It wasn’t that he didn’t care, because he did. [Self-harm]
Oh, and you see that thing in the summary? That's a trigger warning. Because I don't know how easily some of you guys are triggered. And I don't want to be held responsible for anything, so, uhm... I'mma shut up now...
The first time Frank saw them, midway through their tour, he winced and turned away. It wasn’t that he didn’t care, because he did. He just didn’t know what he could say or do to help Gerard. There were scattered scabs sketched across the sleeping man’s arms, both of them, and they were blatantly self inflicted. How else would he have gotten them? They seemed fairly new, two days old at the most, and stood out against Gerard’s pale skin. Frank, afraid to let anyone else notice, pulled down the sleeves of Gerard’s hoodie and walked away, mentally cursing himself. How had he not noticed Gerard was hurting before?
The second time, Frank wanted to say something. He was about to; he really was, because he could see it was out of control. The marks, the cuts, they’d spread like wildfire and now Gerard was covered in them. The older man refused to wear anything that didn’t cover his arms and legs fully and that alone terrified Frank. Was he the only one that knew? Had anyone else figured out Gerard’s secret? Frank watched Gerard become more withdrawn every day. The taller man began to spend so much time alone that it was bordering on ridiculous, and yet everyone else seemed blissfully unaware of Gerard’s self destructive secret. On one occasion, a fully covered Gerard was talking to everyone else about nothing. Literally nothing. But that wasn’t surprising, really, since Gerard had no idea what to talk about. He’d shut himself away, so how would he know anything else? Frank wanted to ask him if he was okay, drag him away and confront him, but he could not. The rest of the band were suspicious too, now. But still, Frank said nothing.
Frank would carefully, quietly, gently remove various parts of Gerard’s clothing as he slept. Frank would grow anxious each day, constantly wondering and worrying about how bad it was. At night, Frank could see and put his mind at rest which allowed him to sleep that night. He would then replace the clothing and go to sleep himself. But the evidence that was right in front of him told him that Gerard wasn’t going to stop now. It was out of control. He was out of control.
The last time, it was late at night. They were in a hotel, for once, and Frank had forced Gerard to share a room with him. Gerard had wanted to be alone, but there was no way Frank would allow that. Frank stayed up, playing Angry Birds in the bathroom as he waited for Gerard to sleep. After an hour, Frank decided he’d leave, but was confronted with the sight of Gerard stood outside the door, blood spilling from a new wound. There was pain, fear and sadness pouring from Gerard’s eyes and Frank, with tears of his own forming, pulled Gerard into the bathroom, glancing at the cut once again. It was one. Only one. And yet it bled so much. How deep was it? Was Gerard going to be okay? Both men remained silent as Frank fumbled with various cloths and pressed them against the wound. He then grabbed his phone and, with quivering hands, dialled for an ambulance.
Now, Gerard’s recovering. Slowly, but surely, and he still slips up sometimes, but Frank, Frank’s there for him, there to guide him and help him. They’re not sure how it happened, neither would be able to tell you, but somewhere along the line, they fell in love. And now, as Gerard sits, drawing artwork for their new album, Frank is walking up to him and wrapping his arms around him.
“It’s going to be okay,” Frank says. It would seem almost random, if you didn’t know how often they told each other those words.
“I think it will be,” Gerard replies with a smile.