It was the morning of March 10. Gerard Way, the lead singer and frontman of the band My Chemical Romance, was in his hotel room, gazing at the floor. He had been sitting there for a while now. He was clad in a wife beater, with an unbuttoned white dress shirt layered over that. His black pants were wrinkly, as if they were un-ironed. A black tie was draped over his shoulders, and a suit jacket was lying on the bed next to him.
Gerard sighed, heavily. Still staring at the floor, something caught his eye. He bent over and picked up the item. He smiled as he looked at it. It was an arm-band from the Face to Face Tour, 3 years earlier. Gerard always kept this with him to remind him of his friends, his promise to his fans, his band, his brother, himself, and most of all: his promise to Frankie, to always remain clean and sober. That was a hard time for everyone. A series of memories flooded to him.
He remembered the first time he met Frankie. Gerard always thought he was bi, but it wasn't until he met Frankie that his suspicions were cemented:
"C'mon Gerard. You haven't been out of the house in forever!" Mikey whined to his older brother. Gerard stared at Mikey, his long black mop falling into his eyes. Mikey continued to look at Gerard, his eyes wide.
"It's only been a month," Gerard said in a low voice. Mikey looked at him, and held up a finger,
"But you still haven't been out," he reasoned. Gerard sighed,
"So?" came Gerard's curt reply. Mikey looked at the ceiling of his parent's basement, in frustration, and sighed.
"Hah!" Mikey said, having to get in the last word. He continued to look at Gerard, almost pleadingly. Mikey was trying to persuade his brother to go to a party at the Eyeball Records house. Mikey had an apprenticeship with Alex Saavedra, and Mikey thought of this as the perfect opportunity to get his brother to meet people, it was fool proof!
It was a month after September 11th, and Gerard had been badly affected by it. He hadn't been out of the house in amonth, and Mikey was getting worried about his older brother. Gerard looked at his brother, long and hard. He nodded after awhile,
"Okay. Fine. I'll come with you tonight," he said. Mikey smiled.
"You won't be sorry, Gerard! Really. Geoff will be there! So will this new band, Pencey Prep. It'll be loads of fun," Mikey said excitedly. Gerard let out a small laugh, watching his baby brother walk around excitedly.
"Oh yeah. The party starts at seven o' clock!" Mikey said. Gerard looked at him,
"Fuck! Are you serious? That's only in a half hour...."Gerard said, glaring at Mikey. He sighed.
"Are we walking or driving?" Gerard asked. Mikey gaped at him,
"Are you serious?! Please tell me you're joking. The Eyeballs Records house is in Kearny. If we walk there, we are gonna be shot in some sort of mafia crime, and we're gonna be dumped in a toxic waste dump somewhere and we'll never see mom and dad again!" Mikey said, ranting just abit.
"Well, no duh we're never gonna see mom and dad again, we'd be dead."
"You're missing the point, Gerard! I don't want to die. There is so much that I've never done! Like get married, or laid, OR HAVE A PET CAT!!!!"
"You are such a little fucking spaz."
"So, I guess I'll drive there."
"Why do you get to drive? You haven't been there as much. You'll just get us lost."
"Fine. You can drive. You could've just asked if you wanted to drive so damn badly."
"Thanks." Mikey said, satisfied. He and Gerard both pulled on coats and walked out of the basement. Mikey grabbed the keys off of the kitchen table, and walked to the garage, Gerard following. Mikey opened the driver's door, and got in. He put the key in the ignition, and turned it. The car roared to life. Gerard walked around the front of the car, and climbed into the passenger's seat.
The car ride was mostly un-eventful. Mikey upheld amostly one sided conversation with Gerard for the 15 minute car ride to Kearny. They parked on a street, crowded with cars parallel parked, bumper to bumper, on both sides. Mikey cut the ignition and turned to Gerard.
"Mmmkay Gee, we're here. Let's go! You'll have ashitload of fun," Mikey said as if trying to reassure his older brother. Gerard looked at him, giving him a look as if saying 'Mikes, I'll be fine. I'm not the younger brother here.' He pulled on the handle, unlocking the door, and pushing it open. He stepped onto the devil strip and slammed the door closed. Mikey began walking, and Gerard followed his younger brother, suddenly feeling very shy. They walked up to the house, slowly. Gerard looked around, his hair falling into his face, watching the people scurrying around, drunk.
"Well, this'll be a shitload of fun" Gerard mumbled to himself, as he reluctantly caught the door that was about to swing closed, after his brother walked into the house. He looked around. He noticed that Mikey was talking animatedly to a girl, and to his boss, Alex. Gerard wandered around, looking for a familiar face.
"GERARD!" a shout came from behind him. Gerard whipped around, surprised.
"Geoff? Goddammit you scared the living shit out of me! What's up man?" Gerard asked, happy to see someone he knew. Geoff gave ahalf smile, and shrugged. It was then that Gerard noticed a short kid standing behind Geoff. He was young, barely out of high school. His hair was spiked up, an abvious over-use of hair gel. He smiled, as Gerard gave him a puzzled look.
"Oh! Gerard, this is Frankie Iero from the band Pencey Prep. Frankie, this is my good friend Gerard Way" Geoff said, giving them mutual introductions. Frankie smiled at Gerard and ggrabbed his hand, shaking it violently.
"Nice to meetcha Gerard. I heard that you're starting a band too. How kickass. So, you're Mikey's older brother, the artist right?"Frankie asked, bombarding Gerard with questions. He nodded, a bit dazed. He looked at Frank's eager face, and suddenly his throat tightened, and butterflies began to churn in his stomach.
"Uh...yeah. I'm Mikey's brother" he said, finally. Frank nodded.
"You should see us live later tonight!"
"If ya need any help with your new band, don't hesitate to ask!" Frank said cheerily, "Anyway, I have to go, I need to round up the guys, and it's time for a sound check. See ya later, Gerard!" he said, walking off. Gerard stood there transfixed.
Was it weird for a 24 year old art student, who lived in the basement of his parent's house, who happened to be severely depressed to have a blossoming crush on the 19 year old frontman of Pencey Prep? Yeah, pretty much. Gerard was standing there, creeped out. 'Was Iactually right in thinking that I'm bi? I mean...damn..he is cute though...FUCK' he thought to himself, punching the wall and not caring who saw.
Gerard was still sitting on his bed, smiling slightly at that memory. Since then, he and Frankie had become, really, the best of friends. Yet, here he was sitting in a dark hotel room wallowing in self pity. He thought of all they had been through: touring relentlessly, all the screaming fans, and most of all making this far, making it big.
He thought of one particular moment, one particular day. It was on the Projekt Revolution tour, the summer earlier. The day was July 28th (A/N: Sorry to interrupt the story, but that's my birthday! ^^), and it was five songs into their set:
Gerard stood there, looking at the audience. He smirked as the fans began screaming louder. He re-gripped the microphone and held it up to his mouth "Now when this song kicks in, I wanna see all you motherfuckers off the ground!" he screamed into the microphone as the roaring bass line to The Sharpest Lives began. The crowd all began to jump and scream. Gerard glanced over at Frankie and smirked. Frankie caught his eye and gave him a slight nod. That was their signal to each other. Their next song was gonna be a real crowd pleaser.
The slowing bass line signaled the end of the song. Gerard went back to the drum kit to grab a water bottle. After all that singing and whatnot, his throat needed a nice refresher. He drank most of the water, and then walked to the edge of the amphitheater stage. He tossed the bottle into the crowd in the pit, and walked back.
"Did you miss us?" Gerard asked. He smiled as the crowd cheered.
"Cause we missed the SHIT out of you" he continued, stressing the word shit. The crowd commenced with their screaming.
"Alright you beautiful people!" Gerard said, continuing with the introduction to the next song,
"Are you ready to keep goin'?" He asked. The crowd roared.
"ARE YOU READY TO KEEP GOIN'?!" He asked again, this time louder. The crowd screamed again, this time louder.
"Can't fuckin' hear you!" he said, holding the mic to the crowd. They roared again, even louder. Gerard nodded towards Ray, giving him the signal to start the next song. The lights dimmed on the stage, and Gerard turned his back to the crowd. The roaring intro to I'm Not Okay (I Promise), began and Gerard thrust his arm upwards, towards the spot light.
"Well if you wanted honesty, that's all you had to say," he sang into the mic, giving it his all. Soon, Ray's solo came up. Gerard looked over to see Frankie unlatching one side of his guitar strap. Gerard raised an eyebrow, and quickly scooted over to Ray's side of the stage. Frank immediately mustered up his strength and began to fling his guitar, twirling it over his head. The guitar was being held on with nothing more than a strap. Frank, then, let one hand go of the strap, and tried to catch the neck of his guitar with it. He bit his lip as, while he was trying to catch the guitar, he sliced his hand on the side of it. Gerard looked over to see Frank's hand bleeding, over his guitar, while he still was playing.
'You don't have to do this' Gerard thought, continuing to belt out the lyrics to My Chem's biggest hit.
"You really need to listen to me, because I'm telling you the truth I mean this, I'm okay" Gerard yelled. By this time, Frank was right next to him. He laid his head on Gerard's shoulder, and the familiar sensation he felt whenever Frank was by his side came back. He held the microphone up to Frank's lips,
"TRUST ME!" Frank shouted. He placed his cut hand onto Gerard's cheek and slid his hand down until his fingers ran off of Gerard's chin: leaving a trail of blood on the singer's face. By now, thrilling chills were rolling up and down Gerard's spine. Seeing this act, the crowd began to scream, and go wild.
I'm Not Okay ended, and Ray was playing an elongated intro to the song You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison.He looked at the crowd.
"Hey girls, I'm glad that you're having a good time, but can I hear the guys scream?" he called. All of the guys in the audience began to yell,
"Good, now when this song starts, I want all of the guys in the audience to take off their fucking shirts and wave them in the air!DO YOU UNDERSTAND!!?!!???" he screamed. The audience went wild. The lights dimmed and Gerard began the song. Strutting around the stage like a proud bird, Gerard faced the audience,
"I can't go down by myself, but I'll go down with my friends!" Gerard sang. He noticed Frank was right in front of him. Frankie grabbed Gerard's back and pulled him closer. Frank then stood up on his toes and thrust his lips onto Gerard's. Gerard was taken by surprise. The familiar volts of electricity flowed through his body, and he wrapped one of his arms around Frank's neck, and with his free arm, grabbed Frank's hood, and pulled it over his head. All of a sudden, as quickly as it had come on, Gerard and Frank both pushed away from each other.
A knock came from outside Gerard's hotel door. Gerard's head shot up, and he quickly began buttoning his dress shirt.
"Hey, man, you here? Can I come in?" Frank's familiar voice called from the other side. Gerard felt a twang of fear surge through his body.
"Uh, yeah dude. I'm here. C'mon in" Gerard said, finishing buttoning his shirt, and beginning to tie his tie. The sound of the mechanical lock unlocking itself was followed by the doorknob turning, and then Frank walking in. Gerard looked over at him quickly and flashed a fake smile. Frank was wearing a classic tux and a boutonniere in his lapel. Gerard felt his stomach tightening and the butterflies in his stomach began to run rapid.
"You, uh, look nice" Gerard said, breaking the awkward silence. Frank smiled slightly and nodded as he sat on Gerard's bed. Gerard finished tying his tie, and turned to face Frank. Their eyes met, but Gerard quickly broke their connection, his eyes darting to the ground.
"Something's bothering you, Gerard. I can tell. What is it man?" Frank asked.
"Nothing." Gerard quickly lied.
"It isn't nothing, you can tell me anything, what's up?" Frank said, sounding worried. Gerard sighed.
"Frank how do you feel about me?"
"Huh? What do you mean?"
"What are your feelings for me?" Gerard repeated. Frank bit his lip and looked up at Gerard who was gazing back at him solemnly.
"You're my best friend, dude." He answered. A small'oh' escaped Gerard's mouth. Frankie instantly felt like a hole was ripped in his gut.
"Just friends? Nothing more?" Gerard asked, "I always thought of you as more than a friend. You always were to me. Ever since we first met, I've had a soft spot for you, you know that! Frank I would do anything for you. I love you man. I mean that in every way possible: As afriend, and as something hopefully more. Don't do it. Don't marry her. Please. Don't say I do......for me." By this time, Gerard found it more fascinating to watch his quivering feet than to look at Frank's face. There was a long silence before Frank replied.
"I love you too man, I really do" he finally said. Gerard felt his heart skip a beat.
"I do love you, but the thing is....well....I love her too." Frank mumbled. They both felt as if someone had punched them in the gut.
"So. You choose her?" Gerard asked quietly. He looked at Frank who was now the one avoiding eye contact.
"It's not that I love her more. Trust me, Idon't....it's just...I mean, I...well, It....I've loved her longer....Don't even give me that face!" Frank hissed.
"Don't you think it killed me when you married Lindsay?! I felt as if someone literally ripped my heart out, yet I've TRIED to be happy for you two! You love her right?" Frank asked sternly. Gerard looked at him, his face emotionless.
"But what about all the times we've ever kissed or whatever? WHAT THE FUCK WERE THOSE FOR IERO?" Gerard asked. Frank looked at him and grabbed his arm. Even now, now that Gerard was so hurt, it was a wonder to him that Frank could still make his heart melt.
"Those times weren't fake. Ever. Gerard, you're my best man. I mean that. Not only in my wedding to Jamia, but in life too. I love you" he said quietly. Gerard looked at him, and smiled a bit. He leaned forward and pressed his lips against Frank's.
For all the times that Frank kissed him, for all the times that they have made out, for all the times that Frank Iero and Gerard Way had frenched, this was the best moment out of all of them: on Frank's wedding day.
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