It was Christmas Eve; there wasn’t room for one extra person anywhere. Relatives with suitcases and men and women rushing home from work to their anxious families crowded the train. Frerard.
I AM WINKING NOW BTW.
Frank hopped from foot to foot, rubbing his hands in the cold. He had a feeling that by the time he got back to the apartment it would be snowing. He hadn’t dressed for the weather.
The train was five minutes late; both the clock on the LCD sign and his watch confirmed the same. He forced out another breath, steam clouding from his lips.
When the train pulled in, Frank picked up the bags at his feet, clenching his tired frostbitten fingers around the dyed twine handles. It was Christmas Eve and he’d left his shopping till the last minute.
His family was coming over for dinner. The alternated around houses each year, and this year, it was his turn. He really didn’t give a fuck about Christmas; it was just another checkpoint to show you how many years you’ll never get back and how much of a waste your life is. He’d rather spend his holidays drunk and stoned on the floor of some club, but he had no choice.
He stepped onto the train and looked around for a seat. There was none.
Maybe in the next cabin there’ll be a few…
Oh, but who was he kidding? It was Christmas Eve; there wasn’t room for one extra person anywhere. Relatives with suitcases and men and women rushing home from work to their anxious families crowded the train. He took a last sweep with his eyes.
Frank instinctively took a step toward it, but stopped, noticing who was sitting in the second seat closer to the window.
The man had his feet up on the seat in front of him, his fingers curled possessively around a tattered sketchpad. His hair fell around his round face, only to be pushed back behind one ear periodically.
Frank’s gaze drifted to the earphone wires streaming up from the messenger bag on the vacant seat Frank currently had his eyes on. There were a pack of cigarettes, a water bottle, and a handful of pens held together with a rubber band poking from the open bag as well.
He looked young; his skin was flawless and smooth from Frank’s distant viewpoint, but Frank was almost sure he was older by a few years. Frank had a particular fascination with his eyes. They were dark, almost intimidating in a way. His eyebrows were angled, making him look even more provoking in an innocent sort of way. He was wearing eyeliner, thick and black and smudged over his eyelids. Frank licked his lips, shifting one leg against the bag against his thigh.
Frank cleared his throat. The guy’s jeans were dark blue, loose and ripped at the knees where he crossed his legs. Frank had a sudden desire to walk over and find out what he was so engrossed in drawing, but he suppressed the urge.
He could not sit next to that man.
The train started to move. Frank tripped an inch, and then held onto the post closest to him. He could just stand up.
He braced himself against the pole and found himself continuously glancing up at the guy. His eyes darted away as the object of his curiosity looked up, meeting his stare.
/Oh, shit/, Frank thought, trying hard to pay exclusive attention to how the little spots on his shoes matched the color of the gum on the carpet below him.
“Need a seat?”
Frank was flustered for a moment. He looked back up. The guy had closed and moved his bag to the other side of the chair rest, and was looking at Frank expectantly. Frank swallowed and nodded.
“Go ahead. I’m not that fat,” the guy continued. He grinned awkwardly.
Frank crossed the few feet toward the seat and sat down gracelessly, his leg hitting against the arm of the chair. “You’re not fat…,” he muttered.
“Ah, so you still do care? I knew you couldn’t stay mad at me,” the man said gleefully. He grinned again. This time, Frank noted, the smile reached at least halfway to his ears.
Frank grimaced, itching under the collar of his shirt. He knew the scorpion wasn’t real, but God, did that tattoo feel like it had creeped half up his neck and bit at his vocal cords at the moment.
“You spending Christmas with your folks again?”
Frank nodded. “You too?” he asked, then immediately regretted it. “Sorry.”
His companion’s face fell noticeably, but Frank could tell he was trying to continue looking cheerful. “Nah. Just… Me and a bottle of champagne in the hotel room, you know?”
Frank cringed again. “Gerard, look. That’s not what I meant...”
“No, no, it’s not you. I’m being a jerk… for even talking to you. Actually, I’ll-- I'll just go stand…”
Gerard made to get up, but Frank stopped him, placing a hand on his leg. “Wait, baby, no.”
Gerard smiled slyly. Frank stammered over his words. “I-- I meant Gerard! Gerard,” he exclaimed, waving his hands. Gerard shook his head, grinning like a maniac. He lowered Frank’s flailing fingers with his own and leaned in toward Frank on his elbows, fluttering his eyelashes obnoxiously. He was getting dangerously close for Frank’s liking.
“You said it.”
“No I didn’t.”
Frank let out a breath and flung his arms up. Gerard would go on for hours like that; he knew from personal experience.
Gerard grinned again. He did a lot of that. Frank stared at him for a moment. “You know, you could… You could maybe, stay at my place. You know, if you have nowhere else to go tonight… I guess.”
Gerard’s mouth made an ‘o’ shape for a few seconds. Then he beamed.
Frank rolled his eyes. “I’m sorry.” He looked away, at anything but Gerard, and fidgeted with the loose cap of Gerard’s water bottle between them, tightening it and then unscrewing it, and then doing it again.
Gerard gawked. “Did you just…?”
Frank bit his lip, murmuring: “Yeah, I’m sorry.”
/Oh, fuck, I just apologized/, Frank thought, pulling at his trousers. The fibers of the fabric were fraying and threatening to rip completely.
He looked back at Gerard. He was vulnerable when it came to apologies. Frank had no idea how many people had used Gerard in the past, but it was probably many more than Frank would’ve liked.
Gerard’s lips quivered, and it almost looked like he was going to cry. But Frank knew better, Gerard wouldn’t cry. Not in public anyways.
Frank put his hand against Gerard’s cheek. It was freezing compared to Frank’s fingers. Nevertheless, Gerard had probably been loitering on the train for a while before Frank had arrived. “Jeez, you’re cold…”
Gerard smiled, placing his hand over Frank’s on his own face. “It’s my apartment, you know.”
Frank scoffed. “Hey, my name was on the papers, too.”
Gerard giggled, his hands fisted over his own mouth now. He tucked a stray strand of hair behind his ear again and pursed his lips gently. Frank almost laughed. He looked so much like a little kid right now.
“I just don’t want you to spend Christmas alone,” Frank said sheepishly, glancing out the window. His-- their stop was two away.
Gerard inched forward a bit so their faces were less than three inches apart. And this time, Frank wasn’t uncomfortable in the least bit. “Thanks…,” he mumbled.
Frank let out a throaty chuckle, brushing his fingers against the inside of Gerard’s wrist. He touched Gerard’s mouth, and before he knew what he was doing, they were kissing over the seat arm.
Gerard giggled again, pushing Frank back a little. “Stop, Frankie; people are staring,” he whispered, his fingers scrunching in the material of Frank’s shirt.
(sucky title or what?)