Merry Christmas! SORRY IT'S LATE AND IT'S A PIECE OF CRAP
The first time she meets him, all she can think is he's a fucking mess.
"So... who are we waiting for again?" Tristan asked quietly, the silence in the room almost too much to handle. She was splayed out on the ratty brown couch, watching her brother through the display glass as he sat in the recording studio, tuning his guitar. After he finished, Frank began strumming experimentally, pressing his lips into a thin line.
He was stressing the fuck out, Tristan could tell.
The guy with the afro - Ray - sighed as he flipped some switches and pressed several buttons on the soundboard. Finally he looked up and turned around, his swivel chair squeaking loudly. Tristan's face was tilted downward, obscured by her hair, but her eyes raised to meet his.
"We're waiting for our singer, Gerard, and our bassist, Mikey," Ray explained, nervously running a hand over his hair. "I got a text from our drummer and he should be here in a minute or two."
Ray nodded and checked the time on his phone. Tristan hugged her legs to her chest, smoothing out her black jeans and making sure her Converse didn't dirty up the couch too much. She sighed and picked at a loose thread on her sweatshirt.
A tall blond guy walked in at that moment, looking straight down and twirling drumsticks in his hand. Without greeting anyone, he went straight into the recording room, nearly slamming the door behind him, and sat at the drum kit. After getting situated, he promptly removed his headphones from his neck, put them over his ears, and began playing to an unknown song.
"That's Bob. He's new. I don't think he likes to talk that much."
Tristan smiled. "You think?" She looked back at the two; her brother had recognized the beat and began playing his track. It was loud and fast and aggressive, and Tristan liked it.
"What song is this?" she asked.
Ray grinned. "Skylines and Turnstiles. It was the first song that Gerard wrote and sorta became the foundation of the band, you know." His grin faded a little bit. "It means a lot to him, actually."
"Oh, what's it ab-"
The doorknob clicked open and two guys walked in, cutting her question off.
"Sorry we're late, Ray," one of them sad nervously. Upon closer inspection, Tristan realized that he was the only one who could talk. His companion was unconscious, his arm wrapped around the other's shoulders.
Ray sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "What happened? I thought Gerard said he wasn't going to be shit-faced for at least one practice this month."
He reeked of alcohol, Tristan could smell it from her position on the far side of the room. His black hair hung limply over his face in strings, concealing his eyes, but Tristan could see his sharp nose and his parted lips twisted into a grimace. His denim jacket was irretrievably filthy, his own Converse shoes well-worn, even more so than hers.
The guy holding up Gerard shifted under the arm that was slung over his shoulders, using his hands to make sure Gerard didn't fall. His thick-framed glasses were falling to the tip of his nose, and his mouse-brown hair was becoming unruly where it poked out from under his beanie.
The Joy Division shirt he was wearing had some puke on the front and Tristan cringed when she saw it.
"Kat," Gerard moaned. "Kat, you make me wanna die. I wanna die. I wanna-"
Tristan turned her head as Frank stepped out of the recording room, his furious expression complementing the defeated slump of his shoulders.
"I guess Gerard's incapacitated for today," he said bitterly. Gerard's eyes flickered to look into Frank's hard gaze.
"Fuck you, man." Frank flipped him off and grabbed his sister, pulling her out the door and into the main hallway. "Tristan, let's go."
"It was nice to meet you guys," she called out.
Frank kept muttering to himself on the way to his car. "Fuck Gerard and his shitty timing and shitty life and fucking he's gonna fucking ruin this for me..."
Tristan took off her sweatshirt and wondered why she ever brought it. It was the end of August, after all.
The second time she meets him, she learns something that they have in common and goes home thinking about him.
"It's one of the guys' birthdays," Frank explained as he brought Tristan along to a party at a house she didn't know. "Mikey Way, I don't know if you met him at the studio."
She thought for a moment. "That guy holding up Gerard? That's his brother?"
Frank's mouth quirked into a half-smile. "Yeah, Gerard couldn't even see shit, let alone walk. I was kinda harsh on him, you know, his girlfriend had broken up with him. She was pretty brutal about it. Poor guy was devastated."
"You were worse when you were with Clara," Tristan remarked.
"Yeah, well. We don't talk about that."
They pulled up at a small yellow house, worn out and slightly dirty in the fading light. There were already many people bustling in and out of the house and the yard, laughing and drinking and smoking cigarettes. Most of them appeared to be members of bands signed on Eyeball Records. The Iero siblings stepped inside.
For most of the party, Tristan found herself sitting on the end of the brown couch in the living room, silently observing. Many conversations around her revolved around music - apparently Mikey had all the connections in the Jersey music scene and independent labels. The other members of My Chemical Romance were all present, Tristan noticed, except one. Mikey's own brother.
Gerard. He was nowhere to be seen.
It was almost midnight, but she wasn't tired at all. "Hey, Frank," she told her brother when she found him, "I'm gonna step outside."
Upon opening the front door and stepping onto the porch, Tristan noticed the lack of noise on the street. No cars drove by, no people loitered on the yard. It was just the sky and the stars and the man sitting on the porch steps as he blew smoke rings into the air.
Tristan sat next to him quietly.
"You wanna smoke?" he asked. His own cigarette was resting between his left middle and ring finger as he offered one to the girl on his right.
She shook her head. "Are you Gerard?"
Gerard raised his eyebrow. "Yeah. Who are you?"
"Have we met?"
She considered it. "No."
"You seem familiar."
They sat in silence as Gerard smoked and Tristan observed. After a few moments, she noticed a blush beginning to creep on his cheeks.
"You're that girl from practice."
At her response, he buried his face in his hands and groaned. "You must think that I'm a mess."
Tristan smiled to herself. Gerard saw it and his cheeks indignantly burned brighter. The silence returned.
"How old are you?"
Gerard raised his eyebrow again at the question. "I'm twenty four. I know it's hard for you to believe considering that you think I'm a disaster." The last part was said teasingly, but Tristan saw the hurt in his expression.
She hadn't meant to embarrass him. "Gerard, I don't really think you're a mess. I was wondering-" She sighed at his raised eyebrow. "Don't get excited. I was wondering because you have one of those faces that could go either way. You could be 15. Or fucking 35 or something."
He smirked. Excited yells and chants could be heard inside the house, and Gerard rolled his eyes and took another drag from his cigarette. After a while, he checked the time on his phone and sighed.
"Do you know what the date is tomorrow?" he asked the girl next to him.
She was silent for a moment. "September 11th." The silence settled around them again. Always around, never between them, she noticed. There never seemed to be anything cutting them off from the other.
"I started the band last year," Gerard breathed out, staring at the ground. He held the smoking remains of his cigarette by his lips before dropping it next to his foot and stomping it into the porch step. "Back then, I wasn't going anywhere in life. I wasn't achieving anything of actual worth."
He turned his head to face Tristan. "Tristan, right?"
"Would you say I'm throwing my life away?"
It was a question that had plagued her in her own life for quite some time. It hurt and it was lonely to always be questioning and doubting. Sometimes she just needed someone to validate her very existence.
Gerard may have been alive for awhile longer than her but it didn't mean anything anymore.
"You've given my brother an opportunity that he will never have again, and I'm grateful to you for that. You aren't wasting your life, and you aren't useless, despite what you might think. You aren't pathetic, and you deserve what makes you happy. If you're working towards something that makes you happy... I don't think it's a waste."
Gerard laughed, but it sounded like a sob. "That's a lot of opinion for someone you've just met."
The girl shrugged, remarking, "Well, we've already met. And I just thought you should hear it. You're important, Gerard."
When he kissed her, he tasted like cigarettes and rubble and ash.
He pulled away almost immediately. "Sorry- I- I don't know what came over me-"
She laughed. He gaped at her.
"It's alright," she told him.
The third time she meets him, her heart completely goes out to him.
"You're here early."
Gerard looked up from his seat on the curb. "Why are you here?" he asked her. She narrowed her eyes and he clarified, "I mean, why are you here alone?"
Tristan sat down next to him. "I'm meeting my brother here. After your practice is over we're going home."
When practice finished, Tristan was going home with Gerard and still feeling over how the fuck it happened.
"Hey, Tristan, I gotta run over to Jamia's place to help her pack for her trip, so is it okay if Gerard takes you home?"
"What the fuck? Why Gerard? And fuck you, you just wanna sleep with your girlfriend!"
"Everyone else is busy and he volunteered! And no of course not!"
It's true, she thought grimly in the passenger seat of Gerard's car. It was old and black and dirty but the inside was tidy, albeit smelling like tobacco. He fiddled with his stereo system before popping in a mixtape. Morrissey's voice began to wash over them.
"You need anything before I take you home?" he asked her, breaking the dream state she was in. It's weird, Tristan thought, that I feel this comfortable with him. The lack of conversation felt natural, and she was warm and didn't want to leave.
"Can we go to your place?" It was an innocent question, but she knew how it would pan out.
A glance over at Gerard confirmed it. She thought his eyes would pop out of his head if they got any wider.
"Do you understand the connotative implications behind that?" he asked, incredulous.
Tristan laughed. "Relax, pervert. There's no food at my house and I'm just kind of hungry. Do you live alone?"
He shifted and sighed. "No," he told her, keeping his eyes on the road. "I stay with my mom and my brother. They're both out right now, so it'll just be you and me."
"This is a nice house."
Gerard sat across from her and glared. "Shut up, no it's not."
Tristan swallowed the bite of cereal that was in her mouth and replied, "You shut up."
The dark man's mouth quirked into a half grin. "How old are you, exactly?" Tristan's chewing slowed down as she seemed to mull over the question. He was expecting "18", or even "19" like her brother, so he was slightly surprised when he got a muffled "17".
"You seem older," he offered.
"Frank tells me I'm wise beyond my years." She smiled. "I'm pretty lame and uncool but at least I'm smart." She swallowed and beamed cheekily at him.
"Psh." Gerard grinned and looked down at the table, placing his palms flat on the surface. "You seem like the kind of girl that wouldn't have gone for a guy like me in high school. I was a fucking loser. You... You're awesome."
Tristan didn't miss a beat. "Good thing I'm not in high school anymore. I already graduated."
Gerard wasn't sure what game they had begun playing but it was quickly getting dangerous. His face was feeling warm and he shifted uncomfortably, pulling at the collar of his shirt. Is it hot in here? It feels hot.
"I'm gonna... change...." He stood up and went to his room downstairs. "It'll be a minute!" he called out.
When he had taken off his shirt and turned around to grab another off of his bed, Tristan was standing in the doorway, the silhouette of her body looking heavenly against the light. For a moment he thought she was an angel, until she stepped into his room and saw the expression on her face. Then he realized the predicament he was in, which included Tristan. Who was looking at him. While he was not wearing a shirt.
"Oh god what the- hey GET OUT!" he shouted, panicked. Quickly he turned around and slipped the thin black material over his head and down his chest, praying for her to leave. Instead, he felt a hand on his shoulder, and he couldn't bring himself to look at the girl that had so easily become all he could think about.
"Say it again!"
"My name is Gerard and I'm a fucking fat ass lowlife. I will never amount to anything and will die alone. I don't matter to anyone and never will." His voice was shaking, and it wasn't from the gun pressed to his temple.
The other boys laughed and jeered. "Faggot. You're useless. Hey," one of them called, "Maybe we should just end his miserable pathetic life here."
"I don't care," he cried, "But I have to take care of my brother. Please don't kill me!"
"What are you gonna do?" "Tell us how you're gonna protect him!" "You gonna stand in front of him like the human wall of lard you are?" "Fucking cow, man, my dad kills animals like you and gets trophies for it."
"Gerard, I think you're beautiful."
She held him as he cried.
First off: PAIGE. I AM SO SORRY THAT THIS IS LATE. OH MY GOD. FOR SOME REASON I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO SCRAP ALL THAT I HAD AND REWRITE TWO DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS. THEN I BECAME PREOCCUPIED AND DID NOT HAVE THAT MUCH TIME AND THIS IS WHY WE HAVE ENDED UP WITH THIS CRAPPY PIECE OF /WHAT THE FUCK/ERY AND I AM SO SO SORRY. LIKE LITERALLY I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON IN THIS STORY ANYMORE. PAIGE, YOU ARE A FANTASTIC WRITER AND I'VE ALWAYS ADORED YOUR ONESHOTS AND UNFORTUNATELY I NEVER GOT AROUND TO READING AWAKE AND UNAFRAID WHICH I WAS GOING TO DO BUT I DID NOT SO I PROBABLY WIN SHITTIEST PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD AND UGH. PLEASE ACCEPT MY FIRST BORN CHILD AS AN APOLOGY AND IF YOU WANT I CAN ADD MORE STUFF TO THIS ONESHOT BECAUSE IT DOESN'T FEEL FINISHED AND JUST ASK WHATEVER YOU WANT OF ME PLEASE.
On that note, I really hope your Christmas was very enjoyable! Happy holidays everyone!