"These days, Frank had kept to himself, his words mostly monosyllabic even when he did speak."
Weeks later, Gerard found the notebook on the nightstand next to the bed. Though he knew he should respect Frank’s privacy, he couldn’t help but peek into the first page. Even though it had been long since Gerard had given him the book, only one word was written on the first line: “She.” There were a few pencil marks after the word, clearly meaning he wanted to write more, but nothing else was written. He noticed on the page, though, there were several water stains, droplets scattered all over the paper. Tear stains, no doubt. Gerard felt a little jerk in his chest, heartbroken that his friend, or maybe his crush, as the feelings came back since Frank had said, “I love you,” was slowly deteriorating into himself. Gerard flipped through the rest of the notebook, searching for any other words, and on the very last page on the back, in very small letters, wrote, “He hurt me.” He? Could Frank have missed the ‘S’? He imagined Frank hunched over the notebook, scribbling the small letters down, only him knowing what they really meant.
Gerard shut the book and placed it back on the stand, standing up to go back downstairs. He had sent Frank to go for a walk, as he hadn’t gotten out of bed for the past few days, and after an hour, Gerard thought he might be home soon. He sat himself down on the couch and grabbed his book, Life of Pi. A week or so ago, Gerard had taken Frank to see the recently released movie and fallen in love with the story, regretting that he hadn’t read the book first, so he was started reading it afterwards since it was usual that the book was better than the movie. He opened to the page were he left off and continued reading, only to drift off into a dreamy, pensive state. His eyes followed the words, but the meaning didn’t reach his brain. All he could think about for the moment were the words in Frank’s notebook. He understood what Frank was trying to write at the beginning; “she” meaning his mother, but who was “he”? He thought of the lists of men who could have possibly hurt Frank and crossing them out one by one. It couldn’t be his father; he was never around when Frank was younger. It could be a foster parent, but Gerard highly doubted that social services would put Frank in an abusive home again. He thought of every possible person that could ever hurt Frank, and finally, all he could think of that was left was the band themselves. It couldn’t be Mikey. Gerard knew his brother well and there was no way a timid person like him would ever hurt a good friend. The same went for Ray. He was one of the most compassionate people Gerard knew and he knew that Ray also couldn’t even fathom hurting anyone. The last person was Gerard himself. He scoffed to himself, thinking how ridiculous the notion was. Of course he had never hurt Frank. But still, it wouldn’t hurt to delve into any possibility. He searched through every memory he could conjure, thinking hard to remember everything that happened between Frank and any other man, then leading to the somewhat bittersweet memories of the rock-bottomness that took place during their ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge’ era. Frank raised some pretty hidden memories of those drunken nights, and as much as he hated living in the past of his faults, he couldn’t help but convince himself that there had to be something in Frank that made him want to help Gerard so much, something that was beyond friendship. The several times Frank, the small little Frank, had dragged and carried Gerard home, covered in vomit and stinking of alcohol could not have been something treated so lightly as friendship. Gerard sighed, reminiscing through the old memories, and stumbled upon a vision long since consumed by drunkenness. He had never remembered it, perhaps only insignificant flashes came to him, but now, he remembered.
One night, those many years ago, like so many other times, Frank was coaxing Gerard away from the bar, telling him as calmly as possible that they needed to get back to their small van for a show that needed to be prepared for. It was routine for Frank to do this at that point, but honestly, he was starting to get a little fed up with Gerard. So many times, the band and their crew sat him down to make him change his behavior, but every time, Gerard only stormed out to do exactly what they didn’t want: drink. Frank couldn’t make him stop, and now the only thing he could do was to keep Gerard as safe as possible. Frank went with Gerard to every bar and party, limiting his drinking and watching over his friend, or as he didn’t yet realize, his crush. One night, though, Gerard’s drunkenness was getting out of hand. Frank saw the danger of so much alcohol consumption, and looking at Gerard, who was frequently passing out, Frank knew he had to intervene. It was dark inside the bar where the party was being hosted, and Frank had a hard time keeping track of Gerard. Frank found that his companion was worse than ever, falling over every solid object and person, getting stepped on once he fell on the floor. His actions, no doubt, were heavy with drugs. Frank rushed over, clearing the way so he wouldn’t be trampled, and helped Gerard up. He was yelling things incoherent probably even to himself, and a bottle of beer was still in his hand.
“Gerard,” Frank said sternly, “Let’s go.”
“Aw, come on. Just a while longer,” Gerard slurred. Frank was at his last straw, and finally, reached out and grabbed the bottle from Gerard’s hands.
“Let’s go,” Frank growled. Gerard was astonished, and the look of bewilderment quickly turned into one of anger. He raised his fist and threw it against the side of Frank’s head. Almost immediately, Frank collapsed, the beer bottle shattering on the floor, holding the area that had just been struck. His vision was blurred, and Gerard, the furious menace who was supposed to be Frank’s friend, stood above him, breathing hard. Again, Gerard raised his arm, ready to strike, and just before he brought his fist down, he saw Frank flinch. Not as instinctual as any human would, but one that was clearly familiar with what would happen next. He lowered his fist back to his side and stood above Frank, staring down at him, his head aching from the constant nagging the alcohol left. Frank gazed up at Gerard, arms still up and bracing himself for a blow that never came. Finally, Frank watched Gerard stumble away, and around him, people helped him up. He hadn’t realized, but tears had started forming in his eyes, soon streaming down his face, and he pushed his way through the crowd, several hands tapping his shoulder to see if he was all right. The side of his head throbbed, but he kept running through the crowd until he reached the door. Immediately, he ran outside and into his car. Gerard could stay there, he thought with scorn. Frank didn’t need to be abused again. Especially from someone who was supposed to love him.
Oh my god… Gerard thought. He remembered that night in the bar and not finding Frank. It was early in the morning and most people from the party had cleared out, but Gerard was left, looking for Frank, who never came. Instead, once the sun had already risen, their tour manager had come to pick him up. In the frenzy, Gerard hadn’t even remembered the night before, and he didn’t for years until this moment. “He hurt me.” There was no doubt in Gerard’s mind that “he” was Gerard himself. He stood up from the couch, rattled from these newly revealed memories, and paced around the area, holding his head in his hands. Frank wasn’t home yet, but once he did, Gerard thought, he would apologize to no end.
Just then, the front door opened and Frank came through, slipping his shoes off. While he was on medication, Frank had gained some weight and suffered from frequent nausea and occasionally became sick, resulting in vomiting. Today seemed like a good day, but Gerard had to raise the topic of the past. He couldn’t let this go.
“Hey,” Gerard said, still standing in the middle of the living room just as Frank entered.
“How was it?”
“Good.” These days, Frank had kept to himself, his words mostly monosyllabic even when he did speak. Frank went to the kitchen for a glass of water, and Gerard stayed standing in the middle of the room, his head still swarming with regret and surprise.
“Frank…?” Gerard called.
“Hm?” Frank said.
“I’m so sorry.” Frank didn’t respond. Gerard was aware that Frank knew what he was talking about. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have included the words “He hurt me,” into his journal, containing a total of four words. “I’m so sorry,” he repeated, and walked towards the kitchen. He found Frank sitting at the granite topped island, clutching a glass of water, facing down at it. How cute, Gerard thought, then groaning at himself. This was not the time to comment on how adorable Frank looked, hunched over the table, so vulnerable. “I was drunk. You know that. I would never do that to you now.”
“I know…” Frank said..
“Why didn’t you say anything?”
“I knew you didn’t mean it.”
“But it bothered you, I know.”
“I didn’t want to cause trouble or regret.”
“Frank, I’m healthy. I can take whatever you throw at me, but you on the other hand, you really need to tell me these things.”
“You’re not.” Frank looked up from his glass and looked painfully at Gerard. “You’re not okay,” Gerard repeated, “but that’s okay because I’m here to make you okay.” Frank’s eyes started to water and he quickly looked back down at his glass, which remained full. “I’m going to help you, Frank.” Overwhelmed with the apologies and horrible memories, Gerard walked over, around the island, and next to Frank. He took Frank’s shoulders, and turned his body to his own, embracing it. Frank, without hesitation, wrapped his arms around Gerard. They stayed embraced for a long while, even while Gerard’s legs started to hurt, partially bending to get to Frank’s short level. Both of them, though neither realized, felt the same warm, fluttering feeling commonly described as love, and neither wanted to release the other, so, in attempt to make the intimate moment last longer, Frank released Gerard only slightly, and in one swift moment, put his hand on Gerard’s neck, just below his right ear, and pressed his lips against Gerard’s. That alter ego, second self, whatever it was, was controlling Frank’s actions again, but it didn’t bother him this time. Unlike any other times he subtly expressed his feelings for Gerard, he wasn’t surprised with what he just did. Frank was completely content. Gerard, at first, was utterly shocked at the move, and for a second, he hesitated to return the kiss, but soon, it came almost naturally. His mind returned to the stage where they first kissed, the topic pushed away by the excuse of adrenaline, but Gerard knew now that those kisses wasn’t entirely the hormone created in exhilarating situations known as adrenaline, but more the wanting for each other. They released their hug, and Frank faced down, staring at Gerard’s chest, breathing quietly.
“I love you,” Frank said.
“I know,” Gerard responded, grinning. Frank stifled a laugh from the Star Wars reference.
“Okay, Han Solo.” Gerard embraced the smaller man, who was practically imploding with pure joy. Frank’s alter ego, second self was finally one with him.
A/N: Hi guys! Sorry for the long wait :/ I kind of lost inpiration and wrote a oneshot instead (It's called Volkswagon Beetle) But now, obviously, I gained it back! I hope you enjoyed this!! I would really appreciate some Rates & Reviews for a little added motivation for the next chapter ;D
P.S. For those of you who haven't watched Star Wars, the lines "I love you/I know" are from a scene where Princess Leia confesses her love for Han Solo. Just thought I might add :P