'Frank doesn’t say any of what he’s thinking either as he goes and sits on the couch, right in the centre, in Gerard’s living room'
Frank doesn’t say any of what he’s thinking either as he goes and sits on the couch, right in the centre, in Gerard’s living room. He snickers a little, at Kirsty and her bulging belly. Or perhaps it’s more at Gerard’s television choices in general. It’s not really clear. Gerard stares for a moment; first at Frank and then at the TV where the buyers are screwing up their faces at a lovely Victorian cottage. He moves to sit on the sofa after a moment. Right at the corner- because this is so weird but apparently Frank’s not having that at all because all of a sudden he is huffing and squirming and like, physically pulling Gerard closer. Gerard makes a squawking noise but doesn’t complain.
With his head on Gerard’s shoulder, his breath quiet and controlled Frank stares contentedly at the screen. It’s nice and after a moment Gerard begins to relax into the situation at hand. Of course, though, this is the moment that Frank decides to speak, “You ruined everything, you know?”
And Gerard’s so surprised- because seriously WTF is happening? - That he lets out this big honking lungful of hair in replace of the world “ what?”
He seems to jolt Frank a little with the sudden movement but he must know what Gerard means because he goes on, elaborating, “I never wanted you to know about… and I thought, like you’d never have to find out because I hadn’t told anyone but then Alice and you and I never thought you’d go into a place like that but I guess I just thought we could be… Normal or something. But then you did and”
“Huh?” Gerard asks.
“And at first I was all angry with you and I was gonna come over to give you a piece of my mind about like sex traffic and how I thought you were better than that but then I was on the buss trying to like, plan my speech or whatever and all I could think about was your stupid face and hands and I was still really mad, you know? But mainly, I think, I’m just mad at myself because I’m a fucking stripper, right? And I still want to like kiss you, like more than before maybe but I can’t because I’m so stupid” Long pause. “You know?”
Except Gerard doesn’t know because he’s still totally stuck on the part where Frank wants to kiss him. And, okay, the whole stupid face bit isn’t really a textbook chat up line or anything but hey, that’s actually more Gerard’s style, really. But it’s also not exactly vague either, like all subtlety has gone out the window and down the road, at this point.
So he just, sort of, chokes out, “I want to kiss your stupid face too” and then he thinks about it a little and kind of back tracks all, “well, I don’t actually think it’s stupid at all, in fact I really, really like your face, like it’s a fantastic face, Frank. Sort of, actually, I want to kiss more than your face, if we’re being honest but I think this chapter is rated PG13 so maybe not right now but the thought is there” He finishes messily, content now that any former elephants in the room are like, sitting right there between them just begging to be the subject of their conversation.
There’s a long silence to follow their confessions.
Then Gerard’s just like fuck it and laughs really loud and awkwardly, all “Ha. Ha. Ha. How about that?” really awkward and slightly high pitched because things are about to go one of two ways. He really hopes for the south. And if he’s going to be in it for a penny he may as well be in it for a pound, as the saying goes so he looks at Frank from under his hair and smiles a little shyly, saying, “Basically, I really like you even though you are a stripper”
And so Frank’s just been sitting there, right, through this whole, massive confession thing just gawping at Gerard with huge pretty brown eyes and an open mouth. Gerard is overcome, for a moment, with just how beautiful this guy is, like now he can really appreciate it and Frank and it’s almost like he’s seeing him for the first time, noticing all these little details that he never saw before and he’s just breath taking honestly. But in the next second Frank is moving and cupping Gerard’s jaw and Gerard is too busy being overcome with Frank kissing him to think too much about new beginnings and first encounters and all that over stuff that really doesn’t matter anymore.
He’s still for a moment out of pure shock but Frank’s lips are warm in insistent against his and pretty soon Gerard is snapping the fuck back into action and kissing Frank back, opening his mouth and just letting it happen. The trouble is all he can think is ‘Frank is kissing me on my mouth WTF?’ so he’s not really paying all that much attention to the actual kiss. So going, so completely, against his instincts he pulls back and gives Frank his best big bright smile all teeth and thin lips and crinkly eyes where he’s starting to get old/ the years spent smoking are catching up, just to let Frank know that it’s okay and it’s him and he’s totally not stopping the make out session for anything negative.
He blinks a couple of times and says, “You kissed me” just to get it out there even though, actually, he’s really done enough talking for one day.
Frank, consequently, laughs at Gerard and his blushing face and kisses him again, just a quick peck to the lips. He’s grinning just as wide as Gerard, when he pulls back and says, “Yes you massive dork. Oh my god, I can’t believe you were worried about robbing me from the cradle”
And Gerard is just so surprised by this statement that he has to kiss Frank again before he explodes. Well, maybe not but whatever this being allowed to kiss Frank shit is awesome.
He asks Frank then, in his best I have no idea what you are talking about voice, “What?”
Frank just laughs at him, all happy and giggly and so different from the last time they were together and Gerard decides then and there that he wants Frank to be like this forever. “Mikey told me,” he says.
But now Gerard really is confused “But I never told Mikey” he puzzles.
Frank makes a sound in the back of his throat all ‘duh’ and explains, “I know but it’s Mikey” like those five words have made everything [so clear now!/] Though, to be honest, it kind of does explain a lot because yeah it is Mikey. So Gerard accepts this as an answer all, “So can we like carry on making out now?”
And they kiss like teenagers again and it’s awesome and Gerard can see fireworks behind his closed lids and then Frank slips him the tongue, trying to be all subtle about it like Gerard wont notice there is this slimy wet thing in his mouth, and it’s amazing like seriously, mind blowing. He just about melts then and there.
Surprisingly, it gets better. The thing is, Frank is like, super enthusiastic when it comes to kissing so pretty soon the whole make out scene is breaching the rating systems with Frank actually climbing into Gerard’s lap all tiny and yet so powerful and hot. And they kiss like that for a while, all exploring hands and rough throaty noises and Gerard finally, finally gets his hands in Frank’s hair and neck and his arms.
But eventually, they have to pull away with this sudden craving they both have for air or something and they sit with their noses bumping and Frank still perched in Gerard’s lap with big eyes and crazy hair. That’s actually, totally as good as the kissing, Gerard thinks, because now he can see all the little lines and shades that make up Frank’s face, the smooth skin where he must have moisturised after shaving and where his cropped hair is starting to curl over his ears again.
Gerard says “Oh my god”
Frank just grins at him and smooths his hands up and down Gerard’s arms, running out all the creases in his dark t-shirt. “Yeah” he says.
Tragically then, Gerard’s stomach decides it would like to join in with all the hushed chatter and gentle breaths and so it announces, very loudly, that it is “Alert and present!” and Gerard sort of wants to die.
Frank giggles and pokes Gerard’s nose, says, “Let’s get something to eat”
Which is how they end up ordering from Gerard’s favourite grease pit down the road.
Frank bitches a little at the menu and the apparently ‘unimaginative’ vegetarian options but eventually just gets a veggie chow mien and some spring rolls and so Gerard forgives him. They even set the table, which is something that has not been done since Mikey and Alicia came round on Gerard’s first night in the apartment. Gerard gets out the placemats and the nice china plates Eleanor left him -the only he owns without fifty-million chips- and he even considers lighting some candles but decides against it at the last minute.
He keeps trying to shoot secret little looks at Frank across the kitchenette but whenever he glances over Frank is just leaning against the counter not even pretending to help or to be doing anything but staring at Gerard from across the room.
It’s half way through the meal that Gerard gets the call. Frank is in the middle of explaining why factory farming could be causing cancer and how not eating protein stops you getting Alzheimer’s when Gerard’s phone starts buzzing in his pocket. He tries to ignore it, nodding at Frank and not getting it out of his jeans but it just continues to ring and buzz and eventually Frank says, “Gee, take it”
It’s the hospital. Mrs Harte has been taken in; she probably won’t make it through the night. They’re keeping her in intensive care.
Gerard doesn’t realise he’s dropped the phone until, like in a bad movie; it’s clattering to the floor, the battery flying across the laminate. All the heat drains miserably from his body and his mouth hangs, open and limp. It’s like loosing Eleanor all over again. Frank is at his side in an instant, holding his hand and shaking. Gerard can just about hear him over the white noise in his head and the ringing in his ears but he can’t make out any words.
The tears come quickly, pooling out of his tear ducts with no warning. Frank hugs him then, arms tight and warm against Gerard’s waist, he lets Gerard drop his head onto his shoulder.
“I have to go to the hospital,” Gerard says, once he’s found his voice.
“Do you want me to drive you, I mean like come with you?” Frank asks, his eyes heavy and warm on Gerard’s face.
Gerard nods and kisses Frank quickly on the mouth “Thanks, Frankie” He says softly.
Gerard explains on the drive over. He tells Frank all about Mrs Harte and the things she’s done for him over the years. He tells him about Victor and her parents, about the struggles she went though to get what she needed in life. About the war and the rationing about how even though she was so strong her body always let her down, her brain and her memory couldn’t keep up with her heart. He explains how she was the one to fix him after Bert had fucked him up so badly all those years ago, how she would look at his art and ask questions and understand where he was coming from and how she would still lover him even after seeing the whack creations his soul shed onto his canvases. He tells Frank how she’s had a stroke and that she’s collapsed into a coma; how the doctors don’t think she’ll survive the night. How he was the first person they thought to call.
Frank drives and listens and lets Gerard cry and holds his hand tightly within his as they enter the hospital.
Mrs Harte isn’t conscious when they get to her room but Gerard had been expecting that much. It’s a private suite with blinds and a door separating them from the rest of the hospital. Gerard is selfishly glad even though he knows the hospital barley has enough room to hold all it’s patients.
The doctor explains how she has no contactable family and how his name and number were at the top of her emergency list. He suggests that they talk her through her final hours. Apparently, there’s a good chance she can still hear them.
Gerard sits besides her bed once the Doctor has gone and listens to the machine beep beside him. It’s steady and loud against the still room. Frank stands behind him and rubs at his shoulders where knots have tangled themselves into Gerard’s muscle. Gerard’s mouth is dry and he has no idea what to say.
“Hello” he tries and his voice is rough and scratchy in his throat, he coughs a little and looks up to Frank for support, he nods and squeezes the tops of Gerard’s arms. “It’s me” he feels stupid and takes a deep breath before really trying. “I hope you still recognise me, I think you do. I’m sorry I wasn’t there” He can feel tears pricking at the backs of his eyes again.
“Frank’s here” he says, “I told you about him, the boy with the tattoos that I always talked about recently. You were right, you know? About going after him” Gerard laughs a little and feels himself blush “I haven’t told him yet but I think he’s the one” He smiles and wipes a tear away from his cheek. He feels Frank kiss the top of his head.
They stay in that small hospital room until she crashes. Gerard grows more and more confident as time goes on and whispers goodbye before the doctors usher him and Frank away. His chest is heavy and his eyes sting but at least he isn’t alone.
It’s not long after that they’re given the news that she’s gone. Frank hugs Gerard until he’s ready to breath again and then they both leave the hospital with their hands linking them together. He’s handing a crisp white envelope as they leave that reads ‘Gerard’
He doesn’t open it till they get home. It’s her will; she’s left everything to Gerard in cold, ridged print. It’s unbearably formal and Gerard leaves it on the table when he goes to bed. Frank stays with him, offering small words of comfort and secret kisses until Gerard falls asleep.
Ugh so I really really really hate this chapter and I hate i more because of that because it's supposed to be like the big chapter and I just ugh I'm really sorry but here it is. I'l do better next time, I swear
Also I'm away for another week now what? I know so I'll try and get the next chapter done byt the time I get back so hopefully I wont leave you as long as I have the last couple of times. oh my god Oh my god there's only four more chapters left ahhh