Facing death is sometimes easier for the person who's dying than the people they love. But happiness can be found even in the darkest times. (Frerard - one shot)
Please R&R and let me know what you think :)
“I thought you loved me...”
“I do Gee, you know I do!”
“Then why are you getting so mad at me, I can’t help this Frank. I can’t help any of it.”
“You could have helped getting married. You could have helped throwing away any chance we had of being together. I love you Gerard... Do you even care for me at all?”
“I always loved you Frankie... Now more than ever... I’m sorry okay? So... Sorry...”
“But Gerard sorry isn’t enough, you – Gerard? Gerard no! Gerard you have to listen to me! Gerard!? GEE!?”
“Frank... Frankie.... I mm... I always....”
“Gee? Oh God, no – No! Gerard! HELP! SOMEONE PLEASE HELP! GERARD I -
“Agh!” Frank shot awake with a gasp, his eyes flying open as tears threatened fall. His chest was heaving from the force of his panting, a cold sweat making his skin damp. He was lying on his side, safe and sound in his bed, the room was still dark and there wasn’t a single doctor or hospital bed in sight.
“Oh...” Frank groaned and allowed his body to slump, burying his face into his mattress as he struggled to calm down his erratic breathing. The blanket had slipped down his body and was resting over his hips, exposing his tattooed back to the moonlight that was filtering through the curtain less window. He had only been in the apartment for a week and he still hadn’t unpacked anything. Maybe that was why this place felt so lonely... he needed to make it his home.
Frank slowly uncurled his limbs from the foetal position and forced himself to sit up. He suddenly felt very cold and he shuddered as he grabbed the blanket and pulled it up over his shoulders. He felt exhausted, his eyes itching as he gazed tiredly around the dark, empty room. He needed coffee, and maybe a hot shower or something. He had been showering a lot lately... He found it helped in a strange way. Sometimes it felt good to just sit in the shower tray, curled up to the wall with his eyes closed... just thinking.
Making his way into the kitchen Frank grabbed his cell phone to check the time. It was only 2am. He hadn’t even been in bed for two hours yet. He groaned and ran a hand through his hair, leaning against the kitchen counter as he flicked the coffee machine on. He could tell he was going to be in for another rough night, and it already felt like he hadn’t slept properly in forever. He had pretty much gotten used to just snatching an hour here and there whenever he could... but the nightmares always came.
Frank considered calling Mikey or Ray, a hollow ache in his chest making him feel the need to be around someone. But he didn’t want to disturb his bandmates, and besides, if they needed someone they had their wives with them. It was times like these when Frank regretted leaving Jamia, but deep down he knew it was right. They were still good friends and he knew he could call her right now if he wanted, but he wouldn’t expect her to drive out all the way from New Jersey to come and see him and talking on the phone would only make him feel even more alone. But he had to come here... he needed to be as close to the hospital as possible.
Grabbing the now full mug of coffee Frank made his way to the living room which was currently occupied with countless boxes, most of which hadn’t even been opened. Frank flopped down onto the couch and sighed, taking a sip of the coffee and staring blankly at the different boxes. He should unpack... He could even do it now since he knew he wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep, but even just the thought of trying made him want to curl into a ball and die.
Frank knew he needed to cheer up, but the lack of sleep was really starting to weigh on him. He just wanted to be with Gerard all the time. The hospital had given him his own room and thanks to being somewhat of a celebrity the band manager had been able to pull enough ties that the band and family could go into see the singer whenever they wanted. Frank wanted to see him now... He wondered if Gerard would mind.
Glancing at the time again Frank felt a tiny spark of hope ignite in him. Gerard needed time to rest but he’d probably be asleep already, and Frank wouldn’t wake him up or anything. He just wanted to see him.
Deciding he couldn’t stand just sitting in the apartment all by himself Frank drained his coffee and made his way back to his bedroom to throw on some clothes that were still in his suitcase. He took a moment to brush his teeth and hair, generally just trying to make it look like he hadn’t just woken up from a terrible dream, before he made his way out into the cold night air and climbed into his car.
The hospital was dark and silent when Frank arrived, the reception practically empty. It made Frank feel unnerved to know that at the other end of the hospital in A&E the building would be abuzz with energy and life. Here the corridors were quiet and dark, seeming to stretch on forever. The receptionist at the front desk simply nodded at Frank as he passed, by now his face was familiar and Frank mustered up a weak smile as he strolled by.
This had been the hospital Gerard had first been diagnosed in, and since then he had been in and out for the various operations and treatments. Now though he was in his second straight month of being here and it didn’t look like he was going to be let out anytime soon. In fact, though no one would say it they all knew it; he was just here now until the end.
Frank swallowed thickly to try and dissipate the lump that had risen in his throat. He forced himself to take a deep breath and spent the trip in the elevator to the second floor just composing himself. Things had been getting gradually harder with every passing day. Everyone knew that Gerard was nearing the end, and it was grating on them all. The thought of him dying made each of them grieve in their own way, but they tried not to. It wasn’t fair on Gerard if he had to see them all suffering, and so they had tried to fake happiness as much as they could whenever they visited. Even Frank who had always been a blunt person couldn’t allow himself to be honest with Gerard... not now. Not when he could lose him any day.
By the time Frank reached Gerard’s room he was feeling strong enough to slowly push down the door handle and let himself inside. The lights were all off but the blinds in the window were open to allow the moonlight in. It cast the singer in a pale glow where he lay in his bed, head lolling to one side and lips slightly parted as he snored ever so quietly.
Frank sighed and slowly shut the door, leaning against it as a dizzying feeling of relief washed over him. Seeing Gerard so peaceful... sleeping so fitfully... it was everything he needed. He smiled softly as he walked quietly across the room and sat down on the big plush chair beside the bed, reaching out to tenderly touch one of Gerard’s hands. The older man stirred a little, mumbling in his sleep for a second before he relaxed and continued snoring and Frank smiled to himself, leaning forward to rest his chin on the bars that ran round the length of the bed.
By now Frank had gotten used to the sounds of the various machines working to keep Gerard alive. There were various wires going in and out of the singer, mostly in his arms and wrists, and an oxygen mask hung close to the bed for whenever Gerard needed it. The tumour had been removed from Gerard’s liver almost two years ago, but then a year later more were found in his lungs, and no matter how much chemo he went through it just didn’t seem to work. By now the cancer had gotten so aggressive the doctors had agreed there was little they could do, and Gerard had refused to go through more chemo, unable to handle it anymore. And so here he was... just waiting to die.
Frank felt tears prick at his eyes as he leaned closer to the bed and slid his hand into Gerard’s, curling his fingers and holding onto his hand as gently as he could. Gerard didn’t wake up but Frank hoped he knew he was here... hoped he could feel his presence and was grateful for it. It made him feel sick knowing that they had seen more of each other through this illness than they ever had before and he felt guilty for not making more of an effort to see Gerard when the band had first gone on hiatus. They had never officially split... they just needed a few years out to focus on their marriages and family lives, the plan was to reform after ten years or so for a reunion tour... But it looked like that was never going to happen now.
Frank bowed his head and squeezed his eyes shut, thinking for the millionth time how forty six was just no age to die. Bandit was barely an adult, she would never have her father walk her down the aisle or hold her first child. He wouldn’t even live to see her graduate. Frank knew he shouldn’t think so much on these kind of things, Gerard wasn’t going to let himself get depressed because of it and so neither should he... but it was just so hard.
Frank sighed and slowly moved his hand out of Gerard’s so he could lower one side of the bars round the bed, allowing him to lay his head down on the mattress as he took Gerard’s hand again. He could feel exhaustion creeping over him again and his eyes began to droop. He thought fleetingly how he hoped he didn’t have a bad dream again as he allowed his eyelids to fall, comforted by the soft buzz and beep of the machines around him and Gerard’s soft hand in his. It didn’t take him long to fall deep asleep, and for the first time in almost two weeks he managed to sleep right through the night.
“Mm... There he is.” When Frank opened his eyes he was for a moment disorientated, but as he glanced up he was met with Gerard’s soft smile and he remembered his late night trip to the hospital. He sighed and smiled weakly, Gerard’s eyes sparkling as he gently stroked Frank’s hair.
“Hey...” Frank whispered hoarsely, forcing himself to sit up and groaning as his back ached in protest. He always slept hunched over when he came here, so that he could rest his head on the bed, but his body was starting to pay him back for it.
“I tried moving you...” Gerard said gently as Frank slowly straightened his back and winced, rubbing the aching muscles as best as he could. “But you wouldn’t let go of my hand.”
“Sorry...” Frank sighed, chuckling a little as he ran a hand through his hair and smiled weakly at the older man. “I just had to come and see you last night I... I couldn’t sleep.”
“Don’t worry about it, it was a nice surprise to find you here.” Gerard smiled genuinely, stretching a little and groaning as his tired body regained some of its life. “You okay?” He asked conversationally, running a hand instinctively over his head, still feeling surprised when he didn’t find any hair there. He was so used to having to push his unruly black locks out of his eyes, even after so long of it being gone he couldn’t get used to the smooth skin over his skull.
“I’m fine.” Frank said slowly, reaching out to take Gerard’s hand again, lacing their fingers. “Are you?” He tried to make it sound casual but the worry in his tone was only too obvious. Seeing Gerard sat up, smiling, talking... it made it hard to believe he was as sick as he was. But Frank wasn’t an idiot, and he knew that his best friend was going to be leaving him in no time at all. “You know I worry about you all the time...”
“I know, and I wish you wouldn’t.” Gerard scoffed, rolling his eyes as pressed the button beside his bed for the nurse. “Seriously Frankie, you worrying just make things harder on me.”
“I know that.” Frank whispered, blushing slightly as he felt guilt stir in him. “But I can’t help it Gee. I don’t like this... I don’t like knowing that...”
“That I’m going to die.” Gerard finished for him, his hazel eyes gazing calmly at Frank. “I wish you wouldn’t get so morbid.” He sighed, smiling again as the nurse walked in and Gerard turned to talk to her as she checked the reading’s on the machines and unplugged him from a few, chatting conversationally about what he would like for breakfast.
Frank frowned and huffed slightly, blowing a stream of air upwards to lift his fringe. It was so like Gerard to expect people to just be fine with him dying. How could Frank not be morbid? His best friend was going to die. Any day now he would never see Gerard again and -
“Frank?” Frank didn’t realise he had tears in his eyes until Gerard was leaning over to wipe them away with his thumb. “God you’re such an idiot.” He sighed, his voice full of love and he smiled gently as he tugged Frank to his feet so he would sit on the edge of the bed. “Please don’t cry.”
“I’m sorry.” Frank chuckled quietly and wiped at his eyes, the nurse smiling sadly as she quietly told Gerard she’d be back in ten minutes before leaving the two men to each other. Gerard waited for her to shut the door before he pulled Frank tenderly into his arms and held him close.
“Frankie...” He mewled, wishing he knew what to say to make this easier on the younger man. He wished he could tell him it was all going to be okay but that was a lie. Gerard was dying and he could feel it more and more with each passing day. He had been spending a lot of time recently just thinking about his life and everything he had achieved... He didn’t want to die, but in the grand scheme of things he had done a lot in his time and he was proud of himself. If he had to go at least he didn’t have many regrets.
“I’m sorry Gee... Fuck, I know I’m being an idiot...” Frank groaned, burying his face into Gerard’s neck and clinging to him. Gerard’s arms were a lot skinnier than they used to be, he was growing frailer all the time but he still held Frank with all of his strength. “I just... I just can’t stop thinking about how much I’ll miss you and-”
“Hey, now you stop that.” Gerard scolded quietly, leaning back to wipe Frank’s eyes for him again and gently kiss his cheek. “I’m not dead yet you know.” He smirked, his eyes playful and Frank tried to muster up a laugh. “Look, I don’t want you to grieve for me at all... Not ever. But especially not whilst I’m still alive.” Gerard scoffed, laughing gently and kissing Frank’s lips for just a second. “I haven’t gone anywhere yet okay...”
“I know.” Frank sighed, the lump in his throat aching and making him feel like he could suffocate from it. “I just... Gee I...” Frank groaned and rubbed a hand over his face, struggling to find the words. He had tried to talk to Gerard about this countless times but the singer always cut him off. Frank could understand why, no one really wanted to talk about him dying, but for a change Gerard stayed silent, letting Frank find the words.
“I just... I keep having this dream.” Instantly Frank had to stop to swallow his tears again, his heart racing as he looked at Gerard. It was becoming obvious the older man wasn’t going to interrupt and that just made Frank even more afraid. If he was going to listen for a change that had to mean the end was getting nearer. “It’s like this nightmare...”
“Tell me about it.” Gerard coaxed, gently pulling Frank to lean into his side, wrapping his arm around his waist. Frank lay his head down on Gerard’s bony shoulder, closing his eyes as he took a deep breath.
“Well it... it’s just me and you, in here. And we’re talking... well, arguing. About... About the past. About... ya know... marriage.” Frank blushed deeply, wondering why he had even brought this up. This was the last thing either of them needed right now, but Gerard’s arm tightened around him and he just couldn’t stop the words tumbling past his lips. “I’m angry at you for dying, angry that we never had a chance to be together and we’re arguing about it and then... before I can even think you’re just... you start flat lining and your eyes go blank and I scream for help but nobody comes and... And...”
“Shh...” Gerard held Frank tighter and angled his body so that Frank’s face could hide against his chest. “Hey... shh... shh...” Gerard sighed and laid his cheek down on Frank’s hair, his own heart breaking. Truth be told he had been thinking about his and Frank’s relationship a lot too. It was his only regret... That he married Lindsay and not Frank. If he could change it now he would, but even if he left Lyn that instant and asked Frank to marry him he knew he’d be dead before they could ever even start to arrange a ceremony and it would just be more pain all round.
“Gee I just really love you, ya know?” Frank whimpered into his chest, Gerard squeezing his eyes shut as he nodded. “And I don’t mean like a friend. I mean really love you. I wish I’d had the balls to tell you not to marry her when you guys got engaged, I wish I’d just stopped it somehow I...”
“Frankie shh, please.” Gerard groaned, kissing through Frank’s hair gently. “I love you too okay? So much baby... More than anyone. You know that... You know that.”
“No, don’t even start.” Gerard sighed, leaning back to cup Frank’s face and look into his eyes shining with tears. “Frankie if I regret anything then it’s that we were never officially together. I can’t regret marrying Lyn because Bandit is the best thing that’s happened to me but Frankie you know I never loved Lyn half as much as I love you.” Gerard took a deep breath and shook his head, his body slumping a little as he gazed sadly at Frank. “I think about it all the time ya know? Now that I know I... Now that I don’t have much time left you’re all I think about.” He confessed quietly, using his thumb to wipe away the tear that dripped down Frank’s cheeks.
“I don’t like talking about this.” Gerard sighed, forcing a pained smile. “It just hurts us both and I don’t want to leave you with this as your strongest memory of me.”
“Gee I...” Frank sighed, he had no words. He just couldn’t think of anything to say in that moment... there was only one thing he could do and so he leant up to wrap his arms around Gerard’s neck and pull him into a tender kiss.
Gerard sighed and allowed his eyes to close, a lump rising in his throat as his heart skipped a beat. He hadn’t kissed Frank properly in years... not since the band had ended and they hadn’t been able to use ‘stage gay’ as an excuse to get their hands on each other. Now that Frank and Jamia had split up Gerard didn’t feel any guilt as he tenderly worked his lips over Franks. He didn’t care if anyone saw them, he was a dying man and if he wanted to kiss the one person he had truly loved then he was damn well going to do it.
Frank’s head was spinning as he leant close to Gerard and kissed him slowly but passionately. He wanted to just stay like this forever, just kissing Gerard until their lungs gave out. He ran his fingers along the side of Gerard’s neck, missing his hair that he used to tug and tangle his fingers through. The last time they had kissed had been on stage the last night of their final tour... that was almost six years ago and yet Frank remembered it all perfectly. He had missed Gerard’s kisses so much, but he couldn’t remember the last time they had kissed like this.
“Frankie...” Gerard sighed, sliding one of his hands down Frank’s side to slip round and rest in the back pocket of his jeans. He might have been sick but that didn’t stop Gerard from remembering the many drunken, hazy nights of the past when he and Frank would be unable to keep their hands off each other and he groaned a little as he squeezed Frank’s ass through his jeans. “Missed this...”
“Fuck Gee...” Frank sighed, panting a little as he moved to straddle Gerard’s lap in the hospital bed and kiss him with more heat. He hadn’t been expecting him to respond like this, but he couldn’t stop his own body from firing up too. When they had both got married there had been a few occasions when they would end up sleeping together, usually after an argument or when lust got the better of them. But as soon as they stopped touring together they had managed to remain faithful to their respective partners, now though Frank didn’t give a fuck if Lindsay herself walked in he wasn’t stopping this for the world.
“Mhmm...” Gerard sighed and moved his second hand to join the one on Frank’s ass, kneading and squeezing through the denim as he dragged him closer to grind their hips. “Fuck... Frankie...” He sighed, squeezing his eyes shut and breaking from Frank’s lips so he could gasp for air as Frank began kissing and nibbling down his neck.
Frank knew he should stop, he knew that the nurse was going to be back any minute and that Gerard needed to rest and he was probably only making him sicker but he just couldn’t force himself to pull away. Gerard’s hands were surprisingly strong as he pawed all over Frank’s back, coming up to tangle into his hair and yank him into another kiss that stole his breath away.
“Mmph...” Frank squeezed his eyes shut and laid his hands on Gerard’s chest, kissing him fiercely as he wondered fleetingly how far they’d be able to go in the middle of a busy hospital. Maybe if he locked the door and the nurse didn’t come back for a while they could –
“Alright Gerard I got you – oh!” Frank pulled away from Gerard instantly, his cheeks flaming as he glanced over his shoulder to see the nurse stood in the doorway. She was holding a tray with some breakfast foods on it, her eyes wide in surprise and her cheeks tinged pink.
Frank hurried to get off the bed and sit back down in the chair, Gerard biting back laughter as he smiled sweetly at the nurse. Frank felt like he was going to die of embarrassment but Gerard didn’t seem fazed at all.
“I – I got you both some cereal and... and there’s tea and coffee here.” The nurse looked mortified as she stumbled into the room, Frank rushing to move the over bed table into place so she could put the tray down. He kept his head bowed, avoiding her gaze as he prayed that his blush was fading. “And your erm... wife is here.”
“Thanks, send her in.” Gerard smiled casually, as if nothing had been happening. The nurse nodded, glancing at Frank for a second before she hurried from the room. Frank felt his heart miss a beat, wondering if she would tell Lyn. He glanced at Gerard, but the older man didn’t look too concerned as he picked up one of the bowls and handed it to Frank.
“Thanks...” Frank mumbled, his heart still racing as barely a second later Lyn strolled into the room, followed closely by Bandit. She made a beeline straight to Gerard, greeting Frank with a quick hello before she pecked Gerard’s lips and hugged him tight. It was clear that the nurse hadn’t said anything to her and Frank relaxed as he shovelled some cereal into his mouth, making sure he couldn’t speak until he had composed.
It wasn’t until the week after that things got worse.
Frank had finally started unpacking the boxes in his living room, trying to turn his apartment into something a little more homely. He had been visiting Gerard every day like usual but now whenever they were alone they stole quick, heated kisses and whispered cliché sweet nothings to one another. Frank knew he was setting himself up to fall but he couldn’t help but feel constantly on cloud nine as he drifted from day to day. He felt like a school boy with a crush again, and from the smiles Gerard would give him when he arrived at the hospital he could tell he felt the same. Frank only wished it hadn’t taken them so long, and this situation, to bring them to each other again.
Gerard’s condition had been stable for a few weeks now, and the doctors said he seemed to actually be brightening up. Frank felt a little thrill inside him every time he thought about it, deciding the fact he was chirpier since they’d started their secret make out sessions was simply a coincidence. Either way he had began to sleep peacefully again, his nightmare no longer torturing him though it was still a constant worry that things could get worse. And after those seven, blissful days, they did.
“Frankie? You need to get down to the hospital.”
“What? Why?” Frank felt his heart drop as he clutched his phone tighter and turned away from the box he had been unpacking... the last one in fact, filled with old awards and band related memorabilia from their touring days. “Oh God, Mikey what’s happened?”
“Gee’s taken a turn for the worse, he’s refusing to accept any more treatment and the doctors don’t know how much longer they can...” Mikey trailed off, his voice choked and Frank felt his head spin sickeningly.
“Shit. Fuck... Fuck okay, I’ll be right there. I’ll be five minutes Mikes I’m on my way!” Frank dropped everything and seized his shoes on the way out the door. He tripped and stumbled along the corridor towards the elevator, yanking on his converse as he ran and tumbling head first into the lift. He smashed his fist against the button for the ground floor and struggled to compose himself as he travelled down. He knew he needed to be calm about this, needed to be rational... He had been expecting this phone call for months now, he had to be prepared.
But the truth was he wasn’t prepared. He wasn’t prepared to walk into that room and see Gerard about to die. He wasn’t prepared to come back to his apartment and curl up into bed and cry himself to sleep knowing there was a funeral to arrange. He wasn’t prepared to look into Gerard’s eyes and tell him he loved him knowing it would be the last time.
Frank had to force himself to swallow his tears before they could rise, struggling to calm his shaking hands as he got into his car and put it into gear. He had to give himself a moment to compose before he could start to drive. Crashing en route would just make everything a million times worse.
Ten minutes later Frank had somehow made it to the hospital without killing himself or any other drivers. He parked the car almost perfectly but didn’t bother locking it as he ran full force towards the hospital entrance. Mikey hadn’t specified how badly Gerard had turned, and he didn’t want to miss saying goodbye to him because he was late by a minute.
Being the middle of the afternoon the reception was full and people stared as Frank ran through it towards the elevators. He saw a group of people already waiting and growled as he tore past them, going for the stairs instead. His lungs were burning and his heart was racing as he took the stairs two at a time, winding up towards the second floor. All he could think about was Gerard, chanting the words ‘please be alive, please be alive’ over and over in his head. He had to see him, he had to say goodbye.
Bursting through the door into the corridor Frank took a second to get his bearings before he ran towards Gerard’s room, almost knocking over numerous visitors and doctors in his haste. A few people shouted after him but he couldn’t hear them, his blood roaring in his ears. He had to see him... had to see him...
“Is he okay!? Is he –” Frank skidded to a halt after bursting through the door to Gerard’s room, blushing as he was greeted by Lindsay and Mikey’s stares. Gerard was propped up against a mountain of pillows and he smiled quizzically at Frank’s red face and heavy breathing.
“Frankie? Jesus are you okay?” He asked softly, laughing a little as Frank walked dizzily towards him. He suddenly felt nauseas and he struggled to catch his breath as he walked over to the side of the bed as if in a daze, taking one of Gerard’s hands in both of his.
“I thought I would be too late...” He whispered hoarsely, his chest heaving and Gerard rolled his eyes, scowling a little at Mikey.
“I told you not to panic him.” He groaned, Mikey holding his hands up innocently.
“I didn’t mean to.” He said apologetically, looking at Frank but the guitarist was too busy scanning Gerard with his eyes. It was obvious the ex-singer’s future wasn’t looking too bright. His skin was ghastly pale, almost tinged grey and there were dark circles under his eyes. His skin felt strangely soft and frail against Frank’s hands, as if it was turning into tissue paper. His cheeks looked sunken and his body skinnier than ever... It was hard to believe that just yesterday he had been kissing Frank with a heated lust like the healthiest man in the world.
“Gee... They said you’ve got worse...” He whispered quietly, Gerard smiling sadly as he squeezed Frank’s hands.
“I’m fine Frankie, honest.”
“No he’s not fine.” Lyn snapped, her voice thick and it was clear she had been crying. Frank turned to look at her but he kept his hands around Gerard’s. “He was coughing up blood this morning, and the doctors don’t think he’ll survive the end of the week. He won’t even let them put him on life support.”
“Because it won’t make any difference.” Gerard snapped, scowling at his wife and Frank bit his lip. It was clear they had argued over this point already and he felt sick to actually want to agree with Lyn and get Gerard attached to whatever machine would keep him around for longer. “All it will do is keep me tied to this bed and give me an extra week or two, tops. I’m going to die either way, no point dragging it out.”
“Gerard please don’t say that.” Frank whimpered, but by the looks on Mikey’s and Lindsay’s faces it was clear that even they had resigned themselves to the fact Gerard would be gone soon. It was obvious Mikey hadn’t slept in weeks but his eyes were calm and understanding as he nodded his head.
“If you don’t want to go on life support then that’s fine, it’s your decision Gee.” He said gently, Lindsay growling and clenching her fists.
“I don’t see what your problem is with it.” She snapped, tears in her eyes as she glared at Gerard. “It’s not like you can leave this bed anyway, and this way it will give all your family and friends time to get here to say goodbye to you. Ray is catching his plane tonight, but what about all your other relatives?”
“I don’t care about them.” Gerard groaned, his voice strained from exhaustion and irritation. “I’ll see Ray tomorrow, that’s all I need. Everyone else I love is already here.”
“Then what about Bandit?” Lyn demanded, tears making tracks of eyeliner down her cheeks. “You’re her father Gerard, she needs you!”
“What difference would another week make?” Gerard demanded, struggling to sit up more and Frank hurried to help him. “Face it Lyn, whether I die tomorrow or in two weeks time it’s still going to be tough on her and you should be working on ways to make it easier for her when it does happen, not trying to stretch out as much time as possible to keep me here. I’m tired okay. I’m tired and I’m in a lot of pain and you know I don’t like to complain about it but fuck... You have no idea how much pain I’m in. I’m ready to go okay? Quite frankly I can’t fucking wait to be out of here.”
“Gerard...” Mikey sighed, cutting his brother off before he could say anymore. His words cut them all deep but it was clear he had said too much for Lindsay to stand. “Look, we... we all need to just calm down and –”
“No! You know what? Fuck you! Why don’t I bring Bandit here and you can say that to her face?” Lyn snarled, turning on her heel and storming out of the room, slamming the door behind her. Frank jumped and flinched at the bang, but both Mikey and Gerard looked perfectly calm.
“I’m sorry okay? Fuck... I’m so sorry...” Gerard sighed, rubbing a hand over his eyes as he slumped down the bed and allowed his aching body to relax. “I don’t want to fight with any of you.”
“It’s okay Gee.” Mikey sighed, approaching the bed to touch his hand to Gerard’s. “Lyn’s just finding it tough okay? We all are...”
“I know. I know that...” Gerard groaned, his voice distressed and Mikey hushed him gently as he squeezed his hand.
“Listen, just don’t worry about it okay? I need to get going to pick Ray up from the airport but Frank will stay with you, won’t you Frankie?”
“Of course.” Frank nodded instantly, sitting beside the bed and taking Gerard’s other hand as Mikey smiled.
“I’ll be back in about four hours.” He sighed, glancing at the clock. “Just relax, take it easy, I’ll call you when I’m close.”
“Okay...” Gerard sighed, closing his eyes and smiling as Mikey leant down to kiss his forehead. “Love you...”
“Love you too bro.” Mikey whispered, just resting close to Gerard for a moment before he forced himself away and left the room quietly, struggling to swallow the lump in his throat.
Once he had left Gerard and Frank fell silent.
Gerard just took a moment to relax, eyes closed, whilst Frank gazed at him with saddened eyes. Seeing him look so ill broke Frank’s heart but he knew he needed to be strong now. He had spent the last few months desperately trying to avoid the fact that Gerard was going to die. He had spent the whole time feeling sick and hurt by it, fighting with his feelings to the point where he just felt exhausted. But as he gazed at Gerard now he finally felt calm. Gerard was suffering... Frank could finally see that properly for the first time. As much as he didn’t like to admit it he could understand that Gerard was ready to go, and if Gerard was ready then who was Frank to resent that?
“You know... I was watching some old video last night.” Frank looked up from where he had bowed his head, smiling sadly at Gerard. The older man still had his eyes shut, but his voice was stronger now.
“Yeah? What of?” He asked curiously, Gerard cracking his eyes open to smile at him.
“Of us... the band I mean.” He sighed, reaching a hand out so that Frank would take it and lace their fingers. “I miss playing with you guys... Miss the crowds, the fans, the music... I was such a queen on stage.” Frank couldn’t help but grin as Gerard laughed heartily a little, coughing for a moment before he continued to grin. “I was watching one of the old Black Parade videos, where people threw boas onto the stage and I just paraded around wearing them all. God, to think I actually thought it wasn’t obvious I was gay.”
Frank laughed softly along with Gerard and gently squeezed his hand, grinning at him. “They were the best times.” He sighed, Gerard nodding his agreement. “My favourite tour will always be the revenge one though... Despite all the shit that we went through then, that was the time you seemed to want me most.” Frank grinned at Gerard but he at least had the grace to blush, Gerard smirking at him.
“That was only because we were both too off our faces to care if anyone caught us.” He pointed out, though his heart fluttered at the memories. At the time it had been nothing more than lusty, dirty nights together drenched in sweat and booze and filled with all sorts of drugs. But time has a funny way of making even the worst things seem lighter and Gerard almost missed those days now. “I still want you just as much now as I did then.” He added softly, meeting Frank’s eyes with a smirk.
“Me too Gee.” Frank nodded, wishing with all his heart he could prove it but Gerard needed rest now. “At least I’ll always have the memories.” He offered quietly, ashamed of how his voice caught in his throat and tears burnt in his eyes. Gerard sighed but continued to smile, biting his lip.
“I don’t want you to have to think of those times though Frankie. I want to make more memories with you.” He mewled, Frank shaking his head as he wiped at his eyes roughly with his sleeve.
“There’s no time for that now though Gee.” He reminded him softly, looking up in surprise as Gerard shook his head and struggled up into a sitting position. “Gerard?”
“Let’s get out of here Frankie.” Gerard grinned, trembling a little but whether from sickness or excitement Frank didn’t know. “I’m sick of just lying in this fucking bed all day. I wanna go out and just go crazy for a night. I want to live again Frank, even if it’s only one more time.”
“What?” Frank breathed, slowly getting to his feet as he shook his head. “Gee you can’t... you... you need to rest.”
“Fuck resting.” Gerard scoffed, throwing his covers off and turning to dangle his legs off the edge of the bed, pushing Frank away when he tried to stop him. “Resting isn’t going to save me now. Nothing is. And if this is my last night I want to make it amazing.” He mewled, his eyes pleading with Frank’s.
“But... But Gerard I... They won’t let you out.”
“Then I’ll sneak out.” Gerard shrugged, grinning at Frank as he took hold of his hands. “Please Frank... I know it’s a lot to ask, but I know you’re the only one who wouldn’t tell me I’m stupid for wanting this. Just one more night Frank, you and me, and I’ll never want for anything more.”
“Gee...” Frank sighed, biting his lip as he gazed into Gerard’s eyes. He knew he should refuse him, he was clearly exhausted and very sick and he needed to stay in bed. If Lyn and Mikey returned to find Gerard missing everyone would panic and it would just cause mass mayhem... and yet Frank couldn’t say no to Gerard. How could he refuse him just one more night when it could be his last?
“I... Okay. Okay fine, but only cos’ it’s you.” He sighed, grinning and laughing a little as Gerard gasped and flung his arms around him, hugging him tight as he thanked him over and over again. “Okay okay, Jesus...” Frank laughed, kissing Gerard quickly and even starting to feel a little excited as he looked him over. “Shh, grab your shoes and we’ll sneak out.” He whispered, Gerard giggling quietly as he nodded and slid out of bed to grab the slippers on the floor, the only thing he had that he could put on his feet.
“We’ll need to get you some clothes first.” Frank mused, looking over Gerard’s Pyjama’s. “And then... Where then?”
“I dunno. Let’s just see where the night takes us.” Gerard grinned, shuffling over to Frank and taking his hand, pulling Frank’s hoody over his head when he offered it to him and pulling the hood up to try and hide his face as they made their way out.
Frank grinned as he tugged Gerard to the dance floor, everything except the beat of the music and the warmth of Gerard’s body against his forgotten as they touched their foreheads together and chuckled.
The two men had snuck out of the hospital five hours ago and in that time had bought Gerard a brand new outfit of tight black jeans and a white v-neck, completed by a black head scarf complete with red stitching; had a meal together, talking about old memories and laughing over jokes; and had now found themselves in a gay bar to dance until their feet bled.
Everything they had done had been Gerard’s idea. It was his decision to sneak out of the hospital and it was his night to enjoy and so Frank had simply held his hand and allowed him to tug him anywhere he wanted to go. With his scarf hiding the fact he had no hair and the neon lights of the club lighting up his pale skin he almost looked like he wasn’t so sick but Frank knew he was. He knew they were pushing him to his limit tonight, but as much as he worried he knew that Gerard would only feel hurt if he tried to convince him they should stop and so he simply danced with the older man to the music blasting around them.
Gerard had never been into a gay bar before, and he laughed as he danced with Frank. He had never been into clubs and had rarely gone to them, but tonight he just wanted to dance. If he couldn’t strut about a stage then he was going to work his stuff another way and this was the only thing he could think of. He felt exhausted and spent, sweat dripping down his face but he refused to stop. He hadn’t felt this alive since the cancer had been diagnosed and it felt so good to be sharing it with Frank.
Frank grinned as he lost himself to the music, swinging his hips and sharing kisses with Gerard every now and then. No one recognised them and they were free to just dance like any other couple in the place. Gerard wasn’t wearing his wedding ring and Frank of course was divorced, and for all the world they just looked like a real couple, and that made both of them even happier. Frank could have stayed in the club all night but as midnight approached Gerard asked to leave.
Frank didn’t question the older man and simply nodded, holding his hand as they moved off the dance floor and fought their way through the crowds and out into the cool night air. Frank shivered a little but he still took off his jacket to give it to Gerard, despite the older man showing no signs that he could feel the dropped temperature at all.
“I want to go somewhere else.” Gerard grinned, taking Frank’s hand again once he had slid his arms into the jacket. “I want to see where you live now – you’re new apartment.” He decided, Frank laughing but he shrugged and nodded despite not having a clue why his apartment was interesting.
“It’s nothing special.” He warned Gerard as they began walking down the street, their fingers laced.
“I want to see it anyway.” Gerard smiled, his eyes fixated on Frank as they walked. “You’ll have your guitars there right? Will you play me a song?” He asked eagerly, Frank smiling warmly at Gerard as he nodded.
“Sure, as long as you sing.” He beamed, Gerard grinning as he squeezed Frank’s hand.
“I’d love to.”
Frank made himself and Gerard a coffee before they settled down on his bed with his guitar. He picked out his favourite acoustic since he didn’t want to plug into an amp and wake his neighbours. Gerard looked happy and relaxed as he leant against the headboard of the bed, sipping his coffee and idly untying the knot of his head scarf.
“What do you want me to play?” Frank asked with a smile, idly strumming on open chord on his guitar once he’d checked its tuning.
“I dunno... What do you want me sing?” Gerard smirked, slowly unwinding the fabric from his head and laying the scarf down on the bedside table. Frank kind of loved how Gerard was used to not having hair now. When he had gone through his first lot of chemo and had lost it he had been mortified whenever people saw him without a hat or a scarf to hide the baldness, now though he just worked it and Frank still thought he was the most gorgeous person he had ever seen.
“I dunno... Nothing sad.” Frank offered, Gerard smiling as he met his eyes and nodded.
“I agree.” He purred, picking up his coffee again and sipping it as he and Frank discussed songs and made a little playlist of their favourite, upbeat songs. Gerard hadn’t sang in the longest time and he even felt a little nervous as Frank began to strum the guitar for the first song. He wondered fleetingly if he’d still be able to sing after so long, but of course once he opened his mouth and tried he found he could sing just as well as ever and he soon lost himself to the music.
Frank smiled softly and felt a lump in his throat at the sound of Gerard’s voice again, real and live, just for him. He had missed hearing Gerard sing more than anything and he sang along only very quietly himself so that he could hear Gerard perfectly. His hands worked the guitar effortlessly, he didn’t even have to think about it and he smiled as he met Gerard’s gaze and nodded at him.
For a full hour the two men sang together, lost in their own little world, thinking of nothing but each other and the music they loved. They played music from their favourite bands and even a couple of their own songs, though they kept the mood upbeat. The moment felt so perfect and neither of them felt any shame at the tears in their eyes. It was these little things, these moments that seem so ordinary and unimportant that Frank knew he would miss the most.
By the time they had finished the last song they wanted to sing Frank’s fingers were tingling and he moved off the bed to put the guitar back on its the stand. The room felt strange now it was so quiet, but Frank was soon back on the bed, falling into Gerard’s arms and moving so they could lie on their sides facing each other.
“Frankie... I had such a great time tonight.” Gerard smiled, Frank stunned to see tears in his eyes. “Thank you so much.” Gerard sighed, touching Frank’s cheek and Frank smiled gently at him, leaning close to peck his lips.
“It was my pleasure.” He whispered, the constant lump in his throat still there but for a change he didn’t feel like he was on the brink of crying. He felt strangely calm and composed... This night had been therapeutic almost and though it still tore his heart to shreds he knew he would be able to let Gerard go now. “I love you Gerard.”
“I love you Frank.” Gerard whispered back, smiling as he closed the gap between their bodies and tangled their legs, kissing Frank ever so gently and slowly. He would never get enough of feeling his soft lips and though he tried not to let it happen the kiss just felt like one of the last and both men couldn’t stop themselves from putting all their heart into it.
For a long while Frank allowed himself to get lost in Gerard’s lips, kissing him long and slow until he felt like his heart would explode. This was enough for him, would always be enough, but his heart still jumped when Gerard pulled back to gaze at him through his eyelashes.
“Frankie... Make love to me?” He asked quietly, Frank’s eyes growing wide. His heart began to thump erratically and his stomach swirled, his hands trembling a little.
“I... Gee you... Are you sure?” He asked quietly, worried it would be too much after all they had done that night already. Gerard was clearly spent of his energy but the older man was insistent.
“Course.” He smiled, pecking Frank’s lips and gently stroking his fingertips up and down his bicep. “It’s been years and... we never really made love did we? I can’t say I did everything I wanted to in this world if we don’t do this... I want to feel how much you love me Frankie.” He sighed, Frank tingling all over from his words and he swallowed thickly as he nodded.
“If you’re sure you can handle it...” He whispered, Gerard smirking as he shoved Frank lightly.
“I might be dying but I ain’t dead yet.” He teased, Frank even laughing softly along with him as he cuddled closer to him. “It’d be the perfect end to the best night of my life.” Gerard added softly, Frank smirking as he shook his head and gently kissed him.
“You’re so gay.” He scoffed playfully, Gerard chuckling as he wrapped his arms around Frank’s neck and tugged him to lye above him.
“Mmm... Told you I was a queen...” He whispered, smirking for a moment before Frank’s soft kisses made him forget everything but their bodies pressed close together. This was what he wanted... What he’d always wanted. Just Frank above him, stripping him, kissing him... Just needed to feel their bodies entwined and rock against him all night long. Needed him inside him, stroking into that sweet spot and doing all those things only Frank knew how to do. After that was there was nothing but sweet oblivion and they both knew it.
Gerard yawned and smiled as he stretched his arms and legs out. His body was aching all over and he felt old and sick, but the feeling of Frank’s arms around him made everything bearable. He forced his eyes to open and slowly gazed up, smiling warmly when he met Frank’s gaze.
“Hey...” He whispered, not moving from where he was curled up on Frank’s tattooed chest.
“Hey you.” Frank chuckled, gently tilting Gerard’s face up to peck his lips. “How are you feeling?” He whispered, Gerard smiling softly against his lips, eyes still closed when Frank moved away.
“Like I just got hit by a truck.” He chuckled honestly, slowly opening his eyes again, just wanting to stare into Frank’s hazel orbs all day. “But amazing too... Frankie, last night was...” Gerard sighed, trailing off with a small blush. There were no words to describe how incredible their night had been. Maybe it was because Gerard hadn’t had sex in forever, let alone with a man, but he could swear he had never had an orgasm so explosive before. Frank laughed a little as he nodded his head, smirking.
“Mmhmm... Same here.” He smirked, kissing Gerard again and just holding him for a while before he reluctantly began to untangle their limbs. “I better get you back to the hospital though... I’d got like a hundred missed calls off everyone. They’ve all been freaking out.”
Gerard groaned and buried his face into Frank’s chest, shaking his head. He didn’t want to get up and go back to that damn place. He wanted to stay curled up in Frank’s arms until the end came for him. “I don’t want to go... Fuck it, make them come here.” He whined, though he knew that wasn’t an option and he reluctantly sat up.
“Frankie...” He sighed, curling up in Frank’s arms as Frank sat up too. “I love you so much. You’re amazing.” He mewled, Frank chuckling softly and gently kissing Gerard for a moment.
“You too Sugar...” He sighed, stroking Gerard’s back, feeling each knob of his spine against his fingertips. “I’ll always love you.” He whispered, Gerard nodding against his shoulder.
“Well... If I have to go back to that shitty place I’m wearing my new clothes for it. I looked fabulous last night.” Gerard smirked, trying to lighten the mood and he smiled as Frank chuckled and nodded.
“Yes you did, you fucking queen.” He smirked, Gerard grinning as he forced himself to get out of bed and stretch properly. Frank’s eyes roamed over his frail, naked body and he mewled as he walked over to wrap his arms around his waist from behind and kiss the side of his neck.
“Mm?” Gerard smiled and closed his eyes, touching his hands to Frank’s linked over his stomach. “Maybe you should sing that at my funeral... God save the Queen.” He laughed, Frank rolling his eyes a little, his stomach churning at the word funeral.
“You want us to sing the sex pistols at your funeral?” He smirked, Gerard rolling his eyes that time as he chuckled.
“No! I meant the English national anthem.” He laughed, Frank frowning in confusion before he shook his head fondly and released Gerard so they could move into the bathroom to shower together.
“I’m not sure that will go down too well with the others.” Frank smirked, flicking the shower on and wrapping his arms around his lover again. “But I’ll suggest it.”
“Fuck the others, it’s my funeral, my rules.” Gerard grinned, pecking Frank’s lips for a moment. “Mm...”
“I’ll bear it in mind.” Frank smirked, tugging Gerard into the shower to wash and kiss for a while, knowing they were going to be in a lot of trouble when they got back to the hospital but in that moment neither of them cared.
Within ten minutes of being back in the hospital Gerard had been stripped from his new clothes, bundled back into his pyjama’s and forced straight into bed amidst arguments and angry tears. Mikey and Ray had looked about ready to punch Frank when he had sheepishly walked into Gerard’s room with the singer, but once Gerard had assured everyone it had all been his idea and that he was fine their bandmates had calmed down and were clearly just relieved to see him back safe. Lyn on the other hand was fuming.
“I can’t believe you would be so reckless! Gerard I’m hardly surprised at, but you! I did not expect you to put his life in danger like that Frank, I thought you cared about him!”
“I do care about him! It’s because I care about him that I even agreed to help him come out. He’s been cooped up in this place for fucking months Lyn, he might be dying but he’s not dead yet!” Gerard looked up, blushing and smiling weakly as Frank repeated his own words and his heart thrummed with love for him. “We just hung out for the evening that’s all.”
“And you didn’t think to let us know!? Do you have any idea how worried we were!? I didn’t know where he was, if he was even alive – Imagine if I had told Bandit, she’d have been beyond herself with worry but of course you didn’t think about that did you? All you cared about was going out and having a good time with a man who could die at any moment!”
“Shut up! SHUT UP!” Everyone jumped and looked at Gerard in surprise. He was sat up in bed, his arms shaking as he scowled at Lyn. “I’m fed up with you treating me like some sort of object! I know I’m dying but I’m still me, I can still think for myself! Frank didn’t want to take me out last night, but I begged him to do it. Don’t you dare yell at him.”
“No! Just shut up. I don’t want to hear it.” Gerard scowled as he folded his arms across his chest, turning his face away like a sulky child. Lyn stared at him in stunned silence, tears in her eyes as the doctor came in to see Gerard and make sure he was okay after his little escape attempt. To Gerard’s relief he seemed mostly amused by the thing, unsurprised that Gerard had felt the need to get away for a while, and he smiled as he got to work placing the different wires back into his skin to measure his vitals.
Everyone remained silent as the doctor softly talked to Gerard, a half hour passing before he was satisfied that he would be okay to be left alone. He turned and politely asked everyone to leave, insisting Gerard really did need his rest now, and that they could stay in the waiting room if they wished but Gerard should be alone for now.
Mikey sighed and glanced at Ray, reluctantly nodding and the two of them kissed Gerard’s cheeks as they left the room. Lyn tensed but followed them out, but when Frank turned to leave Gerard called him back.
“Can I just have five minutes?” He asked the doctor quietly, the elderly man looking between Frank and Gerard for a moment before he smiled and nodded.
“Alright, as long as you don’t try running off again.” He said playfully, patting Gerard’s shoulder before he left the room, quietly clicking the door shut behind him. Frank smiled curiously and approached the bed, sighing as Gerard tugged him down for a soft kiss.
“I’m sorry she got mad at you.” He whispered, Frank scoffing and shaking his head.
“Its fine, I don’t care.” He assured the older man, smiling as Gerard kissed him again. “Are you gonna be okay?” Frank asked quietly, his stomach swirling nervously. Gerard really did look sick still, and Frank knew as much as Gerard was hiding it that he was struggling.
“I’ll be fine... I just need some sleep now.” Gerard nodded, smiling weakly at Frank and gently taking his hand in his, brushing his lips against his knuckles. “Thank you so much for everything Frankie...” He whispered, Frank smiling sadly at him. He got the distinct impression that this was goodbye, but he forced himself to stay strong and he nodded as he gently touched Gerard’s cheek.
“I love you...” He sighed, Gerard nodding as he met his eyes.
“I love you too.” He whispered, squeezing Frank’s hand gently. “Promise me something?”
“Anything.” Frank smiled, leaning close so Gerard could whisper it to him like a secret.
“Never fear dying okay?” He breathed, and though Frank knew Gerard had never held any particular belief in an afterlife he could hear in his voice that in that moment he knew something Frank didn’t. His voice was smooth and calm, genuine... and Frank could only nod mutely. “And always remember me as the queen I am okay? Not like I am now, like I was last night. Dancing with you.” He grinned softly, Frank turning to meet his eyes, their faces barely an inch apart and he nodded with a warm smile.
“I promise.” He whispered, kissing Gerard gently for a long moment, their lips seeming to stick for a second as he slowly pulled away. “Do you want me to wait at the hospital for you to wake up?” He asked gently, Gerard smiling as he shook his head, his eyelids drooping sleepily.
“Nah, I’ll be fine. You get home and get some rest too.” He purred, Frank nodding and sharing another soft kiss and ‘I love you’ with the older man, holding his hand as he walked away until their fingers were forced to slip apart. As Frank opened the door to leave he turned to share one last smile with his lover, blowing him a kiss and promising to see him soon as he left and gently shut the door behind him.
“See you soon Frankie...” Gerard whispered once the door had shut, smiling to himself as he settled down to get to sleep. His body was exhausted from the amazing night before, and he felt happier than he had in years as he fell asleep with Frank’s face in his mind... Within a few hours the doctor came in to check on him and he sighed as he gently felt the side of Gerard’s neck for a pulse. His skin was cool and his face relaxed, and it became clear that Gerard had left that world the way he had hoped he would. Peacefully in his sleep.
Lindsay sighed as she slowly approached her husband’s grave. Frank and Mikey were stood with Bandit at the cemetery gates, comforting her the best they could as they allowed Lyn a moment alone with the grave. The funeral had been small but beautiful, only Gerard’s closest friends and family invited to attend. The coffin had been put into the grave straight after but the grave was yet to be filled. People had come in groups or alone to lay down flowers and pay their last respects to the fallen singer, and Lyn was the last to arrive.
Tears rolling down her cheeks Lyn put down the single red rose she had brought with her. When Gerard had proposed to her he had given her a single rose and she struggled to keep her crying quiet as she whispered a soft ‘goodbye’. She knelt down infront of the hundreds of flowers other people had brought, gently crying as she read the different notes attached. People had written many kind, heart breaking words but Lyn found herself most curious to find what Frank had written.
She had seen Frank arrive with white lilies to put by the grave. To her it seemed a strange choice of flower, she had no idea it was Gerard’s favourite. She sought out the huge bouquet now and opened the tag attached to it. She expected to see an array of words just like everyone else had put but to her bemusement there was only one simple message.
’Long live the Queen xo’