Chapter 1: Prologue
Gerard gently rocked his baby boy in his arms; the baby slept peacefully while sucking on his thumb. He was so beautiful and he smiled down at him as he gently stroked his soft dark hair.
There was a soft knock outside the bedroom door.
"Come in." Gerard responded softly while continuing rocking his sleeping son. The bedroom door slowly opened and there was Frank.
He greeted Gerard with a small and sweet smile and Gerard gave him a small smile, back.
"I hope I didn't wake him."
"No, you didn't. He's sleeping pretty good."
"How is he? I know he was pretty fussy earlier."
"He's better. I think he just needed some rest--hopefully he'll feel better in the morning." Frank entered their bedroom, closing the door behind him. He made his way over towards Gerard, who was sitting on the edge of the bed with messy dyed red bed hair; he wore the warpaint of exhaustion on his pale face--the dark bags under his eyes were noticeable.
"And how are you?" Frank asked him, still smiling his small smile, and he sat down beside him on the bed.
"Tired..." Gerard responded softly before yawning, again. He was still rocking the baby while staring down at him.
"I know...I can take him, if you want." He said as he placed his tattooed hand down on Gerard's leg, making him look over at Frank with sleepy eyes.
"No, I know you're working on some new music--I got him."
"I finished, already. Come on, I'll take Raymond."
Frank carefully took baby Raymond out of Gerard's arms. Raymond made soft little sounds as he stretched out his little arms and legs in Frank's arms. He even yawned--letting out a soft coo. Frank smiled as he leaned down and placed a sweet and soft kiss down against baby Raymond's forehead.
"I'm going to get something to drink, want anything?"
"I'm good, thanks Gee." Gerard leaned forward and placed a sweet little kiss against Frank's cheek, making him blush and smile. Gerard then got out of bed, made his way out of their bedroom, and he made his way downstairs and to the kitchen. He poured himself a cold glass of water; chugging it all in one gulp before pouring himself another glass, Gerard then realized it was raining outside.
Gerard always loved the rainy and gloomy weather; cold temperature, cloudy skies, the smell of rain lingering in the air...he always enjoyed it. It brought him comfort. Gerard wanted a better and closer look, so he made his way outside the backyard.
The rain was coming down heavily; the air was freezing, Gerard could see his own breath each time he exhaled. He shivered as he wrapped his free arm around himself, trying to warm himself up. He took sips of his water as he listened to the rain...he remembered all the times he'd stay up late in his room with the window open--Gerard would just sit and listen to the rain; the thunder, and he'd even watch the lightning. He smiled to himself as he inhaled the fresh smell of the cold rain.
"Gerard?" Frank's voice appeared from behind him out of nowhere. Gerard gasped loudly as his body jumped...the glass of water slipped out of his hand, falling to the ground below his feet, the glass then shattered loudly; tiny pieces of glass spreading all throughout the floor.
"Oh, shit Gee--I didn't mean to scare you, I'm sorry..." Frank gave Gerard a guilty look as he ran his tattooed hand through his dark and long hair, slicking it back.
"...oh, no...I broke a glass...I'm sorry..." Gerard immediately kneeled and began to try and pick up each individual piece of glass with his fingertips.
"Whoa, whoa--Gee, be careful; you'll cut yourself." Just as Frank tried warning him, Gerard cut himself with a sharp piece of glass.
"Let me see." Frank said as he then grabbed a hold of Gerard's hand in his; carefully examining his bloody index finger...Gerard winced as Frank then put slight pressure on it. He hissed out softly and Frank apologized as he then placed a soft kiss against it. Gerard's blood was now resting on Frank's lips.
"Frankie...isn't that disgusting...?" Frank smiled a small smile at Gerard, then licking his lips; tasting the bitter taste of copper on his tongue.
"I don't care. It doesn't bother me." Gerard blushed and he bit down on his bottom lip...seeing Frank with blood on his lips reminded him of a certain night...a night that would forever be branded in his mind. What Gerard always remembered clearly was all the blood that rested all over his handsome face. How his big, bright hazel eyes looked black...Gerard thought Frank resembled a monster that night.
"Are you alright...?" Frank asked Gerard as he watched him put a bandaid over his fresh new cut. Frank helped Gerard clean up all the broken pieces of glass before he cleaned up his bloody wound in the bathroom sink.
"Yes, I'm alright." Gerard avoided eye contact with Frank. He couldn't stop thinking about Frank's face covered in blood...the memory frightened him.
Frank then walked up to Gerard, wrapped both of his tattooed arms around his waist; pulling his body close against his, resting his chin down against Gerard's shoulder.
"I love you, Gerard. And I love Anthony, Poppy, and baby Raymond so much."
"...I know, Frank." Gerard responded softly as he then lifted his eyes up to look at Frank in the reflection of the mirror in front of them. Frank smiled again as he placed a sweet and soft kiss against Gerard's warm and pale cheek, making him smile.
Even though the memory was in the past, and it happened a long time ago...it was still there. He knows Frank loves him, as he loves Frank, but things were a lot different back then between them...their love story wasn't common. Not in the slightest.
In fact, their love story was more like the beginning of a tragic tale.
Chapter 2: Abduction
It was like any other day. Gerard did what any regular teenage seventeen year old did--go to the mall. The mall was one of Gerard's hangout spots, and he loved going to one place in particular. Hot Topic.
He and Mikey, his younger brother, were hanging out at the mall together; they checked out several stores together--Spencer's, GameStop, comic book stores, Kohl's, Bath & Body Works, and Yankee Candle. They went to Hot Topic, last--it was both their favorite store to go.
Once they got there, they went their separate ways to look for something to buy. Gerard wanted a David Bowie T-shirt, fingerless gloves, and a new scarf. He found the fingerless gloves; black and skeletal design. He found a new scarf; striped black and gray. He found the David Bowie shirt--but he needed it in a medium...all they had was small, large, XL, and XXL.
"Do you need help finding something?" Gerard turned his head to see one of the Hot Topic employees approach him. He was really, really attractive; pale skin, big hazel eyes, a really cool haircut--dyed black long hair on top of his head, long enough to cover one side of his face. The sides of his head were shaved and were a bleach blonde shade. He wore a lip piercing, along with a nose piercing.
"Uh--I...yeah." Gerard stuttered over his own words, blushing in embarrassment as he realized the Hot Topic employee was smiling at him while letting out a soft chuckle. He was really cute.
"...I was looking for a David Bowie shirt...in a medium." The Hot Topic employee raised his eyebrows, still smiling at Gerard as he responded by nodding his head.
"Bowie fan, huh? Follow me." He finger gestured for Gerard to follow him as he led him over to the t-shirts section where all the iconic and old school rock stars were kept.
Gerard couldn't stop checking out the hot emo guy as he kneeled down, looking for a medium sized shirt of Bowie--both his arms were inked with tattoos, and he smelled really good; like fresh roses mixed with a strong cologne...Gerard could feel his heart racing as he continued checking out the Hot Topic dude.
"Ah, here we are--medium Bowie shirt." He said with a smile on his handsome face as he pulled out the shirt. He stood himself up straight as he turned to make direct eye contact with Gerard while handing him the shirt.
"T-thanks..." Gerard smiled an awkward smile while turning his head away; breaking eye contact with the attractive emo guy--blushing bright red as his face felt like it was on fire...his heart was going crazy inside of his chest.
"Which era of Bowie is your favorite?" The Hot Topic employee suddenly asked Gerard.
"David Bowie; which era of his music do you enjoy the most?"
"Ohh...um--music wise? I love his work from the 70's and 80's. Fashion style? Definitely 70's." The Hot Topic employee smirked a toothy smirk at Gerard, giving him a look of approval.
"Me, too. Though, I'm more of fan of his fashion style in the 80's. He can pull off a fucking mullet, though." Gerard let out a soft and flirtatious giggle, still blushing.
"He's probably the only person in the world who can rock the mullet haircut." They both chuckled together, and Gerard thought the Hot Topic hottie was even cuter when he smiled.
"I loved him in Labyrinth."
"That's one of my favorite films; I watched it, like, every single day. Me and my brother, Mikey." Just as Gerard spoke of Mikey, he appeared behind him--holding several items in his arms.
"Oh, hey Mikey. Did you find everything you wanted to get?"
"Mostly--can't find this shirt in my size; you think I would because I'm skinny enough to wear a single cheerio around my waist." Both Gerard and Mikey laughed at the stupid comment, and Mikey then noticed who Gerard was chatting with.
"Who's your friend, Gerard?" Mikey asked his older brother as he examined the stranger in front of them.
"Oh--um, Mikey this is..." Gerard suddenly realized he didn't know the Hot Topic employee's name. He blushed in embarrassment as be bit down on his bottom lip and moved his long dyed black hair behind his ear.
"I'm so sorry, I didn't even get your name..."
"It's okay, I didn't get yours either. But, your brother called you Gerard--so, Gerard and Mikey, I'm Frank. Frank Iero, the manager here at Hot Topic." Frank chuckled as he licked his lips, playing around with his lip piercing. Hot Topic hottie goes by Frank. It suited him.
"N-nice name...it suits you..."
"Gerard is a pretty cool name. I like it." Both Frank and Gerard kept making direct eye contact with one another...Mikey realized it and felt uncomfortable as he obnoxiously cleared his throat, catching both of their attention.
"Umm, excuse me...? I need your help?"
"Oh, right--sorry about that. How can I help?" Mikey then handed one of the shirts over to Frank and explained that he needed it in a small.
As Frank went to search for a small sized shirt, Gerard lightly nudged Mikey while frowning at him.
"Why were you being rude? We were just talking."
"Talking? You two were practically flirting with each other...Gee, you don't know him, and he looks like he's older than you."
"So what if he's older than me? We were just talking."
"I just get a weird vibe from him, okay...? I want you to be careful."
"I'm the older brother, not you. I can look after myself, Mikey." Just then, Frank came back with a small size shirt of The Misfits for Mikey.
"Here you are, Mikey. Found you a small." He smiled over at Mikey while handing him the shirt.
"Can I help you both find anything else?"
"This is all, I think." Gerard responded with a small smile across his face, still blushing over at Frank, who was still checking him out.
"Alrighty. I'll ring you both up." Just as Frank paced his way behind the cash register, rung up both Gerard and Mikey, he made more small talk with Gerard.
"Let me ask you--are you more Queen or The Beatles?"
"Ohh...wow, that's a tough one..." Mikey rolled his eyes as he crossed his arms across his chest and realized he was going to have to wait even longer to leave the store.
"They're both legendary, but...I'd have to say Queen. Freddie Mercury was a legend; an icon." Frank smiled, giving Gerard that look of approval again.
"I see you're a fan of the classics. Do you like heavy stuff, too?"
"Definitely. I'm a lover of music, in general."
"Well, that's very good to know. I hang out at Zia Records a lot; they've got all types of music--in CDs, Vinyl records, and whatnot. Maybe we could check out some music together there, sometime?" Mikey then interfered by taking out cash from his wallet and slamming it down against the counter.
"Okay--Gerard, we really need to go. Mom and dad will freak if we're not home, soon." Mikey said as he grabbed a hold of Gerard's wrist and tugged at it.
"Can we go...?" Frank then took the hint and packed all their things up into bags.
"Frank--sorry, this one is all...fidgety for some reason. But, if you want I could give you my number and we could go to Zia Records, together." Mikey pulled at Gerard's wrist again, frowning at him as he shook his head no.
"Really? I'd like that." Frank responded, smiling a toothy smile, blushing light pink.
"Can I see your phone?" Gerard asked Frank. He didn't hesitate to pull his phone out of his pocket and hand it over to Gerard. The young and lovestruck teenager typed in his phone number in Frank's cell, and handed it back to him.
"Cool. I'll send you a text later, Gerard." Gerard blushed even redder as he smiled a shy smile--biting down on his bottom lip.
"I'll be waiting."
"Okay, can we go now...? Seriously?" Mikey asked as he began to drag Gerard by his wrist, trying to make his way out of Hot Topic.
Gerard grabbed the bags full of the stuff they just bought and Frank waved his hand at him, still smiling at him as they left.
"What the hell, dude!?" Gerard was pissed at Mikey.
"I didn't like Frank--he seems weird..."
"How? He was nice to you and helped you find your shirt--you were rude to him too, by the way."
"He is a stranger and was hitting on you! I didn't like that!"
"You're not mom! I'm almost eighteen years old, I can date if I want to."
"You don't know this guy, Gee--I'm just trying to look out for you."
"Well thanks, but don't. I'm the older brother, I look out for you--not the other way around." Gerard and Mikey decided to eat at the food court before they went home--they ate Panda Express.
"Wait till mom and dad hear about this."
"Why do they need to know?"
"Because you're flirting with an older stranger and you gave him your number." Gerard rolled his eyes as he threw his fortune cookie at Mikey.
"You don't need to say anything because it isn't their business." Mikey remained silent as he realized he made Gerard mad...he adjusted his glasses and ate the rest of his orange chicken.
"I'm serious Mikey--not a word or I'll tell dad what you've been looking up on your phone late at night when you're supposed to be sleeping."
"Oh, I would. This stays between us, okay?" Mikey frowned over at Gerard, sighing loudly as he then nodded his head in agreement. Just as they returned home, Gerard's phone went off in his pocket.
It was a text message from an unknown number.
"Hey, this is Frank--manager from Hot Topic? I was just wondering if this was Gerard." Gerard felt his heart racing as he smiled to himself while rereading the text message, over and over.
"I'm Gerard. Hi, Frank." Gerard texted back in a heartbeat. Both boys made their way inside the house, where their mom was preparing dinner, and their dad was sitting on the couch--reading a book.
"Hey boys! I'm making pork chops." Their mother greeted them from the kitchen.
"Hey, mom." Gerard greeted her, his eyes still glued to the phone as he was saving Frank's number into his contacts, now.
"Hi, mom. Hi, dad." Mikey greeted both parents as he followed Gerard into his bedroom.
Gerard was still texting Frank, and Mikey was clearly annoyed with it, but didn't say a word.
"How old are you, Frank? I'm just curious to know."
"I'm twenty-one. You?"
"Ooh, you're jailbait. Joking 😂"
"Does that make you a cradle robber? Kidding. I like that you're older 😉"
"And I like that you're younger. You're really pretty, by the way."
Gerard blushed to himself as he bit down on his bottom lip again--then smiling to himself.
"I'm glad you think so...thanks, Frank...you're pretty cute, yourself. You're one of the most attractive guys I've ever seen."
"😍 aww, you're too kind. Thanks, Gee."
"Dude, are you still texting Frank...?" Mikey asked Gerard as he made his way into his bedroom. It was almost midnight.
"Shhh--don't say his name out loud. Don't want mom or dad to hear. Besides, it's Saturday."
"Are you really planning on seeing him, again...? To...hang out with him?" Mikey asked Gerard as he made his way over to his bed, sitting on the edge.
"Maybe. He seems like a nice guy and he knows a lot about music--it could be fun." Mikey gave Gerard a worried look, not liking the idea of his older brother hanging out with a complete stranger.
"Just promise me you'll be okay...if you decide to hang out with Frank or not."
"Mikey, I'll be okay. Don't worry so much--you're only fourteen years old, imagine how I'd feel if you hung out with a twenty-one year old--"
"Frank is twenty-one!?" Mikey raised his voice, loud enough to echo all throughout Gerard's bedroom.
"Shut up!" Gerard whispered harshly at Mikey, hitting him with a pillow.
"Gee--he's older than you by four years!"
"Four years isn't that big of an age difference--I'm almost eighteen, relax!" Mikey sighed out loudly as he ran his hand through his slightly messy bed hair, slicking it back.
"Gee--I really, really don't like this...I have a bad feeling about this..."
"Mikey, listen to me. I appreciate you looking out for me--I love you and you're a very sweet little brother, the best. But everything will be fine. Just trust me, okay?" Mikey remained silent and he stopped bothering Gerard...he really hated the idea, but Gerard wouldn't listen to him.
"Good afternoon, Frankie. 🖤"
"Hey there, pretty boy 😍"
"Are you working?"
"Yup, I'm always here because I'm the manager."
"I really hope we'll see each other again, soon...☹️"
"I'm sure we will, Gee 🖤 I still owe you that date to Zia Records."
"A date...? Like, a date-date...?"
"😂 yes cutie, a date-date. 😘" Gerard felt his heart beating away at a rapid pace inside of his chest...he bit down on his bottom lip as he began to nibble down on his fingernails--nervous habit. A guy actually liked him; Frank, the Hot Topic hottie likes him...and he wants to go out on a date with him.
Gerard decided to make a bold move by going to the mall all by himself and surprise Frank with a visit to his favorite store--now he had a bigger reason to go into Hot Topic.
Mikey wasn't home--he was out with their parents, running errands, so Gerard didn't have to worry about getting lectured...he was a bit nervous, but he wanted to see Frank again, he just had to.
He drove over to the mall and he paced his way over to Hot Topic...the mall was crowded, as it usually was, and his heart kept pounding away inside of his chest as he stood outside his favorite store...he could see Frank inside, folding up shirts and helping out customers.
Just then, Gerard made his way inside and he slowly approached Frank from behind.
"Excuse me, could you help me find something...?" Frank turned around and his eyes widened in surprise and a huge smile spread across his face.
"Gerard! Hey--I didn't expect to see you, here!"
"I'm sorry--I hope you didn't mind me coming to see you..."
"No, no--not at all! I'm super happy to see you." Gerard blushed bright red as he felt relieved, smiling to himself like an idiot.
"You look really beautiful today, Gerard. Your hair is so long--looks super soft." Frank said as he reached his hand out and softly touched Gerard's long and black hair; twirling a long stand with his finger, making the young teenager blush in embarrassment as he bit down on his bottom lip.
"You look super hot when you do that."
"The lip bite. It's sexy." Gerard's face was as red as cherries now and his face felt like it was on fire. Frank was blushing too, but he was more pink than red.
"I think your lip piercing is sexy..." Frank raised his eyebrows and he kept smiling at Gerard.
"You're so cute when you flirt." Just then, Gerard realized he was keeping Frank from working.
"Oh--sorry...I'm keeping you from your job...I just really wanted to see you. Surprise you."
"I'm the manager, I can do whatever I please. Besides, I love this surprise. Made my day." Frank smiled a toothy grin at Gerard and he asked for him to hang out for a bit before he went on his break--even asked him to hang out around the mall for a bit, until he got off work. He had planned to take him out to Zia Records, just like he promised him.
Gerard hung around the mall for a long while; checking out the usual stores he and Mikey always went to. He even checked out several other stores he's never been to, before. Gerard was excited to hang out with Frank after he got off work--he really liked him, a lot, and he was pretty nervous about spending time with Frank, all alone...but, he knew he'd be alright with him.
Gerard trusted Frank.
"Hey 🖤 I'm on break. Meet me in the food court?"
"You got it 😉😘" Gerard smiled to himself, blushing again, as he made his way over to the food court. When he arrived, he found Frank waiting for him by Sbarro's Pizza.
"Hey, Frankie." Gerard greeted him with a smile on his face. Frank smiled back and greeted him with a hug and a quick peck against Gerard's cheek--making his heart race, a little.
"Hi, cutie pie. Wanna have lunch with me?" Gerard nodded his head in response, still smiling.
They each had a slice of plain cheese pizza and shared a Pepsi, together.
"I'm really happy to see you, Gee. I'm glad you came." Frank smiled at Gerard, his cheeks flushed light pink.
"Me too, Frank. I just really needed to see you...I can't stop thinking about you." Frank raised in eyebrow, grinning a little mischievous grin after Gerard.
"You thought about me?" Gerard bit down on his lip, making Frank chuckle as he then grabbed a hold of Gerard's hand in his.
"I thought about you too, Gee. I couldn't stop thinking about this pretty face." Frank said as he slowly reached his hand over towards Gerard's face; gently caressing his soft and warm cheek...he even moved his hair behind his ear.
"God, you're so beautiful...you have the biggest and greenest eyes I've ever seen. I couldn't stop thinking about your smile; the sound of your voice...I just can't get you off my mind." Gerard made direct eye contact with Frank--staring into his enormous hazel eyes...he really loved Frank's eyes. He had such a handsome face.
"You have really beautiful eyes, Frank. I love how hazel they are...hazel eyes are my favorite." Frank was now blushing a little red, now.
"Green eyes are my favorite." Gerard smiled a shy and small smile to himself...he still couldn't believe that this was actually happening. He felt like he was struck with Cupid's arrow; straight through his heart.
Before Frank got off work, Gerard hung out with him at Hot Topic, and he bought himself another shirt, along with a new belt.
They made their way over to Zia Records once Frank was clocked out of his shift. They drove in Frank's car together, the car radio played all sorts of rock music; from classic, to alternative, to indie, and to metal. They sang along to whatever song played--occasionally made small talk, made several different jokes here and there, making each other laugh...soon after, they arrived at Zia Records for their first date, together.
"Hey look--a vinyl Queen record!" Gerard squealed out in excitement as he picked up the record in his hands and examined it.
"And look here--" Frank then lifted up a David Bowie album, showing it off to Gerard.
"Heroes is one of my favorite albums!" Frank smiled as he handed Gerard the Bowie album.
"This place is so awesome--they not only have a shit ton of different music, but they've got movies and video games too! I love this place!" Frank smiled at Gerard, feeling happy that he was having a good time with him.
They bought a few vinyl records of all sorts of different music; different artists; different genres...they even bought some horror movies, since they were both fans of scary/slasher films.
"I had a really great time with you, Frank. Thanks for the date." Frank smiled over at Gerard, grabbing a hold of his hand in his before he lifted up his hand; bringing it to his lips, he then placed a sweet and soft kiss against it.
"My pleasure. Thank you for going on a date with me. I wish it didn't have to end..."
"Well...we bought a whole bunch of horror movies. I could...come by your place and we can...watch them."
"Don't you have school, tomorrow...?" Frank asked, chuckling softly as he raised his eyebrows--remembering Gerard is underage and mostly likely still has a curfew.
"So? I've gone to bed late before and still made it on time to school. Please?" Gerard begged Frank, like a puppy; even pouting out his bottom lip while whimpering like a puppy. Frank rolled his eyes as he chuckled. He started the engine to his car, making Gerard smile as he bounced in victory in the passenger seat.
"Just know that if you have any nightmares, that's on you."
"Jokes on you, Frankie. I don't scare, easily." Just as Frank began to drive Gerard over to his house to hang out some more--his phone began to ring.
"Oh shit--" Gerard mumbled under his breath in a panic as he fished for his phone inside the pocket of his jeans, his heart racing. Mikey was calling him.
"Uh--hello...?" Gerard's voice cracked slightly as he waited for whatever it was Mikey had to say. He really hated that Mikey acted more like a dad than a younger brother...hell, he treated Gerard like he was the younger one.
"Gee? Where are you?"
"I'm out with...s-some friends..." Gerard nearly smacked himself against his forehead. He knew Mikey didn't believe him.
"Just some friends from school--I'm not naming all of them for you."
"What are you guys doing?"
"We were at the mall, now we're going to the movies."
"You do realize it's Sunday and almost seven o'clock?"
"I'm aware, Mikey. I'll be home soon, okay?"
"...alright. Just be safe, okay? Don't want anything happening to you."
"Nothing bad will happen to me...just trust me for once, okay?" And he did. Mikey believed in Gerard...little did they both know that that would be the last time they'd speak to one another.
Chapter 3: Finders Keepers
They arrived at Frank's house. He lived in a pretty big two story home out in the middle of nowhere; surrounded by nothing but trees...Gerard noticed there were no other houses near Frank. There wasn't much civilization near him, at all. But, he didn't think much of it once Frank parked his car into the driveway.
"Which movie do you wanna watch?" Frank asked Gerard as he sat criss-cross on the soft carpet in the living room--looking through a thick selection of different classic horror films.
"What are the options, again?"
"Uhh--we got 'Halloween', 'Hellraiser', 'Nightmare On Elm Street', 'Friday The 13th', 'The Omen', 'The Exorcist', 'Scream', 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre'--" Gerard's eyes widened as he listen to all the options...it was going to be hard to just name one off the top of his head. They picked a lot of good ones, too.
"Umm...how about--" Gerard kneeled down by Frank, grabbing another handful of horror movies and his eyes grew enormous and wide as he found the perfect movie. The Shining.
"Frank--we need to watch this!" Gerard had a big and rather toothy smile across his face, bouncing excitedly on his knees as he held the DVD copy close against his chest. Frank laughed and nodded his head in response as he reached his hand out to Gerard, hand motioning for him to give him the DVD.
"You really love 'The Shining', huh?" Frank asked the overly excited boy, who was still smiling with joy as he popped in the movie in his PS4.
"I love anything Stephen King related--I'm a fan of his books and movies." Frank smiled over at Gerard; admiring his beauty and innocence...his heart raced just thinking about him. How he wanted him all to himself...something inside of Frank changed; like flowers blooming in the spring--it felt as if something had awoken inside of him. A warm and funny feeling building in the pit of his stomach...he didn't know much about Gerard. Yet, he found himself already having very strong and unbreakable attachment to him.
"Well, then I guess we'll have a Stephen King marathon, someday." Frank said, still smiling over at Gerard.
They sat on Frank's couch together; their eyes glued to the TV screen as the movie played...Gerard mouthing along to some parts as the fictional characters spoke the familiar lines he'd already heard, numerous times.
Frank occasionally turned his head to look at Gerard...smiling a small smile to himself as he felt his warmth beside him. What he also loved was his scent; it was difficult to explain--Gerard didn't smell like cologne or anything. He had his own smell. He smelled of laundry detergent, a mixture of sweat combined with spearmint gum he had chewed from earlier. He loved his smell...it was real. It was Gerard.
It was almost towards the end of the movie, and Gerard ended up falling asleep on the couch next to Frank; his head was resting against Frank's shoulder and he was breathing softly with his mouth hung open a little. Frank thought he looked so peaceful and just plain cute.
He turned off the TV, slowly moving himself off the couch--being so careful not to wake Gerard or move him too much as he gently and slowly laid the young boy's head down against one of the couch pillows. He proceeded by covering him with one of the hand knitted blankets his mother had made for him when he was a kid.
While Gerard slept heavily on Frank's couch, Frank noticed Gerard's cell phone resting on the coffee table...he stared at the phone for a long while before he looked to see if there were any text messages; any notifications; any missed calls...there were several unseen text messages from Mikey, his mom...and several missed calls from Mikey, his mom, and his dad.
Frank's heart raced as he stared down at the bright phone screen in his hand...he then looked over at Gerard, who was still passed out on his couch. He turned off the phone screen, shoved it in his jeans, and he made his way outside to the backyard.
The backyard led to pure wilderness; tall trees and crunchy dead leaves surrounded the dirt ground...you could smell the earth with each step you took towards the woods.
Frank's chest was heaving as he was breathing hard...he walked far enough into the dark woods--no light of any kind...he then pulled out Gerard's phone from his pocket again. He squeezed onto the phone before disposing it...he destroyed Gerard's phone by smashing it with a huge rock; the screen cracked, the phone lit up several times before going completely black...Frank tore the phone apart to pieces and he scattered them all throughout the woods, eventually getting rid of every bit of the phone, altogether.
Gerard slowly opened his tired eyes and once he realized he wasn't sleeping in his bed at home, he quickly sat up on Frank's couch. His heart was racing as he stumbled off and tried looking for his phone...he had no idea how late it was, or where Frank was, but he was begining to panic as he groaned out in frustration as he continued looking for his phone.
"Fuck--where the hell is it? I know I left it on the kitchen counter..." Gerard mumbled to himself as he was beginning to lose his patience. Just then, Frank came out of the bathroom--wearing a dark red towel around his waist, just barely hanging on around his hips...Gerard noticed more of Frank's tattoos on his bare and pale white torso...he blushed bright red once his eyes stopped at the tattoos by Frank's...lower regions.
"Oh, hey--you're awake." Frank smiled at Gerard, his hair dripping wet...Gerard couldn't stop eyeing the sight of Frank practically naked standing a few feet away from him.
"Uhh--Frank...um...where is my phone? And why didn't you wake me...? My family is most likely freaking the fuck out and I have school today--what time is it?" Frank chuckled as he raised his hand in the air, as a way of telling Gerard to slow himself down with all the questions spewing out of his mouth.
"It's eight in the morning."
"Eight!? Fuck, I'm really late! Frank-- you gotta take me to my school, right now--"
"Hey, hey--what's the big deal if you miss a day of school?"
"Frank, this isn't funny--I have to get to school..."
"Missing one day won't kill you. I thought we could get breakfast together or something."
"...Frank--where is my phone...? I need to call my family."
"I don't know where your phone is. Just relax--"
"Frank--I'm honestly mad at you right now; you didn't wake me and take me home! My family probably called the cops and I'm missing school, now!" Gerard didn't realize he was now yelling.
"...Gee...I'm sorry...I didn't wanna wake you because you looked so peaceful...I thought we had a nice time, together..." Frank gave Gerard a look of both sadness and hurt. Gerard immediately felt like an asshole as he saw the look on Frank's face.
"Don't be. I should have woken you up and took you home...I'm sorry. Here, I'll get dressed and take you to your school, okay?" Before Gerard could even say anything else, Frank made his way over to his bedroom to dry off and put some clothes on.
Gerard felt guilty for yelling at Frank...he didn't want to leave being mad at him. He really liked Frank, and they did have a great time together last night...he wanted all times with Frank to be good.
Ten minutes passed and Frank came out of his room--hair all dry and slightly messy, but it looked cool, still. He was wearing all black again; black t-shirt of Nirvana, tight fitting black jeans with a studded belt, and black chucks.
"Okay, you ready?" Frank asked Gerard as he went to retrieve his car keys. Just then, Gerard stopped him and he made direct eye contact with him...Frank's big hazel eyes were red and puffy...he looked like he was crying.
"...were you crying...?" Gerard felt his heart sink as he examined Frank's eyes. He could tell Frank was upset.
"...I hate getting yelled at...I didn't mean to make you mad..." He sniffled softly as he wiped his eyes. Gerard definitely felt like a total asshole.
"Frank...I'm sorry...I didn't mean to yell at you...I didn't mean to make you cry." Frank gave Gerard a small half grin, shrugging his shoulders while stuffing his hands into the pockets of his jeans.
"...I'll get breakfast with you. Like you said, missing a day from school isn't a big deal...I'll look for my phone when we come back, okay...? I just don't want you to be sad. I'm sorry..."
"You don't have to get breakfast with me. It's okay."
"I want to. Really. Besides, I don't have my backpack...and I already wore these clothes yesterday." They both chuckled softly, smiling at one another.
"I'm sorry." Gerard apologized to Frank, again.
"I'm sorry, too." Gerard then walked over towards Frank, made a bold move by placing both his hands down on Frank's shoulders and leaned forward to place a small kiss against his cheek. Frank's cheeks flushed crimson as he smiled a small and shy smile...Gerard giggled softly as he grabbed a hold of Frank's hand in his.
"Looks like you got me all to yourself again, today." Gerard said to Frank, smiling his toothy grin at him. Frank nodded his head in agreement as he lightly squeezed onto Gerard's hand in his, making him blush.
"I want you all to myself, really..." Frank's grin widened, now revealing his teeth. Gerard blushed even redder at Frank's comment, making his face heat up.
"Come on--let's go eat, I'm hungry." They both chuckled again as Frank proceeded by grabbing his car keys, and they made their way out of the house and near the closest diner they could find.
Frank already had an idea on keeping Gerard. Gerard had no idea what Frank had in mind...but either way, it was going to happen.
Chapter 4: Escape
Gerard missed school that day. He didn't go home that night, either...he ended up missing a whole week of school. Gerard didn't return home. At first, he didn't think anything of it--it was sort of an impulsive act; without really asking, Frank pretty much had Gerard living with him in his house, far away from the city and from civilization...he still didn't find his phone, but Gerard kind of gave up on looking for the damn thing. He knew for a fact though that his family had most likely called the police to look for him...he wanted to call them, but Frank didn't own a house phone.
A week turned into a month. Gerard had a bedroom of his own and he liked to spend a lot of time outside in the backyard--he liked to go for walks towards the woods and he occasionally brought his sketchbook with him to draw whatever came to his mind. He loved the wilderness outside Frank's house...he had a really nice home. He was happy to be with Frank, but at the same time--he missed home.
Every time Gerard asked about going home, Frank would change the subject; ignore it, or he'd find something to distract the both of them with. Gerard stopped asking for a while...but, in the back of his mind, he began to wonder if Frank would ever take him home. He began to wonder if Frank would ever let him go.
He bought Gerard brand new clothes; especially with the employee discount he got from Hot Topic. Frank also prepared really nice meals for Gerard--in fact, he was quite the cook. When Gerard wasn't hanging out outside, exploring the woods, he'd chill out in the living room to watch TV and occasionally play video games.
Frank even bought Gerard tons of books and comic books to read and he also got him an old fashioned stereo to play music on. Frank was good to Gerard; he treated him very well in fact--the best. Gerard was treated like a prince.
"What are you in the mood for, tonight?" Frank asked Gerard as he scrolled through different varieties of movies of each genre on the TV screen.
The teenager shrugged his shoulders as he lightly hugged the couch pillow in his arms...Frank placed his hand down on Gerard's leg and he flinched as he scooted away from him.
"Are you okay...?" Frank noticed Gerard was upset. Gerard sniffled softly as he felt hot tears spill down his cheeks. Frank immediately noticed.
"Hey, hey...Gerard--talk to me..." Gerard sniffled softly again as he began to sob softly under his breath.
"I...want to go home...I m-miss my family..." Frank fell silent. His eyes widened, but he still said nothing as Gerard continued to cry.
"I know...but...you can't."
"Why won't you let me go...?" Gerard asked him as he turned his head to face him. Frank was a very attractive man; Hollywood gorgeous, and Gerard hated that he was so lovestruck by a complete stranger. A stranger who kidnapped him.
Frank was clearly messed up someway in his head...his eyes were so hazel, they looked more green at that moment...Gerard found himself feeling both attraction and fear while looking at him. His heart began to race rapidly inside of his chest as he realized that he was being held captive by his will; unable to leave, and tried his best not to have a panic attack.
"Because I want you to stay with me." Goosebumps appeared on Gerard's skin; feeling a cold shiver all throughout his body...Frank smiled at him as he then wrapped his tattooed arm around his shoulder, pulled him close against him. He could smell Frank's cologne.
"You're safe. I'll take care of you, and I can make you so happy here." Gerard shook his head no as he tried to beg for Frank to let him go home, but nothing was working.
"Frank, please...I just want to go home..."
"You're not happy here with me...?" Frank suddenly blurted out.
"Frank...I had fun with you, but I need to go home--"
"Why? You said it yourself; your parents are too controlling and overprotective of you and Mikey--you more than Mikey, in fact." Frank was frowning slightly as he spat out his words at Gerard, throwing him off since he's never seen Frank really get mad, before.
"I want you to stay with me because I don't have anyone else in my life, Gerard. Everyone in my life always leaves me--everyone. I really like you and I don't want you to leave me..." Gerard was scared now, and he remained quiet as he continued crying, softly.
"You can't stand your family, you said that yourself. You said you had no freedom in that house and you hated that your younger brother treated you like you were the younger one. I want to make you happy Gee because you deserve to be happy...and you're making me upset because it feels like you don't wanna stay with me. I thought you liked me too...I thought we were having a nice time, together." Frank was still frowning, but his eyes were sad; the green faded into a light brown shade now...Gerard noticed the years forming inside of his eyes.
"I'm lonely, Gee...I'm fucking lonely and when I'm with you--" Frank turned his head to face the crying teenager sitting next to him on his couch.
"With you, I don't feel alone anymore. With you, I feel happy; I feel warm; and you make me feel so alive..." Gerard still sat quietly as he listened to Frank's words.
Frank then moved his face closer towards Gerard's face...he softly shushed him as he wiped away his tears with his thumbs while moving Gerard's long black hair behind his ears to get a clear view of his beautiful and sad face.
"Gerard...please let me show you how happy I can make you. You look at me with a scared look in your eyes. You look at me like I'm a monster...I really, really like you. I can make you so happy if you stay with me...I would give you so much freedom and I would take care of you. I'd never hurt you." They made direct eye contact with one another; green eyes connected with hazel...Frank then gently caressed Gerard's soft and tear soaked cheek, then bringing his hand underneath the young boy's chin--cupping it, and then he slowly leaned his face forward towards Gerard's face.
The tips of their noses touched...Gerard could feel his heart going crazy inside of his chest and he completely froze when he felt Frank's lips lightly press against his. The first kiss was very short and soft. The second kiss was longer, more tender, and Gerard kissed him back.
The attraction the teenager felt for the older man was burning in the pit of his stomach as Frank placed his hand against Gerard's soft and warm cheek, kissing his lips more passionately now, and Gerard let Frank's kiss consume him as he slowly closed his eyes and wrapped both of his arms around his inked neck.
Their kiss was now open mouthed and intense; their breathing was hard, heavy, and unsteady...Gerard surprised Frank by slipping his tongue inside of his mouth--licking the roof of his mouth.
Frank pulled away from their kiss, panting for a breath of air...they never broke eye contact. Frank didn't hesitate to embrace Gerard's lips again with his as they kissed each other hungrily; both moaning inside of each other's mouths as Frank wrapped both of his arms around Gerard's waist--pulling him closer against his body. The black haired teenager ran his fingers through the older, and tattooed man's long dyed black hair--sliding his fingertips down towards the shaved and bleach blonde hair on the sides of his head. Their kiss was very heated until Frank broke their kiss for a second time...they both panted as their foreheads rested against one another's...Gerard didn't really understand what just happened, and his emotions were all over the place. He was still scared and completely surprised by how Frank had suddenly snapped at him, yet his attraction for him was burning hot.
He felt very, very confused...neither of them said a thing; in silence, they stared into one another's eyes--admiring each other's faces...admiring their beauty. Frank finally smiled a very sweet and small smile at Gerard as he held him close. Gerard, still feeling confused, broke eye contact with him as he lightly moved himself off and away from Frank.
"Are you okay...?" Frank finally spoke, breaking the long silence. Gerard wiped away the rest of his tears, not saying a word, and looked over at Frank. He slowly nodded his head in response; the corner of his lip curled into a very small grin.
"...yeah...I'll be okay." Gerard spoke so softly that Frank could barely hear him, but he did.
"You'll be safe with me, Gee. I'll protect you--now and always." Gerard felt chills run down his spine as goosebumps appeared on his skin...he was scared, but he just nodded his head in response and let Frank believe that he could take care of him. That he could make him happy.
Gerard secretly planned a way for him to escape and make it back home to his mom, his dad, and to Mikey...there were locks on the windows, a house alarm, and Gerard was convinced that somewhere inside Frank's house--there were cameras. He didn't see any, but he bet his life on it.
He played along with Frank. Gerard let Frank believe that they were together; a couple in love, and he pretended that he was happy...that everything was okay.
And while Gerard played along, he tried to brainstorm several ways on escaping...he tried opening the windows, but locks wouldn't budge. He tried to go out the sliding door leading to the backyard, which would lead him into the woods...but, the sliding door had a new lock on it. One that would trigger the house alarm.
Once a month had passed and a new one arrived--enough time had passed and Gerard was finally going to take action and escape...there was only one way he could flee without Frank coming after him...Gerard would have to knock him out. The thought upset him, but it was the only way he could leave...he wandered around the house while Frank was at work. He searched around for a blunt object of any sort to use as a weapon...Gerard came across an old wooden baseball bat; steady on the handle and heavy at the tip...it was the perfect weapon.
That night, Frank had ordered pizza for them and they watched several Stephen King books-to-films adaptations and the entire time, Gerard thought about what would happen when he escaped...his heart was racing every time he looked over at Frank. He looked so happy and when he smiled over at Gerard--the thought of him striking him with the bat, then running away from him as fast as he could...it made his heart ache.
But he missed his family. He missed his home. Gerard wanted to be free...Frank promised him freedom, but he felt like a bird trapped inside of a steel cage--wishing to escape and fly away. Gerard was the bird trapped inside the cage.
It was almost eleven pm; outside was pitch black, and Gerard began to feel extremely nervous as he paced around inside of his room--biting down on his fingernails as he mumbled to himself.
"...you can do this...just...just hit him. One good time...then run..." The more Gerard kept telling himself it would be quick and easy, the worse he felt. He began to feel queasy as he smacked himself in the forehead and tried to gather up as much courage as he could; heart racing rapidly, hands trembling, sharp and unsteady breathing...finally, Gerard fought away the nauseous feeling that was building up right in his gut.
He inhaled a deep breath as he then picked up the baseball bat, squeezing onto the handle as tightly as he could--Gerard even practiced a few hard swings before he called out to Frank from his room.
Frank heard Gerard calling out to him, and he didn't hesitate to go upstairs to check on him.
"Gee, are you alright? What's wrong?"
"...my...my stomach hurts..." Gerard wasn't exactly lying. His stomach felt like it was twisting into tight knots as he held the baseball bat close...his heart was racing as he heard Frank's footsteps climbing up the stairs, towards his bedroom...once the door freaked open and Frank made his way in, Gerard completely froze.
"I'm sorry about your--" Frank stopped in mid-sentence as he quickly noticed Gerard standing with his back against the wall, squeezing onto the baseball bat.
"...Gee...?" He called out his name softly as he stared at him with a look of both confusion and pure fear.
"...I...I..." The teenager shuttered over his own words as he felt tears building up inside of his eyes as he watched the look of hurt growing across Frank's handsome face.
"Put the bat down..." The older hazel eyed man said as he slowly made his way over towards Gerard; holding his hand out in the air towards him...that's when Gerard began to panic as he swung the bat at full speed--landing a hard blow against Frank's hand.
He let out a loud and sharp gasp as he quickly pulled his hand back, feeling a numbing and burning pain build up in his hand; spreading to his fingertips, then to his wrist...Frank's eyebrows lowered as his eyes widened in pure shock.
"Gerard..." Was all Frank said before the young boy swung the baseball bat again, but this time he missed as the short and older man managed to block the second blow by moving.
"What the hell are you doing!? Stop--" Frank grabbed the bat with his uninjured hand and he tried pulling it out of Gerard's hand, but Gerard roughly poked Frank in the center of his chest with the tip of the bat--pushing him back a few steps as he tried to run past him and out the door.
He was grabbed by his shirt; a loud tear echoed throughout the bedroom as Frank had a very strong and tight grip on Gerard's shirt, ripping it a little as he tried to wriggle out of his hold.
"Let me go--"
"Where the fuck do you think you're going!?" Frank spat at Gerard, now frowning as he held his injured hand close against his chest, which was more aching.
"GET OFF!" Gerard screamed as he swung the bat again--slamming it against Frank's stomach; knocking the air out of his lungs as released his tight grip from the black haired teenager's shirt and he dropped to his knees, coughing violently as he wrapped both of his arms around his stomach--gasping for air.
Gerard ran past Frank and out of the room; down the dark hall which led down the stairs...he couldn't see a thing and he ended up tripping over something. He stumbled onto the floor and quickly crawled his way back to his feet.
Just as Gerard was about to make his way down the stairs, he was grabbed again by Frank; he grabbed him by his long hair this time--making Gerard whimper and yell out in pain and discomfort as he saw the look of pure rage on Frank's face...he was frowning the biggest frown he had ever seen. It was the first time Gerard has ever seen Frank look so mad.
"Give. Me. The. Bat." Frank managed to choke out in between breaths through gritted teeth; his own drool dripping off his chin...Gerard began to hit Frank--punch him, slap him, kick him...and all Frank tried to do was disarm his weapon.
"GIVE IT TO ME, NOW!" Frank screamed, scaring Gerard as he nearly jumped out of his own skin. They continued fighting with each other and Gerard finally managed to swing his bat once more.
The baseball bat landed against the right side of Frank's head. A loud and very audible 'pop' sound was heard clearly once the heavy and blunt object slammed against his hard skull and he quickly dropped to the floor, and Frank's body ended up tumbling down the stairs. It very much reminded him of a scene in 'The Shining'.
Gerard gasped out loudly as soft sobs got caught in the back of his throat and he dropped the baseball bat down to the ground and he jolted his way down the stairs, quickly passing through Frank's unconscious body; he immediately noticed the fresh blood gushing out of his head wound and Gerard let out a loud whimper as he ran towards the front door--activating the house alarm, and he ran outside and into the dark woods.
He didn't look back as he felt his chest already burning as he ran as fast as he could--not knowing where he was going, but Gerard didn't stop running...he wouldn't stop running until he was far away from the house. Until he was far away from Frank.
"HELP! SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME!" Gerard screamed to the top of his lungs as he ran past the darkness; the sounds of the dead leaves crunching below his feet as he panted hard and heavily...he kept running past trees, and more trees...Gerard began to sob loudly as he saw no change in the scenery.
"IS ANYONE OUT THERE!? PLEASE, HELP ME!" Gerard screamed once more--this time someone did hear him. He doesn't know how Frank found him, but he did...he doesn't know how Frank regained his consciousness and made his way over to him, but he did...Frank roughly tackled the young boy's body against the ground; the smell of the earth lingered around Gerard as he felt the cold and moist dirt underneath his fingernails as he tried to crawl away.
"NO! LET ME GO!" He squealed out as Frank roughly turned Gerard around, making him lie down flat on his back and face him...Gerard was completely petrified by the clear sight.
The right side of Frank's face was covered in his own blood; his hazel eyes were full of anger and they looked black.
"You are a bad, bad boy..." Frank said to Gerard with a very soft spoken and raspy voice.
"...p-please...let me go, Frank--"
"Shut the fuck up...you shut up." Frank spat out at Gerard; drops of both his blood and drool dripped onto Gerard's face...he was sobbing softly under his breath as his heart was thumping away inside of his chest, like a hammer against cloth.
"You lied to me...you lied to my fucking face...and you rejected me..." Frank said in between hard pants as he held Gerard down against the dirt below his back.
"I'm going to show you what happens to little boys who reject me..." Suddenly Frank roughly backhanded Gerard across his face, hard enough to make everything go black for a moment before a loud ringing sound rang inside of Gerard's ears, making him snap back into reality as he realized he was being dragged through the woods in the darkness...his vision was blurry, everything sounded distorted, and he tasted copper on his tongue.
Once Frank managed to drag Gerard's body all the way from the woods and back into his house...Frank roughly kicked Gerard on his side to wake him up.
"Get the fuck up..." He spat at him as he kicked him again, and Gerard whimpered out loudly as he twitched. He looked up at a bloody and injured Frank who was still frowning down at him with his enormous black eyes.
"I said get up--" Frank then roughly grabbed a handful of the young teenager's hair; pulling on it until he was up on his feet, Gerard yelled out loudly and Frank pulled him by his hair as he made his way up the stairs and back into his bedroom.
He threw Gerard in first, making him fall to the ground, and he made his way in shortly after, slamming the door behind him.
"Look at me." He spoke firmly. Gerard was whimpering softly as tears spilled down his face...he was trembling with fear.
"LOOK AT ME!" Frank screamed, startling Gerard, again. He slowly lifted up his head to look up at the bloody and angry older man standing tall in front of him.
Frank then roughly grabbed Gerard by his wrist and he yanked him up to his feet...he proceeded by slapping him across his face again; staining his already bruising left cheek redder than before.
"DON'T YOU EVER FUCKING DO THAT SHIT TO ME, EVER AGAIN!" He shouted at him as he roughly grabbed Gerard by his shoulders and roughly shoved him against the wall.
"...I'm s-sorry--F-Frank, I'm so sorry..." Gerard whimpered out as he gasped softly under his breath, still trembling with fear as his chest heaved in and out at a rapid pace.
"You fucking lied to me, Gerard! You BETRAYED me! I thought you felt the same way I did about you--you fucking kissed me and made me believe I made you happy! It was all a fucking lie..." Frank's voice cracked as his eyes glistened with tears, growing red and puffy as he sniffled loudly.
"I love you, Gerard...I fucking LOVE you. And this is how you repay me for everything I've done for you...? By lying to me and hurting me...?" Frank said as he pointed his finger at the bloody and oozing wound on the side of his head.
"Didn't mean to hurt me...? Well, you did Gee. You hurt me pretty fucking badly...physically and emotionally..." Tears were now running down Frank's cheeks and he had the saddest puppy dog eyes, ever.
"I'm sorry, okay...?" Gerard apologized softly as he slowly approached Frank. He embraced him into his arms as he held him close...Frank wept softly into the teenager's arms as he tried moving him away, but Gerard only held onto him tighter.
"I'm sorry, Frankie...I'm truly sorry..." He apologized again as he held both sides of Frank's face in his hands...they both made direct eye contact as the tips of their noses almost touched.
Gerard then leaned forward and placed a kiss against Frank's lips. Feeling confused, Frank pulled away immediately--still frowning at Gerard, but that didn't stop him from kissing him, again.
Frank kissed Gerard back. Their kiss was rough and aggressive; Gerard's back pinned against the wall, Frank's body pressed against his...the sounds of their lips smacking echoed all throughout the room as Frank let out low groans and soft growls inside of Gerard's mouth as Gerard moaned and slid his tongue inside of the older man's mouth.
"God, you are so fucking infuriating..." Frank said to Gerard with a small grin on his bloody face.
"Yeah well, you're no prize yourself." Gerard responded with a sarcastic and snarky tone as he rolled his eyes. They continued kissing each other hungrily before Frank then guided Gerard over to his bed...they made out even more; filling the room with sounds of moaning and groaning...Frank was on top of Gerard and he was surprised when the young boy began to pull up Frank's shirt--trying to take it off. He sat himself up on his knees for a moment and he quickly removed his bloody shirt off and over his head, lightly grazing against his head wound and making him wince and hiss out, softly. Frank then began to remove clothing off of Gerard, one item at a time, until he was only left in his boxers and socks.
"Wait--I don't have any condoms..." Frank realized, already fully aroused.
"It's okay..." Gerard mumbled, his cheeks stained crimson as he looked up at Frank with nervous and wide green eyes.
"...do you...do you want to...?" Frank asked him before taking any further steps. Gerard bit down on his bottom lip as he broke eye contact with the older man.
"...I want to...but..."
"We don't have to if you're not ready..."
"Frank...I'm...I'm a virgin..." Gerard finally confessed. Frank's cheeks flushed red and he couldn't help but chuckle as sighed out in relief.
"Boy, am I glad to hear you say that...I'm a virgin, too..." Frank confessed shortly after.
"You are...?" Frank nodded his head in response, and Gerard was speechless.
"I'm just as surprised as you...I can't believe you're still one. You're so beautiful..." Frank cooed at Gerard, making him blush as he looked up at him, again.
"Are you sure about this...?" Before Gerard responded, he slowly removed his boxers...now fully naked in front of Frank. He was also fully aroused.
"I'm sure...it's okay..." Frank removed the rest of his clothes, properly prepped himself and Gerard with lube and foreplay with fingering...it was uncomfortable and awkward at first, but it soon turned pleasurable.
Frank lost his virginity to Gerard, as Gerard lost his to Frank...they both moaned out together in sync as they felt one another; feeling ecstatic as Frank thrusted himself harder and deeper into Gerard while his moans grew louder and longer...after they both climaxes together; Frank releasing himself inside of Gerard, they laid perfectly still like that for a while.
They both got dressed in silence...Gerard could tell Frank was still bothered by what had happened before that...he wanted to say something, but was afraid to.
"Gerard...you're going to have to still be punished for what you've done." Frank finally spoke as he pulled his bloody shirt back on.
"You hurt me. You lied to me. You have to be punished it's for your own good..." And just like that, Frank got up from Gerard's bed and he made his way out of the room; closing the door behind him and immediately locking it up with a key. Gerard gasped softly as he stumbled out of bed and tried to open the door...it wouldn't budge and he began to panic as he jiggled the doorknob as he tried to get Frank to unlock it.
"Frank--what are you doing? Open the door!" Gerard raised his voice as he continued pulling at the doorknob.
"I can't. This is your punishment..." Frank responded from the other side of the door. Gerard began to hyperventilate as tears built up inside of his eyes and he began to bang his hands on the door begging for Frank to let him out as he apologized, repeatedly.
"Frankie please, I'm sorry! Please let me out! I don't wanna be locked in here all alone! Frank, open the door!" His cries made Frank's heart sink as he slowly sat himself down outside Gerard's bedroom door; his back resting against it, he could feel Gerard slamming his hands against the door as he continued crying and apologizing.
"FRANK, PLEASE! I'M SO FUCKING SORRY! I DON'T WANNA BE ALONE! PLEASE!?" Gerard was hysterical now as he continued banging on the door and sobbing loudly.
Tears spilled down Frank's cheeks as he then closed his eyes and brought his trembling hands towards his ears; covering them as he began to hum softly to himself--trying to block out Gerard's cries and pleads...it was like complete deja vu for Frank and his heart was breaking that it was happening to Gerard.
But it had to be done...Gerard had to be punished.
Chapter 5: Room
Crossing out another day on the calendar without seeing Frank...luckily with the brand new digital watch he provided for Gerard, he was able to keep track of the weekdays, weekends, and the time. Its been almost a week since their last encounter.
He became obsessed with sitting in front of the door; his ear pressed against it, trying to listen to what was going on outside this room. Gerard occasionally heard footsteps pacing back and forth, up and down the stairs, and he swore at some point he heard Frank talking with someone in person...someone was in the house with him.
The young boy wondered who it was Frank was speaking to...but, he never asked.
He didn't check on Gerard for about a week ever since he tried escaping; didn't feed him, and the only way he got water was from his bathroom sink. Tap water. Frank just left him in his bedroom like Gerard was on time out.
When he wasn't listening to what was going on throughout the house, he tried to keep himself occupied with his comic books; sketching random pictures and coloring--creating comics of his own. Gerard also listened to music on his stereo. Other times he'd lay flat on his back on his bed and stare up at the ceiling above him...his green eyes watched the ceiling fan; watching it spin around at a normal pace...Gerard even stared at the colors on his bedroom walls.
By his bed, the wall was painted a crimson red color.
By his tall bookcase and computer desk (didn't have a computer) where he had all his books; comic books; all of his art equipment, the wall was painted a royal blue color.
By the bathroom, the wall was painted orange.
And by the walk in closet that was also by his bedroom door was painted black...his eyes stared at each individual color for about an hour.
It was silent for a long time. He didn't hear anything from outside his door and all throughout the house...Frank wasn't home.
Gerard's heart raced as he paced himself all around the room; fidgeting around with his fingers as he tried to figure out when Frank was coming back; when was he going to face him again? Hear his voice? See his smile? He needed to know. He couldn't take it anymore--being trapped in here; staring at the same different colored walls...sitting here, waiting like some dog for its master to come back, overthinking everything...driving himself insane.
A new week had arrived; it was Monday afternoon and Gerard was preoccupied with his eyes buried in a thick book; 'A Song Of Fire & Ice' by George R. R. Martin. Gerard always loved fictional and fantasy stories--it was his escape, along with art and music.
Suddenly, he heard the door unlocked and he sat up on his bed. Frank pushed the door open and he slowly made his way in...Frank's injured hand was wrapped up in bandages; the side of his head, where Gerard had struck him with his baseball bat, was also bandaged up.
Gerard was saddened by the damage he had done to him...he was quiet, as was Frank.
"...I...I brought you some food. Lunch." Frank finally spoke as he paced his way out for a moment, and came back with a plate of food for Gerard. He had made him a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with steaming hot tomato soup...the teenager's mouth watered once he smelled it and he placed his bookmark on the page he was reading before setting the book down beside him on his bed.
He handed him the plate of food and Gerard quickly began to devour it--not even giving himself a moment to actually taste the food...he was starving.
"I got you a TV...figured you're bored in here, so..." Frank mumbled as he watched Gerard finish everything on his plate.
"...can't I just come watch TV with you, downstairs?" Frank was silent for a moment...he opened his mouth slighty, but closed it again as he took the now empty plate out of Gerard's hands.
"I'll come back with dinner later on, tonight. I'll install your TV then."
"Frank, wait--" Gerard called out to the older man as he got out of his bed, but before he could even reach him, Frank left the bedroom and he closed the door behind him--locking it back up.
"FRANK!" Gerard yelled out as he grabbed onto the doorknob; trying to wiggle it open and even pulling at it, letting out a loud and sharp sigh as he roughly slammed his hand against the door.
His eyes stung with tears, sniffling softly as he wiped away the tears that spilled down his cheeks, Gerard cursed under his breath before he made his way back over to his bed. He buried his face in his pillow and cried his eyes out; his gasps, whimpers, and groans were muffled against the soft cushioning...Gerard wept until he ended up falling asleep. His dreams were another escape for him--while he slept, the over imaginative teenager dreamt about a whole different world...a whole new life...a whole new him.
He often dreamt about his family too; he'd see his parents--thinking about all they'd tell him how much they love him and how proud of him they were...despite them getting on his case a lot, Gerard knew his folks loved him like crazy. They just wanted what was best for him.
And when Gerard wasn't dreaming about his mom and dad...he would dream about Mikey.
He would relive the old memories of kissing his mother's belly, feeling his baby brother move around inside of her...talking to him softly and playing with him every time he kicked...Gerard could still remember the very first time he saw Mikey.
Mikey was so tiny and fragile; all pink in the face as he squawked and wept, all wrapped up in his baby blanket...but he'd stop crying every time Gerard held him. Despite him being bossy, overprotective, and kind of a killjoy...Gerard loved him. He missed his baby brother more than anything.
He was asleep for a long while until he was awoken with a gentle shake. Gerard's heavy eyes slowly opened as he looked up at Frank; his vision was blurry, but he could see the older man clearly...Frank looked down at him without saying a word, he helped the young boy sit up on his bed.
"Dinner." Frank mumbled as he handed Gerard a plate of medium rare rib eye steak, side of mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob. The smell made Gerard's mouth water again as he took the plate from Frank's hand and again, began to devour everything off his plate until it was clean.
"...I brought the TV...I'll install it for you." Frank avoided eye contact with Gerard, speaking in very short and very cold sentences...there was no warmth or affection in his voice. He was still very much heartbroken and upset with Gerard.
"Frank...can we talk...?" The young boy suddenly asked as he sat on his bed in silence...his belly full of food, and he was more awake now and aware of everything. He watched Frank install his TV, and his heart raced after he asked his question. At first, Frank ignored him.
"...Frank?" Gerard called out his name, again. The older man finally stopped what he was doing as he turned his head to look over at him. His handsome face was very serious looking; his naturally and perfectly groomed dark eyebrows were low--almost making a frown...Frank looked so angry, and yet, so sad at the same time.
"I'm sorry...I really am. I didn't mean to attack you--"
"Attack me? You struck me in the head with a fucking bat. You nearly cracked my fucking skull open. And you sprained my hand--" Frank spat out to Gerard as he held out his bandaged up hand, showing it off to the teenager.
"I...I'm s-sorry..." Gerard mumbled under his breath as he felt immediate guilt building up in his gut.
"You have a TV now; you also have streaming networks like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO GO. This should keep you busy." Frank was about to leave, but Gerard managed to grab a hold of him by his wrist.
"Please don't leave, I need to talk to you..."
"I'm sorry, Frank...I'm so fucking sorry...if I could take it all back, I would..." His voice cracked as he whimpered softly under his breath as tears built up inside of his eyes.
"...Gee, you really hurt me. You fucking hurt me...you lied to me; making me believe you were happy. You betrayed me; betrayed my trust...you planned to leave me all along...how can I believe anything you say to me...?"
"Because it's the truth...I'm sorry...I love you--"
"You don't fucking love me..." Frank said as he pulled away his wrist out of Gerard's hand.
"I do...I do love you, very much. I deserve to be punished...I'll be punished for as long as you need me to be--I'll prove to you that you can trust me, again...Frank sniffled softly as his big hazel eyes moistened with bitter tears...he wanted to believe Gerard, but he couldn't. He felt he was being tricked, again.
"Please forgive me..." Gerard begged Frank as he grabbed a hold of his wrist, again. Frank felt tears running down his cheeks as he stared into the young boy's beautiful jade colored eyes.
"...Gee...I...I need time...okay? I just need time..." Frank said in a soft and sad tone as he wiped away his own tears, slowly pulling his wrist away from Gerard's grip, for a second time.
"I'm sorry...I'm so sorry..." Tears were now spilling down Gerard's face; teardrops dripping off his chin as his bottom lip trembled and twitched.
"...goodnight, Gee." Frank turned his back to him and he made his way out of Gerard's bedroom, again; locking the door up again once he was out completely.
Gerard was left all alone in his room again...alone with the thoughts running through his mind; voices of his mother, his father, and his brother's all speaking at once...he could also head Frank's voice along with his own...Gerard didn't want to cry again, but he couldn't contain his tears. He didn't want to be alone, again.
After he shed his tears, Gerard decided to watch TV until he fell into oblivion; staring into the bright screen--his eyes completely focused on whatever he put on to drown out the silence. To block out the voices in his head...Gerard watched TV until he drifted off into a deep slumber, the sounds playing from the TV helped him sleep soundly without dreaming bad dreams.
"Gerard..." He was awoken by a light shake again. Frank called out his name softly as he slowly opened his heavy and tired eyes...Gerard's vision was blurry, but he could see Frank clearly.
"...Frank..." The teenager softly called out his name as he reached over to grab a hold of the older man's tattooed hand.
Frank's cheeks flushed light pink and quickly pulled his hand away.
"Breakfast..." He mumbled as he pointed his finger over at the plate of buttermilk pancakes with a side of bacon and scrambled eggs, and a glass of orange juice, that rested on Gerard's nightstand beside his bed.
"I've got to go to work. I'll see you later."
"Frank, wait--" Gerard was more awake now, and he grabbed him by his wrist. Frank stood still as he looked at him with his bright hazel eyes--today they looked a fine mix between mocha brown and leaf green.
"I...I hope you have a good day at work, today..." Gerard stuttered out as he still held onto Frank by his wrist.
"...thanks. Hope you have a good day, too." Frank responded as he gave Gerard a small half grin.
"And...thanks for breakfast. Looks good..."
"Again, thanks. Now, could you please let me go?" Frank chuckled softly as he asked the long and black haired teenager to release him--now showing off his teeth as his half grin spread into a full smile now.
Gerard didn't release Frank just yet. He quickly got out from his bed and without hesitation, he wrapped both of his arms around the shorter man's shoulders--pulling him in for a hug.
Frank froze for a moment as he felt Gerard's warmth against his body; his heart was fluttering inside of his chest...Frank then finally hugged Gerard back. The young boy proceeded by kissing Frank's cheek. His face flushed bright red as he swallowed his saliva hard--Gerard could hear the gulp.
"...what was that for?" Frank asked Gerard, his voice very soft and almost inaudible.
"Because I wanted to." They looked into each other's eyes for a long moment before Frank broke eye contact, clearing his throat softly.
"I really got to go...I'll be late for work."
"I hope you have a good day at work, today." Gerard said with a small and sweet smile on his face...Frank gave him a small smile back before he turned his back and left the room, locking the door back up.
Once again, he found himself trying to keep himself entertained and preoccupied in his windowless bedroom...he never thought he'd start to miss sunlight, but he was starting to.
Gerard decided to blast his stereo as loud as he could; singing along to any song and every song that played...he even danced around a little since it was super wide and spacious in his bedroom. He sang until his voice needed a break, and he danced until his heart was practically racing inside of his chest. Gerard eventually dozed off on his bed with the TV turned on...he was starting to find comfort in sleeping with the TV playing in the background.
"Hey, Gee..." Frank whispered softly as he lightly touched his shoulder, turning his body over from his side to flat on his back.
"Hmm...?" Gerard's eyes were still closed; his long and black hair was all messy and in his face, and he even had a little drool mark on his pillow.
"I'm home. And I got Chinese--didn't feel like cooking, tonight." He slowly opened his eyes and looked up at Frank. Frank smiled down at the teenager as he gently moved his long strands of his dark hair away from his face and Gerard smiled a sleepy smile up at him before Frank gently caressed his warm and soft cheek...the young boy felt himself blushing at Frank's touch.
"Wanna watch a movie, together?" Gerard nodded his head in response, still smiling up at the older man. They sat in Gerard's bed together; all comfortable and snug as they ate some Chinese food and watched two horror movies before Gerard ended up falling asleep with his head resting against Frank's shoulder.
For weeks, they started to spend time together; just like when they first began hang out. They hung out inside of Gerard's bedroom, since he was still on punishment and wasn't fully trusted yet...it didn't bother him though. As long as he was with Frank, he was happy.
They hung out again; watched movies or TV shows, ate junk food or take out whenever Frank was too lazy to cook, and they'd play games together--video games, board games, card games...sometimes they'd just kiss each other. They'd make out until things got a little bit heated, and one of them would most likely stop one another. Gerard began to feel a little under the weather though after several weeks, which turned into a month of him feeling minor or intense nausea; it triggered with certain smells of food Frank would bring him...Gerard couldn't hold down anything and the even the thought or sight of food made him jolt his way over to his bathroom and puke out whatever was in his stomach, intensely.
"Gerard...? Are you okay...?" Frank asked him as he rubbed his back in a slow and circular motion as Gerard violently gagged and vomited huge chunks into the toilet...Frank was beginning to worry about him.
"Was it the food you ate...?"
"I haven't eaten...every time I try to eat, it makes me sick to my stomach..." He was finished puking--his throat burned, his heart was pounding hard inside of his chest, his eyes were all red; they were also puffy and teary...even his face was drenched with sweat and he was breathing hard and heavily.
"...and you've been feeling like this for how long...?" Frank suddenly asked Gerard as he was starting to think it was something way more serious than a stomach bug.
"Umm...I think like a month..."
"A month...?" Frank's eyes had widened now, and he felt his heart racing as he stood himself back up on his feet; his eyes still widened as he stayed silent.
"Frank...? What's wrong...?" Gerard asked him with a soft and worried tone; his eyes now wide with fear too and Frank didn't say anything as he then paced his way out of the bedroom with no explanation.
"Frank--wait! What's wrong!?" Gerard tried pacing after him, but he didn't reach Frank in time. He was banging on the door, trying to get it to open--but it was locked and Gerard began to cry as he was beginning to panic. He had no idea what was wrong; no idea on why Frank needed to know how long he was sick for...Gerard sat on the edge of his bed, still crying as his body was trembling with fear.
Frank finally came back after about an hour...he held a plastic CVS bag, filled with ginger ale, apple juice, and Gatorades for Gerard. He then pulled out three different brands of pregnancy tests...Gerard examined the boxes filled with pregnancy tests before he made direct eye contact with Frank.
"...why did you buy pregnancy tests...?"
"Gee--we had unprotected sex only once, but you've been throwing up for a month...it could be a possibility that you're..." Frank froze before he said the word.
Gerard didn't argue as he began to chug down all of his drinks, except the ginger ale; he drank that nice and slow for his stomach...he felt the need to use the bathroom.
He used all the pregnancy tests in all three boxes...and they were all positive. Gerard was pregnant with Frank's baby...they were going to have a baby, together.
Chapter 6: Pink Sweater
He learned to love and appreciate the outdoors; all types of weather--rain, snow, wind, sunshine...cold, hot, warm...Gerard loved it all. Every time Frank drove him to his ultrasound appointments out of state and to Maryland, where they've been going for Gerard's appointments and check-ups. Where they agreed to have the baby--Gerard would light up with excitement because it meant he got to leave the house and feel the sunlight against his pale white skin...he'd feel the warmth cover him up, like a wool blanket, and his favorite was feeling the light breeze blow against his face.
He'd smell the fresh air; the smell of the trees surrounding Frank's house--the strong scent of pine, oak, and dirt lingered in the air...Gerard loved the smell.
They drove their way out of New Jersey and to Maryland, over towards the clinic for Gerard's ultrasound appointment; they were going to find out the sex of their baby today...they were both excited and anxious. Gerard was five months along--his belly grew big and perfectly round...Frank couldn't stop staring down at it, occasionally, as he drove. He then looked over at Gerard, who sat quietly in the passenger side, staring out the car window. His hand was resting down against his swollen belly; slowly and gently rubbing it as he hummed along to whatever song was playing on the car radio.
"You're beautiful, Gee. You're stunning..." Frank complimented Gerard as his eyes examined his hair; it was different now--his once long and black hair was now cut quite short, and it was dyed a bright lemon yellow color. Yellow suited him. It brought out the pink in his porcelain complexion, and the green in his eyes; turning them into a forest green shade...the greenest they've ever looked. It was Frank's idea for Gerard to change his appearance, since he knew that people were looking for him...he didn't want Gerard to be so easily recognized. He even bought him a fake pair of glasses--to have him use the Superman/Clark Kent effect on strangers.
"Thank you, Frankie." Gerard turned his head to face him, smiling a small and sweet smile over at him as he adjusted his fake glasses, running his hand through his somewhat shaggy yellow hair.
"Or should I say Arthur?" Frank asked him as his eyes quickly peeked down at Gerard's pregnant belly, again.
"I'm only using my fake name with strangers. I'm still your Gerard." Arthur Michaels. That was the fake name he chose for himself for whenever he had the opportunity to go outside...Arthur was his middle name, and Gerard got Michaels from Mikey.
"I know, I was teasing." Frank freed one of his hands off the steering wheel, lightly touched Gerard's soft hair; running his fingers through it...they both exchanged smiles at one another before Frank put his focus back on the road.
"Do you want to feel my belly?" Gerard suddenly asked Frank, catching his attention, again.
"...huh?" Gerard chuckled softly as he playfully rolled his eyes behind his fake glasses, and he then grabbed a hold of Frank's free and tattooed hand in his; gently placing it down against his belly.
"Relax, the baby isn't even moving. I noticed you kept staring at it, so I figured--why not touch it?" Frank's eyes kept switching views from both the road, then to Gerard's belly, then back to the road again.
His belly was firm--hard as a rock practically, and he was right...the baby wasn't moving. Frank felt a little bit concerned...a little worried, in fact.
"Why isn't it moving...?"
"Its probably sleeping, don't worry. It was kicking this morning." Frank's heart was racing as his hand continued resting down against Gerard's stomach.
Now he wished it was moving...Frank was curious to know how it felt.
"Are you nervous...?"
"A little..." Frank then began to rub Gerard's belly before he pulled away and put his hand back on the steering wheel.
"What do you think it is?" Gerard asked Frank as he stared down at his perfectly round pregnant belly.
"I don't know...I couldn't say."
"Are you hoping for a specific gender?" Frank chuckled softly; his lips twisting into a half smile, showing off his pearly whites as he shook his head no.
"It doesn't matter to me whether we have a boy or a girl; as long as our baby is happy and healthy, with all ten fingers and toes, that's all I care about." Gerard smiled at Frank's sweet words and he placed his hand down on his belly, again.
"Though I agree with you, I think the baby is a boy..."
"Oh? Why's that?"
"I just have a feeling. Pregnancy instincts?"
"Wanna make a bet, then?" Frank's half smile grew into s full and toothy smile now. Gerard raised an eyebrow as he began to wonder what was running through Frank's mind. He turned his head and faced him once more.
"You say the baby is a boy. Well, I vote on the baby being a girl."
"What does the winner get as a prize?" Gerard asked, smiling along with Frank.
"Hmm...I'm not sure at the moment, but I'll think of something. Loser however gets punished."
"What kind of punishment...?"
"That's the fun of it. It's a mystery." Frank said as he playfully winked at Gerard, making him roll his eyes, once more.
They finally arrived in Maryland and to the clinic. Gerard signed in as Arthur Michaels, like he has been, and they waited patiently in the waiting room. They held hands while waiting; their fingers intertwined with one another. Once Gerard's fake name was called, he stood up from his seat and stood perfectly still...he was feeling anxious and he didn't want to go alone. Not this time. Frank usually sat in the waiting room while Gerard went through with his check-up...but, Gerard didn't want to be alone, again.
"Frankie...? Will you come with me? Please...?" The almost eighteen year old begged him. His big green eyes wide with fear behind his fake glasses as his poofy, yellow, and short hair shined brightly from the ceiling lights inside the clinic.
Frank didn't hesitate to join him.
The ultrasound technician squeezed the cool gel onto Gerard's swollen belly before carefully pressing the device against it to see the baby on the monitor. Frank stood beside Gerard, holding his hand in his...feeling nervous since he's never really been in the room with him during an ultrasound...he never really saw the baby. This would be his first time.
Once their baby appeared on the monitor...Frank's eyes were completely glued to it; his mouth hung open as his eyes grew wide...he squeezed down on Gerard's hands without even realizing it...something inside of him felt like it was breaking. He listened to the baby's heartbeat, which was beating rapidly and it echoed all throughout the room. Frank felt his heart racing so quickly that his chest began to puff in and out...he didn't even realize that his eyes were watering up until tears fell down his face.
"Frank...? Are you okay...?" Gerard asked once he noticed how emotional he was. Frank's eyes were still focused on the baby on the monitor; it was the size of a potato from the looks of it, but he could see its arms, legs, hands, feet...Frank could even see the baby's tiny little fingers.
"...y-yeah...just...wow..." Frank began to sob quietly; his face twisted into a frown, his lips curled into a pout, the tip of his nose turned red, and he covered his face with his other hand.
"Aww Frank--" Gerard called out to him in a soft and soothing tone as he squeezed Frank's hand, lightly. The ultrasound technician smiled as she continued checking on the baby; making sure everything was still developing normally.
"He's just overjoyed; I see plenty of parents or parents-to-be cry in here, so it's perfectly normal." She looked over at them both and was still smiling. Frank let out a soft whimper as he uncovered his face, wiping away his tears as he looked over at the baby on the monitor screen before he looked down at Gerard's round belly...he couldn't believe that their child was growing in there. He couldn't believe that in four months, he'd get to meet his either son or daughter...Frank then smiled to himself at the thought of seeing their baby for the first time; hearing it cry and take its first breath, holding it for the first time in his arms...he was going to be a dad. And he'd make damn sure he'd be the best dad his children could ever have...Frank made that promise to himself.
"Would you both like to know the sex of your baby?" She asked them with a look of pure excitement on her face. Frank and Gerard exchanged glances, smiling at each other, and both nodded their heads yes.
"Frank, Arthur--I'm happy to announce that your baby is a boy! Congratulations!" Her smile grew wider; showing off her perfect teeth, and her dark brown eyes shining brightly.
Frank's smile grew wider as well as he felt more tears building up inside of his eyes, looking over at Gerard, who was already in tears...they kissed each other sweetly as they were both overwhelmed with the thrilling news of them expecting a son.
Gerard laid down flat on his back on his bed, wearing comfortable and warm clothes that cold winter night...it was even cold inside Frank's house, his heater blasted, but Gerard was always freezing.
He wore a fluffy pink sweater, comfortable black pajama shorts, and long fluffy matching pink socks. He had earphones over his belly, playing soft lullaby tunes for the baby...he was very active that night; constantly kicking Gerard and moving around like crazy. He hoped the music would calm him down and help him fall asleep.
Outside Gerard's bedroom door was a gentle knock.
"Come in." The door creaked open slowly, Frank popped his head in, smiling over at Gerard, who smiled over at him. He walked over to his bed and sat down on the edge beside him.
"How are you?"
"Good." Frank eyes shifted over to Gerard's belly, his smile widening.
"How's he doing?" Frank asked as he pointed his finger at it. Gerard chuckled softly as he raised his eyebrows.
"Active. He won't stop kicking...I'm trying to make him go to bed, but the music isn't helping."
"Well, what kind of music are you playing?" Frank carefully removed the headphones off of Gerard's pregnant belly, bringing them to his ears as he put them on. He could hear the light and soothing lullaby music playing and he looked over at Gerard, still smiling while slowly nodding his head.
"Maybe our son isn't a fan of this kind of music. Maybe he already has a certain taste."
"Oh please, he isn't even born yet--he can't be picky, already." Frank laughed as he removed the headphones and grabbed his iPod, which he let Gerard borrowed sometimes. He searched for some of the music he listens to on a regular basis--something rather hard and heavy. He then smiled as he found the perfect song to play for the baby and quickly put the headphones back on Gerard's belly.
"What are you putting on?"
"Its a surprise for our son. I'm going to teach him early to appreciate good music." Frank then pressed play on his iPod and the song he chose began to play on Gerard's belly, for their son to hear while kicking around in the womb.
The song played and at first, the baby continued kicking wildly; each kick made Gerard wince as he gently rubbed his belly...whatever song Frank put on must have been magic because within a matter of seconds, the baby began to actually calm down. His kicks turned to light movements, then he just stopped...Gerard was surprised and he raised his eyebrows again as he then looked at Frank, who was smiling down at his belly.
"Well? Does he like it?"
"...he...he's calm..." Frank's hazel eyes brightened as he looked up to meet Gerard's pools of jade staring at him with that same surprised look on his beautiful face.
"Is he really...?"
"Feel, he won't bite..." Gerard giggled softly as he grabbed Frank's hand and gently placed it down against his belly, again. Frank isn't used to feeling his stomach...he isn't used to feeling his baby move. Frank froze as his hand rested against Gerard's firm and round stomach...his eyebrows occasionally either lowered or raised at the small movements of their unborn son...Gerard couldn't help but smile at himself at the weird facial expressions Frank made. He thought it was actually pretty cute.
"...wow..." Was all Frank could say as he continued feeling Gerard's belly. Frank was so amazed that he almost felt like he was in some sort of trance.
"What are you playing for him?" Gerard asked him, catching his attention. Frank picked up his iPod and showed him.
"Nirvana? Really?" Gerard asked with a smile spread across his face. Frank chuckled while smiling his adorable and sweet smile, shrugging his shoulders.
"What's wrong with Nirvana?"
"Nothing, I just didn't think the baby would actually like it..."
"Our kid already has good taste in music. We're going to teach him to appreciate all sorts of music; all sorts of bands; all sorts of artists...I'm even going to teach him how to play guitar." Gerard imagined their son sitting on Frank's lap...a small child; around two or three, with big and bright hazel eyes just like Frank's, and strumming away on his guitar...the thought was too sweet for words and Gerard loved the idea of their child being a music lover.
"As long as he could appreciate art, too. Drawing, painting, and whatnot."
"Of course! He'll do it all. This kid is going to be amazing." Their son was completely calm now inside of Gerard's belly...after Frank's choice of song had finished, Gerard decided to play a Queen song for the baby--see how he liked it. He kicked several times, but seemed to enjoy it, just like with the Nirvana song.
"You know, if you talk to the baby--he could hear you."
"Mhmm--I read it in one of those baby books you bought me. Haven't you been reading any?"
"...I...skimmed through some pages..." Gerard rolled his eyes but let it slide as he began to explain.
"Babies can hear your voice, and I even read that apparently babies can also recognize your voice once they're born." Frank listened to every word Gerard said, and he was completely interested. Frank decided to give it a try and he carefully placed both of his hands down against Gerard's belly; he could feel the baby moving around slightly--he was still a little weirded out by the feeling, but he didn't pull away...he then leaned his face towards the teenager's swollen stomach, and he slowly laid his head down against it--his ear pressed down on it now.
"...um...hey there...I...Gee--I don't even know what to say..." Gerard giggled as he then lightly ran his fingers through Frank's long and dyed black hair on the top of his head; even grazing his fingertips against the shaved bleach blonde sides of Frank's head.
"Just talk to him...say anything." Frank gently rubbed Gerard's belly as he thought of something to say to his unborn son.
"...hi sweet boy...I'm your daddy. Well...your other daddy. I'm your daddy Frank. I hope you know that I'm very excited to meet you...I love you so much already and I just hope that I'll be a great dad to you." Frank spoke very softly and sweetly as he continued rubbing Gerard's belly.
"I'll love you until the day I die...even after that. I'll take good care of you, and I'll always have time for you. Always..." The baby kicked and Frank lifted up his head with wide eyes and he had a look of surprise on his face.
"Gee, he kicked...I felt him kick." His mouth hung open slightly and he looked incredibly happy. Gerard couldn't help but giggle loudly at the sight.
"I think he likes the sound of your voice. He loves it when I sing to him; he kicks and moves every time..."
'I've heard you sing...you have such a beautiful voice. I'm not even surprised our son already loves your singing so much." Gerard blushed as he playfully rolled his eyes.
"I can't believe I felt him move inside of you...my baby...our baby." They made direct eye contact as Frank rested his head on Gerard's belly while occasionally rubbing it.
"That's you moving inside of me...a little piece of you." Frank smiled a small half smile up at Gerard and he chuckled softly when he felt the baby kick, again.
"I just realized...you won the bet."
"Our bet that we made earlier today? On the baby's gender?"
"Oh yeah...I did win, didn't I?"
"Yup and I lost. So, what will my punishment be?"
"Hmm...let me think...oooh! I know! Winner gets to chose the baby's name; first and middle, and loser--" Gerard said as he pointed his finger directly at the tip of Frank's nose, playfully poking it.
"Gets to finally put the baby crib together. You know, the one you bought once we found out we were having a baby?" Frank let out a loud sigh as he buried his face in Gerard's belly, letting out a muffled groan against it.
"Hey--I'm halfway through my pregnancy and the baby needs a crib! You bought that beautiful and expensive crib for him and he wasn't even the size of a softball yet. I've got four months left--you are going to put together that crib."
"Uuuuggghhh...fine...just don't give our son a stupid name, please...? Like, don't name him after a car or a city? Like Paris or something..." Gerard laughed, which made Frank laugh. They laughed together for a good while before they couldn't breathe anymore.
"I love you, Frank." Gerard said those three little words to him...and he meant it. After seeing Frank's soft and gentle side; how loving and affectionate he was...Gerard meant the words he spoke.
"...what...?" Frank lifted himself up now, pulling away from Gerard's belly as he stood himself up on his knees on Gerard's bed.
"I said I love you."
"I heard what you said...just...why did you say it...?" Frank sounded confused and even a little bit sad because he assumed Gerard was just saying it just because.
"I said it because I wanted to. I said it because I mean it."
"Of course, Frankie. I wouldn't say it if I didn't feel it or mean it."
"...I love you too, Gee. You have no idea how happy that makes me...really." Frank was smiling over at Gerard now, who smiled back at him. Frank then carefully climbed on top of Gerard--being very gentle with his belly, and he captured the young boy's lips in his, kissing him sweetly. He smiled against Gerard's soft lips as he felt the baby kicking, once more.
Frank was overjoyed that Gerard said he loved him...he was so happy he could cry. Gerard was actually happy, too...despite the circumstances...he was happy. They were happy.
Chapter 7: Life Changing Moment
He occasionally felt what he thought were contractions; sharp pains and hard kicks from the baby who was now fully developed and was ready to come out any day now...the now eighteen year old was experiencing more and more panic attacks now as he realized that he'd go into labor at any moment. Gerard was scared shitless.
Gerard was trying to distract the minor pain he felt by watching whatever looked interesting to watch on his TV...the baby kept kicking him from the inside; moving around so much that Gerard could see him moving around in his belly. It was a little creepy, but he was also fascinated by the view.
The pain grew more intense within an hour--Gerard let out soft groans and whimpers as the baby continued moving around...he felt more sharp pains that made him hiss out in discomfort and when the pain became unbearable, he called out to Frank. Frank was busy with house chores that day; cleaning every room and area, he even did some yard work.
"Frank! Open the door!" Gerard let out another low groan as he banged his fist against the door...Frank didn't hear him. Gerard began to panic when the baby kicked him so hard that he actually yelled out in pain--gasping loudly as the sharp pains returned; lingering from his belly to his spine...sending chills throughout his entire body as he let out a sharp exhale while grabbing a hold of his stomach.
"...Frank...please...FRANK!" Gerard yelled out as he lightly dropped to his knees, gripping onto his belly as he felt more sharp and burning pains spread all throughout his body; like a sudden itch that needed to be scratched...the pain was throbbing and burning and Gerard was beginning to panic as he began to whimper out loudly.
"...please...not now...please..." He mumbled to himself as he felt another hard kick from the baby, making him whine and moan out in both pain and discomfort.
Frank finally came back in the house after he finished raking up the dead leaves that were scattered throughout the walkway which lead to his front door, and he immediately heard all the commotion coming from Gerard's bedroom.
"FRANK! HELP ME, PLEASE!" Frank jolted his way up the stairs, tripping over his own feet, and when he unlocked the door and pushed it open...he found Gerard laying flat on his back against the floor below him; his body all curled up as both of his hands rested on his enormous pregnant belly--his face all red and drenched with sweat, and his eyes we're all red and puffy as tears spilled out from them...Frank dropped to his knees and carefully lifted Gerard's head up with both of his hands, making direct eye contact with him.
"Gee--look at me...breathe..."
"...Frank...the baby...I...I'm f-feeling contractions..."
"Gerard, we've talked about this; what you're experiencing aren't real contractions--you're experiencing Braxton Hicks. False contractions, remember...?" Frank spoke soothly to Gerard as he ran his fingers through his sweat soaked, short, and bright yellow hair--slicking it back as he moved his hair away from his face.
"...how do you know that?" Gerard asked Frank with a look of surprise resting on his face. Frank chuckled softly as he gently stroked Gerard's sweaty cheek, still trying to comfort him.
"I actually read one of the baby books, finally. Towards the very end of your pregnancy, you're going to feel false contractions--Braxton Hicks contractions. Has your water broke...?"
"...I...I don't know..." Frank placed his hand down against the eighteen year old's belly. The baby was still moving around, but he calmed down once he felt Frank's touch.
"Did it feel like you wet your pants?" Gerard shook his head no as more tears continued to spill out from his eyes.
"Okay, so your water didn't break. You're just feeling a lot of cramps and pain, but that's normal..."
"We need to go to the hospital--the baby is coming, I know he is..."
"Please Frankie, please...he's coming..." Gerard begged him, grabbing a hold of Frank by his shirt and tugging on it, pulling him close towards him--their foreheads almost touching.
Frank didn't hesitate to grab his car keys and help lead Gerard to his car and drive their way over to a hospital in Maryland. The drive felt long and Gerard continued letting out soft groans, whimpers, and hissing out in discomfort.
"Wanna hold my hand...?" Frank offered as he held out a hand to Gerard. He didn't hesitate to grab a hold of it; squeezing onto it rather tightly, but Frank didn't mind. They were close to Maryland now--the familiar scenery helped Gerard deal with the pain, but things took a sudden turn for the worse when he felt a wet sensation running down his leg in his pants...his water had broke.
"Fuck--Frank...he's coming...I'm going into labor..."
"Water broke...its all over your seat, I'm sorry..."
"I don't care about a stupid car seat--your water broke!?" Gerard let out a loud and ear shrieking scream as he gripped onto Frank's hand, tightly.
"Wow--holy fuck, okay--" Frank said as he felt the intense amount of tightness and pressure around his hand; like a snake wrapped around him, cutting off circulation...he could even feel his bones cracking.
"Gee--breathe, we're almost there...we're so close and before you know it, our beautiful baby boy will be in your arms--"
"Shut up--please, just shut the fuck up..." Gerard blurted out as his breathing became hard, heavy, and unsteady. Frank knew it was just the pain talking.
They arrived at the hospital, and Frank led Gerard in--hand in hand, and he signed him in as Arthur Michaels as Gerard was sat into a wheelchair and was brought to the delivery section of the hospital.
He was changed into a hospital gown and was being prepped to have a cesarean section performed on him...the pain was too much for Gerard so they had to give him an epidural to numb away all discomfort he felt. Frank didn't hesitate to pull out his phone and capture the moment of his son being brought into the world...Gerard was no longer screaming, crying, or in pain. He was so drugged though that he ended up passing out just before they sliced his belly open with a sharp scalpel; watching his skin split open and the significant amount of blood gushing out from the cut made Frank feel a little woozy, but he held his own weight and continued to record everything as he stood close by Gerard.
It all happened in a matter of seconds as they pulled the baby out of Gerard's belly...he even watched the doctor who delivered their son cut into the sac he was inside of; it popped like a bubble and though it was pretty gross for Frank to see...he wouldn't have missed it for anything.
His son was born and he could see him clearly...at first the baby didn't move or make a sound...Frank felt his heart race as he began to assume the worse...the doctor lightly patted the baby's back several times before he finally breathed his first breath. The baby twitched as he let out a tiny and soft gasp before he let out loud and ear ringing cries that echoed all throughout the delivery room...Frank was completely speechless at the sounds of his son crying...he immediately felt tears building up inside of his eyes as he slowly walked over towards his baby, who was being cleaned up and examined...he was so tiny and he had a strong set of lungs.
"Hey there, buddy..." Frank spoke softly to the baby, still recording him with his phone camera. Gerard was right...their son immediately recognized Frank's voice as he heard him speak.
"Its me sweet boy, its daddy Frank...I can't believe you're finally here." The baby stopped crying, but he was still fussing and whimpering softly as he listened to Frank's voice. Tears spilled down his cheeks as he smiled down at his little boy...their little boy...once the baby was all cleaned up, changed into a diaper, and wrapped up in a baby blanket along with having a baby beanie placed over his head...the doctor carefully lifted him up in his arms and handed him over to Frank.
"Here's your son, Mr. Iero--he is healthy and one of the most beautiful babies I've ever seen. Congratulations." Frank stared down at his newborn son; all pink in the face, his little mouth hanging open as he stared back at his father...Frank sobbed softly as he held his son close, placing a soft and gentle kiss against his little forehead.
His eyes were enormous and wide--they even looked a mixture between green and blue...Frank was sure his eyes would change as he grew older, but for now he was in complete awe with them.
"Mr. Iero--I apologize, but you're going to have to leave..."
"What...? Why?" Just then, one of the nurses took the baby out of Frank's arms while another nurse placed her hand on his shoulder and began to escort him out of the delivery room...his eyes caught a glimpse of more blood oozing out of Gerard's belly, where he was sliced. It was a lot of blood and he could see how incredibly pale his face had become; no more pink left on his cheeks...even his lips have turned blue...Gerard looked dead.
"Arthur is losing a lot of blood and we need to stop it before we lose him. We'll care for your son and do our best to stop the bleeding...I'm sorry, but you can't be in here." Before Frank could say anything more, he was out of the delivery room...his heart had begun to beat rapidly inside of his chest as he cried softly to himself. His mind went to that dark place as he began to assume the absolute worse; in fact, Frank was terrified that Gerard would die...the thought had him break down as he became hysterical. He muttered to himself as he paced up and down the hallway, sobbing loudly as he ran his fingers through his hair--occasionally pulling at it as he roughly hit the sides of his head as his heart pounded away so hard and so fast that he couldn't breathe properly.
If he had lost Gerard, he wouldn't know what to do with himself...Frank has been on his own for so long; he has never had anyone to share his life with. All he has ever wanted was someone to love, to kiss every morning and every night, and to have a family with...Frank wanted to be a father. He wanted Gerard.
After some time had passed, the doctor who had delivered their son and performed the c-section on Gerard had approached Frank, who was pacing around still in the waiting room.
His scrubs were bloody and the sight had worried Frank...he was still assuming the very worse.
"Mr. Iero?" Frank remained silent as he waited for whatever it was the doctor had to say. His heart was racing, his stomach felt queasy, and his hands were trembling.
"Arthur is fine. We've managed to stop the bleeding, though he's lost a significant amount of blood, he is having a blood transfusion done on him. Overall, he will live." The news was overwhelming for Frank as he sighed in relief...he couldn't help but cry tears of joy as he smiled a small half smile.
"...thank you...really. Thank you so much...and, my son...?"
"He's fine. He's in the nursery with the other babies, you may see him soon after he's fed."
"Can...I see Arthur...?"
"You may, though he's in and out of it at the moment--you can see him." Frank thanked the doctor once more before he made his way back over to Gerard's room.
Gerard laid flat and motionless in his hospital bed, still pale in the face, but awake. He smiled a very small smile over at Frank as he slowly lifted his hand up in the air and held it towards him...Frank walked over to him as he took a gentle hold of Gerard's hand in his.
"Gee..." Was all Frank said as he ran his fingers through Gerard's messy and bright yellow hair.
"Are you okay...?" Frank spoke softly as he leaned forward to place a soft kiss against Gerard's forehead; his skin was cool and Gerard loved how warm Frank's skin was against his.
"I am, now..." Gerard's voice was very soft, a little hoarse from all the screaming he had done while in labor, and he sounded very exhausted.
"And the baby...?"
"He's fine, Gee. He's absolutely perfect..." Gerard lifted his head up to look at Frank. Their eyes met again and they exchanged smiles before kissing each other, sweetly.
"You saw him?"
"I held him in my arms...and you were right...the baby recognized my voice when I spoke to him. He stopped crying and he just listened to me." Gerard smiled as he listened to Frank's words...it was an exhausted smile, but a smile overall.
"I'm so glad you're alright...I was scared I was going to lose you..."
"I'm right here...I'm not going anywhere, Frankie." Frank kissed Gerard's lips once more as he wrapped both of his arms around him; embracing him with a warm and loving hug.
"I don't ever want to lose you...I love you too much."
"I love you too, Frank...you won't lose me. I promise you that." They exchanged a kiss once more before a nurse came in, pushing a bassinet with their newborn son laying inside; all warm and snug, and he was wide awake.
"Is that him...?" Gerard asked as he looked over at the baby. Frank smiled as he made his way over to him. Carefully scooping his small and light body in his arms as he gently rocked him, slowly making his way back towards Gerard--who was staring up at him in complete awe; his eyes were big and wide, and even his mouth hung open slightly...Frank smiled down at their baby boy, who looked up at him with his enormous and tired looking bluish-green eyes...he had long and curly eyelashes and he definitely had Gerard's little pixie shaped nose.
"Wanna say hi to your other daddy...?" Frank whispered softly to him before placing a soft kiss against his forehead, once more. Frank then slowly and carefully handed the baby into Gerard's arms...Gerard let out a soft gasp as he looked down at his small son; examining his little pale face, his pink and pouty little lips, the slight pink shade on his chubby little cheeks, and the shape of his big eyes.
"Oh, he's beautiful..." Gerard said as he smiled down at their baby boy.
"He is, isn't he? He looks so much like you, I think." Frank wasn't wrong, though Gerard wouldn't admit it. He did have a lot of his features...resembled him, identically.
"This little guy needs a name. You won the bet, so...thought of a name for him?"
"I...well...yeah, I had an idea..." Frank raised his eyebrow, and he grinned over at Gerard as he waited for what he had in mind.
"Go on--tell me."
"...I wanted to name him...Anthony." Just as he said the name, the baby let out a little soft coo as he yawned.
"I think he likes it." They both chuckled softly as Frank playfully tickled the baby's cheek.
"Anthony, huh? What made you wanna go with that name?"
"...well, its one of your middle names, isn't it? Anthony?" Frank blushed as he bit down on his bottom lip; playing around with his lip ring.
"Uhh--yeah...Anthony is one of my middle names..."
"I've always liked that name for a boy. Anthony is a really nice name." Gerard lifted up his head to look at Frank--their eyes connecting again...Frank felt extremely flattered that Gerard wanted to name their newborn son after him; using one if his middle names as a name.
"And I thought of using Michael as his middle name, after Mikey." Frank grew silent, but he seemed to like the idea.
"Anthony Michael--" Gerard froze as he tried figuring out which last name to give to the baby...obviously it can't be Michaels, because his middle name is Michael; Iero, like Frank...? Or Way, like him?
"Which last name should I use...?"
"Hmm...why not give him your last name...? I figured you'd want him to have your last name--feel more closer to your...family."
"Are you sure...? He's your baby too, I thought you'd want him to have your last name." Frank wrapped his arm around Gerard's shoulder as he placed a soft kiss against his forehead as he grabbed a gentle hold of Anthony's tiny soft hand in his; so small that his hand covered the tip of Frank's finger.
"Why not both?" Gerard thought about it as he looked back down at baby Anthony, who was starting to fall asleep in his arms.
"Anthony Michael Iero-Way." Frank gently stroked baby Anthony's soft little hand as the baby's eyes grew heavier as they slowly closed.
"That's perfect, Gee. A perfect name for a perfect baby boy." Two days later, they came back home with their new son. Baby Anthony was asleep for most of the day--he was wearing a onesie that Frank had bought him; he went nuts on buying him brand new baby clothes.
Baby Anthony was wearing a black Misfits onesie, and both Frank and Gerard couldn't stop taking turns holding him and Frank was too busy taking millions of photos of his sleeping son...baby Anthony was awake for a short amount of time; he was fussy and a little cranky, but Frank made him feel better by bottle feeding him and rocking him. Gerard then sang to their fussing son and he stopped crying, eventually falling asleep again.
His crib was set up in Gerard's bedroom, so baby Anthony would sleep with him. Frank kept a baby monitor in his room, and kept the other in his room--that way they'd both have access to their son.
"Goodnight, sweet boy. Daddy Frank loves you, and I hope you have sweet dreams." Frank spoke softly as he placed a sweet little kiss against baby Anthony's forehead before placing him down inside of his crib, carefully.
Frank walked over to Gerard, who was laying comfortably in bed already dressed in his pajamas, and he kissed him goodnight.
"Sleep tight, Gee."
"You too, Frankie."
"Call me if you need anything, okay?" The young and yellow haired boy nodded his head in response at the older and tattooed man. Frank smiled down at Gerard as he gently caressed his warm and soft cheek before making his way out of his room...but, he didn't close the door or lock it up.
"...Frank...?" Gerard called out to him as he sat himself up in bed, feeling confused as to why his door was still open.
"Yeah?" Frank responded, popping his head in through the doorway.
"I'm done with that. You can have your door open from now on, okay? That way you can go downstairs; whether it's to feed Anthony, hang out in the living room, or whatever you have in mind." The news was too good to be true...he thought he misheard him as his face scrunched up into a mixture of both confusion and a small frown, Frank chuckled softly as he reassured Gerard that he was being serious.
"...really...? You mean...I have access to the whole house, again...?"
"Yup, the whole enchilada." His eyes burned with tears, but he contained them as he took a deep breath and bit down on his bottom lip...his heart was racing, now.
"Like I said, I'm done with that part in my life. Now go to sleep, okay?" Frank chuckled softly as he waved his hand over at Gerard and made his way downstairs and to his bedroom.
Gerard couldn't stop staring at the open door; feeling like a curious cat as he stood on his hands and knees on his bed--staring outside his open bedroom door...his heart was racing and he still couldn't believe it. He was too excited to sleep that night, so he mostly just did whatever to keep himself preoccupied with the TV, or one of his books--ocasionally checking on baby Anthony, who slept soundly in his crib; sucking on his little pacifier and wearing baby mittens over his tiny hands.
Two months have passed, baby Anthony was two months old, now. Both Frank and Gerard were crazy in love with their little bundle of joy--baby Anthony was a happy baby; he smiled a lot and he was quite the cooer. He was definitely a music lover and they played all different sorts of music for him; oldies, soft, heavy--heavy--baby Anthony wasn't picky. He really enjoyed more of both the classics and the more harder stuff...he had Frank's taste.
"Hey, I hope you don't mind but I invited a friend of mine over..." Gerard was in the middle of changing baby Anthony's diaper and he froze for a moment...his eyes looking over at Frank.
"Yeah...he's my best friend and he comes over every so often. I invited him over because I was going to have you meet him. And the baby, too." Gerard was quiet as he listened to Frank; the whole time he listened...he was slowly feeling his heart quickening with each beat...he was honestly anxious about the whole idea.
"...I'm...going to meet him...?"
"Yes, I mean...if you want to. I should have talked to you about it, but I was just so excited that I didn't think to ask..." Frank explained, feeling a little guilty for not communicating with Gerard.
"...your friend doesn't know about me? About our son?"
"He knows I'm with someone and he keeps asking about you. So, I invited him over to meet you...plus, I want him to be completely surprised when he sees that we have a baby, together."
"Oh...okay." Was Gerard mumbled before he finished changing baby Anthony into a fresh clean diaper and onesie; this one was all red and it read 'Handsome Little Devil'--thanks to Frank for buying baby clothes at Spencer's.
"Are you mad...?" Gerard looked over at him, staring at him with his green eyes through his fake glasses...Frank was worried he was.
"No. I'm not mad...I just wish you would've told me sooner...its been a while since I've...well...since I've seen anyone. New, I mean." His words made Frank's heart sink...feeling an overwhelming wave of guilt hit him in the pit of his stomach. They were both quiet for a long and awkward moment; the only noises were coming from baby Anthony as he let out soft coos and gurgling sounds.
"I know...I'm sorry. I'm truly sorry...I know its been a while; that's my fault...but...things are different now, okay? My friend is coming by, and you'll get to meet him." Frank gave Gerard a small half smile. Gerard gave him one in return as he slowly nodded his head in response.
"When is your friend coming?"
"In about an hour."
"What's his name? Your friend?'
"Ray. His name is Ray Toro. I've known him since we were little kids; we were practically brothers...he's a good guy. Humble, modest, down to earth...you'll like him."
"I'm sure I will. I hope he'll like me..."
"He will; Ray likes everyone and he's very accepting of people." Gerard was still very nervous, but he tried to remain calm about meeting Frank's friend.
An hour had passed, and while Gerard was bottle feeding baby Anthony on the couch with Frank sitting next to him--both watching TV in the living room, there was a knock outside Frank's front door. They both looked over at each other...Gerard's eyes were wide with fear as he continued feeding their son.
Frank leaned forward, placed a kiss against his cheek, and one against the baby's soft forehead; baby Anthony still had that fresh baby smell and he always loved inhaling his sweet scent.
He got up from the couch, made his way over to the front door and pulled it open after unlocking it.
"Iero!" Frank was greeted by a smiling tall guy with long and fluffy hair. He embraced Frank with a bear hug and Frank hugged him back--patting each other's backs before breaking the hug.
"Toro, always a pleasure to see you; my brother from another mother." Ray was still smiling as he didn't hesitate to make his way inside Frank's house...Gerard sat on the couch completely still while still bottle feeding the baby.
"Ohh--I didn't know you had some company...wait--is this--"
"Ray, hold your fucking horses. I want this to be proper."
"Is that a baby...? Frank, who's baby--"
"Shut it Toro, and I'll explain." Gerard looked uncomfortable now as he finished feeding baby Anthony; pulling the bottle out of his tiny mouth, he then positioned the baby up against his chest and began to gently pat baby Anthony's back.
"Ray--remember the guy I've been telling you about? The one I've been seeing? Well...this is him." Frank said as he hand gestured over to Gerard, who avoided eye contact with Ray, who was a stranger to him still. He kept his head low; his eyes staring down at the floor as he continued burping the baby...his heart was racing and he felt extremely anxious.
"Ray, this is my boyfriend Arthur. Arthur Michaels. Art?" Gerard slowly lifted his head up and his eyes gazed over at Ray, who was already smiling over at him.
"Hi Arthur, I'm Ray. Frank has told me so much about you; I'm pleased to finally meet you." Ray approached Gerard while holding out his hand to him.
"...hi." Gerard spoke softly as he slowly placed his hand in Ray's, shaking it gently.
"And who's this tiny human?" Ray asked Gerard as he playfully ruffled the little bit of hair baby Anthony had on the top of his head.
"Ray...this is our son. We have a baby, together."
"...wait, what? You have--"
"A baby, yeah. I didn't tell you before because Arthur didn't want anyone to know. He's like me--likes to keep our personal lives private."
"...Iero, you're a dad...? Holy shit--you have a kid!"
"See? This is why I didn't want to tell you..." Frank said as he chuckled loudly. Ray's eyes were wide with surprise as his mouth hung open.
"Wow...you guys must be serious, huh?" Frank looked over at Gerard, who looked over at him. They exchanged small smiles once more, and Frank even winked at Gerard--making him blush.
"Yes. We are." Ray still looked shocked, but he smiled at them and he congratulated the both of them on their baby.
"Can I hold him? If that's alright with you, Arthur...? I love babies." Gerard chuckled softly as he carefully handed baby Anthony into Ray's arms.
"Not at all. You can call me Gee by the way; its a nickname Frank gave me. Any friend of Frank's is a friend of mine." Gerard smiled at Ray, who smiled back at him as he gently rocked the baby in his arms.
"Gotta give it to you Iero, I always knew you'd end up with someone younger than you and very pretty. I also knew you'd have an adorable ass baby--he is so cute!" Baby Anthony stared up at Ray with his big and wide bluish-greenish eyes; his long, dark, and curly eyelashes were stunning, and Ray loved his small and pixie shaped nose.
"Thanks Toro, really. He seems to like you."
"Hey little dude, I'm uncle Ray. I'm happy to meet you." The baby cooed softly as he began to suckle on his little hand, still staring up at Ray.
Frank looked over at Gerard, who looked more at ease and comfortable now. He had a small smile resting on his face as he watched Ray bond with their son...Frank couldn't help but smile to himself. He was relieved to know that Gerard would eventually open up to Ray...maybe even become friends. He hoped for that.
Chapter 8: Birthday
Days go slow, but years come fast. Anthony was now turning a year old; May 9th was his birthday--exactly the same as Gerard's, except his birthday is on April 9th. They shared the same day, just different months. Anthony had grown into a beautiful and happy little boy; his hair had grown longer and thicker, and his hair was a walnut brown color, just like Gerard's natural hair color, and his eyes changed from a bluish-green shade to a deep and rich hazel tone, just like Frank's.
His skin was as white as porcelain and his cheeks were a soft pink color, and he looked just like Gerard; from head to toe, they were practically identical--from every strand of hair on the top of his head, to the long and curly eyelashes on his eyes, to his smile, all the way down to his little toes...he even playfully posed the same way Gerard did.
Anthony is a very happy baby; always smiling and giggling--he loved his parents as they loved him. And he especially loved his uncle Ray. Every time Ray came by Frank's house, Anthony would light up with a smile and he'd reach for him--he didn't even want either Frank or Gerard. Just Ray.
Both Frank and Gerard decided to throw a little birthday party for Anthony; Ray was coming of course, and Frank even talked to Gerard about allowing another friend of his to come to the party--a coworker of his from Hot Topic who goes by the name Bob Bryar. Gerard allowed.
Frank bought some pizzas and some ice cream, and Gerard baked a birthday cake for Anthony. Frank even bought some balloons to decorate the house with--mostly the living room/dining room area. Both Frank and Gerard were in charge of the music, though they let Anthony pick the songs; the bands; the artists--etc. Anthony is a big music lover and he adores mostly the classic groups, the heavy groups, and even some of the more current and popular ones.
"Who would you like to listen to, buddy?" Frank asked Anthony as he held up some vinyl records in front of him.
"Music!" Anthony said while pointing his little finger at one of the records. He chose Bowie; a fan just like Gerard.
"You wanna listen to David Bowie?"
"Yeah!" Anthony responded, smiling his sweet smile while jumping up and down with excitement--Frank couldn't help but smile back as he popped in the vinyl in his record player. Anthony was all dressed up nicely for his birthday too; he wore a Green Day t-shirt, tight fitting denim and ripped jeans, and a pair of black chucks, and even his long and somewhat shaggy brown looked punk rock.
"Knock, knock! I'm here!" Ray announced himself as he helped himself through the unlocked and front door, holding Anthony's present which was hiding inside of a birthday bag in his hand.
"Way!" Anthony squealed out to him as his smile grew bigger and wider. He didn't hesitate to wobble his way over towards Ray, practically pacing over towards him with his little arms wide open as he embraced him with a baby hug.
"Hey, little dude! How's my favorite nephew?" Ray asked him as he scooped him up with his free arm, now holding onto him. Anthony wrapped both of his arms around Ray's neck and squeezed onto him while placing soft little kisses all around his face.
"Hey, what about daddy Frank?" Frank asked his son while smiling over at him as he made his way over to Ray, greeting him with a hug. Anthony giggled and blew a kiss over at Frank.
"Don't forget me!" Gerard yelled out from the kitchen as he was frosting up Anthony's cake.
"Mwah!" Anthony said loudly as he blew a kiss over at Gerard, making him smile his beautiful and angelic smile.
"Happy birthday, little dude! I can't believe you're a big boy now!" Ray was smiling at Anthony, who was now giggling softly and blushing in embarrassment as he hid his little face in Ray's chest.
"Don't remind us Toro, Arthur and I have been dreading this day...our little boy growing up so fast. Seems like only yesterday he was kicking inside Art's belly..."
"And seems like only yesterday I knew nothing about him until he was two months old." Ray said sarcastically, making Frank roll his eyes and playfully stick his tongue out at him.
"Is this the right house?" Another voice called out from behind Ray as a blonde haired and blue eyed guy helped himself inside Frank's house. He was also carrying a birthday gift for Anthony.
"What's up, Bryar? Help yourself." Frank greeted him with smile and a wave. Anthony lifted up his head from Ray's chest and quickly noticed the blonde haired stranger standing behind Ray.
"Who's he?" Ray asked Frank as he examined the blondie.
"Everyone, this is Bob. Bob Bryar--he's a friend and a coworker from Hot Topic. I told Arthur he was coming to Anthony's party." Gerard finished frosting the cake as he listened and occasionally glanced over what was going on...even though he knew another person was coming, he still felt extremely anxious.
Ray continued examining Bob, getting a weird vibe from him.
"Anthony, this is daddy Frank's other friend. Do you wanna say hi?" Anthony stared over at Bob with wide hazel eyes...he then whined softly as he buried his face back into Ray's chest as he squeezed onto him, again.
"Guess he doesn't like you." Ray said as he raised his eyebrows over at Bob, still getting a weird feeling from him...he couldn't put his finger on it, but he knew the feeling wouldn't shake off.
"Whatever. Got any beer?" Bob asked Frank as he handed him Anthony's gift.
"It's my son's first birthday Bob, there's no alcohol."
"That fucking sucks--you show me photos of your kid like every single day; driving me crazy and annoying the shit out of me, and you invited me to a kiddie party and there's no booze?" Everyone fell silent and the only sound was that of the David Bowie album playing in the background.
"Jesus, relax--I'm just fucking with you." Bob said with a grin on his face. Gerard swallowed his own saliva hard, he could hear his own gulp, and he was finished. As he put the cake away for later, he grabbed a cold can of Pepsi, made his way over to the guys and handed Bob the soda.
"Here." Bob examined Gerard; from his short and dyed blonde hair, to his fake glasses, and examined his galaxy toned t-shirt.
"Thanks. And you must be Frank's boyfriend? I've seen you in the photos he's shown me. Your name is Arthur, right?" Gerard nodded his head in response as he kept quiet. Bob examined him some more, and Frank quickly noticed Gerard was uncomfortable.
"You look a little young, like teenager young. How old are you?"
"...does it matter? It's my son's birthday today, not mine." Bob grinned as he opened his can of Pepsi.
"You know, you have a familiar face...I feel like I've seen you before." Gerard felt his heart race inside of his chest as he looked over at Frank, who looked back at him.
"Did you used to have long black hair...?" Both Frank's eyes and Gerard's eyes widened with fear and Gerard let out a soft gasp.
"Did you?" Bob asked Gerard once more, and Gerard quickly shook his head no. Bob raised an eyebrow, but he didn't ask anymore questions.
"Shouldn't we focus on the birthday boy?" Ray asked everyone as he gently rocked Anthony in his arms, who was still clinging onto him with his face buried in his chest.
"Here, let me see him." Frank said as he took Anthony out of Ray's arms...Anthony was still whining softly as he now clung onto Frank.
"Hey, hey...don't be scared of Bob--he's a friend of daddy Frank's."
"Daddy Frank? That's fucking odd." Bob snickered, and Ray was now giving him a dirty look but he remained silent.
"He calls me that because Arthur is called 'daddy'. We didn't want him go get confused." Bob examined Gerard once more...his blue eyes connecting with his green eyes...Bob smirked and Gerard immediately broke eye contact.
"You have pretty eyes. They're so green."
"You picked a really pretty boy, Frank. You've got good taste." Bob's smirk widened as he continued checking out Gerard, who was clearly uncomfortable and now biting down on his bottom lip.
"Dude--quit." Frank said in a soft and firm tone as he held Anthony close. He then walked over to Gerard and he wrapped his arm around Gerard's shoulder and leaned forward to place a comforting kiss on his cheek.
"Are you okay...?" Frank whispered into Gerard's ear. Gerard looked over at him with anxious looking green eyes as he slowly nodded his head.
"Do you want to hold your son?" Gerard nodded his head once more. Frank placed a soft kiss on the top of Anthony's head before handing him over to Gerard.
"Go to daddy, buddy. It's okay." Anthony clung onto Gerard now, and Frank stroked Gerard's soft yellow hair before he turned up the music and tried to lighten up the mood.
For a while, the three of them played with the baby; dancing with him, playing his favorite songs, all talking and eating. Once Bob quit being weird, he engaged in the conversation as well--though Ray didn't really say much to him and Gerard wasn't comfortable with him at all. So Frank did the most talking to him. When it was time to bring Anthony his cake, they all sang happy birthday to him; he was all smiles and giggles while they sang to him, and he ended up eating the entire cake--getting icing and pieces of cake all over his face. After his cake, he opened all of his gifts. He got some new clothes; most of them being band t-shirts or pop culture t-shirts, and Ray bought him a stuffed animal from build-a-bear with his voice recording in it.
"Happy first birthday to my favorite little dude! Your uncle Ray loves you so much. Best birthday wishes to you, Anthony!" Anthony smiled and squealed every time he pressed the button; playing Ray's voice over and over, again. Frank bought him a mini guitar, since he promised Anthony that he'd teach him how to play guitar as he grew older. Anthony loved the guitar and he would playfully strum the strings when he wasn't putting the handle in his mouth--nibbling on it and drooling all over it.
Gerard bought him a book of Peter Pan, to read to him for bed time. Anthony loved having stories read to him before bed.
The party was over soon after; Anthony was officially a year old, and he was still just as happy and jolly than ever--he had a wonderful first birthday. Gerard loved seeing his son so happy...but, buried in the back of his mind he was a little sad.
He was sad because he hasn't seen his family in two years...he deeply missed everyone; his mom, his dad, and Mikey. He even missed his school, his friends...he missed his neighborhood, his parent's house, his bedroom...and it pained him even more because none of them have any idea about Anthony. His parents are grandparents and they don't know...Mikey is an uncle and he doesn't know. Anthony has relatives that he knows nothing about and it saddened Gerard...he wanted to tell Frank, but he didn't want to upset him. All Gerard knew was that he was sad and he knew he'd eventually get over it...in time.
Once Ray and Bob left, Anthony had passed out on the living room floor--surrounded by all of his brand new toys. Gerard was cleaning up, still thinking about his family, and it clearly showed on his face.
Frank scooped up Anthony off the floor, holding him close against his chest as he brought him to his crib back in Gerard's bedroom.
When he came back downstairs, met Gerard in the kitchen, and quickly noticed the sad look resting on his lover's face...how the green in his eyes looked darker than usual.
"Gee?" Frank called out his name softly, catching his attention as he looked over at him; their eyes locked on one another now. Frank grabbed a hold of Gerard's hand in his...lightly squeezing onto it, he smiled a small smile over at him.
"Are you okay...?" He asked him with a soft and sweet tone. Gerard then pulled his hand away from Frank's; breaking eye contact while doing so.
"Hey, what's wrong...?" Gerard sniffled softly as he removed his fake glasses and wiped away his tears. Frank tried to comfort him by wrapping his arms around him...but Gerard flinched as he lightly pushed Frank off.
"Gee...talk to me."
"You expect me to believe that?" Gerard shrugged his shoulders as he stared at the colorful and bright birthday balloons that were still decorated all throughout the living room/dining room area. Frank managed to wrap his arms around the younger boy's waist; pulling him closer against his body...Gerard tensed up again, but he didn't push Frank off of him this time.
"Why are you crying...?"
"Your friend, Bob...he made me feel super uncomfortable... I think he was hitting on me..." Frank frowned to himself as he continued holding onto Gerard.
"I noticed. I should've said something, but I didn't want to start a fight in front of Anthony--not on his birthday. Bob is weird, but he was always cool with me...I didn't expect him to act like that and I'm sorry...maybe inviting him was a bad idea."
"You didn't know...it's okay." The more Gerard thought about how his family wasn't aware of Anthony's existence; how they weren't a part of his birthday...it only made him more emotional and he began to sob softly, now.
"Something tells me you're upset with more than Bob...tell me. I want to know." Gerard sniffled softly as he wiped away more tears that were spilling down his face.
"You'll get upset..." Frank sighed softly and quickly realized what Gerard was mentioning. He wasn't upset. Just more...sad and heartbroken; he felt a rush of guilt strike him, like a jolt of lightning, and he felt goosebumps appear all throughout his body.
"You miss your family." Gerard let out a soft gasp as he turned his head to look at Frank. Frank managed to give him a small half smirk...but he immediately felt upset.
"I know. I know how much you miss your parents and your brother...I'm sorry I took you away from them...truly, I am. I know you're also upset because you want Anthony to meet them..." It was like Frank was reading Gerard's mind and he remained silent as he listened. They were facing one another now and Frank kept his head low; his eyes staring at the ground below him...he couldn't look at Gerard as he spoke of his family.
"I know you don't believe me, but just listen. I'm sorry for hurting you...I'm so sorry for taking you. I love you; words can't describe the love I feel for you, the love I feel for our son...I was a different person back then. But I'm learning and I'm changing...all I want is for you to be happy. I know you miss them...I know you want Anthony to know about his grandparents and his uncle...I want him to know about his grandma--my mom...I don't know when it'll happen, but..." Frank closed his eyes as he took a deep breath in. Gerard could see tears running down Frank's cheeks. As he opened his eyes, lifted up his head, and looked into Gerard's sad and green eyes...he exhaled out sharply.
"I promise you that when Anthony is older...you can see your family, again. I promise you Anthony will meet them. I swear it on my life..." Frank's eyes were red and puffy, and more tears escaped his eyes and spilled down his tear soaked cheeks.
"You heard me."
"...are you serious?"
"I am. I'm aware of the consequences...but I love you. I'll do anything for you, just to make you happy...so I'm making you a promise." Gerard knew Frank was telling the truth. He could see it in his beautiful hazel eyes...how every time he was sad, they looked black instead of the rich and deep shades of both brown and green...every time Frank looked like that, his emotions were easily read like a book. The truth was buried in his eyes and Gerard could see it. He knew he was telling the truth.
"I love you, Frank..." Gerard said as a small smile formed across his gorgeous face. Before Frank could say anything, Gerard embraced him with a kiss; their lips pressed against each other, and Gerard wrapped his arms around Frank's neck...the kiss was sweet and tender--it was a way of sealing the promise. Now it couldn't be broken.
It wouldn't be broken.
Chapter 9: Alone Together
Gerard was awoken by Frank's arm wrapping around him as he placed a soft kiss against his cheek. He turned his head to find his hazel eyed lover staring over at him, smiling his sweet and angelic smile at him.
"Morning, Frankie..." Gerard smiled back at him, his eyes having a hard time staying open as his eyelids fluttered. Frank chuckled softly as he leaned his face forward--placing a soft kiss against the tip of his gorgeous and yellow haired boyfriend's nose.
"He's still asleep, no worries."
"Don't you have work...?"
"I'm off today, beautiful. So, we get the whole day together." Gerard smiled again as he turned his body over to fully face Frank now. Frank gently cupped his chin with his hand, embracing him with his lips again; kissing him sweetly and tenderly...Gerard kissed Frank back as he shuffled his body closer against his older and tattooed lover's body.
They kissed each other passionately--touching each other as Gerard let out a soft moan inside of Frank's mouth...just as Frank began to run his fingers through Gerard's soft and short yellow hair, Anthony stood up in his crib and he called out to both his parents.
"Dada--daddy Fwank..." Anthony spoke softly as he rubbed his sleepy eyes, yawning and waving his little hand at them. They quickly pulled away and sat themselves up on Gerard's bed.
"Hey there, sleepyhead." Frank smiled over at Anthony, waving his hand back at him while Gerard blushed in embarrassment--hoping Anthony wouldn't wonder or ask what they were doing just now.
"Daddy Fwank--I hungy..."
"You're hungry?" Anthony nodded his head in response as he continued rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.
"I'll make some breakfast; pancakes and bacon sound good?" Gerard said as he asked both Frank and Anthony. Anthony smiled a big and excited smile as he jumped up and down in his crib.
"I wuv pancakes! I wuv bacon!" Frank looked over at Gerard, who looked at him, and they both chuckled softly.
"To be continued." Frank said softly before leaning forward to place a quick and soft peck against his cheek as he got off the bed and made his way over to Anthony--scooping him out of his crib, now holding him in his arms. Gerard got out of bed, still half-awake as he yawned and ran his hair through his messy yellow hair.
They all made their way downstairs and Frank put Anthony down once they got to the living room, and Gerard went to the kitchen to prepare breakfast.
"Wanna watch cartoons?"
"Yeah!" Frank smiled at his little boy as he snuggled up to him on the couch.
"What do you wanna watch?"
"Paw Patrol, daddy Fwank!"
"You got it, buddy." Frank then proceeded by putting on one of Anthony's favorite shows. He bounced on the couch and in Frank's arms as he heard the familiar theme song play on the TV and he kept pointing his little finger over at the animated animal characters with excitement.
Anthony was completely focused on his show, so Frank decided to help Gerard prepare breakfast--keep him company. Anthony didn't even budge when Frank got off the couch and made his way over to the kitchen. He wrapped both his tattooed arms around Gerard's waist; lightly squeezing onto him as he placed a sweet and soft little kiss against his neck, making him giggle softly.
"Need any help?"
"I've got it under control."
"I wanna help. I can make eggs, if you'd like--some coffee?" Gerard's head snapped once he mentioned coffee.
"I could use a good cup of Joe right now..." Frank smiled and placed another kiss against his cheek.
"Gotcha." He released himself from Gerard and proceeded to make the eggs first before making the coffee--that way it would be fresh and hot by the time breakfast was ready.
He helped Gerard cook the pancakes, then the bacon, and he whipped up some scrambled eggs to go with it. Just as the food was ready and Frank was preparing the coffee--Anthony came wobbling into the kitchen, still dressed in his pajamas and was sucking his thumb.
"Hi, sweetheart." Gerard greeted their small son with a smile across his face.
"Hi, dada." Anthony responsed with his thumb still in his mouth as he waved his other hand up at him. Gerard bent over to pick him up in his arms...Frank playfully spanked his bottom as he was lifting up Anthony, and he let out a loud gasp as his eyes widened.
"Frank! Don't do that when I'm holding the baby!" Frank laughed, practically snickering as raised his hands in the air.
"Hey, I saw it and I needed to spank it!" Frank continued laughing; his body shaking as he giggled, his cheeks a bright red color, and Gerard tried looking mad but ended up looking more amused and it didn't help that the corners of his mouth were curling into a smirk.
"Don't mess with me when I haven't had my coffee, yet."
"Yes, dear." Breakfast was ready; all the food and the coffee were nice and hot--ready to serve. Gerard placed Anthony in his high chair and put on his bib. Frank served Gerard a plate first before himself, and he even grabbed the biggest coffee mug they had and poured the steaming hot coffee for him.
"Cream and sugar?"
"Of course. Thank you."
"Anything for you, sunshine." Gerard smiled over at Frank as he made his way to the dining table. Anthony was already reaching over for his food as he licked his lips and stuck his tongue out. Gerard began to cut up his pancakes after spreading a little butter on them, and pouring some maple syrup over them--he fed Anthony small pieces of the pancakes along with ripping off small pieces of bacon for him.
Frank brought Gerard's coffee over to him, and placed a kiss against Anthony's soft and chubby little cheek before sitting at the dining table with them.
"Thanks for breakfast Gee, it's delicious."
"I'm glad you like it, Frankie. Looks like Anthony is enjoying himself, too." They both laughed as they watched Anthony eat more small pieces of pancakes and bacon; his angelic little face already dirty with food as he occasionally played with it instead of eating it. They had a nice breakfast together. After breakfast, they spent time together by watching TV as a family in the living room. They watched Disney films--a little something they could all enjoy. Anthony ended up dozing off in Frank's arms towards the middle of the film...Gerard took him back to his room and carefully placed him in his crib.
"He was still pretty tired, huh?" Frank asked him in a soft tone as he peeked over Gerard's shoulder to look down at their sleeping infant son.
"Yeah, I guess so." Gerard responded as he tucked Anthony in; softly stroking his soft dark hair.
"Looks like we've got some alone time, now..." Frank whispered in Gerard's ear, making him blush as he moved away from Anthony's crib and turned to look directly at Frank.
The older, hazel eyed, and tattooed man leaned his face forward and captured the bright haired and nineteen year old's soft lips with his--kissing him tenderly as he wrapped both inked arms around Gerard's waist, pulling him closer against his as he continued kissing him. The younger boy let out a soft moan inside of Frank's mouth as he wrapped both his arms around his neck--their kiss was now open mouthed and passionate.
Just as things were getting more heated between them; Frank guiding Gerard over to the bed, hand in hand, Frank laid himself down against the soft mattress first before Gerard slowly climbed on top of him--capturing his lips in his again as they continued making out. Continuing what they tried doing earlier that morning...just then, Frank's phone began to ring in the pocket of his sweatpants.
"Oh, goddamn it..." Frank mumbled against Gerard's lips, they both chuckled softly, hoping that Anthony wouldn't wake up from the ringing.
"Sorry, hold on..." Frank spoke softly as he pulled his phone out and groaned softly when he saw that it was his job calling.
"Hello? Hey man, what's up? I'm good and you?" Gerard remained silent as he listened to the other voice on the other line; curious as to who the person was and who they looked like.
"Are you serious...? Again? He calls out every chance he could get--always on my days off, too..." Frank groaned and whined out as he threw his head back against his pillow. It didn't sound like good news.
"Yeah, yeah--I'll come. Who else will, right?" Frank forced a soft chuckle, rolling his eyes in pure annoyance afterwards.
"Alright man, see you in a bit. Bye." Frank hung up his phonephone, tossed it beside him, and sighed out loudly as he closed his eyes.
"Bob called out, again. He was supposed to work my shift--apparently he's 'sick'. Sick my ass."
"You have to go...?"
"Unfortunately. I'm sorry, Gee..." Gerard looked disappointed as he pouted while still sitting on top of Frank.
"I don't want to go babe, you know that...I'll make it up to you, I swear." Gerard knew it wasn't Frank's fault that he had to work...he just hated being left all alone...especially when they were having a...rather heated moment, together.
The younger boy just leaned his face forward to kiss Frank's soft and full lips again; they kissed each other tenderly--making it incredibly hard for Frank to leave.
"I'll see you tonight, then." Gerard said as he pulled away from Frank's lips...both of them trying to catch their breaths as they stared into one another's eyes. Before Frank could say anything, Gerard slowly and carefully climbed off of him and went over to Anthony's crib to check on him...he was still asleep; breathing softly as he sucked on his thumb and snuggled with his stuffed dinosaur plush. The older and tattooed man let out a high pitched and pouty groan as he sat himself up--feeling extremely aroused and knew he'd have to take a quick cold shower before leaving to work. He was incredibly pissed off with Bob.
Frank left on his way to work while Gerard stayed home and did anything he could to keep himself preoccupied. He hated being alone...he hated when Frank had to leave him, every single time. But, he had Anthony--so, he wasn't really alone.
Gerard drew and colored for a bit while Anthony slept, occasionally checking on him. He watched TV; watched a movie, listened to some music on Frank's iPod until he noticed Anthony stand up in his crib and looked over at him...he was fussing and calling out to Gerard.
"Hey, you okay...?" He asked him as he got out of bed and made his way over to the baby. He picked him up and shushed him softly while rocking him in his arms. Anthony was crying softly as he whimpered and rubbed his eyes...Gerard held his son close as he tried soothing him, calming him down while lightly patting his back.
"Are you hungry, sweetheart? Did you make a messy in your diaper?" Gerard asked as he examined Anthony's diaper; quickly getting that familiar and unpleasant smell.
"Ohh--that's why you're fussing...it's okay baby boy, daddy will get you all cleaned up." He shushed his crying son once more before changing his dirty diaper, giving him a warm bubble bath--letting him play with his toys in the tub, making him giggle and smile, which made Gerard smile to his little boy so happy, again.
After Anthony was all clean, dried up, and dressed up, Gerard spent time with him; played with him, put on music for him--they danced together. Afterwards, he made them lunch and after Anthony ate all of his peanut butter and jelly sandwich with apple slices, Gerard put on a movie for him.
"You wanna watch Peter Pan?"
"Yeah! Pee-er Pan!" Anthony said with a smile on his face as he bounced around in excitement on the couch. They watched Peter Pan together; Anthony has been obsessed with it and has watched it at least several times in just a week. They watched the entire movie together--Gerard held Anthony close in his arms the entire time and after the movie, they decided to play together.
Gerard played peek-a-boo with Anthony, because it always makes him smile and giggle loudly and he's always entertained by it, no matter how many times either him, Frank, or Ray do it.
It entertained him for a good half and hour before Gerard brought out some of Anthony's toys and played whatever game his little boy wanted to play; putting on little puppet shows for him, reading him some stories--even putting on silly little voices for him, making him smile and giggle softly some more. After he read to him, Gerard decided to put on some music for them to listen to.
They danced to all sorts of different music together; most of them being old classics, punk rock, and Gerard even played some of Frank's heavier albums for Anthony. He was enjoying dancing and he kept smiling; showing off his bright little baby teeth as his bright, enormous, and hazel eyes stared up at Gerard.
After several hours of bonding and playing, Anthony was getting sleepy again as he yawned and rubbed his sleepy little eyes...Gerard held his and Frank's son close against his chest as he made his way upstairs and back to his bedroom. He laid Anthony down on his bed before climbing into it with him--snuggling up to him as he leaned forward to place a soft kiss against his forehead. Anthony eyes were fluttering as he tried to fight off the sleep...he was already sucking on his thumb. Gerard smiled down at his son and began to softly sing to him...Anthony always loved hearing his daddy sing to him; his voice was the one thing that always helped him fall asleep.
"Imagine me and you, I do I think about you day and night, it's only right
To think about the boy you love and hold him tight,
So happy together,
If I should call you up, invest a dime
And you say you belong to me and ease my mind
Imagine how the world could be, so very fine So happy together..." Gerard sang so softly as he gently stroked Anthony's thick, long, and dark hair away from his beautiful, pale, and angelic little face as he continued singing to him.
"I can't see me lovin' nobody but you,
For all my life,
When you're with me, baby the skies'll be blue,
For all my life,
Me and you and you and me,
No matter how they toss the dice, it had to be The only one for me is you, and you for me, So happy together..." Gerard sang even softer once Anthony closed his eyes completely and was out cold as he continued sucking his thumb as breathed softly. Gerard smiled down at him before leaning his face forward, placing another soft kiss against his forehead, again.
"I love you, sweet boy. Daddy loves you so much..." Gerard cooed softly at Anthony before he carefully lifted him up off his bed and took him over to his crib; laying him down gently as he tucked him in.
He had some alone time to himself again and he decided to make himself some coffee.
Gerard sat down at the dining table, holding his mug of hot coffee close to him as his eyes stared out the window...staring out into the wilderness outside of Frank's house...he hasn't been back outside since Anthony was born. He was back to being confined into the house, all day and everyday, and he so badly wanted to go outside; feel the sunlight against his skin again, the breeze blow through his hair, to smell the air...Gerard missed it.
Two years since he'd last seen his family; his parents, Mikey...his school, his friends--everything. He fell in love with Frank, yes, and together they share a child...Gerard loves both Frank and Anthony more than anything...but, he still missed his family. He couldn't help but think about how much his life had change, all because he met Frank Iero and decided to leave with him. If only he knew what would come after...but Gerard trusted him and felt a strong connection and attraction to him. His life was so different back then...he was a typical teenager, until a handsome hazel eyed stranger approached him; wooed him; used all of his charms to win him over...then, everything changed.
Frank wasn't bad...Gerard has been telling himself that for two years. He only hurt him once, but he didn't mean to...Gerard kept telling himself that he deserved to be punished; he hurt Frank, betrayed his trust, and he played with his emotions. He deserved to be punished...Frank wasn't bad. He's treated him so lovingly; treated him with such care and nurture...and he was an amazing father to Anthony.
Frank wasn't a bad person...Gerard knew that in his heart.
He even began to think about how long he and Frank have been together...he then realized that its been a year that they've been together. Gerard wanted to do something nice and romantic for Frank...they've been so busy taking care of Anthony, that they both completely lost track of time and haven't really had any alone time, together.
He managed to find some unopen and still brand new bottles of wine somewhere in his garage, on a fancy wine rack. He grabbed two wine bottles and put them in the fridge to have them nice and cold by the time Frank came home from work. Gerard even looked through his clothes to see if he had anything nice; anything fancy; anything sexy, really...he wanted to look absolutely perfect for him.
Gerard went back to his bedroom, checked on Anthony--who was still asleep soundly in his crib; sucking on his thumb while snuggling up to his dinosaur plush, his favorite toy, ever. He managed to looked through his closet and his drawers...he pulled out several different outfits; silk shirts, button up shirts, nice pants--slacks and jeans, and he laid them all out on his bed...he stared down at all the different clothing lying down on his bed, wondering what he should wear...he wasn't exactly as slim and fit as he used to be, now that he has pre-pregnancy body.
He gained a little weight during his pregnancy with Anthony--slightly pudgy and porcelain white...Gerard honestly felt embarrassed with his body and his physical appearance; his short and still dyed lemon yellow hair was all messy like he had just gotten out of bed, and he had light bags under his eyes...he was exhausted and he didn't want to wear anything too revealing because he felt a little self-conscious.
Gerard showered; washed his hair and his body, blow dried his hair until it was fluffy and soft. He combed it until it was just the way he wanted it--flipped upwards and slick back, moving all his hair away from his face, and he even put on some moisturizer to soften his skin. He wanted to look absolutely perfect.
When it came to dressing himself up, he decided to a long sleeved black and white striped shirt along with a pair of right fitting black jeans with small rips on the knee area, and a pair of black and white chucks. He thought he looked pretty decent, actually.
Anthony awoke after Gerard was all ready and dressed up, and he was a little fussy because he was hungry...he made him dinner; chicken nuggets with a side of macaroni and cheese--he played some Green Day for Anthony, who was bouncing around to every song while eating and getting himself all dirty in his highchair.
"Hey, I'm home! Where are my boys?" Frank yelled out once he made his way through the front door.
"Daddy Fwank!" Anthony squealed out as he waved his dirty little food covered hands over at Frank, smiling his big and wide smile at him.
"Gee! I'm home!" Frank announced as he made his way over to Anthony, leaning down to give him a kiss against his forehead. Anthony brought one of his already bitten chicken nugget towards Frank's face; lightly pushing it against his lips.
"Hungwy, daddy Fwank?" Anthony asked as he kept trying to shove the chicken nugget in Frank's mouth, making him smile and chuckle softly as he a bite out of the nugget.
"Where's daddy, buddy?" Frank asked Anthony as he playfully ruffled his soft, dark, and shaggy hair. Just then, Gerard made his way out of the garage and into the kitchen--holding onto two wine glasses in his hands.
"Gee--wow...you look amazing! You look really, really sexy!" Frank said with a wide and toothy grin across his face--he was even blushing a light pink color.
"Oh, hi Frank! I wanted to surprise you with some...well, some wine--but Anthony got hungry and I couldn't find any wine glasses in the cabinets, but I found some in one of the boxes in the garage." Gerard chuckled a soft and awkward chuckle as he blushed in embarrassment, he felt like he was blabbering on.
"What's the special occasion?" Frank asked Gerard as he slowly made his way towards him, still grinning over at him.
"We've been together for a year...so, I wanted us to celebrate our...well, I guess our one year, together." Gerard said, shrugging his shoulders as he placed both wine glasses down on one of the kitchen counters.
"Oh yeah, that's right...we have been together for a year now, haven't we...?" Gerard nodded his head in response while grinning a small and awkward grin--his cheeks flushed pink. Frank was now standing directly in front of him, and his grin bloomed into a full smile. He then wrapped his arms around his waist; pulling him close against him while he leaned forward and placed a soft and tender kiss against his lips.
Gerard kissed Frank back, nearly dropping both the wine bottle and glasses, and he felt his face burning up as they continued kissing one another, passionately.
"I done, dada!" Anthony said as he playfully smacked his hands against his now empty plastic plate. Frank pulled away from Gerard--both of them letting out soft chuckles as Gerard licked his lips.
"I'll get him. You just serve the wine, okay?" Gerard grinned again as he nodded his head in response. Frank lifted Anthony up in his arms and out of his highchair and went to go clean him up. He then called up Ray and asked him if he would be willing to watch the baby overnight while he and Gerard celebrated their anniversary.
"You sure you don't mind watching Anthony overnight...?" Frank asked Ray as he handed him over to Ray. The baby smiled and bounced around in pure joy and excitement in his uncle's arms.
"Not at all! I always love spending time with my little man! We're going to have fun, aren't we?"
"Yeah!" Anthony responded as he wrapped both of his arms around Ray's neck--practically squeezing onto him. Ray smiled as he placed a small and sweet little kiss against his nephew's cheek.
"If you need anything, please don't hesitate to call us; we packed up an outfit and some pajamas for Anthony, and his bottle and baby food is also packed in there--he can eat solid foods, but he already ate so don't feed him, otherwise he'll get a tummy ache. Arthur packed Anthony's Peter Pan book--that's his favorite book to be read to before bedtime."
"Frank--relax man, I'll take good care of your kid. I'll call you if anything goes wrong, but everything will be okay."
"Way! I wuv you!" Anthony said, still bouncing around in Ray's arms while smiling and playing around with his long, curly, and poofy hair.
"And I love you, little man." Frank smiled as he playfully stroked his infant son's soft, thick, and dark hair. Gerard looked like he was getting slightly emotional, but he knew Anthony was in safe arms.
"Say bye-bye to your daddies, little man."
"Bye, dada! Bye daddy Fwank!" Anthony said as he turned to face his parents--smiling at them while waving his little hand over at them. Frank leaned forward and gave Anthony a quick little peck on his lips.
Gerard sniffled softly as he made his way over to Ray, softly stroking Anthony's rosy little cheek before he leaned forward to place a sweet kiss against his forehead.
"You be good for your uncle Ray, okay?" Baby Anthony nodded his head in response. Gerard let out another soft sniffle; already feeling the tears build up inside of his eyes as he quickly wiped the away.
"Hey--you okay, Art...?"
"I'm okay--I just never had the baby spend the night away from me and Frank..." Frank walked up to him, now standing beside Gerard, and he gently grabbed a hold of his hand in his; squeezing onto it, lightly.
"I understand that. But it's yours and Frank's anniversary; you two deserve some alone time--all the times I've come around to hang out, you guys are always busy with the baby. I don't mind taking him for a night." Gerard nodded his head in agreement, sniffling once more as he smiled over at Ray, then to his hazel eyed son once more.
"You sure you'll be alright...?" Ray asked Gerard as Anthony reached a little hand out to him. He took Anthony out of Ray's arms for a quick moment to hug him tightly; feel his little heartbeat against his as he placed small and soft kisses all over his little angelic face while stroking his hair.
"No cwy, dada..." Baby Anthony said as he wrapped both his little arms around Gerard's neck as he gently patted his cheek while kissing him on his lips. Gerard smiled at his baby boy before placing another little kiss against his lips, once more.
"I'll be okay, Ray. Thank you for agreeing to watch him, again." He responded as he handed the baby back to Ray.
"Again, it's not a problem. I'm happy to spend time and look after Anthony. You guys need a night to yourselves." Frank looked over at Gerard--examining his short, bright, and dyed yellow hair before wrapping his arm around his waist, pulling him close as a way of comforting him. Frank wanted to make this night as special as he could for Gerard; he deserved it, after everything he's been through.
Ray left with Anthony and Anthony's belongings, leaving both Frank and Gerard all alone in their house. There was a long and awkward moment of silence between them as Gerard made his way back to the kitchen--opening up one of the wine bottles and pouring himself a glass--this was his first time drinking really, so he didn't know how much was too much or how little was too little. He ended up pouring a little more than he should've, but he didn't care.
"You okay...?" Frank asked Gerard as he noticed him pouring way too much wine in his glass--practically filling it up. The yellow haired nineteen year old nodded his head in response as he began to down the red wine without any hesitation; downing it like it was water, Frank had to step in and stop him.
"Whoa--slow down there, tiger. You'll get drunk really quickly if you drink like that." He chuckled out as he lowered Gerard's wine glass away from his lips. Gerard's face was scrunched up as he roughly swallowed the wine; tasting the bitter aftertaste on his tongue, Frank couldn't help but laugh--showing off his teeth.
"This is what wine tastes like...?"
"Yeah, I'm not super fond of it--I kept it for special occasions, really. But considering today is special for us, it's perfect." Gerard took another swig of his red wine and Frank had to pull it away from his lips, again.
"Babe--you need to sip it. You're downing it like it's water..."
"What are you nervous about?" Gerard made direct eye contact with Frank; his hazel eyes looked a fine and rich mocha shade that night, and Gerard's eyes looked a deep emerald color behind his fake glasses...his cheeks were already bright red and his heart was racing.
"...well...t-tonight..." Frank raised his eyebrow, wondering what was going through Gerard's mind.
"...Frank, we...uh...w-we...we haven't had...we haven't had s-sex since I got pregnant with Anthony...and..." His cheeks were now ruby red and he ended up finishing his glass of wine.
"I'm sorry its been a while...I've been busy with work, and with the baby...plus, I figured sex was the last thing on your mind..."
"Its been on my mind a lot, actually...I just...I felt like you didn't want me..." Frank lowered his eyebrows as he made his way over to Gerard--wrapping both of his arms around his waist, pulling him close against his body and placing a soft kiss on Gerard's cheek.
"Of course I want you. I want you all the time; you're on my mind every single second of every single day...I just wanted to give your body a rest--you've been through so much pain and...well, our first time wasn't exactly...romantic...?" It was Frank's turn to blush now as he bit down on his bottom lip, messing around with his lip piercing.
Gerard was still blushing ruby red and he took a deep breath as he poured himself another glass of wine. This time he took all sips like Frank suggested doing, and he avoided eye contact with him while doing so.
"Hey, look at me--" The older, shorter, and tattooed man gently cupped the younger, slightly taller, and yellow haired boy's chin--turning his head to face him. Frank then leaned forward and lightly pressed his lips against Gerard's.
The kiss was sweet, tender, and gentle...Frank could taste the wine on Gerard's lips as he kissed him a little more passionately now; tasting one another as Frank slowly slid his tongue inside of Gerard's mouth while rubbing his hands against his hips. The younger boy let out a soft moan inside of Frank's mouth as he bit down on Frank's bottom lip.
"Oww..." Frank hissed out softly as he pulled away from Gerard's lips.
"I'm sorry..." Gerard licked his lips, feeling incredibly embarrassed for what he just did.
"No, don't be--I liked it. In fact, I loved it..." Frank said, grinning his devilish grin at Gerard, making him feel all flustered and he smiled a small and awkward smile back at him.
"Why don't we just enjoy the wine first, then we'll have a little fun, together." Gerard quickly nodded his head in response as he then poured some wine for Frank.
Frank decided to play some music for them while they sat together on their couch--emptying the entire bottle. Gerard was beyond tipsy and Frank was a little buzzed, but they just talked and laughed; told some jokes and talked about Anthony, when they first met, and how their feelings for one another were intense.
"You're cute..." Frank giggled as he leaned his head back against the couch. Gerard smiled and he giggled as he drank more of his wine.
"Gee, you know I love you, right...?"
"Mhmm--course I do. Love you too, Frankie." They both made direct eye contact now, blushing together as they listened to the music playing in the background.
"Valentine is done,
Here but now they're gone,
Romeo and Juliet...
Are together in eternity,
Romeo and Juliet 40, 000 men and women everyday,
Like Romeo and Juliet 40, 000 men and women everyday,
Redefine happiness Another 40, 000 coming everyday,
We can be like they are..." They both continued gazing over at one another as the song continued playing. Frank then stood up from the couch--his head feeling like it was heavy and his face was burning hot.
"Wanna dance with me...?"
"Do you wanna dance with me? Slow dance...?" Gerard blinked hard, giggling softly as he licked his lips. He then placed his empty wine glass down on the coffee table in front of him.
"I thought you'd never ask." Frank smiled down at Gerard as he held out his hand to him. He placed his hand in Frank's and he pulled him up off the couch and onto his feet; Gerard was a little wobbly as he practically buried his face in Frank's chest.
"You're drunk, Gee."
"Maybe just a little..." Frank chuckled softly as he held the younger and now tipsy boy close against him as he began to slow dance with him to the song.
"Love of two is one,
Here but now they're gone,
Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear she couldn't go on,
Then the door was open and the wind appeared,
The candles blew then disappeared,
The curtains flew then he appeared, saying don't be afraid..." Frank had both his arms wrapped around Gerard's waist while he slowly swayed his hips to the soft acoustic song playing in the background. Gerard was moving his hips in sync with Frank.
"Do you think I'mpretty...?" Gerard slurred in Frank's ear; his moistened lips pressing against his skin. Frank chuckled softly as he placed a soft kiss against Gerard's soft, warm, and rosy cheek.
"I think you're beautiful. Absolutely stunning, Gee." Gerard let out a soft groan against Frank's shoulder as he slowly shook his head.
"...fat...I'm fat..." Gerard mumbled out, feeling insecure about himself; his appearance, his figure, and even his outfit.
"No you're not, stop it--"
"Frankie, I'm puuudgggyyy..." Gerard whined out as he pulled away from Frank's arms--playfully poking at his belly through his striped shirt.
"So? You gained a little weight while you were pregnant, but you're still as gorgeous as you were when I first met you..." Gerard removed his fake glasses, tossing them onto the coffee table.
"I'm pudgy, I'm pasty, and I'm...I just feel ugly..." His eyes were red, puffy, and glistened with tears as he let out a soft sniffle while rubbing his eyes. Frank softly shushed Gerard, gently caressing his cheek with the back of his tattooed hand, and he placed a kiss against his forehead.
"You're the most beautiful person I've ever seen in all of my life; not just on the outside but on the inside, too. You're a good person and you've got such an amazing heart and you have the face of an angel...you're perfect to me."
"...you really think that...?" Frank then placed his hand in the back of Gerard's neck and leaned forward to kiss his lips, again. He kissed him tenderly; sliding his tongue inside his mouth without hesitation--even licking the roof of Gerard's mouth as his hands made their way underneath his shirt, slowly sliding them up against his soft and warm skin, making him shiver to his touch.
"I know it, Gee...you're so beautiful, and sexy, and just plain sweet...I love you and I want to show you just how much I love you..."
"Make love to me, then."
"Thought you were nervous...?" Gerard wrapped both of his arms around Frank's neck and practically crashed his lips against his--kissing him hungrily, sloppily, and even eagerly.
"Wine helps...take me to your room..." Gerard cooed out softly in between soft breaths as he continued kissing Frank's lips, roughly--even though he was drunk, he was sure he wanted to go through with this.
He wasn't afraid this time.
Frank led both himself and Gerard to his bedroom; hand in hand, and once they were in Frank's room--Gerard quickly closed the door behind him and he pushed Frank flat on his back against his bed, climbing on top of him and capturing his lips with his, he let out soft and sweet sounding little moans inside of Frank's mouth as he bit down on his bottom lip again, but this time Frank didn't stop him or pull away.
Running his inked fingers through the younger boy's soft bright yellow hair while his other hand explored up his bare backside underneath his shirt--lightly grazing his fingertips against Gerard's warm and soft skin...he could feel the younger boy tremble at his touch, but they didn't break the kiss.
Frank managed to wrap his arms around Gerard's waist before moving him down on his back against his bed--he was now on top of Gerard, still kissing his lips passionately; their tongues swirling around together as Gerard then began to grab at Frank's shirt...tugging at it as he slowly lifted it up. He broke the kiss for a brief moment to sit himself up and remove his t-shirt over his head, slightly messing up his hair a little, and he undid his belt along with his jeans.
"I love you so much, Gee...you have no idea just how much you mean to me." Gerard was blushing ruby red still; practically stained on his pale cheeks as he stared up at Frank's bare and tattooed torso with his big, curious, and glistened green eyes. His heart was thumping away rapidly inside of his chest--and when Frank tried to undress him, he grabbed his hands and shook his head no.
"Gee--let me..." Frank said as he attempted to lift up Gerard's shirt; he managed to expose his naval--he even noticed Gerard's c-section scar resting below his belly button, and Gerard immediately pushed Frank's hands away, pulling his shirt back down.
"You don't need to be embarrassed..."
"I don't like my body...I'm all pudgy and I'm white as a ghost..." Frank then slid his hand underneath Gerard's shirt, and gently grazed his fingertips across his scar--making the younger boy let out a soft moan as he turned his head away.
"You're embarrassed about your scar, aren't you...?" Gerard was silent as he hesitated to answer, but then he slowly nodded his head in response--still avoiding eye contact with Frank.
Slowly he began to lift up Gerard's shirt again; taking his time, occasionally asking if he was okay with it, and he stopped to let Gerard adjust to it. Frank was able to remove his shirt--helping him sit up and pulled his shirt off over his head as well, though it got stuck and they both giggled as Gerard struggled to get it off. Frank examined the younger boy's figure without speaking...he gently touched his porcelain white, warm, and baby soft skin with the palms of his hands as smiled a small smile to himself.
"You are so fucking beautiful...how did I get so lucky?" Gerard's heart was going crazy now; his chest felt like it was about to burst and he was breathing hard, heavily, and unsteady--his chest was puffing in and out and he could hear his own heartbeat inside of his ears.
"You're truly a rare piece of art, Gee...you're too beautiful for words. I love every single detail about you--from head to toe..." Frank said as he slowly leaned his face forward, bringing his warm and soft lips to Gerard's bare stomach. Kissing it softly; the feeling of his lips continuously press more soft kisses against his stomach, then to his naval.
Gerard felt himself shiver when Frank lightly flicked his tongue over it before placing more kisses against his skin--making him moan out softly as he let the ecstatic feeling take over him.
"You're the father of my son. I know it sounds silly but sometimes it's so hard to believe." Frank then kissed Gerard's caesarean section scar softly, making his body twitch once more. Gerard had an erection constricted inside of his pants and he let out a soft little groan, biting down on his bottom lip. Frank then brought his hand to Gerard's buldge; rubbing it gently and even squeezing onto it lightly, making soft gasps escape the younger boy's lips--biting down on his bottom lip even harder than before, hard enough to leave teeth marks embedded into his skin.
"You're fucking gorgeous, baby...I want you to know just how perfect you are to me." Frank continued rubbing Gerard's hard cock through his jeans; making the budge grow bigger and more soft groans, moans, and gasps escaped his lips...his dick was so hard that it was hurting with each throb that pulsed all around his erection.
Frank undid Gerard's jeans--slowly pulling them down along with his boxers...he was now fully naked in front of Frank. Though it was the second time he's seen him in the flesh--it somehow felt like the very first time. Their first time together happened unexpectedly...it was rushed, rough, and quick. This time they were taking their sweet time with one another...they wanted their second time to be special.
"Mmm--Frank, please touch me..." Gerard begged his older hazel eyed boyfriend as he whined out eagerly, and Frank chuckled softly as he then slowly pulled Gerard's boxers down, revealing all of himself for Frank now...he was in complete awe with the younger, snow white skinned, and yellow haired boyfriend's nakedness. Gerard was beautiful; he was stunning; he was adorable...to Frank, he looked like a beautifully sculpted piece of art made from the smoothest marble.
Words weren't spoken as Frank placed a soft kiss below Gerard's naval before tracing his tongue against his hard length--making the yellow haired boy moan out loudly as his eyes rolled back before he sealed them shut. Frank grabbed a hold of Gerard's cock with one hand while the other rested against his pale thigh and he kissed the tip softly; licking it before wrapping his lips around it--lowering his head down far enough to get a reaction out of Gerard. This was completely new for the both of them, but it was exciting as well as nerve wracking...Frank slurped softly around Gerard's dick as he stroked him off--Gerard's back arched as he leaned his head back against the bed...Frank loved the noises that were coming out of his mouth as he continued sucking him off; stroking his hard length at a more steadier pace now and Gerard was panting hard as he let out loud and high pitched moans; calling out Frank's name--running his fingers through his slightly shaggy hair and even tugging at it, making Frank groan out softly around Gerard's shaft.
"...ohmygod--Frankie...feels so good...mmm..." Gerard purred out in pure pleasure as he felt the wetness and the warmth of his older and tattooed boyfriend's mouth around him; tasting him and making him go crazy...Gerard was beyond eager for Frank and he couldn't take it, anymore.
"...Frank--please stop..." Gerard whined out softly, and Frank didn't hesitate to pull away.
"Gee--what's wrong...? Did I hurt you...? Are you okay?" Gerard's cheeks were flushed red still as he sat himself up, making direct eye contact with him.
"No, no...everything is perfect. I just...I want you. Now..." He bit down on his bottom lip once more--driving Frank crazy with that tiny little gesture, and he didn't hesitate to capture Gerard's lips with his; kissing him hungrily--moaning inside of his mouth.
Frank needed no further instructions as he removed his pants and his boxers without breaking the kiss. He reached over to his nightstand; rummaging around through his drawers to find his bottle of lube to prep both himself and Gerard before taking it any further...squeezing the lube onto his fingertips; spreading it all over and around his erection with a few strokes--the younger green eyed boy was fully aware of Frank's cock now...his eyes were wide with both shock and surprise. He was extremely nervous now.
"Will you...will you turn around for me...?" He didn't hesitate to turn himself around--now standing on his hands and knees...his heart continued racing as Frank slowly brought his fingers over to Gerard's tight entrance.
"Do you trust me...?"
"...yes." Frank then slowly rubbed his lubbed fingertips against Gerard's hole--making the younger boy tense up at his touch as he felt shivers run down his spine...he then slowly pressed his index finger inside of him.
Gerard let out a soft whimper and Frank froze--letting him get used to the feeling.
"Are you okay...?"
"Mmm...just wait..." Frank obeyed and was very patient. His hole was slowly stretching open and the cold lube was warming up inside of him--it felt like he had electric jolts run through his body.
"...move, please..." Gerard moaned out softly as he gripped onto the blanket below him. Frank slowly pushed his finger in and out of his hole at a slow and steady pace--stretching him more open, feeling that new and burning sensation build up in the pit of his stomach as he bit down on his bottom lip. Frank penetrated his finger in and out of Gerard before he slid his middle finger inside; stretching him open even wider now--making him whimper, moan, and even curse out loudly as he felt his cock throbbing.
"...now...please, I want you now..."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes--Frank, please...I need you inside of me...please..."
"Turn around on your back--I want to look at your beautiful face while I make love to you." Gerard slowly nodded his head as he turned him around and laid flat on his back on Frank's bed.
The older and tattooed man moved Gerard's body closer to him as he grabbed him by his legs; spreading them open as he grabbed a hold of his hard cock--slowly guiding it to Gerard's entrance. Gerard let out a loud and echoing groan when Frank pushed himself inside of him...Frank let out a soft, low, and breathy sigh as he closed his eyes--loving the warmth, wetness, and tightness of Gerard around his cock.
"...fuck...God, you feel so fucking good..." Frank cooed out softly as he began to slowly thrust his hips against Gerard. The younger boy let out more high pitched moans while sealing his eyes shut--letting out soft groans and gasps as he leaned his head back, his eyes staring up at the ceiling above him.
"I love you Gee--I love you so fucking much..." He moaned out as he continued slowly penetrating in and out of Gerard at a steady pace.
"...mmm...love you too, Frankie..." Suddenly, the thought of their first time popped into his mind. He saw Frank all bloody and scary looking; like a monster in a horror story...Frank wasn't gentle and sweet that night--he was angry, violent, and...Gerard could still see him looking like that clearly. Frank picked up the pace now as he thrusted himself at an even quicker pace in and out of Gerard, making him moan out loudly as he called out Frank's name, over and over.
He tried to ignore the dark memories of bloodied up Frank with his pitch black eyes--full of rage and ready to attack...Gerard knew Frank wasn't violent; he saw his sweet side, and he knew he never meant to hurt him. He knew that.
Frank was now on the bottom while Gerard was sitting on top of his lap--Frank's back was against his bed frame as he wrapped his arms around his waist; kissing each other passionately while feeling one another. Gerard kept his eyes shut as he moved himself on top of Frank's bare lap--feeling his cock inside of him while Frank stroked his dick at a quick pace, both of them feeling that familiar and tingling sensation building up in the pits of their stomach.
"...mmmFrankie--feel so close..." Gerard moaned out softly as his forehead rested against Frank's--their sweat dripping onto each other.
"Me too, Gee...I'm gonna cum..." Frank was panting hard now as he thrusted his hips even harder and quicker against Gerard now, making him moan even louder than before as he threw his head back. Gerard climaxed hard in the palm of Frank's hand as he released himself inside of him. They both groaned out together in sync while cumming...they sat perfectly still in each other's arms, panting for a breath of air as their sweaty foreheads touched.
The younger boy slowly opened his eyes to gaze at Frank who was looking at him with his enormous bright hazel eyes. He wasn't bloody, or full of rage, and his eyes didn't look black...he was handsome; he was beautiful; he was gentle...Gerard just smiled a small smile at him before kissing him once more.
"Are you okay...?" Frank asked in between breaths. Gerard just nodded his head in response.
"That was amazing, Frank...truly a night to remember." That was the honest truth.
"You're amazing, beautiful." Gerard's cheeks flushed a light pink shade, still smiling.
"Happy anniversary, Frank." Frank kissed him tenderly, still holding him close against him.
"I love you. You know that, right?"
"I love you too, Frank. I do." And that was the truth.
Chapter 10: I Never Meant To Cause You Sorrow Or Pain...
Anthony was now 2 years old, almost 3...he was a little chatter box and he was still quite the music lover. Frank was finally giving him guitar lessons, just like he promised himself when Anthony was still growing in Gerard's belly. Speaking of which...Frank and Gerard have been way more intimate with each other ever since the night of their anniversary; practically having sex every chance they could get. They were definitely in the honeymoon phase in their relationship.
Around November, Gerard got sick. Constant vomiting and bad nausea; he couldn't hold down anything and every smell of any types of food made him hurl...the symptoms were all too familiar and he already knew that he was pregnant for a second time.
Gerard loved watching his boys bond together in Frank's music room. Anthony always sat on Frank's lap while he played on his guitar; letting him pluck a few guitar strings here and there--he even taught Anthony a few chords, strumming techniques, and even the intros to songs. Anthony loved every moment of guitar lessons and Frank enjoyed teaching his little boy.
"Which intro do you want to learn today, buddy?"
"Which song?" Anthony scratched his head as he thought about which song he wanted Frank to teach him the intro to. Gerard stood outside the room, underneath the doorway, and he had both hands resting on his round, firm, and pregnant belly. He was 7 months now and they decided to keep the sex of their second child a surprise.
"Play 'Woman'!" Frank smiled a small smile at Anthony as he positioned both himself and Anthony who was sitting on his lap, as he got his guitar ready. Gerard watched as Frank began to pluck away at the guitar strings; playing the similar chords to the song...he could feel the baby kicking him from the inside, lightly. Gerard smiled a small smile to himself as he continued feeling his and Frank's second child move around--it liked listening to Frank play his guitar. Frank began to lightly sing the lyrics as he continued strumming away, teaching Anthony both the notes and the lyrics.
After guitar practice, Ray came over for movie night; Frank and Ray used to have movie nights together all the time, and now Gerard and Anthony were a part of it.
"Hey Gee! How are you?" Ray said as he greeted Gerard with a warm and friendly hug, rubbing his back and patting on it lightly.
"Uncle Ray!" Anthony squealed in delight and excitement as he ran over to Ray and he grabbed onto one of his legs; squeezing onto it tightly while looking up at him with his enormous hazel eyes.
"Hey, little man!" Ray said as he scooped him up in his arms and hugged him, tightly.
"How do you feel with baby number 2 on the way?"
"I'm tired all over again..." They both laughed as Gerard winced at the baby kicking inside of his belly, once more.
"Is it okay if I feel it...?"
"Of course, Ray." Ray smiled as he then freed one of his hands while the other hand still held Anthony close against his body. His free hand gently pressed against Gerard's firm, hard, and round belly--feeling the baby move around.
"I'm so excited for you and Frank. I can't wait to meet the new baby!" Ray's voice was even higher than normal as he continued smiling in pure excitement.
"Me too, Ray. You're such an awesome uncle to our son, so I know you'll be an even more amazing uncle to this baby."
"Baby growing inside daddy." Anthony said as he pointed his little finger at Gerard's tummy.
"That's right, little man. You're gonna be a big brother, soon!"
"I help daddy Frank and daddy with new baby!" Gerard smiled at his sweet little boy and he reached out his hand to gently stroke Anthony's soft dark hair, already knowing he'd be a great older brother.
During the movie, Gerard's mind began to wander off; day dreaming about how much time has passed ever since he last saw his parents and his brother...he thought about the birthdays he's missed; the holidays he's missed...Gerard wondered how different things were back at home now ever since he was taken. His emotions were all over the place, especially since he was getting close to the end of his second pregnancy...lately he's been having trouble sleeping. He can't close his eyes without having nightmares. All he can see were the faces of his parents, Mikey, and even the faces of his classmates he knew or befriended...he couldn't sleep without remembering his past and it was starting to weigh down on him, emotionally.
"Hey, you okay...?" Frank whispered over at Gerard, who was staring off into another dimension; his mind obviously not there with everyone else's. Gerard's heart nearly skipped a beat and was startled by Frank's voice and light touch...he winced slightly as he felt the baby kicking, again.
"...yeah, I'm fine. Just thirsty." He lied, forcing a small smile over at Frank, even though he wasn't quite convinced.
"Want me to get you a drink?"
"No, don't worry, I'll get it."
"Are you sure...?"
"Relax Frank, I'm pregnant--not made of glass." He said as he stood up from the couch with a bit of a struggle and made his way over to the kitchen and got himself a bottle of fruit punch flavored Gatorade. Anthony ended up falling asleep in Ray's arms during the movie and Ray ended up falling asleep with his nephew in his arms on the couch.
Since Ray didn't have to work, Frank didn't want to wake him and let him stay at his house, overnight. Gerard was wide awake; he couldn't sleep and the baby wouldn't stop moving around inside of his belly--it kept kicking and it was making Gerard uncomfortable.
"Baby, what's wrong...? You seem off." Frank asked as he sat himself up in their bed and scooted himself closer towards Gerard, wrapping both of his arms around the younger yellow haired boy's waist--his tattooed hands resting on Gerard's pregnant belly. Gerard tensed up at Frank's embrace...quickly nudging him off as he let out soft groans of discomfort from the baby's movements.
"Gee...what's the matter...?"
"You've been acting weird since Ray came by--"
"I said nothing is wrong, Frank." Gerard snapped at him as he stood himself up from their bed and made his way over to the bathroom. He felt sick to his stomach and he got down to his knees on the cold titled bathroom floor, quickly lifting up the toilet lid and seat and coughed out violently as he puked out several times.
"Baby, what's wrong...? Are you okay?" Frank asked him as he made his way into the bathroom--kneeling down to Gerard's level as he placed his hands down against his shoulders...Gerard hurled a few more times, still tensing up to Frank's touch as he pushed his hands away and off of him. He let out a soft groan and winced as he felt the baby kicking him, still.
"Jesus Gee--I'm not going to hurt you..."
"You have before." The words just shot right out of his mouth; like a bullet after being fired from a gun...part of it was because of the hormones. The other part were words he's been wanting to say to Frank for a while.
"...why did you say that?" Frank asked the younger, pregnant, and yellow haired boy with a soft and saddened tone. Gerard flushed the toilet as he closed the toilet seat and lid--standing himself up to rinse his mouth and face.
"Gerard, that was a long time ago...I haven't hurt you, since..."
"So that makes it all okay...?" Gerard stared at Frank from the bathroom mirror in front of him. The older and tattooed man's facial expressions changed; from sad to angry, then from emotional to blank.
"I thought you'd forget about that...I've taken care of you and loved you since then. I helped you throughout your first pregnancy and I'm helping you out with this one, too."
"Forget...? Frank--you looked like a monster out of a horror film. Your eyes were practically black and you were so...monstrous. You hurt me too and I can't unsee you that way." Frank fell completely silent as he stared at Gerard through the mirror...he was frowning, but not because he was angry. He had tears overflowing inside of his eyes as his chest slowly heaved in and out...he was breathing hard and heavily, but he didn't say a word.
"I'm scared you'll do it again...you've been amazing, Frank. Really. But...there are times that I worry you'll...snap. If I say or do the wrong thing; it'll trigger something inside of you and you'll hurt me, again."
"I will never hurt you again for as long as I live, Gee...don't you understand that I love you...? Don't you understand that I love Anthony? You're the father of my children--" Frank then slowly approached him from behind, wrapping both of his arms around the younger boy's waist--placing both of his hands down against his swollen pregnant belly; feeling the baby kick.
"What I did to you was wrong and I'm so sorry--I don't know how many more times I need to apologize for what I did to you but if I have to apologize until the day I die, then so be it. I will never hurt you again and I'll never hurt Anthony. I swore I'd take care of you--the both of you. I just wish you'd trust me..." The hormones were taking over Gerard and he quickly nudged Frank off of him, immediately feeling a sharp pain in his stomach. He let out a loud whimper as he took a sharp inhale in, grabbing a hold of his stomach.
"What's wrong? Is it the baby...?"
"Don't touch me..." Gerard whimpered out as he moved himself away from Frank--his back pressing against the bathroom counter as he stared over at Frank with wide and scared looking eyes.
"How many fucking times do I have to apologize to you...!? I'm fucking sorry Gerard, okay!?" Frank was raising his voice at him now with tears running down his cheeks as his frown grew bigger. Gerard let out another loud whimper as his face turned bright red--his face scrunching up as he let out a loud hiss of discomfort.
"Gee--I think you're going into labor..." Frank said with a worried tone as he walked over to check on him, but Gerard was still on edge and terrified.
"No--it's too soon..." Just then he felt a warm and wet sensation soak through his sweatpants. His water had broke early and Frank sped his car all the way to the same hospital in Maryland where Anthony was born. Gerard was able to deliver their second child safely after what felt like forever with unbearable and burning pain.
Poppy Mae Iero-Way was born around 2am on August 11th, 2015. She was beautiful and healthy; had all ten fingers and toes, and was slightly underweight because she was born premature. She looked a lot like Frank and Gerard could tell just by looking at her little face...it was worth going through all the pain a second time. The most unique feature of baby Poppy was her fiery red hair; she was kissed by fire--a natural born redhead.
"She's perfect, Gee." Frank spoke softly to Gerard as he examined their newborn daughter sleeping in his arms--wrapped up comfortably in her hospital baby blanket, wearing her little newborn beanie. Gerard was a little drugged and exhausted since he underwent a cesarean section, again.
"She's the splitting image of you, Frankie." He said as he smiled over at Frank. His voice was soft and his tone was gentle. The older and tattooed man then leaned forward and kissed his young boyfriend's forehead, softly.
"Daddy Frank, can I see the baby?" Anthony asked him as he tugged on Frank's shirt. Frank chuckled as he picked him up and sat him down on his lap. Anthony looked down at his new baby sister and stared at her in complete awe without saying a word.
"What do you think, buddy?" Frank asked Anthony. Anthony then smiled, and it was the happiest they'd both have ever seen him.
"She's cute, daddy Frank!" Anthony said as he smiled down at her--occasionally giving her little kisses on her little forehead.
"Inside voice--you'll wake Poppy."
"Good job, daddy. Good push." Anthony said to Gerard as he gave him a thumbs up before he crawled over towards him and gave me a kiss on his lips.
He couldn't help but giggle at his sweet comment and he hugged him with his free arm, kissing the top of his head.
"Do you love her?" Frank asked his toddler son.
"Yeah, she's so tiny and really cute. I love her, lots." Anthony whispered softly; using his inside voice, being generous towards his sister. He leaned forward to place more small and sweet kiss against Poppy's forehead, making both Frank and Gerard smile.
"You did really good, beautiful. Really, really good." Frank smiled over at Gerard again as he gently caressed his soft, warm, and rosy cheek. The younger yellow haired boy smiled back at his older and tattooed lover...he then thought about all the times his parents talked about wanting to someday become grandparents. They always bugged him more about it than Mikey--considering he was the older one, they told him to give them lots of grand babies to spoil and love.
They have two grandkids that they don't even know exist. Gerard felt his heart sink...but, he didn't want to upset Frank for a second time. But the words just came out...he couldn't help it.
"I wish my parents could meet both Anthony and Poppy..." Gerard watched the smile on Frank's face fade into a small frown as he looked down. He didn't say anything, but he knew he felt guilty.
"No, don't be. I'm sorry your family doesn't know about Anthony and Poppy..."
"I just want them to know that they're grandparents."
"What are grandparents, daddy?" Anthony asked Gerard, tilting his head to one side while looking at him with a look of pure confusion and curiosity in his eyes.
"Grandparents are the parents of their children. I have a mommy and a daddy--my parents are your grandma and your grandpa." Anthony blinked and scratched the top of his head; playing with long dark strands of his own hair while trying to figure it out.
"Buddy, a grandma and a grandpa are so important in your life. They're like parents but they spoil you more and feed you until you burst." Frank explained to their now three year old.
"So...daddy has a mommy and a daddy?"
"Mhmm, like how you have two daddies."
"And...they're my grandma and grandpa?" Frank nodded his head in response as he smiled at Anthony.
"Do you have a mommy and a daddy, too?" Anthony asked Frank. Frank was quiet for a moment...he looked unsure about what to say. Instead, he just nodded his head in response.
"My dad--your other grandpa...he's in heaven. But, you still have another grandma." Gerard didn't know anything about Frank's parents. He never asked. In fact, he didn't know a thing about his family...he didn't even know if he had any siblings or not. He felt bad just learning that his dad passed away.
"Your daddy--my grandpa, is in heaven...?" Anthony asked Frank with a sad and soft tone. Frank slowly nodded his head in response.
Gerard wanted to ask Frank about his parents...about his family. But, judging from the look in his eyes, he know he shouldn't. He took his mind off the whole conversation as he carefully handed the baby to him. The look of sadness bloomed into pure joy as he held Poppy in his arms; slowly and gently rocking her while leaning down to kiss her soft forehead...Frank has good in him--Gerard knew that. Despite his flaws; the few bad memories of him...he knew he was good. He's not perfect, but nobody is--hell, Gerard knew he wasn't. Frank is a good person. He knows that now.
Just then, Ray entered the room--he stepped out for a bit to buy some flowers, a bunch of 'It's A Girl" Pink balloons, and even a stuffed pink teddy bear for his newborn niece.
"Aww Toro, you didn't have to go through all the trouble to buy Poppy gifts--she isn't even a day old, yet."
"I know, but I'm just so happy to see my little niece and I'm gonna spoil her just like I spoil my nephew." Ray's voice was higher and squeaker than usual--he couldn't stop smiling as he placed the balloons and vase of flowers down on the counter.
"Uncle Ray--come see my baby sister!" Anthony bounced around in pure excitement and joy on the hospital bed.
"Buddy--relax, you'll wake up Poppy."
"Sorry, daddy Frank..." Anthony apologized softly as he used his inside voice and stopped bouncing around as much.
"It's okay buddy, just keep using your inside voice, okay?" Anthony nodded his head in response. Ray made his way over to the hospital bed, staring down at baby Poppy, who was sleeping peacefully in Frank's arms.
"God, she's so beautiful! She looks just like you, Iero."
"I can't believe she was born premature...but, she seems to be perfectly fine." Gerard said as he slowly reached his hand out to lightly touch baby Poppy's soft and rosy cheek. He couldn't help but feel worried for her...her birth was early, but he was overjoyed that she was there, now.
"She's perfectly healthy, Gee. Just early by 2 months."
"I wanna hold my niece--let me see her...?" Ray asked as he already held his arms out. Frank chuckled softly as he then stood up from the bed and carefully handed Poppy over to Ray. Ray smiled down at his newborn niece while gently rocking her in his arms.
"She is beautiful, Iero. Arthur, you did amazing and I'm glad I got to be here for your daughter's birth."
"We were happy to have you here for the birth of Poppy." Gerard smiled over at Ray as Anthony crawled over to him, snuggling up against him.
"I'm a big brother now, daddy."
"Yes you are, sweetheart. You have a baby sister now, and you're going to be the best big brother, ever." Anthony smiled up at Gerard, then he looked over at Frank and smiled over at him.
"Daddy Frank, I'm a big brother now!"
"I know buddy! Are you happy to have a baby sister?"
"Yeah! I'm gonna love her and take good care of her!"
"You'll be an amazing big brother, Anthony. I can't wait to take care of the both of you." Ray smiled over at him as he continued rocking Poppy in his arms.
"Toro, have you seen her hair? She's a redhead."
"What? No way!" Frank then carefully removed baby Poppy's baby beanie off of her head--revealing her head full of soft and bright red hair. Ray's eyes widened as he examined his niece's hair.
"Whoa--where did she get red hair from?"
"My mom is a natural redhead, but she dyes it blonde." Gerard explained, immediately thinking of his mom...making him feel sad, again. He wondered how his mom would feel that his daughter is a natural redhead, just like her.
"Where'd you come up with her name?" Ray asked Gerard as he softly stroked Poppy's soft red hair with his fingertips before Frank carefully put the baby beanie back over her head.
"Poppy flowers are red and when our daughter was born--the first thing we noticed was her hair. How bright and red it was. So, we came up with Poppy. As for Mae? Arthur thought it was a pretty name and that it went well with Poppy."
"It's a beautiful name for a beautiful little girl. She's going to be a little heartbreaker, just like Anthony." Anthony blushed, giggling softly as he buried his face in Gerard's chest.
After some time, it was just Frank and Gerard alone. Ray took Anthony back home so they get some rest. A nurse took baby Poppy back to the nursery along with the other babies.
"Gee?" Frank softly called out Gerard's name as his hazel eyes were staring at him. He stared back, responding with his bright green eyes.
"...maybe when Poppy is a little older...you can see your family, again. So they'll know you're alright and so they could meet Anthony and Poppy..." The younger boy's heart raced with excitement and he couldn't help but smile...he tried to be nonchalant about it, but he'd be lying if he acted like his words just didn't excite him.
"They could meet you, too."
"Ha, oh yeah...I'm sure they'll be thrilled about meeting me." Frank said with an obvious sarcastic tone.
"You never know, Frank." He gave me an awkward half smile as he shrugged his shoulders. Frank then ran his hand through his slightly shaggy and fully dyed black hair. There was a long and awkward moment of silence between them...Gerard then broke the silence.
"...Frank, I'm sorry..."
"Saying those awful things to you back home...I was really cold towards you and I made you upset...I never meant to cause you sorrow or pain."
"It's okay--I know you didn't mean what you said..." Frank responded, shrugging his shoulders once more.
"No it isn't, Frank. I'm so sorry..." Frank scooted himself closer towards Gerard on the hospital bed. He grabbed a hold of his hand in his; squeezing onto it lightly.
"It's okay. Just know I meant it when I said I'd never hurt you again, okay...? I love you and all I want to do is take care of you. Take care of our son and our daughter."
"I know, Frankie. I love you, too." Frank then leaned his face forward and lightly pressed his lips against Gerard's; kissing him sweetly and softly. Gerard didn't hesitate to kiss him back.
"You trust me, right...?" His green eyes looking his hazel eyes, and their foreheads resting against one another's.
"Of course I do, Frank."
"Then trust me when I say that I'll take you and the kids to meet your family when they're a little older...okay?" Gerard nodded his head slowly in response before kissing Frank, again.
"I swear it on my life." Frank was telling the honest truth. The only thing he had to think of was how he'd make it possible...how he'd keep his word to Gerard. He was aware of the consequences he'd be facing if he went through with his promise...but Frank was willing to do anything to make Gerard happy. Even if that meant sacrificing his own freedom.
Chapter 11: Brother
"Wake up, daddy Frank! Uncle Ray is here!" Anthony exclaimed excitedly as he bounced on Frank, waking him up--but not fully.
"Up, daddy Frank!" Poppy, who was now 3, copied her older brother by gently patting his cheek, making his sleepy eyes twitch as he groaned out softly while sitting himself up.
"Okay, okay, I'm up..." Frank's voice was groggy and deep as he tried waking himself up. So much for a ten minute nap--he completely lost track of time that he forgot Ray was coming over, today.
"Come on, daddy Frank--" Poppy looked up at him with her big green eyes; she has Gerard's eyes, but has Frank's face. She's like his little clone. Both kids dragged him out of his bedroom and into the living room, where Ray was already sitting on the couch with Gerard--making small talk.
"Hey there, sleeping beauty." Ray greeted his best friend with his goofy grin on his face, and Frank rolled his tired eyes at him as he yawned and tried to wake himself up, more.
"Uncle Ray!" Poppy ran over to Ray, jumping onto his lap while squeezing into him. Ray loved the kids and the kids always wanted to play with him when he arrived until he left. Especially Poppy--she loved Ray.
"Hi, uncle Ray!" Anthony embraced him with a hug and played around with his big poofy hair--he loved his hair and he was always messing with it. Frank made his way over to the couch and plopped himself down in between Ray and Gerard.
"Hey." Gerard greeted his older, tattooed, and hazel eyed lover with his beautiful smile; showing off his slightly imperfect and jagged teeth. Frank leaned forward and kissed his cheek. Gerard giggled out softly and pulled Frank into his arms--embracing him with a warm hug...Frank gently ran his tattooed fingers through Gerard's hair, which was a little different now. It was still short, but instead of a bright lemon yellow shade, it was now a silver blonde color. Even his glasses were different--more old fashioned and more classier looking.
"What's up?" Frank asked Ray, yawning again while rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.
"Dude, you told me to come by and we'd have a game night. I brought games--digital and board games." Ray chuckled, bringing the memory back into Frank's head.
"Did you bring Uno, uncle Ray?" Anthony asked him as he searched inside his backpack; pulling out several board games and PS4 games.
"Of course, dude." Ray responded as he pulled out his card deck of Uno. Anthony's big hazel eyes widened with excitement as he tried to snatch the game out of Ray's hands.
"Hey, hey--be nice." Gerard said to Anthony, making Poppy say 'oooh' at him. She then covered her little face with both hands, giggling a soft mischievous giggle...she definitely had Frank's personality.
"Its alright, Art--kid loves Uno, right little dude?" Ray asked his 5 year old nephew as he playfully ruffled his slightly shaggy brown hair with his left hand, messing it up a bit.
"Yeah! Let's play!" Anthony exclaimed in excitement--bouncing on Ray's lap as he raised the Uno cards up above his head, smiling the same smile Gerard has.
"I'll order pizza." Frank said as he reached for his cell resting inside of his denim jeans.
"Yaaay! I love pizza, daddy Frank!" Poppy bounced around in excitement on Ray's lap along with Anthony, smiling Frank's identical smile on her sweet little face while playing with her long, red, and braided pigtails.
"Get pepperoni, daddy Frank!" Anthony demanded as Frank was dialing the number to pizza hut.
"You kiddos wanna play a round of Uno while we wait for pizza?" Both kids squealed out in excitement as they made their way over to the dining table--already claiming their seats as they waited for Ray.
"I'll find a movie for all of us to watch after they're finished playing." Gerard said as he turned on the TV and began channel surfing...just then he stopped once he landed on the news.
His photo was right on the TV screen with the caption 'MISSING' below it. Ray was too busy with the kids to even see or hear the TV; too much giggling and loud talking with the occasional yelling...both Frank's and Gerard's heart raced as Frank then looked over at Gerard. His eyes were completely glued to the bright screen--staring at his own photo.
"Five years ago on this day, Gerard Arthur Way disappeared without a trace. He was only seventeen at the time of his disappearance. His family and friends haven't lost hope as they continue to search for him; hoping they'll bring him back home, safely." The TV volume wasn't too loud, but it was loud enough for both Gerard and Frank to hear...he gazed over at Ray, who was still busy interacting with the kids.
"Police are unaware of Gerard's whereabouts and Michael James Way--the younger sibling of Gerard, has issued a statement on his brother's vanishing." Just then, it played footage of a young and skinny looking kid who wore glasses and looked both hopeful and helpless. The younger and silver haired boy let out a soft gasp, along with a gentle whimper as he covered his mouth with his right hand.
"Cops are slowly giving up on looking for Gerard, but I'm not. He's not only my brother, but also my best friend...I love him dearly and I miss him so much. Some people are saying he's dead, but I know that isn't true. I know he's alive. Gerard...if you're out there, I hope you're getting this. I miss you so much; mom and dad miss you, too. We haven't given up on you...if you're out there, please come home. Please." A single tear spilled down Gerard's cheek...he didn't say a word. Frank quickly turned off the TV shortly, afterwards. He tried to hold Gerard's hand, but he quickly pulled his hand away while looking the opposite direction of Frank...he sniffled softly and quickly wiped away his tears.
"Hey, you guys order the pizza yet? Your gremlins are already getting hungry and impatient."
"We're not gremlins, you're Bigfoot!" Anthony said to Ray, making himself and Poppy laugh loudly.
"...uhh...yeah, i-in a minute..." Frank stuttered over his own words as he then grabbed Gerard by his hand and took him outside the front of my house to try and talk to him. To try and calm him down.
"Gee--I know you're upset..."
"That was Mikey...oh, God--Mikey...my little brother...he's gotten so big since the last time I saw him. I miss him...he hasn't given up on me..." Gerard was smiling, but he was sobbing at the same time.
His green eyes were red and puffy and the tip of his nose was red as his body trembled...I placed both my hands down against his shoulders and I gently shushed him, trying to call him down.
"Baby, I know...I know..."
"...I want my mom, Frank. And my dad, and Mikey...I want to see them, again."
"I promised you would and I mean it."
"And when is that, Frank? When can I see them, again...?" He asked him as he removed his fake glasses; wiping away the salty tears that continuously escaped his eyes and spilled down his soaked rosy cheeks.
"Gee, I don't know..." That part was true. Frank had no idea or estimated time or day...he's honestly been dreading the day it happens because he'd know what would happen to him.
"You made me that promise when Poppy was born--she's 3 years old now, and Anthony is 5. How much longer, Frank...? When he's 8 and she's 6? When he's eleven and she's 9?" Gerard was becoming hysterical now as he wept even harder than before...his breathing was hard, heavy, and unsteady; he was practically hyperventilating.
"Gee--lower your voice..." Frank said as he grabbed a hold of his hands--again--softly shushing him as he helped him wipe away his tears. Once again, Gerard pulled himself away from Frank.
"What's the matter, Frankie...? Afraid I'll try and run...? Scared I'll try to escape, again?" His heart sunk at Gerard's bitter and harsh words. They stung him like shards of broken glass.
"I love you. I love our kids. You will see your family again, I just don't know when...trust me." Gerard scoffed softly under his breath as he bit down on his bottom lip, still sobbing softly.
"Trust you...?" He asked him, smiling. Actually smiling, though it wasn't a happy smile...Gerard looked like he had somewhat lost it.
"Yes. Trust me." Gerard sniffled again as he wiped his tear soaked face. He then nodded his head as he placed his fake glasses on his face; shielding his green eyes, slightly. His twisted smile softened; looking more genuine and sweet now. Gerard leaned forward to kiss Frank...he could taste his salty tears on his lips.
"You're right. I'm sorry, Frank. Of course I trust you." He smiled again. Frank couldn't tell if he was being serious or not...he honestly didn't know what else to say.
Chapter 12: Abuse
Even though it happened years ago, Frank still remembers it clearly--as if it happened only yesterday. He didn't have a happy childhood...his childhood was full of fights, punches, kicks, bruises, and every other form of abuse that wasn't just physical.
His mom was always a loving and protective woman, as she still is.
His dad...his dad was like bully; cold, harsh, bitter, and just so hateful towards his own wife and only child. If it wasn't him poking fun at Frank for not being very good in sports considering he wasn't even interested in it, it was him smacking Frank upside his head for looking at him funny.
For Frank talking back.
For Frank crying whenever he hurt himself accidentally and his mother coddled him...he hated that, especially.
"You're gonna turn our boy into a fucking girl if you keep babying him." He snapped at his wife as she examined the fresh and bloody cut on Frank's little hand. Frank was crying softly; tears spilling down his face, his big hazel eyes were red and puffy...he was helping his mom chop vegetables for the stu she was preparing for dinner that night.
"Honey, he's hurt..."
"It ain't even that fucking bad--little blood scare you, boy?" His dad smacked his huge and rough skinned hand against Frank's soft and tear soaked cheek, making Frank weep even more.
"Stop it." His mother defended her son as she looked over at her husband with anger and disgust in her eyes.
"How about you teach him to be a man and quit crying over a fucking scratch? He's gonna grow up to be a faggot--just you watch." His dad mumbled under his breath as he left the kitchen and made his way over towards the living to be a lazy slug on the couch.
"Are you alright, Frankie...?" Her voice was soft and her tone was sweet as she smiled at her little boy. He sniffled softly while slowly shaking his head no.
"Does it still hurt?" Frank nodded his head in response.
"Its okay to cry when you're hurt, baby...its natural."
"...b-but...d-daddy hates c-crybabies..." Frank stuttered over his own words as the pain in his hand still stung and burned.
"Daddy is a crybaby, too. In fact, just the other day--daddy stubbed his toe against the coffee table and he screamed so loudly that when I went to check on him, he was crying like a fussy baby." She spoke so softly, only loud enough for herself and Frank to hear. Frank giggled softly; turning his frown upside down, which made his mom smile.
"Boys cry too, Frankie. Everyone does." She slowly ran her hand through Frank's soft and dark hair as she leaned forward and placed a kiss against his forehead.
"I love you, mommy."
"And I love you, my sweet boy." Frank's smile grew bigger as his mom helped him wipe away his tears. She helped him clean the blood off his cut, disinfected it, and kissed it softly before covering it with a bandaid.
"It still hurts, mommy..."
"Try squeezing my hand. Squeeze it as hard as you can." Frank wrapped his little hand around his mother's soft and warm hand--lightly squeezing onto it with all of his strength. He grunted softly as his little face turned bright red...his mom chuckled softly as she watched her young boy use all of his strength as he continued squeezing onto her hand in his.
"Does it still hurt?" Frank opened his eyes; staring into his mom's eyes...he then looked down at his bandaged hand and realized the pain was gone.
"It doesn't hurt anymore!" He said with a smile on his face, jumping up and down in pure joy.
"See? If you focus on something else when you're hurting, the pain goes away; like that scary monster hiding in your closet--all that's in there are your clothes. He's not real, and he always goes away." She always knew how to explain things to Frank so he could fully understand her. She always knew how to make things better.
"What are you doing?" His dad came barging into Frank's bedroom, catching him strumming away at his little toy guitar.
"...I-I'm playing..." His dad mocked his stuttering.
"Quit making all that fucking noise, my head hurts."
"...but...I wasn't playing that loud..." His dad gave him that look--the look that made Frank freeze with fear.
"What did you say, boy?"
"...n-nothing..." Frank said as he lowered his head--tightening his grip around the handle of his toy guitar.
"Boy, don't you lie to me. I hate liars."
"...you hate everything..." Frank mumbled, immediately regretting what he said. His dad slapped him upside his head at full speed and Frank fell out of his bed; landing on the ground--his toy guitar making a loud 'bang' sound against the floor. His dad then grabbed a hold of his toy guitar and he snapped it in half with his leg before tossing it at Frank.
"That's what you get for giving me attitude. Maybe now you'll think before opening your fucking mouth, you little brat." Frank sobbed softly as he curled himself up into a fetal position on the floor.
"Yeah, that's right--cry, boy. Fucking cry, cry, cry--that's all you ever fucking do. Man up and take a beating." His dad then grabbed Frank by his shirt and he yanked him back onto his feet, facing him and slapping his cheek for crying.
"Knock it off or I'll give you something to cry about." Frank sniffled softly as he wiped away his own tears...the back of his head stung and now his cheek did, too.
"You're not going to have your mommy to protect you all the time, Frank. You need to be tough and learn to defend yourself; you're a sensitive little pussy because of your mother. You may as well be a girl--you act enough like one, playing with toys and singing like a little fairy." His dad insulted him; bullied him; did everything he could to belittle Frank.
"...if you'd let me play outside then I wouldn't make so much noise and bother you."
"I...I want to play...outside." His dad scoffed loudly and he then shoved Frank; his back hitting the wall.
"Hit me--one real good hit, and I'll let you go outside."
"...w-what...?" His dad slapped him across his face, again.
"I didn't fucking stutter, boy. Hit me, hard, and I'll let you play outside."
"...no..." Frank said softly as he shook his head no. His dad shoved him again--trying to get a reaction out of him.
"Quit being a pussy and hit me!" His dad yelled at his son, continuously shoving him.
"I won't hurt you, daddy..." His dad mocked him again--occasionally smacking Frank on his head and the sides of his face while still shoving him.
"Be a fucking man, Frank! Come on--get mad, get tough and hit me!"
"NO!" Frank screamed out as loud as he could. His dad threw a hard punch against Frank's stomach--making his son gasp out for air loudly as he dropped to his knees...he coughed and gagged loudly as he sealed his eyes shut; feeling an overwhelming amount of pain growing from his belly.
"Get up--" His dad roughly grabbed Frank by his hair and made him yell out in pain as he pulled him back onto his feet.
"Two more chances--hit me." Frank was crying again as he held himself, wincing at the unbearable pain in his gut.
"Goddamn it boy, fucking hit me!" Frank shook his head no as he let out loud whimpers as more tears ran down his face.
"HIT ME, YOU FAGGOT!" His dad hollered at Frank; his voice sounding demonic and evil...he sounded almost inhuman. Frank then threw a punch at his dad--a decent blow against his dad's gut.
"Good--hit me, again, harder." Frank suddenly felt anger building up inside of him. He didn't hesitate the second time as he threw another hard punch at his dad; a hard blow landing against his dad's lower regions, this time. Frank let out loud and angry grunts as he began to repeatedly hit his dad at full speed, over and over.
"That's right boy, fucking get mad and hit me!" His dad was smiling, looking completely insane. He wasn't even fazed by his son's punches.
"I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!" Frank kept saying as he continued punching his dad.
"And I hate you too, you little shit!"
"I HATE YOUR GUTS!" Frank screamed at his dad before his dad knocked him down with a hard backhand across his face. Frank's vision blurred and he immediately tasted blood in the back of his throat...everything around him was all fuzzy and distorted sounding as his dad made his way out of his bedroom; closing the door behind him. Frank was kept locked in his room for over a week after that day.
That was Frank's childhood. Being pushed and kicked around...he thought it was normal. He thought every family was like that. But when he met Ray Toro; a kindhearted and wholesome boy who lived in the same neighborhood as Frank and attended the same school...Frank realized that his home environment wasn't normal. Not in the slightest. Ray was always so nice to Frank...he'd tell him jokes, let him use his crayons for coloring time--he even shared his food with him during lunch. They always played together during recess and Ray would always walk home with Frank.
In a way, Frank was jealous of Ray. He'd never admit it, of course. Ray was privileged; had loving and caring parents, he got to play outside, and he got to be himself...why did Frank get any of those luxuries? Why did his own father hate him so much?
Frank hummed softly to himself to the music playing on his mom's vinyl record player to a David Bowie song while he colored a drawing he just finished. He had several completed drawings scattered all throughout the dining table--all in color, too. His mom was making dinner in the kitchen as she sang along to the music with Frank.
His dad came barging in through the front door; the loud bang of the doorknob slamming against the drywall--most likely putting a hole in it, startled both Frank and his mom...but they said nothing as they continued doing what they were doing. His dad stomped his way towards Frank...he smelled of booze and cigarettes; his breathing was hard and heavy...Frank ignored him, but he was terrified.
"Enjoy coloring your gay little drawings cause imma stick 'round full time, now."
"You lost your job...?" His mom asked him, feeling worried about how they'd pay bills and take care of Frank.
"Laid off--sons a bitches..." Frank didn't dare look up and face his dad. He knew better.
"Your artwork is shitty--so goddamn fruity--" He snatched the drawing Frank was still in the process of coloring.
"Leave him, alone." His mom calmly told her drunken husband.
"Why you always coloring rainbows? I knew it--you're a little faggot..." His dad cackled at Frank as he then crumpled up his drawing into a tight ball and tossed it over his shoulder. He then proceeded by grabbing a handful of the drawings Frank made and began to tear them to shreds...Frank just remained silent as he picked up another blank white paper and began a new drawing. Art was another form of an escape from reality; he loved creating a new world, a world that was happy and full of sunshine and rainbows. Art and music were always Frank's escape.
His new drawing was of an angry and scary fire breathing dragon--representing his dad, and a sad looking boy trapped in a tall tower that was being guarded by the dragon. He was the sad boy in his drawing.
"God--you're a fucking disappointment, Frank. You're a pansy and a little fucking fruit loop--"
"I said to leave him alone!" His mom yelled at him from the kitchen.
"Don't you talk back to me, you bitch!" His dad stormed his way to the kitchen, grabbed his wife and roughly tossed her to the ground as he began to kick her, repeatedly. Her screams echoed all throughout the house and Frank continued drawing as he drowned out the horrible sounds coming from his mother...after he was done beating her, Frank's dad came storming back at him. He grabbed Frank by his hair and roughly yanked him out of his seat while throwing him to the floor as he proceeded by taking off his belt...Frank jolted himself back up and grabbed a hold of his dad's hand; sinking his teeth into his flesh, hard. His dad let out a loud and ringing shriek as he Frank broke skin and tasted his father's blood on his tongue as he bit harder and deeper.
His dad shoved him off and punched Frank in his face. When Frank fell to the floor, his dad began to kick him and throw more hard blows against his son's tiny and fragile body...Frank blacked out from his dad's beating and when he awoke--unsure of how much time had passed, he was locked in his bedroom, again. This time, Frank was locked away for a month.
Most children hated school; even saying the world itself made a child groan. Not for Frank. He loved going to school because it was an escape for him...an escape from his own personal hell. He was a bit of a loner though; he sat all by himself in the back of the school bus, he sat all the way in the back of his classroom, and he even sat by himself in the school cafeteria...the worst for Frank was when he didn't have any lunch because not only was he hungry, but other kids would gaze over at him--whispering, giggling, and even pointing their little fingers over at him. Frank was the outcast...quiet as a mouse, kept to himself, and was always covered in new injuries; from a simple bandaid covering a minor cut to a full arm/leg cast from a broken bone.
Frank was used to being alone. That all changed though when a kindhearted curly haired boy sat next to him on the school bus one morning.
"Hi, is it okay if I sit with you?" Frank's enormous hazel eyes drifted from the window beside him over to the small and unfamiliar child standing in front of him.
"...you want to sit with me...?" Frank asked him as he examined a fair amount of empty bus seats in front of him. The curly haired boy giggled softly while nodding his head in response.
"Why wouldn't I?" He asked Frank, shrugging his shoulders and raising his hands along with the shrug.
"...there's more seats up front...plus, nobody likes to sit with me." Frank responded with a soft and sad tone, looking away from the friendly curly haired kid--his eyes staring back out the bus window.
Frank was surprised once the random kid sat down next to him without hesitation.
"I want to sit with you because you always sit alone and you always look so sad. Plus, I like sitting in the back, anyway." Frank remained quiet as he stared into the curly haired boy's rich brown eyes; they were a fine and dark mocha shade and they looked the color honey when the sunlight touched them.
"I'm Raymond Toro, but everyone calls me Ray." He introduced himself, holding out his little hand to Frank. He looked down at his hand for a brief moment...his heart racing as he slowly lifted up his head and returned his gaze over at Ray, who sat patiently next to him--still holding his hand out to him.
"You're supposed to shake it, silly." Ray giggled softly, again. His voice was squeaky and high pitched, but gentle. His smile was sweet and genuine...Frank didn't feel intimidated or anxious. He slowly reached his hand out to Ray; gently grabbing a hold of his hand in his--they finally exchanged hand shakes.
"Nice to meet you." Frank spoke softly, managing to give Ray a small half-smile.
"What's your name?"
"...Frank." His soft voice cracked slightly, and he cleared his throat--feeling a bit awkward and uncomfortable. He wasn't used to introducing himself to people...in fact, Frank wasn't used to meeting new people.
"Do you just go by Frank?" Ray asked him, smiling his warm and friendly smile over at Frank again, letting out another soft giggle.
"Nice to meet you too, Frank Iero." Ray was very friendly towards him; aside from his mom, Ray was the second nicest person he's ever met. So far, at least.
They talked during the bus ride--making each other laugh as they exchanged jokes and stories about one another.
"How old are you, Frank?" Ray asked him as he unzipped his back pack that was resting on his lap, reaching his arm inside as he began rummaging around for something.
"6. Almost 7."
"I'm 7--but we're close in age." Ray then pulled out a small packing of pop tarts, immediately catching Frank's full attention; his stomach rumbled and he hasn't eaten anything for nearly 3 days...his mom tried bringing him food, but his dad kept stopping her from feeding him.
"Do you like pop tarts?" Ray asked Frank as he waved them around in the air, Frank's eyes following them.
"They're strawberry flavor."
"Strawberry is my favorite..." Ray then tore the aluminum package open, pulled out a full pop tart, and handed it to Frank. The starving 6 year old and hazel eyed boy didn't hesitate to devour the strawberry flavored pop tart in a single swallow...didn't even bother chewing the huge pieces he bit into and Ray's mocha colored eyes widened with full surprise. Even his mouth dropped open as he watched Frank eat.
"Wow, you're really hungry..." Frank didn't respond as he continued devouring the pop tart--even picking off the small crumbs that sprinkled on his lap.
"Hope you packed a big lunch--you eat like you have 2 stomachs."
"...I...didn't bring lunch..." Frank mumbled under his breath, shooting a quick gaze over at Ray again before breaking eye contact, again.
"Where do you sit at lunch?"
'...I sit outside, by myself."
"I'll sit with you, if you'd like. I'll share my lunch with you."
"No, that's okay. You don't have to..."
"I know, but I want to." Ray smiled at Frank, making him blush as he bit down on his bottom lip while fumbling around with his fingers.
Ray noticed some dark bruising around Frank's tiny and thin wrist...he also noticed some bruising on the right side of Frank's face. It was more lighter than the one on his wrist, and it looked like it was healing.
"...what happened to you?" He asked him as he pointed his index finger at Frank's bruised cheek.
"Nothing--fell off my bike..." Frank lied as he turned his head away.
"And what about that?" Ray pointed his finger at Frank's bruised wrist; the younger hazel eyed boy immediately hid it with his long sleeve.
"Nothing..." He lied, again. Ray took the hint and stopped asking questions as he saw that they were upsetting Frank. Throughout the rest of the bus ride to school, Frank was quiet, and Ray kept trying to make small talk with him. Turns out they were in the same grade, but had different teachers.
"Frank? I'm sorry if I made you mad or sad..." He apologized to him as they sat together outside of the school for lunch. Ray gave Frank the other half of his peanut butter and jelly sandwich and he even split his rice krispy treat with him.
"You didn't." Frank responded with a mouthful of food.
"Does it hurt...?"
"Not so much, anymore."
"Are you okay...?" Frank gazed over at Ray, practically swallowing the rice krispy treat. He lied once more by slowly nodding his head in response.
"...fell off my bike." Somehow, Ray didn't believe him, but he just responded by giving him a smile and nodding his head in response.
"Can I sit with you outside from now on?"
"...why...?" Ray then wrapped his arm around Frank's shoulder--making the slightly younger boy tense up at his sudden touch...but they stared into one another's eyes.
"Because I wanna be your friend. You look like you need a friend." Ray said with a smile on his face--his mocha colored eyes now a honey shade. Frank felt his eyes tear up a bit at Ray's kindness towards him...he didn't have any friends, really. Ray was like an answered prayer; an angel sent down from heaven to protect Frank...to simply befriend him.
They sat in the back together on the school bus again while making their way home, and they continued making each other laugh while talking about whatever they could think of. They walked the same route together once they were off the bus--that was when they discovered that they lived in the same neighborhood, at least several houses away from one another. At some point they had to cross the street, and Ray grabbed a hold of Frank's smaller hand in his; keeping him close against him as they crossed, together.
Frank's dad was waiting for him outside of the house...he was already on his 4th beer and of course, in a bad mood. His mom wasn't home...she was working now, since his dad lost his job and is now unemployed. He noticed Ray holding Frank's hand and immediately felt his blood boiling in his veins as he took another long swig off his cold beer.
"Thank you for sitting me with and for sharing your food with me, today."
"No need to thank me, that's what friends are for." Frank actually smiled a real smile at Ray, and they exchanged hugs before going their separate ways.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Frank!" Ray said as he waved his hand over at him. Frank waved back and frozen for a moment when he saw his dad waiting for him. He kept his head down as he gripped onto the handles of his backpack.
"Whowastha...?" His dad slurred at him and Frank didn't understand him.
"Boy--answer me." He barked at his young son, making him jump at the tone and volume of his voice. When Frank didn't do as he was told, his dad roughly grabbed him by his bruised wrist, making him whine out loudly as he was yanked towards him.
"Doas--I say! Whowastha!?" His breath smelled of beer and he smelled of sweat. Frank sniffled loudly as his eyes were overflowing with tears. His dad checked to see if anyone was outside...when he saw that the coast was clear, he slapped Frank across his little face so hard that the slap echoed down the driveway and he dragged him by his injured wrist inside the house.
Blood was gushing out of Frank's mouth as hot and salty tears spilled down his cheeks...then came another hard and stinging slap across his face in the same spot, nearly blacking him out.
"WHOWASTHA!?" His dad howled at him--his loud and rage filled voice echoed all throughout the house. Frank was frozen with fear as he wept loudly...his dad growled out of pure anger as he roughly squeezed down on Frank's bruised wrist, making him yell out in discomfort and pain...he was then thrown against the floor.
"ANSWER ME, BOY!"
"RAY! His n-name i-is Ray...h-he's my new f-friend..."
"Friend...? Whywas Ray holdin' your hand...?" Frank stared up at his dad with fear in his big and wide hazel eyes, too afraid to say anymore. That's when his father kicked him right in the face, blacking him out completely.
"Frankie...baby, wake up...wake up..." His mom was weeping softly as she held her young unconscious son in her arms, close against her chest as she shook him lightly. His little face was all swollen and bloody; his left eye was blackened, his nose and mouth had dried up blood resting on his skin...she kept calling out his name while trying to wake him, but he wouldn't budge.
"Please sweet boy, open your beautiful eyes and look at me...you're okay, baby, I know you are..." She gazed over at her husband, who sat still and motionless in his usual seat in front of the TV--passed out from both the drinking and the beating. She hated him...she hated how he treated their only son. She wanted to kill him...she thought about ending all their pain and suffering. She snapped back into reality when Frank let out a soft and faint gasp, then a light whimper following afterwards.
"...m-mommy..." Frank called out to her, his bloody face twisting into a frown as he began to sob out softly; his little body trembling in his mother's arms as she shushed him and held her only child even closer against her. Placing soft and soothing kisses on the top of his head while rocking him, she assured Frank that he was okay now...that everything was okay, now.
"I'm here, my sweet boy. Mommy's here..." Frank continued sobbing softly in her arms as she comforted her frightened and injured little boy. It was like every other night at home for Frank--getting brutally beaten and bullied by his own father, and shielded by his mother's love and nurture. They weren't sure how long the chaos would last, but Frank wanted it to end.
He needed to become brave, and become strong for himself. For his mom. So that they could be free...otherwise, his own father would kill them, both.
Chapter 13: Guilt
Frank felt off the entire day...he was over thinking too much about too many things. He felt an overwhelming feeling of guilt; building up inside of his gut...eating him alive like a hungry predator. Frank's head was pounding and he felt like he was going to be sick...his heart was racing rapidly inside of his chest as he drove in his car in complete silence. He thought about Gerard back at home with Anthony and Poppy; wondered what they were all doing...missing them all like crazy.
Out of nowhere...Frank began to cry. He let out a soft whimper, and he sighed softly as he felt hot tears escape his eyes; spilling down his cheeks as he felt cold shivers running down his spine and causing goosebumps to appear all throughout his tattooed skin.
Frank cried softly at first as he was drowning in his thoughts...his tears were continuously running down his face as his soft crying turned into loud sobbing. He thought about what he's done to Gerard; all the terrible things he did to him...Frank felt incredibly guilty for what he's done to him.
He kidnapped a young kid; stole him from his family; stole his freedom...Frank stole Gerard's life. Frank took him, and he raped him--stole his innocence, his virginity...he impregnated him when he was only seventeen years old. Frank stole Gerard's fucking youth.
He was sobbing hysterically now while still driving in silence...muttering to himself; swearing, hitting his hands against the steering wheel...then threw his fists against the steering wheel--making the car horn go off several times as he began to grunt out loudly, making the car swerve until he stepped on the breaks, making the car come to a screeching halt.
"...fuck...fuck, fuck...FUCK!" Frank screamed out to the top of his lungs as he slammed his head against the steering wheel repeatedly.
"FUCKING FUCK! SHIT!" He sobbed loudly as he let the guilt consume me, completely. Frank fucked up. He fucked up so badly...he became a monster, just like his dad. Frank hurt someone, and he was keeping them as his prisoner...locked up in a house. He stopped once his head was pounding and throbbing in pain. He felt blood running down his face from a deep gash that decorated his forehead...Frank cursed out lightly as he wiped the blood off with his jacket sleeve, still crying.
Frank then felt what felt like a hard blow in his gut; quickly opening the car door, he lowered his head outside the door and hurled out a mouthful of his breakfast.
After his breakdown...Frank just sat in his car on the empty road; his head was aching as the memories of his fucked up childhood played on repeat in his head--all the times his dad beat him, bullied him, humiliated him...how he went to school every single day with fresh new cuts and bruises and having to lie about how he got them.
All the times Ray would want to come over to hang out or to have a sleepover--Frank's dad didn't allow anyone to come by. No one. He especially didn't want Ray coming around because he'd call him his 'future faggot lover'--he was the only friend Frank ever had and they did pretty much everything, together. He was the brother he never had.
Frank feel guilty for never telling Ray about the abuse he suffered growing up...how he'd be locked in his bedroom for hours; for days; weeks; months...how his mom would leave a tray of food outside his bedroom door and have to bring him water so he wouldn't get dehydrated or starve. He never quite understood why his mom never left him...maybe they loved each other once, maybe before Frank was born. He wasn't angry with her--but maybe she was scared, too. In fact, he knew she was absolutely terrified.
Frank thought about how he always told myself how he'd be nothing like his father; told himself that he was a good person and that he wasn't screwed up in the head from all the fucking trauma his dad caused him. He told myself he wasn't damaged. Frank has never been more wrong.
He drove to the closest store nearby; cleaned himself up and bought band aids to cover up the fresh bloody gash on his forehead...Frank's eyes were all red and puffy from crying and they felt dry and heavy.
Just as he made his way out of the store...Frank noticed a tall and skinny guy standing in the parking lot--handing out what seemed to be fliers. Once he got a closer look at him as he made his way to his car...Frank completely froze and stared at him. It was Mikey; Gerard's younger brother...he was handing out missing person fliers--Gee's picture right on the front. The picture looked like when he was about seventeen; long black hair, big and cute smile across his pale face, and his bright green eyes. Frank's heart raced inside of his chest and he caught Mikey's attention.
"Oh, hi. I don't mean to bother you sir, but would you please take a flier?" He said as he handed Frank Gerard's missing person flier...his hand was trembling lightly as he stared at his photo.
"My brother, Gerard, has been missing for the last five years and someone had to see him. I know this is a long shot, but if you've seen him--please call my number right here at the bottom--" Mikey said as he pointed his finger at his number on the flier.
He then gazed his bright eyes through his thick glasses directly at Frank's face...he could recognize him.
"...wait...I know you. You're name is Frank, right...?" Mikey asked him, still staring at him intensely. He was already frowning over at him
"...yeah. That's me."
"You were the Hot Topic manager who was flirting with my older brother,Gerard--he was hanging out with just before he went missing...you were the last person he was with." Mikey's frown grew bigger and more noticeable now as he pointed his index finger at Frank--making Frank feel anxious and scared.
"I know...I heard about your brother. I'm sorry he's missing."
"He was with you last--he said you 2 were going to meet up and hang out, then he disappeared!" Mikey was raising his voice now; it echoed all throughout the parking lot, and several people turned their heads, noticing all the sudden commotion.
"I don't know what you're assuming but I didn't kidnap him--"
"Who the fuck said anything about kidnapping? What do you know, Frank!?" Mikey spat at Frank--his face turning red.
"He was either kidnapped or he ran away--"
"I know my brother better than anyone and he wouldn't run away! What did you do to him!?"
"I didn't do anything because I don't know what happened to him!" The lie itself almost made Frank throw up again, but he had to keep his guard up. More people stoped and stared at the both of them as Mikey continued yelling and accusing Frank of taking his brother.
"Look, I don't know what happened between you 2 and I don't wanna know what happened--all I know is Gerard was with you last and then he went missing. Either you tell me right now that you know something or just leave my sight." Mikey felt his blood boiling--just like the first time he saw Frank flirting with Gerard, he got a weird feeling in the pit of his stomach. He felt Frank wasn't trustworthy.
"Mikey, right?" Mikey didn't respond as he continued giving Frank a death glare, still frowning a huge frown--his face still red.
"Gerard and I hung out at the mall--he took his car and we went to Zia Records. Afterwards he told me he had to get home and that was the last I ever saw or heard from him...that's the God honest truth."
"I don't fucking believe you. I know you had a thing for my brother and don't deny it--I saw the way you looked at Gerard and it disgusted me. You were an older stranger and you were hitting on a fucking child."
"I'm sorry that bothered you but I did like your brother. He seemed to like me, too."
"Gerard didn't know any better--that's why I had to look out for him."
"Mikey, listen...I'm sorry that Gerard is missing. I wish I could do something to help you find him--but you're accusing me of something I didn't do. Just trust me when I say I don't know what happened to him...I don't know where he could be."
"And how do I know you're not lying? How do I know that you're telling the truth...? For all I know, Gerard is probably trapped inside your house and you're keeping him hostage or something." Frank felt cold shivers run down his spine and his throat immediately felt dry; it was hard to swallow his own saliva and he had to break eye contact with Mikey.
"That's crazy and you know it." Frank tried assuring Mikey, but the younger Way sibling wasn't buying it.
"I swear to God Frank, if you are lying to me; if I find out that you stole Gerard...if I even find out that you touched him or hurt him, I'll kill you. Do you understand me? I'll fucking kill you." Frank could feel his heart nearly burst out of his chest because he could see the fire burning inside of Mikey Way's bright eyes...that wasn't just a threat directed at him, but also a promise.
"I'm telling you the truth." Was all Frank could respond with. His tone soft and his voice was quivering as he tried to keep a straight face. Mikey stared at him a little while longer, breathing hard and heavily while still frowning at him...the crimson shade faded from his face and was now back to his normal cotton color.
"I'm sorry Gerard is missing...I do hope you find him, soon. Alive and well." Frank said in a soothing tone as he placed his tattooed hand down against Mikey's shoulder. The younger boy immediately tensed up at Frank's touch and he quicker nudged his hand off and away from him.
"Don't fucking touch me." Mikey spat at Frank, still frowning intensely at him. Frank slowly nodded his head in response--apologizing to him.
"...um...if you don't mind, I'd like to take a flier. Just in case I see him." Mikey hesitated for a moment before...then he sighed softly and handed him a flier with Gerard's picture on it.
"My number is at the bottom. Please...just call me if you see him." Frank gazed down at Gerard's photo; his long black hair, his bright green eyes--even his long and curly black eyelashes making the green in his eyes pop...his smile was so beautiful and so breathtaking, as always.
"I'll give you a call if I see Gerard. You take care, Mikey." Frank gave Mikey a small and awkward half-smile as he walked past him and made his way over to his car...Mikey's eyes didn't leave Frank. He watched him get into his car, and he watched him drive off...that suspicious feeling wouldn't leave--it only grew stronger.
"Daddy Frank!" Both Anthony and Poppy greeted Frank once he came through the front door. They latched onto him like little monkeys; both of them wrapped themselves around each leg.
"Frank?" Gerard said as he came out, holding a basket full of folded up laundry. He looked over at him...he was still so beautiful and stunning; his short and silver blonde hair was shining brightly in the sunlight shining through the windows around the house and he hasn't aged since then...he smiled at Frank before he noticed the band aid on his forehead.
"Oh, my God--Frank, are you okay...?" Gerard placed the laundry basket full of clothes down beside him and made his way over to Frank. He examined the band aid on his forehead; gently running his hand through his short dyed black hair as he asked Frank again if he was alright.
"Just a gash..."
"Daddy Frank has a boo-boo?" Poppy asked him as she stared up at him with her enormous green eyes, and her long fiery red hair was in pigtails.
"What happened, daddy Frank?" Anthony asked Frank with his sweet and soft tone.
"I'm alright...just have a headache." He lied, not wanting to worry anyone.
"Hey, what's wrong...?" Gerard could tell something was off with him. He shook his head no as his eyes began to tear up, again.
"Anthony, Poppy--go outside and play. I need to talk to daddy Frank, okay?"
"Okay daddy, come on, Poppy." Anthony said as he let go of my leg, took his little sister's hand in his, and they walked together to the backyard.
"Frankie, baby, what's wrong...?" Gerard asked Frank as he wrapped both of his arms around his shoulders; pulling him close towards him...he felt his heart ache again as he lightly pulled himself away from his loving and warm embrace.
"...Gee, I...I saw your brother--I saw Mikey..." Gerard fell silent. His eyes widened as his mouth hung open, slightly.
"You...you saw Mikey...?" Frank nodded his head as he then grabbed the folded up flier from his jacket--unfolded it, and showed Gerard his missing person flier. Gerard stared at his own photo...and he stared at Mikey's number at the bottom.
"How did he look...?"
"He looked a lot like you. Light brown medium length hair, and he wears glasses. He's tall and skinny...and he was standing outside of a CVS, in the parking lot--handing out your fliers." Gerard stared at the flier, then at me. Frank started crying softly as his heart began beating hard...Gerard came up to him, and he placed his hand down on his shoulder.
"Why are you crying...?"
"...b-because I'm a fucking monster, Gerard. I fucked up, badly. I kidnapped you; stole your life...I hurt you, and I raped you...you're a prisoner because of me..."
"Frank, you're not a monster--"
"Yes I am, Gerard! I'm a fucking monster! I'm just like my dad!" Frank was screaming, now. Gerard jumped as he began to sob hysterically again; grabbing the sides of his head while screaming out again--pulling his hair roughly while stomping his feet on the ground.
"Hey, hey--Frank, calm down--"
"I STOLE YOU, GERARD! I FUCKING STOLE YOU!" He hollered at Gerard, making him back away a bit...he looked terrified but said nothing. His eyes were watering with tears.
"I-I'm just like him...I'm a f-fucking m-monster, just like m-m-my dad..."
"...Frank, what are you talking about...?" Frank shook his head no as more and more tears came pouring out of his enormous hazel eyes...he then threw a hard punch at the drywall. Gerard gasped out loudly as Frank proceeded by throwing another punch; then another one after that--the third one put a very noticeable dent in the wall.
"Frank, stop!" Gerard grabbed a hold of him. He tried to pull myself away, but Gerard used all his strength and managed to hold Frank's arms down and squeeze onto him...shushing him while telling him everything was alright.
"Talk to me, Frank..."
"...no..." He let out a soft whimper...Frank's knuckles pounding in intense pain as he stared at the new dent in the wall.
"Frank, please..." Gerard squeezed onto him, harder. The older and tattooed man just continued weeping softly as he relived all the pain he caused Gerard.
How he told him all the times he loved him; how he spent time with him...all the times they laughed together...Frank was beginning to think none of it was real. That he somehow brainwashed Gerard into believing that he wasn't bad; that for Frank, this kind of shit was absolutely normal. He destroyed what was left of Gerard's innocence and sanity.
"You don't love me." Frank finally spoke. His voice was raspy and hoarse, and the back of his throat was raw and sore.
"You don't love me. You never have." His heart ached as he said those words to him...not out of anger, but because Frank really did love him. But Gerard didn't feel the same way because he's afraid of him and will do anything to keep him happy.
"What are you talking about...? Frank, I do love you--"
"No, you don't. I made you think you do because I so badly wanted you to...but you don't. Not really."
"Frankie..." Frank released himself from Gerard's grip around him and turned to face him...he looked at him with sad and worried green eyes.
"I brainwashed you, Gerard. I did horrible and unspeakable things to you--then treated you like a prince because that's how I see you. You're a beautiful prince and me...? I'm the fucking dragon..." Frank's mind went back to the drawing he made when he was a kid. How his dad was a fire breathing dragon, and Frank was locked away in a tall tower...he always wanted a prince to come and save him. To free him.
Gerard was Frank's prince. Only...he took him...abused his beauty; abused his trust; stole his youth; stole his innocence. He was the monster they warn you about under your bed.
"Frank, you're not a bad person...I know you're not."
"Yes, I am. I did everything he ever did--my dad did the same things to me as I'm doing to you...fuck, I did much worse, I think."
"I know you didn't mean it..."
"You don't know me, Gee--you don't know me, at all. I took five years of your fucking life, locked up in this house! I fucking kidnapped you! I raped you! I'm a fucking piece of shit!"
"Please, calm down--"
"STOP TELLING ME TO CALM DOWN!" Frank hollered at Gerard, again. All around them fell silent until both of them heard soft whining and whimpering coming from the living room...Anthony and Poppy held onto each other as they began to cry, softly.
"...Frank, you need to calm down, look at the kids..." Anthony was wiping away his tears as his little body trembled with fear. Poppy held onto her older brother--burying her little face in his side while crying. Frank never once screamed around them like that...he scared them. He scared Gerard. Hell, he even scared myself.
"Hey...hey, don't cry..." Frank said in a soft, sweet,and soothing tone as he slowly made his way over to them. The kids slowly backed away, still gripping onto one another.
"Don't cry, hey..." Frank kneeled down to their level and held his arms open for them. They didn't hesitate to walk into his arms. He held his kids close against him...Frank loves them so much...he wept at the thought of never seeing them, again. They made him become a better man in a way. Anthony is his heart, and Poppy is his soul. And Gerard...? Gerard is his angel. All three of them are his life.
The thought of all of them no longer a part of Frank's life devastated him...he can't lose his family...if there is one thing that is different between Frank and his father--he actually loved and cared for his children. He will never make them feel unloved; never make them feel unwanted or unimportant; never tell them they can't do something in life...Frank will always do his best to make his kids happy. He wants to be a role model for them, both.
"I'm sorry, guys...daddy Frank is sorry for screaming. Don't cry, okay...?"
"Why are you screaming, daddy Frank...?" Anthony asked me while still crying softly. He wiped away his tears with his hand and he softly shushed the both of them.
"I'm just having a bad day...I'm not mad at anyone..."
"Please don't be mad, daddy Frank..." Poppy said as she leaned forward and placed a kiss against Frank's cheek.
"Don't worry, okay? I'll be fine." He lied to them, forcing a smile at them, so that they'd relax. He hugged them, and they hugged back.
Frank managed to calm down, for Gerard and their kids. He went throughout the rest of the day sulking in his bedroom...wondering about what Mikey was thinking about him. Wondering about what Gerard will say or do...he was so fucking scared that he'll leave him and take Anthony and Poppy--call the police and have them arrest him. He'd rot in prison for his remaining years; locked up behind bars in a room, counting the hours and the days...thinking about his mom, Gerard, his children...constantly torturing himself with the horrible decisions he's made all throughout his fucking life. But...he would deserve it. Frank believes he deserve the absolute worse.
"FRANK! GET YOUR ASS DOWNSTAIRS!" The fifteen year old sighed out softly as he stood up from his computer chair, away from his desk, and made his way out of his room and downstairs. His dad didn't hesitate to grab Frank by his shirt and roughly slammed him against the wall—his breath smelled of booze and it made Frank feel sick to his stomach but wasn't afraid. If anything, he was numb to the feeling and just wanted it to be over.
"WHERE THE FUCK WERE YOU LAST NIGHT!?" His dad hollered at him; his loud and angry voice echoing all throughout the house...Frank didn't even flinch. His dad then struck him—punching him right in his face, hard, and Frank's bottom lip busted open...blood was running down his chin, dripping off and landing on his shirt.
"...I was at Ray's." Frank answered with a soft spoken and monotoned voice. His mouth already full of blood as he swallowed some, making him feel queasy.
"At your fuckin' boyfriend's house...?"
"Oh yeah dad, I was with Ray and we were fucking all night long." His dad growled as he threw another hard blow at Frank—this time he hit him right in his stomach; knocking the air right out of him.
"Don't get fuckin' smart with me, boy. Tell me what the fuck you were doin' with Ray."
"...why do—you care...?" Frank choked out in between breaths, coughing violently as he tried to catch his breath.
"You better answer me or I'll—" Frank then spit a mouthful of his own blood in his dad's sweaty face. His eyes widened as he frowned the biggest frown ever—growing softly as he gritted his teeth.
"Or what?" Frank asked as he then nudged his father off of him. His dad frowned at him and he roughly grabbed him by his shirt, again.
This time Frank fought back—first time ever since he was a child. Frank shoved his dad off of him and threw a couple of hard blows; punching his dad in his face, his stomach, his chest, and even in his lower regions. They fought each other in the living room...Frank tackled his drunken father to the ground—practically body slamming him into the living room coffee table; breaking it as Frank threw more punches against his dad's face until he was a bloody mess.
"I FUCKING HATE YOU! I WISH YOU WOULD JUST FUCKING DIE!" Frank screamed at him as he felt tears building up inside of his eyes; blurring up his vision as tears dropped out of his eyes and fell onto his dad's bloody and damaged face...he began to sob hysterically as he continued throwing hard blows, repeatedly.
"WHY COULDN'T YOU JUST LOVE ME!? WHY DO YOU FUCKING HATE ME!? WHY!?" His dad fell completely limp—gasping for air while choking on his own blood...he let out low and soft groans and moans of pain and discomfort...Frank stopped hitting him, and was sobbing still.
Frank's hands were all bloody and trembling and his heart was racing rapidly and at an unsteady pace inside of his chest.
"...you're not gonna hurt me anymore. You're not going to hurt my mother anymore. Do you understand me...? If you ever touch me or my mom ever again, I'll fucking kill you. I promise you that..." Frank was panting hard for air as he stared down at his dad's injured, damaged, and bloody face...not seeming so scary and tough anymore.
Without saying another word, Frank climbed off his dad and made his way out through the front door. He walked in the darkness down the familiar streets, sobbing softly while panting hard to catch his breath...he fought back. He nearly beat his dad into a bloody pulp...it felt good. Really good. At the same time though, Frank felt...scared...he was overwhelmed with different emotions and he couldn't calm down.
Once he made his way over to Ray's house, he didn't hesitate to knock on the front door rather loudly. Ray's mom answered the door and immediately noticed the bloody gash on Frank's bottom lip and the tears streaming down his face.
"Oh Frank, honey, what's wrong...?" She was so sweet and her tone was soothing and concerned as she embraced him with a warm and motherly hug. Frank didn't respond but instead he wrapped his arms around her, buried his face in her shoulder as he sobbed softly...she shushed him as she gently rubbed his back.
"Frank, what happened...?"
"Mom? Who's at the door?" Ray asked her as he noticed she was standing under the doorway with someone's arms wrapped around her.
"Ray, it's Frank...he's hurt." Ray quickly paced over towards them and he gently placed his hand on Frank's shoulder, making him tense up as he continued sobbing.
"I got him, mom."
"Are you sure...?"
"Yeah, of course. I'll try to calm him down. Frank, come on..." Ray's voice was sweet, high pitched, and soft as he lightly pulled his best friend out of his mother's arms and held him close with his arm wrapped around Frank's shoulder, slowly walking him over to his room.
On the way there, Ray's older brother and dad heard the slight commotion and noticed Frank...they didn't ask questions but they all seemed genuinely concerned and worried for him. Ray brought Frank to his bedroom, closed the door behind him, and carefully sat Frank down on his bed before sitting down next to him.
"What happened...?" Ray asked Frank. Frank continued weeping hysterically as he held his head down and avoided eye contact with Ray...his body was trembling and he kept sniffling softly.
"Where's your mom? Is she home?" Frank slowly shook his head no. Frank's mom had to work 2 jobs just so they wouldn't lose their house. His dad hasn't even bothered trying to look for work—too busy getting drunk to the point of either becoming incredibly violent or blacking out.
"What about your dad...?"
"...he...he's the reason I'm here..." Frank finally spoke. His voice quivered as he let out sharp breaths and soft gasps while still crying.
"Frank, try to calm down and tell me what happened..." Ray said as he scooted himself closer towards Frank, wrapping his arm around him and pulling him close for comfort.
"...no...can't..." Frank whispered softly as he slowly shook his head no.
"Please...? Talk to me. You're hurt..."
"It won't make a difference."
"You know you can tell me anything, right...? You're my best friend and I have never pushes anything on you—but I know you're not clumsy. I know someone is hurting you...you can trust me, Frank. Tell me who's hitting you..." Frank's body shook more as he buried his face in Ray's neck, crying even more. Ray was patient as he waited for Frank to open up and tell him what happened...Ray shushed him while rubbing his back and gently patting it, letting him cry it out.
Frank cried for a long while...Ray's mom eventually came in to check on them. She made them both cups of hot cocoa and the warmth and chocolatey beverage soothed Frank and it helped him calm down...once he was calm, Ray decided to put on a movie for them so that Frank would feel comfortable. They laid together on Ray's bed and watched the movie together in silence before Frank finally spoke.
"...my mom is at work. She works 2 jobs now...so most of the time, I'm left home alone with my dad. My dad doesn't do shit except drink until he passes out..." Ray had all of his attention and focus on Frank; listening to every word he said.
"Sometimes when he drinks, he doesn't always pass out in front of the TV. Sometimes he becomes mean...he becomes violent; a complete bully who makes my life and my mom's life hell. He mostly yells at us and says hurtful things..."
"Does he...does your dad beat you? And your mom?"
"...he used to hurt my mom. But now he just hits me...not all the time—only when he's really, really drunk." Frank lied to his best friend, immediately feeling an ocean wave of guilt consume him. But he didn't want to worry Ray anymore than he already did.
"He hurt you tonight...?" Ray asked as he noticed Frank's busted lower lip. Frank just nodded his head in response.
"You were crying hysterically when you came here...what happened...?"
"...my dad was pissed at me because I was here last night. With you." Ray lowered his eyebrows, giving him a look of confusion.
"Cause my dad thinks I'm gay and that we're together." Frank blurted out. Ray's cheeks flushed bright red as a long and uncomfortable moment of silence lingered in the air in Ray's bedroom...Frank could hear his own heartbeat inside of his ears, blushing in embarrassment himself.
"Sorry..." Frank mumbled softly.
"No, don't be...that's just...random." Ray smirked over at Frank and they both chuckled softly. Another long moment of awkward silence.
"My dad doesn't want me to be gay. He hates that my only friend is you—a guy. But...I never had many friends to begin with. You're all I've got. He thinks we spend too much time together and he refers to you as...well...my boyfriend." Both Ray and Frank made direct eye contact for a moment; their faces were as red as rubies before breaking their gazes over at one another.
"...he got furious because I got all mouthy with him and...things got physical and...everything was a blur. I couldn't handle it so I left to come here." Ray just looked sad now as his mocha brown eyes gazed over at his best friend.
"I'm so sorry, Frank..." He shrugged his shoulders while running his hand through his short, dark, and slightly shaggy hair.
"I'm used to it. It's fine."
"No it isn't...your dad beats you. You should report him—"
"No...you can't say anything, please. Not to anyone...nobody knows that my dad is an alcoholic and occasionally beats me...please."
"Ray. I'm begging you...please." Frank turned his head; his hazel eyes interlocking with Ray's coffee colored eyes...they stared at one another for a long moment without saying a word. That was enough for Ray to take the hint and he nodded his head in response, promising his best friend that he wouldn't say a word.
"My mom is pulling an all nighter...I don't wanna go home. Is it okay if I stay the night...?"
"Of course, man. This is your second home; mi casa es tu casa." Frank smiled a small half smile at Ray before they ended the conversation and went back to watching the movie, together.
They changed into their pajamas after the movie and laid in bed, talking about whatever while listening to some music for background noise.
"Yeah, man?" Frank felt stupid for even bothering to ask, but he was curious. His heart was beating rapidly inside of his chest and his breathing was heavy and unsteady.
"...if I was gay, would that bother you...?"
"Why would that bother me?"
"Well...because...most people hate gay people. They're grossed out by them..."
"Well...are you gay?" Ray asked Frank; bringing the spotlight to him, now.
"...I...um...I don't know..."
"Have you ever liked a girl?" Frank remained quiet, shrugging his shoulders in response.
"Have you?" Frank asked Ray.
"A couple, yeah. I've had some crushes on a few girls, but never dated one."
"...I never noticed girls. Not like that anyway."
"Have you noticed boys?"
"I don't know..."
"Frank, if you're gay that's okay." The fifteen year old wasn't sure about his sexuality...not in the slightest. He's never noticed girls before or other guys...all his life, he's spent a lot of time with Ray. Ray was the only friend he ever had; the only person he spent everyday with. Ray was all Frank knew.
"Would you still be my best friend...?" Ray chuckled softly, smiling a toothy smile over at Frank.
"Dude, of course. I love you lots man and I wouldn't care if you liked girls, boys, or even both. I just want you to be comfortable with yourself...who you have feelings for doesn't effect me. I just want you to be happy." Ray was honestly the kindest soul Frank has ever known and he felt incredibly lucky and blessed to have Ray in his life.
"...um...do you like boys...? Or do you just like girls?"
"I haven't really given it any thought..."
"...have you ever thought of....me?" Frank immediately regretted asking his rather risqué question. Ray blushed a soft pink shade.
"Um...well...I admit I have thought about you, but not in a sexual way. Just...admiring you; your looks, your personality...I do think you're handsome, Frank. I do." Frank blushed as he listened to Ray pretty much admit his attraction to him.
"I hope that wasn't weird...I was just saying..." Frank shook his head no, assuring him it wasn't weird.
"I think you're handsome too, Ray. I do..."
"I'm funny looking. My hair is too curly and wild when it gets long, my lips are way too big, my nose is big, my eyes are beady, and my voice is too high..."
"That's not true. You're attractive." Ray's cheeks flushed from soft baby pink to rose red...things took a turn for the unexpected when Frank suddenly leaned his face forward towards Ray's and lightly pressed his lips against his—kissing him softly.
"Whoa, whoa—" Ray said as he pulled his head away slightly...Frank's eyes widened and felt completely shocked by his action and he immediately felt incredibly embarrassed and ashamed by what he did.
"Fuck, I'm sorry...Ray, I'm so sorry..."
"No, no—Frank, it's okay—"
"I kissed you. Unexpectedly...I'm sorry...I didn't mean to do that...I just..." He stuttered over his own words; feeling dumbfounded by what he did and his eyes were stinging with tears.
"It's okay. You were just curious." Frank sniffled softy as he stared into Ray's eyes...slowly nodding his head in agreement.
"I was curious too...I just didn't think you'd do that..."
"I feel so stupid..." Frank whimpered softly as a single tear escaped his left eye; spilling down his face as he wiped it away, quickly.
"Don't, man." Ray said as he placed his hand on top of Frank's—squeezing onto it lightly.
"I'm not mad. You're still my best friend." Frank squeezed Ray's hand back as he fought back more tears that were forming inside of his eyes.
"I don't know what's wrong with me...I don't know what I like."
"That's okay...you're still figuring yourself out. I think maybe you thought you had feelings for me because we're always together...we're best friends. You're like my second brother and I love you so much, Frank. But...I don't love you, romantically. I admit I think you're cute and sweet, but I couldn't be more than just your friend."
"...I feel the same way...I felt maybe we were meant to be more than just friends, but...I love you like a brother too; the brother I never had. The brother I wish I had..."
"I think both of us just needed this to happen to see if either of us felt anything..."
"Did you?" Ray shook his head no.
"You...?" Frank had to think about it for a brief moment...he didn't feel anything. Not even a spark. He shook his head no, too.
"Frank, don't apologize. It's okay. At least now we both got that out of the way and we know neither of us have romantic feelings for one another."
"I made it awkward between us..."
"No, you didn't. I was curious, too." They laid there in Ray's bed in complete silence for a long while...the only sounds they could hear was the both of them breathing, softly.
"Was I a...bad kisser...?" Frank asked Ray. They both snickered loudly; laughing like a pack of hyenas and even snorting loudly—lightening up the odd tension between them.
"Iero, you're fucking silly. But to answer your question...no, you weren't. You're not a bad kisser."
"Thanks Toro, same goes for you. Your lips are really soft..."
"Good thing I always wear chapstick." They broke out in full blown laughter again, hoping Ray's parents or brother wouldn't wake up from all the noisy commotion.
Eventually they both drifted off into a peaceful slumber—nothing between them changed when the new morning arrived. They were still the best of friends.
Frank knew the happiness wouldn't last long though...he knew he had to come home before his mother did to clean up the mess and hopefully avoid his asshole of a father. He didn't want to return to his own hell...but he knew he had no other choice.
Chapter 14: Past
Gerard was worried about Frank...and he was thinking about Mikey. Frank saw his brother...he wanted to know what he looked like; he was fourteen years old the last time he saw him. He was a nerdy little kid with big and thick round glasses and a cringeworthy haircut, but they were always together. Gerard wondered how much Mikey has changed over these last five years. Once Anthony and Poppy were asleep, he laid in bed with Frank; wrapped his arm around his waist, and he waited for him to speak.
"...if you want to leave me, I'll understand. I won't stop you, this time." Frank's voice was different. It sounded sad; like he already lost me, like he was defeated...Frank's throat sounded rough, raspy, and still hoarse.
"I'm not going anywhere, Frankie."
"You're going to leave me. You're going to take the kids, and you'll flee; call the cops, and have me arrested..."
"No, I won't. I love you, Frank." Gerard reassured him, holding him close against his body. He stared at his bare and tattooed back, lightly tracing his fingertips against them, making Frank twitch at his touch.
"You're afraid of me."
"No, I'm not." Frank then turned himself over on the bed; laying on his other side now to face him.
His big puppy dog hazel eyes were irritated from all the crying; red, puffy, and tired looking...the bandaid on his forehead had a small red dot forming in the center. The blood from his gash was sinking through the cotton.
"Why aren't you scared...?"
"Because you're not as bad as you think you are, Frank." He remained silent. He sniffled softly, but couldn't cry anymore...he just let out a soft sigh as he continued staring at him.
"Tell me about your father." He suddenly asked him. Frank's eyes grew bigger from his question...Gerard could feel Frank's body tense up on the bed and he swears he could hear his heartbeat.
"...there's not much to say about him."
"You kept saying you were a monster, just like your dad. I want to know what you meant..." Frank had the saddest look on his sweet and handsome face. Gerard hated seeing him upset...he missed Frank's smile. He scooted myself even closer towards Frank, gave him an Eskimo kiss on the tip of his nose, and he placed a soft kiss against his lips.
"Its okay. I'm right here and I'm not going anywhere." Gerard smiled a small smile at him, hoping he'd believe him.
Frank sighed softly again before he inhaled a deep breath to tell him whatever it was he was about to tell him. Gerard was all ears.
"Gerard...a lot of the things I've done to you...I..." He froze for a moment; his eyes wandered as if he were mentally pacing back and forth, trying to figure out what to say.
"I thought...it was normal. When I was a kid, my dad...he was abusive." Something new I learned about Frank. Something I never knew.
"He started beating my mom when I was about 3...at first he only hit her. Never me. He would come home from work in a bad mood, and he was ready to pick a fight...my mom would try to keep the peace; be the loving and supporting wife she'd always been--even before I came into the picture. He'd get angrier; call her names, bully her, belittle her...and when he put his hands on her for the very first time...I just remember crying. Her screams were so loud that I had to cover my ears just to block out the sound." Gerard listened to Frank. Tears formed in his eyes, his voice trembled, and he grabbed a hold of Frank's hand in his; lightly squeezing onto it, trying to let him know that he was right there with him.
"He hurt her, Gee...he hurt my mom so badly...I thought she was dead once he was done. Her face was all bloody and bruised; she looked like a zombie...she could barely speak or move...and I watched my own father beat the shit out of my mother. I was too young to do anything, and I just cried...my dad sat in his couch in front of the TV--his hands all bloody, and the skin on his knuckles were torn and hanging...he didn't say a word to me. He just stared right at the TV." He watched Frank's Adam's apple move up and down in his throat, swallowing his own saliva hard before continuing.
"I remember my mom eventually came up to me a few days after my dad had beaten her. She just smiled at me, kissed me, and said that daddy didn't mean to hit her. She said that everything was okay...I believed her because my mom never lied to me. So for a long while, my dad would abuse my mom. He'd abuse her verbally; abuse her mentally; and of course, physically. And when he wasn't completely satisfied with harming just her...he started taking it out on me." Gerard watched Frank's eyes grow with fear inside of them. He squeezed onto his hand a bit tighter, and he waited patiently for him to go on with speaking.
"I just turned 5...I was Anthony's age. And my dad started beating me...over the smallest things, too. If I didn't respond to a question right away; if I looked at him a certain way; if I played with my food...but he especially hated it whenever I cried. He'd tell me that he'd give me a reason to cry if I didn't quit my whining...and when the beatings didn't shut me up--my dad would lock me up in my bedroom." Gerard remembered the long and timeless days he spent locked away in his old bedroom, which is now Anthony and Poppy's room...a windowless room with the different colored walls. He had no idea Frank went through that too. Gerard felt sympathetic towards him.
"I'd be locked in my room for days, for weeks, for months...there was a time when I was kept in my room for over a year."
"...Jesus...a year?" He raised his eyebrows, feeling his heart sink as he imagined Frank as a small child, being locked up in his room all day and everyday.
"The only sunlight I got was when I'd go to and from school. But I always had to come home right away. I never had any friends...except for Ray. He lived in the same neighborhood as me; we went to the same school...he was the only friend I had. Ray was like the brother I never had." Frank smiled a small smile...only for it fade away, again.
"I thought my life at home was normal. I thought every family was like mine...until I got the opportunity to visit Ray's house one day during the weekend. My dad was out of town for his job, and my mom allowed me to go play with Ray at his house. His life was so different...he had loving parents who always talked to him, played with him, and they were always so...happy. And Ray had a brother who was never too busy for him...hell, he even bonded with me, too. There was no fighting; no screaming; nothing but laughing and happiness. I was jealous." Frank sniffled softly as tears escaped his eyes and ran down the side of his face, soaking the pillow underneath his head.
Gerard gently touched his cheek, softly shushing him as he told him it was okay.
"My dad beat me and my mom for years until he died when I was sixteen years old. He got sick from all the alcohol he consumed...his liver failed and he didn't make it. But I didn't cry." He looked into Gerard's eyes with his teary and puffy red eyes...his eyebrows lowered, making him look like he was now frowning...and his bottom lip twitched.
"I was happy...the fucking bastard was dead. My mom and I were free; we were free from our hell...free from the shadows that was supposed to be home sweet home. My mom took us to a shelter for abused mothers and children...for the first time in so, so long...we felt safe." Frank was smiling again, but this time, it was sort of twisted looking. His hazel eyes looked black, and his smile was actually very frightening...but he was still crying softly while smiling his demented smile. Frank then began to chuckle. His chuckle was soft and almost inaudible--Gerard could see his perfect and straight white teeth as he continued chuckling, and he just stared at him...hoping that Frank was alright and wasn't having a mental breakdown of some sort.
"My mom joined a group therapy group to talk about her abuse. I never attended though because I was so sure I was alright...I told my mom I didn't need to talk about it. She kept pushing me to seek help; just pushing, pushing, pushing. I refused every time. I told her I was fine...I told her I was nothing like my dad, that I'd never become my father." Frank stopped talking, and he looked at me with sympathetic eyes...his smile twisting into a frown as he sealed his shut; sobbing softly, his body shaking lightly on the bed as let out soft gasps and whimpers.
"Frankie, sshhh--don't cry..." He spoke softly as he grabbed a hold of Frank; pulling him close against his body as he wrapped his arms around him.
Gerard shushed him as Frank wrapped his arms around him--he practically squeezed onto the silver haired younger boy as he wept into his shoulder...Gerard gently patted Frank's soft and bare back; lightly grazing his fingertips up against his skin, making him twitch again as he mumbled something that he couldn't quite make out.
"I-I'm s-sorry...G-Gee, I'm s-s-so f-fucking s-sorry..." Frank choked out in between sobs as he looked up at me with his puffy, red, and sad eyes.
His heart split into two seeing him so broken: like shattered pieces of glass...he's never seen Frank so lost. So hurt. His eyes began to tear up...Gerard's chest was aching, and he felt so sorry for him...and he knew deep down inside of Frank, he truly was sorry. He believed him and he knew he was telling the truth. Gerard could see it in Frank's beautiful hazel eyes; he could feel his remorse and his regrets...he could hear his sympathy in his voice.
"Its okay, Frank..." Gerard said to Frank as he felt myself crying, now. He gently stroked his soft and warm cheek, wiping away his tears...Gerard shushed Frank softly. He cupped his chin with his hand, leaned forward and pressed his lips against Frank's.
Gerard kissed Frank long and passionately; making him feel loved, wanted, important, and overall...needed. Because he was all of those things, to him.
"I love you, Frank Iero. I love you so much...and I love our kids. You make me happy; you're an amazing lover to me, and you're an amazing dad to Anthony and to Poppy. We all love you."
"I love all of you, too..." He kissed him again, and they held onto one another as they tasted each other.
Frank slowly climbed on top of him on their bed...kissing each other more tenderly now; sliding their tongue inside of each other's mouths, making each other moan as Gerard proceeded by removing his own shirt. Frank grabbed at his shirt and helped him remove it over his head and tossed it to the floor.
They held each other closely and tightly after they made love...Gerard could feel Frank's heart beating against his, as he was sure Frank felt his. As Gerard traced his fingers over the older and beautiful man's decorated tattoos; his skin was so warm and so soft, Frank gently caressed Gerard's cheek, placing soft and sweet kisses all over his face, making him smile and giggle softly, which made Frank smile.
"You're so beautiful, Gee..." Frank cooed at the younger boy, making him blush.
"You're beautiful too, Frank." He crinkled his face and playfully stuck his tongue out at him.
"You are!" He giggled at Frank, making his smile grow bigger. Gerard missed seeing him smile; he missed hearing him laugh...he just missed seeing Frank happy.
He deserved to be happy...Frank isn't bad, Gerard knows he isn't. Frank has been hurt--he's been hurt, badly...he was just misunderstood.
Chapter 15: Phone Call
Frank was constantly in Mikey's thoughts; Frank Iero, the baby faced tattooed guy he saw coming out of a CVS. He didn't know what it was about him...but, he got a strange vibe from him. The way he looked at Gerard's photo...the way he acted--all nervous, on edge. Even a little scared.
Does he know where Gerard is...? Did he...did he kidnap him? Mikey tried to tell himself that he was crazy--that it couldn't be true. He tried to calm himself down as he keep printing out fliers and answering every phone call regarding Gerard's whereabouts; no matter what he did, and no matter how hard Mikey tried to shake off the feeling...that Frank guy was lingering around inside of his head. The way he mentioned Gerard missing all of them--their mom, their dad...why would he bring that up if he didn't know a thing about Gerard? Why was Frank so damn nervous around Mikey...? And why did he stare at Gerard's photo like he practically wanted to jerk off to it?
Frank Iero, he knows something about Gerard. Mikey knew he did...but, unfortunately he couldn't contact him. He didn't have his number and he didn't know where he lived. Mikey didn't say anything to his parents--not until he knew for sure about his gut feeling.
"Daddy, Poppy won't share her crayons with me!" Anthony fussed as he stomped his little foot against the floor.
"Poppy Mae! Share with your brother."
"But, these are my crayons!" Poppy whined as she continued coloring a drawing she'd just finished.
"Poppy, what did daddy Frank and I say about sharing?"
"Sharing is caring..." Gerard heard her mumble, still sounding slightly upset.
"That's right. Now, no more fighting and share, or I'll take the crayons away." He heard her whine softly and Anthony smiled up at him, hugging him, and he made his way back to the dining table to color with his little sister.
Gerard chuckled softly to himself as he shook his head while washing the rest of the dishes from breakfast this morning. Frank went in earlier than usual today--he was in a rush to grab all of his things and barely had enough time to eat, but he did. After Gerard finished the dishes, he took care of all the laundry. While loading up the washing machine, he felt something hard and bulky in one of the pockets of Frank's dark denim jeans...he felt it with his hand; lightly squeezing it, it was pretty hard to squeeze. Gerard fished his hand around inside his pocket and pulled out Frank's cellphone.
His heart raced rapidly as he stared at the blank dark screen facing him...Gerard's own clear reflection staring back. His hand trembled as he stared at Frank's phone in his hand; Frank never forgot his phone. Ever. But, today was the very first day he left it at home...he wanted to put it back down, immediately--go back to doing the daily house work, spend time with the kids...but, next thing he knew, Gerard turned on the screen. His phone background was brightly lit; the photo was of all of them together as a family...smiling big and bright smiles.
Gerard quickly paced himself to his and Frank's bedroom, scouring around to look for that missing person flier that Frank got from Mikey. His heart was going crazy now...beating so hard and so fast; felt like it would burst right out...Gerard's hand continued trembling as he stared at Mikey's number at the bottom. Then he stared at the dial pad on Frank's phone. He took a deep breath and dialed Mikey's number into the key pad...hitting the call button shortly after, Gerard's heart was beating even crazier than before...his stomach felt like it was twisting itself into tight knots...even his breathing was hard and unsteady.
"Hello, Way residence, this is Michael speaking." The other line was silent. Mikey sighed softly while adjusting my glasses, clearing his throat before speaking, again.
"Are you calling about my missing brother, Gerard?" He heard a faint sound in the background; hard breathing...rolling his eyes in annoyance when he realized it was another prank caller--he received a lot of those.
"Okay, if you don't have any information about my brother, then don't call this fucking number. Do you find this funny? My brother is missing--I haven't seen him in five years; I don't know where he is, I don't know if he's okay. I'm the only person who hasn't given up on him...please, stop prank calling this number...fuck--I don't even know why I'm telling you any of this. Prank call me again and I will have your number traced and I will call the cops." Just as Mikey was about to hang up, a soft and clear voice spoke from the other line.
"...Mikey?" His heart began to race...Mikey recognized the voice, immediately.
"...who is this?" He asked, waiting for the voice to answer him. There was a long pause before the voice spoke, again.
"I'm okay, Mikey...I miss you, and I miss mom and dad..."
"...Gerard? Oh, my God--is that really you...?" Mikey's voice cracked as his eyes quickly teared up; his breath got caught in his throat and he was sobbing softly. Mikey couldn't believe it was really Gerard...he knew he was alive.
"Its me, Mikey. I just wanted to tell you that I love you and that I'm okay...I'm safe."
"Gerard, where are you...? How did you get this number? What number are you calling from...? Fuck, Gerard, where are you?" Too many questions being asked at once, but he didn't care--he needed to know where his brother was.
"I love you, Mikey...I miss you. Everything is okay."
"Gerard, where are--" He hung up. The other line was just a long and humming sound...Mikey cursed out loudly as he hung up his phone and immediately traced the phone number Gerard just called him from...once he got the number written down, Mikey immediately called the police.
Gerard's heart was beating erratically inside of his chest as he was pretty much having a breakdown. He called Mikey; he had to, he needed to hear his voice...Gerard miss him so much and he couldn't help it.
But he felt horrible and he felt like he betrayed Frank, but he wasn't trying to...Gerard just wanted to hear his brother's voice, again. Gerard called Frank's work; got his number off his company's website, and he answered after three rings.
"Hi, thank you for calling Hot Topic. This is Frank." His voice sounded so cute, even over the phone.
"...Frank...? Its Gee..."
"Gee...? How did you--fuck, I accidentally left my phone at home...are you alright?"
"...I...Frank, I..." He kept stuttering over his own words, which made Frank worry.
"Gee, what's wrong...? Is everything okay...?"
"...I called my brother, Frank...I called Mikey." There was a long moment of silence on the other line. He was worried he upset Frank.
"You called him through my phone...? Gee--my number is going to get traced..." He sounded like he was freaking out now, and Gerard felt horrible...he didn't mean to upset him.
"Frankie, I'm sorry...I wasn't betraying you--I swear, I just really missed Mikey and I wanted to hear his voice...I'm sorry..." Another long moment of silence.
"I know, Gee. I know you didn't betray me...its okay..."
"You're not mad...?"
"Of course not, baby...but, I need to ask you something. I need your honest answer, too."
"Do you want to leave me...?" Frank's voice cracked slightly as he asked his question. Gerard could hear the sadness in his voice.
"No, of course not, Frankie...I'd never leave you."
"Good. I need you to pack up your things; important and necessary items, only. Get the kids things packed too, I'm leaving work right now."
Chapter 16: Caught
Frank nearly crashed his car as he practically drove past everyone at full speed; he even did the dick move by cutting everyone off, but he needed to get home...the cops were out looking for him now, he knew they were.
Frank wasn't mad at Gerard though. He understood he missed his brother...he misses his whole family. And Frank did promise him that he'd see them again, but he honestly didn't know when...but, he couldn't wait any longer. In a way, Frank felt like he broke his promise to Gerard.
"Gee?" Frank immediately called out his name once he came through the front door.
"In here with the kids!" Gerard yelled back from their bedroom. Frank quickly paced his way over and found everyone's stuff packed; Gerard was helping Anthony and Poppy get their shoes and jackets on.
"Okay, is everyone ready?" Frank asked them, all. They all shared one look as they all looked over at him—scared and extremely nervous...Gerard hasn't been outside in five years; actually been outside; feel the sunlight against his skin, feel the breeze blow through his hair...he forgot what the outdoors were like. Not to mention, the kids have never been away from home. Frank imagines they were all terrified about the outdoors...the full outdoors.
"Daddy Frank, I'm scared..." Poppy admitted as she gazed over at Frank; staring at him with her wide, peridot colored, and fearful looking eyes.
"Me, too..." Anthony said after his younger sister. They both looked at Frank with scared hazel and green eyes. He made his way over towards them; gently touched Gerard's cheek while smiling a small half smile at him, trying to fight back tears.
He then looked at their kids...kissed them both on their foreheads and try to make them feel better by telling them that they were going on an adventure.
"...what's an adventure?" Anthony asked Frank while tilting his head to the side, like a pug. He smiled at his young son, leaned forward and placed a soft kiss against his forehead.
"An adventure is when you get to explore new and different places; see things you've never seen before, and do things you've dreamed of...it'll be fun. I promise." Frank didn't know how long they'd be on the run for...he didn't know if he'd get away with it. But he had to say something, he couldn't just tell his kids that he was in trouble and that he'd be taken away.
They brought all their belongings to Frank's car, and Gerard was staring all around him; his green eyes wide with awe as they wandered at the view all around him...Frank couldn't tell if he was happy or if he was upset...or perhaps both.
"Gee...?" Frank called out the silver haired boy's name softly.
"The air...its so fresh; I could smell rain." He said with a small smile on his beautiful face as he stared up at the sky. Frank felt his heart sunk...Gerard appreciated nature--especially since he hasn't been outside for the last five years.
"I think its going to rain..."Gerard spoke softly, still staring up at the sky.
Once they were all in the car, Frank quickly drove off his driveway; drove down the one road that led to his house...both Anthony and Poppy turned back to stare at the house they were born in. The house that they were raised in. The only world they knew.
"Bye, house..." Poppy said as she waved her little hand at our home, sounding so sad. Anthony didn't say anything; he was quiet the whole car ride, and he stared down at his hands on his lap.
"Hey, everything is going to be okay..." Gerard said as he turned to comfort him, placing his hand down against Anthony's.
"I know you're scared, baby...but, the world is so huge; there are so many things you'll get to see. You and Poppy." Gerard's voice was sweet and soothing, and Frank listened to every word he said as he continued driving.
He drove, and drove, and drove. Played some music for everyone so it wouldn't be so awkwardly silent...the kids sang along to familiar tunes they've heard before, and even Gerard sang with them...he had such a beautiful singing voice and Frank couldn't help but smile to himself as he listened to him sing. He stopped to get everyone something to eat really quickly and still drove until they were far away from home....eventually, Anthony and Poppy fell asleep holding onto each other and it was just Frank and Gerard sitting together in silence.
"Frank...?" Gerard softly called out his name. Frank looked over at him and Gerard looked at Frank with sadness and concern buried in his eyes.
"Are you mad at me...?" He finally spoke.
"No, of course not."
"I'm sorry for what I did..."
"Baby, you don't need to apologize. I understand why you did it..." Frank admitted he felt a little sad, and a little scared. In fact, He was fucking paranoid...he was expecting to see flashing red and blue lights behind him at any moment.
"Frank...I hope you don't think I did that intentionally..."
"I know you wanted to hear your brother's voice. And I know you didn't do it to hurt me." Frank's eyes were focused on the road. They were very far from home now...they hoped to find a hotel or something because Frank was starting to wear himself out; emotionally drained, sad, worried, emotional...all the bad feelings are building up at once and it was making his stomach hurt.
"Are you okay...?" Gerard asked him as he placed his hand down on his leg, making Frank tense up a little as he realized that this may be the very last time he got to feel Gerard's touch...this may be the last time he'll get to see his family.
The sudden thought made Frank emotional; the corners of his mouth twitched, and his vision immediately blurred as tears overflowed inside of them--spilling down his cheeks as he sniffled, loudly.
"No, Gee...I'm not okay. I'm scared. I'm fucking scared, shitless." Frank quickly wiped away his own tears with his wrist, trying to stay quiet so he wouldn't wake the kids and have to explain to them why he was crying.
"Please don't cry, Frank..." Gerard cooed softly at Frank—raising his hand from Frank's leg up to the back of his head; gently stroking his dark, soft, and thick short hair.
"I just love you, Gerard...and I love our children. I'm scared they'll lock me up and I'll never get to see you guys, again. Never get to kiss you, hold you in my arms...watch Anthony and Poppy grow up--fuck, I'd want to have a bigger family with you someday; have a few more kids, and we probably won't be able to even do that..." Frank's voice cracked as he fought back more tears, but they just kept coming. He couldn't contain them.
"Frank, listen to me. I love you, okay...? I love you very much and I mean it. I'm never going to stop loving you..."
"...I'm going to lose you, aren't I...?" He had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach; like slight nausea that gets worse in time and ends up turning into the flu.
Gerard didn't say a word, but instead he moved his hand from the back of Frank's head and grabbed a hold of Frank's hand in his--lightly squeezed on it, and Frank just squeezed back.
"If we have to, we'll run as far away as possible, forever. Just you, me, and the kids." Frank squeezed onto Gerard's hand a little harder, still crying softly to himself as he continued driving. After what seemed like hours and hours of driving...he finally found a hotel. They were near a gas station, so he'd get gas for the car, and they'd be on the road again first thing in the morning.
"Looks like a storm is coming." Gerard said as he held Anthony in his arms while looking up at the sky. Frank held Poppy in his arms as she slept heavily, breathing softly as he smelled her long fiery red hair...she smelled like roses. Frank could smell the strong scent of rain lingering in the cold air; seeing his own breath every time he breathed out...the sky was a dark purple color and Frank thinks he felt several drops hit his face as they made their way into the hotel.
They took several of their bags out of the car and got themselves settled into their room. Frank got them one big bed for all of them to sleep in, but he didn't know if he'd even be doing much sleeping...Frank was paranoid like crazy and he kept looking out the hotel window; wondering if they'd come for him...show up in the middle of the night, and take him away from his family.
"Frankie, come to bed. You need rest." Gerard spoke so softly as he caught Frank's attention. He was laying in bed with Anthony and Poppy--the kids were changed into their pajamas, sleeping peacefully.
"I can't sleep..."
"You need to try. I'm here with you, and so are the kids. We're all together, okay...?" Gerard tried assuring Frank that everything was fine and that nothing bad would happen. He wanted to believe him, he did...but Frank knew his number was traced and that the cops were searching for him. Ready to take him down when he was off guard.
"Please...?" Gerard begged him, looking at Frank with his big and beautiful green eyes. He slowly nodded his head in response as Frank made his way over to the bed; carefully climbed under the warm and soft blankets with him...Gerard embraced Frank in his arms and kissed him, softly.
"Try to get some rest, Frank." Frank could lay here and close his eyes, but he knew he wouldn't sleep. He couldn't. But, Frank didn't want to worry Gerard, so he just nodded his head in response as he forced a small smile. Frank kissed him goodnight as he held him in his arms in bed--the kids were in his.
He laid there...waiting and waiting...but, nothing. Gerard was asleep in Frank's arms, and the kids haven't even budged since they arrived...Frank watched them sleep for a long while, still waiting for something to happen. He felt the sleep coming finally; emotionally drained himself and before he knew it, Frank closed his eyes; his muscles relaxed; his body felt heavy...he was asleep.
There was a knock at the door...Frank's eyes shot wide open as he violently sat himself up in bed, waking Gerard.
"...mmm, Frank...?" He called out his name in a soft and sleepy tone, rubbing his eyes, and his hair slightly messy. Another knock, this one louder this time...Frank's heart began to race as he made his way out of bed and looked out the window--just barely moving the curtain so he wouldn't be noticed.
Bright and flashing red and blue lights outside the hotel...and about three police cars parked outside the hotel parking lot. Frank looked over at Gerard, who was still in bed with Anthony and Poppy...before Frank could say anything, the hotel room opened and several cops came rushing in; pointing their guns at him while yelling to the top of their lungs for him to put his hands up. Gerard yelled out loudly, waking the kids up...the cops roughly grabbed a hold of Frank and they pinned him down against the bed--handcuffing his hands behind his back.
"Frank Iero, you are under arrest. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish." Frank stared at Gerard the whole time...the words were being spoken to him by the officer who was reciting the Miranda rights to him while squeezing the handcuffs around his wrists.
Gerard was crying while staring back at Frank, and both children were crying as they kept asking Gerard what was going on...Frank felt tears spill down his face as he was being escorted out of the hotel room.
It was freezing cold and pouring rain outside; the purple and cloudy sky occasionally lit up with lightning, and the sound of low thunder echoing all around him...Gerard was right. A storm had arrived.
"FRANK!" Gerard yelled out to him as another police officer escorted him and the children out of the room. He was wrapped up in a blanket, holding Poppy with one arm while holding Anthony's hand with his other free hand.
"Gee--take care of the kids! Please take care of them!"
"Daddy Frank! What's going on!?" Anthony was sobbing hysterically as he clung onto Gerard.
"Don't go, daddy Frank!" Poppy whined out as she tried wiggling herself out of Gerard's arms and reaching her little arms and hands out to Frank...he watched them all cry for him as he was placed inside one of the cop cars. Frank sobbed softly to himself in the backseat as he continued watching his family...but deep down, Frank knew he deserved this. He deserved so much worse.
Chapter 17: Reunited
The kids kept crying as they clung onto Gerard in the back of the police car...the rain was coming down hard; it sounded like a million pebbles were hitting against the car.
"I'm scared!" Anthony whimpered harshly against him, his little face buried in Gerard's chest. Gerard shushed him as he tried to comfort both of them, but they freaked out when the thunder roared, again.
"I want daddy Frank..." Poppy sobbed as she wiped away her tears with both of her tiny hands.
"Where's daddy Frank...? Why was he taken away!?" Anthony was more hysterical with what happened with Frank. Poppy was more upset...God, they're so young--they don't understand and he didn't know what to tell them.
"He's okay, I promise you--daddy Frank is okay..."
"The bad men took him away, daddy!" Poppy looked at Gerard with her puffy and red green eyes, looking so much like Frank...making him miss Frank even more, hoping that he was alright.
"They're not bad men, baby...they just think that daddy Frank did something bad..."
"Why? Daddy Frank didn't do anything!" Anthony was still weeping hysterically, as was Poppy. Gerard just held onto both kids close and tried calming them down...he had no idea where they were going and what was going to happen, but he was scared out of his mind.
They arrived outside of a police station soon after. The police officers escorted Gerard in. Holding Poppy in his arms and Anthony clung onto him, burying his face in Gerard's side...his heart was beating so fast that he could hear his own heartbeat inside of his ears. Inside of the police station was brightly lit and warm; it was packed with a large crowd of people, and police officers were in every corner. A few people were staring over at Gerard—like they knew him or something...he even heard a few people mumble under their breaths as they looked his way.
"Just stay in here, okay? Your family is on their way to see you. They couldn't believe it when we told them you were found..." Gerard remained silent as he looked up at the officer standing tall in front of him.
"I can't even believe you're here...I remember hearing about your case when you first disappeared." The kids stopped crying, but they were clinging onto Gerard, tightly.
"Glad to see you're still alive and in one piece..." The officer looked at Anthony and Poppy, and he grabbed two donuts from a Dunkin Donuts box sitting on the edge of the table in the room they were waiting in.
"Here, for your kids." Gerard took the donuts from the officer, thanked him, and he gave him a half smile before the officer headed out the room.
The kids ate their donuts and they both kept asking for Frank...Gerard didn't know how to answer them. The officer came back with some coloring books and crayons for Anthony and Poppy--and he brought the young silver haired man a hot cup of coffee while he waited for his family...Gerard was nervous about seeing everyone; his dad, his mom, Mikey...he hoped that they would still love him like crazy. After a long wait...the door opened and there he was...Mikey.
"...Gee...?" Mikey's voice cracked as tears ran down his face...Gerard broke down in tears too as he stood up and embraced him with a tight hug; hard enough to leave some bruising on the both of them.
They cried in each other's arms as they held onto one another...shortly after, their mom and dad came in--calling out Gerard's name as they both embraced their older son in their arms. His mom was kissing his cheek and stroking his short and silver hair while his dad kissed the top of his head and patted his back...the tears kept coming and they were all weeping, together.
"Oh, thank God you're alright!"
"We've missed you terribly, son...so much..."
"I knew you were alive, I knew it..." Gerard said nothing, but listened to everything they told him. His mom and dad kept kissing him and hugging him—practically cradling him in their arms like a baby, and Mikey couldn't stop crying, but he eventually smiled as he wiped away his tears...God, he's grown up so much...he's nineteen now, and Gerard couldn't believe it. He's missed out on so much in his life, but now he could make up for lost time.
"What did you do to your hair...?" Gerard's mom asked with a soft spoken and sad tone as she gently touched her older son's soft and bright silver hair; stroking it as she examined it.
"Oh...I changed it..." Gerard finally spoke. His voice was very soft, almost inaudible, and even though he was speaking to his own mother...he felt incredibly shy and anxious.
"I miss your long dark hair...that's how you looked the last time we..." She froze in mid sentence as she still touched her older son's soft silver hair. Her eyes were watering as her bottom lip trembled...she was going to cry, again.
"When we last saw you..." Her voice trembled as more tears ran down her face. She sniffled softly as she placed both her hands against her son's warm and soft cheeks—getting a real good look at him, even removing his fake glasses to look into his green eyes. She missed Gerard's face more than anything...he looked a little older, but still had the same angelic face.
Gerard had more tears running down his face as he gently stroked his mom's dyed blonde hair, touching her face...missing her every single day when he was gone...she too aged a little, but she still looked the same. Still wore the same shade of lipstick and eyeshadow...she even smelled of her favorite perfume that she's been wearing since Gerard could remember.
"It's okay, mom. I'm okay." Gerard assured her as he pulled her in for a warm hug—squeezing onto her lightly as she buried her face in her son's chest, squeezing back.
Just then Gerard turned around to check on the kids. Anthony and Poppy stood in the corner, holding onto one another as they stared at his family behind him...they looked frightened and didn't say a word.
"Hey, guys--its okay...come here, I want you to meet some people..." They both shook their heads no as they clung onto one another in the corner. Gerard let go of his mom, placed a soft and sweet kiss against her forehead before he made his way over to them, got down to their level and placed kisses against their cheeks.
"You see those people over there? That's my family. That's daddy's family; my mom and dad--" Gerard explained to them as he pointed his finger at who he was talking about, so they'd understand.
"Those are your grandparents...remember daddy Frank told you about grandmas and grandpas?" They said nothing but just stared at the strangers standing in the room with us.
"And that's my brother--" Gerard pointed his finger at Mikey, who looked shocked at the fact that there were two small children. He looked shocked at the fact that they were his older brother's children.
"That's uncle Mikey?" Anthony slowly leaned his face forward towards Gerard and whispered in his ear.
"Yes. That's your uncle Mikey."
"They're strangers, daddy..." Poppy whispered to Gerard as she clung onto Anthony for comfort and shelter. She always clung onto her older brother whenever she felt scared.
"Give them a chance and say hello...its okay." Gerard smiled at them, and they looked at him with nervous and scared looks on their faces as he brought them over to meet his family. Their family. They all stared down at Anthony and Poppy with wide and surprised eyes...Gerard's mom smiled at them and his dad looked amazed at the fact that he was now a grandpa. Mikey still looked shocked and was speechless.
"Mom, dad, and Mikey...I'd like you all to meet Anthony Michael Iero-Way and Poppy Mae Iero-Way. These are mine and Frank's children." Mikey frowned when he heard Frank's name; his eyebrows lowered and the corners of his mouth twitched as he remained quiet...their parents looked a bit sad, but they smiled down at the kids.
"What beautiful names for such beautiful children." Gerard's mom said to them as she got down to their level, to get a better look at her grandchildren.
"Say 'thank you' to your grandma."
"...t-thank you..." Anthony's voice was so soft, Gerard barely heard him.
"Thank you, grandma..." Poppy spoke after Anthony. Her voice was sweet and my mom's eyes teared up as she continued smiling...examining their little faces.
"Anthony--you look just like your daddy...just like his baby pictures." She said as she placed a hand down against Anthony's shoulder—feeling him tense up a bit at her touch...but he didn't back away. She gently stroked his dark hair while staring into his enormous hazel eyes.
"...that's what daddy Frank says...and my uncle Ray."
"And you--my, what a beautiful little girl you are." She said as she moved Poppy's long and bright red hair behind her ears, softly touching her rosy cheeks...she was already in love with her grandkids.
"She looks more like...like Frank..." Mikey spoke. He looked upset now, but he tried to hide it, but Gerard could always tell when Mikey was upset or bothered by something.
"He's their father, Mikey--of course one of them would resemble his looks..." Mikey scoffed softly as he adjusted his glasses and ran his hand through his hair.
"So, I've got a grandson and a granddaughter. That makes me one lucky grandpa." Gerard's dad broke the small and awkward moment of tension by greeting Anthony and Poppy.
"I've got a lot of spoiling to do with you kids. Do you enjoy movies?" Anthony and Poppy looked up at their grandpa. They both slowly nodded their heads in response.
"Well, maybe I'll take you kids to the movies someday. Then I could take you bowling, afterwards."
"...what's...bow-ing...?" Poppy asked, feeling confused as she played around with her long strands of hair.
"Its called bowling, sweetheart. Its a sport--like baseball, football, and hockey. Its a lot of fun." Gerard explained to the both of them.
"Do you like games?" Anthony asked his grandpa.
"Like board games? Card games?" He asked him, and Anthony nodded his head in response.
"Yeah, I love games. We used to have family game nights every weekend." Gerard remembered those nights. His dad would make popcorn, and his mom would bake cookies or brownies...and they'd all play whatever card game or board game there was. Sometimes it'd just be him and Mikey playing video games, together. He did miss those nights...and now, his children would get to experience that with their new family. Gerard wished Frank would be able to, too.
Frank...he hoped he was alright...Gerard missed him. He want to see him. But, he knew better not to mention him around his family...not just yet, anyway. Gerard was happy to see them again, and he missed them all so much.
He felt like his prayers had been answered; like it was a miracle...but, with the storm being so bad this night--with Frank being arrested...it feels more like a curse than anything.
Chapter 18: Visitor
Gerard was reunited back with his family; they exchanged hugs, kisses, tears, and laughter. Anthony and Poppy got to meet their grandparents and uncle for the very first time...they were still a bit scared, but they'd eventually open up to them. While Gerard talked with his parents and his brother about what's been going on in his life for the last five years, Mikey made everyone go quiet when he asked Gerard about Frank.
"Did he kidnap you, Gerard?" Mikey was blunt. He didn't even hesitate about asking his question so directly.
"Where is daddy Frank...? Is he okay?" Poppy asked Gerard as she lightly tugged at his shirt.
"Mikey, that's their father..."
"Well, their father kidnapped you."
"What's kid-nap...?" Gerard softly shushed his small daughter and held her tiny body close against him. Anthony remained quiet as he stood next to Gerard, on the other side.
"Mikey, don't." Their mother said with a soft and firm tone, placing her hand down against Mikey's boney shoulder.
"Don't what? He's going to be asked these questions anyway when he gets interviewed. I just need to know." Gerard held both his kids close now.
"Michael James Way. I said don't." Their mom said slightly more aggressively, giving him that look she always gave both of them when they were acting up. Mikey already knew she was being serious once she used his full name, so he took the hint and stopped.
"Its getting late. Come on sweetie, let's take you home." Gerard grabbed a hold of his mom's hand in his while he held Anthony's small hand in his, and Poppy held onto her older brother's hand as they all made their way out of the room, out of the police station, and made their way home. Gerard wondered how much life at home had changed...he couldn't stop thinking about Frank; missing him terribly, and hoping he was okay, wherever he was.
The handcuffs were tight around Frank's heavily tattooed wrists; the blood circulation was being cut as both his hands were puffy and turning a purplish color. He's been crying so much that he eventually passed out while being held in a cell, waiting for the worse to come.
He thought about Gerard and his children...hoping all of them were alright. He missed them all so much, and his mind began to wonder what would happen with them; would Gerard end up hating Frank, again? Would his kids eventually find out the truth about Frank and hate him, too...? Would he waste his remaining years rotting away in solitary? Never to see anyone ever again; not Gerard, not Anthony, not Poppy, not Ray...he'd never see his mom again, either.
"Iero. Get up." A cop blurted out at him as he smacked his nightstick against the metal bars, making Frank jolt as he snap himself up. His eyes were heavy, red, and puffy.
"You've got a visitor."
"...who?" The officer ignored Frank's question as he unlocked his cell, made his way in, and grabbed Frank by his arm--he escorted him out of the cell, and lead him over to another room, where Ray waited for him.
"Holy shit, you're okay!" Ray stood up from his seat and didn't hesitate to pull him in for a hug--the officer scolded at Ray for touching Frank, but Ray didn't care. The cop sat Frank down, roughly, in a chair and stood by a corner, keeping an eye on him.
"Dude, what the hell happened...? I heard about you getting arrested on TV and they said that you kidnapped Gerard! Fuck—I thought his name was Arthur—now I know why his nickname was 'Gee'...what the hell is going on, Frank!?" Ray was talking so fast that Frank could barely understand all of his questions. He was even talking with his hands--Ray did that a lot, especially when he was freaking out.
"I didn't kidnap him, Ray. This is all just a huge fucking misunderstanding..."
"They said Gerard has been missing for five years--that he disappeared at seventeen, did you know about that?" Frank's mind was running; too many questions being asked at once, and too many thoughts scattering across his head...he honestly didn't know what to say.
"Ray...you have to believe me--whatever you heard, I didn't do anything wrong..." Frank had tears building up inside of his eyes; his eyes stung as tears spilled down his cheeks, and his heart was racing.
Ray noticed how purple Frank's hands were turning from the handcuffs.
"Hey officer--could you, like, take off the cuffs?"
"He's a criminal. Criminals wear cuffs--protocol."
"Dude, his hands are turning purple, can't you at least fucking loosen them...?" The officer let out a loud sigh and walked over to Frank, pulled him up and loosened up his cuffs, making Frank feel slightly relieved.
"You believe me, right...?"
"Frank, I don't know. I want to believe you--I do, you're my best friend; my brother by love, but...dude, this shit is seriously bad..."
"Ray, I'm telling the truth."
"I'll believe you when I hear the facts, okay...? In the meantime, I'm just glad you're not hurt..." Frank was upset that Ray didn't believe him. Ray always had his back; always defended him, always protected him...but not now. He could even tell that Ray looked at him differently. Frank couldn't explain the look, but it was...strange, like he saw him as a monster.
"Ray...I'm scared..." Frank felt like he was going to puke, and his breathing was unsteady.
"I'd be scared too if I were in your shoes."
"I miss Gee, and I miss my kids..." Ray was silent, he ran his hand through his curly and fluffy hair while sighing, softly.
"I know you do, Frank. But, right now you need to focus on you...I want to believe you're innocent, but...I don't know what to think right now." Frank remained silent as he thought about Gerard, Anthony, and Poppy. He missed his family--he wondered about where they were and if they were alright...he also wondered if they were thinking about him.
Frank wanted to see them again, before the storm began...before all the chaos began; all the interviews, all the trials...the revealing of everything, and the truth being spilled...all hell was about to break loose.
Chapter 19: Home
The familiar roads; the familiar neighborhood; the house where Gerard grew up...it looked the same from the last time he saw it. He was silent the whole car ride home, and everyone kept asking him if he was alright. A part of him was alright--being back with his family, and spending time with them again, but...the other part felt...empty. Empty and broken. Gerard couldn't stop thinking about Frank; he needed to know if he was okay, and he wanted so badly to see him again...but, he had a feeling that his family wouldn't leave his sight. They'd all be watching him and every little thing he did. Instant déjà vu.
"Mom, there's a bunch of reporters waiting outside the house..." Gerard quickly noticed a large group of people waiting and standing around outside his childhood home; all suits, and what looked like some of the neighbors. They were holding up signs that were made by hand--big and bright bold letters reading 'WELCOME BACK HOME, GERARD!', and 'ANGELS GUIDED YOU HOME', etc. Gerard's anxiety kicked in, and he felt himself tense up in the backseat. Mikey could instantly tell he was nervous.
"These reporters have been coming to our house since you were missing...they'd knock on our doors constantly and bother all of us every time we left the house--even if it was to take out the trash."
"Just ignore them when we get out of the car, okay?" Anthony and Poppy remained silent too, looking out the car windows and out to the brand new sights and views with bright and wide eyes.
"Mom, I'm scared...I feel like I'm going to throw up..." Gerard's heart was pounding away hard and rapidly inside of his chest as he grabbed onto both his kids and squeezed onto them.
"Gerard, honey--just breathe, and do as I say."
"Here, I'll take one of the kids, you take the other--and when dad says 'go' just get out of the car, don't even acknowledge the reporters, and make your way to the house, quickly." Mikey grabbed onto Anthony and both kids began to ask what was happening and who the people were outside.
As soon as Gerard's dad parked his car into the familiar driveway, the reporters surrounded the car; like vultures hovering around a small creature, waiting to make their move and attack. Gerard was now hyperventilating as tears began to build up inside of his eyes...he held Poppy close against his chest, and he wished he was back at home with Frank; feeling his warm and slightly toned and tattooed arms around him, making him feel so loved and so safe.
"Okay, everyone ready?" Gerard's father asked as he looked over at his wife, then back at both his sons and his grandchildren. Everyone just nodded their heads in response.
"Go." The car doors swung open widely and everyone made their way out. The neighbors from their neighborhood were cheering loudly as they held up their signs for Gerard and his family to see, saying all sorts of nice things while others just clapped their hands and whistled loudly. The reporters surrounded them--mostly Gerard, and they began to ask him all sorts of questions; shoving their microphones in his face while the cameras were aiming directly at him...Gerard held his head down as he followed Mikey, who was following their parents.
Poppy buried her face in Gerard's neck as she squeezed onto him, tightly. Anthony was looking at all the reporters and he kept squinting his eyes at the bright flashes coming from cameras--the paparazzi hung around the neighborhood and outside the Way's home, too.
They finally made their way inside the house. The door was shut and locked...Gerard stood there, completely frozen. He held onto Poppy, who was now softly crying in her dad's arms as she continued squeezing onto him. Gerard was breathing hard and heavily as he tried comforting his small crying daughter...he shushed her, rocked her, placed kisses on her head...before he knew it, he was crying.
"Gerard...?" Mikey walked over to his older brother, placing his hand down on his shoulder. Gerard tensed up at Mikey's touch, and Mikey just wrapped his arms around him--pulling him in for a hug.
"Sweetheart, let me take Poppy..." Gerard's mom said as she tried taking her small and crying granddaughter out of her son's arms...Gerard tensed up more, and Poppy squeezed her arms around his neck, still crying.
"Gerard, it's okay...you're home now and you're safe. Just give mom the baby and come with me." The room fell quiet; the only soft sounds were of both Gerard and Poppy crying.
"Daddy, don't cry..." Anthony said as he walked up to Gerard. Anthony wrapped his arms around his dad's waist and hugged him while gently patting his back--standing on his tippy toes while comforting him.
"It's okay, Poppy. I'm here...come on, let's go play." Anthony said as he lightly tugged at Poppy's little dress.
"Don't be sad...please...?" Anthony begged. Poppy lifted up her head and looked down at her older brother, sniffled softly while wiping away her tears.
"It's okay baby sis, just take my hand." Anthony said as he held his hand out to Poppy. She took his hand and Gerard gently placed her down. The kids went off with their grandparents, leaving Gerard alone with Mikey.
"Gerard...come on, I'll take you to your room." He sniffled softly as he followed his younger brother to his old bedroom; remembering all the family rooms and the layout of the entire house...his old bedroom looked exactly the same from when he last saw it.
Gerard began to remember a whole bunch of old memories as he sat himself down on his old and cushioned bed; it was super soft and comfortable...he had memories about his old room, how Mikey would always hang out with him in his room, how they always did stupid and childish things together all throughout the house when they were much younger...things have changed so much, now.
"Are you okay...?" Mikey asked Gerard as he sat himself down next to him on his bed.
"I don't know..." Gerard mumbled as he continued crying softly. He thought about a lot of things...he mostly thought about Frank; missing him so much, wanting to see him...but he was afraid to say anything.
"I'm happy you're back. You have no idea how much I've missed you..."
"I know...I've miss you, too." Gerard felt guilty about missing out on Mikey's life; missing his birthdays, him going up a grade in school...he missed his graduation.
"Mikey...are you mad at me...?"
"What...? No, of course not. Why would I be mad at you...?"
"Because...I...I'm..." Gerard wanted to say it, but he knew how Mikey would react. He just froze.
"What...? Gerard, tell me."
"...I...I'm worried about Frank..."
Chapter 20: Aggressive
Day two being held in a cell...Frank felt like he was going insane. He felt like he was going to be stuck behind bars forever. He had several other guys in the holding cell with him...a lot of them tough, big, and mean looking.
"Hey. You that guy that kidnapped that kid?" A tall and scary looking bald and overly built guy asked Frank. Frank remained silent as he stared down at the cuff marks resting on his skin around his wrists...the pain was throbbing and his eyes were so dry from all the crying he's been doing--missing Gerard and his children so much, his chest began to hurt.
"I asked you a question, pretty boy." The scary looking tall dude said as he roughly nudged Frank's arm, making him almost fall off the small bench inside the cell.
"Fuck off." Frank said, still avoiding eye contact.
"The fuck you said...?" Frank wasn't even fazed--he's dealt with abuse and bullying like that before, so it didn't bother him. Frank sighed out in annoyance as he turned his head to look at the scary bald guy, right in the eye.
"I said fuck off." Frank got punched, hard, right on his jaw; the loud crack of his jaw echoed all throughout the cell, making the other inmates yell and cheer out, wanting to see a good fight for entertainment.
"You feel tough now, pretty boy!? You like fucking kidnapping and raping young boys!?" Frank yell out a loud yell as he was kicked in his side.
"You sick motherfucker!" The angry and buff bald dude threw more punches down at Frank--punching him in his stomach, knocking the air out of him, and punching him right in his face before the cops heard the loud yelling and cheering coming from the cell--breaking it up.
Frank was escorted to a different cell, away from the other inmates being held. His mouth was drizzling blood; dripping off his chin, and his stomach was hurting so bad he felt like he was going to hurl...just then, he saw Gerard making his way through the entrance. His heart raced and he wanted to call out to him...Gerard quickly noticed him, but had to play it calmly.
"I'd like to press charges against Frank Iero." Gerard said to the officer behind the counter at the entrance. It was an obvious lie, but it was the only way he'd convince Mikey to take him to see Frank...Gerard was almost in tears from the sight of him--all bloody and in bad shape. The thought of him going to prison and getting jumped every single day until he was a bloody pulp...it scared the shit out of Gerard.
"Can...can I see him...?" The officer looked up at Gerard, looking at him as if he misheard him or thought he was crazy.
"I...I just want to tell him that I'm pressing charges." Gerard hoped he'd buy his lie. He did. He was escorted by another cop over to where Frank was being held...Mikey followed his brother, feeling pissed and ready to give Frank a piece of his mind.
When Gerard entered the cell with Frank..he immediately embraced him with hug.
"Hey--hands off, no physical contact." Gerard ignored the officer and sobbed softly as he held Frank in his arms...Frank was crying too as he inhaled Gerard's sweet scent and buried his face in his shoulder.
"Oh, my God...I've missed you...I missed you so much..."
"I've missed you too...I missed you so much, Gee..." Mikey watched them. Feeling disgusted as they touched...Mikey was hurt when Gerard told him that he was worried about Frank. He was hurt because Gerard had Stockholm syndrome...he had fallen in love with his kidnapper, his rapist...Mikey felt like he lost his brother.
"Are you okay...? What happened to you...?"
"Don't worry about me...are you okay? Where are the kids...?"
"They're at home with my parents--I'm sorry I couldn't bring them, I just really needed to see you..."
"I hope he never sees the light of day, again." Mikey finally blurted out. Gerard and Frank looked over at him.
"No, don't you 'Mikey' me--this guy kidnapped you, Gerard. He stole you; he fucking raped you...and you were...worried about him?"
"Mikey, none of that is true."
"You expect me to fucking believe that you just...ran away...? With him?" Mikey's voice was cracking, tears building up inside his eyes, behind his glasses.
"...Mikey, listen to me--"
"I have nothing to fucking say to you--acting like you didn't know, didn't know a goddamn thing about Gerard. You knew all along; holding him captive...you sick son of a bitch--"
"NO! I WON'T STOP!" Mikey yelled out, startling both Gerard and Frank.
"Listen to me, Mikey...whether you like it or not--I'm a part of your family, now. My kids, mine and Gerard's...your nephew and niece, they have my blood running through them...a part of me lives within them, no matter what." Mikey was breathing hard and heavily; his hands balled into tight fists, then he paced his way over towards Frank--grabbed him by his shirt and roughly pinned him against the wall.
"Mikey!" Gerard yelled out, and Mikey wrapped both of his hands around Frank's neck--roughly squeezing down, making him choke.
"I ought to fucking kill you for what you did to my brother; what you did to my fucking family!" Tears spilled down Mikey's face as he squeezed down harder around Frank's neck, making his face turn red as he gasped for a breath of air.
"Mikey--leave him alone!"
"I'll hurt you the way you hurt Gerard--how you hurt us!" Mikey said as he roughly slammed Frank against the wall; a loud thud from the back of his head bouncing against the wall. Mikey began to throw punches at Frank--against his face, his nose, his chest, his stomach...and Frank didn't fight back. He knew he deserved it.
"MIKEY--FUCKING STOP!" Gerard screamed out as he tried to pull his brother off of Frank, who was now bloody in the face...gasping for a breath of air while practically choking on his own blood.
"LET ME GO, GERARD!"
"NO, FUCKING STOP!" The officer heard all the commotion; he stepped in and quickly broke up the fight--grabbing Mikey and pulling him off of Frank. Gerard immediately fell to his knees and went to comfort Frank while the officer escorted Mikey away from them.
"Frank...? Oh, God--are you okay...?" He was crying as he stared at Frank's messed up face; his face was all puffy, along with his eyes--that were swollen...blood was gushing out from his nose, his mouth...he couldn't even talk.
"I'm here--it's okay...I'm here, Frankie..." Gerard held both sides of Frank's face, gently shushed him, and gently stroked his soft and dark hair.
"What the fuck is the matter with you!?" Gerard came storming out after comforting Frank. He was being escorted to the emergency room, then brought back into the police station until his hearing.
"What the fuck is wrong with me!? What the fuck is wrong with you!?" Mikey barked back at his older brother, practically yelling right in his face.
"You fucking sent Frank to the hospital! You nearly killed him!"
"GOOD!" Gerard growled softly under his breath as he roughly grabbed Mikey by his jacket and roughly slammed him against the wall.
"You didn't have to hurt him! He didn't do anything wrong!" Mikey let out a loud scoff and laughed as he shook his head in disbelief at the words Gerard was speaking.
"Are you even listening to yourself!? You have fucking Stockholm syndrome! You're in love with your fucking kidnapper and rapist! You're protecting him!"
"HE DIDN'T KIDNAP ME AND HE DIDN'T RAPE ME!" The room fell silent. Both brothers breathed hard and heavily as they stared at each other, intensely...both their faces were damped with sweat, and their hearts, racing.
"Gerard..listen to me. You are my brother, I love you so much; I will always love you and care about you...but, I feel like I lost you...Frank brainwashed you. He changed you. So, go ahead and tell yourself that you ran away from home; that you ran off with some guy you met at Hot Topic because you guys were in love. And go ahead and tell yourself he didn't rape you...you believe that. But I know the truth. And if you keep defending him...you'll lose all of my respect. All of it."
"It's the truth, Mikey...Frank didn't hurt me. He loves me, and I love him. We have kids together--they need both their parents. I'm going to defend Frank always because he is innocent. Believe me or not, but it's the God honest truth." They both fell quiet again before Mikey moved himself out of Gerard's grip and fixed his jacket while adjusting his glasses.
"Fine. I'll see you at home." And with those words, Mikey walked past Gerard without looking back at him, and made his way out of the police station.
Chapter 21: Promise
Frank suffered a broken nose, two black eyes, and a busted bottom lip; he needed stitches, but aside from his minor injuries, he stayed in the emergency room overnight and was brought back to the police station the next morning.
He was placed inside of his cell, without any other inmates. He didn't have handcuffs on, but his wrists were bruised; dark purple and almost black looking...they hurt, but he tried to ignore all the pain he felt.
He listened the incessant ringing of the phones. Somewhere in the back a drunk could be heard yelling that he hadn't gotten his phone call. The smell of gun polish hung cloyingly in the air mingled with the faint aroma of stale sweat...it made Frank's stomach churn. He sat all alone in his cell, drowning in his thoughts that rushed through his head; all playing at once, making his head pound...he wanted to see Gerard again, and his children. He missed them all so badly and he couldn't help but cry, again.
Later that day, Frank was escorted by another cop into another room--an interrogation room, and was seated down in a seat, and handed a cup of water.
"Do you know why you're in here?" Frank nodded his head slowly as he stared down at the cup of water in front of him on the table...thinking about what his life would become after all the chaos ended. If it ever did.
"You kidnapped that boy, Gerard Way. You held him captive in your home for five years--impregnated him by rape. You're on thin ice, Iero. You could be facing serious time; life imprisonment." Frank remained silent as he continued staring down at his cup of water.
"Unless you have a different story that says otherwise, you're in deep shit." Frank then lifted his head up, faced the officer sitting across the table from him.
"...I didn't do anything, wrong."
"No? Then tell me the real story."
"...I...I didn't kidnap Gerard. I didn't rape him." Before Frank could say more, another person came in the interrogation room. A woman dressed professionally, carrying a briefcase, and she approached Frank.
"Don't say another word. Not until the hearing, do you understand?" Frank looked up at her, feeling confused as he realized that she must've been a lawyer assigned for him.
"I'm Catherine Hopper, and I'll be your lawyer. Don't speak anymore about this, and we will prove your innocence." She demanded as she placed her hand down on Frank's shoulder, making him tense up at her touch. He didn't say anything, but just responded by nodding his head in response.
The questions came to a screeching halt as Frank bit his tongue; didn't dare say a word about anything of what was happening...he was afraid, now. It was a matter of time now until his hearing.
"I wanna see daddy Frank." Anthony's voice was soft and sad. He'd been asking for Frank ever since he got arrested...Poppy, too. And when they weren't asking questions about him, they just cried and sulked. Gerard kept telling them that Frank was okay--it hurt him to lie, but he didn't want them knowing about what had happened to him.
"When are we going to see daddy Frank...?"
"Please daddy, we wanna see him...we miss him..." Gerard did everything he could to comfort them, but nothing was working, anymore.
"You'll probably never see him, again." Mikey said to them as he searched around inside the fridge.
"What do you mean...?" Poppy asked her uncle, unsure by what he meant.
"I mean, your daddy Frank did some bad things--you may never see him, again."
"Daddy Frank isn't bad...why are you saying that?" Anthony frowned at Mikey, then asking Gerard why uncle Mikey was being mean.
"Mikey, please stop. The kids don't want to hear this--"
"Hear what? The truth? That their dear daddy Frank is a monster?"
"No, he's not! Why do you keep saying mean stuff about daddy Frank, uncle Mikey...?" Anthony was beginning to feel upset as he whimpered softly and gripped onto Gerard's arm for comfort.
"Daddy, make him stop..." Poppy begged Gerard as she made her way over to him, lightly tugging at his shirt.
"Tell them, Gerard. Tell them that their father is nothing more than a criminal who likes to steal young boys away from their families; keep them prisoner, and rape them."
"Stop it, uncle Mikey!" Poppy yelled at him, tears building up in her bright green eyes.
"You're mean, uncle Mikey! I don't like you!" Anthony yelled at him, still frowning at him.
"It's the truth, kiddo--your daddy Frank is a bad man and he hurt your daddy."
"Stop it!" Gerard yelled at Mikey, making the kids feel scared as they both started crying.
"Make him go away, daddy..."
"Yeah, make uncle Mikey go away!" Gerard frowned over at his brother, who was munching away on an apple, looking at Gerard with anger buried in his eyes. He didn't have to say anything, and Mikey took the hint.
Gerard wanted to take them to see Frank, because he was sure Frank missed them just as much as the kids missed him. Gerard missed him, too. He missee him, so much. The kids cried for a while, and Anthony was mad at Mikey...Gerard didn't want them being angry at his brother, but Mikey shouldn't have been saying all those horrible things about Frank--especially in front of Anthony and Poppy. They didn't need to hear any of that.
"Hey, hey...don't cry." Gerard gently shushed them as he tried calling them down. It was very hard having to raise his two small children all on his own...Frank was always there to help Gerard take care of their kids whenever they were upset; he was always there for them when they were scared; he was always there for them when Gerard couldn't call them down...Frank had natural fatherly instincts.
"I miss daddy Frank..."
"Me too, daddy...I miss daddy Frank a lot..." Gerard looked at both of his kids. He could see so much of himself in Anthony...staring at him with his enormous and bright hazel eyes; staring at me with the same eyes as Frank's.
Gerard saw so much of Frank in Poppy--not just appearance wise, but her personality, too. She was so much like him.
"I miss him too, my sweet babies..."
"When can we see him, again...?" He wiped away both of their tears off their little beautiful faces and kissed them both on their foreheads.
"I'll try to see if we can see him today, okay...?" Their little faces brightened up at Gerard's words.
"...really? You mean it, daddy...?" Gerard forced a smile at them as he nodded his head in response, trying to figure out how I'd be able to let them see Frank.
"We get to see daddy Frank!?" Poppy squealed in delight as she jumped up and down, grabbing a hold of Gerard's hand--lightly squeezing onto it. Gerard continued forcing his smile as he watched his children smile and light up with joy at the possibility of seeing Frank.
Chapter 22: Faith
It was time for the hearings; the confessing...all the truth was going to be spilled out. Frank's lawyer told him exactly what to expect and she even told him what to say and how to say it. He was terrified; he felt like he was going to be sick to his stomach...his heart was pounding so hard that it was hurting his chest, and he couldn't even properly breathe.
"I understand you're nervous, Mr. Iero, but you need to remain calm and keep your head held high, otherwise the jury will see right through you. Right now, you look incredibly guilty...my job is to make you look like you're innocent, since you claim you've done nothing wrong. You need to make everyone else believe you." Catherine, his brunette haired lawyer with dark brown eyes behind a pair of glasses explained to Frank with a serious and firm tone.
"...I-I'm scared..." Frank mumbled softly under his breath, swallowing his own saliva hard; his throat felt dry, his stomach was churning and he felt like he was about to spew all over himself. But, Frank managed to hold it all in.
"I understand you're scared Mr. Iero, but you need to be strong. You need to have faith." Easier said than done. Frank was quiet again before he turned his head to look at his lawyer, and ask her a serious question.
"...Ms. Hopper..." He referred to her as a miss because he didn't notice a wedding ring on her left ring finger. She turned to look at him, waiting for Frank to say whatever it was he was going to say.
"...do you think I'm innocent...? Or do you think I'm guilty...?"
"Well...to be perfectly honest, it isn't really up to me, Mr. Iero...however, giving you my opinion as a person and not as your lawyer? Yes. I do think you're innocent. I've read about your case and I've checked your background; you're a model citizen, you're a keeper of the peace, and you have no criminal records or any history in violence...whatever mess you got yourself into, I'm sure it's all a big misunderstanding." Somehow, her words soothed Frank...it made him feel a little bit relieved.
"Iero--you've got some visitors." A random cop approached him, telling him. Frank's heart raced as he was escorted, along with his lawyer, over to an area where everyone got visitors; you could see the person visiting you on the other side of the glass--the glass was the only way you could see them.
When Frank immediately saw Gerard with Anthony and Poppy, who immediately smiled over at him while waving their little hands at him and jumping up and down with delight...Frank smiled. He smiled as did Gerard when they looked at each other.
"I'll give you alone time, Mr. Iero, but remember what I said." She placed her down against Frank's shoulder, making him turn back to face her with the corner of his eye.
"If you ever want to see them again--your family, you have to be strong and fight for your freedom." And with those words, she left Frank to be with Gerard and his children--even if it was through glass.
Frank waved his hand at Anthony and Poppy while smiling at them, and Gerard. He sat down in the chair, picked up the phone--as did Gerard, and Frank's smile grew bigger when he heard all their voices.
"Daddy Frank! I missed you!"
"Me too, me too!"
"We missed you so much!!!" It was mostly Anthony and Poppy doing all the talking, but Frank didn't mind, at all. He was happy to see all of them and hear their voices, again.
"You two being good for daddy while I'm away?"
"We promise we are! Daddy misses you like crazy, but we miss you more!"
"When you coming home, daddy Frank...?"
"What happened to your face, daddy Frank...?"
"You got boo-boos..." So many questions being asked at once, and Frank had to think about an answer for each one--eventually Gerard had to stop Anthony and Poppy from drowning Frank with their millions of questions.
"How are you feeling...?" Gerard was finally able to ask Frank a question once their kids were more settled down.
"...I'm terrified for my life, Gee. The hearings will be in a couple of hours...I don't know what'll happen." Frank stared at the different appearance on Gerard; his short and yellow dyed hair was back to black, and he no longer wore his fake glasses...Frank could see Gerard's green eyes, clearly.
"I won't testify against you, Frank."
"I know that...that's why I was worried when I heard you were going to press charges against me..."
"I didn't mean that, Frankie...it was the only way Mikey would take me to see you." Gerard felt his heart sink as he stared at Frank's bruised up face; the cast on his nose, the dark and visible circles under his swollen and black eyes, and the stitches on his bottom lip...Mikey hurt him, so badly.
"You changed your hair..." Frank said to Gee with a small half smile resting for on his face.
"Do you not like it...?" Gerard asked Frank, running his hand through his hair.
"Its been a long, long time since I've seen your hair black...but, I love it. You look beautiful. You always do." Gerard blushed at Frank's compliment.
"Daddy is pretty!" Poppy said as she poked her little finger against Gerard's soft and rosy cheek.
"Yeah! I like your new black hair!" Anthony smiled at him, touching his hair.
"I miss you...God, I miss you."
"I miss you too, Frank...so much...we all miss you." Frank slowly raised his hand up and pressed it against the glass. Gerard proceeded by doing the same thing; slowly raised his hand up and pressed it against the glass, where Frank's hand was resting. They missed each other's touch more than anything.
"I wish I could kiss you..." Gerard spoke so softly into the phone; it was almost a whisper.
"I wish I could kiss you too, Gee..." Their hands were still resting against the glass in the same place, imagining they could feel each other's soft and warm skin...they stared into each other's eyes for a long while without saying a word.
"Come home, daddy Frank..." Anthony broke the silence. Frank felt his eyes sting with tears as he let out a soft chuckle, trying not to cry around his children.
"I'm sorry, Anthony...I can't come home right now."
"Please, daddy Frank...?" Poppy begged him with sad green eyes; she perfected Frank's puppy dog eyes, and it was one of Frank's weaknesses. He let out a soft sniffle as a single tear ran down his cheek, and he quickly wiped it away--forcing another smile for his kids.
"I'm sorry, babies...I can't come home, right now. But, I'll try to come home to all of you, soon...just wait for me, okay...?" Tears spilled down both Anthony's and Poppy's faces. The sight of seeing them all so sad broke Frank's heart...even Gerard looked like he was on the verge of tears, but he had to try and be strong for them. He had to be strong for Frank.
After the visit, Frank was reunited with his lawyer, and she had discussed more about what was going to happen; what to expect; how to answer; and of course, to remain calm and keep a straight face the entire time. After waiting for several more hours, Frank was brought to a cop car--changed into formal wear, and was driven to a courthouse.
Chapter 23: Court
His heart beating so fast; feeling like it was about to burst out of his chest at any moment...the drive to the courthouse felt long and it made Frank feel queasy as he stared out the car window from the backseat. The two officers escorting him occasionally looked at him from the rear view mirror...Frank didn't notice. He was handcuffed again, and felt it was completely unnecessary, but didn't bother complaining because it wouldn't do him any good.
Once they had arrived, paparazzi were already waiting for him; surrounding the police car Frank had arrived in like hungry vultures...already flashing their cameras and snapping away--taking as many photos as they possibly could. The two policemen escorted Frank from out of the car and into the building; reporters shoving their microphones into Frank's face as they asked numerous questions--one after another, all talking over each other, and the bright lights from the cameras kept flashing.
It was even worse when he was inside...more reporters and paparazzi approached him like rats, and Frank kept his head down the entire time as the cops tugged at his arm and escorted him into the courtroom where the hearings would take place.
The room was packed...Frank immediately felt anxious as he watched everyone turn their heads to face him. All of them judging him; frowning at him; looking down at him...Frank could feel their hatred. He could see it in their eyes. But, he eased up a bit once he saw a few familiar faces in the crowd...he saw Gerard, who was with his parents and Mikey. He saw Anthony and Poppy, who immediately smiled and practically bounced around in their seats with joy and delight while they waved their hands at Frank. Since he couldn't wave back because of the handcuffs, Frank just smiled over at them as he was brought all the way to the front, where Catherine waited for him.
His lawyer greeted him by wrapping her arm around his shoulder and whispering what was going to happen, and she even explained to Frank what he had to do. The judge came into the room...it was extremely quiet and the silence made everyone uneasy. Everyone then rose from their seats as the judge made his way towards his seat.
"Good morning everyone, I'm Judge Lockhart. Let us begin." Judge Lockhart made Frank's skin crawl; he was middle aged--around his mid or late forties, had very short and neatly groomed gray hair, and had very blue eyes behind a pair of thick and black glasses. He had a very serious face and it looked like he didn't even know what a smile was...Frank couldn't stop staring at him. Judge Lockhart was going to decide what to do with him; was he going to find him guilty and lock him up? Or was he going to find him innocent and let him go? He couldn't stop thinking about it and the over thinking was already giving Frank a headache.
As Judge Lockhart spoke, he mentioned Frank's name; brought up all charges he was facing, and mentioned Gerard's name...Frank slowly turned his head back over his shoulder and looked at Gerard who was sitting in the crowd. They looked at one another for a short moment before Catherine lightly nudged at Frank's arm, making him pay attention.
Frank's anxiety kicked in, hard, when he was brought up to the stand...having to be asked tough questions and answer them as honestly and with his head held up high, just like his lawyer said. He had to make the jury believe he was innocent.
"Mr. Iero--today you are here facing charges of kidnapping and rape of a minor. How do you plead?"
"...not guilty, your honor." Frank spoke softly as he turned to face Judge Lockhart, who stares over at him with his serious looking face. Frank could feel his deep blue eyes piercing through his soul...already judging him, and hating him.
"Please then, explain to everyone in here today how you are innocent. Innocent people aren't arrested, brought here, and questioned while facing very serious charges." Frank's heart was racing now. He felt sick to his stomach and his lawyer could tell he looked clammy and scared.
"Your honor, if I may speak." Ms. Hopper spoke as she stood up from her seat and made her way over towards Frank, reassuring him that he'd be fine with just a look.
"You believe my client has done these horrible crimes that he's facing charges, against?"
"He wouldn't be facing them, otherwise, Ms. Hopper. What is your point?" She made her way back over towards her table, opened her briefcase; quickly rummaging through stacks of paper. Once Ms. Hopper grabbed a file, she brought it over to Judge Lockhart and handed it to him.
"Your honor, as you'll see in Mr. Iero's files--he has no criminal records of any kind. Not even so much as a speeding ticket. He doesn't even have a violent past, so I ask all of you in here today--" She turned around to face all the people in the court with them.
"With someone who has no criminal records; no violent behavior or tendencies--a father to two small children--" She pointed her finger over at Gerard with Anthony and Poppy, and everyone turned to face them before looking back at Catherine.
"Do you really think my client, Mr. Iero, could do anything as such?" The room was still silent. Frank's hands were trembling as he messed around with the handcuffs around his wrists...he wanted to throw up, but held his head up high.
"Mr. Iero has been wrongly accused, your honor. Yes, Gerard Way has been with him during the time he was missing--but, isn't it possible that what my client said is the truth? That Gerard just ran away with him?"
"That's bullshit, and you know it!" Mikey said as he rose from his seat; frowning as tears ran down his cheeks, his face bright red.
"Quiet down, young man--"
"My brother did not run away with Frank! He stole him!" Judge Lockhart banged his gavel several times, making a few people in the audience jump.
"Mr. Way, please settle down or I'll have someone escort you out. Is that understood?" Judge Lockhart used a serious and firm tone with Mikey, making him settle down as he sat himself back down. His mother had to wrap her arm around him to try and calm him down.
Frank looked at Gerard again, who looked at him with sad and worried eyes. He held both of their children close against him.
"Proceed, Ms. Hopper."
"Thank you, your honor. As I was saying...my client has been wrongly accused. He didn't kidnap Gerard, nor did he take advantage of him. He is innocent, your honor." Frank was really hoping there would be a good outcome from all of this...he felt the weight of the world on his shoulders right now. He tried being strong, just like his lawyer told him to be...but, it was hard. Especially when everyone already saw you as guilty.
"Thank you for your insight, Ms. Hopper. Now, if you don't mind I'd like to hear what Mr. Iero has to say about all of this." All eyes were on Frank, again. The anxiety hit him even harder than before and he felt lightheaded and dizzy.
"Where did you meet Gerard, Frank?" Judge Lockhart asked him, all of his attention on him.
"...I...I met him at a Hot Topic, where I was working, still am working. I was the manager and he was just a loyal customer..."
"You are aware he was only seventeen at the time?" Frank nodded his head in response before he spoke some more.
"Yes, your honor. The age difference between us is only four years apart...I was twenty-one at the time, but we didn't even interact with each other until later..."
"Were you attracted to him?"
"Well...yes, your honor. I liked him when I first saw him...but, I was professional and only spoke to him if he needed any help finding anything." Frank was a little surprised at how easy the questions were, but he had a feeling they wouldn't all be so easy. Frank knew the questions would get harder and more difficult...so, he had time to figure out what he'd say. Until then, he would just tell the truth. The whole truth.
Chapter 24: Confession
"So, is this the final story you're going with?"
"It isn't a story--"
"Is that your final statement or not, Mr. Iero?" Judge Lockhart interrupted him, making Frank sigh out softly under his breath. He felt physically drained; answering so many questions--each one getting more challenging and harder to answer than the last, but he managed to answer them. All truthfully, and he even made sure to make direct eye contact with people in the audience--to try and gain their sympathy.
"That'll be all, Mr. Iero, thank you." Judge Lockhart motioned his hand for Frank to step down from the witness stand and call forward the next witness.
Frank was escorted back to his seat by a bailiff, seated next to his lawyer.
"I'd like to call forward Ray Toro to the witness stand." Frank didn't even notice that Ray was sitting in the audience...his mind was so scattered, and he was completely terrified that he couldn't even pay attention to anything and everything around him.
Ray made his way over to the witness stand. He was dressed formally; a white buttoned up shirt, black slacks, black dress shoes, and even his long and puffy hair was in a tight ponytail. As he made his way over to the witness stand, he caught Frank looking over at him...they didn't say anything, but Ray somehow knew what Frank was thinking--just by looking at him.
"Today, Mr. Toro--please." Judge Lockhart spoke, catching Ray's attention as he gave Frank a small half from before making his way onto the witness stand.
"How are you today, Mr. Toro?"
"Ray, your honor. Call me Ray."
"If you insist, Ray."
"I'm well, your honor. And you?" Frank couldn't help but smile a small smile to himself as he held back a soft chuckle by biting down on his bottom lip. Ray was still himself; cheerful, goofy, and still a smart ass.
"I'm well, myself. Now, you understand why you're up here?"
"Because a king needs a queen by their side?" Ray's comment made several people laugh, Judge Lockhart wasn't amused. Not in the slightest. He banged his gavel down again, louder than the first time, and everyone fell silent, again.
"Listen to me, Mr. Toro--I don't appreciate nonsense in my courtroom. Is that understood? You are here to answer questions about Frank Iero; you're his best friend, is that correct?"
"...um, y-yes sir...your honor, I mean." Judge Lockhart nodded his head in response before he calmed himself down.
"Then I expect you to be serious and answer my questions. You think you can do that?" Ray felt threatened by Judge Lockhart; he was so damn serious...he actually scared Ray.
"Yes, your honor."
"Good. Now, you said you're Mr. Iero's best friend? How long have you two known each other?"
"I've known Frank since we were little kids. We went to the same elementary school, lived in the same neighborhood, and we did everything together. He was like my brother." Ray looked over at Frank again, who looked like he was getting a little emotional as he sat and listened to what he had to say.
"What kind of person was Frank during your childhood?"
"Frank was a good kid. He never caused any issues at school and was always a good friend to me; in fact, he was the best..."
"Did he ever seem odd? Any unusual behavior?"
"No. Like I said, Frank was a good kid. If anything, he was..." Ray hesitates completing his sentence, but it caught Judge Lockhart's attention as he raised an eyebrow.
"Yes, Mr. Toro?" Ray was silent for a moment, the uncomfortable silence lingered all throughout the courtroom.
"Well...Frank was always covered with bruises; he'd show up to school with a black eye, fresh new cuts on his face, and sometimes he wouldn't show up at all until about several days later wearing a cast...he had a broken leg, a broken arm, and even a broken wrist. How he looks right now--" Ray examined the damage on Frank's face; his stitched up bottom lip, his broken nose under the small cast, his two black eyes...Ray remembered all too well seeing Frank look like that.
"Sounds like he had a rough childhood."
"Frank told me about getting hurt at home...I never really went to his house much as a kid...I wanted to, but I wasn't allowed."
"Allowed?" Judge Lockhart said as he raised an eyebrow, removed his glasses and gave Ray a very interested look in whatever it was he had to say next.
"His dad was pretty strict and I wasn't allowed to ever go over at Frank's to hang out with him. In fact, I never saw too much of Frank outside..." Ray began to wonder about the past. All those times Frank could never go outside to play, or even visit Ray...he always wondered, but never questioned why because he knew how private Frank was.
"It sounds like Mr. Iero had an abusive childhood. And if he was abused, that would certainly explain him growing up and committing such unforgivable and unspeakable crimes." Judge Lockhart shot a serious glance over at Frank and Ms. Hopper--staring at him with his deep and serious blue eyes, making Frank feel uneasy, again.
"He's never done anything bad in his entire life, your honor. Frank never even got into a fight at school...I'm telling you, he's a good person. I don't think he did this." Judge Lockhart put his glasses back on as he turned his head to look over at Ray, once more.
"So, you're defending Mr. Iero?"
"Yes, your honor. Frank is my best friend; my long lost brother from another mother...I love him very much. He's good to Gerard; loves him like crazy and I know when two people are in love. I know it sounds dumb, but it's true...the way they look at each other; the pure look of love and happiness on their faces...not to mention, Frank is a damned good dad to his kids." Ray looked over at Frank once more, who was now crying. Tears were spilling down his cheeks as he quick led wiped them away.
"He's a wonderful father, your honor. And he loves Gerard...that much I know. He's a good person." Somehow, Judge Lockhart didn't look too pleased by Ray's statement towards Frank, but he continued asking more questions. Ray answered them all, and when he was finished, Judge Lockhart excused him from the witness stand, only to call forth another.
"Michael James Way, please come forward." Mikey didn't hesitate to step out of his seat and made his way over towards the witness stand.
He gave Gerard a quick glance...Gerard gave Mikey a look that said 'please don't do this', but Mikey was too angry and too stubborn to even listen.
"I'm going to make sure you get life in prison." Mikey harshly whispered over at Frank, making Frank's skin crawl as he took a deep inhale before he exhaled sharply...having Catherine try and calm him down by putting her hand down against his shoulder, gently squeezing down on it.
"Do you understand why I called you up here, Mr. Way?"
"Absolutely, your honor. I'm testifying against Frank Iero for kidnapping my brother and raping him." Several murmurs and whispers were heard all throughout the courtroom, and Gerard slowly closed his eyes as he held Anthony and Poppy close against him.
"How is your relationship with your brother?"
"We were close, your honor. Gerard wasn't just my older brother, but he was also my best friend; we did everything together."
"I see. And how was Gerard's relationship with your parents? How was your life at home?"
"Gerard was a happy kid. My mom and dad gave us everything and they loved us. For crying out loud, we had family nights together...we were happy. He was happy."
"So, you don't believe your brother ran away from home with Mr. Iero?"
"No, your honor. Gerard had a good life; he was about to graduate high school and was going to go to an art school--he loved to draw and he wanted to make comics. He was really good at it, too. Gerard wasn't popular...he was somewhat of an outcast because he wasn't really the sociable type...but, he had a good life, your honor. His life back at home was good." Mikey looked over at Frank. He stared at him with pure rage and disgust in his eyes...he could tell Frank was scared now.
"Were you there when Gerard met Frank? In fact, did they meet at a Hot Topic, like Mr. Iero claimed?" Mikey nodded his head in response as he adjusted himself in his seat; clearing his throat and sitting himself up, straight.
"That was one of our favorite stores to shop at. We went there a lot for new shirts, CDs of our favorite bands, and I remember seeing Frank."
"Was he the manager?"
"Yes. He greeted us as he did anyone else who entered and for a while he didn't bother us...I wasn't alarmed by Frank because he just seemed like a regular guy you'd see in a Hot Topic; tattooed, pierced, and dressed all in black. The only time he spoke to either of us is when he thought we needed help finding something." Frank listened to Mikey explain everything to Judge Lockhart.
"When did they finally start talking?"
"Gerard actually needed help finding a shirt I believe, and Frank was gladly honored to help. They made small talk and shared stupid jokes while Frank was looking for the shirt Gerard wanted...after that, they wouldn't shut up. Gerard was actually...well, he was...flirting with him, your honor."
"So, your brother was attracted to Mr. Iero?"
"It seemed that way, your honor. It disgusted me because for one--they didn't know each other. The other part, Frank looked older than Gerard...I didn't want him flirting with my brother..." Judge Lockhart asked Mikey more questions, and Mikey gladly answered them--all against Frank, making the crowd go against him more than feel sympathetic for him.
"Thank you for your cooperation, Mr. Way, you've been a great help."
"The pleasure was all mine, your honor." Judge Lockhart excused Mikey from the witness stand. Mikey shot another angry glance over at Frank as he made his way back over to his seat. More whisperers and murmurs were heard all throughout the courthouse, again.
"Now, I'd like to call forward Gerard Way. The boy who was missing for five years, and has been found and reunited with his family." Gerard went cold; his hands were trembling, and his heart began to race...all eyes were on him now. Some people stared at him with smiles on their faces; glad that he was still alive and well...the rest of them looked at him as if he were a ghost returned from the dead.
Gerard handed his kids over to his parents as he made his way over to the witness stand. He walked over slowly...his heart beating quicker each step he took closer and closer to the stand...he stopped for a moment to look at Frank. Frank looked up at him--his enormous and hazel eyes were scared looking and they were slightly red and puffy from the crying.
'I love you.' Gerard mouthed at Frank, making Frank smiled a small smile up at him.
'I love you, too.' Frank mouthed back at Gerard. Gerard made his way over to the witness stand...slowly sitting himself down, and all the strangers in the room stared at him, making him feel extremely uncomfortable.
"Gerard, let me just say that I'm deeply relieved and grateful that you're alive. I'm glad to see you in one piece...well, at least, physically." Gerard didn't say anything but he just slowly nodded his head in response.
"Do you understand why you're here?"
"Yes, your honor."
"Are you defending Frank Iero? Or will you be testifying against him?" Gerard's heart was going insane inside of his chest; beating hard and at a rapid and unsteady pace, and it was effecting his breathing...his big green eyes were wondering all throughout the courthouse full of unfamiliar faces and different colored eyes all staring at him.
He then looked over at Frank, who look like a hot mess as he sat impatiently in his seat next to his lawyer--waiting for his response as he fumbled around with his fingers; picking the dead skin off the corners of his fingers while messing around with his handcuffs.
His eyes then wandered towards the back...he stared at his family; his mom, his dad, Mikey...then he looked at both his young children.
"I'm here to defend him, your honor." Judge Lockhart let out a soft sigh as he hand gestured for Gerard to begin whenever he was ready.
"My name is Gerard Arthur Way...I'm twenty-two years old, and I went missing when I was seventeen. But not because I was kidnapped. I was missing because I ran away with my lover, Frank Iero."
Chapter 25: Defend
Gerard had more questions asked than anyone else that took the witness stand. Most of them were surprisingly simple and easy to answer, and he had answered every single one with full and detailed explanations...then out of nowhere, Judge Lockhart began to ask more hard and serious questions.
"Mr. Way, you claimed that you ran away with Frank Iero; a man you didn't know anything about and is older than you by four years--you being seventeen at the time, and Mr. Iero being twenty-one. You ran away with him because, and as you put it, you two were in love."
"Yes, your honor. That's correct."
"And during the five long years you were missing, you had no intentions of contacting your family in any way?"
"They wouldn't understand my relationship with Frank. My parents were always very protective of me and Mikey...we weren't even allowed to hang out with people a year older than us. I didn't tell them about Frank because they wouldn't approve of him."
"Parents are supposed to be protective, Mr. Way--you're a father to two small children. Wouldn't you be the same?" Gerard didn't know what happened to him; something inside of him just snapped--like a crack on glass just before it shattered into a million pieces.
"My children are perfectly fine. I'd never tell them they couldn't be friends with certain people, I want them to live their own lives as they grow up."
"I see." Judge Lockhart then removed his glasses, rubbing his eyes as he sighed out softly--his face turning red as he tried to calm himself down. He then took a deep breath before putting his glasses back on and hand motioned for Gerard to continue.
"I know what you're thinking, your honor. You think I'm making all of this up; that everything I'm saying is a lie."
"Gerard, whether you and Mr. Iero were in love or not doesn't effect me. Not in the slightest. However, you disappeared without a trace--not even so much as any form of contact with your family. You decided to just run away from your home? To be with him?" Judge Lockhart asked Gerard as he pointed his finger over at Frank, who was now biting down his bottom lip; biting off some skin and tasting blood on his tongue.
"A man you hardly knew? Simply because you two were in love?"
"Yes, your honor."
"Well, I'll say this. I think what you did is incredibly selfish. From what your younger brother told me--you had a good life; loving parents, a scholarship to an expensive and fancy art school, and almost graduated high school. And instead, you threw away your future to be with Mr. Iero, because you were in love." Gerard frowned as he remained silent.
"Like I said your honor, my parents wouldn't understand. I wanted to be with Frank."
"Even so, for a seventeen year old, that is vey selfish for you to do. You were missing and you put your family through hell...what if one of your children had ran away from home and didn't bother contacting you?"
"You will leave my children out of this. You wanted to ask me questions, remember?" Gerard snapped at Judge Lockhart, making him raise an eyebrow in surprise and was not particularly fond of Gerard's tone or attitude.
"You expect me to believe that you ran away from your family just to be with Mr. Iero--not have any contact with your family for five years?"
"Believe me or not your honor, it's the truth. You can go ahead and call me selfish--but love is a selfish thing. It makes you do stupid things...you were young once. So, don't you dare look down at me and judge me. And don't bring my children into this conversation." Gerard spoke to Judge Lockhart with a firm, serious, and angry tone while glaring at him with his enormous green eyes.
"Very well, Mr. Way. Is that all you have to say?"
"No, your honor. I've got one more thing to say. I was a stupid and young kid--I ran away with a man who was older than me; a man I barely knew. He was cute and I wanted to be with him...we ran away together, and we have two children, together. I love Frank, and he loves me. Our love may not be a fairytale, but it's true. Frank is a good person...he's innocent, your honor." Gerard looked over at Frank again. Frank looked at him with his big and beautiful hazel eyes, smiling his small and sweet smile over at him with tears in his eyes.
"Thank you, Gerard. You may step down now, and we'll be taking a five minute recess." And with that, Gerard quickly stepped off the witness stand and paced over towards Frank.
"Are you alright...?" Gerard asked Frank as he gently grabbed both sides of his face and placed a kiss against Frank's forehead.
"I am, now." Frank said as he smiled up at Gerard. Gerard was saddened as he examined Frank's injured face; carefully grazing his thumb against Frank's stitched up bottom lip.
"I'm sorry I'm ugly right now..." Frank mumbled under his breath as he lowered his head, feeling embarrassed by his appearance.
"No, Frankie...the world is ugly, but you're beautiful to me." Frank looked back up at Gerard, still blushing bright red, and Gerard embraced him with a soft and sweet kiss against his lips.
"Gerard." Mikey caught both of them off guard and Gerard was startled by his brother's approach.
"We need to talk. Now." Mikey didn't even acknowledge Frank; wouldn't dare look his way or even say a single word to him.
"Can't it wait? I want--"
"I said now, Gerard." Mikey's time was serious and angry. Gerard gently caressed Frank's cheek before he followed Mikey out of the courtroom.
Gerard was greeted by both Anthony and Poppy as they ran over to him and latched onto each leg--squeezing onto them while looking up at him with their big and bright eyes.
"How could you say all those things about mom and dad...?"
"Say what, Mikey?"
"You fucking know what you said; mom and dad were overprotective, and they wouldn't approve of you being with Frank--you never fucking brought him around, I'm sure they'd give him a chance if you weren't so damn secretive."
"You'd all disapprove of Frank, you hated him ever since you first saw him talking to me."
"He was flirting with you--a total stranger and he seemed...fucking weird..." Gerard frowned at his brother, scoffing under his breath as he shook his head and rolled his eyes.
"See? You wouldn't have even given him a chance. Neither would mom or dad." Anthony and Poppy continued clinging onto Gerard's legs, listening to what both he and Mikey were saying.
"Gerard--you shouldn't have said what you said about mom and dad, about us--"
"And you shouldn't have made Frank sound like a fucking bad guy." Mikey let out a loud sigh as he ran his hand through his hair, lightly tugging on it as he tried to speak calmly to his older brother.
"That's because Frank is a bad guy. You know that's the truth."
"No, he's not! Why do you keep saying mean stuff about daddy Frank, uncle Mikey?" Anthony said as he released his grip from Gerard's leg and stood himself up, frowning up at his uncle.
"Anthony...listen to me, it's true. Your daddy Frank isn't a good person--"
"Shut up! You're lying and you're mean!"
"Anthony--" Gerard called out his young son's name as he tried to calm him down.
"Daddy, why does uncle Mikey hate daddy Frank so much...?"
"Can we see daddy Frank? Pease, daddy...?" Poppy begged Gerard as she lightly bounced on his leg while still latching onto it. There was still time; very little left, but enough time for the kids to see their father.
"Mikey...I love you, okay...? You're my brother and I will always love and care for you. Same with mom and dad. But, I'm not the same seventeen year old kid I was five years ago; time has passed, I've grown and I've changed. I have a family of my own now and whether you like it or not...I love Frank. And I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure he doesn't get sent to prison for a crazy accusation. He didn't do anything wrong." Mikey didn't say anything...instead, he just gave his brother a sad and defeated look. He fought back his own tears and swallowed the words he wanted so badly to say...but he knew Gerard wouldn't change his mind. He loved Frank, and that was that.
"All I have to say is how heartbroken I am to know I've lost you, completely. Frank brainwashed you...my brother is gone."
"I'm still here, Mikey. I'm still your brother...I've just grown up. You have to accept that." Tears spilled down Mikey's cheeks as he sniffled out softly; quickly removing his glasses and wiped away his tears before putting them back on. He didn't say anything, but the sadness in his eyes said enough.
Without saying anymore, Gerard took both his children's hands in his and made his way back into the courtroom. Frank was still sitting at his table, discussing with his attorney about something.
Anthony and Poppy didn't hesitate to run over to Frank--and they pretty much greeted him by tackling him with hugs.
"Daddy Frank!" Poppy squealed out in delight as she climbed into Frank's lap and placed kisses all over his face, being gentle with his face injuries.
"We missed you so much, daddy Frank!" Anthony said with teary eyes as he sniffled softly.
"Hey, hey--don't cry baby...I missed you both, too. God, I missed you both so much." Frank held Anthony and Poppy close against him as he placed kisses against their heads.
"They wanted to see you...sorry I had to step out really quickly...Mikey wanted to talk." Frank looked over at Gerard. They smiled at one another.
"It's okay, Gee. No need to apologize. I'm just happy to see you and our kids..."
"When can you come home, daddy Frank...?"
"Yeah, we want you home..."
"I wanna come home too, guys...but, I can't right now."
"I don't like staying at grandma and grandpa's house..." Anthony said, pouting while wiping away his own tears.
"You don't...? Why not...?" Anthony looked over at Gerard, and Gerard placed his hand down against Anthony's shoulder--gently squeezing down on it.
"You can tell daddy Frank, baby. Its okay." Anthony looked over at Frank again and he sighed out softly as he sniffled softly.
"I love grandma and grandpa, but uncle Mikey is mean...he keeps saying bad stuff about you, daddy Frank."
"Yeah, he does..." Poppy said as she nodded her head in agreement. She was pouting now, too.
"What kind of things does your uncle Mikey say?"
"He says that you're a bad person; that you hurt daddy and that you stole him...why would he say that, daddy Frank...?"
"You're not bad, daddy Frank..." Frank smiled down at his kids and Gerard wrapped his arm around Frank's shoulder, and Frank looked up at Gerard again--smiling up at him. He felt at ease...he really hoped that he have more chances to spend every single moment with them.
"You're going to get out of all this...I know you will." Gerard leaned forward and kissed Frank, making the kids giggle softly.
The sweet moment was short, but it was enough for Frank. It was enough for Gerard. Most of all, it was enough for Anthony and Poppy.
Recess was over and it was back into the chaos...Catherine had asked Frank if everything he had said was all he needed to say. He realized on both Anthony's and Poppy's birth certificates--Gerard used a fake name. He had changed his appearance too; cutting his long black hair and dyeing it yellow, and wear fake glasses. Not to mention, the kids weren't even born in New Jersey.
He was pretty sure Judge Lockhart would notice all of that and demand answers. Catherine suggested Frank should be cross-examined; that way, Judge Lockhart would have all the important information he needed, and to see that Frank was just making up a story to clear the storm.
"Before we continue with more witnesses, we have more to hear from Frank--Ms. Hopper, Mr. Iero's attorney, has just informed me that her client would like to be cross-examined." Judge Lockhart announced to everyone in the courtroom; his voice loud enough for it to echo all throughout the entire room. A few people whispered and murmured to one another as Frank stood up from his seat, escorted by the bailiff back to the witness stand to answer more tough questions that will be thrown at him. He was expecting it.
"Mr. Iero--from the files Ms. Hopper had given me, I noticed very huge and very important things that you forgot to mention the first time you were up here. You forgot to mention that both of your children weren't born in New Jersey--no, in fact--" Judge Lockhart stopped in mid sentence as he flipped through Frank's file; rummaging through thick stacks of paper. He then pulled out copies of both Anthony's and Poppy's birth certificates.
"Your children were born in Maryland. It says it on their birth certificates. Not to mention--Gerard's name wasn't even Gerard Way on each child's birth certificate. No, his name was Arthur Michaels." Frank remembered when Gerard was first pregnant with Anthony. Gerard suggested he use a fake name while filling out the baby's birth certificate, to avoid anyone asking him questions and having the police involved.
"Why was Gerard using a fake name? And why did he change his appearance, Mr. Iero?" Before Frank could answer, Judge Lockhart proceeded by pulling out photographs of Gerard with his short dyed bright yellow hair and fake glasses. The room was full of more whispers and murmurs as Judge Lockhart handed the photos to the bailiff and had him show everyone in the courtroom.
"Care to explain, Mr. Iero?"
"I have answers to your questions, your honor--if you'd let me speak."
"Proceed." Frank sighed out softly before he closed his eyes and took a deep breath, trying to stay strong and keep his head held high--just like Ms. Hopper told him to do.
"It was Gerard's idea to use a fake name. He didn't want to be found, your honor."
"He didn't want to be found?"
"No, your honor. He knew that if he used his real name that questions would be asked and someone would immediately recognize him; call the police...he wanted to use a fake name. Ask him, it was his idea."
"And what about the change of appearance?"
"Again, it was Gerard's idea. He didn't want to be recognized." Judge Lockhart turned all red in the face again; he looked aggravated, but remained silent.
"Would Gerard Way please come up here to confirm?" He finally spoke. The room was full of whispers and tones of confusion as Gerard stood up from his seat and made his way over to the front, quickly looking over at Frank. Then over at Judge Lockhart.
"Was this your idea?" Judge Lockhart asked Gerard as he held the photo of him with his bright dyed yellow hair and fake glasses.
"Yes, your honor."
"And was it your idea to change your name to Arthur Michaels?"
"Yes, your honor. I chose Arthur because that is my middle name; I chose Michaels because of my brother, Mikey. When my children were born, I put down my real last name as their last names because I didn't want them not knowing who they really were. I explained to the nurses that Way was my mother's maiden name, so they allowed it." Judge Lockhart looked over at Frank, who sat perfectly still and silent in his seat on the witness stand.
"Mr. Iero--Mr. Way was eighteen years old when he gave birth to your first born. Which means he got pregnant at seventeen; the same age he was when he supposedly ran away with you. You being twenty-one, that is statutory rape."
"I waited until Gerard was of legal age before performing in any sexual activity, your honor. Its the truth." Judge Lockhart looked over at Gerard, who was still standing in front of him--looking up at him with his bright green eyes.
"Is that true, Mr. Way?" Gerard nodded his head in response.
"We were living together, and there were a few close calls--to be perfectly honest. But, nothing happened until I turned eighteen. Frank was nothing but patient."
"You were a virgin when you and Mr. Iero engaged in intercourse for the first time together, correct?"
"Yes, your honor."
"And you were too, Mr. Iero?" Judge Lockhart asked Frank, turning his head to face him. Frank blushed in embarrassment as he cleared his throat and slowly nodded his head in response.
"...uh...y-yes, your honor. I was a virgin, too." Frank felt his face heat up; burning hot, and he was pretty sure his face was ruby red.
"I see. What an interesting...'love' story, you two have. Very interesting, indeed."
"You say it like you don't believe either of us, your honor." Gerard said as he crossed his arms over his chest.
"Its just hard for me to believe that someone as attractive as yourself, Mr. Iero, had never engaged in any sexual activity with anyone else before being with Gerard."
"...like I said, your honor. I was a very private and lonesome person." The courtroom fell silent for an awkward and uncomfortable amount of time...Judge Lockhart then cleared his throat as he removed his glasses once more--rubbed his eyes and took a deep breath.
"That'll be all, Mr. Way, thank you. You may return to your seat." Judge Lockhart hand motioned for Gerard to leave and he didn't hesitate to go back to his seat.
"Is that everything then, Mr. Iero? Anything else you'd like to add?"
"No, your honor. That's everything...I have nothing more to say."
"Very well, then. Thank you, Mr. Iero. You may step down as I call up the next witness." Frank stepped down from the witness stand as the bailiff escorted him back to his table where his attorney waited for him.
"I'd like to call forward Anthony Michael Iero-Way, please."
Chapter 26: Witness
Both Frank and Gerard were shocked once they heard Judge Lockhart call forward their young five year old son. Anthony's big hazel eyes widened with pure fear as he looked up at Gerard, grabbing a hold of him by his arm and tugging at his jacket.
"Daddy...I don't wanna go up there..." He whispered at Gerard. Anthony had a soft kiss placed against his forehead as his dad assured him that everything would be alright.
"Your honor, you're going to question a five year old...?" Catherine asked as she stood up from her seat.
"He's a witness--I'm sure he can answer a few simple questions."
"He's just a child, your honor--"
"I've been doing this job for a very long, long time. I was still doing this when you were his age, Ms. Hopper--I've questioned plenty of children, before." Frank felt alarmed; his eyes were wide, his heart was beating rapidly, and his hands were beginning to tremble, lightly.
"Don't you think the child will be frightened...?"
"He has nothing to be afraid of, Ms. Hopper, I will be asking him simple questions. Would someone please escort Anthony Michael Iero-Way forward?" The bailiff made his way over towards Anthony. Anthony buried his little face in Gerard's side--whimpering softly as he wrapped his arms around his father's waist, squeezing onto him.
"Hey, hey..." Gerard spoke softly to his young son as he softly shushed him and ran his hand through Anthony's freshly cut and soft dark hair.
"I don't wanna go up there, daddy--that judge is mean and scary..."
"It'll be alright, baby. Just go up there and answer a few questions...I'll be here for you, and so will daddy Frank. Okay?" Anthony lifted his up and looked at Gerard with his big and bright hazel eyes...Gerard kissed the top of his son's head and gently stroked his hair.
"You'll be okay."
"Can you walk with me...? I don't wanna go with the stranger..." Gerard smiled down at Anthony, grabbed a hold of his small hand in his, and walked with him over to the witness stand.
Once Anthony was seated, Gerard gave him another soothing kiss before heading back to his seat. Anthony looked over at Frank, who smiled over at him.
"Hello, Anthony. I'm Judge Lockhart." Anthony looked over at the judge; he slumped against his chair and he didn't say a word...he was completely terrified and he froze.
"No need to be afraid, I just need to ask you a few questions. Alright?" Anthony remained silent as he continued staring at him.
"How old are you, Anthony?"
"...five." He finally spoke; his tone very soft, almost inaudible.
"When's your birthday?"
"Almost six years old, huh?" Anthony slowly nodded his head in response.
"What's your favorite color?"
"...um...red." Anthony was still slumped against his chair, his eyes now wandering all around the courthouse; staring at all the random people around him...trying to focus only on his parents.
"I like red, too. Tell me Anthony, are you a happy little boy?" He nodded his head in response, remaining quiet. Both Frank and Gerard were worried that Judge Lockhart would begin asking very tough questions...they were worried how their son would react to the questions he'd ask.
"What's your life like at home?" Anthony looked nervous as he remained silent; he kept fidgeting around with his little fingers, biting down on his bottom lip, and keeping his head down.
"Your honor, clearly he's nervous...can't you at least give him time to answer?"
"These are simple questions, Ms. Hopper. He has no reason to be nervous." Anthony remained silent as he then lifted up his head and looked up at Frank.
Frank smiled over at him again while waving his hand over at him, making Anthony smile a small smile.
"Anthony?" Judge Lockhart called out his name, again.
"I was happy at home." He finally answered, his voice still very soft spoken.
"How about your parents? Were they nice to you?"
"Yes. My daddy always took care of me and Poppy; he taught us how to do lots of things like how to read, how to write, how to draw, and he even taught us how to sing." Anthony answered with a smile across his angelic little face, which made both Gerard and Frank smile.
"How about your other daddy?"
"You mean daddy Frank?" Judge Lockhart lowered his eyebrows, looking confused, but played along.
"...yes. Your...daddy Frank--how was he?"
"Daddy Frank always played with us; even when he came home from work and was tired, he always had time to play with us. He sings too, and he also plays the guitar. Daddy Frank would play us songs while daddy sang to make us happy."
"Sounds like a pretty good life, Anthony." The young hazel eyed boy nodded his head in response, still smiling his small and sweet smile.
"Tell me, was your daddy Frank always nice to you?" Anthony nodded his head in response.
"Was he always nice to your sister?" Anthony nodded his head, again.
"And what about your other daddy? Was he nice to him?"
"You sound like my uncle Mikey..." Mikey lowered his head as he felt immediate guilt build up in the pit of his stomach.
"I just want to know. That's all."
"Yes, daddy Frank was always nice to us. He was never mean, and he never yelled or anything...he's a good person."
"Has he ever hurt you, Anthony?"
"Your honor, you keep repeating the same question when your witness has already given you his statement." Catherine said as she stood up from her seat.
"Children tend to lie, Ms. Hopper and I'm simply just making sure he's telling the truth."
"I am telling the truth--daddy Frank never hurt me, or Poppy, or daddy! He loves us!" Anthony was beginning to panic as his eyes teared up; turning all puffy and red as his bottom lip puckered out and the corners of his mouth twitched.
"Your honor, he's clearly upset and scared, please stop with the questions." Judge Lockhart ignored Catherine's demand and caught Anthony's attention.
"Anthony, are you telling the truth?" Tears spilled down Anthony's face, making both Frank and Gerard feel alarmed and angry towards Judge Lockhart.
"...yes, I don't lie...I never lie..." Anthony was now crying softly in the witness stand.
"Please let my son down from the witness stand, your honor." Frank said as he stood up from his seat, feeling deeply concerned for Anthony.
"You will sit down, Mr. Iero--"
"LOOK AT HIM!" Frank shouted at Judge Lockhart, surprising him while startling some of the people in the courtroom.
"He's just a child, your honor; he's scared and he doesn't want to answer anymore of your questions--he has answered plenty!" Judge Lockhart adjusted his glasses as he listened to what Frank had to say.
"Please...let my son down." Frank spoke with a firm and more relaxed tone, making direct eye contact with Judge Lockhart, and hoping he'd have a heart and do as he wished.
"Thank you for answering my questions, Anthony. You did well. You may go." Anthony was still crying in the witness stand; holding himself as he sniffled softly and wiped away his own tears as more spilled down his little face.
"...I want my daddy..." Anthony whimpered softly.
"Sorry?" Judge Lockhart asked, unsure of what Anthony had said.
"I want my daddy..." Frank so badly wanted to go over to his little boy; scoop him up in his arms, and hold him close to his heart.
The memories of when Anthony was a baby played in Frank's mind like a movie...he remembered holding him in his arms when he was a newborn; he was so small, so fragile...but he was the most beautiful baby boy Frank had ever seen. And he was his.
Gerard quickly paced his way over towards Anthony and he lifted him up in his arms, gently shushing him while placing kisses on his cheek and made his way back over to his seat with his son in his arms--clinging onto him while burying his face in Gerard's neck.
"Mr. Iero, I'd think twice before you speak out of line like that to me, again. Remember your fate is in the hands of not only me, but of the people here witnessing you." Frank frowned but he remained silent. He hated Judge Lockhart.
"Mr. Iero, you must stay calm and don't let your emotions get the better of you." His attorney whispered to him.
"He made my son cry, and he called Gerard a liar..."
"I understand your anger Frank, but we need to show the people that you're telling the truth. Getting mad and lashing out isn't going to help." Catherine was right; she was a professional lawyer after all, so Frank just nodded his head in agreement.
"Next witness is Poppy Mae Iero-Way." Judge Lockhart announced, making both Frank and Gerard's eyes widen.
"Your honor, their daughter is only three--she's just a toddler..."
"I'm fully aware, Ms. Hopper. She is a witness though, and I'd like her to answer some questions, too. If that's alright with Mr. Way and Mr. Iero."
"Your honor, please don't make our daughter go up there in front of everybody and ask her the same questions you asked our son..." Frank didn't want to have to see both his children cry.
"Mr. Iero, it'll only be a few questions. Mr. Way, please bring your daughter up to the witness stand." Gerard hesitated, looking down at Anthony who was still clinging onto him; his face still buried in his neck.
"Baby, I have to take your sister up there...you have to let go for a moment--"
"No!" Anthony whimpered against Gerard's neck, squeezing his arms a little tighter.
"I'll come right back, I promise. Just stay with grandma and grandpa, or uncle Mikey, okay...?"
"I don't wanna stay with uncle Mikey! He's mean!"
"Anthony, please listen to me. Let me take your sister up there and I will come back..." Gerard then handed Anthony over to Mikey, who looked over at him with really sad eyes that were full of pain. He took Poppy out of his mom's arms and he walked over towards the witness stand with his toddler daughter in his arms.
"Hi, daddy Frank." She spoke softly to Frank while waving her little hand at him with a smile on her face. Frank smiled back and waved his hand back at his daughter.
Gerard helped Poppy into the witness stand and kissed the top of her head before having to leave her.
"Hello Poppy, do you know who I am?"
"Judge Lockhart?" She responded.
"Yes. Very smart little girl, I see. You're three years old?"
"Uh-huh, and I turn four in August."
"You're a lot braver than your brother, Poppy."
"You made him cry..." She said with a frown on her face.
"Yes, I'm sorry for that. But, I need you to do me a favor and answer some questions for me. Okay?" Poppy nodded her head in response and Judge Lockhart proceeded by asking the toddler his questions.
"What did you do at home with your parents?"
"We played, ate ice cream together, and we watched movies."
"I see. What about you and your brother?"
"Played outside. Daddy Frank got us a swing set and it came with a slide."
"So, you're a happy little girl?" Poppy smiled as she nodded her head in response.
"Do you love your parents?"
"Yeah! I love my daddy and my daddy Frank!" Poppy squealed out in delight, making several people around her smile and chuckle softly. She always had a way to light up the room.
"That's good, Poppy. Both your parents are nice to you? And your brother?" She nodded her head in agreement, still smiling.
"I see." Judge Lockhart then sighed softly as he looked like he'd been defeated.
"Is your daddy Frank a good man?"
"He's the best! He makes daddy so happy and he loves us." Poppy was still smiling, her smile was identical to Frank's, and her enormous bright green eyes looked greener than before.
"And, he's never hurt any of you?" Poppy shook her head no as she playfully swung her little legs around, back and forth.
"Well then, you're all done. You did very well, Poppy."
"Thank you." Frank couldn't help but smile at his daughter. He was still amazed not only at how much she looked like him, but how brave she was for her age--being only three, almost four years old. It amazes Gerard, too.
Gerard made his way back to Poppy; scooped her little body up in his arms again, and brought her back over to sit down.
"I know this has been a very long day, ladies and gentlemen of the jury. But, I must inform everyone that I have one more witness for Mr. Iero." A few people questioned while others either groaned, whispered, or gave each other confusing glares. Gerard was one of those people.
"I'd like to call forward Mrs. Iero, Frank's mother." Frank's eyes widened as he thought he misheard Judge Lockhart. Frank kept in touch with his mother after she moved to Seattle--wanting to start a new and peaceful life. He hasn't really seen her much in three years, but they always called one another and she'd send her only child postcards.
Now she was suddenly there in New Jersey; completely out of the blue, and was going to defend her son against the serious charges he was facing.
Chapter 27: Mother
Frank couldn't believe it until she came walking down the aisle, leading up to the witness stand...Frank watched her like he was seeing her for the first time; his eyes wide, his mouth slightly hanging open, and his nerves were tingling as his heart began to thump away, like a hammer against cloth, inside of his chest. She turned her head to look at her son...at first she looked sad, but Frank knew it was because of his injured face. But, then she smiled a small smile over at him as she made her way over to the witness stand.
"Good morning, Mrs. Iero. I assume you know why you're here, today."
"I'm here for my son, Frank. I'm here to defend him, your honor." Judge Lockhart nodded his head in agreement as he then patiently waited for her to begin.
"Tell me about your son; he's your only child, correct?" Frank's mom nodded her head in response, taking a deep breath and exhaling softly before clearing her throat and speaking.
"Yes, Frank is my only child. I wanted more children...but, it never happened. But, I'm just happy that I at least raised one child." She looked at Frank, who looked at her, and she smiled over at him.
"Why didn't you have anymore children?"
"Because my...my husband didn't want anymore children. You see, we weren't very...well, intimate."
"I see, Mrs. Iero. Was Frank a good kid?"
"Oh yes, he was an angel. I know that sounds like a cliché that ever parent says about their child, but it's the truth. Frank was such a sweet and well behaved boy; his smile always lit up the room, and I knew when I first held him in my arms that he was going to be so handsome when he grew up..." Frank blushed in embarrassment as he held his head down. His eyes were tearing up as he bit down on his bottom lip; wincing at the realization that he'd forgotten about his stitches.
"Did Frank ever get into any trouble at home? Or at school?"
"No, your honor. Frank was a good boy. He was a bit of a loner though..."
"Oh? Why's that?"
"...your honor...Frank had a...he had a very rough childhood. It didn't get any easier for him as he got older." More mumbles and whispers spread all throughout the courtroom as Frank's mother caught Judge Lockhart's attention.
"What do you mean by he had a rough childhood, Mrs. Iero...?"
"He was abused by his father, your honor." Soft gasps and even more murmurs lingered all throughout the courtroom. Frank slowly lifted up his head and had tears running down his cheeks.
"My son and I were abused by his father, every single day. At first, my husband would just take out all of his anger out on me; put his hands on me and belittle me by calling me names or making me feel worthless, ugly, stupid...he stopped for a while after Frank was born. He started again, shortly after. Then...then my husband began to take it out on Frank. He started abusing our son by the time he was five." All the memories of Frank getting punched, kicked, slapped, names called at him...they made both Frank and his mom, emotional.
Even Gerard began to feel emotional as he held both Anthony and Poppy close to him, fighting off the feeling of not only tears but sudden nausea that's been bugging him, lately. He could feel it building up in the pit of his stomach, and rising in the back of his throat.
"Mr. Iero never mentioned anything about him being abused as a child."
"It isn't a topic he likes to bring up, your honor. Frank was always very secretive and private about that...he never told anyone. Not even Ray, who is his best friend...his only friend, really." She looked over at Ray, who was sitting in the the crowd of strangers. He gave her a half smile and she smiled back at him.
"I see, very interesting. What kind of abuse did Frank suffer, Mrs. Iero?"
"He was abused verbally, mentally, emotionally, and worst of all--he was abused physically. Frank has been covered with bruises, cuts, and has even suffered a fair amount of broken bones throughout his childhood...not to mention, his father would punish him by locking him up inside of his bedroom." Judge Lockhart raised his eyebrows; now he was really interested in what Mrs. Iero had to say.
"Your husband, his father--he locked Frank up in a bedroom...?" Tears spilled down her cheeks, but she quickly wiped them away and cleared her throat, again.
"It was his way of punishing Frank...it was his way of taking away his freedom. My son thought that was normal because it happened to him so often...other children get time out, or grounded...not Frank. He'd be locked in his room for days, for weeks, for months...once, he was locked up in his room for a year. I had to bring him food and water, like a prisoner waiting in his cell...the only time Frank got to leave his room and the house was when he'd go to school and come back from school. That was the only source of sunlight he'd get." Gerard listened, already hearing all about Frank's childhood abuse, but he was still emotional. The nausea feeling was getting worse and his forehead felt damp.
"Why didn't you leave your husband if he treated both you and Frank so poorly?" Frank's mom looked at her son's injured but still handsome face. His eyes were red and puffy and his cheeks were soaked with tears...she then looked directly over at Judge Lockhart.
"It was a different time back then, your honor. Divorce was frowned upon...I couldn't raise Frank on my own...and I didn't want him to feel like an outcast for not having a dad...but, if I could go back in time, I would have left my husband before he put his hands on my son." Ray was crying now too, but he wiped away his tears as he listened to all of the horrible things his best friend went through.
Gerard then stood up from his seat and immediately paced his way out of the courtroom. He felt his own vomit rising in the back of his throat as he covered his mouth and clutched onto his stomach--he didn't make it to the bathroom and instead threw up a mouthful of his breakfast all over the floor. He did that several more times.
"Are you alright, Mr. Way? You stormed out of the courtroom." Judge Lockhart asked Gerard once he rinsed out his mouth in the bathroom and helping clean up his own mess, making his way back into the courtroom. All eyes were turned on him, including Frank's--who was giving him a concerned look.
"I'm fine, your honor..." Gerard said as he realized that his nausea wasn't any normal nausea. He's been feeling like that for weeks, now.
He made his way back into his seat, being asked if he was alright by his children and his family.
"I apologize for that, ladies and gentlemen. Would you please continue, Mrs. Iero?"
"Of course, your honor. As I said, divorce wasn't common in my time...so, I stayed and tried to love my husband, despite the abuse. I tried. I did my best to protect Frank..."
"Mrs. Iero, Frank is being charged with kidnapping and rape of a minor, do you understand that? He could be facing serious time; life in prison."
"My son didn't do anything wrong. I know Frank better than anyone in here, and he would never commit such horrible crimes."
"Did you know about your son having a seventeen year old boy 'run away' with him? Did you know about him having children with that same seventeen year old?" Frank's mother's eyes widened as she looked over at Frank who just nodded his head at her in response.
"I didn't know about that, your honor...I knew Frank was seeing someone, but he wouldn't go into detail about it. Like I said, he's always been private...I didn't know he had children, though..."
"You have two grandchildren, Mrs. Iero; Anthony and Poppy. One boy, and one girl." Frank felt immediately guilty for not telling his own mother about his kids...he never even told her Gerard's name.
"Focus, Mrs. Iero--did you know about Gerard Way? The missing boy?"
"I've heard about him, yes, but I don't watch much TV."
"You son had him living with him. You son impregnated Gerard when he was eighteen, and for five years, he's been living with him. No whereabouts of his location."
"I don't see a problem with that, your honor. Frank was just living with his boyfriend, and they had children, together."
"Mr. Way's family are saying Frank kidnapped Gerard and held him captive in his home."
"You have no proof though, so it's just a rumor. These are accusations."
"Even so, these are very serious charges your son is facing...do you still want to defend him?"
"My son isn't perfect, your honor. But he is a good person. And I'm sure he is a wonderful partner to his lover, and a wonderful father to his children. So, despite all the trouble he's dealt with growing up, Frank didn't do anything wrong...he is a good person."
"Is it possible that your son never learned right from wrong?" Frank's mother lowered her eyebrows, which made her look like she was frowning.
"What's that supposed to mean, your honor?"
"You mentioned Frank being abused all throughout his childhood. He was punished in a horrible manner--you even said he thought it was normal. Don't you think it's possible that your son never learned right from wrong and thought he was doing the right thing when he kidnapped Gerard Way?"
"Like I said your honor, my son isn't perfect...he's a good person, though. I know Frank. He wouldn't do something so horrible...I know that."
"Is that your defense, Mrs. Iero?"
"Yes it is, your honor." Judge Lockhart actually smiled. It looked forced and very serious, but it was a smile.
"Thank you for your cooperation, Mrs. Iero. You may step down." She did, and she made her way to the back of the courtroom and to her seat.
"Now comes the hardest part for everyone. We will take an hour to decide Mr. Iero's fate; do the people find him innocent? Or do they find him guilty? The choice is yours. Please choose wisely." And with those words, Judge Lockhart rose from his seat, as did everyone else. A large group of people were escorted to a back room where they'd discuss and decide Frank's fate.
Gerard felt an overwhelming amount of anxiety kick in, which was making him feeling nauseous again, and he felt sick to his stomach. Frank sat quietly in his seat next to Catherine...he was also feeling anxiety in the pit of his stomach; his chest was hurting and his heart was racing.
"So...now what...?" Frank asked Catherine, staring down at the handcuffs around his wrists.
"Now we wait. And hopefully the results will be good...I believe you'll be found innocent." She said as she placed her hand down against Frank's shoulder.
"A lot of people hate me, Ms. Hopper...I can tell by the way they were looking at me."
"You had a lot of people defend you, Frank. Mr. Toro defended you, Gerard defended you, your children defended you, and so did your mother. I have a good feeling about your outcome." Frank remained silent, but he just slowly nodded his head in response.
"Frank...?" He lifted up his head, and his mother smiled down at him and Frank immediately stood up and she embraced him in her arms. They both began crying and Frank's mom placed kisses all over her son's face while gently stroking his short and soft dark hair.
"Mom, I can't believe you're here..." Frank whimpered softly as he buried his face in his mom's shoulder. She softly shushed him as she placed more kisses down against Frank's face.
"Don't cry, sweetheart...I'm here..." She spoke so softly to him with a soothing tone.
"I missed you mom...I missed you so much. I'm sorry..."
"Don't be sorry, Frankie..."
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you about my kids...I'm sorry I didn't tell you about my life..."
"Its okay, sweetie. I'm here now, and that's all that matters..." Frank missed the smell of his mom's perfume; the same scent of apples and honey that he remembered smelling when he was smaller.
Just then, Gerard slowly came up towards them. He held Poppy in his arms while holding Anthony's small hand in his. Frank turned and saw his family, smiled at them.
"Mom...? I'd like you to meet my family. This is Gerard, my boyfriend. And these cutie pies are your grandchildren." Frank's mom looked at Gerard, she smiled at him and embraced him with a hug.
"Anthony, Poppy--say hi to your grandma."
"Hi, grandma." Poppy said with her soft spoken and sweet little voice while waving her little hand at her.
"Hi..." Anthony spoke even softer to her, avoiding eye contact as he hid behind Gerard. Frank's mom was in complete awe when she met her 2 young grandchildren for the first time...she instantly fell in love with them.
"Hello Anthony and Poppy. You 2 are the most beautiful children I've ever seen...Anthony, you look a lot like—" She stopped in mid sentence as she turned her gaze over at Gerard.
"Gerard, right?" He slowly nodded his head in response.
"Pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Iero." Gerard said as he held his hand out to her, smiling a small smile at her as she placed her hand in his and they made it official with a handshake. Gerard could see where Frank got his looks from now; he resembled his mother, identically.
"You look so much like Gerard, Anthony. Such a handsome little boy you are—you'll be a heartbreaker." Anthony remained silent as he stayed hidden behind Gerard.
"And Poppy..." She examined her young granddaughter...absolutely gorgeous with her bright peridot colored eyes and fiery and long red hair.
"You look so much like my Frankie..." She said as she took another look at her only son.
"They're beautiful, sweetie...absolutely beautiful."
"You're beautiful too, grandma." Poppy said to her, smiling over at her.
"Thank you, sweetheart...you're such a sweet little thing, aren't you?" Poppy blushed and giggled softly as she felt bashful. In their short period of time, Frank's mother bonded with him, with Gerard, and her grandchildren. Anthony eventually opened up to her and both kids were all over her; asking her a million different questions and wanting to know more about her, just like how she wanted to know more about them.
It was a happy moment...peaceful. Frank hoped that they'd get the chance to do this more often—if he got lucky enough to be found innocent. He hoped.
Chapter 28: Decision
"Hello. You must be Anthony?" Anthony looked up at his grandma, nodded his head while still hiding behind Gerard.
"And you're Poppy?"
"Yup!" She said with a smile across her sweet little face.
"You look just like your daddy. You're a beautiful little girl, Poppy." Poppy blushed as she giggled softly and hugged Gerard.
"And you are very handsome, Anthony. You look just like your other daddy." Anthony blushed too, but he held his head down and was still hiding behind Gerard.
For a while, they all talked--mostly Frank with his mom. He told her all about what he's been doing with his life; how he's a manager at a Hot Topic and how he's been thinking of opening up his own tattoo shop and become a full time tattoo artist. How he's been happy with Gerard, and raising his kids.
"Are you okay...?" Frank's mom asked him while placing her hand down on top of his.
"No...I'm scared, mom. I'm going to get life in prison, I know I am..."
"But maybe I deserve it."
"No you don't, Frank...don't say that..."
"Mom, I'm damaged...I'm messed up in the head..." He was beginning to accept the fact that he might be going to prison; spending the rest of his life locked up in a cell, where time didn't matter, and his world would stop turning.
"Frank..." Gerard stepped in. He grabbed a hold of his other hand and caught his attention. Frank loved how green Gerard's eyes looked; how they shined so brightly and how long his dark eyelashes were...he was truly so beautiful.
"Listen to me. I don't want to hear you talk like that, okay...? You're going to be okay. I promise."
"I love you, Gee. And I love Anthony. I love Poppy. And mom? I love you, too."
"Frank, stop...you're going to get out of this." Gerard kept assuring him, but Frank had a gut feeling that he was going to be found guilty. He couldn't shake off the feeling.
An hour had passed. Everyone came back into the courtroom and seated themselves as Judge Lockhart made his way up to his seat. The room was so quiet it was as if it were empty; fear was lingering inside of Frank's mind as he felt an aching and heavy sensation in his chest...he couldn't breathe and he felt like he was about to have an anxiety attack.
"Frank, breathe...you look like you're going to pass out." Ms. Hopper whispered to her client as he sat perfectly still and completely silent--lost in his thoughts as he was starting to wonder what it would be like in prison. Frank was wondering how long he'd even last in prison.
"Have the people decided?"
"We have, your honor."
"Step forward, please." A random woman dressed in casual/formal clothing stepped out from her seat with a small folded up piece of paper in her hand. She made her way over to Judge Lockhart and handed him the slip of paper; the paper with the answer that would determine Frank Iero's future. He already felt tears building up in his eyes as his heart was pounding away so hard and so fast, as was his mother's, along with Gerard's, and even Ray's.
"All rise." Judge Lockhart spoke loudly and clearly. Everyone rose from their seats as he was about to read what was on the paper.
"Frank Anthony Thomas Iero, Jr., by the state of New Jersey and the people in this courtroom--you are cleared of all charges and are found not guilty." Frank eyes widened as he lifted his head up and thought he misheard Judge Lockhart. There were loud gasps coming from the back of the courtroom...Gerard had tears spill down his face as he smiled and let out a soft whimper.
"Looks like you're a free man, Mr. Iero. Bailiff, remove his handcuffs." Frank had tears running down his face as his mouth hung open, completely shocked by what he had just heard.
"Are you fucking kidding me!?" Mikey stood up from his seat, yelling clear across the room, having a few people turn to look back at him.
"You're fucking letting him go!? He's free, just like that!?" Mikey's voice was cracking and even squeaking a little as he continued yelling. His face was bright red and he had tears running down his face as he clenched his hands into fists.
"The people have spoken, Mr. Way. Frank is a free man, and is hereby found innocent. All charges against him have been cleared."
"THIS IS FUCKING BULLSHIT!"
"Bailiff, please escort Mr. Way out--he needs to calm down." After the bailiff removed the handcuffs off of Frank's bruised wrists, he walked over to Mikey, who was still throwing a huge fit and escorted him out of the courtroom.
"YOU PEOPLE ARE FUCKING WRONG! YOU ARE ALL FUCKING CRAZY!" Mikey was now screaming, and the bailiff had to drag him out.
The courtroom was now emptying out as the people were fleeing. Gerard paced his way over to Frank; practically tackled him as he threw both of his arms around Frank's neck and held him so close against him.
"Am I dreaming...?"
"If you are, don't ever wake up..." Gerard was sobbing softly as he began to place kisses all over Frank's face; being careful with his face injuries. Frank then leaned forward and he kissed Gerard...they kissed each other sweetly as they cried tears of pure joy, together.
"Daddy Frank can come home!" Anthony yelled out with a smile on his face as he paced his way over, holding Poppy's hand in his, and they both made their way over towards both Frank and Gerard, together. Ray and Frank's mom followed right behind them.
He was congratulated by the ones defending him and he was able to finally go home...Frank felt like he was dreaming; that at any moment he'd wake up and Judge Lockhart would find him guilty, then he'd be taken to prison where he'd spend the rest of his days and nights.
Frank was free. He was finally going home with his family.
As they made their way out of the courtroom, Frank held Gerard's hand in his as his mom had her arm wrapped around Frank's shoulder.
The paparazzi and reporters waited for them; acting like hungry predators as they approached Frank, again. They flashed the bright lights from their cameras, shoved their microphones in his face, and talked over one another by asking a numerous amount of questions.
"Mr. Iero--how do you feel about all charges against you being dropped?"
"Frank, what are you going to do now that you're a free man?"
"Are you and Gerard really in love?"
"What will become of your children?" More questions kept coming as the paparazzi continued flashing their bright cameras at him and surrounded him as he held Gerard's hand in his and kept his small children, close.
"How long until you kidnap and rape another boy...?" Mikey was standing by the entrance. His face was soaked with tears--he had to remove his glasses because he was crying so much he had to keep wiping them away.
"You're not fucking innocent, and you know it." Mikey said as he approached them, and stared directly at Frank.
"You may have fooled everyone else, but not me--I fucking know the truth, and I hate your fucking guts." More tears spilled down Mikey's red face as he sniffled loudly and gave Frank the biggest frown, ever.
"Don't fucking talk to me Gerard, alright? Just fucking don't. I can't believe you defended him; protected him, and now he's walking around freely..."
"Don't talk to Gerard that way."
"What the fuck are you going to do about it, Iero? Kidnap me, too? Rape me, too?"
"I didn't do anything wrong. I'm an innocent man." Mikey then roughly grabbed a hold of Frank by his shirt; snatching him away from Gerard and his kids as he pulled him by his shirt--having the paparazzi follow them, and Gerard called out to Frank as the kids paced after them.
"Frank!" Mikey roughly shoved Frank against a wall and he wrapped both of his hands around Frank's tattooed neck, choking him again; making his face turn all red, his eyes began to tear up, and he was coughing while trying to breathe.
"JESUS, MIKEY!" Gerard stepped in, and his parents grabbed onto Anthony and Poppy. The paparazzi flashed their cameras over at what was happening right at that very moment, and people were gasping while others yelled out in shock in fear.
Once Gerard grabbed a hold of Mikey; trying to break up the fighting, Mikey roughly elbowed Gerard in his face and shoved him off and away from him, making him fall to the ground.
"DADDY!" Anthony screamed out, letting go of his grandma's hand--running over to Gerard.
Something inside of Frank awoken when he saw Mikey strike Gerard; like a dosage of adrenaline filled up his veins, waking up his inner superman as he fought back.
Frank let out a loud and roaring yell as he escaped out of Mikey's grip and grabbed a hold of him by his hands; his snakelike grip squeezing down hard around his wrists made Mikey wince and let out a noise of discomfort and shock as Frank roughly threw his back against the wall. He then proceeded by swinging his fist at him; striking Mikey directly on his face, making blood ooze up inside of his mouth as it escaped the corner of his mouth...Frank threw another hard punch at Mikey, making him stumble over to the floor, and Frank let out a loud growl as he roughly kicked Mikey right in his ribs--knocking the air out of him as he spat out a mouthful of blood.
"FRANK, STOP!" Gerard, who was bleeding from his nose; enough to have blood dripping off his chin, got up, moved Anthony away, and tried to calm down Frank as he grabbed a hold of him by his arm--pulling him away from Mikey, immediately.
"FRANK--CALM DOWN!" Gerard had to scream at Frank, which caught his attention. And just like that, his superman mode switched off and he was back to normal...he was breathing hard and heavily; sweat dampening his face as his heart was pounding away inside of his chest...Anthony and Poppy were sobbing in the arms of their grandparents while the paparazzi continued taking photos and the reporters surrounded them all, once more.
"Frank, is this your violent side?"
"Have you ever been this way with Gerard or your children?"
"Do you really think it was a good choice for you to be freed?" More annoying questions came Frank's way, and this time he had a response.
"I was being attacked, and I fought back! I didn't do what you all think I did--I was found not guilty because I did nothing wrong! I love my family; Gerard, my children, and my mother...I am not a violent man, I was just protecting myself. Is that a good enough answer for all of you!?" Gerard lightly tugged at Frank's arm, trying to calm him down as he grabbed a hold of his hand and he pulled him away from Mikey and out of the building--where Gerard's parents, mainly his dad, followed them with Anthony and Poppy, while his mom stayed for Mikey.
Chapter 29: Distance
After Frank was found innocent, that didn't stop the madness and the chaos. At least for a while. Frank stayed with Ray at his place until things cleared...Gerard stayed with his parents still. They talked to each other everyday and every night; missing one another like crazy, making each other feel like teenagers, again.
"Are you okay, Gee?" Frank asked him as he sat outside Ray's front patio.
"Yes, I'm fine Frank, really." Gerard responded through the other line, the sound of his voice always made Frank smile.
"How have you been feeling? I've noticed you've had an upset stomach lately..."
"Don't worry about me, Frankie. I promise I'm okay. Are you okay?" Its been about two weeks since Frank's hearing. His face injuries were beginning to heal; the cast on his nose was off and his nose was healed. But his bottom lip still had stitches.
"I'd be better if I was with you."
"Me too, Frankie..." Frank could tell Gerard sounded sad on the other line.
"I wish I could come by to see you and the kids...how are they, by the way?"
"Anthony has been making you drawings like crazy. He's planning on giving them all to you when he sees you." Frank smiled to himself and pictured all the sweet little drawings their son worked so hard on.
"And Poppy has been helping my mom set the dinner table; she brings an extra plate out for you every time, hoping you'd come by..."
"I miss you all so much...are there still a shit ton of paparazzi and news reporters outside your parent's house?"
"Unfortunately. Though, there aren't as many as before...they like to hide in their cars, just waiting for me to come out. I can't even go to the store without one of them bugging me."
"Same, though Ray is pretty good about ignoring them...I feel bad having him deal with all this."
"You're his best friend, I'm sure he doesn't mind." Frank knew he had to ask, but he was nervous.
"Is...is Mikey okay...?" Frank hesitated, but finally managed to ask. There was a moment of silence before Gerard softly cleared his throat and responded.
"He...he's...Frank, Mikey is pissed. He hasn't spoken to me since you were found not guilty."
"It's my fault."
"No, no...it isn't."
"I beat the shit out of Mikey, Gee...so it is my fault."
"He was attacking you..."
"Honestly Gee, I didn't care about him attacking me." There was a long lingering moment silence; Frank could hear Gerard breathing lightly through the other line.
"Then why did you do it...?" Gerard finally spoke. His voice was soft but serious.
"Because Mikey hurt you." Frank responded honestly, and didn't say more. Just then, Ray stepped outside--lighting a cigarette that was placed in between his lips.
"I miss you, Frank." Gerard said to Frank; his tone sounding sad, almost like he was going to get emotional...Frank felt his heart sink inside of his chest. He felt very emotional, too.
"I miss you too, Gee..."
"I need you...I can't do this alone..." Gerard's voice cracked slightly, and he sniffled softly.
"And I need you..." Ray turned his head as he overheard Frank's conversation on the phone.
"Please come home, soon..." Gerard still sounded sad, but it sounded like he was trying to calm himself down.
"I will, baby. I promise."
"I don't want to be alone..."
"You'll never be alone Gerard, I won't let that happen." Ray couldn't help but listen to everything Frank was saying on the phone, and it was making Ray feel bad for him.
"Just try to hold on a little while longer, okay...?" Frank spoke so sweetly and very soothingly to Gerard.
"Okay...I'll try. For you." Frank smiled a small smile to himself as he squeezed lightly onto his phone.
"I love you." Frank said to Gerard, feeling his eyes tear up.
"I love you too, Frank. I love you very much..." After they got off the phone with one another, Ray offered Frank a cigarette...he hadn't smoked in a long while; with all the overwhelming stress Frank has been under--a cigarette sounded very relaxing.
"Thanks." Frank thanked Ray as Ray lit the tip of Frank's cigarette; taking a long drag of his cigarette--letting the smoke burn the back of his throat, fill up his lungs, and he tasted the nicotine on his tongue.
"You okay?" Ray asked Frank as he stood beside him; leaning his back up against the wall. Frank looked up at Ray, taking another drag off his cigarette as he shrugged his shoulders.
"You wanna talk about it?" Again, Frank shrug his shoulders as he blew the smoke out.
"Frank, you know you can tell me anything."
"I know, Toro."
"So talk." Frank looked up at Ray again, who waited patiently for him to speak...Frank knew exactly what Ray was hinting at, but he didn't want to talk about it.
"I'm tired of people treating me differently now...I get looked at in two different ways; I get looked at like I'm a criminal--that I deserve nothing but the absolute worse. Or I get looked at like I'm a fragile little baby that'll break at any moment...I'm still me. I'm still Frank." Ray didn't say a word, he just remained silent as he listened.
"I'm not a bad person, Ray...I did bad things, I know, but I'm not bad..."
"I know you're not, dude. You were abused...so, you didn't know any better..."
"I don't wanna use that as an excuse, Ray...yeah, I was abused; that doesn't excuse my behavior though or the shit I've done..." Tears were forming inside of Frank's hazel eyes, and he took another long drag off his cigarette before he continued speaking.
"But, you didn't kidnap him--"
"I might as well have...I fucked up, Ray. And now I dragged you into it..." Tears were now running down Frank's face. Ray, being a brother figure to him, sat down next to Frank, and wrapped his arm around his shoulder.
"I'm not bad..." Frank whimpered softly as he leaned his head against Ray's shoulder.
"I know you're not...just a little damaged, but nobody is perfect. You're still my best friend and I still love you like a brother." Ray gently patted Frank's back as listened to his best friend cry.
"I fucking love you, man..." Frank whimpered out again as more tears spilled down his already tear soaked face.
"I love you too, Frank. You'll be okay."
"I miss my family..."
"I know you do."
"I just want to see them, again..." Ray held Frank close as he continued comforting him.
They sat outside on Ray's patio for a long while; they didn't say anything to one another because there was nothing more to say...Ray soothed Frank and he just let him cry.
Gerard sat on the edge of the bathtub inside of his parents bathroom, staring down at the positive test result on the pregnancy test he had taken. He didn't say anything, but instead he smiled to himself as tears spilled down his cheeks...he knew he was pregnant for a third time. Gerard just had a feeling.
He was carrying Frank's baby for a third time; Anthony and Poppy were going to have a baby brother or sister--Frank was going to be a father, again. Gerard got a little emotional, which wasn't helping with his nausea, but he couldn't help it...he was crying tears of joy, but he was also crying because of how much he missed Frank. Gerard didn't know how much longer it would take until he was reunited with Frank; to have their family back together...for things to go back to normal.
For now, Gerard would keep his third pregnancy a secret. He wouldn't mention anything until he could come home to Frank.
Chapter 30: Bonding
"Mikey?" Gerard spoke softly as he knocked outside of his brother's bedroom door. No response.
"Mikey, please talk to me..." Gerard rolled his eyes in annoyance as he then opened the door and let himself in.
Mikey was laying in bed, his eyes glued onto his phone screen; the bright light coming from his phone reflected off his glasses.
"You need to talk to me sometime, you know." Mikey remained silent as he ignored Gerard.
"I get it Mikey, you're pissed off. But I didn't do anything to you, so I'd appreciate it if you lost your attitude."
"Didn't do anything...?" Mikey finally spoke to Gerard as he sat up in his bed.
"You defended your kidnapper and your rapist; you set him free, and you defended him after he beat the shit out of me." Mikey removed his glasses; showing Gerard his still bruised up face. His tone was angry and very serious.
"I'm sorry you got hurt, but you shouldn't have attacked Frank."
"Attacked him? I should have fucking killed him."
"Stop it." Gerard snapped at Mikey.
"You can go ahead and get mad at me all you want, but I don't believe that you 'ran away' with Frank. I know he stole you and I know he raped you...and you defended him. He's free now because of you."
"He's free because he's innocent. End of discussion." Mikey scoffed as he rolled his eyes and put his glasses back on as he made his way out of his bed and immediately walked to the door--wanting to leave Gerard's sight, immediately.
"Get out of my way--"
"No, we need to talk." Gerard said as he blocked the door and lightly pushed Mikey back.
"Get the fuck out of my way before--"
"Before what? Hmm? Before you hit me again; nearly break my fucking nose, again? Like you did Frank?" Mikey went silent and he frowned; his pale face turning red.
"Mikey...I don't want us to fight; we're brothers and I love you. I do. I don't want us to fight..." Mikey remained quiet as he stared at Gerard, listening to everything he was saying.
"I don't want our relationship to fall apart...I don't want to lose you, Mikey..." Gerard's voice cracked and he could feel his bottom lip trembling as he tried to contain his tears.
"I don't wanna lose you either, Gerard..." Mikey sniffled softly as tears ran down his cheeks, but he quickly wiped them away.
"I'm sorry I hurt you, mom, and dad...I was young and stupid and I'm sorry..." Gerard had tears spilling down his cheeks.
"Do...do you really love Frank...?" Mikey asked Gerard as more tears formed inside of his eyes; having to remove his glasses to wipe them away.
"Yes...I do." Mikey sniffled softly again, trying to calm himself down. He didn't say anything, but he nodded his head in response.
"Just because I love him though doesn't mean I don't love you...I love you. I love mom and dad. I will always love you all, but you have to understand that I have a family of my own now, too. I have Frank, and my kids..."
"I just don't want to lose you, again..."
"You won't lose me, Mikey." Just then Mikey began to sob, softly. Gerard pulled Mikey into his arms for a hug--squeezed onto him, and he lightly shushed him.
For a while, Gerard and Mikey actually spent time together; they talked, they laughed, and it felt like old times...there was no fighting, no drama...just two brothers spending time, together.
Mikey even decided to spend time with his nephew and his niece that day. He felt extremely guilty for taking out his anger and his frustration out on Anthony and Poppy...it wasn't their fault and they were too young to fully understand what was going on and why it was happening. But it wasn't their fault...Mikey wanted to make it up to the both of them.
"Hey, kiddo." Mikey said to Anthony as he kneeled down beside him on the floor in the living room, where the kids played. Anthony was playing with Legos; building whatever came to mind. Poppy was playing tea party with a few new dolls and stuffed animals that her grandparents bought for her.
"Hi." Anthony responded to his uncle Mikey softly, avoiding direct eye contact with him.
"Whatcha making?" Anthony shrugged his shoulders as he continued sticking different sized and colored Lego pieces together, still avoiding eye contact with Mikey.
"Are you mad at me...?" Mikey asked Anthony with a sad and soft spoken tone.
"Why did you hurt daddy Frank...?" Anthony asked Mikey, still not looking at him. Mikey remained silent; unsure about what to say...he opened his mouth, but no words came out.
"I...I'm sorry, kiddo..." Mikey apologized to his nephew in a soft and sympathetic tone.
"I didn't mean to hurt your...your..."
"Daddy Frank, silly goose." Poppy said as she smiled her sweet smile at her uncle, which made him grin and chuckle softly under his breath.
"Yeah...I'm sorry. To the both of you..." Anthony slowly lifted up his head and he looked over at Mikey with his bright and enormous hazel eyes. Frank's eyes.
"I don't want you kiddos to be mad at me, okay..?" Both Anthony and Poppy looked over at their uncle. They could tell he was sorry and that he had a sad look in his eyes.
"I...I love you, guys. I love you guys, a lot..." That was the very first time Mikey told his nephew and niece that he loved them.
"We love you too, uncle Mikey." Anthony and Poppy said to him as they both stopped playing with their toys and made their way over to him; embraced him with hugs. Poppy placed a soft little kiss against Mikey's cheek.
Gerard watched his brother interact with his children. He smiled to himself, and he felt a little emotional as he watched them.
"Do you wanna play with us, uncle Mikey?" Anthony asked him with a small smile on his pale little face.
"Play with me first, uncle Mikey! Let's have a tea party!"
"He doesn't wanna play tea party, Poppy--he's a boy."
"So? Daddy and daddy Frank played tea party and princess dress up with me, before."
"Hey, hey--I'll play with the both of you, okay?" Mikey chuckled softly, hoping they'd stop fighting.
He played with both Anthony and Poppy for a long while; built towers, cars, monsters--then Mikey played with Poppy; tea parties, princess dress up, he even let his niece put makeup on him and mess with his hair. Gerard even joined them. It was nothing but laughing and playing, and it felt like old times between Gerard and Mikey.
It was nice.
A new month had arrived; the media had begun to grow bored and they all eventually fled--leaving both Frank and Gerard alone. At least for now...somehow they'd always be watching them, just waiting for something fresh to happen so that they'd have a story to write. All that mattered to both Frank and Gerard was that they could see each other again after what felt like forever...Frank needed to see him; he missed his beautiful face--his cute little pixie nose, the freckles that rested on his porcelain white skin, the sound of his laugh...Frank wanted him. And he was going over to Gerard's parent's house without letting him know, to surprise him and their kids.
Frank felt his heart racing inside of his chest as his curious hazel eyes looked out the car window from Ray's car. The soft and slow rhythm of alternative rock playing on the car radio, Frank kept biting down on his bottom lip as his fingers twitched and fumbled around.
"Iero, relax. You're acting like you're going to prom or something." Ray chuckled as he continued driving Frank to his destination.
"I just haven't seen Gee and my kids in a while...just a little nervous..."
"Really? I had no idea." Ray said in an over exaggerated tone along with some sarcasm added to his voice.
"Shut up, Toro." Frank rolled his eyes, but he still let out a soft chuckle along with smiling.
"Got anything special planned out once you're both reunited?"
"Well--" Frank then reached into his jeans and pulled out a tiny black box, showing it to Ray.
"...dude, no--are you serious...?" Ray's eyes widened as he shot glances over at the little black box on Frank's hand, and back at the road.
"I'm going to ask Gerard to marry me."
"When did you get a ring? And--wow, holy shit..." Ray couldn't stop glancing over at the box.
"Can I get your opinion...?" Frank then opened the box and revealed the ring inside. The band was plain; the outside was titanium and the inside was black, and there was a single small black stone that rested in the center of the ring band.
"Damn, that's really nice Iero--looks expensive." Frank shrugged his shoulders, smiling a small smile to himself as he closed the small black box and slid it back into his jeans.
"That's why I'm so nervous..."
"Well shit dude, I don't blame you--that is pretty big news. I wish you the best of luck, Frank." Ray smiled at his best friend as he now turned into Gerard's neighborhood--leading him up towards Gerard's parent's house.
Chapter 31: Welcome Home
Frank knocked on the front door outside of Gerard's parent's place--Ray stood next to him. Moments later, the door swung open and there was Mikey...there was a long and uncomfortable silence.
"...uhh--hey...Mikey..." Frank stuttered over his own words as he avoided direct eye contact with him.
"Frank." Mikey then turned to look over at Ray, who was staring at him in complete awe; as if he were a beautiful and rare painting.
Frank noticed Mikey was staring at Ray, who was staring at him...he nudged at Ray's arm and he snapped back in reality.
"I'm assuming you're here for Gerard and the kids?" Mikey asked Frank in a monotoned and unamused tone.
"Yup." Mikey looked over at Ray once more before he left their sight to go get them.
"I never got a good look at Gerard's brother before...he's pretty cute." Frank snorted as he rolled his eyes at Ray's comment about Mikey.
"You're seriously checking out Mikey...? He's a twig."
"Well, he's the cutest twig I've ever seen."
"Gross, Toro." Moments later, Gerard appeared at the front door.
"Frankie!" Gerard's face lit up as a wide and toothy smile spread across his face. He embraced Frank with a tight hug as Frank hugged Gerard back--they kissed each other sweetly and they both even got a little emotional during their reunion.
"Oh Frankie, I missed you so much..." Gerard said in between soft sobs while placing more soft kisses all around Frank's face, still squeezing the life out of him.
"I missed you too, Gee--fuck, I missed you so goddamn much..." Frank sniffled softly as more tears spilled down his face.
"Look at you--your face is all better." Gerard said as he examined Frank's face. Frank blushed as he grinned.
"Yeah, I got my looks back..."
"Oh shut up, you never lost them." Frank's bottom lip had the stitches off finally and luckily it didn't leave a scar.
"Let me look at you--you're so beautiful...Gee, you're glowing." Frank smiled at Gerard as he examined his beautiful and clear skin; he had a light around him and the glow coming off his pale white skin brought out the green in his eyes, making them look like two pools of jade. Gerard couldn't help but blush at Frank's compliment--it made his stomach twist into knots...he couldn't wait to tell Frank the good news.
"Wanna see your kids, Frankie?"
"Of course." Gerard smiled at Frank before kissing him once more, taking his hand in his and brought him inside his parent's house to surprise the kids who were playing in the backyard.
"...I'm Ray, by the way." Ray introduced himself to Mikey.
"I know who you are. You're Frank's best friend, right?"
"Yup, that's me."
"Well, I'm Mikey--Gerard's younger brother. But, I'm sure you already knew that."
"It's a pleasure to meet you..." Ray didn't realize he was smiling like an idiot at Mikey.
"Uh...nice to meet you too, Ray." Mikey couldn't help but smile a small half smile over at Ray. They shook hands to make it official.
"Um...do you wanna come in...?"
"Yeah, sure. Thanks." Ray was still smiling like an idiot at Mikey, and his heart was racing inside of his chest.
"Anthony! Poppy! I have a very special surprise for you!" Gerard announced as he made his way to the backyard. The kids were playing on the swing set; Anthony was pushing Poppy on one of the swings.
"What is it, daddy?" Anthony asked Gerard as he continued pushing Poppy.
"Help your sister off the swing and I'll show you, both." Anthony did as he was told and he stopped pushing Poppy; helping her down once she stopped swinging.
"Close your eyes, please." They both giggled as they closed their eyes--holding each other's hands as they waited for their surprise.
Gerard hand motioned for Frank to come out to the backyard and he did. He stood there feeling incredibly nervous and excited as he waited for his kid's reactions...he already felt his eyes tearing up.
"Open your eyes!" Gerard said with an excited tone.
"DADDY FRANK!" Anthony squealed out as he jolted his way over towards Frank; the fastest he's ever ran in his life, and he was smiling the biggest and happiest smile, ever.
"I MISSED YOU, DADDY FRANK!" Poppy squealed out as she ran over to him, too. Frank kneeled down to their level and both kids practically tackled him into the grass as they showered him with kisses and squeezed the life out of him with very tight hugs.
"I missed both of you so much; my beautiful little babies..." Frank was crying softly as he held both of his small children close. They began to cry softly as they clung onto him.
"We're so happy you're home, daddy Frank!"
"Don't ever leave us again--we missed you so much!" Gerard began to cry softly to himself too as he watched Frank reunite with their children.
They spent time together; first, they played with Anthony and Poppy until both children were exhausted and passed out. Afterwards, both Frank and Gerard began talking about what's been going on while they were separated. Gerard didn't mention him finding out about being pregnant to Frank--not yet because he wanted to tell him when it was just them, alone. Frank talked about how he's been thinking too much about everything...how he's been dealing with the demons inside of his mind.
Honestly, Frank was scared about Gerard changing the way he felt towards him. He was scared that Gerard didn't want him in his life, or their children's lives, anymore.
"Frank, why would you think something like that...?" Gerard said as he gave Frank a sad eyed look.
"I'm sorry...I was just worried about you waking up one day and realizing that I'm actually a bad person and wanted to leave me." Frank has been beating himself up; feeling guilty about everything he did to Gerard...he loved him, but he never meant to cause him any harm.
"You're not a bad person, Frank--"
"I did bad things to you...it hurts so badly that I can't breathe and I feel sick to my stomach..."
"You didn't mean to, I know that. I forgave you..."
"That doesn't excuse what I did..." Gerard grabbed a hold of Frank's hand in his--gently grazing his thumb against Frank's soft, warm, and tattooed skin...Frank looked down at Gerard's hand in his, then he looked up at him; looking into his big green eyes.
"I forgave you. I love you and I know you never meant to hurt me...don't be so hard on yourself. You're not perfect, but I'm not either. What I know though is how I feel about you and I'm so happy you're back with me; back with our family." Frank listened to everything Gerard said to him. He looked over at Anthony and Poppy, who were asleep on the floor--surrounded by their toys, and he looked over at Ray, who was chatting away with Mikey in the kitchen.
Frank then looked back at Gerard, and he smiled his small and sweet smile at him.
"I love you too, Gee. And I'm overjoyed to be back...I've missed you all, so much." Gerard leaned forward and kissed Frank's lips, softly.
"I think Ray has a crush on your brother." Frank said, making Gerard laugh as he turned to look at them hanging out in the kitchen; laughing and chatting away.
"He was flirting with Mikey and kept smiling like a moron at him." They both chuckled softly and looked at each other without saying anything for a long moment; the only sounds were coming from Ray and Mikey as they continued talking.
"Do you wanna do something tonight? Just you and me...?" Frank felt extremely nervous as he asked Gerard out on a date; his hands were shaking, and his forehead was damped with sweat as his heart raced inside of his chest.
"Aww, you're blushing. Are you asking me out on a date...?" Frank bit down on his bottom lip as he slowly nodded his head in response.
"Yes." Gerard answered before kissing Frank, again. Frank's heart was still racing as he thought about the ring in the pocket of his jeans...he thought about how tonight would go. Frank was scared shitless about popping the big question to Gerard...he just hoped he would say yes.
Chapter 32: Surprise
Gerard's parent's agreed to watch Anthony and Poppy while they went out on their date--their first official date, together. Even Mikey had plans to hang out with Ray; they were going to go bowling together and chill at the arcade, afterwards.
Frank decided to treat Gerard to a small date to the comic book store, then dinner. They both dressed casual/formal for their date. Frank had to act casual the whole time and it wasn't easy...but, Gerard didn't suspect a thing.
"I don't know which comic to buy..." Frank thought it was adorable seeing Gerard be indecisive about which comic book he wanted; the way his eyes squinted as his tongue stuck out in the corner.
"Frank--" He cut him off by capturing his lips with a kiss.
"My treat." Frank said as he smiled at Gerard, wrapping his arms around his waist...Gerard smiled as his cheeks flushed a light pink color. He was excited about telling Frank the good news.
"I missed coming to places like this...there are so many new comics that I need to catch up on. I need to catch up on a lot of things." Frank felt a wave of guilt hit him.
"No, no, I didn't mean it like that...I'm not blaming you. I was just saying..." Gerard immediately realized what he had said; he realized the way it came out...he could see the look of hurt buried inside of Frank's hazel eyes.
"I'm okay. Really." He forced a smile, but Gerard could tell Frank was upset...he could even see the tears forming inside of his eyes.
He was quiet during dinner, after their date at the comic book store...Gerard kept trying to make Frank smile, but nothing was working--Frank was too upset to smile, to laugh...the guilt had swallowed him whole. He was battling with the demons inside of his mind again, and they were telling him how he didn't deserve to be happy.
Frank was beginning to believe that he didn't deserve Gerard.
"Frankie, what's wrong...? You've been so quiet..." Frank looked over at Gerard, and he shook his head no.
"Nothing is wrong."
"You haven't touched your food..." Frank shrugged his shoulders as he played around with his food with his fork, moving it around on his plate.
"I'm not really hungry." Gerard felt horrible and he hated seeing Frank so sad...it made his heart sink.
He just wanted to see him smile again.
"Frank, I have something to tell you." His heart was now racing and he took a deep breath as he felt his stomach churning.
Frank remained silent as he looked directly at Gerard, waiting for whatever he had to say.
"I'm sorry for hurting you with what I said. It wasn't intentional and I didn't mean to make you upset...I love you so much, and all I want is to make you happy."
"I know you love me, Gee...but, you deserve a better life. You deserve nothing but the best, and I'm no good...I know that, now."
"No, don't say that...that isn't true. You deserve to be happy. You deserve me; you're a loving father to our kids, and the best boyfriend I could ever ask for..." Frank's eyes began to tear up again as he licked his lips and fought back his own tears.
"That's why I wanted to tell you that..." Gerard took another deep breath; exhaling sharply before continuing with what he had to say.
"Frank, I love you. You make me so happy. And I'm even happier by telling you that we're going to have another baby..."
"...what?" Frank's eyes widened as the tears continued to build up inside of his eyes.
"I found out a while ago--while we were separated because of all the paparazzi and the media...I didn't say anything before because I wanted to tell you in person."
"You're...you're pregnant, again...?" Frank's voice was very soft and it cracked a little.
"I am...we're going to have another baby, Frankie."
"Really...? You're serious, Gee...?" Frank sniffled softly as tears spilled down his cheeks, now. Gerard stood up from his seat, walked over towards Frank, and embraced him with a warm and comforting hug.
"I'm just so fucking happy, Gee!" Frank was now smiling up at Gerard as more tears escaped his red and puffy eyes and Gerard smiled down at him.
"You continue to make me the happiest guy, alive! You're going to have my baby, again!" Frank couldn't stop smiling and he even buried his face in Gerard's belly; placing soft and sweet kisses against it, making Gerard giggle because it tickled.
"I fucking love you, Gerard Arthur Way. You are my reason for living; you make me incredibly happy every single day and you have given me the most beautiful and wonderful children I could ever ask for." Just then, Frank got out of his seat, pulled out the little black box from the pocket of his jacket, and he got down on one knee in front of Gerard.
"Frankie...?" Gerard's eyes were now wide as his jaw hung open--covering his mouth with one hand as Frank opened the box, revealing the ring inside.
"Will you marry me and continue making me the happiest man on earth...?"
Chapter 33: Aftermath
Gerard said yes to Frank's marriage proposal, but only on several conditions; one: they had to move out of the house in the woods and move into a more civilized area, so that Anthony and Poppy could socialize with other children.
Two: Anthony gets enrolled to school to start kindergarten, immediately. He was almost six, and he needed to make friends.
Three: Both Frank and Gerard have to seek intense therapy--especially Frank, since he has so much bottled in; dealing with a numerous amount of skeletons buried in his closet.
Frank agreed to all of Gerard's conditions. And just like that, they got married; it was a very small wedding--Ray was Frank's best man, Anthony was their ring bearer, and Poppy was their flower girl. Frank's mother came to their ceremony, too. Mikey didn't want to attend; he wasn't particularly happy about the news of them getting married, but he didn't say anything.
Gerard's parent's didn't attend, either.
They both rented tuxedos--Gerard wore a white tux with black pants, and Frank wore a traditional black tux. They both wrote their own vows, gave each other rings; Frank's ring was all black, and the inside was titanium--the exact opposite of Gerard's ring. His too had a tiny stone in the center of the band, though his was clear. The inside of Frank's wedding ring had the letter 'G' engraved inside the band. Gerard's ring had the letter 'F' engraved in his.
They signed their names on their marriage certificate, and it was official. Gerard was now Gerard Iero-Way, he decided to go in alphabetical order with the last names.
Their third child, a boy, was born on October 31st, 2019. He was born on Frank's birthday and was a Halloween baby. They named him Raymond Thomas Iero-Way, and he was a gorgeous little baby boy; he had both Frank's and Gerard's resemblances--his hair was dark brown, just like Frank's, and he had enormous bright hazel eyes that looked green when the sunlight touched them. Baby Raymond had long and curly dark eyelashes, and his little nose was rounded, but also pixie shaped, like Gerard's.
They named him after Ray, and he was completely flattered and overjoyed, especially when he was asked to be the baby's godfather. They got Thomas from Frank because Thomas is his second middle name.
Anthony and Poppy were in love with their new baby brother, and both Frank and Gerard couldn't be any happier.
Several months have passed--baby Raymond was five months old; looking more like both Frank and Gerard every single day, and they often debated on who's smile he had more of.
Anthony was was almost seven years old, and Poppy was almost five. Anthony was loving school; he was a good and well behaved student and he made a lot of new friends. Poppy was going to start her first day of kindergarten soon, too.
Ray and Mikey hooked up and were going steady; their relationship was super casual--their idea of date nights were staying indoors and either having a movie marathon while ordering takeout, or playing Super Smash, together.
As for Frank and Gerard? They now live in a nice two story house, near Gerard's parent's house, that way they could visit whenever they wanted. Anthony and Poppy have their own bedrooms, and baby Raymond has a crib in his parent's bedroom until he's old enough for his own room.
Frank no longer worked at Hot Topic; he now works full time at a tattoo shop full time--he's pursuing his career as a tattoo artist. Frank also occasionally does a few piercing jobs, too.
His hair grew out a bit; almost touching his shoulders now, and he's been attending therapy twice every week. He was doing alright.
Gerard went back to school and got his GED, and he got a part time job at Barnes & Nobel to help support Frank and their children. Gerard even decided to change his hair again--as a way of starting over; a fresh start with a fresh new look. He cut his medium length dyed black hair short and dyed it cherry red.
Things were going well for them...things seemed perfect.
"Daddy Frank, uncle Ray and uncle Mikey are here!" Poppy shouted as she ran over towards Frank, wrapping her arms around his waist while looking up at him with her big green eyes.
"Thank you, princess Poppy." She smiled up at Frank and giggled softly as she grabbed a hold of his hand and dragged him over to the front door. Frank's other hand was busy holding baby Raymond.
"Hey, Toro!" Frank greeted his best friend with a smile and he leaned in to hug him.
"...Mikey." Frank awkward greeted his brother-in-law. Mikey just raised his eyebrows without saying anything.
"Hey little Ray!" Ray greeted baby Raymond in Frank's arms, making the baby smile and coo softly at him. Ray playfully tickled baby Raymond's soft and rosy cheek with his finger, and Frank took the hint by handing him over to Ray.
"You're getting so big, little Ray!" Ray loved that Frank and Gerard named their third child after him. He had a very special bond with him, too.
"Hey, let me hold him--" Mikey said as he took baby Raymond out of his smiling boyfriend's arms.
"Hi there, boo-boo." Baby Raymond smiled at Mikey as he smiled back at him, placing a soft kiss against his cheek.
"Uncle Ray! Uncle Mikey!" Poppy ran towards them--she was wearing a little black dress with cute little skull designs wearing red bows on their heads and red little sparkly slippers since she was currently obsessed with 'The Wizard Of Oz'.
"Hey, beautiful girl!" Ray scooped Poppy up in his arms and she clung onto him; playing around with his long and fluffy hair.
"Hi, Poppyseed." Mikey waved his hand at his niece before Ray handed her over to him.
"You are the most beautiful little girl I've ever seen." Poppy blushed and giggled as she clung onto Mikey.
"I know, silly goose!" Poppy had amazing confidence in herself for only being four years old.
"I painted daddy Frank's nails!" She announced with pride in her sweet little voice, bouncing with excitement and joy in Mikey's arms.
"She sure did." Frank said as he showed off one of his hands--the other hand was back to holding the baby.
Frank's nails were painted a dark purple color.
"Wow, purple really brings out your eyes, Iero." Ray laughed as he examined Frank's now purple nails.
"I wanna paint your nails too, uncle Ray! Please?" Frank then laughed at Ray.
"Yeah, come on Ray--get your nails painted."
"Maybe a nice green color--or maybe blue?" Mikey encouraged both Frank and Poppy.
Poppy was smiling a big and toothy smile; her cheeks were bright red and she looked just like Frank, especially when she smiled like that.
"Alright, alright...paint my nails, beautiful."
"Yaaay! I'm going to make your nails so pretty!" Ray chuckled softly as Mikey placed her down. She grabbed a hold of Ray's hand and led him over to her bedroom to give him a makeover.
"Where's Anthony? And Gerard?" Mikey asked Frank as he helped himself inside his house. Frank closed the door behind him, and put baby Raymond down in his baby swing.
"Gerard went to pick up some pizza. Anthony wanted to go with him." Mikey nodded his head in agreement as he looked at Frank with a look of pure hatred and disgust buried in his dark eyes.
"Is he alright?"
"Of course he is, why wouldn't he be?"
"Because he married you." Frank gave Mikey an annoyed and dirty look as he rolled his eyes while sighing loudly.
"Nice one. Real fucking original."
"Truth hurts, doesn't it? You fooled everyone in that courtroom but you haven't fooled me. Now my brother is completely brainwashed by you and your bullshit—married his kidnapper and he thinks you're just perfect." Frank then roughly shoved Mikey--making him fall flat on his ass against the floor.
Mikey jolted his way up to his feet and he shoved Frank--Frank then roughly grabbed Mikey by his shirt and he roughly pinned him against the wall; a loud thud echoed throughout the living room.
"Do you wanna fucking fight? Do you?" Frank's face was bright red, he was frowning a huge frown, and his teeth were gritting.
"Yeah, hit me so that your kids can see who you really are. They'll finally see that you're fucking violent; a violent, kidnapping, rapist piece of shit!" Frank then balled his hand into a fist and he was about to strike Mikey...he froze just as he was about to punch him--his fist frozen in the air.
Baby Raymond began to fuss and whine in his little swing, and both Frank and Mikey stared intensely at each other while breathing hard and heavily...just then, the sound of the front door being unlocked with keys was heard and Frank immediately released Mikey and they acted like nothing happened.
"Frankie, I'm home--hey Mikey!" Gerard swung the front door open with a handful of pizzas. Anthony stood right next to him, holding a 2 liter bottle of Coca-Cola.
"Hi, uncle Mikey!" Anthony said as he ran over to his uncle--embracing him with a hug.
"Hey there, kiddo..." Mikey said as he hugged his nephew, back.
"Hi, daddy Frank!" Anthony smiled up at Frank as he was scooped up and embraced with a tight hug from his father. Frank shot another dirty look over at Mikey past his son's shoulder as he held him close.
"Is everything okay...? You two seem...tense." Gerard asked his husband and his brother as he made his way inside the house, headed to the kitchen and placed the pizza boxes down on the kitchen counter.
"Yeah, we're fine Gee--just...talking." Frank said as he looked over at his husband and smiled a small half smile at him.
"Mikey...?" Mikey looked at his older brother. He nodded his head in agreement as he looked over at Frank without saying a word.
"Yeah. We were just talking."
"Oh...okay. Well...pizza is here. I also got breadsticks, too."
"Sounds good, babe. Thanks." Baby Raymond began to cry in his swing as he kicked his little feet around.
"Daddy--baby is crying!" Anthony said as he paced his way over to his baby brother, carefully picking him up and holding his little body close against his chest.
"Shhh—don't cry Raymond, it's okay. Big brother is here to make you feel better." He whispered to his fussy baby brother while gently rocking him—placing soft and sweet little kisses against baby Raymond's forehead. The baby began to calm down in Anthony's arms, just like how Poppy used to when she was a baby. Anthony knew how to comfort his younger siblings.
"Anthony--help me get everyone some food?"
"Here Anthony, give me the baby while you go help your daddy."
"Okay, daddy Frank." Anthony smiled up at Frank; his smile identical to Gerard's...his hazel eyes were bright and enormous.
Frank carefully took baby Raymond out of Anthony's arms and leaned down to kiss his eldest son's head as he held the baby close and gently patted his back.
"Hey, hey--don't cry buddy. I gotcha." Frank soothed baby Raymond as he placed soft and sweet kisses against Raymond's little forehead.
"We're not through, Iero." Mikey whispered harshly at Frank--Gerard and Anthony were in the kitchen handling the food.
Frank then moved over towards Mikey and made direct eye contact with him.
"You listen to me--if you ever bring up my kids again like that—if you ever call me those names again, in fact, if you ever try to poison my kid's minds...I will kick your skinny little ass into the dirt." Mikey raised his eyebrows and he even let out a soft chuckle.
"Is that a threat?"
"That's a fucking promise."
They carried on with their family/game night; Gerard and Frank helped each other prepare the food--Ray and Mikey played with Anthony, Poppy, and baby Raymond. After Poppy painted everyone else's nails, actually. She painted Ray's nails dark green; she painted Mikey's nails a bright neon orange color; Gerard's nails were painted a dark blue shade. Poppy even had her nails painted--she wanted rainbow nails, and everyone pitched in to help.
After they ate, they played board/card games; monopoly, Uno, Sorry, Twister, Candyland, etc.
Once all the kids fell asleep and Frank and Gerard took them to their bedrooms--the adults played video games for a while; Injustice, Injustice 2, Super Smash, Mario Party, and Mortal Kombat X. Overall it was a really great night for everyone...except Frank was secretly upset about his heated moment with Mikey. Gerard could tell something was wrong with Frank, but he decided not to say anything until Ray and Mikey left.
They stayed pretty late; almost midnight by the time they went home. Baby Raymond was crying--they could hear him over the baby monitor and Gerard went to go get him...Frank sat alone on the couch for a moment, thinking about what Mikey had said to him. His words stung Frank like pouring rubbing alcohol on a fresh new wound...Mikey's words hurt him and it clearly showed on his face.
Frank barely ate any food; he barely spoke in full sentences--only one word responses. He was very quiet and he didn't smile much, either.
"Hey, are you okay...?" Gerard asked his hazel puppy eyed husband as he gently rocked their fussy son in his arms. Frank looked over at Gerard, who was looking at him with worried eyes.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Frank's voice was soft; his tone was low, monotoned, and very sad sounding.
"Oh yeah, I'm super convinced." Gerard lowered his eyebrows as he responded in a sarcastic tone, still gently rocking baby Raymond in his arms.
"Frank, what's wrong...?" Baby Raymond rubbed his eyes as he whined and continued fussing in Gerard's arms; Gerard held the baby close against his chest, softly shushing him as he gently stroked his infant son's soft dark hair.
"Nothing...just tired." Frank lied as he forced a smile at Gerard. He obviously didn't believe Frank, but he didn't want to push it...Frank got up from the couch and he made his way into his music room.
Gerard made baby Raymond a bottle--he calmed down once he was fed, burped, and he even sang him to sleep. Just as he was about to put the baby in his crib, he could hear the faint sound of singing along with a guitar playing in the background...Gerard was curious; with one free hand, he grabbed a hold of the doorknob, twisted it, and slowly pushed the door open...Frank was sitting on one of the stools, strumming a familiar tune on his white guitar with the word 'PANSY' on it. He's had that guitar ever since Gerard could remember.
"You float like a feather
In a beautiful world
And I wish I was special
You're so fucking special
But I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo.
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here..."
Gerard watched Frank play his guitar, and he listened to him sing...Frank sung very softly, and emotionally; his eyes were closed and tears were spilling down his cheeks, but he didn't stop.
"I don't care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice
When I'm not around
You're so fucking special
I wish I was special..."
Frank put more passion into his singing now; his voice cracked and trembled several times, but he didn't stop singing.
Gerard pushed door open a bit wider and he helped himself inside the music room...he listened to Frank sing and play as he held their sleeping son in his arms.
"But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here
He's running out again
He's running out
He run run run run
Run..." Frank must felt Gerard's presence in the room because he stopped playing and singing. He sniffed softly as he wiped away his tears...Gerard walked up to him and he gently placed his down against his cheek.
"What's wrong...? Please tell me..." Frank sniffled softly as more tears spilled down his cheeks; his eyes were all red and puffy.
"...Gee, do you love me...?" Gerard gave Frank a confused look as he lowered his eyebrows, letting out a soft chuckle--thinking Frank was just joking...but Frank was still crying. He was very serious looking, too.
"Frank...of course I love you...why would you ask such a question?"
"Cause...cause I kidnapped you. I raped you..." Frank mumbled out, but loud enough for Gerard to hear. Goosebumps appeared all throughout his pale skin and he felt his heart pick up the pace a little.
"That's in the past...things are different now. You didn't rape me; I wanted you to take my virginity...I was just scared and nervous because it was my first time having sex."
"I kidnapped you..."
"Frank--I wanted to go with you, and I still wanna be with you..." Frank was still crying as he felt an overwhelming amount of guilt building up in his stomach, making him feel nauseous.
"Baby, what happened...? Did Mikey say something to you?" Frank fell silent--remembering how his dad used to face him; full eye contact, and if he didn't respond to his question immediately, he would get hit. But Frank froze...and Gerard frowned as he let out a low groan.
"Goddamn it, I knew it...what happened? What did he say to you?"
"...I...he..." Frank stuttered over his own words as he tried to explain, but kept failing.
"Take your time, Frankie...breathe." Gerard spoke sweetly and softly as he gently stroked Frank's long and soft dark hair.
"...Mikey pretty much insulted me; like he always does every fucking chance he gets..." Gerard frowned a huge frown as his jaw hung open.
"What the fuck...? I ought to fucking give Mikey a piece of my mind--"
"Frank--you're my husband, and Mikey is my brother and I love him, but he has no right to speak to you like that!" Gerard didn't realize he was raising his voice and baby Raymond twitched in his arms as he made soft and sleepy sounds. Gerard softly shushed the baby as he apologized to him--placing soft kisses on the top of his head.
"Don't worry about it, okay...? I'll be fine."
"Is that why you're crying?" Frank blushed in embarrassment as he wiped away his tears and sniffled softly once more.
"I just feel like an asshole, okay...?"
"You're not an asshole..." Baby Raymond cooed softly in Gerard's arms as he slept peacefully.
"Do you wanna hold your son?" Frank looked at his sleeping son in his beautiful red haired husband's arms. His blue nails looked shiny and stunning--Poppy outdid herself.
He then looked up at Gerard; staring at his beautiful big green eyes...he even examined the light freckles resting on his cute little pixie nose.
"Yeah." Frank responded softly as he smiled a small half smile up at Gerard.
Gerard carefully handed baby Raymond to Frank--he made more soft and sleepy sounds in Frank's arms.
He rocked the baby slowly as he smiled down at him; examining all of his beautiful features--looking like the both of them.
"Frank...?" Gerard softly called out his name, catching his attention as he lifted up his head to look at him. Gerard then leaned down and softly kissed Frank's lips as he gently caressed his warm and soft cheek with the back of his fingers.
"I love you. You're an amazing husband; a wonderful and loving father...and you if you don't mind me saying, you're quite a talented singer and guitarist." Frank's cheeks flushed a light red shade as he smirked and bit down on his bottom lip as he continued rocking baby Raymond in his arms.
"I mean it, Frankie. I love you very much; we have three beautiful children, and we have each other. You also have Ray, who is like your brother, and you have your mom. I have my parents, and I have Mikey. You're not a horrible person--despite what Mikey thinks or says." Frank remained silent as he listened to everything Gerard was telling him. His sweet words were slowly making him feel better.
Once baby Raymond was placed in his crib, Frank tucked in Anthony and Poppy--who were sleeping soundly, still. Gerard wanted to make Frank feel better, so they spent some alone time cuddling together in bed while watching a horror movie, together.
Gerard rested his head against Frank's bare and tattooed chest as he listened to the sound of his heart beating, softly.
The memory of them cuddling together in bed back at the old house replayed in Gerard's mind as his eyes wandered up to gaze upon Frank's beautiful face...they were so much younger back then; their children weren't even born yet...it was very different back then.
"Gee?" Frank called out Gerard's name softly as he gently stroked his soft dyed red hair.
"Hmm?" He responded, still looking up at Frank.
"I love you." Gerard felt himself blush as he smiled at him--biting down on his bottom lip.
"I love you too, Frankie." Frank smiled down at him, placed a kiss against his forehead, and he held him closer against him.
Their love story wasn't a fairytale...in fact, it wasn't like any common love story you hear about everyday.
It was more like a wild and ferocious animal waiting to capture its prey; watching them, getting to know them better, and then they attack. Pounce their prey and take as much as they can out of them before they realize they cared about them...then they wanted to love them; nurture them; shelter them from all the ugliness in the world...Frank was the monster in the beginning, whereas Gerard was the victim.
But in the end--Frank was just as much a victim as Gerard. Their love wasn't perfect, but it was strong and unbreakable. The only thought running through both their minds was if they would able to shelter their children from the darkness that lurked all around them; spreading like a virus worldwide...would the same thing happen to Anthony...? To Poppy...? To Raymond...? The thought was scary, but both Frank and Gerard would do everything they could to protect their family.
As long as they had each other, everything would be okay.
It would be okay.
Thank you all for reading my first ever completed story. I hope it wasn't a disappointment ~
There's plenty more where this came from ❤