Oneshot. No pairings. Get over it.
When I woke up this morning, it was raining. It’s still gray outside. Not that dark, menacing gray that usually comes with rainstorms, but a lighter silvery color. It’s almost pretty, in a way.
I had sat up, realizing I was on the floor and had fallen asleep there. The memories of the previous few hours hit me like a tidal wave, leaving me trapped and swirling in their wake. I had gone to the bar after that concert, saying I felt a little overwhelmed and needed time to myself.
They warned me not to go. They told me I couldn’t take alcohol and my meds at the same time, didn’t they? I didn’t do that, though. I know I didn’t. Just drank a little too much, that’s all. I knew he had followed me there. I expected it. And now that I think about it, I’m glad.
At the time I was anything but glad. I was still angry with him. He had apologized again and again, but I couldn’t accept it just yet. I needed a little time. By the time he tracked me down I was completely wasted, and as usual, I couldn’t tell. I yelled at him for following me, asking him why he couldn’t just leave me alone for five minutes without being an overprotective parent.
He sighed and took my arm, dragging a stumbling me out of the bar and outside, me still holding a mostly drained glass bottle. He never spoke a word as I spluttered curses at him; he only continued to walk down the sidewalk to where the car was parked. I collapsed into the passenger seat, no longer saying anything to him, just glaring drunkenly out the window.
“Frank?” he had asked softly. The tone of his voice was sad, heartbreaking even. I glanced over at him, at the time wondering why he sounded so broken. Tears sparkled in the basins beneath his eyes, glittering in the passing streetlights as he continued down the street. He had looked back to the road as if he was unable to face me.
“…Wha?” I had slurred. I’m still kicking myself for sounding so oblivious and stupid. He shook his head.
He still won’t tell me what he was going to say. Instead his hand is resting on the piece of paper, covered in spilled ink. He won’t let me help him clean it up. He thinks it makes the picture better, more realistic. It did really happen, after all. It makes sense to him, but not to me. Artists are like that, I guess.
Somewhere within that dizzying trip, we had made it “home.” (Really it’s his parents’ house; they’re away on vacation right now and gave us free run of the place until we go back on tour.) I found myself led through the door, and as soon as I was inside, I had collapsed onto the couch. I thought I heard someone crying, but for all I knew it was myself. I slept for an hour or so.
When I reopened my eyes, I found a warm blanket laying over me, and it brought tears to my eyes. At that point I wasn’t much more sober, but I could at least recognize that I had done something wrong. And he still cared about me, enough to track me down before I did something that would ruin us. My eyes had wandered around the darkened room, landing on a pile of glittering light next to me. I knew it was the same bottle I had brought back with me; no doubt I had dropped it onto the hardwood floor in my sleep, where it had shattered. I had gingerly picked up the pieces and shoved a few in my pockets. I didn’t want anyone to get hurt.
I stood – somewhat shakily – and slowly made my way down the flight of stairs leading to the basement, where his room was. The door had been slightly ajar, letting out a thin blade of light onto the short expanse of carpet between where I stood and where I knew he was. I had stepped toward it and gently pushed the door open. It had creaked on its hinges.
“That you, Frank?” Gerard had asked in a soft, almost croaking voice. I felt a flash of fear. If he lost his voice, we couldn’t tour.
“Yeah,” I whispered, stepping into the room. He was seated at his desk, surrounded with sheets of paper covered in drawings he had deemed not good enough. A few, I had noticed, were covered in spilled ink.
“Feeling any better?” he asked. I muttered some affirmative response. At that point I was amazed he was even speaking to me.
“Can you do something for me?” I said in a voice I hoped was a little clearer. He stopped drawing and turned to look at me. The scene was beginning to look a little fuzzy before my eyes, and my mind was swimming. He nodded and asked what.
“Paint me a picture.”
He smiled, looking at me as if I were a little kid.
“Only if you promise to stop drinking.”
The words came as a shock to me. I blinked a few times and slid down to the floor, abruptly hitting it and feeling a sharp pain shoot up my spine. He had spoken so easily, as if it were an everyday conversation. I suppose it could’ve been, to him.
“I promise.” I knew I sounded determined. At least, I must have, because he smiled again and turned back to his work, shoving the previous masterpiece aside and grabbing a blank piece of paper from the drawer, the kind he only used for special projects. I smirked to myself as he left the room, saying he didn’t have any actual paint nearby and would have to go find some.
He’s still working on it right now. Because it needs to be perfect. Because he needs to be perfect.
And as I sat there, I realized that he wasn’t perfect. That I wasn’t perfect. That neither of us, no, none of us would ever be. It was impossible.
I wasn’t hooked on alcohol like he had been. I didn’t have any kind of problem. Why couldn’t he see that? I felt myself getting angry. At him, at my flaws, at /everything/. The fight on stage that I knew had made our fans question us. The fact that he had followed me because he didn’t trust me.
Even the fact that he hadn’t come back yet was making me mad.
I shoved my hands into the pockets of my jacket, feeling something slit through the side of my finger. I had forgotten about the broken glass. It hurt, but as soon as my hand went numb, I had relaxed. It was nothing to get upset over. Just a little blood that could be easily cleaned up.
He finally walked back into the room, cradling a tray of watercolors and several paintbrushes in his arms. He was holding a glass of water in one hand and smiling like an idiot.
“I haven’t seen these since I was a kid,” he explained with that smile. I only stared back with a blank face and wide eyes, unsure of what to say or feel at the moment.
He set to work, hunched over the painting and working as intensely as always. I finally managed to pull myself up off the floor at some point and stumbled over to his side, but he covered the paper with his folded arms and shook his head.
“It’s not finished yet, Frank,” he said with a childish smirk. I had pouted and obediently backed away, hoping to catch a glimpse of it. But my vision was beginning to blur and a migraine had settled into my mind. I knew better than to ask for any aspirin, though. He never kept anything like that nearby. Not after what had happened.
“Can I have a hint?” I asked in the same childlike voice he had used. He shook his head. “Well, are you at least going to use red in it?”
It floored me. He knew that was my favorite color in the whole wide world.
“Because it wouldn’t make sense,” he responded, never looking away from his work. He swept the paintbrush across the page, leaving a large, dark line. I walked towards him again. I wanted to do the same.
My fingers wrapped themselves around that shard of glass, the one that had injured me just minutes earlier. My hand moved of its own accord as it swept across the front of his throat, pale as the paper he was hunched over. I saw red appear, and one corner of my mouth twitched into a smile. He must have spilled the paint.
Satisfied, I backed away. I leaned back against the wall, sliding to the floor, and settled in to wait as he hunched over the paper once again.
He’s still sitting there. He’s been sitting there for…what, three hours now? I don’t know. He’s in front of the clock and he won’t move to let me see it. He’s hunched over that same piece of paper, convinced his artwork is not perfect and never will be. I could tell him otherwise…if he would just let me see it. I can see a tiny bit of dark ink dripping off the edge of the page and onto the floor. He’s probably fallen asleep; I wouldn’t blame him after everything that’s happened. I hope he wakes up soon.