[Frank] cast his gaze to Gerard who had gone from possessive and manipulating to almost childlike in the space of about twenty seconds. He watched him twitching and fiddling with his hands and felt...
He hated it here. The windows were boarded up, Gerard had said they didn’t need to see out and he’d made it crystal clear that he didn’t want to be seen, not here. So they got all their light from a lone bulb hanging from a twisted, spotted cord on the damp beige ceiling, not that anyone wanted to see in here. It was a wrecked, filthy mess. The yellowed, once white paint was flaking away from the walls as if trying to escape this wretched house and the faux-wood floor tiles were peeling upwards, revealing cracked grey stone beneath. There was a TV in the corner, but no one had paid the cable company in years - the house was derelict, didn’t need it – so all it showed was three channels (one news, one kids and one trash TV), none of which sparked Frank’s interest. Apart from that, the suspicious papers that somehow always turned up here and Gerard’s assortment of drugs and alcohol that were scattered everywhere, the room was empty.
“No,” Frank replied, itching the bridge of his nose with his fingernail, “I just think we should have a break, you know? I’m sorry, I-”
“You’re sorry?” Gerard smirked and chewed his tongue, not taking his eyes off of Frank’s for a second. Tired, yellow stains had been settled around his dark eyes almost permanently these days, Frank had noticed, and he assumed these were caused by his frequent substance abuse and lack of sleep. He also noticed a large, purple bruise on Gerard’s white cheek, about the size of a teabag, and his hair was outgrown and messy. It broke Frank’s heart to see him like this a cracked shell of what he’d been when they’d met. He and the house were the same in that sense, Frank mused. Gerard nodded. “Mm, okay.” He stepped forward and held Frank’s chin with his pale, ice cold fingertips, causing Frank to tense up in quiet fear and smiling softly as he did. He leaned closer; eyes still locked on Frank’s, and planted a soft kiss on Frank’s nose. He smelled chemical. “You don’t want that,” He whispered, his breath stale, “You don’t want to be alone…” Frank winced as Gerard’s fingers brushed his cheek and he bit his lip tightly, drawing blood. He was right, of course, Gerard was always right, no matter how far from the person he used to be he strayed. He didn’t want to be alone, he wanted to feel saved and loved, and he wanted to feel the way Gerard had made him feel before all of this. He sighed.
“You’re right,” he sighed and tears formed in his eyes as he stared into the ones that were once Gerard’s and held the pale, bony fingers that were touching his face, “No, you’re right, I’m sorry, I don’t know what I was thinking.” Frank breathed, squeezing Gerard’s fingers and staring up at him for some sign of approval, anything. Gerard smirked and pulled his hand away, looking away from him at last to roll his eyes. His stomach dropped and he felt his face turning from red to white as Gerard slid his hands back into his pockets and sighed.
“Frankie,” He teased, using the nickname that he and he alone was allowed to use, then scratched the back of his head with one hand, rustling his pearly white hair slightly. “You know you can’t say stuff like that, I told you already.” He sat down on the dirty floor and crossed his legs, looking up at Frank from under his hair. Despite the fact that Gerard was now beneath him, Frank still felt as though he was being looked down upon. “Sit down.” Gerard ordered, and he obliged quickly, sitting cross legged opposite him. “No, here.” He gestured. Frank shuffled over to sit beside him.
“Gerard, I-” Frank began, about to explain everything he’d said, tell Gerard that he didn’t mean any of it and how sorry he was.
“Shh,” Gerard interjected, snaking his arm around Frank’s shoulders and stroking his soft, dark hair. He was shaking softly, and though his eyes met Frank’s, he wasn’t looking at him – he looked distant, as if he was dreaming. “I forgive you, okay?” He kissed the side of Frank’s head and continued, “I know you didn’t mean it. You’re just sad, aren’t you, you miss your family right? I’m sorry…” Gerard looked down and shook his head, “I know this is all my fault but, I promise, it’ll be over soon, alright? Because I’ve got this plan, look, I’m gonna get money, see?” He took his arm from Frank’s shoulder and scrambled around on the floor, suddenly frantic, picking up pieces of paper and tossing them down until he found the right one, which he spread out in front of Frank like a child showing a parent a drawing. He looked at him expectantly, as though waiting for something. Frank wished he knew what.
“I know,” Frank assured him, nodding at the blank piece of paper that he looked so proud of, so excited about. He cast his gaze to Gerard who had gone from possessive and manipulating to almost childlike in the space of about twenty seconds. He watched him twitching and fiddling with his hands and felt a wave of sadness and frustration crash down upon him. Why wouldn’t he just act like Gerard, why didn’t he laugh anymore, why did he feel like he had to do all these drugs or drink so much? As if they even made him feel better anymore, it must have become a process not unlike taking a vitamin now. Frank closed his eyes and tried to calm himself down – this wasn’t the time to get wound up. “Yeah,” he continued hesitantly, smiling softly and holding one of Gerard’s quivering shoulders gently, “Everything’s gonna be okay, Gerard.” Gerard nodded quickly, still trying to smile. His large eyes flitted over to Frank’s face and darted around it, taking it all in before they filled with tears, and short, choked wailing sounds escaped his throat. Close to tears himself, Frank wrapped his arms around him, Gerard’s worn out leather jacket squeaking as his arm slid across his back. “Gerard…” Frank whispered empathetically, as the blonde man he once knew sobbed beside him, his back rising and falling with every breath. What was he supposed to say? Nothing was going to make this better, nothing. So he just held him.
He kept his arms wrapped tightly around him as he cried, for what could have been minutes or hours, until, suddenly, Gerard sat up, as though waking up from a bad dream. He blinked as if with tired eyes and looked around, startled, then looked at Frank, wide eyed and afraid, his eyes reddened and his cheeks traced with tears. “Frank, I…”
Frank’s heart jumped into his throat, Gerard looked more awake than he had in weeks, months, and he knew it was too good to be true but he couldn’t stop the smile spreading across his face. He pulled his arms away and stared at him. Maybe this was it now, maybe it was all over, maybe they could go home, maybe…
But just as Frank was about to say something – he hadn’t been able to get the words out, his throat had contorted and squeezed shut like a venus fly trap – Gerard’s eyes rolled upwards and he blacked out, flopping backwards onto the floor with a dull thud. Frank sat still, shocked by what had just happened and angry that he’d let himself get his hopes up. Gerard wasn’t coming back now, it was too late. This was Gerard, now.
Exhausted, freezing cold and all alone, Frank curled up in a ball next to the broken, scrawny stranger, closed his eyes and wept, pleading with the sky that he wouldn’t wake up. He really did miss his family, of course he did. He missed home, too. He didn't even know where they were anymore, but something told him it wasn't New Jersey. How had things gotten so bad with Gerard? Frank could remember the first time he saw him drunk and remembered getting drunk with him, but that was fine, that had been fun, but this? This wasn't fun. It was scary and lonely. He looked at Gerard through sodden eyes and felt the tears coming faster as he saw what had become of the man he'd loved, lying on the floor like a fallen angel. Frank stretched out his arm and squeezed one of Gerard's cold, skeletal hands.
Gerard was still always right.
A/N, will update soon, reviews would be really helpful! Thanks for reading.