After Quinn Left, the other began to trickle out. First, Frankie and Chelsea left for Chelsea’s apartment. Then, Riley, sensing Gerard and Mikey could use some brother time, probably with advice from Braelyn, excused herself by saying she was beat and it wasn’t even a lie.
Braelyn had been watching Gerard closely since Quinn had dropped her date-bomb. He was sitting on the floor with his back against Riley’s previously occupied chair looking morose. Other than his immediate exclamation, he hadn’t said anything.
When Riley left, Gerard looked down at the floor and ran a hand through his hair. “Well. I guess that’s that.” After a pause, he looked up, pain evident in his eyes and said, “What am I going to do?”
Braelyn and Mikey shared a look. Braelyn wanted to say that he had brought this all on himself, but he looked so sad that she could bring herself to say anything. Mikey, however, did not struggle with his words.
“I’m not sure there’s anything you can do, Gee. Do you blame her?”
Gerard sighed. “No...I was awful to her.”
“I think all you can do is be polite and try to get passed everything you two have been through,” Braelyn said. “Quinn brought up a good point before you came up tonight. She’s still our friend, and you’re obviously still our friend. You won’t be able to avoid each other forever. So I think you might want to start working towards getting over it...”
“Ya...ya. You’re right.” Gerard suddenly stood up. “I’m gonna go. I’ll see you guys tomorrow night.”
Mikey’s face was alarmed. “Are you sure you should be alone tonight?”
“I’ll be fine,” Gerard answered.
Braelyn stood up and hugged Gerard. “I know it hurts, but it’ll all turn out ok.”
Mikey hugged him too. “Be good, man. Let us know if you need anything.”
Gerard nodded and walked to the door. When the door closed with a click, Braelyn turned to Mikey. “I am so worried about him.”
“I know.” He gathered her in his arms and kissed her temple. “Me too. But what can we do?”
Down on the street, Gerard pulled up the collar of his coat against the New York winter chill. He walked without particular direction or destination. His head was crowded with thoughts of Quinn. He couldn’t figure out what had made him mess up so badly. Things had been great. Well, they had been ok. Honestly, he had been a little miffed that Mikey got the girl and not him, but, hey, that stuff happened. In fact, it had happened between the two brothers before. Not really a big deal. It wasn’t like Mikey was bad for her, in fact, after the whole ice skating debacle, he realized that Mikey probably had a better handle on things concerning Braelyn than the rest of them. Maybe even better than Braelyn had herself.
So tour had ended and everyone went home and Gerard’s life had taken on a more normal rhythm. He met Quinn when he was out with Frankie and Chelsea one night. They had been at some dive bar that Chels and her work friends would hang out at on the Lower East Side. Quinn had come in after her shift at the restaurant. Gerard and his friends had been sitting at the bar and Quinn took the empty seat next to his. Frankie and Chelsea had been wrapped up in each other because Chelsea had just gotten back from assignment in LA and they missed each other. So, out of necessity, Gerard had struck up a conversation with the pretty blonde. They hit it off and Gerard managed to get her number without making an ass out of himself. Over the next couple of weeks they hung out a few days during the week when Quinn didn’t have to be at the restaurant.
He had liked her so much that he had taken up residence at the apartment that he and Mikey had bought together right before Black Parade dropped. He had chosen to stay in the city for her birthday instead of going to Dallas to see Braelyn, and he hadn’t regretted it a bit.
But then Braelyn was in town to record. And Gerard wanted to help her. He knew that she’d have other people to go to for advice like Topher and Mikey, but she had gotten him through some real tough stuff on tour and he wanted to be there for her. At the same time, things with Quinn were getting more serious. He was a little afraid of what he felt for her. It had never happened to him before. Gerard had never been exactly great at feelings anyway, so he pulled away.
He started spending more time at Braelyn’s, even though Mikey was always there. Without even realizing it, he replaced the object of his affection. Instead of moving forward with his relationship with Quinn, he fell back into his ill-founded crush on Braelyn. And we all know how that worked out for him.
Gerard had now walked several blocks. He paused to gain his bearings. He found himself outside of a neighborhood bar. It would have been easy to go in, get sloshed, forget all his feelings, and pour himself into a cab around two AM. Instead, Gerard surprised even himself by stuffing his hands in his pockets and setting off in the direction of his apartment.
Now he thought about the present. He had been so stupid and it looked like he wouldn’t be able to fix it. She was bringing a date?! They had broken up only a week ago. Granted, Gerard hadn’t been a good boyfriend for a while, but still. The first event that they would be forced together and she was going to bring some new guy around? Gerard tried not to let his anger at the situation become anger at Quinn, because, after all, this whole thing was his fault. Besides, she deserved to be happy. And he hadn’t done a good job of making sure that was so.
Since telling Braelyn and Mikey that he loved Quinn, Gerard had been making plans to get her back. He had thought he should let her cool off for a couple of weeks. It was a good idea, he counseled himself, he’d been a complete jerk. Then he was going to start small. He’d already realized what Braelyn had pointed out before: they were still friends with the same people. None of them were going to stop hanging out with Quinn because she and Gerard broke up; she was good people and everyone loved her. And they were definitely not going to drop Gerard even though he had been incorrigible. They were family, and none of them would leave family behind. So they would inevitably be at some events. The awkwardness would fade, and Gerard would make every effort for them to be friends again. Then he’d apologized and confess his love AND THEN THEY WOULD BE TOGETHER FOREVER.
Well...maybe it wasn’t exactly well thought out, but at least he had put some thought into it.
But now, that didn’t seem very likely. There was nothing else he could do but see how this ‘date’ played out.
Somehow, Gerard had made the trek back to his apartment. He rode up the elevator and texted his brother. ‘I’m home. Not drunk. Not crazy. Don’t worry.’
A/N: Taylor and Izzy! got another chapter for you! I'm planning on starting NaNoWriMo next week, so I'm trying to get back in to writing shape by writing a chapter every night. Anywayyyy. I hope you like it! Hearts, Corri