[Written for Cosmic Zombie's music and words.] Frank needs to just get out of the numb haze and start seeing things from a different point of view.
And I hope you enjoy :)
Frank swirled his drink around his glass as he gazed with bored eyes at the TV. His lips were slightly parted and his eyes glossed over with disinterest as he watched the news. There was nothing else to watch, and there had been some kind of tone in the newscaster’s voice that hinted to their being a big headline that day, so Frank figured he should watch and keep up to date with what was happening in the world.
Frank could vaguely remember there being a time when the news had been important to him. But now that he was so untouchable the news meant nothing. What did it matter to him, or his friends, or his family, if there was war or famine or disease?
Frank sighed and robotically lifted the glass to his lips, sipping the whisky inside and glancing at the clock. Gerard still wouldn’t be home for another hour. It felt like the whole day had dragged and Frank just wished he could fast forward time for when his lover came home.
’A tsunami struck today along the entire south east coast of China.’ Frank looked back to the TV as the newscaster’s voice came loud and clear through the speakers, in that strange, disjointed tone that newscaster’s have to emphasise whatever they say. Frank felt the tiniest amount of interest as he gazed lazily at the TV screen; his eyes starting to unfocus until it was just a haze of light and moving blue images, too lazy to focus again.
’The effects have been as far reaching as Japan and it is expected more countries will be effected over the next twelve hours.’ Frank sighed and managed to focus his eyes again, watching with more attention just to try and feel like he was doing something, the images on the screen showing flooded parts of the world that seemed too far away to even exist to him. ’So far the amount of casualties is unknown but it is expected that the death toll will match that of the Indonesian tsunami of 2004 if not exceeding it.’
Frank took another sip of whisky and watched with a little more interest as images of tsunami waves and crying families flashed across the screen. There were interviews and subtitles and all the usual heart breaking shit the news usually showed and Frank scoffed as he turned the TV off.
There had been a time when things like Tsunamis used to strike fear into his heart, but not even the video recording from a mobile phone of the giant wave could make him feel anything. Here in his comfortable lifestyle not even a Tsunami could touch him. The ocean’s salt water was too far away to affect him.
Frank sighed and got to his feet, slamming his half drank tumbler of whisky down and strolling through the house. He wanted Gerard home, he was sick of waiting for him. He was bored of living here, bored of not having to worry about anything. He missed his old life, the life had almost forgotten by now.
By the time Gerard arrived home an hour later boredom had transported Frank to their bedroom upstairs, and he was currently lying on top of the sheets, naked as the day he was born.
Gerard called out a greeting and smirked fondly when he heard Frank yell back an “I’m upstairs!” in response. Gerard had got used to this by now and as soon as he had removed his jacket and shoes he made his way up to the bedroom.
“Mm... Finally, I’ve been dying to see you all day.” Frank purred as his lover entered the room. He sat up on his elbows and smirked as Gerard sauntered across the carpet, unbuttoning his shirt and allowing the fabric to cascade down his shoulders and onto the floor.
“Mm... Just like yesterday, and the day before, and the day before, and the day before...” Gerard was smirking as he knelt on the bed and began to crawl like a wild cat up towards Frank. “What’s got you so into me all of a sudden hm?” He purred, settling between Frank’s legs and kissing delicately up his bare stomach.
“Mm... Can’t a man love his partner without being questioned on it?” He asked playfully, closing his eyes and tangling his fingers into Gerard’s hair. This was quickly becoming another daily routine of theirs, but it was one Frank couldn’t see himself getting bored of very soon. “I get so bored when you’re not home....”
“I know sugar.” Gerard whispered, nibbling along Frank’s hipbone. “I’ll make it up to you.” He promised, and Frank nodded with a soft moan as Gerard did just that.
Frank idly twirled a lock of Gerard’s hair around his finger as he lay on his chest, breathing in his familiar scent and sighing softly. Gerard was smoking a cigarette, blowing the smoke towards the ceiling as he lay on his back and stroked Frank’s hair. They were basking in their afterglow and Frank knew he should have felt serene and content, but he just felt on edge and a little miserable.
Gerard didn’t seem to notice that Frank wasn’t feeling too hot. But then Frank had been feeling this way for a while now, and he guessed he was pretty good at hiding it. But he was beginning to grow more and more uncomfortable with this numb existence of his, spending every day alone in the house, or going shopping with a seemingly never ending supply of money on his bank cards. He was seeing life through the perspective of the one percent... The rich, the comfortable, the men who wanted for nothing and yet bought it all. Frank had never dreamed he’d end up like this, but when he had began dating Gerard at the tender age of fifteen it had been a whirlwind romance that transported him to the lap of luxury.
Fifteen years later and he was so rich off Gerard’s money, so comfortable in their huge house and their fabulous sex life, that he couldn’t even feel anything when he saw something as terrible as a tsunami on the news. At first it hadn’t mattered, but now he was beginning to realise things were not okay.
“Hey Gee...” He mewled, glancing up as Gerard looked down at him.
“Yeah?” He smiled, stretching his arm across to stub his cigarette out in the ashtray on the bedside table.
“I was thinking... I wanna go to the beach.”
“What?” Gerard asked, half chuckling as he rose as his eyebrows at Frank with a curious smile. “The beach? Why?”
“I dunno... Just feel like it.” Frank shrugged, drawing patterns on Gerard’s chest. “Can we go?” He asked softly, knowing that Gerard would never deny him anything. The older man hesitated a second, and Frank knew he was thinking about it.
“Now?” He eventually asked, biting his lip as he gazed at Frank. “The beach is miles away Frankie, it’d take us hours to get there.”
“Then we’ll go first thing in the morning.” Frank suggested, sitting up more and grinning at Gerard as he realised he really did want this. “You don’t have to go into work – Jesus Gerard you own the company, you cannot go in for a couple days right? Please baby, I wanna go to the sea.”
“I... But why?” Gerard asked again, sitting up himself and wrapping his arms around Frank’s waist. “Why do you wanna go to the beach so suddenly?” He chuckled, looking a little worried, as if Frank had gone crazy.
“I just do. Please Gerard.” He whined, pouting at Gerard and knowing the older man couldn’t refuse him any longer, he could already see his eyes softening.
“I... Alright. If it means a lot to you.” Gerard slowly conceded, Frank squeaking in delight and nodding as he flung his arms around him.
“Oh Gee it does! Thank you baby, I love you.” He beamed, pressing a passionate kiss to his lover’s lips and feeling more alive than he had in a long time.
Frank sighed and stretched as he stepped out of the car, arms up above his head and his eyes squeezed shut as he lot out a strained groan. It felt good to get out of the car at last, Gerard slamming the driver’s door shut and stretching himself as the wind blew harshly around them.
It was early evening by now, the sun going down cooling the Earth and Frank shivered as the brisk sea breeze wrapped around him. The bitter scent of salt and brine hung in the air, an almost grimy smell that lingered in his nose and caught at his throat. When he glanced at Gerard he could see the older man wrinkling up his nose and he chuckled quietly to himself. Gerard had always hated the beach.
“Alright, what do you wanna do?” Gerard locked the car and looked expectantly at Frank. Frank rarely got to call all the shots when they went on outings, what with Gerard being the one with all the money, he seemed to have this weird need to lavish attention and luxury on Frank and so whenever they went out it was always Frank just stumbling along, following Gerard and doing whatever he wanted. This time though it was all down to Frank. Gerard seemed to understand that this was important to the younger man, though God only knew why, so he simply smiled at him and waited for his ideas.
“Um... I guess, I just wanna go down onto the beach for now.” Frank said uncertainly, gazing across the parking lot to where the waves were lapping gently against the half sand and half shingle beach. The tide was out, so the water was quite a way down.
“Alright.” Gerard shrugged, walking round to the front of the car and offering Frank his hand. Frank smiled as he joined him, lacing their fingers and setting off towards the beach.
Gerard had wanted to go back to the hotel first, and then come back to the beach in the morning. But Frank hadn’t come here to spend a day topping up his tan and swimming in the cool water. He just wanted to see it... Just wanted to see the waves. He was ashamed to admit it, even to himself, what with dragging Gerard on a long, tiring car journey just for five minutes by the sea. But he figured he could make it up to him.
The two men were silent as they trekked across the sand, picking their way across it to avoid the small pebbles as best they could. Frank had taken his shoes off and left them in the car, rolling his jeans up to his knees. Gerard hadn’t done the same... He disliked the beach enough without having to get sand all over his feet.
Gerard glanced at his younger lover with a curious expression. Frank was staring intently at the ocean, his eyes a little wide and his eyebrows slightly furrowed as he stared at the water that was going from orange to a dark grey as the setting sun was taken over by the approaching night. By the time they made it back to the car it would be almost dark Gerard suspected. Nights here came quickly and suddenly, it felt like one second you were basking in the sun and the next you were staring at the moon.
Frank felt strange as he walked with Gerard, the sounds of the waves and the gulls almost alien to him. He used to love coming to the beach, but he hadn’t been in years. Not here at least. He’d been to a few whilst on vacation with Gerard, though they usually avoided hot countries since Gerard preferred cool weather. Frank had always loved hot weather though, and coming to the beach with his family in the summer when his parents had a weekend off...
Frank didn’t realise he was letting go of Gerard’s hand until he found himself a few feet ahead of his lover. He suddenly realised their fingers were no longer laced, and Gerard was slowing down his pace whilst Frank was speeding his up. He didn’t look back though, instead he moved faster still, striding across the sand whilst Gerard stopped completely and just watched him.
Gerard shivered slightly and huddled inside his hoody, watching curiously as Frank hurried down the beach towards the water. Gerard didn’t know what was happening to his partner, but he sensed he needed to keep back. He wasn’t a part of whatever this was, he could come along for the ride but he had to watch as if through a glass screen. His hand felt cold without Frank’s nestled against it and he bit his lip as a particularly large gust of wind brought goose flesh to his arms.
Frank didn’t stop walking until he reached the water’s edge, keeping his pace up and then coming to a sudden halt once his feet sank into the wet sand that was being licked by the waves. He gazed out at the horizon, watching the iron grey waves in the distance as the water slid up the beach and washed over his feet.
Frank shuddered; the water was cold as it lapped around his ankles and then drew back, sending shivers up his spine. He felt strange as he stood staring out at the sea. He felt as if something inside him was changing... Not that he was becoming different, but that he was becoming someone he had forgotten to be. Like he was becoming someone he should have been all along.
Frank gazed with wide eyes at the cold water, barely feeling it as it washed over his feet again and again.
He was imagining the tsunami.
It was hard to imagine a wave so tall and so terrifying actually existing. The biggest waves here would only reach Frank’s hip if they didn’t break against the sand. And yet Frank knew, even if he couldn’t really picture it, that thousands of people right now had lost their homes, their families... their lives... to a wave like that.
Frank gazed intently at the ocean, frowning a little as he tried to form such a wave with his mind. He tried to imagine the way the water would get sucked back, the way he would realise he was no longer feeling it against his feet and would watch with a pounding heart as it raced across the sand backwards. He imagined how it would rear up, slowly at first, then gathering speed. He pictured the beach was full of people, and that everyone would slowly notice and watch with amazement as the big wave kept climbing... becoming a huge wave... then a scarily big wave... and then up and up and up into a monster made of water, getting bigger the closer it came towards the land.
Frank felt a lump in his throat as he closed his eyes and listened to the roar of the waves. He imagined the way the tsunami would block out the sky, block out the sun... People would start screaming as they realised what was happening, parents would grab their children, abandon their belongings, and people would start to run.
Frank’s eyes snapped open and he took a nervous jump back away from the waves that were gently lapping at his feet. He felt his stomach swirl as he kept walking backwards until he felt he was at a safe distance, staring at the sea. Imagine trying to outrun such a thing... Across sand no less. Getting your feet stuck in the grains, kicking clouds of it behind you as you dash as fast as you can over a land that starts to feel as soft as sponge in your panic. Imagine hearing it, that terrifying clap and roar as the wave breaks against the beach and starts to gush in a rapid flood. Imagine knowing that no matter how fast you run it isn’t enough.
Frank closed his eyes again. Imagine feeling the water hit your back, knock you down... Everyone around you falling with you, face first but not hitting the ground before your getting tossed about in the rapids. Drowning. Maybe you’d still have your child in your arms, clinging to them as your lungs fill with water.
Frank inhaled sharply, almost choking on his breath.
Frank jumped as if he’d been electrocuted and quickly turned to stare with wide eyes at Gerard. The older man had walked down the beach to join him, his eyes filled with concern. Frank was panting a little as he gazed at Gerard, taking in his familiar features and thinking of how it would feel to lose him...
“Frank?” Gerard jumped in surprise when Frank suddenly flung his arms around him and buried his face into his chest, trembling against him. Gerard ever so slowly wrapped his arms around Frank’s back, holding him tight and gently stroking a hand into his hair. His heart was racing with worry and he glanced quickly at the sea as if the reason for Frank’s sudden change would be written on the water.
“Frank? What’s wrong?” Gerard mewled when the ocean just gazed emotionlessly back. He bowed his head and pressed a small kiss to Frank’s hair, gently stroking his back and sighing with slight relief when he felt Frank relax against him.
“Nothing...” He whispered ever so quietly, his words muffled by Gerard’s hoody which he was hiding against. “Just... Nothing.”
“Frank...” Gerard mewled, pulling back a little so that he could tilt Frank’s face up with a strong hand. “Talk to me baby... I’m worried about you.” Gerard whimpered, searching Frank’s hazel eyes for a sign of what was making him act so strangely lately. “You’ve dragged me all the way to the beach for no reason and now you’re shaking like a leaf. What’s going on?” He asked as softly as he could, Frank blushing and trying to avoid his gaze.
“I just... Feel sick...” Frank sighed, leaning against Gerard and closing his eyes as the older man sighed and gently lifted him up. Frank wrapped his legs around his waist and hid his face into his neck as Gerard started to carry him back up the beach like a child.
“Let’s get you to the hotel.” Gerard sighed quietly, knowing when to drop things and he knew that whatever was going on with Frank right now the younger man wasn’t willing to tell him.
“Gee...” Frank sighed, nuzzling his face more into Gerard’s neck and breathing in his familiar scent. The thought of having him get washed away by the sea had brought a lump to his throat and he was struggling not to cry. He knew it was silly... He and Gerard were both safe, there was no tsunami here, and even if there was, they were untouchable.
They were untouchable... They had to be.
“I love you.” Frank sighed as Gerard finally made it back to the solid ground of the road, the older man sighing and smiling a little as he nodded and walked to the car.
“Love you too sugar.” He whispered, kissing Frank’s hair again before letting him down so they could get into the car.
When Gerard woke up there was no sign of Frank. His side of the bed had gone cold when Gerard touched it and the older man instantly grew worried as he slid from the soft sheets and tugged on a pair of boxers.
Frank hadn’t spoke much when they get into their room last night. He had simply taken off his clothes and curled up in bed looking pale and shaken. Gerard had sat up for a little, just on his Blackberry, but eventually he had curled his body around Frank’s and held him close through the night. He hadn’t even felt him leave his arms.
Gerard left the bedroom and wandered into the living area. They had a suite, of course, the hotel was actually quite nice considering it was only four stars. It had been the best that Gerard could find in the area, though admittedly he was used to five or even six star hotels. Since it was only for a couple of nights though he had figured it would do.
Gerard wandered around, frowning when he still couldn’t see Frank. After going to the bathroom it became increasingly clear that the younger man had gone off somewhere and Gerard’s heart raced. He wasn’t used to Frank acting so strangely and he felt panicky as he found his Blackberry and began to type in Frank’s number.
Gerard had just hit the call button and was raising the phone to his ear when he heard the door click open and he whirled round. A sigh of relief escaped his lips as he saw Frank wander inside, holding a paper grocery bag in his arms. He used his hip to shut the door again, the key card held in his teeth.
“Frankie?” Gerard hurried forward to help him with the grocery bag. “Where have you been?” He asked, almost demanded as he took the bag and placed it down on the coffee table in the middle of the room. Frank grinned sheepishly at him as he put the key card back into his wallet , shrugging and blushing slightly.
“I just went out to buy some breakfast.” He said quietly, putting his wallet into his pocket and then tiptoeing up to kiss Gerard’s cheek. “I was hoping I’d be back before you woke up, I considered leaving a note but you were out cold.”
“I was worried.” Gerard mewled, hesitating a moment before he sighed and pulled Frank close to him and hugged him tight. “I thought you’d disappeared somewhere...”
“I’m fine Gee.” Frank giggled quietly, and Gerard had to admit he did sound chirpy. He pulled back and cupped Frank, gazing curiously at him.
“Frankie I’m so confused... What was with you yesterday? I’m worried about you.” He mewled, Frank sighing and tiptoeing up to peck his lips.
“I’m fine Gerard, really. I was just tired and having a weird moment. I’m okay now.” He promised, taking Gerard’s hand and squeezing gently. “Come have some breakfast with me.”
Gerard followed Frank dumbly to the couch, frowning slightly as Frank pulled the grocery bag closer and started taking out items.
“You went out to buy breakfast stuff? Why didn’t you just call room service?” He asked softly, finding this strange too. There was a little menu on the dresser in the room with a whole range of breakfast things, and Frank had never not taken advantage of room service before.
“I didn’t fancy anything on the menu.” Frank shrugged, Gerard looking curiously at the loaf of bread Frank had now taken from the bag. Along with a jar of peanut butter and a jar of grape jelly.
“You... Wanted PB&J sandwiches?” He asked slowly, utterly bemused as Frank giggled and nodded. Next came some paper plates and plastic cutlery, Frank grinning as he unwrapped them and laid a couple of slices of bread onto two of the plates.
“Yep. Want one?” He beamed, already starting to make them. Gerard blinked stupidly, staring at the items as if Frank had gone crazy. The hotel did incredible breakfasts, much higher class stuff than PB&J’s.
“I... Frank?” Gerard just couldn’t understand why Frank would decide to go out for this, but Frank only smirked at him as he handed him one of the paper plates and began making up his own sandwich.
“I just fancied something different ya know?” Frank said conversationally, as if reading Gerard’s mind. “I haven’t had this in ages.” Gerard could only nod mutely, waiting until Frank had done his own sandwich and he sat back with a smile, holding his paper plate on his knees and taking a hearty bite out of the sandwich. Frank sighed and closed his eyes in delight, visibly relaxing into the couch. “Well go on, it won’t bite.” He giggled when Gerard still didn’t touch his own.
Gerard blushed and looked down at his own plate, slowly lifting the sandwich and taking a small, hesitant bite. He used to eat these all the time as a kid, but that was many years ago and he wasn’t the PB&J type anymore. Though he couldn’t deny that first bite brought on a wave of nostalgia that made him smile slightly.
“It’s good?” Frank grinned, Gerard chuckling as he nodded.
“Mhmm... It’s good.” He conceded, taking another bite and smiling at Frank as their eyes met. Frank giggled and slowly crawled across the couch to tuck himself against Gerard’s side, the two men chatting amicably as they ate their sandwiches.
When Frank had woken up that morning his strange sadness had gone and he had just knew he had to get out of the hotel room for a bit. The suite was nice, but it was just another fancy room that lacked personality. He felt suffocated in this hotel, and when he had gone outside huddled in his ratty old denim jacket he had felt much better.
It made a change for people to see him and not treat him like some kinda of rich guy. Everyone in their home town knew that Frank and Gerard were well off, people seemed to think Frank was some sort of house husband since he didn’t work and just lived off Gerard’s money. It wasn’t a life style Frank had purposely got into, it had just sort of happened. But here, no one knew who he was and when he had walked to the shop he had just felt like any other person. Like a weight had been lifted off him.
When Frank had bought the things from the store he had tripped on his way out and his loaf of bread had gone flying. Frank had blushed, expecting people to scoff or smirk at him, to delight in his embarrassment, but instead the nearest person just stooped down to pick up his bread for him and chuckled kindly as they put it back into the grocery bag.
Frank had been so stunned he could only thank the stranger over and over again, the guy just laughing and telling him it was ‘no big deal’ before he walked into the store.
Frank had almost forgotten what it was like to experience small acts of kindness like that. In his and Gerard’s world they didn’t get that. For the one percent it was a dog eat dog world and you helped no one, simply laughed if they got kicked down. But for the rest of society, the ninety nine percent, common decency was just natural. Frank missed that... He missed being just like everybody else. He didn’t want to be rich... But he loved Gerard, he wanted to be his.
“Gee... I was thinking.” Frank finished off the last of his sandwich and brushed the crumbs off his hands, Gerard smiling curiously as he took Frank’s plate and put both down on the table.
“I...” Frank hesitated, blushing slightly as he looked at Gerard. “I wanted to stay here for a little longer, maybe like... a week?” He asked softly, Gerard raising his eyebrows in surprise. They hadn’t come to anywhere particularly interesting and Gerard didn’t know what they’d do to pass the time but he wanted to make Frank happy. That was all he’d ever wanted.
“Alright.” He nodded, kissing Frank’s lips softly. “Like a vacation?”
“Kinda...” Frank shrugged, biting his lip and fidgeting a little as he looked down at his hands. “I don’t wanna stay in this hotel though... I... I was thinking we could stay in a uh... in a hostel.”
“What?” Gerard’s voice was full of shock and Frank blushed deeper, almost hunching over in his determination not to meet Gerard’s gaze. “Frank you know we can afford this, we don’t need to go into a... a hostel.” Gerard sounded astounded that Frank could even suggest something like that and Frank blushed as he nodded.
“I know that, I just... I wanted to go somewhere different.” He mewled, Gerard choking slightly in shock.
“Different? Well fine, then let’s go somewhere different but a hostel Frankie? Why?” He gasped, Frank whimpering and peeking up at Gerard with the puppy dog eyes he knew Gerard could never deny.
“Please Gee... I can’t explain it, it’s just... It’s important to me.” He whimpered, Gerard staring at him as if he had gone crazy. His mouth opened and closed as if he wanted to say something but in the end he simply sighed and nodded, tugging Frank gently up to sit in his lap. He couldn’t believe what Frank was saying but he got the feeling the younger man wasn’t going to explain.
“I... Fuck Frank, okay. Fine... Just... If this is what you want then fine, we can stay in a hostel for a week.” He finally conceded, feeling tense and sick at the thought. He had spent his life building up his business so he could live like the rich people he had always admired, and now his lover wanted a vacation in a hostel. It just didn’t make sense.
“Really?” Frank gasped, grinning when Gerard nodded and he flung his arms around his neck. “Oh gee thank you! I love you so much.” He giggled, kissing Gerard deeply and the older man just couldn’t find the strength to refuse him.
Gerard watched curiously as Frank laughed at something Brendon said. The two men were sat close together, chatting about punk rock and snorting with laughter every few minutes. The hostel was cold, and so everyone in the communal area were huddled around trying to keep warm as a storm raged outside. There was heating here, but it wasn’t the best system in the world, though the separate bedrooms were warm enough.
Frank was sharing a blanket with Brendon, the ratty woollen blanket too big even for both of them so that only their heads were poking out. Frank had tried to make Gerard sit with them but Gerard hadn’t wanted in on any of that blanket. It looked kind of dirty, and he was alright in his layers of t-shirts and a hoody.
They had been in the hostel for two days and Gerard was beginning to notice more and more that Frank was looking happier than he had in a long time. Gerard hadn’t even noticed before that Frank looked constantly bored until they came here and he was constantly laughing. He was making friends with everyone, and he was bringing a new life and energy to the place that seemed full of lost souls.
Gerard felt uncomfortable here, knowing that he had a full bank account just waiting to be used and all these people barely had a penny to their name. They all talked about others pain though, never their own. A lot of talk centred around the recent tsunami and Gerard was amazed to hear Frank had been really deeply affected by it. He hadn’t told Gerard that... Gerard almost felt hurt. Was he losing Frank?
Frank was having the time of his life as he chatted to Brendon , huddled in the old blanket together. Brendon’s lover was sick and sleeping in their room, and Frank was just feeling happy that he could bring a smile to Brendon’s face. The poor guy looked like he was worrying himself to death over Ryan’s health. They had no money for medical bills, no place of their own. They were struggling to pay the fees of the hostel and were looking at being back on the streets in a few more days if something didn’t change... which of course it wouldn’t. How could anything change for these people?
It broke Frank’s heart listening to everyone’s story in the hostel. He felt like a spy or something. He and Gerard had told some story about losing their jobs and being poor too, though the knowledge that they had a six bedroom house waiting for them just a few hours away made Frank feel guilty for lying. The people here were incredibly kind though, everyone trying to be upbeat and positive despite everything.
Being in the hostel was really helping Frank get back into a good mind set. He was finally feeling things again and he was considering asking Gerard if they could go to Japan soon and help some of the charities that were building houses for the tsunami survivors. He just wanted to help people, wanted to launch himself back into the life he had used to live.
Frank liked being surrounded by people who had nothing. It made them more grateful for the things they did have, and there had been a time up until he met Gerard when he really had been one of them. He had told himself when he had moved in with Gerard that he would never lose sight of the important things, and yet now he realised that he had. But being here, surrounded by these lovable people, he was beginning to see things from a new perspective.
As the days slipped by like butter on a hot plate Frank was growing more and more energetic, happier than ever. Gerard followed him around like a lost sheep, though he kept back, mostly just watching as he and Frank went out with some of the people from the hostel. No one could afford to go out anywhere, but Frank was persuasive enough to get people walking outside, just exploring and spending days in the park or on the beach, drawing pictures in the sand. Frank was having the time of his life, always smiling, always laughing, and every time he glanced at Gerard he would smile lovingly at him with a sad tinge to his eyes.
Frank could tell that Gerard wasn’t feeling how he was. The older man wasn’t used to living like this and it was obviously making him uncomfortable. Frank was grateful he was tagging along though. He loved him so much, and sometimes it just felt good to turn and see his gorgeous face for a moment, keeping him anchored when he felt like he could get washed away by the lives of other people.
At night as they lay in their uncomfortable hostel bed Frank would whisper how he wished he could help his new friends. He hadn’t had real friends like this in the longest time and he didn’t want to leave. Gerard had offered to give them all money so they could get back on their feet but Frank knew they wouldn’t like that. These people were poor but that didn’t mean they’d just take free money.
“They’d wanna work for it ya know... But God, poor Ryan, he’s been getting so sick and Brendon’s so worried... I wish we could pay for his medical bills at least, it would make everything so much easier for them but I don’t think Brendon would let us...” He would mewl, often talking about it and trying to figure out what to do until he ended up talking himself to sleep.
Gerard would simply lye there and stroke his hair, listening to him speak and wondering how he could have forgotten how sensitive Frank was. He couldn’t help but feel like he had ruined him somehow... When he had met Frank he had fallen in love with the energetic, punky boy who spent all his money on cigarettes and new strings for his ratty old guitar... Over the years together though Gerard had been so intent on making sure Frank had whatever he wanted that he had taken his personality from him.
Lying with him now, in the cold hostel that smelt of damp and was full of people Frank wished he could help, Gerard realised that he was falling in love with him more than ever. This was the man Frank should have always been, the energetic, punky man who hung out with friends who couldn’t even afford a coffee out. Gerard may not have felt comfortable here, and he ached to be back in his expensive house in his expensive bed, but he didn’t want to leave Brendon and Ryan behind either. He wanted to help too.
“I... I just... I don’t believe this. I... I thought you didn’t like me.” Brendon was looking dazed as he leant on the wall outside the hostel with Gerard. Frank was inside sat with Ryan who had been too sick to even get out of bed that day, which was worrying considering Brendon only had enough money left to pay for one more night in the hostel. Then he and Ryan would be forced out onto the streets again, and Frank and Gerard were leaving the next day too to go back to their big house.
“What made you think that?” Gerard asked in surprise, smoking a cigarette and looking at Brendon curiously. He had just revealed to the younger man the truth about he and Frank, and how they wanted to help him, and all Brendon could come out with was that?
“I dunno... You’re just not a big talker. I see you staring at Frank all the time... I got the feeling you thought I was trying to steal him away or something.” Brendon blushed deeply and avoided Gerard’s eyes as the older man raised his eyebrows in surprise and even laughed a little.
“What? No Brendon, I didn’t think that.” He smirked, Brendon peeking at him and smiling uncertainly. “You love Ryan, anyone can see that... I just stare at Frank cos’... Well, cos’ I really love him.” Now it was Gerard’s turn to blush. He rarely told people how much he loved Frank. Not because he was embarrassed to, just because... Well, Gerard supposed he just didn’t have anyone to tell. He didn’t really have any friends, but he had never cared because he had Frank and when he came home from work that was enough.
“Oh...” Brendon grinned slowly and chuckled softly. “That’s cute.” He smirked, Gerard smirking back and shoving him lightly.
“So... Back to what I was saying before.” Gerard coughed, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly as Brendon gazed shyly at him. “Me and Frankie really wanna help you guys. I mean... Well, Frank doesn’t really have any friends back home since he doesn’t go out much. I guess that’s my fault, it’s amazing how much money can suffocate a person...” Gerard blushed deeply, hating to admit all this but to his surprise Brendon gently took his hand and squeezed lightly, nodding.
“Go on...” He encouraged softly, Gerard blushing even more and bowing his head as he stubbed out his cigarette on the wall and dropped it the floor.
“I dunno... I guess, when I met Frank I fell for him so hard ya know? I wanted to give him everything, I wanted him to have everything money could offer – and I’m rich enough so ya know... I got the massive house and the nice cars and all the latest gadgets. We don’t want for anything.” Gerard sighed and took a deep breath. He wasn’t exactly sure when this had become a fucking counselling session but now he had started he just couldn’t stop, and Brendon just kept nodding as if he understood and squeezed his hand gently.
“I love him...” Gerard continued, softer now. “I thought as long as I had a lot of money and kept buying him everything he’d be happy. But recently he’s just become so... soulless almost. I think he’s bored, he’d work but what’s the point? Everyone who knows him hates him because they think he’s some sort of gold digger I guess, and he has no friends and no amount of money can buy him that.” Gerard blushed as it all became clear to him and he suddenly felt guilty. He had never looked at all like this before... Had never seen it from this perspective.
“I feel like I’ve destroyed him... But all I wanted was for him to be happy. But then when we came here and he asked me to let us stay in the hostel instead of a hotel, I thought he’d gone mad but now I kinda get it. Here no one knows us, and he wanted to feel like we’re not rich anymore, like he can be... Like everyone else.” Gerard blushed, gazing at his feet with wide eyes. God... How had he been so stupid to have not seen all this before?
“I’m sorry, I don’t know why I’m telling you all this.” He sighed, realising that Brendon probably didn’t want to hear it and he tugged his hand out of his grip.
“You’re telling me because it’s important.” Brendon said gently, smiling warmly when Gerard looked at him. “So... How did you plan on helping us?” He asked quietly, knowing that that was why Gerard had even been honest with him in the first place. “You know if you’re gonna offer us money I’ll have to refuse.”
“I know. Frankie already told me you guys wouldn’t want to just... get out of something for free.” Gerard nodded, smiling a little when he realised Brendon was still looking relaxed and open. “So I wondered... I mean, I understand if you say no, but I know Frank will miss you guys and since you have nothing here to lose as such then... Why don’t you and Ryan come with us back to our place, I’ll pay for his medical bills so he can get better and then if you really don’t wanna take it for free then you could just work for me, in my company.”
“I... Really?” Brendon was staring at Gerard with wide eyes, it taking him a long moment to take in everything Gerard had said. “You’d let me work for you? Just for a normal wage, no special treatment?” He clarified, Gerard chuckling a little as he nodded.
“You have my word. And you can live with me and Frank, just until you get back on your feet.” He said kindly, Brendon hesitating a moment.
“I... I’d have to talk to Ryan first.” He mewled, Gerard nodding.
“I understand that. I just wanted to give you the option.” He said gently, smiling as Brendon thanked him and hugged him close, whispering he would have to think about it all but that he’d get back to Gerard before the morning.
Frank squeaked as Gerard grabbed him from behind, spinning him round and biting playfully on his ear. Frank laughed and turned to swat at his lover, grinning when Gerard caught his hands and held them tight before kissing Frank deeply.
A year had passed since the tsunami in Japan, and in that time Frank and Gerard had moved into a two bedroom house. They were still rich of course, but they lived much more modest lives and Frank was now part of a variety of voluntary groups that helped out with the community.
Brendon was working for Gerard and slowly working his way up into a manager’s position. Gerard had been shocked by how good a worker he was and the two men were great colleagues, as well as good friends outside of work. Brendon and Ryan still came over for dinner once a week, and now Ryan was getting his strength back he joined Frank in his volunteering sometimes.
Life was better than ever, and sometimes Frank just had to take a moment to pause and gaze at the sky, smiling to himself. He remembered how when he had first heard of the tsunami it had meant nothing to him, and in the space of just a year he had turned his live into something he loved and had become the person he should always have been.
He was seeing life from the perspective of both the lower and the upper classes, and this new perspective shone everything in a positive light. He knew he was incredibly lucky, and though he knew he wasn’t as untouchable as he once believed he was okay with that... Knowing he could lose it all made him appreciate it more.