Rating: R (sexuality & language)
Pairing(s): Gerard/Bert, Frank/Gerard[mild], and Gerard/Mikey[unrequited]
Previos Part(s): Prologue and Chapter 1
Frank Iero vowed he would help his best friend overcome his drug and alcohol addiction. Jamia understood, she always did. It was part of the reason why she was the perfect girl for him, she never complained if his career sometimes came first. Besides, Jamia loved Gerard as much as he did, and even ordered him over the phone to fix this situation with Gerard before even thinking about coming home to her. He just grinned, thanking his lucky stars for the best girlfriend a guy could have. He didn't need to explain anything to her, she understood how this band meant to him and his life, and Gerard was apart of that same band.
He found Gerard sitting numbly at the kitchen table, staring down at his coffee as if it were the most evil thing on earth. He plopped down beside him, smiling and offering him one of the homemade cookies his grandmother had mailed. It was rare to get packages on tour, but hey, who was he to complain?
Gerard took one, smiling his thanks, chewing it on carefully. It must've been strange for him to wake up and go to bed sober and even stranger to perform on stage completely sober. Gerard had completely freaked out earlier that day before they went on; blocking himself back into the dressing room and Mikey was the only one able to convince Gerard to open the door. Whatever Mikey did, it worked because Gerard faced his fears with the crowd and they put on one hell of a performance, and he knew must've been hard on the singer. Frank was only a social drinker and an occasional pot smoker, but nothing to the extremes of Gerard's addictions. He really didn't know how to help, he didn't understand the situation. The only person who might've...well wasn't actually someone Frank ever wanted to see again.
But that was in the past now, and all that counted was that Gerard wanted to get better.
"So I was talking to Jamia over the phone just now, she was yelling a storm at the manufacturers, got the numbers all wrong and shit," Frank said idly, not knowing how to break the silence. Keep it normal, he thought. "I swear, she cares more about this company than I do, I feel bad because I can't devote all my attention to it. But Jamia's understanding and--"
"Frank, no offense, but I honestly can't picture you being a business man," Gerard cut him off, but Frank didn't mind, glad to hear the dark-haired man talk. "Jamia's probably gonna be the one saving your ass from bankruptcy."
He giggled, nodding in agreement. "Yeah, probably. She's got a business degree and shit. Micro...Marco...or whatever. Same shit. You know I was six hours away from getting a psychology degree?"
Gerard laughed. "Now that is a fucking scary thought. You? A psychologist?"
"I would've been the coolest psychologist ever," Frank said proudly, grinning now at the thought of wearing a white coat and clipboard in hand. "Walking around with a nice little name tag: Dr. Frank Iero. Man, my grandpa would've died if he ever saw that. I would've had posters instead of certificates on my walls, with comics and video games in the office. I just sit there at my desk, playing Halo or something. It would've been a riot."
Gerard smiled at the guitarist. "Well, I'm glad you're not a psychologist and you're our rhythm guitarist instead, I'm sure tons of fan girls would agree, too."
"Mm, yeah, probably," Frank said off-handily, now looking at him with concern. "You know I'm here for you, right? I'm not gonna...let you fall like that again. I'm sorry for being a lousy friend and not realizing...until it was almost too late."
It was the guilt he would have to live with for the rest of his life, unable to see his best friend going down that destructive path, almost to his death. He should've kept a better look out for Gerard, instead of taking every chance to go party with his fellow band mates and other bands. Nobody really paid much mind to Gerard, not enough. They weren't his parents and they didn't baby him, and Frank remembered he used to get on Mikey for being too over-protective and being a mother hen. Mikey was his best friend, and it wasn't healthy for his friend to be stressing out like that, right? He thought he was giving Mikey good advice.
"Mikey, he's twenty-seven-years-old, and you're what? Twenty-four? I don't think he'd want you...worrying this much over him. Go have some fun, man. Go call up that chick that I saw you talking to the other day, do something other than waiting around on the bus for Gerard to come home, he's a grown man, he'll take care of himself," Frank said, hoping to convey to his best friend how...unhealthy this was. Mikey's health should not be brought down along with his brother's.
Mikey didn't seem to like his advice, taking offense. "Frank, I appreciate your concern. But he's my brother, ok? So I wouldn't expect you to understand!"
Mikey slammed the bathroom door in his face. Well, that certainly wasn't the response he had hoped for.
Frank knocked on the door annoyingly, rapping on the bathroom door on purpose. "You know, that's really a stupid reason."
"Is this about Bert?"
"Whatever, I mean...I didn't think you were homophobic but--"
"I'm not homophobic!" Mikey opened the door, meeting his gaze. "I'm not, ok? It's just...Bert's just gonna fuck up his life, and he just got away from that scene, and now he's gonna...ruin him even more now and I can't just stand there and watch and do nothing! You wouldn't understand. Because we're brothers and we grew up together and I don't know, it's like it's this instinct, I know he needs me, more than he lets on."
"Sorta like that...twin telepathy or something?" he asked, trying to understand.
"Yeah, like that," he said, looking embarrassed.
"Ok," he said slowly, noticing how...paranoid and awkward Mikey suddenly looked. He just shrugged, going back into the living room area, searching for his jacket. "I'm just...trying to be a good friend all right? No need to bite my head off."
Mikey followed him, surprising him by hugging him quickly, adding nervously, "I'm sorry, too. I didn't mean to be a prick just now. You're right, I guess I do need to lay off, let Gerard fuck up his life, and then be the one to pick up the pieces. Because that's what I've done my entire life, and just for fucking once, I'll like to prevent another disaster."
"I don't know, Mikey," he said softly, starting realize why Mikey was the way he was. "I dunno, my grandpa always told me to let your loved ones make their mistakes and you shouldn't help him, not anymore at least. Not to the extent it's controlling your life, but whatever, Mikey. Whatever. I need a smoke."
The Way brother's relationship was way too fucking complicated for him to spend his free time agonizing over. Some things will just remain a mystery.
"Not your fault," Gerard said, "not your fault at all. Nobody is to blame but me."
"Well, no more self-hate, ok?" he said, clearing his throat. "From now on...we're gonna have non-alcoholic, non-drug parties and still have fun. Party hats and party favors and a motherfucking batman cake. Because nobody can resist fucking batman, man. I just can't promise there won't be broken bones, though."
Gerard smiled, and Frank smiled back, feeling the familiar tingle in his stomach. Yeah, there was no denying the attraction between them. From day one, when he officially joined the band and made his way over across the small stage where Gerard had been singing, the older man just latched onto him, and it was normal. It felt right, it felt good. It was that electrifying feeling that you couldn't fake. You either have it or not. And they definitely had something. But the best part? They never fretted over it, they never tried to put labels on it, they just went with the flow, not letting it control them, but controlled it, whatever the fuck it was.
He leaned closer, unable to stop himself from reaching for the older man's hand; Gerard didn't bat him away. He breathed a sigh in relief, threading their fingers together, giving a soft squeeze.
"Maybe...Maybe this is for the better, you know? A new beginning or some shit," he said quietly, hoping Gerard could not hear his heart pounding in his throat. The butterflies in his stomach weren't helping, either. Why did he suddenly feel this way now? Sure, they did a lot of shit on stage, but that stayed exactly that--on stage. Why was it suddenly different?
Maybe because, deep down, he knew Gerard was over Bert and maybe....Maybe he had some small chance to win the older man's affections?
God, he was like a fucking lovesick puppy. He laughed out loud, and Gerard raised a curious brow.
"Nothing," he said quickly, "I'm just thinking how ridiculous this all this. You and me."
"You and me?"
He stuttered. "I-I don't mean like---t-that or something....unless you wa--"
"Frank, please shut the fuck up."
He did, still fidgeting, noticing his palms were starting to sweat, and Gerard was still holding his hand. He looked back up at Gerard, noticing the vocalist wearing a thoughtful look.
"Gerard?" Maybe Gerard was debating to punch him in the stomach or screaming at him? Both?
But no, he did neither.
"Frank, I told you shut up," he snapped, but his voice was light, and he leaned closer that Frank could now feel his moist breath against his lips. He reflexively started to close his eyes, feeling like everything was fucking tilting and Gerard wasn't helping, his hands now resting in his dyed hair, caressing his damp locks. "Just shut up."
"Ok," he breathed, feeling their lips connect in a soft, light kiss. It was unlike their usual ones, the ones on stage were powered by exhilaration and excitement and fueled by screaming fans.
He wasn't sure what this was, feeling and tasting Gerard in his mouth, familiar scent of coffee and cigarettes. It wasn't fast or hurried, but slow and it seemed to linger forever, even though in reality it had only lasted for five seconds.
They pulled apart, reluctantly, and just continued to stare at each other. Oh fuck, I just fucked up this friendship, he thought frantically. Fuck, fuck, fuck!
Someone cleared their voice behind him. And Frank breathed a sigh of relief, so Gerard didn't pull away because he wasn't feeling the same, someone had interrupted them, and he had been too into it to even fucking notice.
Nice, Iero, nice.
Mikey looked at them both in shock, closing his mouth and regaining his composure, looking absolutely confused and...Maybe a hint of sadness? Or maybe he was imagining things.
Wasn't a good thing to catch your best friend making out with your brother, was it?
Mikey was going to hate him.
"S-sorry, I--never mind," the bassist mumbled, running a shaky hand through his hair, pushing his glasses up his nose, meeting neither of their stares, adverting his gaze anywhere but them. "I didn't know...I'm leaving now."
"Mikey---Wait--" Gerard said fast, practically flying out of his seat and following his brother into the direction of the back of the bus.
Well, that was interesting, Frank thought, realizing that both brothers had sucessfully left him completely dumbfounded than ever before in his life. Both for entirely different reasons.
AN: temporary hiatus. due to certain events in my life that require my full attention. >.>
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