It's categorized mainly by Microcephaly which is a neurodevelopmental disorder in which the size of the person's head is almost 2 dimensions smaller than the average for their gender. Gerard thought that maybe he was lucky in that his head, indeed was smaller than it should be, but it's wasn't all that noticeable. He liked being more normal than other people with his disease - it made him feel better about himself.
Though, Gerard was not so lucky with his facial features. If he had to describe himself, he would say he looked like a pixie. He had a small, triangular shaped face with a pointed chin, a broad, wide-tipped nose, and wide-set eyes. It wasn't scary to look at, but it wasn't something Gerard particularly liked showing off. In fact when Gerard was 12, and he started realizing just how different he was from everyone else, he smashed all the mirrors and reflective things he could find in his house.
Gerard's personality was dictated by the other symptoms of his condition. He stopped talking or rarely talked because of his soft high pitched voice; he wore gloves and socks to cover his partially webbed fingers and toes; wore lots of clothes to cover his eczema and painted to release some of his hyperactivity (his tendency to over think things and make them much more abstract than the normal person would).
These things, although impractical for a 'normal life', weren't what effected Gerard the most. Sure his looks depressed him and his body repulsed him, but the fact that he couldn't handle large crowds was impossible to overcome. It effected him in every way; he couldn't make friends, he couldn't go shopping, he couldn't work in an office or large place, he couldn't do anything that involved a large amount of people.
Mikey, Gerard's younger brother, dedicated his time into helping Gerard make a living. They didn't live together, after all Gerard demanded some privacy, especially now that he was 23. Gerard felt awful when he would find Mikey sat on his couch, bent over papers that were Gerard's bills and stressing, holding a cup of coffee like it was a lifeline. He was making Mikey grow up too fast, he was ruining Mikey's freedom with his weakness and he hated it. But no matter how much he tried, Mikey refused to stop helping. Mikey and Gerard were as close as brothers could get and Mikey was the only person Gerard talked confidently in front of. Gerard would spend 5 days a week with Mikey, Monday to Friday, 10 - 6, and on weekends they would live separate lives. Gerard staying inside his house, working on his comics or paintings and Mikey hanging out with his friends and being a normal 20 year old boy. Gerard didn't know if Mikey told his friends about him. He probably told them he had a brother, but failed to go into detail. Gerard however would tell anyone he could about how Mikey was the most amazing person in the world. Though, these 'people' were usually the comic characters Gerard had painted on his bedroom wall. They were there to be Gerard's vent. No, he wasn't crazy, he knew they weren't real, but talking to Mikey about everything was just not an option.
Gerard and Mikey's parents weren't exactly against Gerard taking up Mikey's time, because if it wasn't Mikey's time, then it would be theirs, right? Gerard's parents weren't mean to him to his face, no, but he knew they could be. They were just focused on Mikey being the child they could be proud of. Gerard didn't mind, what could he do? Say that he was going to be the world's leading artist who couldn't go to any of his exhibitions? So, Gerard put all of his spare energy into helping Mikey achieve anything he could.
Frank Iero, was best friend to Mikey Way and they spent every weekend with each other playing video games and basically trying in all their ability to preserve their childhood. They lived together but Frank pretty much had the house to himself on a weekday. In all the years he had known Mikey he had only found out that he was going to visit his brother. Mikey never talked a lot about his brother, but he sure visited him a lot. Frank couldn't help but be curious, though maybe it was normal? Frank was an only child and so he couldn't be sure what was normal for siblings.
"Mikey, I want to meet your brother," Frank said one day in November. It was early November and it was Frank's favourite season. He adored snow and rain and cold weather.
"Why?" Mikey asked, almost angrily, "Who has said something about him? What have you heard Frank?"
"Whoa, whoa," Frank held his hands up as he laughed nervously, "Nobody has said anything. I was just curious. Why? Is he like in prison or something?" Mikey laughed at that. Gerard in prison? He would never even associate the two together.
"Well, I guess I could ask Gerard about meeting you," Mikey said when he stopped laughing, "but if he says no, then it's no. And if he says yes, then I have some rules that you need to learn and follow before you meet him."
With Mikey's last statement, Frank became even more curious. Rules? There were rules involved? There were only rules when you were meeting the Queen or someone equally important, so why were there rules for meeting Mikey Way's brother? Frank agreed anyway, because who was he to disagree? Obviously meeting Mikey's brother wasn't something a lot of people had done and Frank felt like as Mikey's best friend, he owed it to him to be supportive.
Mikey was at Gerard's house the next day, a more bright November day, sorting out the mess Gerard had left after painting some French type of art. Mikey was no expert on painting or art, so he couldn't be sure on the style of painting. All Mikey did was the communication side of Gerard's work. He didn't mind so much, Mikey was like a social butterfly and had gotten Gerard's art places that Gerard never would be able to on his own.
"Gee? I was wondering if it would be okay to bring a friend over tomorrow?" Mikey asked when Gerard had came down the stairs in his batman pyjamas and gloves. The gloves were skeleton gloves with the finger tops cut off. Mikey didn't know if they were bought like that or not, but either way Gerard loved them and always wore them. Gerard wasn't wearing his big jacket today because it was only Mikey here, Gerard had nothing to hide from Mikey, he had seen it all before.
"Um," Gerard spoke, his soft high voice being familiar to Mikey, "I don't know Mikey. Is he nice?"
"He's lovely," Mikey said, "I'm sure you'd like him Gee. But it's totally up to you."
Gerard really had to think about it carefully. There wouldn't be a large crowd as such, just three people, but what if this boy wasn't nice about Gerard's appearance? Gerard had spent a long time building up his self-esteem to it's now average level and for someone to come and take that away would be awful. Though, Gerard admitted that it would be nice to at least have one other human friend, the paintings on his wall could only comfort him so much.
"Okay Mikey," Gerard said after a while, "But if he hates me, he has to leave, okay?"
"Gerard, you're not some freak like Quasimodo you know? You're my brother, you have to be fuckin' pretty, it's in your genes," Mikey said and Gerard laughed. Gerard's laugh was the kind of laugh that made every joke funny. For example if Gerard found something funny (probably a knock knock joke), and Mikey didn't find it funny, Mikey would still laugh just by hearing Gerard's high pitched giggle.
Well the laughter had died down, Gerard took a seriously outlook on the situation. It was like a little moment of clarity in his mind of how much Mikey actually sacrificed for him and how unappreciative Gerard seemed to be.
"I really love you, Mikes," Gerard smiled.
"I love you too," Mikey smiled back, because Gerard loved smiles; frowns made his sad and smiles made him happy, "I wouldn't ask for a different brother."
The next day, a Tuesday, was different to the day before it. Gerard was in one of his well-known to Mikey bad moods and nothing was helping. It was probably the nerves of meeting Mikey's friend the same day, but Gerard couldn't help it. He'd rarely seen other people other than on TV, and Gerard didn't think that they were all to representational of how people really acted.
Frank was woken at 9, by Mikey jumping on his bed. Mikey always acted childish around Frank, and in some ways maybe he had replaced the childishness he wished he had with Gerard, with Frank. Mikey could jump and tickle Frank without feeling worried that he was hurting Gerard's eczema or any other body parts.
"Asshole," Frank grunted, "Get the fuck off me."
"Oh really?" Mikey smirked, "Guess you don't want to meet my big brother then."
"I do," Frank whined like a 3 year old, "But why so early? We have an hour right?"
"You need the rules," Mikey said, his face now serious. He was nervous about this too, what if Frank was mean? Their friendship would be ruined. Mikey couldn't be friends with someone who made fun of his brother, no way.
Frank sat up in bed and gave Mikey his full attention after swiping his hand over his eyes and rubbing the sleep from them. His hair was messed and his eyes were a little black from eye-liner, but right now he didn't care.
"Okay so my brother, he isn't," Mikey paused, trying to find a way to describe what Gerard had, nicely, "He isn't, normal?"
"How?" Frank asked, curiosity seeping into his words.
"Well he has Dubowitz syndrome," Mikey said, "He hates large crowds of people, he has a small head and his features are pointed and long. He has eczema and his fingers and toes are slightly webbed."
"Christ Mikey," Frank said, eyes wide, "Why didn't you tell me?"
"I don't know," Mikey shrugged, "It just never seemed like the right time."
"Well Jesus Mikey, I'm not going pick on him you know," Frank said, slightly annoyed Mikey would think so little of him, "I got that shit in high school and it was awful."
"Yes Frank. But he's had it all his life," Mikey replied, "Even our parents hate him because he's a 'disgrace to the family'. I love him Frank and he's the best brother anyone could ask for, just please be nice to him?"
Frank nodded, shocked that Mikey's parents were so cruel. He had met them a few times and they didn't seem like the people who would shun a disabled person. "You said there were rules?"
"Okay," Mikey clasped his hands in front of him, "Firstly, don't stare. As I said, he looks a little different. Not too different, but it's noticeable. Second, if he says no, it means no. Thirdly, if things go well and you hug him, be gentle. And lastly, no mean comments about him. Think you can handle that?"
Frank nodded after processing the information. He could totally handle that, Frank had never judged other people on their looks before so why start now? Mikey smiled and gave Frank a giant hug, because maybe, just maybe, Frank could be something good for Gerard.
Less than an hour later, the pair were on Gerard's door step while Mikey opened the door. He turned to Frank one last time, shooting him a glare that to Frank screamed 'Rules'.
There was a distinct noise of Nirvana playing around the house and Frank mouthed the words along to the song. Now, if he wasn't so nervous about fucking up and hurting Mikey's brother's feelings then he would have screamed at the awesome music taste. They walked towards where the sound was coming from, what Frank learnt was the kitchen, and there was charcoal everywhere.
"Gerard, for the love of God," Mikey sighed loudly over the music. The figure dressed in all black and wearing a huge jumper, looked up at Mikey with wide eyes. Gerard knew that Mikey hated cleaning up charcoal, but Gerard couldn't help it.
Gerard reached over to the CD player and turned it off, the silence enveloping the room. Gerard looked at Frank, taking in all his features. His brown, short hair, his cute button nose and perfect shaped face. Gerard thought that Frank looked exactly what he wanted to be himself - perfect.
Frank stared, he couldn't help it. But Frank didn't stare maliciously, no. He stared at how amazing this person looked. Mikey said they looked different and Frank agreed they did. But different in a good way. Frank had never seen a pixie nose be so cute before, and the wide eyes reminded Frank of deep brown pools of honey and he couldn't stop staring into them. Frank looked everywhere on Gerard's body that he could see and he was mesmerized, he had a great body for someone who didn't leave the house. Why would someone be ashamed of someone so perfect? He was beautiful to Frank.
Frank must have been in his own little word because suddenly he was pulled out of the kitchen by a skinny, but strong, Mikey.
"What are you doing?!" Mikey shouted in a whisper, "You're scaring him!"
"Wh-, What?" Frank asked, "No! No, no. I wasn't staring in a bad way. It's just, he's so beautiful Mikey."
Mikey looked at Frank then, the words pushing him further into anger. He was about to shout and scream about that is a totally uncool thing to joke about, but he saw the light blush forming on Frank's cheeks and realized it was the truth. Frank thought his brother was beautiful.
"You really think so?" Mikey asked and frank nodded, "What do you like about him?"
"He, um. He had amazing eyes, and his body looks great even under all those clothes. His pixie nose is adorable too. I don't understand why you warned me so much Mikey, he doesn't look that different to you and me," Frank replied.
This time the words from Frank comforted Mikey. They made him so happy, that his eyes began to well with tears. Frank would be perfect for Gerard and Mikey was just happy that his brother had a chance at some happiness. God knows he deserves it.
"Thank you! Thank you so much!" Mikey smiled at Frank and hugged him tightly, "I prayed so many times that he would find someone to love him for who he is."
"A pair of working hands is better than a thousand clasped in prayer," Frank quoted an old teacher and they both laughed before re-entering the kitchen.
"I'm sorry I was so rude before," Frank said, "I was in my own little world. My name is Frank, what's yours?"
"Gerard," Gerard said and Frank repressed a squeal at the voice the came from Gerard's mouth. It was high pitched and cute and Frank thought that maybe he got lucky today.
"I see you like Nirvana?" Frank asked, "Me too!"
Gerard smiled, genuinely, and nodded. Gerard didn't know if all people were like Frank or maybe if Frank was just special. If Gerard had to guess though, he would say that Frank was special.
Mikey walked away from the tiny gathering of people and started cleaning up, while Frank sat opposite Gerard and they talked about a lot of things.
"What's Mikey like with you?" Gerard asked, after he had stopped giggling at the joke Frank had told. Frank thought that Gerard's giggle surpassed any kind of laugh he had ever heard before.
"He's a big child!" Frank smirked, "He's a total idiot. But you have to love Mikey Way."
"Are you like, boyfriends?" Gerard asked. He would feel a little hurt if Mikey hadn't told him that he was gay, let alone that he had a boyfriend.
"God no!" Frank laughed, "I mean, I'm bisexual but Mikey isn't my type at all. We're just friends."
"What's your type then?" Gerard asked and both Mikey and Frank were shocked. Each for different reasons. Mikey was shocked because of how into the conversation Gerard was and Frank was shocked because was Gerard flirting with him? That's just insane!
"Oh um, dark mysterious people who like art and being creative. People who have a cute giggle and light brown eyes," Frank responded, cursing himself when he realized he had pretty much described Gerard. Mikey snorted from across the kitchen, but Gerard looked oblivious to what Frank had said.
The three boys spent the rest of the day together, watching TV, playing Dungeons and Dragons and talking. Frank had never met anyone quite like Gerard and now he couldn't imagine himself ever meeting someone like him again. Gerard felt comfortable in himself, and in the situation, something he hadn't felt ever before. He owed it all to Mikey again and he had never been more thankful.
"Me and Frank have to leave Gerard," Mikey said, "We'll come back soon, okay?"
Gerard nodded his head and hugged Mikey when he leaned down over the couch. Mikey liked hugs, especially Gerard's hugs. They were warm and full of love.
"I'll wait in the car," Mikey said to Frank and Frank nodded his thanks. He was happy that Mikey trusted him.
"I'm sad to leave Gerard, but I'll visit a lot more. I really like you, and I hope we can be best friends because then I don't have to bring Mikey with me all the time," Frank laughed.
"You wouldn't want to be my best friend," Gerard sighed, "I'm weird."
"No, you're amazing and special," Frank argued, and then leaned down over the couch, much like Mikey had, but kissed Gerard's cheek.
Frank lifted himself up and then walked towards the house door. Gerard watched his every move, eager to tell Mikey the next day that he had a best friend.
"Stay beautiful," Frank shouted before he closed the door behind himself. And at that moment, Gerard had never felt more beautiful.
A/N: You've probably already read this if you've read the one-shot. But, it's just starting this fiction off. I spent this morning working on planning the chapters and the next one will be the one-shot I wrote to follow this, and then the drama will start (If you feel like this could be dramatic? I don't know, I have some stuff planned though.) Just, thank you so much for at least showing an interest in something I write, it means a lot to me really. That you would ask me to write something, and be so passionate about it is really touching as an author. So, thank you. Xo