[Gerard] rubbed his eyes and sighed. “Mind if I borrow your phone? I think I’m gonna do it now and get it over with.”
Sentimentally he plucked a couple of the strings and fiddled with the tuners on the top, adjusting the sound until they were tuned near-perfectly before sitting cross-legged near where Gerard was sleeping on the floor in front of the window with his legs curled up against his chest. Frank hummed and strummed some open chords on the guitar, playing a soft song that, even if it caused Gerard to wake up, would not be one that did so harshly.
He sat playing for a little more than ten minutes, his fingers occasionally making little squeaking sounds against the strings, before Gerard woke up and watched him, smiling a little. “That’s nice,” He said, “What is it? I recognise it.”
“I wrote it,” Frank said, keeping playing whilst he spoke, “And I used to play it for you when you were sad.”
“Oh, yeah,” Gerard smiled, “I remember that.” He sat up and leaned on the wall behind him. “You hardly play anymore, you should do it more often – you look happy when you’re doing it.” Frank smiled himself and looked up.
“Yeah,” He said, “Yeah, I’ll do it more if you want.” Gerard watched him whilst he finished the song, humming the melody quietly. Frank then nudged the guitar gently onto the floor making it hum quietly and looked up at Gerard.
“Good afternoon,” He smirked, “It’s, like, two o’clock.” Gerard groaned.
“I don’t care,” He said, “I’m glad I slept in, otherwise I’d have had to have called my mom by now – not looking forward to that.” He rubbed his eyes and sighed. “Mind if I borrow your phone? I think I’m gonna do it now and get it over with.” Frank nodded and pulled it out of his back pocket.
“Sure, but don’t be, like, two hours,” He reached out and dropped the silver phone with a muffled thump next to Gerard. “I don’t think it’ll last that long. Should be fine for about an hour, maybe a little more.” Gerard nodded and picked up the phone, tapping some buttons with a clicking sound then looking up.
“Mind if I… Can I go upstairs and do it in private?” He asked, sheepishly.
“Of course,” Frank said, nodding. “Good luck, I guess.”
“What am I supposed to say?” He said, standing up. “’Hey Mom, it’s your son! I know we haven’t talked in months but hey, guess what? I’m a junkie and I need to borrow two thousand dollars!’ I dunno, what do I say to her?”
“Just, tell her what you told me,” Frank said, “Explain to her how it started, y’know, like with all the stuff with your brother and your job and stuff, and tell her you missed her, too.” Gerard swallowed and nodded.
“Okay. See you soon, I guess.”
“Hello?” Gerard almost flinched at the sound of his mother’s voice on the other end of the line – he hadn’t heard it in months and it felt… Odd, to hear it again.
“I… Hi, Mom.” He croaked.
There was a pause.
“Yeah, it’s me.” He bit his lip and took a deep breath, trying to stay calm.
“Where are you?”
“I’m with Frank in his dad’s old house. Frank isn’t here now, I mean, but I’ve been living here with him, I guess.”
“Are you okay?” Gerard was surprised that she sounded so concerned after all this time; in all fairness, however, she always had been.
“No, I… I mean… Mom, please don’t get mad, I…” His voice cut off and he sat on the bed, resting his head on his hand, using the other to hold the phone to his ear.
“What’s happened?” The voice asked. “Gerard?”
“Mom, I can’t afford rehab and I-” He took another breath and closed his eyes. “I’m so sorry, I’m… I got addicted to drugs and maybe alcohol, I dunno… I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to-”
“Oh, Gerard,” Said the voice, “Gerard…” There was another pause in which Gerard attempted to force his breathing to sound normal yet couldn’t quite cover up the quiet gasps between breaths. “Why didn’t you tell me this before?”
“I didn’t wanna worry you or… Make you feel bad or disappointed.”
“You want to get better though, that’s good.”
“Yeah, I do,” Gerard said, “I promise I do… Frank and I went to the Doctor’s already and asked what we should do and he told me that rehab’s, like, two thousand dollars, for the cheapest one, and Frank said he could pay for it but I don’t think he can, Mom, and I don’t wanna put him in debt because I don’t even know if he is already, he could be because I don’t know how he even has enough money for food, and-“
“Gerard,” Said the voice comfortingly. “C’mon, shh, it’s okay. You don’t know how much it means to me that you called me, especially with Mikey not being around anymore.”
“I miss him.”
“Me too, but he’s in a better place now, okay?” Gerard almost scoffed at the cliché but stopped himself, knowing it would have been inappropriate.
“Okay.” He croaked.
“Okay,” She repeated. “Gerard, I think I can probably help you. But you realise you really do have to want to stop this, right?”
“No, Mom I do, I know that,” He nodded despite the fact she couldn’t see him. “I really want to…”
“How’d it go?” Frank asked as Gerard walked back into the room. Gerard half-smiled and, upon spotting the redness around his eyes, Frank walked over to him and held both of his hands. “Was it okay, what did she say?”
“She… She’s gonna help,” Gerard smiled through a wince. “She said that she can pay for it and I don’t think she’s mad. She’s upset though, obviously…” His eyes lit up slightly and he squeezed Frank’s fingers. “That was my mom, Frank; I just talked to my mom!” Frank smiled back at him because he couldn’t help it - Gerard looked so happy and it lit up his face, making him look so… Gerard. “She said,” Gerard continued, “She’s gonna call them and…” Suddenly some of the light faded from his eyes and his mouth hung open for a second, before he finished slowly. “Frank, she said she’s gonna try and get me in next week…” Frank’s hands went a little more limp and he stared up at Gerard, tears beginning to form in his round eyes.
“Gerard, that’s great, but… Am I gonna be able to see you?” His eyebrows raised and his mouth stayed parted slightly as he looked at Gerard, who bit his lip then squeezed Frank’s fingers, gently.
“Once a week,” He said quietly, “Better than nothing, but…” His voice faded and he hugged Frank tightly, squeezing his back with both arms. Frank rested his head on Gerard’s shoulder and hesitated before answering him.
“Can we get drunk together today?” He asked squeezing his eyes shut. The thought of Gerard going into rehab so soon was bitter-sweet; the sooner he went in the sooner he’d come out, of course, but equally the sooner he went in, the sooner he went. He was going to be on his own for the first time in months and he didn’t want to think about it, he wanted to think about the last week he was going to have with Gerard and nothing else, and the only way he could think of being able to do that was to not leave his side for a second. “Just, like, one more time before you go?” He croaked. Gerard nodded and stroked his back softly.
“There’s beer upstairs, I’ll go get it.” He said, pulling away from Frank and looking at him from arm’s length before smiling sadly then turning around to make his way upstairs. Frank nodded and sat down on the floor with his arms around his knees.
He didn’t know if he wanted Gerard to go anymore, but he had to make him. It’d over soon, he knew, and until then… Well, he’d just have to suck it up and deal with it.
But he didn’t want to.
A/N: Thanks for the reviews, you're great!