Categories > Celebrities > My Chemical Romance > Trying To Escape The Inevitable

Chapter Twenty Nine

by CosmicZombie 30 reviews

“Don’t ever wish that,” Gerard says, and he suddenly sounds angry. “You’re so lucky, Frank. You don’t lie to yourself. You feel, and that’s so brave.”

Category: My Chemical Romance - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Characters: Frank Iero,Gerard Way,Mikey Way - Published: 2012-10-20 - Updated: 2012-10-22 - 10111 words

Hey there, Lovelies. God, I'm so sorry this update's taken a ridiculous amount of time- as I said in my note (which, by the way, thanks for rating green xD), I'm just choked with schoolwork at the moment. Seriously, I am so stressed out- and the exams are in nine goddamn days. Arghh. Anyway, I finally found time to get this chapter done...I really, really hope it makes up for the wait- it is pretty long, and things really do happen in this one. I hope you guys enjoy it, 'cause your support is seriously just so bloody amazing. Thank you for sticking with this, I can't tell you all how much it means.

Chapter Twenty Nine

The city is kinda beautiful like this. It’s usually worn, grizzled pavements are cloaked pure-white, powdery snow that glitters like decimated stars that still fall under the dull, orange glow of flickery streetlamps, while a icily black breeze whistles tunelessly through the deserted streets, the frigid trees, and the wool of my threadbare gloves. The only things that ghost back to the usual melancholy, smoky city are the riddles of footprints on the snow- but even they are melting away under fresh sprinklings of snow tumbling from the velvety clouds.

It could be a whole different city, with the air pure and cold, tasting like black water on December onyx that lingers frostily on my tongue. My breath clouds smokily up into the deep ebony velvet night as I hurry along, shivering, through the lonely streets.

It’s just after nine and Mikey, Gerard and I are walking briskly through the bitter cold to the party Ocean invited us to. We’re running sort of late, but I think it’s pretty miraculous Mom and Steve let us go at all, considering recent events. Perhaps they were persuaded by the batch of well-meaning, yet distinctly overcooked mince pies awaiting them in the oven when they arrived home from work, or the dusting of flour all over the kitchen work surfaces- or perhaps it was simply the smiles on our faces. I feel as though I’ve spent the whole day smiling, and it’s the most scarily awesome feeling ever. I can’t remember feeling like this even when it was just me and Ocean before Mikey and Gerard arrived and everything was okay- it’s warmer, sweeter, and it tugs at my chest.

I can hardly bite back the impulsive smile even now, with my feet frozen, the skin on my cheeks stripped raw by the bitter, winter breeze chipping away at my flesh with glittering snowflakes.

Maybe it’s because the twinkling lights of the city look almost exactly the same as they did last night, gold in the obsolete blackness, when Gerard and I wended our way back home from the graveyard and it had just started snowing shyly; the streetlamps’ dull, orangey glow making every snowflake in the air and trodden into the ground sparkle like stars fallen from the vast December sky- it looks almost the same now, but somehow, everything feels so different. Not just because it’s a new day, a different fleet of snow, because something’s really changed.

Gerard’s changed.

He’s closer, more real. And while they were raw and repulsively real last night, the horrors of the day before have melted- or been buried under the snow. Everything that happened after school; Mikey being beat up while Danny’s friend, Alan, gouged his nails into the force-inflicted injury on Gerard’s forearm, trying to make him scream. Only Gerard never screamed the way they wanted him to. He screamed from the inside, and when I sat with him in the graveyard in the threadbare darkness, it was all I could hear as I looked into those tangled, tortured green eyes that stared starkly back at me, bleakly daring me to laugh.

Teeth chattering, I pull my thoughts away from Gerard’s pain-obliterated emerald gaze and tug my tatty black fingerless gloves as far over my skin as possible, in some vain attempt to block the icy night as I quicken my pace, realising my thoughts have deterred me from the present, and Mikey and Gerard are several paces ahead.

Mikey’s at the front, listening to his iPod and anxiously checking his watch every few minutes because we’re late. He’s looking ridiculously sweet and childish in a grey beanie hat, snow-flecked glasses, his favourite navy-blue duffel coat, and a nose that’s bright red from the bitter night. Gerard’s just behind him, walking more tensely, as though he’s nervous; hands shoved deep into the pockets of his black skinny jeans, head bowed, shoulders hunched protectively over his slender frame.

A funny little pang shoots through me and I frown, catching up slightly before firmly redirecting my erratic thoughts to my surroundings.

The snow’s still falling, thick and white in the darkness, and I can see my breath smoking the black night particles around me as I walk. I can’t quite figure out why, but burnt black butterflies are fluttering and swooping sickeningly in my gut, their papery wings dipping into my blood and infusing it with fizzling nerves.

I’ve been feeling distinctly nervous all evening; stomach turning somersaults, heart leaping, pulse jumping and skipping erratically until I feel sick. It’s as though I’m expecting something to happen; wanting something to happen; anticipating it. Only I don’t know what- and the nerves are counterbalanced with a wonderful sort of warmth that radiates all round me and turns my thoughts to mush, so even if I wanted to find out, it’s almost impossible to gather the spinning of my thoughts and decipher them.

Maybe it’s not just Gerard who’s different tonight. Maybe it’s me too.

My thumping thoughts are suddenly interrupted with a small vibration from my phone. I fish it out clumsily, fingers fumbling.

One New Message From: Ocean: Hey, are you coming to the party or not? Make sure you bring Gerard and Mickey xxx

Rolling my eyes a little at her total inability to remember Mikey’s name, I quickly tap out a reply telling her we’re on our way, while trying very hard to ignore the fact her very transparent want for Gerard to be at the party makes my jaw clench angrily. It is clearly just because I’m jealous she’d prefer to spend time with him rather than me. Obviously. No other reason whatsoever, I decide firmly, sending the text and pocketing my phone.

I’ve caught up with Gerard now- or he’s slowed down to walk beside me. He’s walking very closely beside me, almost protectively. So closely that his arm will brush against mine with every step, and each time, I have to fight the urge to let the smile take over as the bruised butterflies soar hopefully in the darkness of my belly, craving the cold night air around us.

One time he looks round, catching my gaze, and smiles too, green eyes glittering uncertainly but warmly out of the darkness, lips and cheeks tinted pink from the cold, all dusted in flakes of falling ice. I bite my lip and duck my head suddenly smiling far too widely as my heart beats faster, so alive and hot compared to the snowy blackness whirling round us.

“Hey,” he nudges me gently; eyes softly warm behind the smoky black exterior. His voice sounds almost echoey in the silence of the falling snow around us; the soft crunch of our footsteps that imprint tentatively on the compressed, white frosting that’s tinted shimmering orange from the streetlamps.

“Hi,” I mumble back almost inaudibly, trying to conceal the grin as I scuff my footsteps through the snow, feeling the icy snow seep through the canvas material of my Converse trainers, but I don’t care. The world is all blurry with white feathers tumbling on a black canvas and the hot incisions of my heartbeat.

“You okay?” Gerard asks, eyes would-be-light, but silently anguished and emerald in the darkness of streetlamps and snow. The bubble in my chest tugs powerfully, and I have to look away. His breath is warm and opaque in the wintry air, brushing the shell of my ear with smoky letters.

“Frank?” he repeats, sounding slightly confused, and I realise I haven’t responded to his question. Blushing furiously, I shiver and nod in response, scuffing my feet more deeply into the snow. I feel clumsy and disorientated, like all my limbs are a few paces behind the frantic whir of my mind and the toil and tumble of the wings fluttering in my gut. I force myself to look up at him, and ignore the little pang in my belly.

“Looking forward to the party?” he asks, moving away a little. I struggle not to feel a pang of disappointment as the warmth of his body leaves me cold, and shrug, trying to pull my lucid, liquid thoughts together to speak.

“I’m not really a party kind of person,” I admit eventually, glancing shyly up at him and hurriedly returning to staring at the snowy pavement as a kind of shock judders right through me, like dulled electricity. “What about you?” I mumble, biting my lip.

Gerard considers, digging his hands deeper into the pockets of his leather jacket as he keeps pace with my unsteady footsteps. “I’m not sure.” He says finally, blowing a tendril of black away from his face into the floating snowflakes. “I was. I am, kinda. But I don’t always like being with so many people, y’know?” His eyes are mixed-up green.

I nod, understanding completely. The crush of warm, sweaty arms and limbs smelling of body spray and alcohol at parties always makes me feel so much on my own- yet horribly exposed to my peers.

“I don’t always…cope with it that well,” he says, very quietly, eyes on the sparkling white pavement. He bites his lip, and I suddenly want to reach out and crush him with a hug. The sudden impulse takes me aback and I blink, stalling for a second.

“Like when we went to the club with Ocean?” I bluster, trying to cover up for the momentary confusion. “Last Saturday?” I add more tentatively, eyeing him anxiously and cursing myself for opening my mouth, fearing I might have crossed a line.

Gerard’s face hardens for a moment, almost turning cold, but then he swallows convulsively and nods tensely, his hair flitting around him in lots of black tendrils, blacker than the sky, purer than the snowflakes flitting around us. Like broken-up midnight wishes. I shake my head disbelievingly at my own impulsive thoughts, focusing my mind back on what he’s saying, heart thudding.

“Like when we went to the club with Ocean,” he repeats softly with a tiny sigh, and his shoulder bumps against mine again, making my stomach flip and the smile pull uncontrollably at my chapped lips. When I realise this, I frown, suddenly confused again.

I’m left to mull over my impulsivity and thoughts as we trudge through the city centre, which is pure and powdery with white and trails of forgotten footprints. The roads are grey with polluted slush, but empty of the stale fug of cars and red tail lights.

The snow-swirling air is so pure and cold and clear in the dark, and it fills me with momentary giddiness at the Christmassy tang of the glittering lights on the sparkling snow. We’re meandering into the outskirts of the city now; white-coated suburban streets under a sky where the stars are falling down and the house Ocean directed us to is nearing.

Gerard’s gone silent, but he’s still walking closely beside me; enough for me to catch wisps of vanilla and smoke and black leather in the frozen, lamplit night. Each time I do, the familiar scents tug powerfully at my heartstrings until my whole chest is aching with each breath I draw. I don’t know why, but I suddenly feel inexplicably close to him, like I’ve nearly unravelled a ribbon of little black knots. The bubble in my chest is elated, soft, warm; searing higher and faster than any of the butterflies; tugging at my blood as I ache to know more, to care more, just for more…for Gerard.

Still in silence, we turn onto the street we’ve been directed to, footsteps silent on the snowy pavements, breath opaque like frosting in the black velvet air. I take a deep breath and glance round at Gerard, heart beating faster than the snowflakes are falling. He’s not looking at me- he’s gazing in disenchantment up at the December raven sky, watching the snowflakes tumble down ceaselessly. His raw green eyes are like fairy lights in the darkness, rimmed with long, dark lashes and wisps of sooty black smoke. I can feel myself getting all caught up in him; it’s like watching a poem and it’s enchanting the bubble behind my ribs.

He suddenly seems to sense my gaze and looks away from the sky to meet it, cheeks turning slightly pink. “Sorry,” he murmurs, biting at the smile threatening to sweep his lips. He scuffs snow with his foot before glancing back at me. “I love watching the snow. It’s like… lonely music. I miss music.” The last bit is just a whisper, almost quieter than the snow.

I don’t know what to say to that; to the quiet intensity and importance interlinked into that sentence, so we walk in silence for a couple moments, before I pluck up the courage to speak and say something I’ve wanted to all day- since I accidentally read a song scrawled in heartfelt black ink about not recognising reflections and understood maybe just a little bit more about this intriguing tangle of façade and blood.

“Tell me about your band,” I whisper impulsively, looking up in earnest at Gerard. He looks back at me; a blazing green look full of fear and anger and glittering secrets scared to be told- all wrapped up with a kind of lingering warmth that makes my cheeks burn, even in the icy whirlwind of snow. My heart pumps faster in fear of rejection, and I wonder if I’ve pushed him too far.

But then the anger seems to fade out and he sighs raggedly, dropping his gaze almost guiltily. A pang shoots through me, but then his glance flickers fearfully back up and he hesitantly reaches out between us and laces long, cold fingers through mine, making my heart glitch. It’s all tentative and warm, his eyes anxious as he surveys me closely, like he’s making sure it’s okay.

I can’t stop a smile pulling strongly at the corners of my mouth, and bite my lip, nervously squeezing his hand and trying to ignore the swooping in my belly as he squeezes back fiercely- almost like he needs me.

For several moments, we just walk hand in hand, my heart thudding painfully fast as he seems to consider his answer, gather himself. Then he looks round at me determinedly, painfully honest, the broken pieces making his eyes glitter compellingly in the darkness, showing he’s steeled himself grittily.

“What do you want to know?” He asks quietly.

I blink, trying to think straight, because with the snow and the darkness blurring in front of me and all the butterflies escaping from my stomach and my heart hammering and hammering at my ribs and Gerard’s fingers laced through mine, I feel flustered. I bite my lip, knowing I need to drag my gaze from his, but not having the strength to pull my heart from something so deep.

“Did…Did you write songs?” I ask eventually, stuttering slightly, eyes wide as I stare straight back at him, still unable to look away.

“I did.” He replies, eyes conflicted and bittersweet. He tries to smile, but it sort of ends up as a grimace, and he tightens his grip on my hand, sighing and looking away.

I have to drop my gaze to the shimmery white snow beneath my feet then, because the little fiery bubble in my chest is swelling and swelling and swelling and I’m scared of what will happen if it doesn’t stop.

Silence cascades over us with the snowflakes for several paces, but it’s not awkward; it’s meaningful and contemplative, and his icy fingers stay tightly laced through mine as we walk. I love the feeling- it makes me feel the last thing from lonely in a way I’ve never felt with someone before. Sort of like the depleted skin of my scars has been renewed, and I’m whole again.

I finally pluck up the courage to look him in the eye again, even though my heart’s beating hotly and wetly in my chest, a snowy paradox. “Do you still?” I ask quietly as the talent-raw black lyrics scrawl themselves through my mind. “Write songs?” I clarify hastily, stumbling slightly over the words.

His eyes smoulder with questions and conflicted answers as he looks at me, stellar green eyes fierce and tender at the same time in the darkness that crunches softly beneath our feet. For a second, they blaze, his grip almost crushing mine, and I think he’s going to shut himself away and leave me- but then he swallows, closes his eyes and murmurs;


“Why don’t you sing them?” I blurt, not able to stop asking questions now that I’ve started. Now I’ve begun, I want to unravel every knot and twist, iron out every bump and see what’s under all the temporary tumours. I look seriously at him. “You know, if you used to?”

“Well, I don’t have a band here, do I?” he replies lightly; but it’s too lightly, and I don’t feel as though it’s the real answer. His eyes flicker self-consciously away from mine, turning to darkness, and I don’t push it. I’m happy just to continue walking through the snow with the emanating warmth beside me, because I never want to let this feeling go. I don’t know quite what it is, but it makes my stomach twisty and my mind muddled, like my thoughts are tangled up- but at the same time, it makes a tender, temperate warmth radiate through every single bone in my body, and the fiery little bubble beating behind my ribs ache. It makes me feel more alive, less alone, than I have in forever.

We walk the remainder of the way in silence, following Mikey’s timid footsteps through the snow, but Gerard still has his hand round mine, which makes me feel safe and warmly shivery and as though someone’s scraping electric shocks down my spine all at the same time.

By the time we reach the party, my thoughts are complete mush. It’s very easy to tell which house the party’s coming from; the dull, heavy thump of rock music ebbs out into the snow-cloaked silence and fairy lights are strewn all across the roof and round the garden, where large groups of people are laughing and drinking, their breath smoky and opaque in the velvety ebony air. The whole atmosphere is so suddenly loud and obtrusive it feels like its broken our safe little bubble, sliced through the very fragile closeness.

My stomach tenses uncomfortably as we grind to a pause just outside the gate, breath shaky in the winter darkness, cold making me shiver. I feel Gerard’s grip on my hand tighten slightly, and a wave of relief washes over me to think that I’m maybe not the only one feeling slightly nervous. I want to throw him a grateful smile, but I’m too fearful of being snubbed; Gerard’s different when there are lots of people around.

Mikey wrenches me from my thoughts as he turns round anxiously to face us, pulling out his earbuds, glasses steamed up from the sparkly dull-orange tinted cold. His gaze gravitates to Gerard and me, and the smallest of smiles spreads across his face. For some reason, this makes me feel horribly self-conscious, and my cheeks burn.

Gently, Gerard disentangles his fingers from mine and mutters something about being cold, which only seems to make Mikey’s smile widen. I don’t really pay too much attention- I’m too busy trying to ignore the sudden coldness and the sinking feeling my chest by pushing the snow on the pavement around with my foot, disregarding the erratic beat of my confused heart and the burn of my cheeks.

“Oh look, there’s Ocean,” Mikey says suddenly, turning and waving at a figure in the garden. He glances round at Gerard and me, that same little smile still playing across his mouth. “You guys coming?” he asks.

I nod mutely, not trusting myself to look up from the slushy snow at my feet.

“We’ll be there in a second,” Gerard answers, taking me by surprise. I blink, looking up to see Mikey looking surprised too- but also slightly pleased. He bids us goodbye and hurries off up the snowy, overgrown garden path towards the crowds of people talking in the dull glow of the fairy lights. I watch his timid little steps make footprints leading away from us in the snow, and bite my lip, shaking my hair across my eyes as my heart rate suddenly takes it upon itself to triple.

“Frank.” Gerard’s soft voice sends my stomach twisting again, and I whirl round to face him. He’s biting his lip and glancing uncertainly towards the party, but he stops when he meets my gaze, and relaxes slightly, smiling slightly. As though within the two of us, it’s all okay, even if everything around us isn’t.

Though the snowflakes fall between us, I’ve never felt closer to someone. It makes my chest ache, my heart sear in the darkness.

“You look great tonight,” he murmurs softly, biting his smile as he looks warmly at me, making my stomach do something ridiculous.

“You think?” I mumble uncertainly, ducking my head and suddenly having to fight down the urge to grin like a total idiot.

“Yeah,” An amused smile plays across his lips. “For a midget.”

I catch the teasing glint in his eyes and nudge him carefully in the chest, pretending to be annoyed.

“I am not small,” I tell him firmly.

“No, you aren’t. You’re miniscule,” Gerard grins.

I scowl, and he just grins even more. I suddenly find myself wondering what his laugh sounds like- not his perfected, humourless laugh; his real laugh. Then I have to frown and shake my head and stop thinking, because I’m not sure I want to go where my thoughts are trying to lead me.

“Right, lets go,” I sigh, glancing towards the party anxiously and letting my hair fall heavily across my face, shielding me.

“No, no, no,” Gerard protests, and I look up, confused.

He’s looking at me earnestly, sincerity breaking out of the unfeeling exterior. I feel my heart pump faster and faster as tentatively, brow furrowed in concentration, he reaches up and brushes my hair back out of my face. His icy fingers are gentle and tender behind their trembles, his secretively haunted emerald eyes holding glitteringly onto mine, reassuring me. Softly, he relinquishes the chestnut coloured waves and drops his hand, smiling gently, his face hollowed out and colourless in the dull glare of the streetlamp overhead, spilling onto the white snow at our feet.

“There,” he whispers, and under all the black leather and cynicism, he sounds almost shy for the first time. “Like that.”

“But-” I protest, voice trembling as I gaze up into his tangled emerald eyes, unable to make myself look away. “I’m not sure I can go into the party…y’know…” I duck my head. “People will see…the…you know…” I trail off, the scars burning their shame into my face.

“They’re barely noticeable, honestly,” Gerard tells me gently, tilting my head back up, his thumb stroking strongly across my cheekbone where the darkest scar is still thick and ugly, like barbed wire. The tender touch is warm and fizzles across my skin, making me shiver and sigh, wanting to close my eyes and lean into it, because I can feel Gerard’s breathing soft and warm against my lips, smell the heady wisps of charcoal and smoke and honey clinging to his dark exterior- and all I want to do is move closer to it all and let it absorb me completely…

“Faggots!” Someone’s harsh, loud laugh splinters through the moment, and I jump, feeling them barge uncaringly into me as they make their way up the path towards the party. I stumble, blushing furiously, and Gerard’s eyes flicker acutely with hurt. I look at him, but this time, his eyes duck away from mine, and he just looks away, avoiding me, eyes anguished. For a second, he looks as though he wants to set off back down the snowy streets the way we came, but then he starts up the path, hands dug deep into his pockets, leaving me behind.

I don’t have to heart to catch up and walk with him, so I dawdle behind, heart heavy and bruised as I drag my feet through the mounds of snow, even though my Converse trainers are already soaked and icy. The bruised butterflies inside me are far from fluttering now; they’ve sunk to the marshy depths of my skeleton and are sinking, trapped in the tar-like blackness.

I’m so lost in consuming thoughts that I don’t notice Ocean until she’s right in front of me, grinning widely.


I blink distantly, pulling my thoughts away from everything churning inside to see Ocean blocking my way halfway up the garden path. She looks very pretty with her blue hair wavy and her eyes outlined in dusty purple, and she sips intermittently from a beaker of cider as she stands in front of me, tapping her fingers on the plastic in time with the music emanating from the open front door of the house.

“Hey,” I manage eventually, trying to manufacture a smile.

“You look good,” she tells me with a smile, grabbing my arm and steering me up the path, chattering away. “I was kinda worried you weren’t gunna turn up, I’m so glad you did. I miss you, Frankie. We never hang out anymore. Did Gerard come, by the way?” She looks at me inquisitively.

I nod mutely, thoughts far away.

“Where is he, then?” Ocean presses, eyes still searching mine without really seeing. “And his brother, what was it…Mickey?”

“Mikey,” I correct her automatically as we walk towards the front door. “And I don’t know, they both kinda disappeared without me,” I reply honestly, sighing heavily. I feel completely churned up; one moment I feel on top of the world, floating, elated, and the next I feel like I’ve crashed to the murky ground and been buried beneath its rubble. There’s a sour taste in my mouth and a heavy drag in my chest, and with a jolt, I realise they’re disappointment.

“Oh. Well, let’s go get you a drink and see if they’re in the house, and if they’re not, we’ll just come back out here and hang out, okay?” Ocean announces, dragging me into the warmth and rabble of the hallway, forcing our way through the throng of people and towards the source of the pounding music.

Forcing myself to shake the disappointment off, I follow her.

The living room is jam-packed with people dancing and drinking to the loud, thumping music. A stale layer of smoke makes the whole room slightly murky, and the teenage essence smells of alcohol, sweat and hormones fills the stuffy space. With a resigned sigh, I push my way through a gaggle of hipsters and join Ocean at the drinks table, feeling as resentful and alone as I did before that night at the club when I helped Gerard home; when I discovered I really might not be as alone as I felt.

But without him, maybe I am.

I spot Gerard immediately, standing tensely over by the window, looking as impassive and cool as ever- but I can tell he’s on edge, under the carefully casual mask and the smoky black eyeliner. He’s sipping distractedly from a plastic beaker, nervously eyeing a suavely dressed blonde guy at the other side of the room. He seems to sense my gaze almost immediately, and looks up- almost like he’s been waiting for it. But when our gazes clash through the pounding music, something almost ashamed flickers through his green one, before he ducks his head and takes a gulp of his drink, choking slightly.

“Hurry up, Ocean,” I snap, forcing myself to turn away as hurt splinters through my chest, making my ribs ache.

“Okay, okay,” she rolls her eyes, pouring a beaker of cider. “Calm down.”

I’m forced to stand beside her and watch, seething, teeth grinding, as a couple of scene chicks approach Gerard, twirling their neon hair round their fingers and smiling hopefully. He jumps, but almost instantly fixes on a seductive smile, flirting with them both, making them laugh. I watch furiously, blood beating in my brain, until I can’t bear to watch anymore, because it suffocates me.

“They’re not in here, let’s go,” I splutter, shoving Ocean towards the door, ignoring her protests. I need to get away from Gerard as soon as possible, and I certainly don’t want Ocean to spot him. Watching him, watching his fake, casual presence when I know it shows the last thing from the truth chokes me in all the initial hatred I felt towards him, and in that moment, I loathe his ability to cover up his true self so easily- as if his feelings are nothing at all.

As if he’s nothing at all.

“What was that all about?” Ocean demands the second we’re out in the hallway.

“Nothing,” I mutter, biting my nails.

She sighs heavily and thrusts a plastic beaker of cider into my hands.

“Fine,” she says wearily. “There you go.”

“Thanks,” I say without feeling, accepting the beaker as we make our way down the hallway and into the kitchen, which is decidedly cramped and dingy, but less crowded and Gerard-free. The back door’s open, and the air seeps icily through, dark and wintry. I gulp the oxygen in, feeling it begin to repair the anguished tears in my throat and chest.

“So how’s life been treating you?” Ocean asks conversationally, talking loudly over the loud music drifting down the hallway from the living room.

I shrug uncaringly and take a long swig of my drink.

“I’ve been trying to call you since last night, y’know,” she tells me, eyeing me suspiciously over the rim of her drink. “Is everything okay?”

I nod briskly, moving closer to the back door to look out at the snow.

“Sure?” Ocean frowns. “You sounded really preoccupied when I got through to you yesterday evening.”

I grit my teeth, because she’s talking about when she interrupted Gerard and me in the graveyard by calling. I grind my teeth when I realise I don’t know why I minded so much- or even what it was that she was interrupting.


I’m roused by my frowning thoughts of the safe darkness of the graveyard and the mingled smell of smoke and salty tears, but most potently the ugly, carved letters on Gerard’s arm glistening in thick, dark beads of blood, obscene in the dull light. I realise that Mikey is walking towards the back door from the garden, waving.

Somewhat half-heartedly, I force myself to raise a hand and wave back before taking another gulp of cider. “Hey,” I say listlessly as he reaches us.

Mikey steps into the kitchen, brushing snow from his duffel coat. “It’s so cold,” he shudders, blowing hot air onto his hands.

“Yeah, that happens when there’s snow,” Ocean rolls her eyes.

Mikey blinks, and I glare crossly at Ocean, who raises her eyebrows in forced apology and takes another swig of her drink.

There’s a slightly awkward silence before Mikey asks; “Where’s Gerard?”

I grit my teeth and shrug, ignoring the painful snags the name causes.

“So,” Ocean says, sounding bored. “It’s good being off school, isn’t it?”

“Yeah,” Mikey agrees fervently. “I really hope the snow stays a while.”

I barely even tune into their half-hearted conversation after that; too wrapped up in my own tangled, angry, vulnerable thoughts. I don’t pay attention until I realise Mikey’s talking to me, and hastily drag myself out of my thoughts and try and look as though I’m okay.

“…Is that cider?” he asks, nodding towards my beaker.

Trying not to scowl, I nod.

“Do you know where the drinks are?” Mikey asks timidly, eyeing our drinks.

“Yeah, in the living room,” Ocean says carelessly. “Oh, hey, it’s Alex,” she says suddenly, waving enthusiastically to someone out in the garden. Then she looks back at us. “Frank, you can show him where the drinks are, right? I’ll see you guys in a bit,” she waves, plonks her empty cider beaker down on the draining board and heads off out into the garden.

I sigh heavily and motion Mikey to follow me back through to the living room, hoping sincerely that Gerard will have moved elsewhere.

“I just ran into one of the girls from my old school,” Mikey tells me happily as we make our way down the hall. “Apparently she’s staying with her Mom for the holidays and has come down a couple weeks early. It was a nice surprise seeing her, she was about the only girl who ever spoke to me in my old school.”

I mumble something I hope is positive as we enter the living room. I can feel my heart thumping painfully in my chest, louder than the music, anticipating, prepared for disappointment…

“There’s Gerard!” Mikey calls over the noise, and with a horrible sinking feeling, I see Gerard standing on his own by the drinks table. The scene chicks he was flirting with earlier are still eyeing him hopefully, but he doesn’t even appear to have noticed as he swallows gulps of his drink apprehensively, eyes flickering intermittently across the room. The anger in my chest melts slightly, but I feel hurt, confused, as I watch him, suddenly unsure of who he is at all.

He jumps angrily when Mikey touches him on the shoulder, but I see fear flash through his green eyes as he whirls round.

Mikey blinks, looking hurt. There’s a horrible pause, during which Mikey shuffles away, pulling at the sleeves of his duffel coat, before Gerard struggles with something for a moment and then reaches out and pulls him back, apologising- although the crease in his forehead barely fluctuates. His eyes linger on mine for a second, and he almost smiles, when the blonde guy he was watching anxiously earlier bumps into his side and Gerard jumps, whipping round. I can practically see his heartbeat thudding.

The blonde guy’s eyes widen when he sees Gerard, and a slow, slightly seedy grin spreads across his handsome face as he stops dancing and swipes his floppy hair from his eyes. “Well, I’d never have expected to see you here, Gerard Way,” he raises his eyebrows. “How’s life treating you these days, gorgeous?”

“Fine,” Gerard mutters, as though anything if. He’s suddenly become very interested in his drink, as though he’s hoping the guy will just go away. I can see his hands trembling, and a strange clash of hating him and wanting to wrap my arms round him wells up inside of me.

“Who are these lovely people?” the blonde guy continues, raising his eyebrows pleasantly at Mikey and I. It’s edgy, though, and something about his manner makes me wary- although maybe that’s just watching Gerard’s reaction.

“Friends,” he says abruptly, not meeting the blonde guy’s eyes. Surprisingly, he seems to sense Gerard’s withdrawal and shrugs easily.

“Well, I’ll catch you later. I’m here with my cousin. Do you know him? I think he goes to your school,” the blonde guy says, gesturing across the crowded room. My eyes follow his movement and something horrible happens to my insides. It’s Danny. He notices us all and grins maliciously, eyes as cold and dead as ever in the swirl and pound of colours and noise of the party.

I shudder involuntarily, and Gerard drops his drink, spilling its contents all over the floor like blood.

The blonde guy laughs unkindly. “I’ll take that as a yes.” He raises his beaker and looks more ominously at Gerard. “See you, Way. Watch your step.” He quirks an eyebrow before melting back into the crowd.

I watch Gerard, all my anger at him forgotten as I just stand there, horrified at the look of anguish seared through his eyes. It’s making my chest ache painfully, and I just want to go over and tell him it’s okay- but I don’t know where I stand anymore, so I just stand there awkwardly, hating myself.

Gerard doesn’t meet either Mikey or my gaze, and the tugging ache of my heart gets worse. The blonde guy is now laughing with Danny across the room, but both their eyes flicker intermittently over to Gerard, predatory and threatening, like they’re hunting him with the subtlest of glances. He looks hunted; hunched over his drink, grip shaking, face mask-like.

“Gerard…” I mumble, and his head jerks up, eyes blazing with accusatory hurt.

“What?” he spits dangerously, glugging his drink, eyes cutting into mine.

I backtrack instantly, glaring- but hurt swells and pumps through every inch of me as I watch him slug back the drink and hate me and be so unalive.

“Nothing,” I mumble, looking at the floor. “Nothing.”

I stumble away, barely seeing the fluctuating bodies around me as I blindly make my way over to the drinks table, needing to escape.

“Frank,” Mikey’s voice is gentle and anxious at my shoulder, soft over the heavy thump of music. I look round, confused, as he tugs me out of the room and steers me up the hallway and out the front door, into the garden, where the sudden drop in temperature makes me shiver violently. Most people have understandably migrated inside by this point, and Mikey steers us to the ivy-encrusted wall beside the window to the living room, where the warm, smoky golden light spills out into the December darkness.

“Frank…Can I ask you about something?” Mikey says suddenly, looking at me seriously. His hazel eyes are apprehensive behind the lenses of his glasses, but I have a feeling he’s going to ask something that I’ll be more apprehensive about than him.

“What?” I ask warily, dragging my gaze away from the people inside the living room, where I can see Gerard still looking trapped. He’s trying to avoid the glances from the blonde guy and Danny, but I can practically see anxiety etched across his features. Watching makes my stomach churn with hurt, though, so I try hard to focus on Mikey and the cold, still air and the snow floating down from the velvety winter sky.

Mikey is looking distinctly awkward.

“What?” I repeat, frowning, my voice sounding uncomfortably loud in the comparative silence of the garden.

“Well, it’s about…um…that thing you and me and Ocean talked about that day in the park, remember? When you, uh, walked off,” Mikey trembles, looking extremely apprehensive.

My cheeks flame with humiliation and I look at the ground and my sodden, muddy Converse, jaw gritted. “No, I don’t remember,” I lie. I remember horribly well; the flooding, gushing anger that made me want to explode at the thought it was only anger at myself. But what I remember most of all is that storming home that day was the day I heard Gerard singing- singing my words of anguish with more feeling than I believed anyone other than I would be able to. Singing my words as if they were his own and he knew the broken bones of each and every one of them.

“Frank? Frank!” Mikey’s voice brings me crashing back down to the less than easy present, where the snowflakes are sharp, cutting into my skin, the party thumps on, and I’m, as always, standing out in the cold.

“Sorry,” I mutter, looking determinedly away from the window where I can see Gerard is still standing tensely, watching everyone else dance. I study my hands and focus my mind back to Mikey. “Carry on.”

“Well, it was about…liking people,” Mikey says quietly, fiddling with the toggles on his navy blue duffel coat and not meeting my eye.

With a jolt, I realise I can’t see Gerard through the window anymore.

“Frank!” Mikey’s looking at me anxiously.

“What?” I demand angrily, looking up from where I was looking for Gerard through the window, eyes blazing as panic begins to escalate in my chest.

“Do you…like….uhm….anyone?” Mikey presses, glancing fleetingly up at my furious face before fiddling more anxiously with the toggles.

“No,” I say abruptly, eyes still raking the people in the living room for Gerard.

“Well, it’s just. Well. I’ve never seen Gerard so trusting of someone since- well, that’s not the point. Uhm. I just mean that- uh- you guys…you guys click, or something. You’re so much like each other, and I just wondered if maybe you, uh….” Mikey trails off, looking extremely apprehensive. One of the toggles on his duffle coat snaps and plummets to the ground in the silence.

“Just what are you implying, Mikey?” I snarl furiously, anger fuming inside me, smoking with no ventilation. It’s a stupid question, really. I know exactly what he’s implying- but I can’t think about that. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. And I still can’t see Gerard.

“I just wondered if maybe…if maybe you’d thought any more about…being…” Mikey tails off nervously, evidently too scared to confront me properly. I feel sort of guilty about that, but not enough that it overcomes the furious defiance inside me- or the rising panic that Gerard is no longer visible in the room, no matter how many times I rake my eyes over the people.

“I’m sorry, I’m really bad at this,” Mikey trembles, suddenly noticing one of his duffel coat toggles is missing and blinking. “But can you just answer one question?”

“Depends what it is,” I say honestly, biting my lip and forcing my gaze back out into the snowy, darkened garden.

“Do…Do you like Gerard?” Mikey blurts. The words hang heavily in the air between us as my heart pounds and pounds at hearing the words spoken so plainly.

Mikey stoops to pick up the fallen toggle.

I rake a trembling hand through my hair and try to say no, but all it comes out as is a shaking, scared, “I- I don’t know.” My heart rate accelerates further still and I struggle not to have a full on panic attack.

Mikey looks earnestly at me, hazel eyes full of honest empathy. “I won’t judge,” he says quietly, and I know he won’t. I know Mikey would be the best person in the world to tell- but how can I tell someone something when I don’t even know the answer myself? It’s all whirling round, mixed up, tangled together, and I don’t know what’s what anymore. Or maybe I do.

Maybe that’s the problem.

“Frank?” Mikey probes tentatively.

I push a trembling hand up to my forehead, eyes wide. My heart’s beating so fast it’s all I can hear; all I can taste; smell; touch; feel. It consumes me, each palpitation reminding me of hatred or green eyes or masks or lyrics or graveyards or scars or vulnerability or lo-

“No,” I whisper, slumping back against the icy wall behind me. “No,” I appeal, panic discolouring my voice as I slide dazedly down the wall to sit on the snowy grass, heart still pulling frantically at its strings.

The icy air strips at my lungs, burns my cheeks.

“Frank, it’s okay-” Mikey starts anxiously.

“No, it’s not!” I cry furiously, getting unsteadily to my feet.

“It is, you just-”

“I…I have to go,” I blurt out frantically, pushing past Mikey and stumbling off round the side of the house as the snow coats my cheeks like frozen tears.

“Frank! Come back- please!” Mikey calls anxiously after me as I storm through the overgrown bushes until they open out into a path leading between the neighbouring gardens. Panic escalating rapidly inside me, I take off at a run, chest searing, skin stinging in the icy air and sharp snowflakes, but only one thought occupies my mind as I stumble and stagger through the overgrown pathway. Gerard Gerard Gerard to match the terrified pound of my feet on the compressed, powdery snow.


I stumble wildly along the path for I don’t know how long- until its slushy, snowy muddle of footprints opens out into one of the big, beautiful parks on the outskirts of the city. It’s floodlit with rustic sort of yellow lamps that look a lot more expensive than the ones in the streets, and every inch of it is covered in snow, white and pure and wintry, clinging to every little frozen branch and skittering across the ice of the pond like upsidedown stars.

I slow to a halt just inside the gates and look around, eyes smarting. Everything feels ready to combust, to crash and burn and fill me up with my own poison. But then I notice a long, lean shadow lying on the sparkling snow, underneath one of the frozen poplar trees. Black leather. Smoky breath. Sadness.

My heart freezes with my movements, and everything that’s meshing and clashing and crashing inside of me in a tumult just stops at the sight of him.

A torrent of memories flood my mind; unwanted memories of anger and misunderstandings; of that tiny, tentative and incredibly vulnerable feeling that makes my chest ache.

Feeling almost dreamlike, I make a lonely trail of snowy prints across the grass until I’m under the scraggly branches of the poplar tree too, and I’m right beside Gerard, lying on his back in the snow, staring up at the sky.

He jumps when he realises I’m there in the silent, cloaking darkness of the park, and sits up, green eyes glimmering with unshed tears,

“Sorry,” I mumble, though I’m not really sure what I’m apologising for.

For several moments, we just look at each other, his eyes full of reserved sorrow.

“You had enough of the party, too?” he asks eventually, voice all broken-up, like he’s been using it to say things he’s scared of. He looks at me with those tangled, beautiful emerald eyes that gleam in the limited darkness of the snowy park, and I know I would somehow trust him with anything.

But the real reason is still too raw, too scary, so instead, I jerk my shoulders and look away uncomfortably. “Aren’t you freezing cold, lying there?” I ask awkwardly, scuffing my Converse into the thick cloaking of powdery white.

“A little. I just felt like watching the snow,” he says quietly, hugging his knees to his chest. He looks up at me fleetingly, vulnerable. “Do you…do you want to join me?”

My heart does a funny little rush of blood, and I hesitate for a second before nodding, finding a small smile playing at the corners of my mouth. Tentatively, I sit down on the icy powder cross-legged, and Gerard shuffles up a little to sit opposite me, our knees touching. He tilts his head back, neck whiter than the snow as he gazes sorrowfully up at the sky.

“Who was the blonde guy?” I ask abruptly, pushing the snow beside me around with numb fingers.

Gerard blinks and looks away from the sky, eyes skittish and anxious beneath their darkly dreamy façade. “Just…someone,” he mutters, staring at the ground. He looks up and meets my eyes, and I watch the big, black pupils in his eyes steel themselves. “Someone from my old school,” he elaborates tensely.

There’s a long silence. Gerard continues to stare at the ground, his long, pale fingers tracing patterns in the snow as my gaze traces patterns on him, watching with fascination the way the feathers of snow settle like daisies in his hair, his eyelashes, his skin that seems to glow almost lunar in the dark shadows of the poplar tree. A little of the light from the lamps by the pond seep towards us, just glittering the snow.

“I’ve never heard you talk about your old school before,” I say after a while, finally tearing my gaze from him and directing it towards the frozen topaz surface of the pond and the snowflakes flying to it like swans’ feathers.

“I don’t tend to,” he smiles wryly, raising his gaze momentarily to mine. I feel my heart flip over, and the bubble in my chest swell powerfully.

“Then why me?” I ask quietly, pulse fluttering.

“Good question.” His voice is even softer than mine, almost as quiet as one of the snowflakes melting into the white ground around us.

“Why were you like that with me at the party?” I blurt out suddenly, not able to fully forget the hurt of being ignored after being so vulnerable to someone.

Gerard looks at me then with a pained, searing expression- and then before I can even notice what he’s doing, he grabs the front of my hoodie and pulls me into a fierce, bone-crushing hug, hands steely round me, snow-crusted ebony hair all in my face.

I choke slightly for a moment out of surprise, before letting the warm feeling seep through every bone in my skeleton so as I have to hug back, burying my head in his shoulder and breathing in the vulnerable, smoky smell and wishing I could get lost in it forever.

What feels like far too soon, Gerard pulls back and sniffs slightly, smiling wanly at me in the shadows of the poplar frozen tree.

“Sorry,” he says quietly, eyes on me. “I just…I…Sorry,” he summarises simply.

“For what?” I frown, all traces of anger erased completely.

Gerard takes a deep breath and looks at me unblinkingly. I can taste alcohol in the air between us, but I know he’s not drunk; he’s too together to be drunk.

“I don’t always…deal with situations how I’d like to,” he says grittily, pushing the snow around with his long fingertips. “I always take the easy way out, shut everything and anyone away.” He trails off, shaking his head.

“I wish I could do that,” I mutter darkly, pulling at my the fraying wool of my gloves and shivering as a particularly icy gust of wind sweeps the darkness.

“Don’t ever wish that,” Gerard says, and he suddenly sounds angry. “You’re so lucky, Frank. You don’t lie to yourself. You feel, and that’s so brave.”

I don’t know what to say to that, so I just look at him, admiring how someone so tangled, so lost to the shadows, can be so beautiful.

He looks at me then, painfully honest. “I wish I hadn’t acted like that at the party, Frank.”

I bite my lip and try not to give into my feelings. “I just wish…you’d tell me about you before I knew you. You never talk about your past.”

Gerard looks up at me then, eyes almost scared, but he counters it at the last minute by directing the spotlight away. “I’ve never heard you talk about your past either.”

“I have no reason to,” I mutter, eyes flickering briefly to his, then away again, because there’s too much honesty in them to lie to.

“Really?” he challenges softly.

“Really,” I say bluntly, jaw gritted. “I don’t talk about it, ever.”

“You talked to me about it once,” he reminds me delicately, and I startle, eyes widening. I didn’t think he’d remember.

“I didn’t think you’d remember,” I mumble, not meeting his gaze.

“I know,” Gerard raises his eyebrows. The snow continues to fall silently around us, so unafraid, to impulsive, so broken.

“Why do you want to know?” I ask suddenly.

“Why do you want to know?” he counters evenly, but I know he’s just being evasive.

“Seriously,” I frown.

Gerard looks at me in a way that makes the fiery bubble in my chest tug and sear, and my heart beat faster and faster. It’s sort of tender and unafraid yet terrified at the same time- and it’s such a brilliantly clear blaze.

“Because I care about you,” he murmurs very, very softly, like he’s nervous- only his eyes don’t leave mine the whole time, blazing fiercely and silently, as though he’s daring me to laugh it off, to push him out.

It’s what I would naturally have done with anyone else- but for some reason, with Gerard, I just can’t. The thought strips and scars my chest and makes it feel irreplaceably hollow, so I just stare at him.

“I didn’t think you cared about anyone,” I blurt suddenly, the words uncomfortably loud in the blanket of black, snowy silence.

Gerard’s eyes smoulder with sadness then, a kind of burn I can see scarring right back into the depths of his eyes. But he still refuses to look away as he says very, very tentatively. “Neither did I.”

“Then…why me?” I stammer.

Gerard doesn’t reply, but he slides a little closer to me on the snow, and reaches up to trace his icy fingertip along the puckered skin of my scars, soft, so soft. The bruised butterflies soar wildly, and the fiery little bubble in my chest aches, while my mind tangles with endorphins and Mikey’s words and my own feelings.

Trembling, I raise my eyes to Gerard’s and my anxious heartstrings unknot completely under the tentative, dark warmth. I let them pull me closer, let the soft, electric warmth pool in my chest. His green gaze glitters back at me in the dark shadows, warm and beautifully broken with half-mended pieces. As his fingers trace along the scars, my eyes flutter shut, and I forget about everything and just let myself lean into his touch, feel the warmth of his breath against my skin and let it smother me.

“Why do I trust you so much, Frank Iero?” he murmurs, and my eyes flicker open for a second, getting lost in his. They melt me, like life melts snow, fierce and soft smouldering with uncertain warmth in the glittery snow, and I feel my heart stutter and jolt, my pulse quicken. He cups my face with his hands, turning my soul inside out as he gazes into my eyes until I feel as though it’s going to make me implode with intensity.

I feel his fingers tremble, and his eyes flicker with something for a second. Then time is suddenly falling in tempest with the snow, as he closes his eyes and bumps his forehead against mine, making my stomach flip and the sparks judder up and down my spine again. His breaths shake against my lips, tasting of smoke and snow and scared smiles, quickening and fluctuating nervously, warm against mine.

I’ve stopped breathing altogether as my heart pounds and pounds and pounds, hot and terrified against my ribs and my insides go wild, shooting, smothering, somersaulting, triggered to implode in the December dark, in the freefalling snow, under the icy branches of the poplar trees…

Gerard’s so nervously human breath stutters, sounding almost like a whimper, and the thing in my chest tugs fiercely. He’s so close, so fragile. Shaking, I stay as still as possible, intoxicated by the heady fear curdling like smoke between us, drenched in pure Gerard, my mind whirling. His eyes flutter open for a moment, flickering to meet mine, and my breath hitches. I feel his grip on my jawline shake even more, terrified, as he closes his eyes again and presses closer still, closer, closer….And then his mouth presses softly, angrily, brokenly, against mine. The feel of someone else’s mouth against mine, anguished and slightly trembling, saying so much, is so unreal- yet more ardently real than anything else.

For a second, I’m frozen- but then my breath catches in a shuddery gasp and the fiery bubble in my chest implodes, its warmth seeping out across my body at the feel of those smoky lips against mine. The air swirling round us is bitterly cold and black, snowflakes cutting into our skin, but my heart’s hammering so hard in my chest I can’t notice anything but Gerard.

For the first time in my life, I don’t think, I don’t fear, I don’t regret. I just do the only thing that is comprehensible to do; I slide my arms round Gerard’s neck and tentatively move my lips against those warm ones, relaxing into their mold and getting lost in the warm, wet emotion of them.

It’s so nervous, so alive. It absorbs me and compels me like music. It is music.

Gerard grips me so fiercely it’s as though he’s scared I’ll run away- or scared that he will. But neither of us do. We just sit there in the snowy darkness of the park, kissing in anguish, until everything else is eclipsed by the feeling of mouths on mouths, hearts racing each other in the darkness. Although the kiss is slow and soft, it’s imploringly deep and full of feeling, like nothing I could ever have imagined before.

It feels as though we’re one heartbeat that’s been pumping out of sync forever; love and hate; and now it’s finally beating as one.

As though all our broken pieces, all our scars and fears, have molded together to make something almost whole. But it’s so fragile, so vulnerable, I’m scared it will still shatter with the tiniest shake.


Well, was it worth waiting twenty nine chapters for that tiny little bit of Frerard action? :L God, I’m terrible at dragging stuff out, aren’t I? I’m sorry, guys. Anyway, I’ve actually been writing this while on holiday, which is really difficult, and taken a special trip to the nearest town to get it posted on FicWad for you all- so I hope you all enjoyed it okay! I’m kinda nervous about posting this, ‘cause it’s taken so long to get to this point, and I’m not sure I managed to pull it off okay. I hope I did, and feedback would be especially amazing for this chapter. Pretty please? Thanks so much for reading and sticking with this. You’re such lovely readers, I don’t know what I’d do without you. I promise to update as soon as I can, but my exams are in about ten days, so I can’t guarantee anything.

Lucy xoxo
Sign up to rate and review this story