Frank brushes the hair from Gerard’s face once more. His makeup is smeared on his face from last night. In all the commotion, washing it off his face was the last thing anyone was thinking about. Gerard’s eyes start to open. Frank jumps up and runs out of the room to just outside Gerard’s bedroom door. Ray moves over from the chairs his been sitting in to stand next to Mikey.
“Wha—what the hell? Why are th—the two of you just watching me sleep?” Gerard sounds a little more normal.
“You don’t remember anything?” Ray asks.
“What should I remember?” Gerard sounds confused.
“It’s starting to spread over the internet, Gerard.” Mikey gives him the short version of the night’s events. “You nearly jerked Frank off onstage, then fell off the stage. The stage medic cancelled the rest of the show. And we brought you back to your place.”
“No, I—I didn’t. I c—couldn’t have,” Gerard argues, shaking his head no.
“Yeah. Frank’s pretty shook up about it, too.”
“Where is he? Where’s Frank?” Gerard looks around. “Fraannnkk!” he yells.
Frank can hear Gerard calling him. He’s reluctant to go in. Instead he walks down the hall into Gerard’s living room. Frank feels comfortable in it. Though he wonders how many more times he’ll ever be in it. How bad have I messed things up? There are pictures everywhere. Most are candid shots of Frank, Mikey, Ray, Gerard, or some combination thereof. Some have others in them. Frank recognizes most them as friends of theirs. Over near the corner under a window, Gerard’s desk is cluttered with drawings. Some are cute. Some are dark. Some are of superheroes. Frank smiles. Gerard has always drawn when things got rough. It is his escape, a place he can go to think or just get away from it all. Frank picks up Gerard’s sketch pad. It has the beginnings of a new picture on it the page it’s flipped to. He thumbs through the last few pages.
“Frank,” Mikey has that exasperated tone again. “Frank, he’s only gonna talk to you. You wanna go in there?”
“I don’t mind. If he wants to talk to me, I’ll go in there.” Frank follows Mikey. After a couple of steps he stops. “Hang on, I need to grab something.” Mikey watches Frank fumble around Gerard’s desk, apparently finding what he’s looking for. “Now I’m ready.” Frank resumes following Mikey into Gerard’s bedroom. Mikey only steps in a couple of steps, just far enough to be out of Frank’s way. Frank slowly makes his way in, not sure what to expect. Gerard is propped in a sitting position on the bed. Frank sits down close to the foot of the bed, setting the things he brought in with him on the floor. Mikey and Ray, exchange a glance at each other, then walk out leave Gerard and Frank to talk.
Frank sits at the end of the bed, just looking at the floor. For a long time, neither of them says anything.
“I won’t bite,” Gerard says quietly, breaking the awkward silence. Frank looks up to meet his gaze.
“You did last night,” Frank retorts, trying to make it sound in jest. Gerard sees his teeth impressions on Frank’s swollen lip. Immediately, guilt takes over his face.
“You could have told me no, Gerard. You coulda just said no.” Franks sounds a bit broken. He returns his gaze to the floor, drawing in a deep breath, then lets it out slowly.
“I don’t know what to say. I don’t remember anything, except...” Gerard can’t bring himself to finish his sentence. He, too, lowers his gaze, unable to look at the mark he left on Frank's lip any longer.
“So... what now?”
“I dunno,” Gerard mumbles. There is another long, awkward silence.
“Gerard, what happened? Why’d you just snap like that?”
“I was drunk. I’m always drunk.” There is a touch of resentment in Gerard's voice.
“The first time you stirred after passing out in the shower, you seemed so... so fine with it all. Then when we got home, you weren’t. Did I do something wrong?”
At first, Gerard didn’t respond. Frank looks at him, hoping his affection for Gerard still shows in his eyes. Frank’s look catches Gerard’s eyes. Gerard can see the forgiveness written all over Frank’s face. A tear slides down Gerard’s cheek. He looks beyond pathetic. The bruise from landing his head on the side of the tub is black and blue. His hair shows definite signs of bed-head. He’s got bruises and scrapes on his arms from falling off the stage. And even though Frank couldn’t see it, he knew Gerard’s leg was still sore. Frank slides up closer to him, wrapping his arm around him.
“Been a rough couple of days for you, hasn’t it?”
“Frank, it was drugs,” Gerard whispers in a rushed admission, like he just had to get it out before it wouldn’t come out.
“What drugs?” Frank is confused. He let’s go of Gerard so they can look eye to eye. “I know you been drinkin’ a lot.”
“I just felt wrong... or wronged... I don’t know.” Gerard shifts uncomfortably. “I went to the bar. Drank myself into oblivion, like always. But you... your gentle touches, your caring words, your... your desire for me... it was all still there.”
Oh, Gerard. No. I did this. Frank can feel his heart bleeding for Gerard. He knows where this story is headed. “What was it? And where’d you get it G?” his voice gentle and caring.
“I don’t know what it was, pills of some sort from a guy at the bar. I didn’t care. I just...” Gerard sighs heavily. “...I just didn’t want to think anymore.”
And I'll leave you with this! Have a good night everyone