Gerard drove back to Frank’s office, though it took more like an hour due to all the rush hour traffic. Now that he knew everything was okay, he hoped that Frank hadn’t noticed his absence. He showed his security pass to the man standing on the door and slipped through, pressing the up button on the elevator.
He went straight to Frank’s office, knocking before hearing a rather tense, “Come in.”
“Hey,” Gerard said, slipping through the door and leaning against the other side of it, “How are you?”
Frank groaned and put his head in his hands, “Fucked. Completely fucked. I can see no way out of this except having to pay a massive fucking fine.”
Gerard made a sympathetic face, “So I’m guessing you’re not coming home anytime soon?”
Frank looked up, looking extremely guilty, “No, I’m so sorry. Shit, we were going to see a movie today, weren’t we?”
“Yeah, but that’s fine,” Gerard said in understanding, “Do what you have to do here and then come home. It’s fine.”
“Are you sure?” Frank asked tentatively. Gerard sighed and nodded.
“Of course I’m sure. I’m going to go home now, I’m feeling kind of tired, sorry,” Gerard apologised.
“Are you okay?” Frank asked instantly, standing up. Gerard almost told him but seeing Doctor Blige earlier, but decided against it. He didn’t want to give Frank anything else to worry about unnecessarily.
“Yeah, fine. Being pregnant just really takes it out of you,” Gerard smiled tersely. Frank moved around his desk to kiss Gerard.
“See you tonight,” He murmured, stroking Gerard’s neck.
As Gerard left his office, he stopped by Melissa’s desk.
“Did Frank notice I was gone?” He asked, trying to go for casual.
“No, he’s been very busy,” She replied.
“Okay. If you could just - I don’t know, if you could just not mention that I left, that would be great,” Gerard said nervously. She frowned, but then let her expression soften out.
“Sure. Don’t worry,” She smiled.
Once Gerard got home and had placed his prescription on the kitchen counter, he drank four glasses of water and lay down, feeling bloated. He could hear the water sloshing about in his stomach. He put a hand over his eyes and turned on the TV, his head throbbing. He fell asleep like that, one hand on his stomach and one across his eyes.
Frank came in at midnight and stopped when he saw Gerard sleeping on the couch, the TV still on quietly in the background. He didn’t want to wake him up, but he didn’t want Gerard to hurt his back by sleeping on the couch.
“Gerard,” He whispered, shaking his shoulder. Gerard groaned and stirred.
“Frank?” He mumbled, leaning on Frank to get him to bed.
“Easy,” He murmured, supporting Gerard’s body and leading him to bed, “Here you are.”
“Thank y’,” Gerard mumbled, collapsing onto the bed. Frank rolled his eyes and tucked him under the sheets before standing up again to get a glass of water. As he got a glass down from a cupboard, he knocked a piece of paper to the floor. He picked it up and stared at the writing, seeing it was a prescription dated today. He frowned and placed it back on the counter, making a mental note to ask Gerard about it the next morning.
Gerard awoke the next morning to Frank’s arms wrapped around his waist. He kept his eyes closed and sighed softly, and Frank kissed the nape of his neck.
“Hey,” Frank murmured, “You must have been out for a while. You were asleep when I came back.”
“Yeah,” Gerard agreed, “I was really tired. What’s the time? When do you have to be at work?”
“It’s nine. I thought maybe I’d work at home today,” Frank mumbled into the skin of Gerard’s neck. Gerard smiled and reached a hand back blindly to grab onto Frank’s.
“Also I saw a prescription in the kitchen dated from yesterday,” Frank said tentatively. Gerard waited and turned around, meeting Frank’s wide, concerned eyes.
“Yeah. I didn’t want to worry you or anything yesterday because you were pretty stressed,” Gerard said reluctantly, putting his thigh between Frank’s legs. Frank’s expression instantly went from curious to anxiety attack.
“What? Are you okay? Is the baby okay?” Frank asked at once, panic in every line of his face.
“Yeah, I just panicked yesterday. I went to get your coffee and I could smell bacon and I had to throw up and, um, I vomited some blood and I got really freaked. I got this really bad headache and I phoned the surgery for an appointment. Apparently I was just dehydrated as my sickness is more severe than they’re used to. It was fine, he just gave me some more vitamin B pills to try and top up the vitamins I’m losing,” Gerard said, stroking the side of Frank’s face. Frank, however, looked crestfallen.
“Wait - you left during the day and I didn’t notice?” He asked, sitting up. Gerard swallowed.
“Yeah, but you were stressed. You had other things to deal with. I would have told you but I didn’t want you to freak out,” Gerard explained, sitting up and rubbing Frank’s back. Frank closed his eyes and shook his head.
“Nothing’s more important than you or the baby - you should have told me!” Frank exclaimed, rounding on Gerard. Gerard sighed and shrugged, feeling drowsy again.
“I’m sorry, Frankie, I really am,” He apologised, biting his nails.
“What if something was wrong? I wouldn’t have known because you didn’t tell me!” Frank said loudly, his voice getting aggressive. Gerard wasn’t in the mood for this; he felt tired and drained and sick, again, and his head was constantly throbbing.
“I’ve said I’m sorry, Frank,” Gerard muttered, rubbing his head. Frank grit his teeth and got out of bed, “Where are you going?”
“To work,” Frank snapped, “Seeing as you don’t trust me with anything round here.”
“Fine,” Gerard said, resigned, lying back down, “See you later.”
“Fuck you,” Frank called from the hallway, “Fuck you, Gerard Way.”
Gerard woke up again at midday and drank three glasses of water straight after getting up, but promptly vomited afterwards. He hated this bit of being pregnant, feeling tired and sick all the time. He ate a few crackers and drank some more water before pulling on some sweatpants and a sweatshirt and heading out for a walk. He knew Frank would calm down when he came back, but after that morning Gerard was pretty angry with him. Maybe he would stay at Mikey’s for the night.
He wandered around town with a water bottle in hand, looking in a few shops. They’d have to start getting furniture soon, and clothes, and they still needed to paint the spare room. Gerard found himself looking in the windows of the baby shops longer than usual, staring longingly at all the clothes. He wanted to be with Frank to buy the clothes together, though, she he stayed away, knowing that if he went inside a shop he would end up buying everything he could reach.
After an hour and a half he ended up back at their apartment block, deciding against going to Mikey’s only because he had some work emails to reply to, which he should do sooner rather than later. He checked his phone as he trudged up the stairs, and Frank still hadn’t tried to call or text him. Gerard ripped a piece of skin off his lip savagely and opened their apartment door. He made sure to drink some more water, because he had become paranoid of becoming too dehydrated again, that if he couldn’t hear water in his stomach, he started to get worried.
He sat down at his desk to start an email to Grant, before realising that it was probably the evening over in Scotland so he could Skype him, if he wanted. Grant was one of his closest friends in comics, but he was only in the US for less than half a year, and spent the rest of the time in Scotland. He sent Grant a text asking him if he was around to Skype and figure that if he didn’t text back in an hour or so, he’d just send him an email. He’d yet to tell him about the baby as he wanted to keep it quiet as long as possible to avoid constant questioning, though he hadn’t told Grant because it felt impersonal doing it in an email. He was making some toast when Grant sent him a text back to tell him that he could do with taking a break from inking for an hour or so. Gerard finished buttering his toast and sat down in from of the computer, taking it out of sleep mode to see that Grant was video calling him. He put his toast down on the desk and tried to finish his mouthful before his webcam started working.
“Hello, Gerard,” Grant greeted him in his warm Scottish burr, his expression friendly and familiar. Gerard placed a hand over his mouth until he was done eating.
“Hey, sorry,” Gerard apologised, “I’m starving.”
“You’re making me hungry now,” Grant said wistfully as Gerard picked up a slice of toast, “But it’s good to see you again, albeit so far away. I haven’t seen you in a long time - I heard you were taking a break form Umbrella and you turned down four issues of JLA?”
Gerard knew that Grant didn’t sound like he was asking a question, but it was definitely implied.
“Yeah,” Gerard sighed, “I’m taking a break for a bit, y’know, and trying not to make any future commitments, though I was sorely tempted to do the JLA issues. It was almost heartbreaking to turn them down.”
“Any particular reason?” Grant asked cautiously. Gerard looked away from the screen and knew that he was probably going to have to do this now.
“Yeah, actually,” He said tentatively, “Me and Frank are having a child.”
He was silent afterwards, watching Grant take in the news.
“That’s brilliant, I’m so happy for you both,” He congratulated Gerard. Gerard smiled at him warmly, “And you’re carrying it? No, sorry, him or her?”
Gerard laughed, “Yeah. I didn’t want to have deadlines to worry about while I was pregnant. Did you want to see the bump?”
“How could I turn down an offer such as that?” Grant answered, grinning. Gerard stood up and lifted up his top, standing to the side and banding so he could fit it inside the frame of the skin. He almost burst out laughing at how ridiculous he looked.
“You can kind of see it, I think,” Gerard commented, “I’m twelve weeks, so I’m not that big yet.”
He sunk back into the chair, laughing at Grant’s awed face.
“We you trying for one?” He asked. Gerard nodded, putting a hand under his chin.
“Uh-huh. It didn’t take that long either. We’re both really happy,” Gerard said, wrapping his arms around his stomach.
“What about the sickness? I’ve had a few friends, mercy on their souls, who endured that,” Grant chatted. Gerard rolled his eyes.
“Absolutely awful. It’s clockwork, every morning. I got a bit dehydrated yesterday and had to visit the doctor’s, but it was okay in the end,” Gerard said. He could detect the barely-there concern on Grant’s face.
“You’re okay?” He asked. Gerard nodded.
“More than. Completely. Frank just got angry that I didn’t mention it until he found a prescription he gave me, so things are a bit tense now.”
“He’ll calm down soon,” Grant told him sympathetically.
“I know. He was just overreacting but, you know, he wasn’t the one who had to deal with the vomit and the blood,” Gerard sighed. Grant winced.
“I think that could have been more information than I needed. Are you sure you’re alright?”
“What’re going to do if I’m not - fly out here?” Gerard asked sarcastically.
“I mean, I was going to fly over to LA in a few weeks so I should be able to stop by for a week or so to see you and Frank and the baby.”
“That’ll be good. You could read some of your new work to it,” Gerard hinted unsubtly.
Grant smirked, “Actually, I have a few scenes I’ve inked out that you may be interested in to scan to you, seeing as you’ve got nothing better to do with you rejecting JLA of all things.”
Gerard’s eyes widened, “I would definitely be interested!”
And just like that he forgot all about his argument with Frank that morning.
His conversation with Grant lasted around an hour and a half, and it was half three. He found himself drawn to his study before he could help himself; seeing the panels Grant had inked out for Batman Inc had made him yearn for his comics again. Okay, maybe he didn’t like the deadlines, but he loved creating the characters and the story lines and winding his thoughts like silk into the page.
He called his mom while he roughly sketched out a few panels, just to fill his weekly quota of mom-chat. She talked to him about the woman next door who was seeing not one, not two, but three men, but the man opposite her whose wife had passed recently. He ummed and ahhed in all the right places and then talked to her about comics for the next half hour, by which point he could tell she gave up.
He was still drawing at six when he heard the front door creak open. He froze momentarily before resolving to ignore Frank. He could hear Frank check in their bedroom for him, and then in the bathroom. He remained at his desk, looking at the drawing he was filling in intently. He finally heard Frank’s footsteps reach the entrance of his studio. He knew that Frank would know that Gerard could hear him from inside, and so the footsteps retreated hastily. Gerard knew he should confront Frank, but he wanted to be just as petty as Frank was that morning.
He left his studio three quarters of an hour later to get another glass of water and saw Frank staring blankly at the TV. Gerard didn’t say a word and filled up his glass in silence, rummaging through the fruit bowl for green apples. He swore under his breath when he realised that they didn’t have any left.
“What’s wrong?” Frank asked, turning his body round. Gerard shrugged.
“Nothing. Ran out of apples. I’m going to go and get some.”
Gerard picked up his coat from the back of the front door and let himself out, armed only with his wallet and his keys. He wandered down their street until he reached a supermarket, picking up a basket at the entrance. He looked through all the apples, only placing the ones he deemed good enough in the basket, before then deciding that he wanted some chocolate as well. And he needed more peppermint tea. And he wanted carbohydrates, so he fetched a bag of frozen potato wedges. And Frank complained he never did the grocery shopping well.
He dumped the plastic bag by the door when he got back, throwing his coat on a coat peg and putting his wallet on the table. Still no word from Frank. He stomped to the kitchen with his shopping bag and tipped all his items out, putting the wedges on a tray and putting them in the oven. He opened the bar of chocolate and shoved five blocks in his mouth, putting the apples in the fruit bowl and the peppermint tea in the tea box.
Frank was still watching the TV, but had his laptop balanced on his knees. Gerard ground the chocolate with his teeth and turned around, pouring himself a glass of orange juice. He’d never felt this hungry before in his life. He was about to make his way to his studio when Frank called his name.
“Gerard?” He called. Gerard stopped in his tracks.
“Are you talking to me now?” He asked sarcastically.
“Have you stopped ignoring me now?” Frank bit back.
“No,” Gerard snapped.
He ate his wedges in front of the TV, taking the remote from Frank when he wasn’t looking and hiding it under his thighs. He purposefully didn’t make dinner for Frank and had instead got his potato wedges and a bar of chocolate. He’d spent the majority of his life after high school trying to lose weight, but now he had an excuse he didn’t care anymore. He didn’t want to think about the baby weight he was going to have to lose afterwards.
“I’m sorry about this morning,” Frank said abruptly, halfway through an episode of The Office.
“You better be,” Gerard said absently, picking at the chocolate wrapper.
“It wasn’t you I was angry at. I was just angry that I was so missed I didn’t even notice that you were upset,” Frank explained, turning to face him.
“I know,” Gerard said evenly, nibbling on a square of chocolate.
“And I know I was completely out of order. And I hope you’ll forgive me,” Frank carried on, staring at Gerard.
“Good. And maybe,” Gerard said noncommittally, but he moved closer to Frank on the couch, rearranging himself so that his back was in between Frank’s leg, one of Frank’s hands on his stomach.