Gerard just loves Frankie to pieces. He only wants to make him feel safe and at home, but what will Mikey think when he begins to get left out? (Childhood AU.)
"Gerard?" I heard my mother calling me. I hopped out of my chair and sidled downstairs. In the doorway stood my mother, and someone who I recognized instantly. Frankie, the boy who lived down the street. Frankie was four, but I considered him to be one of my bestest friends. He would often come around and visit to play with me. Except this time, he didn't look quite as happy. He had a large bruise on his head and a few bruises on his arms. His face was buried into my mother's leg and his hand tangled in her fingers. "Frankie is going to be staying with us for a few days, alright, sweetie?" My mother cooed. I nodded, and waited for Frankie to turn and look at me. I grinned at him, and he beamed back at me, before wriggling from my mother's hands to run and give me a hug. Running was slow on his pudgy legs, but he got there, throwing his whole body against me. I swung him around and he giggled loudly, his small feet flying through the air. "Now Gerard, why don't you just take Frankie upstairs to your room, then i'll have a little word with you." I sighed and agreed, taking Frankie's hand in mine and galloping up the stairs. I sat him down in front of my desk and ruffled his jet black hair.
"I'll be just a moment Frankie, then we can play whatever you want!" I grinned. He smiled at me, a few teeth missing. His fringe fell over his cheeks and eyes.
"What did you want to tell me, Mom?" I asked, sitting opposite her at the kitchen table. She sighed, placing her hands in front of her, adjusting the ring on her finger.
"I just wanted to say if you could take really good care of Frankie.. It would be really appreciated. His step-dad wasn't very nice to him, and he's feeling sad, so really try to make him feel welcomed, okay?" I rested my chin on my hands.
"Why was his step-dad mean to him? Aren't parents supposed to love their babies?" I asked, innocently. She smiled sadly back at me.
"Not everyone gets as much love and attention as you do Gerard, and sometimes people can be very mean. But his step-dad has been told off for being naughty, and now, Frankie is a lot happier staying with us. He was really excited to come and stay here."
"I'm going to take really good care of him Mom! No one will ever be mean when I'm around!" She laughed and squeezed my shoulder, allowing me to escape back up to my bedroom.
"I really like these drawings, Gee!" Frank exclaimed as I ran into my bedroom. I laughed and lifted him up, sitting him back down on my knee on the desk chair.
"Thank you Frankie! Which one is your favourite?" I asked. His tongue stuck out from the corner of his mouth in concentration. He looked over every single one and finally made his decision.
"That one." He said, pointing to a picture I had drawn of him and me surrounded by dogs of all different sizes. I had a small feeling that he might pick that one. I grinned and wrapped my arms around him, and he giggled as I started to tickle him. He laughed and screeched, kicking me softly with his little feet.
"Would you like to draw something?" I asked, placing a piece of paper before him, and a pencil in his hand. He drew crude circles, delicately selecting each colour to finish off coats and hair. After several minutes of vigorous scribbling and careful sketching, he turned and looked at me, grinning.
"Done!" He exclaimed, encouraging me to look at the drawing he had done.
"That's really good Frankie! Who's who?" I asked. He grinned and pointed to each character.
"That's your Mommy, and that's your step-daddy. Then there's you and me at the bottom! I gave you red hair, because I couldn't find the brown pencil.." He turned and beamed at me. I smiled back, through started to frown a little.
"Where's Mikey, Frankie?" I asked, surveying the picture. He stared back, biting down on his lip.
"I forgot him.. He won't mind, will he?" He swivelled his head back to me with a worried look on his face, still biting his lip. I smiled warmly and shook my head.
"Of course he won't."
Frank paused, looking back at his drawing. Suddenly he turned, gripping my jacket. "Can we play on the piano, Gee Gee?" He asked, smiling widely.
"Of course we can." He hopped excitedly off of my lap and grabbed my hand, yanking me out of the door. Frankie chatted wildly about random things as we walked downstairs, though mostly the dog his grandmother had promised him and the fact that he was going to be famous one day. I laughed and squeezed his hand, agreeing with him.
"You're going to be very famous, little Frankie, and everyone will be jealous, because they'll all want to be your bestest friend!" He stared back up at me, then smiled.
"But you're my bestest friend GeeGee! The others can be my good friends though, because I don't like being mean." He stopped where he was standing and looked down at the floor. I paused and looked down at him, before crouching and bringing my face to his level. I tapped his chin and stopped him from looking down.
"Hey, you haven't done anything Frankie! Hey, come here." I reached my arms out and Frankie flew into them, nearly knocking me off my feet. "No one's going to be mean now Frankie, because I'm here, and i'll fight them off!" I tightened my arms around him, his stubby fingers digging into my back slightly.
"Promise?" Frankie asked, pulling back and putting his pinky in my face. I smiled softly and hooked my little finger around his.
"I promise." He threw himself back into my arms, hooking his legs around my waist and his arms around my neck. I picked him up from where I was crouched and stood up. "Still want to try out the piano?" He nodded in reply and we walked through to the study. I shut the door behind me and we sat down on the piano stool. He wriggled in beside me, since the stool was fairly long, and very soft. I played him some pieces, and when I was done he would clap and cheer. I placed my fingers around his hand and moved it from note to note. He giggled delightedly each time he pressed a key, obviously feeling pretty pleased with himself. I laughed and pulled him back onto my knee, singing along softly in his ear with the pieces I was playing. The door opened slowly, and at the doorway stood Mikey. He was very short, even for his age (although he was only five.). He yawned tiredly and looked stunned when he saw that Frankie was sat on my knee. His glasses dangled in between his fingers.
"Why didn't you come wake me up?" Mikey asked, bending his knees awkwardly and tangling his fingers. "I thought we were going to go to the park today?"
"We can go to the park. We can all go the park together! Why don't I ask Mom?" I asked, trying to keep everyone's spirits up. Mikey nodded, though he was sulking. I started to lift Frank off of me, but he whined slightly and only gripped onto me harder. "Frankie, come on, I need to go ask my Mommy if we can go to the park," He shook his head and refused, sticking his bottom lip out. I sighed and carried him with me to the kitchen, where our mother sat drinking coffee.
"Mom?" I asked, readjusting Frankie in my arms. "Can we go the park?"
"Yes, just take good care of Frankie, okay? I don't want to see anyone getting hurt, especially not Frankie," She replied, waving us off with her hand. Mikey sighed in the background, though at the time I didn't take much notice.
We arrived at the park. It was empty, par a few little children who seemed to be around Mikey's age. Frankie wriggled in my arms.
"I want to go on the swings Gee!" Frankie pointed towards them with excitement.
"Are you sure? They're the big boy swings." I pointed out. Frankie seemed adamant in his decision, and he wriggled from my grip before running with delight towards the swings. I ran after him, scooping him up and lifting him onto the swing. "Make sure you hold on really tight Frankie, okay?" Frankie nodded and began to squeal and giggle as I pushed the swing. The higher the swing went, the louder he squeaked, and the shrieking and laughing rang all around the park, overriding any other noise. "You having fun?" I joked.
"Yesssss!" Frankie screeched, almost letting go off the chains in order to throw his arms in the air with excitement. After ten minutes of rabid shreiking and fast swinging, Frankie complained of boredom and jumped wildly off the swing. He ran towards each plaything, getting bored of each faster and faster, before he finally settled in the sandpit. He drew more of his crude circles, drawing dogs with round oval bodies and pictures of himself and me. I glanced up at the sky, seeing that it was getting dark.
"Frankie, we have to go home now," I said, grabbing his hand. "But.."
"What Gee?" Frankie asked, stepping up from the sand, which he was caked in.
"Where's Mikey?" I covered my face with my hands, shunning my stupidity. I hadn't seen him since I'd gotten here. I'd been so distracted with Frankie that I'd forgotten... "Mikey!" I yelled, grabbing Frankie's hand and running out from the sandpit. I explored everywhere, yelling frantically for him, frighened that I might never find him. "Mikey? Mikey, please come out.. Mikey.." I sucked in my cheeks and held my gaze away from Frankie, desperate for him not to see me cry. The sun lowered in the sky, it growing more purple by the minute. I searched frantically until the sun was almost gone, but stopped and paused in the middle of the park, to cry.
"Frankie..?" I paused, wiping the tears from my cheeks. "Can you hear something?" I held out my hands to create the silence, and could definitely hear soft sniffling. I crept towards the noise, and peeked my head around the tree, where Mikey sat, curled up in a ball. I put a comforting hand on his shoulder, but all he did was shake my hand off him and crawl further away.
"Mikey, come on, we need to go home." He turned back and cried suddenly, throwing himself at me. I picked him up like a baby, Frankie's hand in my other. He rested his head on my shoulder, and I could feel his soft breathing in my ear. We walked fast, worried our mother would be angry at us. Frankie skipped ahead, squealing and chattering to no one in particular. I turned to Mikey and heard a small squeal, as Frankie, slipped and fell headfirst against the tarmac. Frankie lied there for a moment, considering the event, before bursting into tears. His face turned bright red and his knee was scraped and irritated. I turned to Mikey, who was curled up happily in my arm, his nose snuggled oddly in my elbow. "I'm gonna have to let you down now Mikey, Frankie's fallen over and hurt himself." Mikey looked up at me and then down to his knee, then nodded at me without making eye contact. He swung his legs around and hopped onto the floor as I lowered him, wavering slighty as he landed. I scooped Frankie up in my arms, which he seemed quite happy with, snuggling himself in the small of my neck. Mikey tugged softly at my jacket arm, but I had to turn him away. I couldn't let anything happen to Frankie, I had to hold onto him carefully.
We arrived home, just as it got dark and the stars were appearing in the sky. Our mother dusted me down and ruffled Frankie's hair softly, who was now sleeping in my arms.
"Isn't he an angel." She cooed, smiling over him. "Why don't you go put Frankie to bed, Gerard?" My mother suggested. I nodded and wandered upstairs, Mikey following.
"Gee, will you say goodnight to me too?" Mikey asked, popping his head around the door.
"Of course, Mikey." I smiled, stroking the top of Frankie's hair. I heard Mikey speeding back to his bedroom. Frankie smiled and wrinkled his nose in his sleep. He curled his fingers over the edges of the blanket I had laid across him, his other hand nestled against his cheek, a thumb in his mouth. I tapped his nose softly and went back to my desk, deciding to do some more drawing before I went to sleep. I decided to work on the drawing of me, Frankie and Mikey, all wearing cat ears and cat whiskers (despite Frankie seeming to only have interest in dogs.). It was a little bit childish and I preferred dogs too, but I knew that Mikey liked them. He always wanted one, but we could never have one since I was allergic.
"Gerard.." I heard a small voice at my door. I turned and saw Mikey, his eyes now red and puffy, his fists clenched. I sighed and covered my face with my hands. I was so stupid. So, so stupid.
"I'm so sorry Mikey, I just forgot and.." I started, but Mikey stepped back, his eyes brimming with tears, and escaped back to his bedroom. I put my pencils down and followed him, though when i got there his room was empty. I heard the familiar sniffling and opened the wardrobe, where Mikey was snuggled in amongst his clothes, crying whilst clutching one of my woollen jumpers from a few years ago. I crouched down and pushed the hair out of his eyes, then picked him up in my arms, and carried him across the room before sitting him on his bed. He was silent for a second, staring down at the floor.
"You.. you always forget, Gee." He sniffled, circling the mattress with his finger. "You always forget me."
"When did I forget you, Mikey?" I asked, feeling particularly horrible with myself. "I'm always looking out for you."
"E-everytime I go to the park the bullies, they come and they try to t-take my glasses.." He nudged away from me, turning his back against me, still sniffling. "But I tell them that m-my big brother Gerard is coming, because he's always coming, he's always looking after me... He loves me.. I thought.. you.. But he never.. he.. you.. you never.." Mikey's face crumpled and I was trying to stop mine from doing the same. "I hurt m-my knee, my glasses are gone.." I pulled back his trouser leg and saw the dried blood settled all over his knee. I sighed, holding my face in my hands.
I reached my arm around him, though he didn't even seem to notice.
"I'm sorry Mikey, I didn't know, I had to look after Frankie. His step-daddy isn't as nice to him as ours is to us - he's really very mean, and I promised to look after hi-" I started before Mikey cut me off with a sob.
"Then how come when our Step-Daddy is nasty to me, you're never there!" Mikey whispered harshly, swallowing down his sobs. He scrunched his face into the covers, his fingers digging into the sheets like claws. I couldn't even believe what I was hearing, I had no idea.
"He hurt you?" I gasped, gripping his shoulders. Mikey nodded back to me, tears brimming, his eyes wet. He pushed back his sleeves and pulled back his collar to reveal the purple and black bruises on his shoulders and chest. "How long?" I asked, buttoning his shirt back up. Mikey started to talk but stopped, his head bowing. I immediately collected his small fragile body in my hands and pulled him tight against me. "Why didn't you tell me.." I whispered, holding back my tears.
"He told me not too tell." He rasped back. I was fuming with anger, furious with any person who dare hurt him - and now, that person was kind of me. I didn't do it on purpose. I just didn't realise. He rested his head under my neck, and I stroked his hair gently. I rocked him slowly, and sang The Thin Ice by Pink Floyd softly, knowing it was one of Mikey's favourites.
"Momma loves her baby.. And Daddy loves you too. And the see may look warm to you baby.. and the sky may look blue.." I sang, stroking the strands of hair that had gone astray. "Oooh, baby blue.." Mikey sniffled but sang the last line in unison with me. He buried himself deeper inside my jacket. I watched him for around half an hour, before lying him down on his bed and tucking my old woollen jumper under his chin.
I switched off his light and crept towards the door, but turned as I heard his soft sniffling and crying. I turned back and pulled back the covers, slipping into his bed beside him. He immediately hooked himself around me, nuzzling his face and nose against me. I kissed his forehead and wound my own arms around him, bringing up my knees and curling into a ball.
"I love you, Gee." He sniffed softly into the silence. I pulled him closer to me tucked the blanket around us. His fingers twiddled the strands of hair on the back of my neck.
"And I love you, Mikey."