“You’ll like this,” he whispered, then laughed uncontrollably, lying back and cackling at the ceiling, not noticing the tears flowing gently from Frank’s guiltily innocent eyes; not that he...
Frank took a drag from his cigarette then walked over to where Gerard was sitting on the floor and staring at his hands like he was reading an invisible book. Frank sighed and prodded Gerard’s slouched back with his toe, nudging him slightly. “What?” Gerard gasped, his head snapping up as though he’d been snapped out of a dream.
“Nothing,” said Frank, sitting near him with his back against the wall, the peeling wallpaper scratching his back slightly as he stubbed his cigarette on the floor. Gerard made an uninterested sound and went back to staring at his hands and Frank, seeing no chance for any form of reasonable conversation (at least, not for a while), reached across the floor and grabbed a lukewarm bottle of beer before snapping open the cap and taking a large gulp. It washed down his throat and made it feel sticky and warm due to its somewhat unpleasant temperature but he didn’t really care, he was used to it by now. “Any plans for tonight?” he asked Gerard, drinking from the bottle again.
“Uh,” Gerard said, once again sounding as though he’d just woken up, “No. Don’t think so.”
“No?” Frank said, swallowing. “Mm’kay.” He bit his lip and watched Gerard closely. “What’re you doing?”
“Nothin’,” Gerard mumbled, itching his forehead suddenly, his hand vibrating, “Just thinking, I guess.”
“What’re you thinking?”
“Uh, nothing important,” he dismissed, “Wondering what I’m gonna do later, maybe.” Frank nodded slowly and drank the warm liquid. He knew what Gerard meant by do, of course. Fuck it; maybe he’d do it with him, if Gerard wanted. But he knew he wouldn’t be able to if Gerard was, he had to make sure he was okay because, if he wasn’t, it’d be all his fault. It was unlikely he would have done in normal circumstances anyway, he’d never done more than smoking marijuana before and he didn’t really want to get into anything like that – they couldn’t afford it, on top of everything else. Frank still didn’t know where Gerard got his money.
“Okay.” He croaked, tapping his fingers on the side of the bottle and saying nothing else, because obviously there was no point trying to persuade him otherwise anymore. Even if he did, Gerard would probably get such bad withdrawal that Frank would might have to take him to a doctor, he’d read somewhere that going cold turkey without asking a medical professional first can be fatal and he definitely didn’t want that. Gerard knew what he was doing by now, the chances of him overdosing were slim so maybe it was safer to just let him get on with it.
Gerard did get high that night, just as Frank had known he would. Frank didn’t always like being around Gerard when he did, he could never work out what mood he was in and often misjudged it. Aside from other things, Gerard sometimes got violent when he was high or drunk and Frank knew that well enough from the bruises on his ribs from the week before and the scratches on his waist, but he didn’t really have any choice but to stay with him. No matter what Gerard did to him, Frank still loved him and he knew that he loved him back, when he was him.
Frank sat in the corner in the cold, dirty bedroom on the dusty brown carpet, keeping an eye on Gerard who was buzzing from cocaine and trembling on the bed, picking at the sheets compulsively causing them to fray and fall apart, rambling on about some guy called Bert.
“And then,” he giggled through the piece of gum he was obsessively chewing, his voice high pitched and uneven, “He, like, he’d said before that it wasn’t me or something like that even though it was because I was there so I’d know, you know? So, like, it was me when he did it but it was like he wasn’t even, uh, he wasn’t…” He scratched his neck and shifted his legs into a different position. He reminded Frank of someone with ADHD when he was like this. “There, I guess.” He finished, then stood up just to sit back down again. “Frank, you look so cuuuuuuuuuuuuute,” Gerard giggled as Frank glared at him with no idea what he’d had been talking about for the last ten minutes. “Like a, uh, like a little cute th-thing. You remind me of Mikey sometimes, you know, ‘cause he was cute too. I mean, not in a fuckable way because eugh, he’s my brother, but, like, in a spacey way, like a, like a planet or something. Oh my God, it’d be so cool to live on the moon and eat fuckin’ moon tacos and shit, right?” Frank stared at him, shocked at the mention of Mikey. He didn’t usually remember him.
“Who’s Mikey, Gerard?” He tested, looking up at Gerard cautiously, who giggled and changed position again.
“Uh, Mikey,” Gerard laughed and held one of his feet in each hand, looking at the ceiling, “Mikey Way.”
“Yeah, him,” Frank said, encouragingly, watching Gerard hopefully.
“Um…Mikey. Mikey. Ah, Mikey James,” he grinned, rocking backwards and forwards on the mattress, picking the skin off of his fingers. “He’s a guitar player in this band you like, right, Smashing P-Pumpkins I think, is smashing, like, smashing a pumpkin or is it, like, as in ‘that pumpkin’s fucking smashing,’ like how British people talk, hey, let’s go to Britain tomorrow, Where is it?”
Frank gave up, resting his head on the cracked wall behind him and closing his eyes, not paying much attention to what Gerard was saying – it was no use talking to him when he was acting like this, nothing much would happen and it just frustrated him to hear Gerard get so close, like that. Obviously he remembered some things, like the Smashing Pumpkins and almost that Mikey played bass, and this guy Bert too. Bert McCracken, maybe, Frank remembered meeting him before and Gerard had probably been with him at the time, not that this made what Gerard had been saying any more understandable. Maybe he really would have to take him to a doctor soon. What would happen if he did, would they take him away from him and put him in some mental ward, or rehab? Rehab wouldn’t be too bad, Frank had always hoped, the most obvious con would be that he wouldn’t see Gerard for what could be months. What he couldn’t see him for years? Or, the worst possible outcome, they may never let him see Gerard again. They might blame him for what had happened to Gerard and lock him up or force Gerard to sign some sort of restraining order. Or what if Gerard wanted to sign it, what if it was Frank’s fault?
“Frank!” Gerard shouted roughly, sounding as though he'd torn his throat open, wrenching Frank out of his thoughts, “Fucking listen!”
“Sorry!” Frank exclaimed, blinking hard, “No, I’m listening, go on.”
“I said, why are you sat over there when I’m over here, you douchebag?” Gerard said irritably, peeling more skin off of his fingers, causing them to bleed a little but not noticing, “Come sit with me, fuck!” Frank didn’t really have a choice. He pulled himself up and slouched over to the bed, sitting on the edge with his legs hanging off the side, not really sitting with Gerard at all. Gerard grabbed his waist and dragged him closer then spat a piece of gum across the room where it hit the wall then stuck to the carpet. Startled, Frank tensed up and tried not to do anything that would get him into trouble with Gerard, just going where he was taken.
“Okay, Frank,” Gerard whispered, looking into Franks wide eyes with unsteady, dilated pupils that weren't his, a faint laugh escaping his worn out throat, “I want you to take this,” he said, placing a bright red pill into the palm of Frank’s hand and forcing his quivering fingers to curl around it. Frank looked at Gerard with pleading eyes.
“I don’t want to,” He whispered shaking his head slowly, trying to keep his voice steady and biting the inside of his lip to maintain a straight face. Gerard laughed again – that fucking laugh – and said with someone else’s voice, “Take it or I’ll hurt you.” Frank whimpered quietly as a lone tear dripped from his face and looked at the small, glimmering object in his hand.
“Gerard,” he choked, shaking slightly, “Please…” Gerard gave him a sceptical look and tightened his grip on Frank’s waist threateningly, warning him that if he didn’t do what he said, there’d be consequences. “I… Can I do it dry or do I need water?” He asked reluctantly, studying the blood red pill. Instead of replying, Gerard forced Frank’s mouth open and took the drug from his hand, then rammed it down his throat. Frank wretched at first but then swallowed, terrified as to what the repercussions were going to be. He looked at Gerard, who was shaking almost as violently as Frank, staring up at his dark eyes with his own large, tear stained eyes. Gerard smirked. “You’ll like this,” he whispered, then laughed uncontrollably, lying back and cackling at the ceiling, not noticing the tears flowing gently from Frank’s guiltily innocent eyes; not that he’d have cared if he had.