'“I work here” Frank says, his voice empty and smudging at the edges'
It takes him a few moments but eventually he manages to open his mouth “Frank?” he croaks and is shocked when the solitary word simply reverberates off the glass and back into the room.
It’s sound proofed.
Alice looks at Gerard for a long minute then switches her gaze onto Frank, she doesn’t appear to recognise him, not exactly, but something must click in her brain because she’s soon scrabbling out the room and calling her goodbyes.
Gerard goes back to looking at Frank, his mouth is a little O and his eyes are wide, the two men stare at each other for a long, almost painful, moment then Frank finally moves. He takes a few timid steps towards the phone on the wall and gestures something vague with his hands. It takes Gerard a few seconds to work out what Frank’s saying but soon he too is moving across the small room and picking up the old wire phone.
“Gee?” Frank croaks and Gerard watches his mouth move, slightly out of sync.
“Frank” Gerard says for lack of anything better, his thoughts are too muddled covered in something thick and gooey, incomprehensible and a little bit scary.
“Why are you here?” Frank asks, his voice wavering.
Gerard looks harder at Frank, at the tight clothing and glossy lips, at his short hair and pale skin a little slick with sweat; it’s hot in there, Gerard can feel the heat clinging to his own flesh.
“Are you drunk?” Frank asks when Gerard doesn’t reply.
“Frank” Gerard says, and then “No! No I’m not”
Gerard watches some of the tension slip from Frank’s shoulders, but it’s not enough; he still looks drawn and a little pinched, a little hazy round the edges like the wind may just carry him away at any second. He looks towards the timer on the wall, next to the vending style box; the red text flashes eight minutes.
“Why are you here?” Frank asks again, his voice horse and anxious. He looks so fragile, smaller than normal and even younger; his eyes wide and scared. Gerard gets a funny feeling in his gut. “Gerard, answer me” Frank’s voice rises slightly a crease forming between his brow.
“I was with Alice, she- I” Gerard rushes to get the words out, his breath catching and hiccupping in his throat, he does sound drunk, a little bit.
“Is Alice?” Frank lets the phone fall a little as he asks but Gerard can see he hasn’t finished the question anyway.
“Why are you here, Frank?” Gerard’s mouth asks without his permission, he’s not too bothered; he hasn’t got it in him to think right now.
“I work here” Frank says, his voice empty and smudging at the edges, lost to the static of the line.
“Meet me round the back in half an hour, I get off then” Frank interrupts, “please” he adds, his eyes desperate.
Gerard nods but doesn’t put the phone down straight away, their eyes catching for a few lucid moments before Frank moves to push a few buttons and the curtain retreats to the floor.
Gerard’s hands are numb and his nose is starting to drip. It’s really late now and he’s not sure where Alice went, the feeling of abandonment washes over him in pulses, making him sick and uneasy. Gerard hates waiting, hates the nausea ripping at his stomach, he hates the nagging feeling at the edges of his brain; telling him to go home, to forget. Gerard pushes the itch away, he’s waiting for Frank, Frank needs him.
So he stays, planted to the grey tarmac of the sidewalk outside the club, occasionally drunken teens waddle past, one of the lights in the flats above him keeps flicking on. Maybe they’re having the same night traumas as Gerard, maybe they’re waiting too, for a loved one, for their next hit.
Gerard scuffs at the ground with one shoe and starts to count the grains forming the cracked tarmac, he bights his nails- chewing on the thumb roughly- he tries to distract himself from the minutes, the time passing him. Gerard hates waiting.
Frank shuffles out of the club a few minutes later, he’s swimming in his coat and the street lamps cast orange shadows across his face. Gerard can’t believe how beautiful he is, his metaphorical tale low between his legs as he skitters over.
“Gerard” he says, standing about a foot away, his eyes are dropped to the ground.
“Frank, what’s going on?”
“Gerard I- you, you can’t tell Mikey” Frank looks up then, his eyes are glassy and huge.
“What?” Gerard stumbles his voice high and a little sharp.
“I just- I couldn’t get a job and the band it- the guys are always drunk or high and we’re not going anywhere and then Mikey offered me a place to stay- for like free but I wanted to pay him back but Starbucks wasn’t enough and this guy came to see the band and I thought we were finally going somewhere but” Frank takes a breath, having lost all the spaces meant to sit between his words “he offered me a job”
Gerard watches Frank for a long moment, his lips slightly parted and his hood pulled tight up over his head, little streams of frosty air pool out of his mouth as he waits for Gerard’s reaction. Gerard blinks and looks away from Frank, he rings his hands out and tries to think, tires to process the landslide of information.
“Gerard, please” Frank looks hopeful and shaky when Gerard finally pulls his eyes back towards the younger man.
“But you’re so young” they’re not words Gerard chose but they escape his mouth anyway in a tight croaky breath.
Frank just blinks at him, his mouth a tight line as he considers Gerard’s point “I’m not so young” he says eventually.
Gerard kind of laughs, though the sound isn’t too pleasant as it catches in his throat, he quirks an eyebrow at Frank and leans a little on his hip, a stance taught by his mother many years ago.
“No really, Gee, I’m 24”
“And he says you can’t tell anyone?” Mrs Harte recites, sitting back in the old chair and re-crossing her legs.
Gerard is staring into his tea with a sullen look on his face, he wants to be happy Frank is twenty four, Frank trusts him but Frank is paid to sell his body and Gerard can’t even do anything to help.
They got the train back in near silence, nervous energy bouncing off of Frank as he stared out of the window Gerard worried his lip until it bled then half waved as they went their separate ways. He didn’t sleep much after that and by nine he was with the only person he could turn to. Mrs Harte’s sort of like a Mom to Gerard, only less sarcastic, she was there to catch him when he stumbled into the small house and to listen to his troubles and his angst saying nothing for a long moment whilst she thought.
“He asked me not to, I said I wouldn’t”
She hms and takes another sip of her tea whilst she thinks, more creases folding up her aged face when she frowns “You need to help him” she says, her voice firm but a little distant. “You know for a long time I had to keep me and Vic a secret”
Gerard knows this story, knows it like the back of his hand, knows it like he knows fucking Doom Patrol for god’s sake but he listens anyway.
“I was so young back then, so naïve I didn’t quite know what to think of Victor, of his car and clean cut chin” the words are familiar and allow Gerard to sink into an easy daydream, the rhythm of the syllables bouncing around easily in his tired mind. “He was so handsome, but god knows my father wouldn’t have agreed, so I never told them, kept it a secret”
Gerard doesn’t really see how this story really fits his situation, Victor wasn’t a stripper in a Soho sleazy bar, her life is so different to his and yet he doesn’t stop her going on. The story carries on, Mrs Harte’s voice rising and falling with each word, her hands coming out of her lap occasionally to draw diagrams in the air, Gerard nods and smiles and laughs in all the right places but doesn’t pay much attention.
By the time he’s left Mrs Harte’s he feels a little better, he’s still in the same situation still stuck between the rock and hard place but at least now he’s got it off his chest. He slinks home with his head hanging low, the sky is wide and bright above him but Gerard forgot his sunglasses so the day is pretty much wasted on him.
A couple of kids are in his drive when he walks up to the building, snapping gum and comparing their fucking scooters, they hassle him a little as he walks past but their voices just evaporate into the air, leaving nothing corrosive for Gerard’s ears to catch.
He stumbles up the stairs, not paying too much attention to the familiar action, just one foot in front of the other until he gets to his flat. He slides the key into the door and pushes in to the empty room, trampling on old sketches and NME mags as he avoids the kitchen and his wine rack. He doesn’t stop until he reaches the small room at the back of his apartment that he classes as a studio; his elephant painting is still on one of the easels peering at him sadistically.
He stops then and stares at it, his eyes narrowing at the caged animal, unfinished and blotchy, the proportions out in places and the paint smudged over definite lines. He picks up a bottle of water, resting primly on the desk, and throws it at his work; letting out a sharp exhale as he does. The bottle isn’t strong enough to break the painting completely but it does rip through part of the canvas, where the paint is still damp.
His hair flops back in defeat, smothering his seething features and bubbling up a little when Gerard lets out another particularly violent breath, his fingers are still twisted up, forming blunt fists on each of his hands. He swallows and lets himself fall back against the wall with a dull thunk, his eyes closing heavily.
He stays like that for a while, he presses the heels of his hands back into his eyes and counts the dancing lights in front of him. He doesn’t stay long enough for it to get dark, but there’s a definite lighting shift after about an hour, that’s when he finally opens his eyes.
It must be around three and the sun is low in the sky Gerard stares at it for a moment because today is apparently abuse Gerard’s optical nerves day, then finally he tears his eyes away from the window and rests them back on the ruined painting. It wasn’t his best work, it’s okay, he can do it again if he really feels the need to. He sighs and moves over to clean up the carnage, huffing disappointedly at himself every now and again and cursing whenever he finds a new ruined patch of carpet. His landlord is going to love him at the end of the month.
Then finally, finally he is done and he can go watch the food network and maybe call for a takeout and then in the morning he will be fine goddamn it he will. So he goes back into the lounge and collapses on the ugly green sofa with an oof reaching around idly for the remote for a while before realising it’s on the other mother fucking side of the room because he always forgets to leave it on the couch once he’s done watching Delia.
Eventually he has the remote and the sofa and Relocation, Relocation, Relocation and he’s thinking that hey maybe life isn’t so bad because it doesn’t look like he’s going to be having to move any time soon. But then there’s a nock on the door and he’s forced to ask when the fuck fast food joints started hiring mind readers because he hasn’t even called for his food yet. What the fuck?
He gets up to answer anyway because axe murderers normally wait till post sundown to come and cut up their bitches, though he is still a little timid when he opens the door.
Of course it is not some guy in a ski mask wielding a sword or chainsaw or whatever when he opens up but okay maybe this is worse because now in front of him is the guy he has been trying not to think about all day, in a David and Goliath t-shirt and ripped jeans. Gerard sucks in a breath and says “Frank”
Frank smiles, kind of shyly at him and pushes up onto the balls of his feet, playing with his fingers as he does “Can I come in?”
Super short chapter that is also late begs for forgiveness. I’m sory you guys I had a shit load of English work that I had to do and agh I know I’m the worst but I’ll try and make it up to you once school starts shutting down. I also came to the realisation whilst writing this that we have passed the half way marker :0 and there’s still no sexy times- all in good time… like seriously just look at the rhyme and you will be able to see where the smut should come in
Also you guys don't care but look what my mama just bought me http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/376207_3812882174130_883147021_n.jpg
Like I can't even- omg my old life on The murder scene was so scratched up I couldn't watch the end and ohhh so much stuff I haven't seen before all I'm missing now is Danger Days but that's oka because Danger Days -sigh