Frank stretches a little, yawns, then blinks his eyes rapidly. God. His eyes are amazing.
“Good morning, sleepy head.”
“You’re still here?!” Frank pokes at Gerard in jest.
“It’s my room, isn’t it?” he jokes back.
“Oh, I see.” Frank smiles at him. “Since this is your house, do you have any breakfast foods?”
“Probably not. Not many people been eating here in the last few weeks, remember?” Gerard remarks somewhat sarcastically.
“Wanna head out to the Stack?”
“'Mister Clean' doesn’t want a shower first?” Gerard quips. Frank can’t stop a laugh.
“I think I can handle your germs a while.” Frank retorts through his smile.
They climb up out of the bed. Gerard grabs some clothes from a drawer. He sees Frank reaching for his off the floor.
“I don’t have anything in boy sizes, but let me see if I’ve got something you can wear.”
“Ha. Ha.” Gerard finds Frank some clothes that fit decently enough. He grabs his clothes and heads for the bathroom, leaving Frank to change in his room. Frank doesn’t care if the fit is a little big; he likes that it smells like Gerard. He puts Gerard’s clothes on and grabs his wallet. He exits the bedroom and heads for the bathroom himself. Gerard has already finished up in there and headed for the kitchen. Frank drains his bladder, then goes to find Gerard.
As he begins to round the corner towards the kitchen, he notices Gerard’s body language is suspicious. He backs back around the corner and watches for a minute. Gerard throws back a glass of amber liquid. He pours another and throws it back, too. He carefully hides the bottle in the back of a top cupboard. Frank quickly steps back into the bathroom. He re-emerges, pretending not to know Gerard was just in the kitchen drinking, but he can smell the alcohol on Gerard’s breath. He decides not to say anything yet, as to not spoil the morning.
Gerard’s car was still at the bar, so they take Frank’s. They pass the hospital, then turn. The car is filled with a comfortable silence. Without looking at him, Gerard extends his hand and wraps his pinkie around Frank’s, allowing his hand to rest on Frank’s leg. Gerard’s touch causes Frank to feel blush and smile, but Gerard doesn’t notice. He’s watching the scenery, happy to be home. There are some children playing at the park, and a few people off in the distance playing golf. They drive a bit further, reaching the Passaic. Several people are out sculling.
“I’m starving. I hope they aren’t too busy,” Gerard breaks the silence, knowing they are approaching the Stack.
“It’s mid-morning on a weekday. I doubt they will be.”
They pull into the parking lot. Frank easily finds a parking space.
“See? Told ‘ya.” Gerard throws him a look, smirking at him.
They head in and are quickly seated. Frank orders a vegetarian omelet and coffee. Gerard has the “Hungry Man Special” with coffee as well.
“So you’re okay with all of this,” Frank sounds as if it is really more of a question. Gerard has been looking at Frank since they sat down, as if carefully studying his being visible above the table. Frank’s gaze catches Gerard’s. Gerard leisurely shakes his head yes.
“I think so.”
The waitress brings the coffees and some creamer. Frank flashes her a grin, never breaking the conversation with Gerard.
“We need to talk, Gerard, but I don’t want to piss you off.”
“About...” Gerard’s not sure he want to have a serious conversation about their relationship yet.
“You smell like alcohol. I know you’ve had some drinks this morning.”
Gerard’s eyes drop to the table. He takes a deep breath. At least it’s not about ‘us.’ Frank waits patiently for Gerard to reply.
“You know, every time I pick up a drink, my mind says no, I don’t want it. I don’t wanna be drunk. I don’t wanna be outta control. But, it’s like every fiber in my body is screamin’ for it.” Frank can hear sincerity in Gerard’s confession. He sits there thinking for a few minutes.
“Do you wanna stop, G? If I help you, can you try?” Frank offers, reaching out for Gerard’s hand. Gerard allows Frank to take his hand in this public setting. Frank laces his fingers through Gerard’s.
“I don’t know if I can, Frank. I don’t know if I’m strong enough...” Gerard’s voice waivers.
“Gerard, look at me,” Frank’s voice offering comfort. Gerard’s eyes meets Frank’s. He can see determination in Frank’s expression. Frank can see fear in his. “If you really want it, I’ll be there for you. I’ll be the strength you need to get through it. I will be by your side as long as you need me, no matter what. I swear it to you.”
Gerard offers Frank a pathetic grin. He’s not sure what to say. He’s not sure even Frank can get him through this. Even now, he feels his body begging for alcohol. This would be the single most difficult thing he has ever done.
“We’ll need to let Mikey know,” he finally answers Frank. Frank squeezes Gerard’s hand laced with his.
“I’ll talk to him.”