Gerard loved just watching him breathe. Just breathe. In and out. Soft and slow. [Oneshot. Bert/Gerard.]
Gerard loved Bert like this. Sallow skin stretched in a living canvas, barely protecting jutting ribs and bare heartbeat threaded disjointedly together. He seemed so vulnerable, so fragile. On stage, he was smirking like bitter sugar and screaming with dirty, angel’s lungs. Off stage, he was lazy and grinning and childish.
But here, in the dark, it was different. He had nothing to hide under, no grubby clothes or wicked grins or talent-broken screams; no wild charisma intoxicating everyone; no drunken, lopsided smile on the mouth that wanted to kiss everyone. He was simply alive. Scared, soft, sinewy. Just breathing. Gerard loved watching him just breathe. Soft and Slow. In and Out.
There was something oddly soothing, Gerard found, about being part of the simplistic warmth and innocence of someone that was usually so tainted, so full of intoxicated agony. With his head laid across the bony contours of those often self-bruised ribs, Gerard really felt okay. He couldn't remember the last time he had truly felt okay. But here, lying with Bert, he was.
Here, he could push it to the back of his mind; the heady taste of Jack Daniels and the pills that stuck in his gullet and the sourness making his gut tangle.
Here, he could push it to the back of his heart; the nagging, crippling insecurity and anxiety of waking up to another bleak day of dulling himself, of trying to hold himself together in the rush and tumble of touring.
Here, listening to the beat of Bert's paradoxical, angel-scaled heart, letting it soothe him like his own dark lullaby, he could forget it all- even if only for the darkness, for the poetry of breathing.
It was the only time he felt relaxed without alcohol. There was just something so lullabetic about the simplest, most human things on someone who usually seemed to evade the softness of being alive. It was the way Bert's chest rose with each breath and shuddered away gently with each exhale. The way the sweat and dirt and rancid sugar smell was heady on his pale skin, the bittersweet scent of the crazy, conflicted singer who saw half the world in black and the other in white.
A small jolt in the road brought Gerard back to the moment and he shifted slightly in the darkness of his bunk, letting a smile ghost his lips as Bert’s hair tickled his cheek lightly, greasy dyed-black, yet unexpectedly soft- unlike the rest of Bert, yet so like him at the same time. Confusing. Contradictory. Gerard had always thought Bert was like a walking contradiction, a split charisma; such sensitivity yet such brashness; wisdom and childishness- all curdled by those paradoxical icy blues that hid behind illusions of reckless arrogance, yet saw so much, so painfully.
The thing Gerard loved most of all was the way it made him feel close to someone, safe with someone in a minefield of daily anxieties and torments and toxins. Someone so bitter, so broken- yet so alive he made him feel safer than any substance could.
Gerard could lie there forever, soaking up everything about these moments.
The gentle, sleeping thud of Bert's mismatched heart that beat one palpitation of love, one of hate. The way Bert's eyelashes fanned across his cheeks, making him look peaceful and untroubled. The dirty, black sugar scent clinging to the grimy pores and lank onyx waves of hair. The soft exhales brushing Gerard's hair in temporary innocence.
With the rain whooshing outside, and the world trundling by in a slur of rainwashed, black roads and traffic, for the first time in forever, Gerard truly felt safe- just listening to the soft rasp of breath and the gentle, simple thud of blood from a scabbed heart, the soft, shuddery breaths floating through his bones and marvel at how they were all still happening.
That gave Gerard hope more than anything. If in the confused, alcoholic-tangle of bus rest-stops and screaming fans and blurred bottles, if Bert- dirty, wild, grinning Bert- was still breathing, the world must be alright.
So...thoughts? I must admit, I did enjoy writing this, but I'm also a little nervous about posting, as I've never written another pairing O: Is it something you guys would like to see more of?? So...Rate? Review? Please? :D I'd so love to know if you liked it and if it made sense- I hope I wasn't just rambling :L Anyway, thanks so much for reading!