Gerard and Donna talk. Tristan and her father talk. A new man walks into Tristan's life. PRIDE is born. Jealousy and issues come to light. What's next for Tristan and the band in the future? Jealou...
Just Me and You, We’re here alone
My eyes fluttered open to find myself disoriented and warm. I was encircled in warm, comforting arms. They were Gerard’s. I was in his full size bed with him holding me to his body. I was facing away from him and I could feel his steady heartbeat against my spine. I didn’t want this moment to end and I cherished these little moments.
I looked over at the clock on his nightstand to see that it was around one in the afternoon. I knew we had a gig later that night in Newark. I was going to be there even if it killed me. I couldn’t stay away from the band. It was my life now. I was still going to college, but they were classes online and I didn’t want to just stop because of the band. I mean I wanted something to fall back on if it didn’t work out.
I shifted my left arm and pain made me stop. Goddamn. How did this happen? Why would someone be that evil and hate someone because of their sexuality? Why? I couldn’t understand it. I wanted to help Blaine and Nate, but I got shot because of it. I hated that no one else stood up for them. Bastards. This world is going to hell in a hand basket for sure.
Gerard sighed audibly and stirred behind me, but didn’t wake or move his arms. He was so gracious this morning when I so rudely woke him with my nightmare and outburst. I don’t deserve such a good friend. I’m just making his life a living hell.
I heard someone at the door to his room, so I closed my eyes to make them think I was asleep. Which I did fall asleep a few minutes later.
Donna walked in quietly and walked over to Gerard and placed a hand on his shoulder, waking him softly. “Gerard, dear, I need to talk to you.”
Gerard jerked awake and answered sleepily, “Oh, ok, ma.”
Gerard untangled his arms gently from around Tristan, careful not to move her hurt arm. Donna watched as Gerard got out of bed, still fully clothed, as was Tristan, both still in last night’s clothes. She watched as Gerard pulled the blanket up over her arms and then followed his mother through the basement and up the stairs to the kitchen.
The two of them sat down across from each other at the kitchen table, just off from the stairs to the basement. Donna had two cups of coffee sitting waiting there for them. Gerard picked his mug up and sipped the hot black coffee. Donna did the same.
“Gerard, honey, Frank, Tristan’s father called earlier looking for her this morning. I told him she was here and she was asleep. He told me that they had had a fight and she had run off early this morning.” Donna spoke through sips of coffee. She looked concerned and Gerard could tell his mother wanted to ask him something.
“I found her at the basement door this morning. She was asleep against it. After all the shit last night with the shooting and her dad, I know she is messed up over it. Her father drove her and Frank home this morning because he didn’t want her with me. He was angry because of what happened.” Gerard ran his hands through is dirty hair, knowing a shower would do him some good.
Donna sighed, “I’m gonna have to look at her wound when she wakes up. Her father wants her to call. Talk to her, honey. She will listen to you. If they can’t compromise, you know her. She’ll run away like she did before. I don’t want her to do that, so she is welcome to stay here if she wants. This will always be her second home.” Gerard smiled at his mother’s generosity.
“I’ll try talking to her. I promise. We have another gig tonight, so I’ll be sure to talk to her about it soon,” Gerard took another sip of his coffee.
Donna read over the front of the newspaper and asked while handing the newspaper to Gerard, “How is she? I thought I heard crying this morning.”
Gerard saw the shooting headline on the newspaper’s front page and Tristan’s name in the article as being wounded. He shook his head and threw down the paper, “She had a nightmare and she wouldn’t stop crying,” Gerard breathed, “she wouldn’t stop so I held her till she cried herself back to sleep. I know she was scared. You know how she hides her feelings, well this time she let them go. That’s why you found us in my bed.” Gerard tried to explain why Tristan was in bed with him even though they were still in last night’s clothes.
“You don’t have to explain, darling, I understand.” Donna shifted in her seat to get up. She was stupid. They had feelings for each other, but they were giving into them.
Gerard didn’t say anything to that. He knew his feelings were an open book to those he lived with at least. Was he really that easy to read? He knew he couldn’t keep his feeling for Tristan a secret much longer. Tristan knew. Mikey knew. And now his mother knew. He wondered if anyone else knew.
I awoke again, looked over at the clock and saw that is was after three in the afternoon. I got up and winced through the pain in my arm. I looked over at my upper left arm and saw I had bleed through the bandage and onto Gerard’s batman sheets. I was still dirty from last night and I probably ruined his sheets. Crap.
I got up and stumbled over my bag. I reached down and grabbed it and made my way to the bathroom. I looked into the mirror after I closed the door, “Goddamn.” My hair was everywhere, black makeup was all over my cheeks, and blood was all over my arm and neck. My clothes were bloody, ripped, and dirty from falling to the ground last night. Pretty fucking ruined, actually. I had to throw them in the trash. I kept the shirt with the bullet hole for me. I needed it to show me I lived through this event. I stuffed the shirt into the dirty clothes bin in Gerard’s bathroom.
I slowly stripped my soiled clothes from my body. I unwrapped the bandage to my arm, revealing a large gash near my shoulder. They had given me at least ten stitches and that was that. I was on my own with the pain.
When the warm water hit my sore arm, I nearly cried out. My hand flew to my mouth trying to stifle the cries coming from my throat. I strained to breathe, but I showered. I did it with one arm, but I managed to shower. I was shot. I was fucking shot. How crazy is that? I can’t seem to wrap my mind around it. I was held with a gun against my head and I was grazed by a bullet. I was shot. Fucking crazy ass shit keeps happening to me. I mean how many things like this could happen to one person in their lifetime let alone, less than a fucking year?
I dressed in jeans, a Smashing Pumpkins t-shirt, and an old pair of converse. I threw my wet hair up into a messy pony tail. I didn’t bother putting on makeup because, honestly, I didn’t feel like. I mean really who cares what I look like. Gerard didn’t care. He was too concerned with our age difference. I don’t care anymore. I just want my friend back. I can’t take this game we are playing. We kiss and then we don’t talk for weeks. It happens every time we lose control.
I vacated the steamy bathroom and went back into Gerard’s room. He was sitting at his desk on the phone with someone.
“Yea….she’s up….I think she’ll be okay,” Gerard looked up from his drawing and smiled warmly at me, “We’ll pick everyone up…..okay….bye dude.” Gerard put the phone back on the hook and turned toward me as I sat on the couch. “You okay?” he asked while making his way from his desk to the edge of the couch. He was freshly showered. I guess he took a shower upstairs because the shower down stairs was dry when I got in there. His hair was getting longer, it was past is ears now, but somehow it made him look even more beautiful.
I shrugged, wincing at my mistake. I knew I wasn’t ok. I was far from ok, but I put that mask up on my face and tried to look hopeful. “I’ll be fine.” That was all I could manage to say. I was trying not to lie straight to his face.
Gerard didn’t know what to say. He knew what he wanted to say. He wanted to say everything he was feeling, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Fucking pussy.
“Tristan-“He started. I looked over at him, meeting his hazel eyes. “Tristan,” What do you want to say, I kept thinking? “Tristan, your father called. He wants you to come home and he wants to talk to you. My mom talked to him and I told him I would talk to you about it.” Gerard lost his nerve to tell her how last night made him feel. He thought he lost her again and that damaged his heart.
I shook my head furiously, “I don’t want to talk to him. He wants me to quit the band and stay away from Frank and you,” I stopped to breathe, “I can’t do that. I don’t want to. He wants to lock me away like I’m some kid!” I couldn’t stop the words from slipping from my lips, “Dammit, I’m NOT A KID!”
Gerard quickly sat down next to me and tried to put his arm around me, but I pulled away. Gerard looked hurt but said, “I know you’re not a kid, Tristan.”
I shifted away from him, “Yea well I don’t believe you when you say that.” I didn’t believe him. We were hot and cold all the time, so I don’t think he actually feels the same as I do about him.
Gerard stared at me in disbelief, “Tristan, I um, it’s complicated between us.”
I laughed, “Huh, complicated is an understatement.”
Later that night.
We finished our set and we were all sitting around a table watching the other bands playing.
Gerard was drinking a beer while talking to the Matt and Ray. I walked over to the bar and got a coke. I got up on a bar stool and turned to watch the band play while the rest of my band was several feet away doing the same, but they were all drinking, well except Ray. He was trying to be responsible for my sake.
“You look bored,” a tall brown headed man said as he took the seat next to me. He was gorgeous. “Well bored since you aren’t playing right now.” He smirked and his brown eyes sparkled.
“Your assumption would be right,” I tried to sound witty. I’m an idiot.
“Tristan Iero, right?” the brown headed man asked while holding out his hand to shake mine. I shook his hand.
“Yea, um…” I didn’t know this man.
“Oh shit here I know all about you and you know nothing about me. I’m Adam. Adam Lazzara. I’m the singer from the band before yours. We played before you guys.” He smirked.
“Oh right. I love your album,” I couldn’t stop listening to it actually.
“Yea well I’m looking forward to yours,” Adam seemed really interested in the new album.
“It drops in July,” I answered while sipping on my coke.
Adam leaned forward and was bumped into by another person, which sent him into me, pushing me against the bar, “Shit sorry.” We were so close I could smell his choice of soap and shampoo. He backed up and said, “I’ll be sure to pick it up.” He smiled and we both went back to watching the band play.
Across the bar, Gerard sat in silence watching Tristan and this mystery man flirt with each other right in front of him. He was sure Tristan wasn’t doing it on purpose, but he wasn’t blind. He was seething with jealously and more than once he wanted to go over, punch the man in the face, and take Tristan out to the van and have his way with her. He wanted her so badly. He wanted to be with her so badly and this fucking guy was on his turf. Tristan was his.
After the gig.
“Tristan sit in the back with Gerard,” Frank pointed as he got into the van with Jamia after the gig in Newark. I rolled my eyes and moved like I had been told. Ray took over the driving and Matt was in the passenger seat while Mikey sat behind them.
The front of the van was buzzing with adrenaline from the gig, while I sat silently next to Gerard in the back on the van staring out the window into the darkness of the night.
The gig had gone fine. I played like before, I was in pain the whole time, but I never wavered from my obligation to the band. I was playing for my spot and I knew that. Matt had made it clear that it was either Frank or me who would stay and I loved my brother, but I wanted the spot more than anything.
Gerard never broached the subject of our fight from earlier in the evening, but we were talking. Like we used to, it wasn’t the same, but we were friends again. I knew it wasn’t the same, but it was different than the last few months. A few nights ago on Gerard’s birthday had changed something between us. It had been a moment of pure passion and nearly more, but since the phone ringing interrupted us. I don’t know what would have happened if that phone hadn’t rung. It was too messy to try to be together, we both knew that, so we were trying to be friends.
I kept my eyes on the darkness passing outside the window. All those happy families in the New Jersey neighborhoods that passed, I couldn’t help but think of how lucky and uncomplicated their lives were.
“I have an idea for a fundraiser we could do annually for equality,” I spoke so only Gerard could hear me.
Gerard looked over to meet my eyes as I turned from the window, “For equality?”
“Yea, really for Blaine and Nate, but I really want to promote equality for everyone. Like color, religion, sexuality, you know what I mean?” I explained in a hushed tone, “Maybe have artists donate some work, maybe have some bands play, local bands do a signing, and local choirs and theater groups do a piece or a few.”
Gerard smiled, “I think that idea is an amazing idea, Trist.”
“I’m gonna get it ready for May 13th,” I was determined to do this for my friends, “I’m gonna call it Pride.” I had already talked to Alex from Eyeball, Geoff from Thursday, Mikey, Frank, and now Gerard. This seemed like a great opportunity to do something amazing.
Mikey, Gerard, and I arrived back at the Way house at around three in the morning from the gig in Newark. Gerard pulled the van into the driveway next to his mother’s car. We all got out and went toward the basement stairs, when headlights from my father’s Audi flashed near the end of the driveway. Shit!
“I’ll go talk to him,” I sighed while tugging Gerard’s hoodie closer to my body. I had forgotten a jacket and Gerard made me wear his. Mikey went inside as Gerard sat on the stairs to the basement and waited for me.
I slowly made my way over the driver’s side of the car. He rolled the window down, “Tristan, get in the car.” His tone was even but laced with anger.
I crossed my arms across my chest, pain shooting through my left arm, “Why? So you can cart me off home and lock me away from my life?” I retorted in anger.
“That’s not what I want, Tristan. Now get in this car right now.” He was firm, so I decided not to challenge him any further on this and I got into the passenger seat. He didn’t move to turn the car on, we just sat in silence.
“Tristan, do you know what I would do if something were to happen to you?” My father finally broke the silence.
“Dad, I’m fine,” I started.
“Tristan you had a gun held to yourself. You could have been killed. I couldn’t take that,” He cut me off and started to lecture me like I didn’t know what could have happened. I was there. It happened to me dammit.
“Dad, don’t lecture me. I’m not stupid. I know what could have happened,” I didn’t want to be a victim or have him freaking out on me anymore. “Is this really what you want? To lecture me over and over about this? To take me away from my dream? You realize I’m gonna do this with or without your permission. Donna is letting me stay here for the time being, so I’m done with this conversation.” I grabbed the door handle when he reached for my hand and I yanked it away.
“Tristan you are a minor.” My father started.
“Dad, don’t start that. I have graduated high school. I am going to college. I am responsible and have been responsible. I don’t deserve this,” I couldn’t let him do that to me. Not now. Not when I finally was in a band and was having the time of my life.
I got out of the car, “I’m gonna get the rest of my stuff tomorrow.”
“Tristan, don’t do this.” My father nearly begged.
“You are forcing me to do this.” I stalked off toward the basement stairs. Toward Gerard.