Categories > Celebrities > My Chemical Romance

Babies' tears

by OutForTheCount 2 reviews

We've all heard of Peter Pan, haven't we?

Category: My Chemical Romance - Rating: G - Genres: Angst,Fantasy,Humor - Characters: Bob Bryar,Frank Iero,Gerard Way,Mikey Way,Ray Toro - Warnings: [!!] [?] - Published: 2012-06-11 - Updated: 2012-06-11 - 8028 words - Complete

”This all happened before, and it will happen again”
J.M Barrie.

This time, it happened in New Jersey, on closer consideration, in a dingy apartment complex in downtown Belleville...

Fifteen year old Frank’s childhood home was almost pitch dark, the only light seeping in through the windows from the streetlights outside. Boxes were set out all around the fifth floor apartment, some open, some closed. All of his mother’s things were in them and the house looked so alien with the gaps in the bookcase, the vacant spot on the wall where the photographs used to be. Frank took a few, uncertain steps forward and noticed the unusual way his feet padded against the floor. Of course, his mother’s carpet was gone too. The curious way his feet almost stuck to the floor made him look down, and, oh.

His feet weren’t as small as they used to be. The stark contrast of how Frank remebered his feet and how they really looked now made him a bit woozy. Reminded him that he wasn’t five years young anymore.

Frank understood why his father would want to forget, really, he did. But he also found himself feeling incredibly lost when his mother’s belongings were gone. It was as if it made things real. As if Frank could have pretended that it all was just a bad dream as long as he could wander through the house and see her things everywhere.

He recalled someone telling him, long ago, that as long as you had a mother, you were still a child. Frank didn’t have a mother anymore and he guessed that this meant that now was time. He had to grow up, wether he wanted to or not. Frank couldn’t help but feel like he was letting someone down.

Frank continued to walk around the house, he couldn’t sleep so he figured this was better than lying on his bed and trying not to cry. He walked back into his room, the flimsy lightblue curtains at the window flowing in the summer breeze, like a reminder of all the nights when he had begged his mother to leave it open, just a crack. She’d just smiled and left the window ajar, saying, of course sweetheart. She let Frank believe that Peter was real, for as long as he wanted. If she told him that Peter Pan was just a story, he would just snort at her and go on believing anyway. Worry wasn’t something she did very often, and Frank read and counted and played in the park like other children, so she saw no harm in letting him cling to a dear childhood story for a little longer. Even less a reason to worry, in fact, she thought that Peter Pan could teach Frank things about life that could be hard for a five year-old to grasp.

As Frank stood by his window, breathing in the cool night air stained with a prickle of jasmine from the park and a hint of sundried dust, he felt a sudden urge to throw himself out through the rectangular opening. Spread his arms and fly away.

”Think happy thoughts...” Frank mumbled, closing his tired, aching eyes. He braced himself agaist the windowpane, leaning out into the chilly air.

”Think happy thoughts and fly away, second star to the right and then straight on ‘til morning” He still remembered. A heart-clenching sensation spread through Frank’s chest. He would give anything to be five years old again, to go back to Neverland just once. Just one more time. Forget all of this for a while, procrastinate what he knew was inevitable.

”Think happy thoughts” Frank said again, out loud this time, and leaned out further, letting his arms spread out wide and swaying a little at the loss of support. He thought he heard a chuckle but blamed it on the lack of sleep.

”You’re forgetting something, Frankie” The voice was familiar, but it had been a long time since Frank had heard it. Keeping his eyes shut, because he was afraid that if he opened them, the voice would go away and Frank would wake up, he said in a quivering whisper,

”I know, but I can’t remeber anything else. It escapes me, no, wait!” Frank’s eyebrows furrowed ”Dust. Pixiedust!” A toothy grin split Frank’s features and he could practically hear the smile in the voice when it said,

”Good Frankie, now, think of something that makes you happy!” Followed by a delicate tinkling noise. And Frank thought, he thought about the stories and the Lost boys and then...

”Now, fly, Frankie. You know the way” And then he was falling out of the window until he was certain that he would have hit the ground by now, and that’s when Frank opened his eyes.

Peter looked older, about Frank’s age, maybe one or two years above, even. More like an awkward, out-of-proportion teenage boy than a genderless child now but Frank didn’t mind.

”You’re taller” Frank said, and the grin on Peter’s face faded to a frown.

”So are you” And Frank honestly didn’t know what to say to that.

”I missed you Peter” He mumbled at last, and Peter’s expression softened.

The Lost boys had changed too and that busted Frank’s belief that they would actually remain small forever. They hadn’t grown up, though. They played indians and pirates like they used to, only it was a little disturbing for a start to watch a bunch of teens playing with sticks. Altough, Frank had to admit that he and about the rest of the world’s poulation could find themselves emabarrasingly guilty when it came to slipping back into toddler behaviour during their teenage years. Maybe it was reluctance or fear to leave the simplicity of childhood behind, Frank couldn’t know for sure.

But these boys never left childhood behind and that was what made it slightly awkward. Take Ray, for instance. He’d had a growth-spurt and somehow missed it himself. He’d had to re-evaluate his abilities when it came to strength (there was still a fist-sized dent in the wall of the hide-out), height (why did the doorways necessarily have to be so not-tall?) and weight (made tree-climbing a lot more painful). Mikey was still skinny, perhaps even more so, and found himself having more arm and leg than he was fully capable of controlling properly. Similar changes could be observed in all of the other boys, Bob had grown a lot (a LOT), the Twins (no one seemed to bother with their names, a ‘you’ or a poke seemed to work fine) had sprouted shoulders and Brian seemed to have shrunk. Or, maybe he just hadn’t grown as much as the other boys.

Everything was a little confusing but Frank guessed that he’d get used to it after a while. One thing that he would have a hard time adjusting to was not having any music. Fine, Peter was an incredible fluteist and the Lost boys sung fairly well, if only a bit unsteadily. But Frank missed his guitar.

”I’m pretty sure Hook might have one, I think I’ve seen it in the Treasure-cave sometime” Ray said in his surprisingly high-pitched voice once when Frank complained over his itching fingers. They were sitting by the little fire, grilling chestnuts, mushrooms and wild, yellow tomatoes over the crackling embers while the others were somewhere around, probably fishing.

”I know he’s a total dork about collecting random stuff he’ll never need, kinda common among pirates, but do you really think he’d be too keen on us borrowing it?” Frank raised an eyebrow and poked at the fire with a thin, dead branch, making tiny sparks rise from the orange and ashen lumps of coal into the darkening afternoon. Like faeries, Frank thought. Tinkerbell did actually have a lot in common with a very lively spark, in other words, pretty on a distance, even prettier up close but would certainly burn you bad if you poked her. Ray smirked slyly, slightly reminiscent of the Cheshire cat.

”Not if we forget telling him that we are” Wow, Frank thought. This was where his mother’s little voice would chime in from somewhere in the back of his head telling him sternly, ”That is not good manners, Frankie, what did I tell you?”

But this was Neverland, and Frank found himself falling more and more into the Neverland rules. Which basically is, there are no rules, unless you’re playing a game that demands it. And when it came to Captain Hook... Well, even those rules were meant to be stretched and tweaked with.

”Yeah, totally. We could just sneak into the cave and nick it” Frank pondered, because, yeah, sneaking into a pirate’s Treasure-cave to ”borrow” a guitar seemed like a perfectly good idea.

It turned out that Frank and Ray had chosen the exact moment to exit the cave with the untuned but usable acoustic guitar and quite a few other objects they found interesting as Hook and his allies decided to enter. Their plan didn’t seem so fool-proof any longer.

”Well, well, well, If it isn’t little Frankie! My, haven’t you grown!” Hook chuckled. Ray thought that this was their cue to get going, but it seemed like the pirates opted otherwise.

”Smee?” Hook practically purred.

”Yes cap’n?!” Smee squeaked as a reply and if his belly hadn’t been in the way, Frank thought that the small man would have been bowing even deeper infront of Hook.

”Don’t you think that we should invite these two to the ship for a little...” Hook paused, pretending to search for the right word, tasting it ”Chat?”

”Yes cap’n, indeed, cap’n, of course! A fabulous idea!” Smee rambled nervously, nodding like his life depended on it. It would not be the least bit surprising if it actually did.

”So, you lazy horses. Don’t just stand there and stare like this is a bloody zoo-trip, TIE THEM UP. Now.” Hook hissed at his crew.

Frank only had one thought running through his head at that moment and it was Uh-oh. Not very useful, at all.

Brian was humming the cheerful tune of ”The blacksmith’s apprentice” as he spotted the little bush, weighed down by big blackberries and almost entirely hidden among the undergrowth. He couln’t help it, and even if it meant a lot of thorn-pricks it would be a worthwile waste of time to get those blackberries. So Brian quickly rearranged the contents of his little basket, scooting the little heap of wild broad beans into one corner to make room for the berries. The others would have to wait for him, but Brian was sure that nobody would be complaining if he arrived with a basket full of ripe blackberries.

When Brian finally returned to the fire the others were indeed all waiting for him, except. They weren’t.

”Where’s Ray and Frankie?” Brian was the last one except Peter to return to the clearing where the other boys had already found the burnt mushrooms and chestnuts.

”We don’t...” The right twin started ”...Know” The left one finished, in their usual manner.

”We were hoping that you might, you know, know.” Bob said from his spot on the ground, where he seemed to be investigating some doodles made with a stick in the soil. ”this does look a lot like a map of Neverland, though. With an X right over the treasure-cave.” He said, scrunching his forehead up and pointing to the drawing.

”Do you think...” ”...They went there?” The twins said.

”Maybe.” Bob replied and leaned closer to the ground ”I’m pretty sure Ray drew this” it was barely heard because Bob mumbled a lot.

”But why?” Brian asked, looking at the others for any useful input. It was Mikey who spoke up first.

”We should find Peter”

They found him in a tree, talking to a bluebird about melodies and harmonies, exchanging flute-snippets for bird-whistles.

”Ray and Frankie did what?!” Peter sounded angry, making the bluebird startle and flee.

”They disappeared” Mikey repeated shyly.

”We think they went...” ”...To the treasure-cave” The twins added.

”Oh that stupid furry... Person! I just know this was Ray’s idea” Peter swatted at thin air and tugged at his fly-away-all-the-time brown hair in frustration before he stomped off.

”Peter! Where are you going?!” Mikey shouted.


The Lost boys all followed Peter to the Treasure-cave, like the Lost boys always did. Follow Peter wherever he led them, that is, no matter what may be waiting for them where wherever happened to be. In this case it was an awfully Ray-and-Frank free cave. And it was getting very, very dark.

”Maybe we should look for them somewhere else?” Brian asked tentatively, giant deer-eyes fixed on Peter who was looking more and more distressed by the minute.

”Yes, we will search all over Neverland” Peter said.

The first signal went through and Gerard had to admit that it had been a long time since he’d called Frank, so maybe this was all his fault, but he was sure as anything not gonna let it be that way for any longer. Frank had just seemed to disappear from the face of the earth, not turning up to their traditional horror-flick marathon had been the final drop that made the cup flood.

No matter how bad they had argued, no matter how many times Frank had yelled at Gerard to ”just leave him the fuck alone”, Gerard wasn’t going to. He had no trouble comprehending why Frank would want some time for himself, losing his mother had been hard on the poor boy, but Gerard had an inkling that Frank needed help.

So when Frank didn’t even call to say that he wouldn’t be there, Gerard had left the other guys waiting infront of the TV and set out on his mission to call Frank’s house.

Frank’s father picked up the phone after the fifth ring with a smoky ”Iero” his tone strained and tired.

”Hi, Mr. Iero, it’s Gerard. Is Frank there?” There was a labored sigh on the other end.

”No, Gerard, he’s... He’s not. He’s at the hospital” There was a lump in Gerard’s stomach now, squirming and writhing, making it hard to breathe.

”What happened?” Gerard breathed and Mr. Iero let out another sigh. He was reluctant to speak about much anything these days, and after what happened to Frank... But this was Gerard, he reminded himself, the boy had been Frank’s best friend since they were toddlers. Gerard if anyone deserved to know what happened to Frank.

”He threw himself out the window. Last week.” Mr. Iero cringed at how emotionless his own voice came out. Harsh and strung with years of smoking. Gerard let out a sharp gasp and a little squeak.

”Is he alright?” Gerard’s voice was barely audible, just high of a murmur.

”He’s alive, yes, but he’s in a coma. It was all they could do for him”

There was a silence and at first it seemed as if Gerard had dropped the phone.

”Okay” Came the weak reply eventually, and then, without any formalities, Gerard hung up the phone.

There was a sick, yawning sensation in the pit of Gerard’s stomach and he was not sure if he felt angry or scared or just plain numb. But if this was numb, then it felt a lot like imploding. He hurt physically when he thought of Frank, the same Frank that used to smile and giggle like a pot-head all the time, on the ledge of a window, and that seemed to be the only thing Gerard could think of. And if that was the only thing he could think of, then he wasn’t sure if he wanted to think at all.

Gerard’s mother stumbled to the kitchen as soon as she heard the sobs, motherly instinct telling her that it was something serious, years of trained hearing telling her that it was Gerard. Her son was sitting on his knees, forehead pressed against the wall as if he’d leaned against it and just lost all his strength and slid to the floor. She had her arms around him in no time, that worried crinkle between her eyes deepening.

It was a long time ago since she’d held one of her sons like this, protectively wiping away the tears that slipped out from underneath tightly shut eyelids. Gerard laid limply in her arms, save for his face which was twisted into an agonized grimache. This made her worry. Gerard had always been a clutcher, gripping tightly and burying his face into her shoulder. But now he was still, almost given up, as she rocked him back and forth.

”Sweetheart” She said.

”Sweetheart, what’s wrong? What happened?” Gerard sucked in a shaky breath and opened his hazel eyes. What those eyes that looked up at her said was almost impossible to dechipher, but there was fear and panic and some kind of silent scream that pushed daggers into her chest. And then he was clinging to her and pressing his damp face into her shoulder, washing her over with a tiny wave of relief.

She looked up at the little group of boys that had gathered in the kitchen doorway, worried faces, biting their lips and wordlessly asking what the matter was. They looked lost.

By the time Pan and the Lost boys came to the ship almost a day had passed since Frank and Ray disappeared. They had searched every corner of Neverland, reluctant to go near the pirates in the Cannibal cove if Ray and Frank had happened to just lose themselves in the forrest. They could hear the victorious songs from the shore of the bay though, and Peter somewhat regretted not coming there earlier. What if the pirates had hurt Frankie? A small shudder ran down his spine.

Peter had always found himself feeling a little weird around Frank. His stomach would do flips whenever Frank smiled at him and the thought of Hook as much as even laying a finger on Frank made him cringe. That was perhaps the main reason to why Peter felt a little tug of fear when he saw Frank and Ray huddled up on the deck, hands and feet bound with thick, dry ropes. But mostly, Peter felt angry.

”How dare you kidnap my Frankie, you filthy pirate!” He yelled as he zoomed down, landing infront of the Frank-and-Ray bundle, facing the Captain and his crew. He heard a faint ”But, what about me?” from Ray but shrugged it off.

”Your Frankie” Hook said mockingly, stepping closer to Peter. In a quick movement Peter fished a tiny dagger out of his right boot and Hook pulled his sword. The Lost boys landed and closed up behind Peter, all unarmed.

”Don’t touch him” Peter hissed, sounding so out of character from his usual, cheerful self.

”Oooo...” Hook smirked smugly and all the pirates echoed behind him, a chorus of out-of-tune ”Oooo”s as Hook said,

”Well that, is a very pleasant surprise, little Peter. Hinting at your heart’s dearest like that really gives me some advantage, don’t you think?” Peter knew that Hook was just messing with him, probably to distract him, but he couldn’t help feeling a little vulnerable. Was it really that obvious?

”Stay away” Peter snarled.

”Just look at those honeymoon eyes!” Hook cooed with a sickly sweet lilt to his voice, like a foul immitaion of a nice little lady.

”Enough!” There was a sharp flash of reflection as Peter surged his dagger towards the smug captain, making said one step away with seeming ease and raise one eyebrow.

It was an even battle, both parts sparring and attacking with equal skill. For a moment it seemed as if Hook had the lead, but then there was a tick-

Hook froze for a second.

-and a tock. A slight sweat was breaking out across Hook’s forehead as he felt fear prickle his back. Tick-tock, tick-tock went the unseen object that sounded an awful lot like an old alarm clock.

What many people don’t, and perhaps will never know, is that the infamous crocodile by the awful name of Tick-tock is actually a very lovesick creature, but most of all, a lady. She would have much preferred another name, like Susie or Claire, but then, what is a name... Though, she seems to be sorely misunderstood. You see, she never meant to bite off Hook’s left hand that day, only to kiss it to show her undying affection. That one, according to common ettiquette, is supposed to kiss the right hand did not appear to her until afterwards, however, and she is very keen on correcting her little blunder.

But the little pirate is not so set on cooperating. Not at all. He’ll, quite the opposite to what she would want, turn a pale green and hide somewhere particularly un-crocodile friendly, like the gunpowder stock.

Today, the captain was caught in a rather tricky situation, though. Behind him, there was the water and Tick-tock, and he would have made a mad dash for the deepest innards of the ship if it weren’t for the angry, green-clad boy waving a dagger at his face. How ridiculous wasn’t it that the great captain Hook, roamer of the seven seas, found himself intimidated by someone as annoying as Peter Pan. It had to be because of his lousy crew, not doing anything about the squeeze he was in, Hook pondered in his usual manner of blaming others.

”SMEE! DO SOMETHING!” Hook screamed, loud and shrill, like a child with a fear of spiders. But there was no Smee to hear him, for the little, round man had tagged along with the crew down to the bunks as soon as they all heard the first tick (Tick-tock would not mind a brief chat with one of the crewmembers and she is obviously not so shy to show affection).

Peter laughed and teased the shivering Hook for a while as the Lost boys undid the ropes around Frank and Ray, and then they took off, only staying long enough to see the captain scurrying in fright across the deck and down into the stomach of the ship.

There were things Gerard took for granted that he’d never have to see. His best friend in a coma was one of those things, he just hadn’t even thought of it. But among the scenarios that just wasn’t supposed to happen in anybody’s life was losing a parent, and that happened to Frank, so Gerard guessed that you shouldn’t be naive. However, he had been, and he was just adding another point to his list of nuh-uh things to happen, and that was, not telling someone how you feel about them until it’s too late. That, as it looked at the moment, was in the dreary process of happening.

He wasn’t certain if Frank could hear him, sure, they said that people in a coma were only half unconscious and therefore capable of hearing and comprehending sounds, but Gerard had his doubts. Frank just looked so empty, like the skin of an avocado. Carved out. As if someone had stolen all the warm intestines and quick wits that made Frank who he was. And Gerard knew that once you emptied an avocado, there was no way to turn it back the way it used to be. You could press all the soft, squishy content back into the skin and even push the seed into the mess, but you could never heal it. It would be messed up until it died, or, well. Decomposed. The thing was, that Gerard was frightened that that rule would apply for humans too. What if Frank never became himself again?

Frank sure didn’t look like himself. The white collar around his neck squished what little there was left of his cheeks up and that in turn seemed to magnify the purple circles under his eyes. His hair was matted, but not in the filthy-teenage-dirty-and-unkempt way that Gerard was used to, but in a dead, lifeless way.

All the little things that were missing made Gerard realize just how much he would not take it well if Frank died. He hadn’t fully understood his feelings towards Frank until all those tiny details were vacant and it hit Gerard like a train that he missed those bits because he loved them. He missed Frank because he loved him. Of course, he had loved Frank like a friend before, almost like a second brother, but now... Gerard knew that this was definitely not how he felt towards his brother. Mikey wouldn’t look morbidly beautiful in a hospital bed, Mikey would just look weird and stupid in a cast and collar, because that’s what brothers do. If he thought about it, neither Ray or Bob or Brian would look particularly breath-taking with cords sticking out of them, so he guessed it applied for friends too. But those same things, the heart monitor emmitting its steady beep, beep, beep, gave Frank a gut-wrenching aire of melancholia. It hurt to look at him, but at the same time it was strangely fascinating that something could look so pretty yet still so broken. It was like a car-crash, horrible and nauseating, but there was no way you couldn’t look, even though it made you sick.

This was all why Gerard suddenly felt an urge to say such a lot of things. Some of them, he didn’t even know how to put down in words, they just wouldn’t fit into any form of sentence, just stuck out awkwardly like the legs of a beetle on it’s back. He, however, found himself by Frank’s bedside as soon as the worst of the shock had subsided, rambling awkwardly about all the things Frank was missing. Like the Jawbreaker gig they had been meaning to go see together, or the new art-teacher that had decided that Gerard’s drawings were too sprawly and cartoony and the big parade on the fourth of july. As if telling him of all the things that he could have here would make him come back.

”What does the word ‘love’ mean to you?” Gerard asked one rainy afternoon. He didn’t expect an answer and neither did he get one. Just silence and the occasional beep. But he hoped.

”I mean, not love like, how you love your family or the sky, but love love... You know. Like when you only have eyes for one person and you want to spend the rest of your life with them, grow old together. Have you ever felt that?” He wasn’t sure if it made him weird, talking to a comatose person about love. But he did.

”I don’t think it’s about holding them dearer than yourself, that’s absolute devotion and that’s a creepy cult-thing, they should be your equal, not your commander and the other way around. I think it’s a bit about setting the other’s wants and needs before your own emmediate pampering. Like, if you feel like getting a dog but your partner hates dogs, then you won’t buy a dog because your partner’s feelings are more important than your craving for a puppy, but you won’t go neglecting your own feelings either, like if your partner wants a kitty instead and you hate cats but you say it’s okay anyway and go around loathing that poor cat for the rest of your sad little life, because that’s bad and it’ll make both of you sad, you know? You’ll hate the cat and your partner’ll feel guilty about getting the cat, and that was a lousy comparison. But you get the point, right?” The monitor kept beeping and the rain kept pattering against the hospital window, trickling down the glass in tiny rivers. Gerard could hear every single drop that fell from somewhere above like a chorus of whispering faeries. Otherwise it was quiet.

”It’s all about giving and taking, you have to find a balance. At least that’s what I think. I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately, actually, I think almost entirely about that these days, in fact. And you. I think about love, and you, and...” Gerard paused as a little knock was heard.

”Yes?” He asked and within the next second a sinister-looking nurse stepped in and told him that visiting hours were over, then stepped out again to give Gerard time to say goodbye for the day and Gerard knew that she would be waiting ouside until he left the room. He had tried to stay longer, lord, he had even tried to sneak in outside of visiting hours, but to no avail.

”Alright, I have to go.” Gerard sighed, touching Frank’s hand as a common farewell-gesture, and then he did something that he had been wanting to do for quite a while but not dared to because of nerves or other people being in the room, on a complete whim of the moment. He leaned in and pressed a light kiss to the shell of Frank’s ear and whispered,

”I love you Frankie”

As he stood to his feet, Gerard felt strangely dizzy, in the same way you do when you sit down after a presentation in class or step offstage after a performance, like he’d acomplished something.

It rained that night in Neverland. Big, fat droplets falling like tears from the sky and Peter actually claimed they were.

”They’re babies’ tears. Some of them fall here for the same reason that the faeries were brought here after they were created, and because they want to” Peter said, looking up against the woven, green leaf ceiling of the treehouse. Peter had insisted on Frank joining him up there rather than with the others underneath Hangman’s tree as soon as the first raindrop hit the ground. It’s such a rare thing, rain in Neverland, he’d said. Such an ambient occasion.

”Tears have minds?” Frank asked, looking at Peter, watching his profile in the semi-darkness, tiny button nose. Accentuated eyebrows.

”No” Peter said, ”They have a will. A will and a mind is not the same thing. You have a mind, a Dandelion, for instance, has a will” He smiled softly as a loud clap of thunder shook the entire treehouse.

”Oh” Frank said and when he didn’t say anything more, Peter continued.

”A will is stronger than a mind, in a sense, mainly because a will only has one goal to accomplish while a mind constantly changes. No one can change a will. You can try to stop it, but you’ll never change it, you see. If you kill a Dandelion you only kill the flower itself, because the only thing a Dandelion wants is to prosper and grow towards the sun, and that, it has already accomplished. It’s different with a mind. Their dreams can change, they almost never end up with the dream they started out with because it’s constantly morphing and changing. It never finishes. And if you kill a person, the mind dies” Peter said matter-of-factly.
The treehouse was rocking slowly back and forth in the wind, lulling Frank until he was all sleepy and comfortable where he laid on the floor, wrapped in at least a hundred blankets.

”I used to think I had a will” Peter sighed, ”I thought my will was to remain a child forever, but I’ve been having second thoughts. You see, I always thought that having a will would be better than having a mind, because minds are weak, but someone has made me realize that it can feel really nice to be weak.” He paused ” When I think about it, I suppose having a mind is not so bad after all” He turned to face Frank and there was a light in his eyes that seemed to illuminate his entire aura. Frank squinted and blinked to keep himself awake. He was so tired he could sleep forever, but Peter was talking in that way he seldomly did, none of his former arrogance left to hear, just soft, swirling words that Frank would gladly listen to all night.

”Am I keeping you awake?” Peter asked, letting the mind that he tried so desperately to suppress float to the surface and make itself noticed. Frank just shook his head no and smiled.

”Keep talking, please. I love to hear you speak” Frank whispered, because talking out loud felt strange after keeping silent for a long time. Peter smiled and for once Frank could see all of his teeth.

”You do?” Frank nooded, and if he wasn’t completely mistaken... Peter was blushing slightly.

”I could tell you a story, and you can fall asleep to it.” Peter reached out to tuck a strand of dark hair behind Frank’s ear ”Squaa look heap tired” He said in an immitation of the gigantic but modest indian chief and Frank nodded again.


”No! You can’t leave!” Peter yelled.

”Yes I can!” Frank shot back, ”It’s my own chioce and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life playing catch, I want to be someone, make a difference. I want to go home”

”You don’t understand, Frankie! There’s nothing for you there, just stupid rules and horrible people, that’s no home for anybody!” Peter cried.

”But I can at least try to differ there, I have nothing calling me here, nothing to fight for or against except stupid pirates, I’ll just be a body without a personality here, forever” Frank said and saw Peter flinch.

”Then go.” Peter barked. ”Fly home and differ. Be a hero. Try.”

”You know I can’t fly all the way on my own” Frank looked right at Peter ”You’re being ridiculous”

”I’m a child Frank, what did you expect?” Peter sounded sure of his words but the little quiver of his eyes hinted that he doubted if they were really true. Frank thought Peter had changed since last night, in the treehouse, that he would understand, but he clearly didn’t and Frank felt anger pound thruough his veins, white-hot and soaring. He stepped up to Peter, standing close enough that he could feel the green-clad boy’s bodyheat, leaning in until their noses almost touched. Frank tilted his head slightly, his vision blurring.

”Does this make you feel like a child?” Frank whispered and his breath fell on Peter’s face in a way that felt both obscene and wonderful. And Peter didn’t feel like a child. ”Thought so” Frank spat out and backed a few steps, turned and stomped away, leaving Peter to feel humiliated by himself where he stood underneath the treehouse. Frank wasn’t exactly sure of what he thought, to be crude. He didn’t know if he thought Peter was a stupid baby or if there was something contradicting his image of the eternal youth in the way his cheeks had flushed red. The way his breath hitched. How his eyelids fluttered.

I have nothing calling me here. Frank had really said that. The words echoed through Peter’s head like a hung-up record, telling him over and over that he meant nothing to Frank, he was just a body without a personality. He wanted to shake Frank by the shoulders, hold his head and look into his eyes, tell him just why he wasn’t. But Peter had caught himself in his own cobweb, said the wrong things, and now his pride haunted him because of it.

Now there was nothing he could do, except perhaps telling Frank about his feelings, but as he’d concluded, he was too proud to admit that he’d been wrong. If you love someone, set them free, Peter thought instead, and went to tell the Lost boys that Frank was leaving.

They flew just a few hours later, side by side in silence. Peter wasn’t sure if Frank was mad anymore, but he wouldn’t risk anything by saying something stupid. He still hadn’t lost hope that Frank would change his mind and come back to Neverland.

Frank spoke first, just after they landed in his room. The shadows were tall and blue (Indigo, almost, the same deep hue as thick, un-dilluted ballpoint ink) and the house was quiet. The room felt eerily unfamiliar, in the same way an attic does because you seldomly vistit it, you might even forget it’s there.

”I’m so sorry Peter” He whispered, holding out his hand as a final goodbye, and Peter took it. Held it to savour the memory of how Frank’s skin felt.

”Goodbye, Frankie”

Peter leaned in and kissed Frank’s cheek, soft and warm, and then the world faltered around Frank. His room crumbled, the window turned to dust and the weak light from the stars died out so fast that Frank didn’t see if Peter faded away like everything else or if he flew away before that.

Frank woke with a start. There was a machine beside him, beeping furiously and it was mere seconds until a horde of doctors piled into the room and began tugging on various parts of Frank. He wanted to yell at them to stop, wanted to find Peter again, but the tube in his throat made him choke. When the tube was removed, Frank tried to scream, but all that escaped his mouth was a hoarse shriek.

Peter was gone and this time there was no turning back. Frank had to grow up now, he couldn’t return to Neverland again. The fact that he was in a hospital bed with a shit-ton of machines attached to him didn’t scare him nearly as much as the thought of never seeing Peter again. So he cried. He didn’t even bother to wonder how he had ended up at the hospital, just let the tears flow freely down his cheeks. He missed Peter’s smile and little button-nose, his eyes that somehow held the whole of Neverland in the tiny patches of his irises and the sound of his voice. So stupid, Frank thought, he was so stupid for not realizing what he had to lose. Still, Frank had insisted on giong home, just because the thought of remaining a child forever scared him. He had loved Peter, damn it. Frank had been head over heels in love with Peter Pan and he hadn’t even noticed. And now it had all run out in the sand. His chance had passed.

The nurses were worried, patted Frank’s face and asked if he felt sad. Frank still couldn’t, or wouldn’t speak so he just nodded and cried some more. By the time Frank’s father was allowed to see Frank, the tears had subsided but Frank still hadn’t spoken to anyone.

Frank’s father just sat at the bedside, held Frank’s hand and smiled sadly at him. Frank wondered why. No one had told him why he was there yet but Frank had noticed the way the nurses looked at him in pity. He had his suspiscions

”Gerard is here” Frank’s father said eventually and Frank’s interest perked at the phrase.

”He... He is?” Frank croaked, voice unmercifully hoarse and painful. Throat scrubbed raw by the tube and muscles weak from disuse.

”Do you want me to send him in?” Frank nodded.

”Yeah” He squawked miserably. The thing about having few friends was that those you had came to mean so much more to you.

A few minutes after Frank’s father left the room, there was an uncertain knock on the door. Gerard waited a few seconds before letting himself in, one arm hugging his waist and the other on the doorhandle.

”Hi Frank” He said and his voice had a softness that Frank recognized as relief, not a single trace of pity anywhere to be found. Frank just smiled at him, not wanting to strain his voice any further. Gerard sat down in the rickety chair beside Franks bed, staring at his hands.

”They said that you probably wouldn’t wake up” Gerard whispered and Frank was pretty sure that he was holding back tears.

”I... Frank, I was so scared, when I called your house and your dad told me what happened I... I was frightened, Frankie... I” Gerards voice cracked and he sniffled.

”They said that you wouldn’t wake up!” He was crying now, shaking his head and Frank put his hand over Gerard’s in an attempt to comfort his sobbing friend. I’m here now, was what he meant when he squeezed weakly, and Gerard squeezed back.

”Why did you do it?” Gerard said suddenly and Frank’s pained expression fell to blank. Did what?

”Oh, fuck! I’m so sorry Frank, I shouldn’t have...”

”Did what?” Frank wheezed.

”You... You, don’t remember?” Frank shook his head.

”Frankie, you... You threw yourself out the window. Three months ago. They had to incline a medical coma and you... You practically died, Frank.”

”But... Peter Pan... Pixiedust. Neverland and, but I flew! I flew out the window”

”Peter Pan?” Gerard asked dully, a washed-out reflection of a smile pulling at his chapped lips. Those thin lips. That pointed little nose and... Those eyes. Irises that used to hold the whole of Neverland like a sparkling secret now held Frank’s world.

”Yeah.” Frank breathed, tranquilized by sheer realization. He tried to lift his arm to touch Gerard’s face, had to mentally correct himself because his mind just went Peter, Peter, Peter. This was Gerard. But Gerard was Peter. The IV cord that was attached to Frank’s arm had tangled around his wrist, a little bit of blood leaking out into the clear liquid as the pressure had sunk inside the cord itself. At first Frank actually thought that the cord was holding his arm down, but realized that wasn’t the case as he almost couldn’t move at all, his body felt so weak, as if he’d ran a marathon with lead weights tied to his arms and feet. He was exhausted.

The arm fell back to the mattress with a dull thud and Frank whined slightly. He stared at Gerard, willing him to understand that he needed to hold Frank’s hand now, or hug him or just talk to him so that Frank could be sure he wouldn’t fade away again. Anything. But Gerard just stared back at Frank as if he’d never seen anything more mezmerizing and the moment would have been awkward if there weren’t a thousand other, more imortant things than awkwardness spinning through Frank’s head.

Frank wanted, no, needed to tell Gerard. Exactly what, he didn’t know. Hey! You know, in my weird coma-dream you were Peter Pan and I was totally in love with you, still am, seemed like the wrong way to put it. Apparently Frank had severe problems saying anything at all because his voice had finally given in completely. His mouth opened and closed like a goldfish’s but there was no sound. He thought he might be able to manage a whisper if he pushed himself, but figured that there would be times when he could talk to Gerard with actual words, and gave up.

Frank spent the rest of the day thinking about his father, how wounded he must be from first losing his wife and then almost his son, too. He should, but couldn’t make himself feel guilty for doing something he didn’t even remember considering. All Frank remembered was flying out of the window. He’d never been suicidal, as the psychiatrists tried to make him confess.

The fact that his father had been reluctant to visit him while he was down wasn’t really a surprise. Both Frank and him tended to go into denial in those kinds of situations, and Frank didn’t blame him.

He didn’t exactly greive his mother’s death anymore, either, even though he cried. The main reason to why Frank cried was because he loved her a lot and missed her, not because he wasn’t able to live without her, because he was fully capable of surviving with only his father for a family. Frank didn’t doubt that she was better of now than what she had been during the last fragments of her life, with the chemo and the constant illness, the weakness and fear of loosing control had been more painful to watch than her tombstone.

The real-life Lost boys, Frank discovered, weren’t very lost at all. They were just Mikey and Ray and Bob and Brian, though the twins were nowhere to be seen. But the others were all there, and they had visited Frank’s bedside every day since he woke up. For that, he was grateful, because even if he’d thought remaining a child in mental sense forever seemed scary, growing up was absolutely terrifying. But having his friends by his side while facing the fears made things a little easier. And having Gerard there with him, even if only as a friend, well. Then, Frank was eager to grow both up and old.

But then there were these moments when Frank would look up and find Gerard gazing at him in a way that made him wonder. They always blushed and looked away those times, and Frank always thought, holy shit, he knows, and assumed that Gerard didn’t feel the same and was just blushing because he was uncomfortable. But somewhere deep inside, Frank knew that if Gerard had been uncomfortable in that way, he’d been laughing and embarrassing himself by being a twitchy, nervous wreck, not blushing in silence behind the curtain of his fringe.

”Do you remember anything?” Gerard asked one october day. They were sitting outside the hospital, in the little garden where lavender and dasies were shriveling up and dying in the cooling autumn air, hand-shaped maple leaves turning from lime to golden, orange, red. It was chilly, but not cold, and the entire city smelled like high skies and sweet, fallen leaves.

”Remember what?” Frank countered, gazing up at the cloudy sky where a few robins were darting around, getting ready for winter.

”From when you were... Did you dream, you remember things or...” Gerard trailed off, awaiting Franks answer. He was looking at Frank, Frank was still staring at the robins.

”I remember you” Frank said. Gerard’s heart clenched and raced as Frank turned to face him. ”I remember you” He repeated.

A lonely raindrop fell on Frank’s knee, followed by another on his shoulder and when he looked up to the sky, one caught his cheek. Soon enough, it was raining.

”They’re babies’ tears” Frank mumbled.

”What?” Gerard wondered, leaning closer to Frank, putting his head on his shoulder, looking up at the grey sky to find what Frank was seeing. There was nothing but clouds, undecided and heavy. He guessed this was the part of Frank that would never be the same. ”We should go inside” Frank just shook his head.

”I want to tell you about Neverland”
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