When I Am King chapter 1/?
raysmagicfro
Chapter 1

Arthur woke up feeling like he had slept for a very, very long time. His head felt heavy and when he opened his eyes, he had to shut them immediately because bright sunlight seemed to pierce through his skull. He opened his eyes again, just a little this time, and noticed he was lying on grass. Also, his clothes were soaking wet. As he looked further, he saw that he was in fact lying next to a vast lake, with an island in the middle. The place looked familiar, but Arthur didn’t know why. Something felt strange, off, like something had happened that was different than usual. Why was he lying on the edge of a lake, soaking wet? Confused and a bit alarmed, he lifted his back off the grass and looked around. On the other side of him was something that looked like a road, but different from any road he’d seen before. It looked like someone had put clay on the ground, made it flat, and then painted yellow stripes on it. Where on earth was he? Suddenly, he felt a hand on his shoulder.
Startled, Arthur looked behind him and instinctively reached for his sword. But the person standing there looked vaguely familiar. It was an old man with a white beard and strange clothing of materials Arthur didn’t know.
‘Arthur, it’s you.’ the man said, looking like he was almost in tears. Arthur looked at him closely, his hand still at his sword. Although for some reason, this man didn’t feel dangerous, but like he could be trusted, and so familiar…
‘Merlin?’ Arthur then said, looking at the man whom he believed to be his servant, but didn’t look like him at all. The man nodded with watery eyes. Arthur kept staring at him, not understanding what was going on.
‘Merlin, what’s-’
‘It’s you, it’s really you!’ The man, Merlin, chocked out and embraced the startled king.
‘Yes, it’s me… Merlin, what’s happening?’ Why was Merlin looking so old and so happy to see him? And where was he?
Merlin didn’t let go, despite Arthur trying to escape from his servant’s death grip several times. It was only after a few minutes that he answered.
‘You died, so many years ago… Arthur, you died. Don’t you remember?’ Merlin let go of Arthur, but held onto his arms and looked into his eyes. Arthur tried to think, but his memory was fuzzy, like when you try to think back to your childhood, but worse, like everything happened ages ago and a layer of dust had collected onto his memories.
‘Mordred, he… he killed you. I tried to heal you, and we got here, to Lake Avalon, but I was too late… You died in my arms. Remember?’
Out of nowhere, everything came back into Arthur’s mind. He gasped as the memory of his death, so vivid, burned onto his eyelids. He remembered Mordred, he felt the sword pierce through his chest, he remembered Merlin carrying him into the woods, trying to heal him, and then he remembered Merlin telling him he had magic, the awful dread he had felt on how he had treated his servant all those years, and finally he remembered Lake Avalon, the pain he felt when speaking his final words, how warm Merlin felt as he got colder and colder, until finally he breathed his last breath and passed away.
‘I remember.’ Arthur murmured. He tried to swallow the lump that had formed in his throat, as he embraced his most loyal and dear friend.
Merlin was the first one to let go, silently looking at Arthur’s wet clothing.
‘Let’s get you someplace warm. You’re cold and soaked.’ Merlin put one of Arthur’s arms over his shoulder and half-dragged the still wobbly king with him, onto the road.
‘What is this?’ Arthur asked curiously and a bit suspiciously.
‘It’s asphalt. It’s a road. For cars.’ Merlin answered a bit amused.
‘Cars?’ before Arthur could ask any further, a strange object made of some kind of metal went past them in a speed Arthur hadn’t seen anything move.
‘That’s a car.’ Merlin explained quickly when Arthur jumped and tried to reach for his sword again. ‘It’s a way of transportation.’
‘It’s a metal monster.’ Arthur grunted a bit scared.
‘That depends on the driver.’ Merlin replied and laughed.
After walking past big houses with metal monsters on their ‘driveways’ as Merlin called them, they arrived on a square with a fountain in the middle. Here, the houses looked more like what Arthur was used to, next to each other and smaller, but made of bricks instead of wood. Merlin stopped at the door of one of the houses and reached into the pocket of his weird jacket. He got out a bunch of keys that also looked different from what Arthur was used to, and opened the door. Merlin stepped in, walked a few steps and then noticed Arthur wasn’t following him.
‘You can come in, this is my house.’ Merlin said, looking at Arthur.
‘Before I step a foot into this house, I demand you tell me one thing.’ Arthur stated.
‘Well?’
‘What year is it?’
Merlin seemed to hesitate for a moment before answering.
‘It’s 2014.’
Arthur looked like he got hit by a tree, and his face turned completely white. Merlin ran back to him just in time to catch him as he fainted. Merlin grunted and dragged the king inside his house. With some effort, due to his old body, he closed the door and went into the small living room, with nothing more than an old, red couch, a coffee table filled with books and magazines, a bookshelf with more books and a television. He laid Arthur down on the couch and glanced at him concernedly before he went into the kitchen to get him tea and a blanket.
The king woke up several minutes later, and looked around the room a bit mortified. Merlin found him staring at the television with a mix of confusion, suspiciousness and fear in his eyes.
‘What is that black box? Is it magic? Why is there a man on it? Can he see me?’
‘Here, drink this.’ Merlin first said and handed Arthur a glass of water. Then, he sat down next to the king, who still looked mortified.
‘That’s called a television.’ Merlin explained calmly. ‘It’s a box that shows you what’s happening in the world. Right now we’re watching the weather. There are also shows on it, a bit like theatre, but on the television. It’s not magic, everyone has one of these. They’re actually pretty fun when you don’t have anything better to do.’
When Arthur realized the television wasn’t a threat or anything dangerous, he eased a little.
‘I have the feeling I’m going to experience a lot more of these moments after being dead for a thousand years.’ the king sighed. In a flash, Merlin saw the mobile phones, kitchen devices, public transport systems and everything else that would be new for the king. Even some basic things like jeans and other types of clothing that seemed so normal now, even to Merlin, would be a shock for Arthur. And Merlin had no idea how the king would handle that. Laughing it away, he smiled at Arthur and said: ‘There are so many things that I have to show you.’
So many things that Merlin and Arthur decided to stay inside and watch television for a while. After explaining to the king how the remote worked, Merlin grinned as the king zapped through the different channels, first with a terrified look, then with amusement.
‘So, Merlin, what do you like to watch on this… television?’ Arthur then asked. Merlin considered this for a while.
‘Nothing in particular, really. I do watch the news daily, and there are some shows that I sometimes watch, but to escape from boredom rather than because I really enjoy watching them.’ In addition, Merlin didn’t think it would be wise to explain the concept of Total Wipeout to the king and possibly give him a heart-attack.
Not that is was very smart to watch the news with the king. Not only was he upset by all the violence and death caused by wars in this century, but it was almost impossible to explain everything to him, since everything was so different from a thousand years ago. After trying to explain the concept of rockets to Arthur (‘it’s like a ship, but in space. And there’s no gravity.’) Merlin changed the channel to a documentary about penguins. Arthur relaxed and actually got quite fascinated by the life of penguins.
‘So they’ve really gone to the North Pole and ‘filmed’ all of that?’ the prince asked in awe.
‘Well, yeah, I think so.’ Merlin replied. ‘But I’ve heard they actually film some parts in the zoo.’
‘The what?’
Only then Merlin realized Arthur had no idea what a zoo was.
‘The zoo. It’s a place where they keep animals from all over the world for people to see.’ Merlin explained. Arthur looked away from the screen and to Merlin, with a twinkle in his eye.
‘So does a zoo have penguins?’
‘Yes, and lots of other animals, like lions, polar bears, giraffes, tigers, monkeys, snakes, parrots…’
‘Can we please go to the zoo tomorrow?’ Merlin knew he was going to ask him that. And something in Arthur’s eyes told him the king knew he wouldn’t refuse.
‘Of course we can go! But we’ll have to go by car.’ Merlin answered. Arthur straightened his back.
‘I am the king of Camelot. I am not afraid of cars.’
Merlin laughed and poked the king in his side. ‘You’re such a show-off.’
Arthur frowned, rolled his eyes and snickered. Then he focused back on the television.
‘Oh my God, they’re sliding over the ice. That’s so cute.’

After the documentary had ended, Merlin and Arthur kept sitting on the red couch and talked. Arthur asked question after question because he wanted to know what had happened in his thousand year absence, and perhaps because he didn’t want to be reminded of the people he’d lost and never even had a chance to say goodbye to. Merlin answered all of his questions with an unbelievable patience and honesty. He simply couldn’t believe his long lost best friend was sitting next to him, breathing and talking again. After a thousand years, where other people had become a bruised memory, with their faces and voices faded through the years, Arthur had always been somewhere in the back of his mind, never fading away. And here he was, alive.
Merlin told the king about his life. How he never returned to Camelot after that day, the worst day of his life. He roamed the earth for years and years, restless and broken. And the world changed. With every year, time seemed to move faster and faster, buildings were built higher and higher, wars became more and more violent.
‘What happened to Camelot?’ Arthur asked.
‘It fell.’ Merlin answered. ‘A couple of years after Guinevere…’ Merlin looked away from Arthur’s face and didn’t finish the sentence. Arthur gasped for air.
‘So… How - How old was she, when…’
‘Forty-eight.’
‘What happened?’
‘No one knows. They found her one morning. They say it was heartbreak.’
When Merlin finally looked back at Arthur, there was a single tear rolling down the king’s cheek.
‘She was a great queen, Arthur.’ Merlin said softly, trying to be consoling. ‘She was the best.’
They sat next to each other in silence for a while.
‘Arthur, you’re still soaking wet.’ Merlin stated when the king shifted on the couch and brushed his leg against Merlin’s knee. ‘We need to get you out of that armor.’
‘I suppose wearing an armor isn’t exactly high fashion here in 2014?’ the king grunted.
‘No it’s not, thank god.’
‘Fantastic. It takes two hours to put it on! So what do people wear these days?’
‘T-shirts, trousers, more comfortable stuff actually.’
Arthur sighed relieved.
‘I’ll see if I have something that’ll fit you. Hang on.’ surprisingly athletic for someone who had a long white beard, Merlin hopped off the couch and disappeared upstairs. Within minutes, he returned with a plain white t-shirt, jeans and socks.
‘Why do those socks have cows on them?’ Arthur asked darkly.
‘All other socks are in the wash.’ Merlin replied.
‘You just want to see me wearing socks with cows, don’t you?’
‘Yeah actually I do.’
After receiving a dead stare from Arthur, Merlin proceeded to take off the heavy, wet armor.
‘It actually looks really good, considering I’ve been in the water for a thousand years.’ Arthur joked.
‘Your face… Not so much.’ Merlin replied.
‘Glad to hear you haven’t lost your sense of humor when I wasn’t around. Love the beard, by the way.’
‘Thanks.’ Merlin stroked over his beard as if he was actually proud of having it.
‘Is it real? Or is it a potion?’ The king asked, seemingly fascinated.
‘Arthur. I am a thousand years old.’ Merlin sighed.
‘Yeah, so? Aren’t you the greatest sorcerer of all time as well?’
‘Unlike you, I’ve actually aged. It’s a real beard.’ Merlin grunted.
‘Too bad. I prefer the younger you, with the black hair and that stupid scarf.’
Merlin giggled. ‘Shut up.’

After Arthur’s armor had finally come off, Merlin helped him getting into his new clothes. After years of Merlin helping him to get dressed every morning, it seemed like he had lost the ability to do it himself. He started with pulling the shirt over the king’s head and struggling to get his arms through the sleeves. Getting into the jeans was harder since Arthur hated the fabric at first.
‘It’s so tight!’
‘Stop complaining! You should be glad they’re not skinny fit.’
‘What’s that?’
‘Suicide.’
The socks were easier. After the king was fully dressed, he walked around a bit, mostly just wiggling his toes much more than necessary.
‘So how are the jeans?’ Merlin asked.
‘Not too bad. I’ve still got to get used to them. The shirt is okay, and I’ve got to say these socks are actually very comfortable.’ Arthur said, wiggling his toes again.
‘I knew you’d like them.’
‘By the way, what time is it?’ Arthur suddenly asked.
‘It’s almost six ‘o clock, why?’
‘I’m starving.’
‘Do you want to get something to eat?’
‘Merlin. I haven’t eaten in a thousand years. Of course I do.’
‘We could go out? Have dinner somewhere? There’s a nice pub down the road.’
‘Sounds good to me.’
‘All right, let’s go! I’ll borrow you shoes and a coat.’

On their way to the pub, Merlin explained basic pub etiquette to Arthur.
‘You shouldn’t get into an argument. Or fight. Or ask someone about politics. Or the economy. Just eat your fish and chips, drink your beer and behave.’ Merlin stated.
‘Oh, and please don’t forget that no one actually knows you’re King Arthur, and that that title means absolutely nothing to them.’ he added after a pause.
‘I think I got it.’ the king replied. ‘How did you say these shoes were called?’
‘Sneakers.’
‘I like sneakers.’
‘Good.’

Arthur was glad to see the pub was a bit more modern than a tavern was in his days, but not too overwhelmingly modernized. Merlin and he sat down at a table at the back of the pub, and ordered food and drinks. Soon, Arthur was occupied by the soccer match that was being broadcasted on a small TV hanging next to the bar.
‘Merlin, what is that game?’
‘It’s called soccer. Two teams run after a ball and try to kick it into the other team’s net.’
‘It looks a bit boring.’
‘I can’t agree more, Arthur.’
‘I prefer sword fighting and axe throwing.’ Arthur sighed.
‘No one really does that anymore.’ Merlin answered.
‘Thought so. Too bad, they’re lovely sports.’ the king replied.
That’s when the bartender, a man in his seventies, brought them two pints.  He greeted Merlin and curiously glanced at Arthur.
‘Hello Merlin, what a surprise to see you here! And who’s that? Your grandson?’
Merlin looked at Arthur completely mortified, and the king had to try his hardest best not to burst out laughing.
‘No, this is Arthur, a friend of mine.’ Merlin said quickly after composing himself. The bartender didn’t notice.
‘Well, hello Arthur, pleasure to meet you. Welcome in our little town. I’ll fetch you two something to eat.’
As soon as the man had disappeared into the kitchen, Arthur burst out laughing.
‘Your face! You should have seen your face!’
‘He called you my grandson!’ Merlin couldn’t keep himself from laughing as well.
‘I told you, I prefer the younger you. People are going to keep mistaking you for my granddad.’
‘That’s horrifying.’ Merlin said.
‘I know. You my granddad. Brrr.’

After dinner, Merlin and Arthur walked back to the house.
‘It’s getting late. We should get to bed.’ Merlin stated as he yawned. ‘I don’t have a spare bedroom, so you can sleep in my bed and I’ll sleep on the couch tonight.’
‘Oh no, the couch is fine for me. You should just sleep in your own bed.’
‘Arthur, you’re the king. I’m not letting you sleep on my couch.’
‘Merlin, it’s 2014. I’m wearing socks with cows. I’ve just watched a game of soccer in a pub with you. I don’t think I really am a king anymore.’
Having said that, Arthur lied down on the couch. Merlin got him a pillow and a blanket.
‘Goodnight Merlin.’ Arthur said after getting comfortable and tucking himself in.
‘Goodnight Arthur.’ Merlin replied with a smile, and turned off the lights.

  

Frank the Postman
raysmagicfro

Pairings: Postman!Frank/Socially Awkward!Gerard (mention of Mikey/Pete)

Summary: Gerard hasn’t been outside for five years. Then he meets Frank.

____________________________

At the age of 23, Gerard still lives in his basement. The only social contact he has are with his Mum, who’ll call him if dinner is ready and pick up his dirty laundry and stuff, his brother Mikey who’ll come sit in Gerard’s room and talk about the awesome party’s he’s been to and the people he met there and his hook-ups and one night stands, and the postman, who brings him his packages with the stuff he orders on the Internet, like band shirts and art supplies. Gerard doesn’t leave his house. Ever.

 Gerard just sits in his room all day, drawing or painting most of the time, or watching Star Wars and reading Batman. He likes it that way. He hates social interaction. In fact, he hates people. So he avoids them as much as possible.

‘I hate people.’ Gerard mutters to himself as he finishes his eight-billionth vampire-zombie sketch. He looks at it, grunts, and throws it in the trashcan, just like most of his other sketches. He hums along with his Iron Maiden CD that’s playing in the background as he grabs a new sheet of paper from the mountain of mess on his desk, and starts drawing a dragon. Not sure why. He doesn’t even like dragons that much. He gets distracted by a knock on his door.

‘Gerard?’ it’s Mikey

‘Sup Mikey?’ Gerard shouts at the door. Mikey walks in.

‘Brought you cigarettes.’ Mikey throws the pack on Gerard’s bed and sits down on the Star Wars sheets.

‘Thanks Mikey.’ Gerard says. He’s been craving for cigarettes for days.

‘Wanna watch Lord Of The Rings in my room?’ Mikey asks.

‘Yeah, sure. I’ll be there in a minute, ‘kay?’

‘Kay.’ and Mikey’s gone. Gerard pulls the sheets off his bed - after removing the mess of dirty clothes and paint brushes and empty coffee cups - and drapes them around his shoulders. He smells at his pyjamas. He’s been wearing these for two weeks straight, but he’s not going to put clean clothes on just because Mikey wants to watch The Lord Of The Rings with him.

Finally, he grabs the ‘Mikey Way: Prince Of The Unicorns’ sketch he made a while ago from his desk and heads to Mikey’s room.

‘“Mikey Way: Prince Of The Unicorns”? It’s awesome, Gee, thank you so much.’ Mikey pulls Gerard in a hug, but lets go quickly.

‘Oh my God. How long have you been wearing those pyjamas?’

‘Two weeks.’

‘God...’

Gerard chuckles and sits down on Mikey’s bed. His brother’s room is so clean and organized, exactly the opposite of his. Mikey sits down next to him, with a bag of Dorito’s and a six-pack of Coke.

‘Which movie?’ he asks Gerard

‘Two Towers?’ it’s Gerard’s favourite

‘Kay.’ Mikey puts his arm around Gerard’s shoulder.

‘Love you, Gee.’

‘Love you too, Mikey.’

***

After the movie ends, Gerard stays on Mikey’s room a little longer - Mikey went to a party and met some guy called Pete, who he now has a huge crush on - before he goes back to his own room. He draws some more, watches Made on MTV and crashes in his bed at around eleven.

The next day, when he wakes up at nine, he’s home alone. His mother works in a salon and has to be there extremely early every day, and Mikey’s still in school.

Him being alone isn’t a big deal at all, but he has ordered a Metallica poster and T-shirt a few days ago, and they’ll be delivered today. Usually, his Mom or Mikey accepts the packages and brings them to his basement, but he’ll have to open the door himself today. He has done it before a few times and hates it.

‘Shit,’ Gerard states. He needs to shower and put some clean clothes on. And think of something to say to the postman. Gerard always plans conversations like this in his head, so he won’t sound like a complete social awkward loser who still lives in his Mom’s basement.

After having showered, Gerard looks for some clean clothes and eventually finds a shirt and jeans he has only worn twice before, so he puts those on. Then, he goes upstairs so he won’t have to walk the distance from his room to the front door and watches some TV.

‘I need coffee,’ he says to himself after falling asleep on the couch for the third time. He makes some coffee in the kitchen and takes the whole can back to the living-room. In the middle of a South Park episode, the bell rings. Gerard takes a deep breath and opens the door.

The postman is… Well, he’s hot. He has brown hair that’s shaved short and bleached on the sides, a lip ring, a nose ring, and Gerard can see some tattoos on his neck and knuckles. He probably has more, but his workshirt covers his arms. His face is perfect. Gerard wishes he has a pencil and paper right there so he can draw him.

‘Hi,’ Gerard says shyly.

‘Hello. This package is for Gerard Way?’

‘That’s me.’

‘Sign here, please.’ the guy hands him a pencil and when Gerard takes it, their hands touch. Gerard flushes and concentrates on signing the form. He hopes the guy doesn’t notice.

‘Here you go.’ Gerard says, giving back the pencil and form.

‘Thanks man.’ the guy says, and grins.

‘Metallica? Good choice.’

Gerard flushes even more.

‘Thank you! You like them too?’

‘Metallica rocks man.’

‘I know.’

‘My name is Frank, by the way.’ the guy, Frank, says, sticking out his hand.

‘Nice to meet you… Gerard, was it, right?’

‘Yeah it’s Gerard.’ Gerard answers surprised, and a little bit flattered. Frank remembered his name. People usually think it’s Jared.

‘There aren’t much people with a good taste in music here in Jersey.’ Frank says, and smiles. Gerard is pretty sure it’s the most beautiful smile he’s ever seen. Gerard laughs and smiles back.

‘You’re right.’ he states. Frank opens his mouth to say something, but then his cell phone rings. It’s the Nightmare Before Christmas theme song. Frank looks at the screen.

‘It’s my boss, I gotta go.’ Frank sighs and looks at Gerard.

‘I’ll see you around?’

Probably not, Gerard thinks.

‘Sure!’ he lies.

‘Bye!’

‘Bye!’ and Frank’s gone. Gerard shuts the door and immediately smashes his head against it.

‘Fuck my life.’ he says to himself. He stands there for several minutes, until he disappears back into his basement. He’s never going to see Frank again.

His life really sucks.

***

‘Gerard?’

‘Sup Mikey?’

‘Can I come in?’

‘Yeah, sure.’

Mikey walks into Gerard’s basement with two steaming cups of coffee.

‘Here you go.’ he says, handing one of the cups to Gerard.

‘You’re an angel, Mikey.’

‘I know. Can I see your new stuff?’

‘Sure.’ Gerard says. He shows Mikey his new t-shirt and picks a spot on his wall with him for his poster. Then they sit down on Gerard’s bed again, and he tells Mikey about Frank.

***

‘So, why don’t you ask him out?’ Mikey asks after Gerard has finished his story. Gerard yelps and stares at Mikey in complete shock.

‘Mikey!’ he exclaims.

‘I haven’t been outside in five years. I don’t have his number, and for God’s sake I don’t even know if he’s gay!’

‘You should’ve asked his number, man.’ Mikey mutters

‘I know Mikey, I know.’ Gerard sighs

‘We’ll figure something out, okay?’

‘Okay. Thanks Mikey.’

‘No problem, Gee.’ and Mikey pulls Gerard in a hug

***

In the following weeks, Gerard spends more time upstairs than he ever has in the past five years combined. He gets up extremely early so he can spy the newspaper guy from behind the window. It’s not Frank. Even when his new canvasses and paint brushes get delivered, the delivery guy isn’t Frank.

After three weeks, Mikey sits down on the couch in the living-room, next to Gerard.

‘Gerard, we need to talk.’ he sounds serious, Gerard thinks, the kind of serious that Mikey only uses if it’s a matter of life and death.

‘What’s wrong, Mikey?’ he asks concerned

Mikey snorts. ‘Nothing’s wrong.’

‘Then why are you so serious?’ Gerard asks suspiciously.

‘It’s just… Well it’s probably a bad idea. Forget it.’ Mikey says, waving his hands in the air.

‘No Mikey, what is it?’

‘Pete is giving a party this Saturday…’

‘That’s nice. Are you going?’ Mikey shoots Gerard a careful look and opens his mouth to say something. That’s when Gerard gets it.

‘NO! Mikey! I’m not coming with you!’ he yells and jumps off of the couch.

                ‘Gerard! Calm the fuck down!’ Mikey yells back.

                No! Jesus, Mikey, how can you expect me to…’

                ‘Gerard.’ Gerard bites his tongue and sits down. His brother better has a damn good reason to ask him to leave the house for the first time in five years.

                ‘You haven’t been outside in five years, Gee.’

                ‘I know.’

                ‘You can’t hide yourself in that basement forever.’

                ‘Is that a challenge?’

                ‘No! For God’s sake Gerard! Do you ever think about how Mom and I feel about this? It’s hard for us, you know. You just sit in that basement all day, doing nothing. You could be the best comic book artist ever, or a damn good painter, you could be the fucking president if you tried! Dammit Gee, DO something with your life.’ Mikey stops yelling and buries his face in his hands. Gerard tries to think of something to say. He lets his brother and Mom down, he knows that. He doesn’t just hate people, he hates the person he has become. He just sits there for a few moments until he finally breaks the silence.

                ‘I’m sorry, Mikey.’ he whispers. Mikey looks up.

‘Just go, do it for me.’ he whispers back.

Gerard nods.

***

It’s the night of the party. Gerard and Mikey are walking to Pete’s house, since it’s only a few blocks away.

‘It’ll be fun Gerard.’ Mikey reassuringly says to his brother, who is nervously fumbling at a hole in his jeans.

‘Probably. It’s just been so long.’

‘I know, Gee, I know.’

When they arrive at Pete’s house, they can hear loud music blasting through the windows of the building. Mikey rings the doorbell, and a few moments later, a drunk Pete opens the door.

‘Mikeyway! Come in! And who’s this?’ he asks, pointing to Gerard.

‘My brother, Gerard.’

Gerard waves awkwardly at Pete.

‘Well, welcome to my party guys! Come in.’ and Pete disappears in the crowd of sweaty, dancing people.

Mikey grabs Gerard’s hand tightly.

‘Ready?’ he asks

‘Nope.’ Gerard answers with a trembling voice.

‘You’ll love it. Let’s go.’ Mikey said, and he pulls both of them inside.

Gerard has to admit, the party’s not that bad after all. The music is way too loud and it’s not like Gerard is trying to socialize or something, but completely drunk - or high - strangers keep starting random conversations with him and Gerard tries his best to keep the conversations going as best as he can. He saw Mikey and Pete go upstairs a while ago, and he really doesn’t want to think about what they’re probably doing up there, so he just lets his eyes wander around the crowd of strangers, looking for a familiar face.

That’s when he sees him.

Frank.

Gerard’s heart skips a beat. Frank’s here. Oh my God, Frank’s here. Gerard resists the urge to walk up to him and kiss him right there, in the middle of the room, in front of everyone. Frank seems to be having the time of his life, dancing like crazy, sweating, and Gerard decides to just enjoy the view for a while.

At some point, Frank sees Gerard too. When his eyes meet Gerard’s, they light up and he pushes himself towards him, through the crowd of people. Gerard feels like he’s going to faint. Or throw up. Or both.

‘Gerard?’ Frank sounds pretty drunk, too, and it takes a while before Gerard finds his voice back.

‘Hi.’ he eventually says, grinning sheepishly.

‘How are you, dude? Do you like the party?’

‘I’m not really a party person. But everyone here’s drunk anyway, so that helps. How are you?’

‘Drunk.’ Frank says, smiling his beautiful smile.

They talk for a little while, but the music is too loud to hear each other properly. They both get tired of shouting at each other, so Frank yells ‘Let’s go outside.’, takes Gerard’s hand and guides him to the backdoor.

The air outside is quite chilly, but it’s way better than the hot air inside. Gerard shivers when he and Frank step through the backdoor to stand on the porch. Gerard had expected there to be at least two more people, who wanted to make out without getting disturbed or something, but he and Frank are the only ones outside.

‘This is way better.’ Frank says, and he moans.  Gerard hates his life and decides to focus on finding his voice back.

‘Yeah.’ he agrees.

‘It’s so cool to meet you here, dude.’ Frank grins.

‘I mean, I hoped I’d see you again sometime soon, but I didn’t think it’d be this soon, you know?’

‘Me neither.’ in fact, Gerard hadn’t expected to see Frank again at all. So this is the best day of his life. Officially.

‘So how’s life? Ordered any Metallica t-shirts lately?’

‘Nope. Iron Maiden.’

‘You like Iron Maiden too? I love you, man.’ Frank fist bumps Gerard, and Gerard is pretty sure Frank has no idea what those words are doing to him.

‘How is your life?’ Gerard asks to distract himself.

‘I’m fine. School sucks, though.’

‘That’s an understatement. School is Hell.’ Gerard says. He was so glad when he finally graduated from high school and never had to go back to that goddamn school again. Frank nods.

‘In what grade are you?’ he asks. He never really thought about Frank’s age. Frank’s a short guy, but he looks like he’s eighteen.

‘I’m in my senior year.’ Frank answers.

‘I’m eighteen, so.’

 ‘When is your birthday?’ Gerard asks.

‘October 31st.’ Frank answers. Gerard’s eyes become huge.

‘On Halloween?’

‘Yeah.’

‘That’s so cool!’ he exclaims. Frank grins again.

‘I guess. So, how old are you?’

‘Twenty-three.’

‘Really? So what, are you like, going to college or something?’

Nope, I live in my Mom’s basement, Gerard thinks

‘No. I did art school for one year, but I didn’t like it.’

‘Oh.’

‘You want a cigarette?’ Gerard asks, holding out the pack. Frank gladly accepts the offer and they smoke in silence for a while. When Gerard finishes his cigarette, he throws it in Pete’s garden, hoping he doesn’t mind. Frank does the same shortly after.

‘Hey, Gerard, you want something to drink?’ Frank asks

‘Yeah, sure. A coke?’

‘No beer?’

‘I don’t drink, man.’ Gerard explains. Frank shrugs.

‘Okay. A coke it is, then. I’m going to get myself some beer though. I’ll be right back.’ and Frank disappears inside. Right there is when it really hits Gerard.

He is in love with Frank. Like, a lot.

Yep. His life still sucks.

After a while, Frank comes back with a glass of coke for Gerard, and a huge glass of beer for himself. They drink and Frank, who is now getting seriously drunk, talks about all kinds of things - Gerard now knows he loves dogs, and Black Flag, and his Xbox, and he is gay, and single - until he is so wasted he can barely speak.

‘I should… go… home.’ Frank mumbles.

‘You can come to my house, if you want? It’s three blocks from here.’ Gerard offers.

‘F… Fine.’ Frank answers. They push themselves through the crowd, which is a little bit smaller, but still huge. Gerard is pretty sure there are more than two hundred people inside Pete’s house. They start walking to Gerard’s house, but Frank can’t walk in a straight line and at some point Gerard just carries him to his house. He doesn’t mind. Like, not at all. And Frank isn’t complaining either. He falls asleep almost immediately.

When they arrive at the house, Gerard carries Frank inside. He looks in the living room, but his Mom has already gone to bed. He decides to carry Frank to his bedroom, and puts him in his bed. He then folds the sheets around him, to make sure he’ll stay warm. Gerard wants to get a mattress, a pillow and some blankets so he can sleep on the floor, but just as he wants to open his door to go upstairs, Frank wakes up.

‘Don’t…. leave…’ He mumbles.

‘I’m just going to get some blankets, I’ll be right back.’

‘No… Stay here…’ Frank rolls over and pats on the empty space on the mattress.

‘Come here.’

Gerard hesitates for a second, and then lies down next to Frank, who immediately puts his arms around Gerard’s waist and snuggles against him. Gerard lies motionless on the bed, and then pets Frank’s shoulder lightly. He wasn’t expecting this.

‘You know what… I… I like you.’ Frank mumbles in Gerard’s ear. His breath smells like beer.

‘Thank you. I like you too, Frank.’

‘I just… Wanna try something.’ Frank puts his hands on Gerard’s chest so he’s hovering above him. He then brings his face closer and closer to Gerard’s, and before Gerard knows it, Frank’s lips touch his. Gerard gasps in surprise and Frank pulls back, his face just inches away from his.

‘That was… Nice.’ he says.

‘Yeah…’ Gerard breathes out.

‘More tomorrow. I’m just going to… Sleep now.’

Frank puts his arms back around Gerard and falls asleep with his head on Gerard’s chest. Gerard puts his own hands around Frank’s back and watches him sleep. Frank looks really cute when he sleeps. He could watch him forever.

The last thought before Gerard dozes off into sleep himself is maybe my life doesn’t suck after all.

The End 


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