Categories > Celebrities > My Chemical Romance > Just Two Men...

Why the Long Face?

by AirCATX 2 reviews

Frank finds himself in an unlikely place

Category: My Chemical Romance - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Crossover,Drama,Romance - Characters: Frank Iero - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2011-05-01 - Updated: 2011-05-02 - 2519 words

Frank ground the tip of his pencil to a nub while doodling on the note cards he needed to use during his speech. It was difficult enough to accept his and Gerard’s relationship not working out, but having to defend against the judgments of other people was too much. The words in black and white made him feel even more like an outcast. If Gerard just didn't want him, he would be content to heal on his own but of course his neighbors, concerned for the ‘integrity of the community’, could possibly evict him on those grounds, like that made the situation any better.

Complaints about loud music and his appearance were one thing, but male promiscuity or "moral turpitude", as they were accusing him of, somehow gathered enough attention to make it an issue. So here he was at the Community Hall, feeling like he was in Catholic school again; wearing his school suit. However, now he had to explain why he was caught with another man in public.

Two other defendants waited in the vacuous corridor with him, a crotchety old man who Frank knew of as the local artist, 'Toilet seat Man', and a young stranger, a casually dressed female with a blonde ponytail and confident eyes. When she caught Frank taking note of her, she smiled back warmly. After an awkward moment of eye contact, she moved to the seat next to him.

“Hi, how are you doing?" He shrugged, how could he put it without telling the truth? She continued, "So you got detention too? Come here often?" She had a friendly face, a bit more straight edge looking than he tended to associate with, but being judgmental was the first thing on Frank’s mind and he checked himself quickly.

"Yeah, this is a great place to cruise for chicks." She played along, nodding her head, and eyed ‘Toilet seat Man’.

“ You got good taste, the pick of the litter." Frank smiled for the first time all day; it was nice for someone to play along.

"I haven’t seen you around before? Where do you live? Your accent definitely isn't Jersey."

"My names, Shani. I'm staying with a girl friend of mine through summer for a competition." Frank thought to himself about her dialect which sounded light but interesting, he could tell it was southern by the twang to her A's.

“Where are you from? Wait, how can you be in trouble with the board if you're just visiting?"

"I'm from San Antonio. It's never been a problem anywhere else, but I guess ya'll have some pet zoning laws Ches doesn't fit. Some damn neighbor rated on me, and it’s my problem not Maddy's so I'm here trying to fight the ticket."

“ They gave you a ticket too?" She shrugged. Her tone was friendly, but the way she furrowed her brow meant she was obviously peeved.

“ I know you always think back home is better, but at least there your property's actually yours, and what you do on it ain't anyone's fuckin business."

“ Say it sister." Frank laughed. Both of their heads snapped to attention when the double doors to the chamber opened, releasing the previous defendant. A young couple carrying blueprints with sour expressions walked towards Shani.

“You’re next, good luck in there. Advice, don't piss off the old coot."

“ Note taken, thanks. See you Frank, good luck."

"You too." After her bouncing ponytail disappeared into the heavy oak doors, he felt nervous. Thoughts revolved in his head again and again in a hurricane. Part of him didn't want to dignify defending himself to people who wouldn't understand no matter what he said, but the best he could do was be truthful. How could anyone really be punished for who they happen to fall in love with?

Although he didn't have expectations going in, the situation couldn't have gone better. The interview was less of an interrogation and more an inquiry, but after explaining exactly what happened like a daytime soap, he was surprised to find the audience on his side. They dismissed the accusation, told him not to worry, and even that he deserved better than Gerard. Standing out front, he thought about calling him and letting him know what just happened for a laugh, but then decided against it. He started walking home but stopped when a lifted grey truck pulled up next to him.

“Hey, Frank, how'd it go?" Shani leaned out her window, shades on, and looked more like a rocker with heavy guitar pumping from the windows.

“ Couldn't be better, they let it go. Now I'm heading home to rip my neighbor a new one."

“ Probably the same bat that squealed on me. They weren't as lenient. I don't have to pay, but I got’ta move Ches pronto. If you weren't doing anything, I could really use some help. It's a two person job. I can pay you."

“ What do I look like a common whore? I do friends for free."

“ You have the fucking cutest laugh for a guy I've ever heard." He blushed to his ears, and couldn't help giggling again. It was his signature but he hated getting called out on it. He rounded the truck and heaved himself into the cab. Shani couldn't help laughing at his struggle; they bickered playfully the two blocks to her house.

“So what is Ches exactly?" Frank asked hesitantly when they neared the house. They pulled into the driveway of one of the biggest homes in the community, understandable if they were keeping a horse in the back yard.

“His real name’s Chester and he's a horse of course! He's my prize guy, I've had him for years and I needed to get him away from home for a while, so I decided to enter him up here in a dressage show."

“ What's dressage?"

“ Fancy riding, he used to be a race horse but his owner was quite abusive. You'll see he's pretty head shy around the ears. He doesn't like being touched there. I've worked with him a lot, but first rule with horses is they’re more sensitive than dogs to human energy. Anything you're feeling or going through, he knows, so just be real open and calm and he won't spook. They don't like it when people lie to themselves, means they can't be trusted and that’s crucial for their survival, in their minds of course. It teaches you a lot about yourself though." Frank nodded along, interested. He'd never seen a horse in real life, but they always fascinated him.

“Is that what was happening back home?" They talked while Shani hitched the single horse trailer by herself. Frank couldn't help marveling at her control and lean body. He could tell she was a tomboy at first glance but she moved gracefully with strength, like a horse.
“No, that was a few years ago I rescued him from that douche. No what happened at home I think is worse. Poor guy got his heart broken." Frank coughed a little.

“Really? The horse did?"

“ Yeah, his girlfriend, May, was this beautiful mare my friend boarded at the same ranch as me along with her stallion, Encino. It was so funny how Ches and May took to each other in the pasture. It was simply love at first sight, but she’s not my horse."

“ What happened?"

“ Well, it was about that time, she came of age, and she bred May with Encino."

“ No! How could she do that, why not breed her with Chester?" Shani laughed softly at his intent, but also seemed solemn.

“Unfortunately, it doesn't always work like that. She already had a stallion, using mine wouldn't make sense. We might have been able to make arrangements, but it was just easier the normal way. It wasn’t hers, the horses fault, or ours. You can't help whom you fall in live with, even with horses.

Well, May's about ready to foal and Chester started getting real aggressive so I decided to take him on a road trip. A broken heart can make a stallion real dangerous. Did you know the horse symbolizes freedom and strength? I can't control that, so I thought space and a competition would help distract him. He's over here if you want to see him." They rounded the side of the house into a big beautifully manicured lawn divided into concentric areas by a low white fence. In the far back corner was a large shed converted into a single stable, Frank excitedly watched the open swung door expecting a majestic horse to come marveling across the field.

Chester was just grazing the short grass serenely, head moving back and forth. He was a red chestnut with a distinctive white diamond on his forehead. Upon noticing Shani approach the fence, he walked slowly towards her making a low nicker with his head hung.

"Hey there, sweet boy." She called gently. She held out her hand flat and let Chester touch it with his muzzle; she scratched at his coarse whiskers and made a throatier nicker. "Hold your hand out, Frank." He did as he was told and held it out same as Shani. "Relax, he won't bite you. The calmer you are, the more he'll trust you." His whiskers were bristling, and the hot breath humid against his skin. Frank sighed deeply, and Chester did the same making him laugh.

"What's that sound he's making?" He asked when he felt Chester nicker. When he saw Shani pull out a small cookie, he even snorted curiously and returned to nuzzle her hand for it.

“It means hello. He's a really curious guy, a big cheese ball but a sweetheart. Here, give him one. Keep your fingers down."

Frank’s cheeks hurt he smiled so much, but he surged with pride as he fed the horse one biscuit after another. He felt his body course with fear and awe, but he also melted in a way, feeding off Chester’s vibrations.

“Will you talk to him while I bring the trailer around? Now, he can be a pain in the ass loading but with you keeping him calm it can be a lot easier. Think you can handle that?" She attached a lead rope to his harness and handed it to Frank. Now his heart began to pump, but he nodded wanting to seem brave.

Once alone with Chester, Frank felt a little awkward at first. Chester nearly toppled him by pulling down to graze.

“Wow, you're a lot stronger than me aren't you boy? Sorry to hear about your girlfriend, sounds like a loud of shit to me if you ask. You're a handsome guy; you can find another filly, right?" Chester picked his head up and brought it level to Frank’s height. For an awkward second, he felt like letting go of the rope but held out his hand and let him brush it with his whiskers. He thought he looked solemn like maybe he understood.

“I’m sorry if I said something. That never makes it feel any better right, you still miss her. Yeah, I know how you feel." He spoke quietly to Chester, scratching his long nose and enjoying the way the beautiful black orbs closed drowsily when he hit the right spot.

“ Wow, you're a born horseman. He’s really taken to you to let you touch his star. That's really good." Chester pulled away, and Frank with him at the end of the taut rope, when he noticed Shani carrying a bucket. Reaching inside, she fed him a carrot to the nub and then an apple slice afterwards.

“Really?" Frank beamed with compliment.

“You must be a really sweet guy. Here, ill trade you follow me with the bucket and when we get to the trailer feed him one of each but he likes apples more. Again, just keep your fingers down and you might need to guide the apple up when it gets slimy. Prepared to get dirty. I'll lead him up with the bucket and when he's all the way in and I give the signal, close the hatch behind him quietly. Be calm and don't spook him, if he gets nervous he’ll back up and that's a big ass coming at you so watch out. Always touch their rump when you're behind them, you don't want a hoof to the nut." Frank laughed nervously, but consciously readjusted his package.

Frank thought the best way to keep calm was to think about music, but he found himself thinking about Chester and May. As Shani led Chester with Frank feeding him treats as they went, he felt the connection. He felt the same about his music, even pouring his frustrations with Gerard and their relationship into a couple new songs.

At the trailer, he dutifully handed Shani the bucket, unhooked Chester’s lead rope, and watched her coax him up the short ramp. It was a leap of faith for Chester to take the first step and go up the incline, but he followed after the apples and Shani into the small confinement. Like she said, he kept a hand running along Chester’s muscular back and flank until he disappeared inside.

“Okay, Frankie!" She called. Blushing but focused, he calmly lifted the ramp up and secured it in place. He felt a surge of pride. He tamed a horse! He told himself, strength and freedom held by his hand. He felt less like a city boy, and more like a man. He spat in the dirt like Clinton Eastwood, Mikey was gon’na get a kick out of this.

“Good job slick, thanks." Shani emerged from a small door on the side and patted Franks back then pulled him into a hug. "I really appreciate it. It's definitely a two person affair." He beamed back.

“No, thank you! I never would have thought today could've turned out like this. It was fucking awesome; you're a cool chick, Shani." She blushed from the heat, or even his compliment, brushing shyly at her dirty clothes and dusty face.

“Thanks, hop in and I’ll take you home." Frank whipped out his cell his from his back pocket.

“Let me get your number, you should come to my show later this week. I play guitar in a band."

“ Of course you do, tattoo boy."

"Alright horse girl, you’re coming right." He teased back, pulling on her ponytail.

“Of course, I’ll be there." She rattled off her number for him to save. Frank noticed a few texts from Mikey, his mom and Gerard. He was bubbling with details to tell all of them, but Gerard didn’t need to know a few, maybe just find out if he needed to.

Frank however, felt different after this chance encounter. Now he ached to put it in music, freedom and strength. What he felt was fascinating, he couldn't describe it, but he needed to play it with his hands and feel it then with amplification
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