hit me!” he said, putting his hand on his hips.
“I think you’ll find I did!”
“Oh hell no. Prepare to die!” said Gerard, his eyes glinting. Frank’s eyes widened and Gerard grinned, lunging forward and digging his fingers into Frank’s sides.
“No! No tickles!”
“N-no... p-please s-stop it,” squealed Frank, crouching over and spluttering through his laughter.
“Nope! You know that, statistically, you laugh much more if I go... tickletickletickle!”
“Stop.... tickling.... me!” Frank was doubled over and squirming, a pained grin on his face, trying to battle off Gerard’s fingers.
“Sorry for what?”
“For hitting you!”
“What about hitting me?” Frank giggled again, knowing how Gerard could keep up this game for hours.
“I’m sorry for hitting you, now stop tickling me!” Gerard grinned and obliged. He continued to hold onto the smaller friend, waiting for his laughter to subdue.
“You okay now?” asked Gerard. Frank nodded and sighed, twisted round and looked up into Gerard’s face. He could feel butterflies begin to bubble up in his stomach and his blood warmed in his cheeks. He was painfully aware of the fact that Gerard’s hands were still resting very lightly on his waist, that he was wearing Gerard’s scarf, inhaling his scent, their faces mere inches away from each other...
“You still look cold. How many times am I going to have to tell you to buy a jacket?” asked Gerard, interrupting Frank’s thoughts. Or rather, lack of thought, because the reality of Gerard’s proximity was making his heart skip every other beat, and his brain to slow down.
“Probably more than seven,” he managed to say. Gerard’s hands were still around Frank’s waist.
“Your cheeks are red,” he said. Frank blushed even redder and removed Gerard’s arms. “Oh, sorry. I don’t think, sometimes...”
“It’s okay.” Frank and Gerard stared at each other for a moment, neither saying anything as the snowflakes fluttered down around them. “Can I have a hug?” asked Frank finally.
“Course you can! Why, what’s the matter?” asked Gerard, pulling the small boy towards him. Frank just shook his face and buried his face in the crook of Gerard’s neck. His scent was more potent up close; it was wonderful to be able to hug his older friend, but painful when he told himself, possibly for the thousandth time, that ‘friend’ is the only thing their relationship would amount to. He felt Gerard’s warm breath on his forehead, and the sharp corner of the card digging into his hip.
“Um, Gerard? I lied earlier,” Frank said, pulling out the from his pocket. His hands were shaking as he did so, terrified of what Gerard might think of the message inside; he didn't even know why he decided why to do it now. The card was a simple gold-and-green one, with a large ‘ten’ written on the front. It was also doused heavily in glitter; Frank hadn’t given up that glitter habit, either.
“Oh, you did make a card! Why didn’t you want me to have it?” asked Gerard, holding out his hand. Frank held it back.
“Because... it’s stupid, and a bit silly... don’t, never mind, I wanted to make a different one...”
“Give it here,” said Gerard, taking the card swiftly from Frank's hand.
Gerard ignored Frank’s protests and smiled at the sparkling cover, before opening the card above his head where Frank couldn't jump up and snatch it back. His smile instantly dropped off his face when he saw what was inside and was replaced with an expression of surprise. Frank's heart fell into his shoes.
“Frank...” Frank’s face burned red and he hung his head. “What?”
“It’s... I’m sorry.”
“Why are you sorry?” Frank furrowed his brow and looked up, to see Gerard looking down at him, almost sympathetically. Frank just looked down again, completely humiliated, before he felt himself being dragged into a hug. His brain barely even registered what was happening... and it died out when he realized that he was no longer facing the floor but upwards... and Gerard was kissing him.
Frank was in shock, barely having noticed what the hell had just happened. His brain took a few moments to catch up, and he felt his jaw hang open in half shock, half utter joy. In the card, he had written what Gerard had been longing to hear for ages.
“You could have told me earlier,” mumbled Gerard, running his thumb down Frank’s jawline. The smaller boy just grinned and stood on his toes to kiss Gerard back. His arms wrapped around Gerard's neck, who's own hands moved down to hold the smaller boy's waist closer to him. Frank didn't reply to Gerard's statement until a few moments later, when he had to pull away to breathe.
“I didn’t know how you’d react if I'd told you.”
“Was this what you were wanting?”
“Hell yes,” said Frank, grinning. Gerard laughed and buried his face in Frank's hair.
In the card, Frank had written; 'Merry Christmas, Gerard. Ten years ago, you know how I told you that I love you? Today, I'm in love with you. Love, Frankie xx’
And Gerard loved him back.
Eurgh, fluff! So much cheese! And fluff! And more fluff! Damn I felt fuzzy inside. Please Rate and Review, my lovelies.