"Vous pouvez embrasser la mariée."
Gerard stood at the alter, watching as his friends and family filtered into the church. He had many people on his side; though only those at the front were the ones he cared for. His family, his grandparents, Bob, Ray - Jamia, Lindsey - the ones he really loved. He stood, Mikey sat beside him, composed and appeased, for once, as a best man. He would have loved to ask Frank, but even he knew how inappropriate that was. Frank sat in the row, next to Jamia, he smiled at her, sadly, then looked over at Lindsey, Bob and Ray. Finally he looked up at Gerard, with little or no expression at all. Gerard stood fidgeting, looking down at his feet. He looked over to his mother, who was already in tears; to Lindsey, who for once - seemed a little sad, for once, and Frank, whose eyes were hollow and cold. He breathed in sharply and adjusted his tie as the classical violin music began to play. Frank saw Marina, come down the aisle with her father, looking more beautiful than ever. Her long, white dress, billowed out only just at the waist, travelling down to her ankles, traditionally. Her neck had a small ring of jewels around it, as well as matching bracelets delicately around her wrists. Her small red lips emphasised her light, sparkling green eyes, shining through her thin, white veil. Frank saw the way Gerard was looking at her, a soft, loving gaze settling in his eyes. He couldn't take it. Frank turned to Jamia, waving sarcastically.
"See ya," He sighed, standing up, running out of the church quickly, his fists clenched. Gerard gazed, softly. He was so confused. He had never seen such a beautiful person - other than the time he watched Frank at the lake. When he was so happy, so clueless. Marina walked up to him, a soft, sad smile on her face. As she arrived, she nodded to him.
"Hey," She whispered, quietly, once her father had given her a protective hug and relinquished her. Gerard smiled softly, watching her with intent.
Frank sat on the steps, the doors closed behind him, crying, his head in his hands.
Gerard said his vows, as did Marina, before he was handed the rings from an utterly confused Mikey. He held her hand in his own and slipped the ring onto her finger, his heart pounding - no, aching, in his chest as he did so.
"Vous pouvez embrasser la mariée."
You may now kiss the bride.
The priest spoke. Gerard watched Marina for a moment, as he tugged the veil away from her face and tucked it behind her head.
"Je ne peux pas baiser le prendre!"
I can't take this!
Frank shouted, as loud as he could. He didn't care what was going to happen.
Gerard leant in and kissed Marina, as their individual families stood up and clapped, almost drowning out the noise Frank had made - but Gerard had heard. He kissed Marina for a little longer before pulling away and walking her back down the aisle, hand in hand, as the other families followed. He took Marina's hand and they moved quickly away, trying to find Frank, where ever he had disappeared to. Frank sat on the stairs, not crying, but in the mood to go out and kill someone. He saw Gerard and Marina burst through the doors as his heart pumped faster and his breathing got heavier.
"Frank - stop, come on," Gerard sighed, holding his head in his hands. He just wanted everyone to be happy.
"Fucking leave me alone!" He shouted, looking up at him, "If you touch me, I will fucking murder you." Marina clutched onto Gerard's hand, frightened. Gerard backed away, nodding.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry I had to do this. I'll go." Gerard choked, trying his best not to cry. He swallowed his tears and turned. "Come on, Marina."
"You didn't have to do this to me, Gee! You've broken my heart!" He cried, feeling tears roll down his cheeks. "You've fallen for her, and you promised me you wouldn't!"
"I haven't," Gerard shook his head, still clutching Marina's hand. "You don't understand what's going on in my head, Frank, you don't understand," He stepped further away from the hoards of ignorant people flooding from the church and into the reception hall. "If you were in my situation, you'd understand."
"If you were in my situation, you would understand." He sighed, swallowing back tears, "You said you loved me! And you lied to me!"
"I do love you!" Gerard whispered, harshly, trying to keep people from hearing them. "I.. I can't deal with this, I.."
"Then, fucking come with me." He stood up, holding out his hand, "Marina can come as well, I'm going to that shitty B&B to get away from these people."
"But I can't," Gerard whispered, holding his head. "I can't." Marina at this point was crying, dabbing at her eyes, trying to stop the makeup from running.
"Then, where the hell are you planning to go?" He asked, raising an eyebrow. "Stop crying." He snapped at Marina, rudely.
"The reception, maybe?" Gerard hissed, clutching protectively at Marina. "To see my family? To convince them that I don't want to crawl into a hole and die right now?"
"Don't hiss at me." Frank growled, "Then, let's hurry the fuck up." He ran ahead. "Come on, I can see the sign outside." Frank snapped, at Marina, who was biting her lip, frowning. "Dude, please, stop crying, you're not helping the situation, right now." He sighed.
"I am try-ing n'at to!" Marina mumbled, following. "B-but I d-didn't mean to get in ze midd'el of you two, I.." She wiped her eyes and muttered various French curse words under her breath.
"Mother of fuck." Frank grumbled, running inside the reception hall. "I don't mean to be rude, it's my nature, just that you're a pretty girl and I'm just terrified I'll lose him, okay?"
"Stop being such an ass Frank," Gerard hissed. "You're not gonna lose me." Gerard hooked his arm around Marina's waist and they walked together, both frighteningly good at acting, smiling and waving, acting as if they had been in love for years. It actually frightened Frank how alike Marina was to Gerard.
"I will continue to be an ass, for as long as I want. You don't understand, dating someone who is handsome and rich, is worrying, okay? Especially now a fucking pretty French girl has entered the picture." Frank spoke softly, getting less angry over time as they walked through the hall. Gerard shook his head and moved away from Frank, clutching Marina to his side as they walked over to his own family. They hugged him, shook his hand, kissed Marina on the cheek - as if it all was real. The music came on and the hall cleared, allowing space for Gerard and Marina to engage in what was accustomed to be 'the first dance'. They moved into place and moved elegantly to the music, Gerard sniffing as he tried to figure out how he felt.
Frank sat alone at a table, his chin resting in his hand, sighing sadly. Mikey came over, jumping onto his lap, but Frank just wouldn't be happy.
"Come on Frank - it's gonna be okay!" Mikey chirped, poking Frank's chest. "Gerard loves you. He told me so, and I know he isn't lying, because he never lies." Gerard and Marina continued to dance, smiling softly and sadly to one another.
"You have a lot to learn about love, Mikey." Frank smiled softly, wrapping his arms around Mikey, cuddling him close. "People can love more than one person in that way, then you have to choose between them, which isn't nice at all. I'm scared Gerard will choose the pretty girl, and not me." He smiled, sadly, sighing. Mikey curled up, shutting his eyes, resting his head against Frank’s chest.
"I think Marina is lovely." Mikey paused. "But, your lap is comfier." Frank giggled, holding him close.
"Thank you, that's a very nice thing to say. Marina is pretty but you're adorable." He smiled. Gerard finished his dance with Marina and kissed her. The other couples around got up and moved towards the dance floor, beginning their own dances. Gerard and Marina moved quickly over to her own parents. Frank held a sleeping Mikey in his arms, sighing, smiling sadly as he watched.
The night continued, Gerard and Marina acting fine, until the car that would take them to the airport arrived. Gerard glanced back at Frank, only receiving an icy, hollow glare. Frank gestured for Gerard to come to him.
"Come here, a second, please?" Gerard squeezed Marina's hand before letting it go, walking carefully over to Frank, hoping Frank wasn't going to punch him. Maybe he deserved it.
"I'm not going to hurt you, okay? I'm just saying...You can break up with me...If you want?" Frank asked, sadly, his eyes on the brink of crying.
"But I don't want to do that.. To you. You're the only one that I love," Gerard whispered, pushing a hand over his mouth.
"But you look at Marina, in that way and you kiss her, hug her and dance with her." Frank sighed. "I feel so...So...Jealous."
"I'm doing this because I have to, by tradition, and morally. Not for love. If I hated her I would kiss her. I have to."
"But I feel jealous, I would die to be in her position," Frank gulped, biting his lip, trying not to cry.
"I know," Gerard mumbled, stepping away. "But I.. We can't. I can't." He shook his head and clapped a hand over his mouth, stopping the tears from erupting from him as he ran out of the church and into the car outside. Frank started to sob, so he went outside after him.
"Gee! Call me later!" He shouted, as they drove off in the car, as Frank went to the B&B, grabbing his stuff, heading on a plane home.
Gerard sat in the back of the car, silent, holding Marina's hand in his own. "We'll call him, when we land. We can fix this." Frank went on the plane home, landing, grabbing his bag, walking home, sobbing.
Gerard and Marina returned to the hotel, Gerard starting to sob as he entered. Marina consoled him, sitting idly on the bed beside him, stroking his shoulder.
"Come on, stop crying. Come on." She hushed, sniffing. "Gerard. Look at me." Gerard glanced up at Marina, her eyes soft and comforting as she gazed at him. Gerard watched her for a few seconds before pressing his lips up against hers. She kissed back, putting her arms around him, his hands in her hair, kissing passionately. Marina kissed him for a little longer before stopping, pulling back and away.
"No. Come on, stop. You do-on't 'vant to d'o tha-at. I'z na't goin' to solv' any-thing." She was right.
"I know, I'm just confused.." Gerard cried, holding his head in his hands. "I love him. I really love him. But it's just not going to work," He sobbed, laying back on the bed. Marina lay back beside him, taking his hand.
"I do'on't know how I can 'elp you," She shook her head, softly. "As much as I l'ove you, I want you to be with Fr-onk, because he is yo'urs, and you are his,"
Frank sighed, pulling out his guitar, playing so violently it broke one of the strings, growling, staring at his phone.
Gerard turned and faced her, holding her hands.
"I can't just leave you," Gerard mumbled. "Tradition, you know.." He sighed, wiping away the tears. "Why did it have to be us?" Marina sniffed and smiled feebly, nodding.
"I'm the lucky one. It's you, you're the unlucky one." Gerard kissed Marina's forehead softly, resting his forehead on her. She turned and passed him her phone. "Call him. Come on."
Frank sighed, his phone resting on his chest. "He isn't going to fucking call. I give up." He gulped.
Gerard dialled Frank's number and lay back, breathing deeply, his eyes squeezed shut.
"Yes." Frank spoke bluntly, a little upset, but mainly no much emotion.
"I'm sorry." Gerard replied, unsure of what to say, completely confused, bewildered.
"About what?" Frank asked, softly, his voice going back to normal, he was falling for him all over again.
"Everything." Gerard whispered, holding Marina's hand tight. "My parents, my stupid traditions, everything."
"Do you mean it? Are you just saying it, so I build up my emotions for you again and then you just break me again? Or are you meaning it?" He asked, sobbing softly.
"I mean it." Gerard breathed. "I never intended for you to get hurt. I never intended for you to fall in love with me. I never intended to fall in love with you. I never intended to.." He squeezed his eyes shut. "I'm just so sorry. You can find someone better. I know it."
"Gee, I can't stop loving you. But...You're breaking up with me, aren't you? Because you've fallen for her..." Frank started to cry.
"I haven't but I can't - I can't do anything about it and.. We can't be together and that hurts so bad that right now.. We'll never get to be together. These aren't my words, I.." Gerard cried, holding his head. "I need you as a friend, I don't care whether we get to kiss or whatever, but you're still everything to me,"
"You've broken my heart, again. You keep saying you love me, and then it won't work. Gee, if you want it to work, you can make it work. But you don't want it as much as me, you haven't even visited me, also, I forgot to give you the Smashing Pumpkin tickets I bought you." He sighed, "I will always be your friend."
"I can't make it work!" Gerard cried, throwing the phone down on the floor, leaving it still connected. He moved quickly to the bathroom and shut himself in, feeling violently ill. Marina picked the phone up and hesitated, wondering if she should say anything.
"Fr-onk?" She whispered.
"What the fuck do you want?!" He shouted, "You have single handedly ruined my relationship, with the only boy, I've ever loved. I hope you're happy, yeah, go and cry, or die, whatever, just because you want Gerard to yourself, you heartless bitch. The pretty ones are always the worst." Marina dropped the phone. She sat for a while, staring absently at the ground. She opened the door to the bathroom, finding Gerard asleep on the floor, passed out. She picked him up in her arms and tucked him under the covers, pressing a soft, tearful kiss to Gerard's forehead and leaving a note beside him.
"I'm sorry for everything I've done. I never meant to do any of it. I'm always ruining things, I'm always screwing up, for all my life. I know that. I'm pretty sure that's why my boyfriend killed himself. That was my fault and I know that now. You've brought me something interesting, when you came here. When I was told I was going to get married I cried for weeks. I didn't want to get married. I still don't. But I did it, and so did you, because you love your family, and I love mine. But we both knew this was a mistake because I'm always falling to easy.'
"I'm going to go somewhere else. Your life is more important than mine. If my family think I'm dead, maybe they'll let you go. Maybe they'll make you marry my sister, I don't know, you know what they're like. I hope Frank will be happy now, honestly. I want him to be happy. I hope you and him have a lovely wedding, with Mikey carrying the rings, in beautifully cut suits and red roses. I hope this is what he wanted, because I hurt him really bad. But he hurt me too. I'm sorry my father ever forced this upon us. Feel free to stop by and find me, if I'm not dead by then, because you are a great friend to me. I'm really sorry I fell for you. I never meant to, It wasn't on purpose. I'm not evil. '
"I love you, mon cher. See you. x"
She left straight after, leaving her number beside the hotel phone, in case anyone felt they needed to care.
Frank felt the dialling tone, smirking to himself, placing his phone at the end of the bed, sighing.
"So, I'm on my own again, I guess." He gulped, staring up at his celling, not feeling at all guilty about what he said to Marina.
Gerard awoke feebly, reaching out clumsily, trying to find Marina. He opened his eyes properly and looked around, rubbing his head.
"Marina?" He asked, before noticing the note beside him. He plucked it from the bedside table and held it in his hands, trembling as he read, his forehead growing hot as he became angry. He picked up the hotel phone, noticing Marina's number, and dialled Frank's. Frank sighed, answering.
"Hello? Again?" He asked, softly, but confused.
"What did you say to her?" Gerard asked quietly, a little horrified. "Marina, what did you say?"
"Why? Why is it even slightly important? You have her now, you don't need me." He sighed, angrily.
"She's gone." Gerard whispered, hollowly, his breath pace increasing rapidly.
"Okay. Why are you calling me? She's your wife. I'm not important any more." He spoke softly, but slightly annoyed.
"Because she did it because of you." Gerard raised his voice. "Whatever you said, it triggered something."
"Oh well. Now it's your little problem to sort out." He smirked, "No one breaks my heart and gets away with it, baby, not even you."
"Fuck you." Gerard hissed, slamming the phone down, rubbing his temples, before dialling in Marina's number. Frank laughed softly, laying down in bed, he knew Gerard would call again.
"Marina? Marina," Gerard breathed, listening to the crackling on the other side of the phone. "Where are you? Where did you go?"
"I'm...I'm, somewhere, you don't need me." She mumbled, sniffing. "I ruined everything between you and Fr-onk, I feel useless, I can't stay."
"No, fuck him," Gerard growled, thinking completely insane. "Let me find you. You need someone to talk to. I can help. Come on."
"No, Ger-ard, this is 'vat Fr-onk wanted," She kissed the phone, hanging up.
"Fuck's Sake!" Gerard hissed, slamming his fists down. He locked the door behind him and ran down to the front desk. "M-my wife left h-here, last night, c-can you tell me where she w-went? Or when? Please," Gerard covered his mouth, trying not to sob.
"A few hours ago, she never said anything, she just left, silently." The receptionist explains, "But a young man, called for you."
"Yeah, I bet he did," Gerard scoffed, beginning to leave the hotel.
"Wait!" She called out to him. Gerard turned on his heel, glaring slightly. "He said you were in some kind of argument. He was apologizing, crying, he said for you to go and visit him and he didn't mean for that to happen." She explained, with big hand gestures.
"I can't go visit him!" Gerard yelled, at the innocent worker, who had very little clue of what was going on. "This girl is on the run, I can't.." Gerard pulled his own phone from his pocket, dialling Frank's number as he walked out of the door. Frank sniffed, trying to stop crying.
"Yes? Again, hello." He sobbed, his phone on one hand, tissues in the other.
"Where do you think she would have gone?" Gerard pressed, insisting down the phone, his voice tense and angry. Frank cried.
"I have no idea, I said what I said, then I just heard nothing, like the dialling tone." He sniffed, coughing on his tears.
"I need to find her! She could be dead!" Gerard yelled, walking down the street, with his tears springing out profusely.
"Gerard, I would love to help, but I can't! I know nothing about her! All I know, is that you've fallen in love with her, broken up with me and now you're asking me for help! I don't think that's how it should work." He sniffed, rubbing his eyes, "As you can hear, I'm not really in the mood to be helping any one, I don't know what to do." Frank sobbed. "I'm sorry for falling in love with you."
"Have I ever said that I loved her?" Gerard pressed. "Have I ever said that? No! No I haven't!" Gerard hung up the phone and jumped in a taxi, heading to the airport. She wouldn't be getting a flight home, but she definitely wasn't going to stay in Belgium. He hoped she would be at the airport, and he could stop her. Frank sniffed, still confused. He rung Gerard back. Gerard noticed the bobbing mess of dark brunette hair and ran towards her, grabbing her hand.
"Hey. Hey! Come on." He felt the vibration in his pocket, but ignored it.
Frank hung up, sighing.
"Motherfucker." He swore, grumbling.
"Wha't are you do-ing 'ere?" Marina sniffed, her eyes red as she turned to stare at Gerard. "Are you o-kay?" She asked, putting the back of her hand on Gerard's forehead.
"I'm fine, look, don't leave," Gerard breathed, his hand digging into her. "I didn't know that you.. Look, you didn't ruin anything okay? Tradition did. Come here." Marina moved idly forward, resting her frame in Gerard's arms. "Really."
"But, I 'ave t' go t' my sister, she ne-eds me," She spoke softly, looking up at Gerard.
"Let me come with you. Please." Gerard pleaded, holding onto her. He knew he needed to sort things out with Frank, but no matter what happened with Frank, he was still married, and that needed to be sorted out first.
"Family. Not friends. I'm sorry, Ge-rard, but I'm too gui-ilty.." She kissed his cheek, walking onto her plane, holding the tears back.
"B-but.." Gerard cried, standing in the middle of the airport, his cheeks burning. He was furious. He just wanted everyone to be happy. He took a taxi back to the hotel and lied on the bed, not crying, not speaking, just lying there, still, thinking.Frank called him, sighing.
"What," Gerard answered, quietly.
"I don't care if we are together or not, or friends or not, if you love her or not, you need to get your ass over here, so we can talk about this, like real people."
"I.. Fine." Gerard wiped the angry tears that were forming in his eyes away from him and grabbed his bags. He checked out of the hotel, leaving a message in case Marina returned, and made his way to the airport.
Gerard knocked on Frank's door, still dressed loosely in his wedding gettup, his face red with anger and upset. Frank went down stairs, it was late in the evening, his parents were out.
"Come on," He motioned for him to follow him up stairs. Gerard followed dutifully, his hands slung in his pockets.
Frank sat on his bed, "Okay. I've never been more confused in my life, or upset, or angry. We just need to talk, okay?" He sighed. "To be honest, I have no clue, where to even begin."
"Do you think I do?" Gerard pressed, rubbing his forehead.
"You made me get a fucking plane over here, so you start."
"Um.." Frank sighed, "But I ask stupid questions."
"Then ask them."
"Do you love her?" He asked, hiding in his blankets, sobbing quietly.
"Yes." Gerard replied, hanging his head. "Yeah. I do. But not in the same way as I love you. Not even.. Not even close." Gerard paused, breathing deeply. "But you've said some serious shit today, this isn't me or Marina's fault, yet you assumed that I chose to do this. I don't even know what you said to Marina, but it cut her deep."
"Gee, if you loved me as much as you say you do, you would understand where I'm coming from," He peaked his head out of the blanket, "You hurt me, but I..I can't give you up that easily, I just can't." He sighed, sobbing, "Today, when I was crying and bawling my eyes out, was the one time, I needed my boyfriend!"
"I do understand, but I don't have a choice!" Gerard sobbed, leaning against the wall. "You keep saying I don't love you, why haven't you left me? Why not?" Gerard insisted.
"I never said you don't love me, I just...It's hard to explain. If you loved me as much as I love you, you would have been on a plane from where ever the hell in France you were by yesterday, to come and see me." He sighed, "Why not? Because, I haven't been loved like this by any one else, Gee, you know my background, it's hard to trust any one, as much as I trust you."
"But this is a marriage of royalty!" Gerard pushed his head against the wall, refusing to meet the boy's gaze. "They won't listen to you. They sure as hell won't give a damn what you say. There's nothing, nothing I can do until this marriage is over."
"Over?" He asked, "Look at me, Gee." Frank sighed softly. "Over? What do you mean?"
"I don't know. I'm gonna have to find a way for me and Marina to break up the marriage. Because otherwise - we'll have to raise a family, attend important meetings, and I'll never get to see you. Ever." Gerard replied, avoiding his gaze.
"You..You want to see me?" Frank asked, softly, "After all we have said over the past few weeks, sounds like you hate me, you've been so..Distant." Frank sniffed.
"I haven't been distant, you idiot, I've been trying to console a poor girl, who's boyfriend just committed suicide, who's being forced to marry some blithering mess of awkward, who fell in love." Gerard pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes. Frank sniffed.
"I want to hug you, like the last night we spoke on the balcony, but I understand if you don't want to." He sighed softly.
"One hug." Gerard replied, sharply. "One." Frank unwrapped the blankets, opening his arms.
"I'm sorry for being an idiot and not trusting you and just being stupid and bitter in general." He gulped, wrapping his arms around Gerard's neck, lifting himself onto his tiptoes.
"It's.. Alright." Gerard responded, a little coldly. "But you're going to apologize to Marina."
"Fine. But you cannot blame me for not liking her, okay? She's a pretty French girl, who spends all day, everyday with the guy I have feelings for. It's...Hard," Frank sighed, gazing into Gerard's eyes sadly.
"I get that, and all, but she's just as clueless as I am, she didn't mean to.. She didn't know she'd feel like that."
"Can I ask you one last question, before you go?" Frank asked, softly, releasing Gerard from his arms, looking up at the older boy, with sad eyes.
"What.." Gerard stepped back, holding his hand in the other in front of him.
"Have you...Done anything with her? Like, kissed her? A proper kiss, have you?" Frank asked, his eyes filled with remorse, but no tears lingered. Gerard stared at Frank, his eyes glassy. He may have been drunk, he may have been feeling homesick, and he may have wanted to die a little - but a kiss was a kiss, and he'd kissed her.
"Yes." Gerard replied, softly. "But she told me not to. She told me it wasn't right." Frank sighed.
"Okay." He sat back on his bed, a sad smile on his face, "Thank you for being honest with me, but I-..." He stopped.
"What." Gerard continued, rubbing his temple. Frank looked down.
"It hurts me. Not the fact you kissed her, but now, when you're being honest with me, you don't look sad, or guilty, or even sympathic towards me," He spoke in a whisper.
"I.. I don't know how to be those things, I.." Gerard mumbled. "Look, I need to go. I'm leaving for France in the morning. I'll contact you if I.. If anything happens. I'll try and find a way to break things. Alright? Until then.." He sighed, his gaze resting on Frank. "I'd suggest forgetting about me and finding someone else. Because they're never going to let us happen." Frank shook his head softly.
"If you want there to be an us, there will be, it depends how much you want me, or how much you want to be with Marina." He sighed, looking up, feeling tears roll down his cheeks, "No one has cared about me as you as you, but no one has made me cry as much either. I'm so torn." Frank shrugged, "Goodbye. Phone me if you can do anything, but knowing you, you'll forget about me, fall in love with her and fuck her." He scoffed. "Bye." Frank scowled, gulping. Gerard paused, focusing his gaze on Frank for a moment, watching intently.
"I thought maybe you were different." He hummed, sadly. "That's why I liked you. You thought about me. You didn't think about yourself." He paused, his gaze turning to an icy glare. "But now you're just the same as the rest of them. Never thinking how it would affect everyone else. Not thinking how I literally have no part in this. And you know what? Maybe I will fuck her." Gerard nodded, turning on his heel and walking down the stairs. He shut the door quietly behind him and walked down the street, and into his old, empty, dust laden home. Frank was enraged with a white hot fury.He opened his window and shouted.
"I do care about you! Don't you think I'm thinking about you?! You didn't have a choice in marrying her, I understand, but you have a choice in falling in love with her, Gee!" He yelled, shutting the window sharply behind him. Gerard sniffed, refusing to turn around and even look at him. He hardly slept through out the night, tossing and turning, rubbing his head anxiously. He didn't have a choice in falling in love with a person - you don't get to choose that kind of thing.
Frank should know.