FRERARD. ONE-SHOT. "Because he knows it's Gerard, now."
This is what I brought you this you can keep,
This is what I brought you may forget me.
I promise to depart just promise one thing,
Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep.
This is what I brought you this you can keep,
This is what I brought you may forget me.
I promise you my heart just promise to sing,
Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep.
This is what I thought,
I thought you need me,
This is what I thought so think me naive,
I promise you a heart you'd promise to keep,
Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep.
Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep.
Prelude 12/21 - AFI
He sighs in relief as he finally spots a pharmacy. He quickly runs across the street and comes to a halt in front of the glass windows of the shop. His eyes scan the various different medicine commercials and his lips fold into a bitter lopsided grin.
So many people walk through that door to his left to find a cure for their illnesses. To get proper medication. To get better. If only the pharmacist knew the man standing in front of the shop has no intentions of getting better…
He has a prescription. It doesn’t really matter how he came to possess it. He could have held a petrified doctor at gunpoint to prescribe the pills, for instance. Yeah, that’s a fancy thought. But if he could have purchased a gun, if he wasn’t such a pussy, he would be able to finish the job using it. But no, he’s scared. Petrified like the above mentioned hypothetical doctor. He wants it to be over but he doesn’t want to feel any pain. Because he’s certainly sure that any other way to do this would be painful. Yeah, he has considered nearly all the possibilities. Jumping off a tall building: Broken bones. Jumping in front of a car: Broken bones, again. Slitting his wrists: Pain. Though he’s heard it gives one a strange sort of pleasure to sit and feel the blood seeping slowly from the wounds on his arms. But still, he isn’t sure he’d like to do it that way… Hanging from the neck: Suffocation – gotta be one of the most horrifying scenarios. So, here he is, standing in front of a pharmacy, about to get some nice little pills to lay himself to sleep forever.
He doesn’t think he’ll go anywhere. No. He doesn’t believe in heaven or hell. Or any type of afterlife, for that matter. So he has no intentions of finally reaching peace. No. He just wants it to be over. He just wants him to be over. He doesn’t want to be, anymore. And yeah, maybe that’s stupid emo shit. Maybe he is so very stupid to think these thoughts. Maybe he doesn’t have the right to end his life while somewhere, someplace, people are struggling to find something, anything to eat in order to survive – to live. But still, he thinks, they wouldn’t struggle that hard if they didn’t have anything to live for. Clearly, those people have something to live for, right? But not everyone is as lucky as them. At least he isn’t.
He doesn’t have anything to look forward to. No family to visit during holidays. No friends to share ideas or emotions with. No significant other to come home to. No fixed place to call home, either. No anything constant. His life is full of so many bright colors, too fast happening incidents and too much mobile-ness that he feels like everything around him is changing. Everyone is changing. And yet, he can never find a way, any way, to fit in.
So, he figures, finishing himself off is the best choice left for him. And he’ll be doing good, too, you know? His presence is beneficial for nothing, no one. But it’s bad for the whole universe. He adds to the global warming with his body heat, for instance. He eats, draining the limited food supplies of the Earth. He rides in cars and buses. He breathes: waste of oxygen. So, in a way, his death will cleanse the universe from his harmful existence.
The only thing he regrets about his choice is that he’ll never see Green Day live, again. Or he’ll never listen to a favorite record from the first song to the last. If he believed there was somewhere he was going to be, as in afterlife, he’d have really regretted his choice. But then, he doesn’t think when he fades into nothingness, there’ll be enough left from him to care about music. So, he tries not to care right now, either. But maybe, just maybe, he’ll put his favorite CD in the player and wait for his eyelids to get heavier as he listens – for one last time. Tonight. When he returns to his shitty motel room.
His eyes meet with his reflection looking back at him from the glass windows and he wishes he could do that fantastic movie shit with his reflection. You know, like the thing Gollum does in LOTR, talking to his reflection and his reflection talking back. Of course Gollum is schizophrenic and all that but still… Or maybe like a cheap sit-com character checking himself out in the mirror and the man in the mirror talking to him. He really wishes something like that could happen. Come on, universe, let this one wish come true! It’s the last wish of a guy about to die.
But no. Of course nothing happens. And he stares and stares at the glass windows, trying to will them to let his reflection talk with his psychic powers or something. No. It’s only a Frank Iero staring back at another Frank Iero. And that is nothing special. Why would it be, anyway? It’s the same shit whenever he looks into a mirror, after all.
Finally, he decides to go into the pharmacy.
He takes a deep breath, squares his shoulders unconsciously and pushes the door back.
He fumbles a bit at the door, though, there’s something wrong with it, apparently. But in the end, his death-wish is stronger then the lock.
He walks in, heads towards the counter as the pharmacist apologizes for the inconvenience caused by the lock. According to what he yammers on and on about, the lock needs to be oiled. Or something.
Frank calmly places his prescription on top of the counter as he acknowledges the apology with a curt nod.
The pharmacist is not suspicious at all. He never thinks twice about giving the rectangular box to Frank, in which they both know the bottle of sleeping pills resides.
He takes the box and pays for it. Then walks out of the pharmacy calmly. It’s only a matter of getting back to the motel, now.
Frank looks up to the sky as he turns a corner, walking determinedly towards his ending. He wants to damn the skies. There isn’t a single cloud up in the air. Why not? Because they’re all just messing with him. When what he really needs is a dark gloomy atmosphere like Gotham City or the nameless city from The Crow or the always-rainy city in the movie Se7en, fucking birds have to chirp and the sky has to be bright even if the sun is down. That’s how it has been his whole life. Things never go the way he wants them to go. He can’t even revel in the misery of his own impending self-disaster.
He shakes his head slowly, mentally flipping off all the forces of the universe. They won’t be able to mess with him, anymore, after all. He’s gonna beat them all to death.
He reaches the narrow alley where he knows the entrance of the motel is and his steps quicken. Just as he’s about to enter the dirty-looking building, someone grabs him by the elbow and moves in close to whisper in his ear.
“How do ya like some fun tonight, eh, young man?”
The man’s breath is stinky and he has a bubbly accent. Frank doesn’t understand what he’s implying.
“What?” he asks, dumbfounded. But he still yanks his arm free from the stranger’s grip.
“I’m sayin’, d’ya need a nice lady ta warm up your lonely mo-tel bed?” he answers. He drawls out the “o” in "motel" lazily.
Frank blinks. The man is a pimp. He almost doesn’t believe it. All these years, in all the places he’s been, no one ever asked him this boldly if he wanted to have sex with a prostitute or not. The automatic Pavlov’s-dog-reaction is to shake his head and go up to his room. But he stops the motion before it starts and thinks.
He is going to die anyway. What does it matter if he sleeps with a stranger? What harm could come from having his last first-time experience? Having sex with a hooker: Might be interesting. And maybe it’d even be nice to have some company for one last time. Even if he has to pay for it. It’s not like he’s going to need any money after tonight.
He gives the man a little squint and nods in agreement. The most disgusting smile he has seen in his whole 27-years places itself on the man’s lips.
“’m gonna needja room number so I’ll send tha girl – ”
Frank cuts him off hastily.
“Hey! I don’t want a girl –”
The man eyes him, still smirking disgustingly.
“Ahhh, ya into older women, eh? Got some of those –“
“No.” Frank pauses, thinking for a moment there that maybe he should just go kill himself. But no. All his life, he has been a coward. And he won’t be one, anymore. Because he has nothing to fear, now. He’s going to die, anyway.
“No,” he begins again. “I want a guy. Do you have any of those?”
It seems impossible but the man’s dirty grin stretches to frame his whole face. It is truly revolting. His teeth are brownish-yellow and stained.
“Why wouldn’ I, now?” he drawls out.
Frank feels himself nodding.
“Good. Send him to room 23. He’d better be beautiful,” he says before turning on his heel and entering the motel. He’s sure he’s going to have company, now.
Frank is sitting on the bed, examining the bottle of pills in his hand calmly when a knock sounds on the door. He stands up and puts the bottle on the cheap bedside stand before walking over and opening the door.
There’s a man standing in front of him, hunched. His face is completely hidden under the cap of his black hoodie, but Frank can see dark hair spilling out from the edges of the cloth.
“Did you ask for company?” the hooded figure asks matter-of-factly.
Then the man pushes his hood back and Frank can’t help but stare at what has been revealed. He has said he wanted someone beautiful but this was… Wow.
His skin is pale. Really pale, maybe even unhealthily pale. It’s like he hasn’t seen the face of the sun for a very long time. Well, he probably sleeps in the mornings, now that Frank thinks of it. And his dark hair looks so soft, framing that beautiful round face. His brows are dark, too, and shapely. Frank doesn’t know if he’s just lucky and was born with shapely brows like that or his brows are specially shaped to look pretty – like his own brows. And he still stares. The hooker has huge doe eyes, he’s not sure about the color. Hazel and almost liquid, like caramel, but greenish still. Something in the middle. And they have also been carefully rimmed with black eyeliner to add to the striking effect. He doesn’t want to stare into the eyes for long, he’s afraid of what he might see there. So he sacrifices appreciating the beauty of those glowy caramel rolls and moves on to the nose. The nose! So little. And the cute flipped up tip of it only adds to the gracefulness of his visage. His lips look a little redder than the normal color one would expect, he’s probably wearing some lipstick, too. They’re not full and absolutely kissable like a porn-star’s. But Frank thinks he would have a pleasant smile with those lips. If he ever smiles, that is.
Frank wants to shake his head. He looks innocent. Now that he has thought of it, the hooker almost looks boyish. And suddenly he imagines the man as a young boy. The resemblance is just… No.
He never notices he is also being stared at, too. But the prostitute only has eyes for Frank.
He takes in his customer’s fair skin and dark fringe, then cocks his head to the side, silently. He wasn’t expecting an actually good-looking customer. The ones who want beautiful men are usually ugly, themselves, after all. But this one is okay. No. He’s better than okay. He actually is beautiful himself with those compact-disk-size green eyes of his. And his thin brows are perfectly arched – the hooker knows they have been purposefully shaped. He has a friendly look to his face. Though he is not clean shaven. He has a thin beard – probably hasn’t shaved for a few days. His little nose is pierced along with that full bottom lip of his. The hooker can’t help but notice that the man in front of him also has various tattoos adorning his tiny body. Yes. He is short, a bit. But that Scorpion on his neck looks really nice. Maybe tonight won’t be so revolting, after all. This childish looking punk kid is better than anyone else. And he sorta looks like… No.
He has to clear his head so he chooses to talk.
“Are we gonna do this in the doorway or what?” he asks in a mocking, tired tone.
“Uhh, no. No. Come on in.” he says at last, opening the door wider and stepping to the side so the other man can enter the room.
He walks in and Frank watches the movement of his thighs in the poured on black jeans he’s wearing. He can’t help it. He’s gonna die, anyway. Frank silently closes the door and the prostitute sits on the bed. He places his hands on the mattress and leans back on them, staring at Frank from head to toe.
“So” he says lazily “What do you wanna do?”
Even for a man whose time on Earth is limited, Frank thinks things are going too fast.
“Ummm… I guess I wanna know your name,” he says softly.
The other man blinks and then sends him a look that is screaming “are you crazy?”
“My name?” he asks, incredulously. “What the hell do you need my name for?”
Frank just shrugs.
“Maybe, I just wanna scream out the right name…”
The other man sighs, shaking his head.
“I knew something had to be wrong with this one,” he mutters angrily under his breath.
“What?” Frank asks, not being able to catch what he said.
“Nothing,” he snaps. “I’m James.”
Frank’s heart sinks. It isn’t him. Yet, Frank doesn’t know whether to be happy or not. Heprobably is the only person he wants to spend his last minutes with and yet, this man is not him. But selfishness aside, Frank’s glad this is not him. He probably has a better life, right?
“Anthony,” he responds, a tiny smile escaping his lips, “Nice to meet you, James.” He extends his hand forward; he doesn’t really know why. He hasn’t been in such a situation before. How do you treat a prostitute? Apparently, his good-manner-reflexes kick in when he doesn’t know what to do.
James stares at him as if a bus hit him and his mind still couldn’t process it. His reddish lips are open, his jaw hanging down freely. He looks like he’s in a weird sort of trance or something. Finally, he blinks those giant caramel rolls a few times. Slowly, at first, then hastily.
Frank doesn’t understand what’s wrong. Why isn’t he saying something?
“Hey, you okay?” he asks, with an edge of worry in his voice.
The hooker nods and finally takes his hand, shaking it a bit awkwardly. It’s like he hasn’t shaken hands with someone for a very long time.
“’m fine,” he mumbles “Just… No one really says it’s nice to meet me… They… they do-don’t really care about that. That kinda thing. So.” He looks down.
Frank had no idea prostitutes could be shy. Now he feels kinda shy, too. He scratches the back of his head as he talks.
“Well, it doesn’t hurt to learn your name or shake your hand…”
“Yeah…” James mutters silently, again. “I guess it’s okay unless you’re some psycho killer who has to know his victims’ names before killing them slowly and painfully.” His eyes are shining with something as he tilts his head back to look at Frank again. There’s a shadow of a smile on his face. Is that humor in his eyes?
Frank chuckles. Someone’s gonna die in this room. But it’s not gonna be James.
“Don’t worry,” he reassures the other man “I’m not a psycho killer.”
“Good.” James nods slowly.
No one talks for a long while until the hooker shifts uncomfortably on the bed.
“You know I’m still gonna have to take your money for the time we spend talking and staying silent, right?” James asks.
Frank shrugs. He’s not gonna need any money after tonight, so… He wonders if he gave all his money to James, would it be enough to make him go home to his own bed instead of lying on a dirty motel bed with someone on top of him.
“It’s okay,” he says “I’ll give you the money. It’s not like I’m gonna need it, anymore.”
James doesn’t understand the statement but he doesn’t ask what it means, either. He’s feeling a bit weird with Anthony. He just looks so much like… But it can’t be him. It’s probably only his traitorous imagination making this strange punk kid look like him. Because he’s felt a twinge of attraction towards this man and he hasn’t felt that for anyone else for years. Oh, it has been so long… But his name’s not Frank, after all. It’s Anthony, he only just told him that. He suddenly wants to get this over with. He doesn’t want to drown in nostalgia, right now. All he wants is to get down to business with Anthony and it to be over soon so that hopefully he can go to that rotting place he calls home and crawl under the covers to think about Frank.
His eyes fixate on Anthony’s face and he gives him a suggestive look, letting him see the impatience in his eyes.
“So… are we gonna fuck or not?” he asks boldly after a round of staring between the two.
The other man’s eyes nearly pop out of his head. He’s shocked. He blinks and blinks and then gulps quite audibly.
“Uhhh… Yeah. Yeah,” he pants nervously. And yet, he still is turned on by the bold statement.
“Then you shouldn’t stay a fucking mile away from me!” cries the hooker, amused. “C’mere…”
Frank hesitates. He’s not sure he wants to do this. He’s not sure he wants to be one of those countless worthless men that have used James as a sex toy in the past. But then, the look the prostitute is giving him is incredibly effective. Of course, being able to give those kinda looks are sorta his specialty, his profession, but Frank likes to think that maybe he doesn’t look at every customer like that. Maybe he likes Frank the best.
So he sets aside his suicidal thoughts for one moment and concentrates on his slowly growing hard on. He moves towards the bed and finally ends up knelt before the other man’s sitting figure. He hesitantly places both hands on James’s knees and leans in to give him a quick kiss. Because kissing is good foreplay. It’s the only way Frank knows how to start heating things up. But the hooker leans his head out of reach, chuckling humorlessly.
“I don’t kiss,” he states solely.
Frank blinks. He doesn’t know what to do – once again.
“I don’t kiss…” James repeats “… customers.”
But Frank is very slow tonight. Maybe his brain is readying itself for future lack of use.
“Why not?” he asks, dumbfounded.
The prostitute’s eyes become huge as he stares at Frank as if he’s insane. But Frank is still able to see something else in them: Sorrow. He doesn’t have any other word to describe the depth of the feeling he sees in the other man’s eyes. James’s eyes have trembling little circles of light around his pupils – probably because his eyes are watering a bit. He looks like an emotionally challenged anime character right then. Of course Frank doesn’t say that out loud. But he remembers… he remembers that Gerard’s eyes used to do that when he experienced strong emotions. They used to sparkle like the surface of a lake on a bright spring day when he was happy. They used to shine like heavy rain drops landing on a miserable soul when he was upset. When he was excited, those little circles of bright light used to jump around in the cage of his irises like over-excited puppies out in the field.
The hooker remembers as he stares at the man before him intently. He remembers his last kiss. It has been so long that he might have forgotten how to kiss. Or he might have never learned how to kiss someone properly. He was so young back then… And Frank was even younger. James might be a prostitute but he has rules. Or one rule: He doesn’t kiss. Because it has been 17 years and he still savors that last kiss. He still tastes Frank’s lips on his. He still pretends to remember the warmth of the little boy’s lips. Because that one last kiss is one of the very few nice memories he cherishes and holds close to his chest. He holds on tight to those memories to be able to go on. With doing what he is doing. There’s no way he can stand it otherwise.
But he lies.
“Well… Because if I did kiss every customer, I’d have to brush my teeth a gazillion times every day. I don’t think that much fluoride would be good for my teeth, ya know?”
Frank nods and remembers to give a dry chuckle at the joke. Just after the last note of his chuckle sounds in the air, as awkwardness threatens to settle in on the conversation once again, James grabs him by the t-shirt. He opens his legs wide and wraps them around Frank’s waist, plastering his body against his own, then leans back down on the mattress, pulling Frank on top of him.
Frank is panicking. He hasn’t got the slightest idea of what to do. He feels like a fucking virgin. The fact that he isn’t allowed to kiss makes it all the more worse. But as he presses down the other man’s body into the mattress, he can’t conceal his excitement anymore. His hips jerk against James’s unintentionally and the hooker buries his hands in Frank’s hair, lifting his head up to lick a clean wet line from Frank’s collarbone to where his ear meets his neck. The Scorpion. Frank shivers for him.
The prostitute’s hands start to travel south, tentatively. They leave Anthony’s soft hair reluctantly and move down his t-shirt clad back smoothly. He massages his spine in the most expert way, trying to will the tension away from the other man’s body. The fact that he’s shy about this makes it all the more interesting for the hooker. His customers are usually very horny and eager to fuck him senseless into the mattress. He likes the change for once. “C’mon” he whispers impatiently. Then finally, he feels Anthony’s hands on his body, unzipping his hoodie and getting rid of it quickly, then moving towards his stomach, slipping under his t-shirt and grabbing his waist, kneading the soft flesh. It seems like his shyness is flying away, because Anthony’s lips are also fastened to his neck now, licking and sucking, nibbling with barely a hint of teeth. The hooker throws his head back to grant him better access and he lifts the other man’s shirt up , running his hands along his spine, pressing his body down on his own more forcefully.
Frank groans as he is practically plastered down on James’s body. He can feel their erections pressing against each other through the fabric of their jeans and he hasn’t felt anything so good ever. He pries his torso away for a fraction of a moment to be able to throw his t-shirt over his head and then his hands fumble at the hem of James’s t-shirt. The other man lifts his upper body off of the bed and allows Frank to shed him of his clothing. Frank throws the shirt away like he did with his own. He revels in the scenery before him as he straddles his waist. James’s chest is pale and soft-looking like the rest of his body and the erratic rise and fall of it causes Frank to enter a state of hypnosis. He can’t help but watch the sharp quick movements. His eyes lazily travel to James’s face as he plants his hands on his chest. He watches his face as he teases his nipples. James’s eyes close and his mouth opens in a tiny “o”, letting out a silent breath of air.
Another face, a younger but similar face, appears in Frank’s vision.
He and Gerard have been lying on the soft green grass of their back lawn, watching the clouds move with the wind, listening to the birds sing. Gerard’s presence is warm and soft next to him. Frank lifts himself off of the ground after a while and leans on his elbow, watching the beautiful boy instead. Gerard’s long dark hair is spilt around his head like a dark halo, contrasting with the light green of the grass perfectly as if purposefully arranged. His eyes are closed, his face peaceful. A hint of a smile dancing around the edges of his lips. He looks like he can lie there like that forever and maybe he should… After feeling the set of eyes fixated on his skin, Gerard cracks one eye open and grins at the younger boy.
“Whatcha lookin’ at?” he asks drowsily.
Frank smiles shyly. And then it happens in an instant. His eyes travel lower and rest on Gerard’s pinkish lips. Frank can practically hear them whispering to him, calling him over, beckoning him to come closer. And he does. He leans his head towards the other boy and closes his eyes, pressing his lips against Gerard’s softly, tentatively. The feeling is one he hasn’t experienced ever before. An excited tingling on his lips. And now he knows how come lips are the most sensitive part of a human body. He places his hand on Gerard’s chest for support and the pressure on their lips increase. The feeling is euphoric. He feels the softest eyelashes flutter against his cheeks and knows that Gerard has closed his eyes.
He doesn’t know what to do after. So he has to pull back. Then he can see Gerard’s face. He’s more beautiful than ever, if possible. His eyes are closed. His mouth opens to let out a whisper of a breath, staying open in a perfect “o” shape for sometime after. He is glowing.
“Gerard…” Frank whispers.
The prostitute’s eyes snap open and his face crumbles. Anthony is so very close to him. He lifts a hand up to cup his cheek and he remembers the look on that face.
Gerard opens his eyes and his eyes meet with Frank’s green ones. He notices the change in the color of them – they are reflecting the green of the grass right now. He studies the look in them. Frank is staring at him in wonder. Like he doesn’t know where he is, what he has done. Like he has just woken up from sleep and he has seen the most beautiful dream ever. His eyes open oh-so-wide, his brows lifted up so high they are about to disappear in his soft hair. Gerard lifts his hand up to cup the younger boy’s face, stroking his cheek with his thumb.
“Frankie…” he mutters before leaning up and catching Frank’s lips with his.
The hooker’s other hand comes up and he holds Frank’s face carefully. Because he’s Frank, now. He knows it’s Frank. His little Frankie. It has been so long… He lifts up from the mattress and captures Frank’s lips for the first time in 17 years. He kisses his lips like he breathes in the air around him. And Frank holds onto him. He settles himself on the other man’s lap securely and wraps his arms around his neck and shoulders possessively. They haven’t kissed like this for so long. But they both remember the last time like it was yesterday.
“I don’t want you to go,” Frank whispers against Gerard’s lips, trying to hold the threatening hiccups back.
“I don’t wanna go either, Frankie” Gerard mutters, pressing his forehead against the other boy's. “But I have to…”
Frank trembles and leans closer to wrap his arms around his friend. “I hate that man…” he mutters grudgingly, it’s a tone Gerard never usually hears from him. “Why does he have to work some place else? What’s wrong with Jersey?” he asks, whining.
Gerard squeezes his hand placed on Frank’s back in a tight fist. “That son of a bitch…” he mutters. “I hate his guts to hell. I don’t know how mom ever married him,” he says, “If only I was old enough…”
Frank sniffs and buries his face in Gerard's soft pale neck, takes cover under all that dark hair. “Then you’d stay here?” he asks in a small voice.
“Yeah,” Gerard says, nodding, “I’d take Mikey and stay here… with you.”
The little boy’s arms tighten even more around his one and only best friend – who is actually more than a best friend, but he is too young to recognize those complicated feelings.
“But you’ll write to me, right?” he asks hopefully.
“Of course I’ll write to you. Every single time I have the chance to,” Gerard says hastily, reassuring his little angel that he’ll never forget him. He knows that everyone has their first loves and usually doesn’t end up together with them in the future. But Frank doesn’t know it and Gerard doesn’t have the heart to burst his bubble. He can’t tell him that the chance of them being together in the future is even slimmer than a normal couple because they are both boys. Frank doesn’t know that or can’t really understand that. Gerard thinks maybe he doesn’t need to know, either. Dreams are always better than real life. His father is alive in his dreams, after all. And that asshole has never come into their lives.
Gerard shakes his head forcefully and wraps his arms tighter around the tiny boy clinging to him. He doesn’t want to let go now that he knows they’re running out of time.
“I’ll write to you, too,” Frank whispers against his neck.
The older boy strokes his hair and places tiny kisses on his scalp. Then he lifts Frank’s face to kiss his forehead. Their eyes meet and Gerard’s eyes water once again after seeing the damp sadness in Frank’s greenish-hazel orbs.
“I have to go, Frankie,” he tells him, “But I won’t forget you, you know that, right?”
The other boy nods, huge eyes fixated on Gerard’s.
“And some day… maybe, some day. I’ll find you, Frankie.”
He blinks back at him innocently before responding.
“Maybe I’ll find you first, Gee,” he says. There’s something weird and grown-up in his voice, in his posture and in his eyes. He leans in and kisses Gerard like he has never kissed him before. He has never known how to kiss like this. But as his body presses itself desperately against the other boy and his arms wrap around his neck, Frank knows that he has always wanted to kiss him like this. Because Gerard holds on tight, keeps him oh-so-close that Frank feels possessed. And he likes it. He likes Gerard’s lips on his, his desperate breaths on his skin. The older boy’s tongue pokes out tentatively, licks at the fleshy lips under his but there’s no time to go further. And Frank doesn’t even know that maybe he’s supposed to open his mouth for Gerard.
Gerard pulls back reluctantly and presses their foreheads together.
“Gotta go. Mikey’s covering up for me. You already said him goodbye, right?”
Frank nods solely.
He moves to jump off of the branch of the tree they’re perched on but Frank grabs his hand and squeezes.
Gerard turns his head sharply and looks at him for one last time.
“I’ll always love you,” he says before jumping down and running off into the distance, tears flooding his face.
Frank finds the voice to shout after him.
And then his throat clenches around his vocal chords and he can’t talk anymore.
Gerard comes up for air but he still crashes Frank to his chest tightly, panting.
“Gee…” he croaks. Because he knows it’s Gerard, now.
Gerard starts to stroke his hair absently as he waits for his breathing to even and Frank nestles closer as if he wants to disappear in Gerard’s body. Neither of them knows for how long they stay in that position, but it’s Frank who finally pulls back.
His hands rise to cup the other man’s face delicately and he looks at him in absolute wonder.
“H-how?” is about all he can come up with right now.
Gerard blinks enormous exhausted eyes back at him. There’s a world of misery in the honey depths of them.
“How what?” he asks blankly.
The younger man can only shake his head.
“How did you? What… James?”
Gerard shoots him a sheepish look.
“Well, I can’t use my real name…”
“James… it’s… Mikey’s middle name,” Frank says.
Gerard’s whole face falls and his eye brows start to tremble.
“Mikey…” he mutters almost inaudibly.
Frank is almost afraid to ask but he knows he has to. Now that he’s found him, he has to know everything about him.
Gerard starts to shake his head.
“I don’t… Y-you’d… You wouldn’t wanna kn-know.”
Frank lets out a dry chuckle.
“You know what? I do want to know. Yeah… That’s the funny thing. Because I thought I didn’t want to know anything, anymore. I thought I didn’t want to do anything….”
Gerard doesn’t understand but he asks, this time.
But Frank isn’t looking at him. Gerard follows his gaze and he is met with the night stand. There’s a little bottle of pills resting on it. Gerard stares and stares and finally the coin drops. He doesn’t want to believe it, still.
“Are those –”
“Yes,” Frank admits “Sleeping pills. With the whole bottle you can sleep forever.”
Gerard grabs his arm roughly and asks, his tone desperate and full of sorrow.
Frank finally meets his eyes and shrugs.
“I don’t have anything to live for,” he states, void of any type of feeling, and tears start to leak from the other man’s eyes. Gerard can’t breathe, now. His throat is so tight it hurts.
“Don’t say that” he chokes, blinking furiously to drive the tears away from his eyes.
“I lost everything, Gerard. I lost everyone I cared about. Now that I think, it all started with you. I lost you, first. Then I lost my parents… But you don’t know that. They got divorced after you left, and dad moved away. And mom had to go through a lot of trouble because of me… I could have been a better son… Now, I don’t talk to her, anymore. Then I had dreams… They evaporated into thin air one by one. I dreamt of being on stage, playing for thousands of people. I even had a band… But we couldn’t make it. I dreamt of finding you, too, you know? But I couldn’t. I dreamt of so much that didn’t happen that I lost my faith in dreams coming true. So that I couldn’t dream, anymore. And once you can’t dream about the future and you don’t have anything worthwhile in the present and you’re so tired that you can’t even hold onto old memories anymore… You don’t… You just lack the energy to… go on,” Frank says, his voice low and monotone, as if he was in a trance.
Anger flows over Gerard’s smooth, miserable features and he cries out.
“Shut the fuck up!”
Frank winces, as if the impact of the sudden scream has hit him physically.
“You lost everything? Just because you’re lonely doesn’t mean that you don’t need to be alive anymore. Look at me!” he screams again, punching his own chest for emphasis. “What do you think I see every time I look into the mirror, huh? Do you think I like what I see? I’m ashamed of myself, I loathe my own face. It’s not easy and sometimes I don’t even know why I keep going but I do. I don’t know why but I do. And it’s stupid. Because I let all sorts of disgusting men touch me in the most intimate way possible every night. I let them fuck me senseless; I let them hurt me for fun. Why?” he cries out the last word sharply and Frank visibly jumps, this time. Gerard shakes his head, tears burning his eyes, the salt drying his skin and still he continues. “I don’t know,” he whispers, “But I don’t let them kiss me. Ever. I’ve never let anyone kiss me. They beat me up for it, they force themselves on me and try to kiss me then but every fucking time I fight back. I fucking fight back. Even when I know I’ll be getting my fucking ass kicked and fucked so bad I won’t be able to sit on it for a week. I fight back. You know why?”
Frank doesn’t say anything. He’s scared. He’s so scared that Gerard’s breaking and he won’t be able to fix him. Or maybe he’s already broken?
“You know fucking why?” wails Gerard, grabbing him by the shoulders and shaking him violently.
Frank shakes his head as his vision slurs with the sudden movements. He can’t talk.
“Because… You kissed me. 17 years ago. A fucking long time ago. You kissed me. And I held onto it. Until this night. No one ever kissed me after you did. I didn’t ever let them. Because when I go home at the end of the night, I can still feel your lips on mine. Because they’re the only ones I want to feel. Because then, I can be 14 again and I can be with you again.”
Then he crumbles before Frank’s very eyes. He stops talking and screaming at Frank because he simply can’t, anymore. Violent sobs shake his body and he loses control of his body as if all his muscles stop working in one instant. He falls sideward towards the empty space next to the bed and Frank is paralyzed for one instant. Then he reaches out and grabs Gerard by the waist, pulling him towards his chest and squeezing tight. So tight that Gerard has to fight for air to breathe in between his sobs. He sobs and sobs and sobs forever, his whole body shaking, making Frank’s whole body shake. And Frank can’t take it. He feels like someone has taken a corkscrew and screwing goddamn screws deep into his heart. It hurts so much he thinks he can pass out from the pain. But still Gerard breaks down, into tiny microscopic pieces Frank can’t even see anymore. But he holds on. He holds onto Gerard because there’s nothing else he’d rather do, at the moment. Because he’s the only one Frank wants to hold onto. Because he’s Gerard. It’s Gerard.
It has probably been hours when Gerard’s shaking turns into a reasonable trembling in the end. He has run out of tears, by that time, and his eyes are red and swelled up. His cheeks are red where salt has burned them continuously. He looks like hell and he feels even worse than that. But the worst thing is, he doesn’t have strength to do much, anymore. He can’t even attempt to free himself from Frank’s suffocating embrace. He just lays there and trembles and shivers with little sobs and hiccups escaping his lips frequently.
At some point, Frank has ended up laying on the bed, his arms and legs wrapped around Gerard tightly, the other man’s head pressed under his chin. He tries to soothe and comfort but he doesn’t really know how. He has never been the comforter before, really. His hands travel to Gerard’s soft dark hair and he starts to stroke. And he realizes that his hair still feels the same. Then he kneads his back, massaging along his spine. He pulls back after a while because Gerard has started whimpering, now, and only then does Frank realize that he, himself, has been crying, too. Maybe even sobbing. He feels the tight wetness on his cheeks, the unease to keep his eyes open and leans his head back to kiss Gerard on the hair. He kisses once. Twice. Then a third time and Gerard is still whimpering. Then he stays put and Gerard forces his head under Frank’s chin once again, snuggling deeper, if possible.
Frank breathes in his scent and it, too, is still the same.
Gerard feels the warm skin against his face and old memories mix with the present. He knows this embrace. He knows this skin. He knows this scent. It’s pure Frank. It could never be anyone else.
Neither of them knows if they fall asleep or not but they’re still in the same position after a very long time. Gerard’s voice is sore when he finally gathers himself up enough to talk.
“Mikey’s dead,” he whispers softly, as if not saying that out loud would steal from the harsh reality of his brother’s death.
Frank feels himself shake and then his arms are made of steel. His whole body clenches around the trembling man in his arms and Gerard continues to talk, his breath hitching in his throat so that he has to pause to breathe properly every once in a while.
“It was t-two years after we. We moved… He was ho-horrible to us, t-to me a-and Mikey. Mo-mom couldn’t see it. S-she just couldn’t. And. And then, one day. Mikey. Mikey got sick. He was so sick. He couldn’t go to s-school. He couldn’t. Couldn’t keep anything down. He. He was getting smaller. I-I told them to… to take him to a ho-hospital.”
A wild tremor runs through Gerard’s body and he fights his own throat to be able to breathe. He blinks and blinks but there are no tears to wash away the stinging in his eyes.
“He. He hit me. Sa-said that he k-knew better. And Mikey suffered. And I-I… I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t. Couldn’t save him. When mom realized he n-needed doctors… it was. It was too late. Late.”
Frank closes his eyes in agony, grieving the loss of a friend silently. He almost can’t believe it but he does. He feels Gerard so weak and powerless next to him and he believes.
“13” Gerard whispers, raising his face to meet the younger man’s eyes, “He was only 13, Frankie…”
It’s almost impossible but tears have once again started to spill from those caramel orbs. Frank brings one hand to place on Gerard’s cheek and he wipes the tears away with the edge of his thumb softly. Gerard does the same, his hand shaking, because Frank is crying, too – again.
Frank can only nod.
Gerard gulps with visible effort and begins once again.
“After his funeral, I. I ran away,” he says, “I wanted to come back to Jersey. I tried. I-I tried to come b-back to you, Frankie. But I couldn’t. He. He found me… Carlos.”
“The man downstairs?” asks Frank, his right hand curling into a fist unintentionally.
Gerard shakes his hand soundlessly.
“Carlos only sells young boys. He’s known for it.” His tone is monotonous.
“Then who is that man downstairs?” begs Frank.
“It doesn’t matter who he is. But his name’s Enzo. He’s just the man Carlos handed me over after I got too old for his customers’ tastes. I was 21 when he gave me to Enzo. He gets rid of other boys usually when they’re 18 or so… but he didn’t let me go because I looked young…” trails off Gerard. “Carlos…” he whispers, shivering uncontrollably and Frank holds his head close to his chest. “He did… he did th-things to me. Frank. I didn’t. Want to but… then there were. There were other men. Hundreds. Thousands even…”
Frank’s chest is so tight he thinks someone must be ironing his lungs along with his ribcage.
“Ssshhhh” he coos softly, stroking Gerard’s beautiful hair, taking so much care at that simple action as if he is made up off the most delicate crystal in the world. “It’s okay,” he whispers in Gerard’s ear because it has to be okay. He wants to believe that it’ll be okay, now.
One of Gerard’s hands is planted on his chest like the way babies do when they are about to fall asleep in their mother’s arms. The other is tight around his waist and Frank has to say it now. Or never.
“I love you.”
Gerard winces. He then lifts his head up so very slowly – the way people do only in horror movies. His eyes are clouded over as he whispers frantically, shaking his head.
“I do.” Frank is stubborn.
“No. You don’t. Can’t.”
“I do. I do love you, Gerard. Never stopped loving you,” he says over and over again until the other man can’t even object anymore.
“I do love you. I told you I always would. Don’t you remember?”
Gerard blinks back enormous doe eyes at him. Then he nods, a continuous motion that could go on forever, it seems.
“I do,” he whispers, “I will always love you. And I do.”
Frank leans in and brushes his lips against Gerard’s – the faintest, lightest touch ever. Gerard sighs into the tiny kiss and closes his eyes. They kiss slowly, tentatively. They’ve only just found each other. They feel the need to rediscover. But then, it’s too late. And both of them are too worn out.
With one last caress of Gerard’s lips against his, Frank untangles himself from him slightly to be able to arrange the comforter to fit over them.
Gerard wakes with the slightest wetness on his lips. His eyes flutter open slowly as he snuggles into the warm presence next to him. He’s never woken up this way before. It feels nice.
“Gee…” whispers a hasty voice.
Gerard’s hands come up to rub at his eyes and he struggles to sit up in bed. When sleep finally decides to lift the veil before his eyes and go back to hide in a far corner inside his head, Gerard is met with a pair of affectionate eyes staring at him.
“I’m sorry,” says Frank, “But I had to wake you.”
The older man looks around and realizes that it isn’t morning, yet. There’s no light easing into the motel room from the little window.
“Frankie, is something wrong?” he asks.
Frank shakes his head energetically.
“No. Nothing has ever felt so right, before.” He knows it’s probably a terrible cliché but he can’t help himself. He hasn’t felt this way ever.
“Huh?” Gerard is dumbfounded.
Frank takes a deep breath and asks.
“Would you run away with me?”
The other man doesn’t even blink.
“Gerard?” Frank asks, panicked.
“Run away?” Gerard’s voice is so little.
“Yes. Yes. Let’s. C’mon. Let’s run away together!”
“But… but.” Gerard’s mouth can’t even form words, now. “How?”
The excitement is radiating off of Frank’s face. He’s nearly jumping up and down on the bed, he’s so hyper about it.
“We’ll get out of here, first. Go to the place you stay, we’ll take whatever you want to take with us. Then we’ll hop on a bus to Jersey. To the shithole I sometimes call home. And I’ll sell everything. Every fucking thing I own, including the shithole. Then we’ll have money, right? We can go wherever we want to, then. Together. The two of us.”
Gerard’s smooth features tremble with a frown.
“I… How are we gonna get out of here, Frank? Enzo’s always at the door,” he states helplessly.
Franks sighs, but still he isn't discouraged.
“Doesn’t he ever sleep?”
“He sleeps during the day.”
Frank forces his brain to come up with a plan. He thinks so hard that Gerard can probably see the cogwheels turning inside his head.
“I’ve got a few other clothes with me,” he announces. “They might fit yo – ”
“He’ll recognize me Fran –”
“No, he won’t. And you know what? I’ll beat him to death if he does and tries to stop you. I swear I will. No one’s gonna ever take you away from me again, ever!” He cries out the last word and Gerard jumps a little.
Frank puts a hand on his shoulder and squeezes.
“I’m sorry,” he whispers, “I didn’t mean to scare you. I just… I never would have thought I would feel this way tonight. But I do. I was gonna die, Gerard. I was gonna kill myself. But now I don’t want that. Because I have you, here. With me. And I’ve heard and seen what you went through. Yet you’re still here. You haven’t given up. How could I give up?”
Gerard doesn’t have any more tears left but his face still crumbles before he throws his arms around Frank’s neck and hugs him tight.
“We can go on together,” he whispers.
“Yes,” Frank agrees. “We can. We should.”
After a while, Frank’s eyes catch the clock on the bedside stand and he frowns.
“We have 3 hours until dawn,” he says, “We should hurry.”
Gerard nods and lets him go, albeit reluctantly.
Frank gets up and moves over to the bedside stand. He grabs the bottle of pills residing there and opens the cap hastily. He stares at the innocent looking tablets inside for a moment. Then a little while more. And then he pours the content into the trash bin without a second thought. The bottle follows next. When he raises his head, he is met with the first real smile he has seen on Gerard’s face in so many years. It’s glowing. He’s glowing.
“Let’s go,” Frank says, determined.
Two hours later, they are seated on a bus to New Jersey. Gerard sits by the window, gazing out from time to time, still nervous that Enzo might notice his absence. And the worst thing is, Enzo knows he is from Jersey, he might think of looking for him here.
Frank covers Gerard’s hand with his own upon seeing the worried expression on his face.
“It’s okay, now,” he says, “We’re going away.”
Gerard looks at him wearily.
“He’ll probably think to look for me in Jersey.”
“That’s no problem,” states Frank. “We’re not gonna stay there for long. Just a few days so that I can sell all my shit.”
Gerard looks miserable now.
“You don’t have to sell everything.”
Frank shakes his head violently.
“I want to sell everything. I’ll even sell my guitar. It’s in good shape. Someone will pay good money for it, I’m sure.”
Gerard’s hand shoots up to stroke Frank’s cheek.
“You can’t sell your guitar…” he mumbles. “I know how much you must love it.”
“I’ll buy another one once I can.”
“No. But it won’t be the same… You should keep it.”
Frank is silent this time. Maybe because he thinks Gerard is right.
The older man leans in and places his forehead against Frank’s.
“I’ve got some money, too, ya know? Enzo doesn’t own me, after all. I used to hide money from him all the time.”
Frank smiles and they both move in for the kiss at the same time. Together. It’s sweet. And it’s perfect.
Only Frank has kissed Gerard like that.
And only Gerard has kissed Frank like that.
When they finally break the kiss, Gerard can’t help but ask.
“What are we gonna do once we leave Jersey, Frank?”
Frank manages to crack a cheeky grin at Gerard.
“Then we’re gonna move far far away and we’re gonna live happily ever after.”
Gerard laughs. He hasn’t done that for years; he has forgotten the sound of his own laughter.
The statement is so foolish and they both know that even fairy tales don’t end with “happily ever after”s anymore.
But it’s a pleasant change to think that they can be happy for once.
Happy and together.
And still young.
Gerard kisses Frank’s eyes and the younger man closes his eyes, placing his head on Gerard’s shoulder, holding onto his arm securely. Gerard rests his own head on top of Frank’s and his eyes flutter closed, too.
The engine of the bus starts and the vehicle starts to move.
“Can we take a ride
get out of this place
while we still have time?”
Work – Jimmy Eat World
A/N: Here's my first Frank/Gerard pairing-ed story ever. I know it's probably too long for a one-shot but once I start I don't seem to know where to stop so...
I'm literally dying to see what everyone thinks about this so please review and/or rate. You'll make so very happy!
And the next chapter of Soul Purpose got delayed because of 1) the 6 finals I had to study for and 2) I had to get this one-shot out of my system, first. But I've written some of it, I'll probably be able to put it up tomorrow or the day after.
Please leave feedback, guys =) And forgive me for any typos or such, it's 4 in the morning right now and I'm sleepy. Bye!