learning expirences (and groggy words)
The couch looks bigger as well. I tried to blame the darkness for that, too, but I'm fooling myself. He was sitting too close. And in the back of my screwed-with little mind, I knew that laying all the blame on him wasn't going to make my denial situation any easier in the long run, it sure was comforting to pretend that right now--it wasn't my fault. Whatever happens is in direct correlation with Gerard's actions and Gerard's actions alone.
Disregarding, of course, the fact that I came back here without even bothering to try and sleep in the bunk; the fact that I knew he was already here in the first place; and the fact that neither questioned it or even tried to act awkward.
And when he reached over and took the cigarette from my fingers delicately, treating it more as the lifeline it was than a bad habit (though right now, the former outweighed the latter), I knew I didn't have to pretend to shiver as his fingers grazed mine.
I could see him out of corner of my eye, placing the cigarette to his lips tenderly and pulling it away to exhale, his head tilted back just slightly, and I almost convinced myself to just ignore it. Just ignore /him/. Just continue to try and make myself believe that he wasn't the tempting sight my thoughts seemed to think he was.
But he hadn't given me my fucking cigarette back yet.
He looked over at me. I wondered what colour they were, and suddenly, I was forever thankful of the semi-darkness that surrounded us.
"Are you still freaked out by that kid?"
I shifted irritably. I still hadn't changed out of my jeans yet, and I was starting to get a little uncomfortable from sitting there in the denim for so long. I didn't answer and reached out my hand for the cigarette. He pulled it away.
"You didn't answer my question."
Sometimes, I wished the fans could see him like this. The part that's not the giggly, loud, and obnoxious side that they usually see, but someone that's thoughtful, curious, and quiet. Sure, he was still an ass. Nothing could change that, and I knew he was only holding that cigarette away from me because he wanted to watch me squirm.
And just for that, I became a greedy bitch and glowered at the thought of sharing this side of him with anyone.
It was /mine/.
"No," I said, my voiced relaxed and hidden of the forceful tone I had to use to say it. I reached out again. He leant back, pulling it even further away from my grip.
"You always were a bad liar, Frank," he said, staring straight at me, asking for eye contact I wouldn't give. "You're still scared shitless."
I glared in his direction, my eyes on the little white stick that I craved more for the distraction than the nicotine. "I'm not scared, Gee, and I don't know /why/--"
"Oh, please," he interrupted with a scoff. "You haven't let me out of your sight since you came stumbling back into the bus a few hours ago. Look, you haven't even changed."
"My pajama pants are dirty," I said simply.
"You have four pairs."
I made another attempt for his hand, but he just smiled and pulled it back, twirling the cigarette between his fingers. I sighed, defeated.
"Alright. I am still a little freaked, but Gee--you should've seen this kid. He was goddamn--"
"Creepy," Gerard said, nodding, "Yeah, I remember. And he tried to bite you, right?"
I paused before answering. I couldn't decide if he was doing this just to bother me, or he really...
"You don't believe me," I said, abandoning my attempts to get the cigarette back and crossing my arms.
He shifted, letting down his guard slightly. "Of course I believe you. I've seen a lot of freaks, you should know that. I just... I don't want you to delve too deep into this, Frank. It's just a kid with a vampire fetish and lust for you. I wouldn't be surprised."
I looked up at him, and he shrugged. I shook my head and looked away.
"Gerard...you should have seen him though. It just felt so.../real/."
He placed a hand on my cheek. It was warm. That surprised me for some reason.
"Hey," he whispered gently. "I don't want you brooding on this, okay? It's just some fucking sick kid; don't let it bother you."
I sniffed. "/You're/ bothering me."
He sat back slightly, looking humorously appalled. "Me? How?"
I looked up and met his eyes, still unsure. "Because you stole my fucking cigarette."
Those words trigged something in his dysfunctional brain and he grinned wickedly, twirling the cigarette between his fingers again and staring at me.
"You know," he said, his voice curiously lower, "that these things are bad for you, right?"
I scoffed and looked away. "Yeah, well, that makes two things in my life that aren't helping my health."
He made a noise low in his throat that was something between a laugh and a purr, and suddenly, I knew what colour they were. I swallowed lightly. I was still shaken up about this scene kid trying to fucking bite me, and now I suddenly didn't want this side of him for myself. I didn't feel up to handling it. I was nervous again. Not uncomfortable, not awkward, just...nervous.
I wasn't good enough for this.
But I cut myself off as he reached forward to cup my chin in his hands. Using his fingers, he gently ran his touch over my lips, which I parted instinctively. My eyes shifted over every feature on his face that I could see in the darkness as he moved closer, and as I traced his skin with my eyes I knew that my lips were opening now from awe and shock rather than any skillful touching on his part.
His lips ghosted over mine before he opened them, and I had a faint glimpse of smoke flowing from it before he pressed his mouth against mine briefly, barely, gently--just enough for me to drink him in and savor the taste of nicotine on my tongue before he pulled away, eyes glistening with mischief and something dangerous.
"Two negatives make a positive, right?" he smirked, and leant back against the couch.
I watched regretfully as the last traces of smoke drifted above me and faded into the air, disappearing from my sight.
I sighed, "That's only if you multiply them, dumbass. You add them and it makes it twice as worse. You did pass middle school math, didn't you?"
He flicked the ash into his hand, and I bit back the urge to laugh. He leaned over and dumped it on the table before passing the cigarette back to me.
"I did well enough to fool my teachers into thinking I had potential."
I took a long drag, but found it oddly disappointing. Lacking. I turned to stare at him before passing it back, dissatisfied.
He seemed to know what was running through my head, but keeps the silence of it that I long for. I kept my eyes glued to him as he sits there calmly, darkness overlapping him and the burn from the cigarette he still holds, causing shadows to reflect off his face and into the smoke.
I knew he was dying to say something, and it bothered me. Usually, he never shuts up long enough for any of us to get a word in edgewise, and it's unnerving how explosive the silence became. Flitting around frantically for a topic before something happened that I'd never be able to undo, I asked the first thing that shuffled into my brain.
"Really, Gee, has anyone ever invented a question that you can't answer?"
He smiled when I asked, but I wasn't sure whether it's from the question or the fact that I asked it. That unknown factor frightened me the most because I just knew he can fucking see right through me. Everything. Anything I want to hide. It's all open when his gaze shifts and I'm covered in that vision of hypersensitive green.
But he never noted it, only laughed slightly before saying, "Once. When I was around seventeen, I think. Mikey brought home this partner from school--they had to work on this stupid project--and I had stayed home that day because I was sick, or...something. I don't really remember. But anyway--"
I felt myself calming down a fraction. He was talking again; all focus was on him; he couldn't scrutinize me.
"--anyway, I'm on the couch and reading and drawing and whatnot, you know, just usual, and this kid looks at me for nearly an hour before asking "What's your /deal?/" Snotty little bastard, but his question...it caught me off guard. I didn't have the smartass comeback I usually would have."
He stopped to snuff the cigarette out in the ashtray by the TV, and leant back until he was laying flat on his back. I could barely see his face now. Relief washed over me, but...
I edged closer and rested my arms and head on his knees, looking over at him, waiting.
"So what did you say?"
He shrugged. "I said...I said 'I'm Gerard.' It was the only thing I could think of after I blanked and it seemed almost...satisfying. Like I had finally summed it up." He looked up at me, and I noted how different the dark looked on him now that he had dyed his hair back black. After the interview he and Mikey did that day, I guess. I was still too freaked out by the time I got back to the bus to take it in.
I smiled. "You're Gerard."
He sighed contently and closed his eyes, whispering "That's all..." before allowing another silence to fall.
But it was short, only a few seconds of internal peace before he held out his hand, saying nothing. I stared at it, then at him, then raised my eyebrow, despite him being unable to see it. As if sensing that my hesitation was from curiosity, he simply said "I'm /tired/," like it was a suitable reason.
I was still trying to convince myself that it /wasn't/.
I scoffed, the annoying little twittering in my stomach being to rise. "Oh, what, and you need me to sleep?"
He titled his head lightly, almost like a dog would do, and smiled.
"Is it that surprising?"
And with that simple excuse, I found myself sliding my fingers into his and allowing him to pull me down against his chest, where I instantly relaxed. The alarm clock outside the door blinked 1:42 at me and Gerard's hands circled my waist before he shifted me so that he could nuzzle himself against my neck.
I should have blushed. I should have frozen. I should have been disgusted, angry, excited, embarrassed, or /any/thing, but I wasn't. I just...was.
Content and at peace.
His chest moved against mine and I felt his fingers sliding lightly through the hair on the side of my face, and I only moved closer into him. The desire to understand was gone; the frustration of these unexplainable occurrences was gone; the guilt I felt at never being able to say anything finally left my mind as I felt myself drifting into a comfortable sleep.
No words were needed. No words were ever needed.
"I always thought...unrequited."
I blinked several times to clear my mind and process what he whispered, only to answer, "What?" as a reply.
I tried to look at him, but only managed to see the top of his recently-dyed head. It still smelled like expensive shampoo. "No, tell me."
He didn't answer, and I slowly pieced together what he said. "Gee... have you been thinking...? How long.... What?"
He shifted and buried himself deeper against me, as if I wouldn't be able to feel him or see him. Fuck, I felt like I could just sense him half of the time.
"Please... don't. Just forget I said anything. I should... I should go." He started to raise himself up, but I kept a firm hold on him and didn't release my grip.
"Don't do this to me."
And with those words, our calm states were shattered.
He turned to face me, and my heart hammered against my chest instantly at the look he was giving me. It was wounded, savaged, desperate, and full of hope. He was so close to me, I could feel his breath ghost across the skin of my neck.
"Don't do what?"
I brought one hand away from his waist and placed it against his cheek, slipping it under the strands of hair that had already started to grow lengthy. "Don't make me tell you...not to leave. It'll..." I bit my lip and clenched my eyes shut before opening them again. "It'll break me."
His hand was trembling when he moved it up to the side of my chest, and his breath was shaky. I knew how he felt. My own voice was starting to tremble and my lungs felt like they were expanding rapidly, yet my entire body was shrinking. My chest was on fire, and it burned from the inside out, mirroring his own breathing pattern and shaky movements.
"Tell me to go," he whispered, almost begged. "Let me leave. Let yourself leave. You..."
"I told you I'd never leave," I whispered back hoarsely. "I told you...I told..."
I was positively shaking. Every sensory on my body was hyper aware, and I could feel his pulse, see every unsteady emotion in his eyes; hear the road beneath the tires and the distant thunder of the incoming storm... but my eyes held his firmly, swallowing in his fears along with mine and drinking the green like I was driven to it. His eyes were glossing.
"Frankie..." he whispered, leaning forward, and his tone was so abused, so fragile, so pathetic, that I knew the stinging in my eyes would come even before I felt it. Our foreheads touched and I wasn't shocked to find his body completely trembling, nearly shaking. "I don't know what to do..."
A tear flashed in the darkness and I leant in closer, whispering words of comfort and care, unaware really of what I was saying. My lips brushed his with every movement. The hand that was clenching the fabric of my shirt so tightly loosed and, slowly, trailed it's way up past my chest, past my neck, and to my face, leaving behind encouraging shivers from me.
When his hand finally reached its destination, his eyes flashed and I stopped talking instantly.
"I know." I swallowed. "Gerard--"
He smiled through the shimmering streaks on his face and closed the gap between our lips slowly, filling my mouth with the taste of nicotine and tears, and I cupped the back of his neck gently, but firmly. He broke the kiss but didn't pull away, deciding simply to watch me as he ran a hand down the side of my face and push my hair back, leaving lingering kisses on my bottom lip.
Finally, he turned away and buried his face in my neck again and let out something that may have been a sob or a laugh. Maybe both.
But when he intertwined his fingers with mine, it didn't matter.
When I woke, the first thing I noticed was the clock flashing 3:32.
Then, of course, came the afro.
"Ray?" I asked groggily. "Whasamatter?"
Gerard was already sitting up and staring out the window, where rain was pounding relentlessly against it.
"This storm is bad," Ray said quietly, and I figured everyone else was still asleep. "I figured it would be best if you two stayed away from the windows for the rest of the night, just in case, you know. I mean, we are one giant moving target."
I mumbled incoherently into the fabric and turned away from him. I hadn't even been asleep for /two fucking hours/. I didn't care if it meant getting shattered with glass, but I wasn't moving without a fight.
"Frank, come on. It's cold back here anyway."
Gerard slid an arm across my back and helped me up. Ray retreated out of the room to allow Gerard and me by, which was proving difficult as I wasn't feeling up to independent movement.
"Jesus Frankie, don't make this easy for me," Gerard sighed, shifting to get a better grip on me and I smiled, still half asleep.
"Oh, c'mon. You're always goin' on about how small I am...you're justa whiney little bitch..."
We reached my bunk (which was, thankfully, only in the outside hall), and he sat me down in it, muttering, "Yeah, and you're just dead weight, buddy."
I babbled something and started tip sideways, sleep overtaking me once again, and the familiar sheets of my bed all too comforting. Gerard reached out and held me steady before my skull cracked against the side of my bunk, cursing me under his breath. Ray only laughed before climbing back into his own bed, sleep clearly the first thing on his mind.
Gerard finally helped me into bed and under the covers, where I fell with a relaxed sigh against my pillow. He knelt down beside me, raising an eyebrow.
"There, are you good now? I had to do damn everything for you."
I smiled through half lidded eyes. "Yup. Thanks."
He stared at me for a moment before standing up. "Alright." He raised his eyes above my bunk, where his own awaited him, full of mussed up blankets and hidden pencils that he would most certainly stab himself with while he was asleep. He sighed.
"Good night then."
Before he could move, however, I reached up and grabbed a fistful of his shirt, grinning sleepily at him.
"And just where the fuck d'you think you're going?"