Gerard has tried and failed for the last half hour to not have a panic attack. His brain is a constant buzz of ‘what if I fuck something up, what if something goes wrong, what if the boys need me in the middle of all this, what if, what if, what if’. Vic and Mikey have been his aid through this entire ordeal, reminding him to breathe and to change his pants you idiot.

Today is the day of Gerard and Frank’s date. Needless to say, both parties are on edge, acting ridiculous and paranoid about every little thing, much to the amusement of their companions.

Gerard is standing in front of a full length mirror, messing with his hair again. From the bed, just out of the line of sight the reflection of the mirror provides, comes a snort, proceeded by a laugh from another person. Gerard scowls and turns rapidly on his heel to face the pair seated on the bed.

“What?” he demands.

Mikey snorts again and buries his face in Vic’s shoulder, Vic’s hand coming up to cover his own smiling mouth, shoulders shaking silently in amusement.

“What? What is it? Is there something on my face?”

Mikey laughs again. “Yeah, desperation.”

At this, both Vic and Mikey collapse onto each other in laughter, struggling to breathe as the displeased glare that Gerard directs at them throws them farther into hysterics.

“Shut the fuck up. You both are just sad you don’t have a potential boyfriend,” Gerard says, giving himself another glance-over in the mirror before collapsing in the beanbag chair that’s comfortably situated in the corner of the room. Mikey raises his eyebrows in an ‘are you blind or stupid or both’ expression.

“Have you just been ignoring me and Pete lately?” He asks incredulously. Gerard shrugs.

“I try my hardest not to get involved with your love life. With my luck, I’d fuck it all up for you,” He says, a hint of guilt and remorse lacing the edges of his tone. Mikey’s previously mocking exterior softens for a flicker of a second. Mikey shakes his head.

“You’re not going to fuck anything up for me, promise. It’s going to take a lot more than you being socially awkward to mess things up at this point.”

Gerard relaxes, slightly, but enough. “Okay. I believe you.”

“Awww, aren’t you two just adorable!” Vic says, grinning. Mikey leans over and smacks him upside the head with his hand.

“Just because you and Mike can’t sit still long enough to talk shit out doesn’t mean you have the right to make fun of me and Gerard for being able to do that,” Mikey says, fighting down the smirk that threatens to appear when Vic does a lunge-leap thing that involves rapidly throwing himself behind Mikey to grab one of Gerard’s pillows and hit Mikey with it numerous times before Mikey manages to fight it out of Vic’s hands.

“Yeah, yeah. Whatever. So we have communication issues sometimes. Doesn’t matter. What does matter, however, is drilling your brother on every single rule we have about relationships,” Vic says. Mikey nods in earnest agreement. They stand, waiting for Gerard to do the same. When he doesn’t, Mikey rolls his eyes and grabs his brother’s arm roughly and yanks him to his feet.

“Stop being such a baby. Let’s get downstairs before Andy decides to sleep, or stab Pete. Or both,” Mikey says, rolling his eyes when Gerard tries to pry himself free of Mikey’s grasp.

“Come the fuck on, Gee,” Mikey says, tugging him forward and out the door.

The trio makes their way downstairs, where Andy is sitting in the living room floor, blurry and out-of-focus eyes transfixed on the glowing blue screen before him. His vision abruptly snaps back into focus when they walk in the room. Mikey shoves Gerard onto the couch and then sits next to him, Vic opting to sit in the armchair.

Andy wiggles a little bit, forcing his crossed legs to turn 180 degrees to face Gerard who is pretending he is part chameleon and is trying his best to blend into the couch. It’s not working, at all.

“Right. Hi. I know you know the whole spiel thing I’m supposed to give you, so it would be great if you saved me the trouble and just said everything for me,” Andy says, waving a hand. Gerard nods and begins to speak.

“If you intend to make things serious, tell them exactly everything about the gang and make sure that they understand that you could be killed at any given moment, and that it is best if you keep your relationship on the down low. Don’t let them come with you on anything gang related. Keep your relationship and your business separate. Loose lips sink ships, find out if they are the kind of person that when intoxicated likes to spew secrets,” Gerard dutifully recites.

“You’re forgetting one,” Andy says, tapping two fingers against Gerard’s knee.

Confusion flitters across Gerard’s face. “What did I forget?”

“Don’t let a Juliet happen,” Andy reminds.

“Right. Can’t believe I forgot that. Don’t let a Juliet happen,” Gerard says, almost shocked that he forgot that drastically important rule.

Andy reaches out and pats Gerard’s leg before twisting his body back in to the position it had been in before.

“I deem thee ready for your date. Now chill the fuck out and watch some shitty TV with me,” Andy says, the glazed and distant look slipping back on to his features almost effortlessly.


“Frankie, just calm your dick. Everything will go fine, you don’t need to smoke a whole fucking pack right here right now, I don’t wanna have to deal with your bitching later when you realize you’ve smoked them all,” Kellin whines, poking at an ant with a blade of dead grass.

Frank and Kellin are sitting on the cement patio behind Frank’s house, Frank feverishly chain-smoking, Kellin torturing the various teensy bugs that have obliviously wandered into his hit zone with blades of grass or still slightly smoldering cigarette butts. So far, one ant has caught on fire and proceeds to run around in frantic circles before it flops over, dead. Soon after, other ants make the mistake of coming to investigate, which only leads to more slightly charred ant carcasses guided into a neat pile by blades of grass.

“Fuck you. I will smoke until my lungs turn to ash. Then, and only then, I might stop.”

Kellin rolls his eyes as Frank hands over the still-lit cigarette butt to Kellin, who gladly proceeds to light the pile of charred ant remains on fire. He grinds the cigarette out against the cement and watches the ants burn while Frank lights yet another cigarette.

“You’re gonna be the poster kid for lung cancer before you’re twenty,” Kellin says disdainfully.

“Shut the fuck up Kellin. Before you’re twenty you’re going to be in some scientific study about the effects of ADHD medication on teens,” Frank retorts between heavy drags of the cigarette that is pinched between his lips.

“Offensive! But, I’m gonna let it slide, because all you are is nicotine and nerves right now,” Kellin says as he hunches over the pile of ants and blows it out with one breath.

The only response Kellin receives for a few seconds is the steady, deep, inhale, exhale that accompanies cigarettes.

After a moment, Frank finally responds.

“Just nicotine now, motherfucker. Now get your scrawny ass up, I should probably put on a different shirt,” He says as he heaves himself up and off of the cement, scowling down at his shirt, which he’s holding a few inches from his body by the hem.

Kellin gives the t-shirt a glance and nods his agreement almost immediately.

“You can map how many times you’ve been drunk and smoked by the burn holes in your shirt. That, and I have no fucking clue what that stain actually is, but I can tell you what it fucking looks like, Iero, and it is not something you want to subject your first date to.”

Frank’s only response is to scoff before mumbling that Kellin is probably right and tromping upstairs, returning a few moments later with a t-shirt that is in considerably better condition.

“There we go,” Kellin says in approval.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, now can we like, play video games or something? Because I would really like to be distracted for another forty minutes. Pretty please,” Frank says, flapping his hands to disregard his friend’s previous comment.

Chuckling, Kellin turns on the gaming console and passes Frank a controller. Frank breathes in content and in relief and engages in kicking his friend’s ass in Call of Duty yet again.


The café itself is very small, very quiet, and extremely peaceful. Gerard has been possibly too careful in picking the location for their date – it borders the edges of their designated ‘territory’, just far enough away from any of the major and endangering action. Frank, however, doesn’t know this, and Gerard prefers it to stay that way. If they meet again (which, he hopes, is going to happen) he’ll have to give Frank the ‘talk’ Andy orchestrated a year or so back, after Juliet. Andy had been a paranoid train wreck, making everyone stay at the same house together, making everyone get phones, exchange numbers. He’d lost his shit and even Oli had begun to question whether or not he needed genuine help. Fortunately, in the end, he turned out okay.

“Vic, I’m losing my shit,” Gerard says into the phone, his breathing uneven, a death grip on the steering wheel.

“No you’re not. You’re nervous. That’s normal. Just get your ass up and out of the car and ring the fucking doorbell.”

“But Vic-”

“No Gerard. No. Get up, get out of the car, hang up the fucking phone – here Oli, you tell him.”

There’s a brief crackle of static as the phone is passed from Vic to Oli, and Gerard swears he loses some of his hearing when Oli finally speaks – well, yells.


There’s yet another crackle of static, some distant talking, and then Andy’s voice rings clear through the receiver:

“What he said.”

And then the line goes dead.

Gerard shakes his head and chuckles at his friend’s antics. Now, he does feel a little better, but he’s still nervous as fuck.

He breathes deep, bites back the rising panic in his chest, and opens the car door, forcing himself to stay level headed as his feet (on their own, almost as if they’re afraid of Oli) carry him to the front step of Frank’s house.

In the back of his head, he can practically hear Oli’s voice going ‘ring the doorbell, motherfucker, ring the fucking doorbell before I shoot you’. That thought alone, of course, is far more than enough to motivate him to press his thumb against the small button.

On the other side of the door, Gerard can hear shouting, words being exchanged at a rapid fire pace. He hears a thump and inwardly cringes, hoping that whatever had fallen is okay.

Abruptly, the door flies open to reveal the tall boy with the blue eyes, Frank’s friend. His name was Kevin, or Kellin, or something like that, Gerard vaguely remembers.

“Hi. Frankie’s being a nervous fucknut and has sought refuge in the bathroom. Come on in and I’ll go drag his tiny little ass out here,” The boy says as he steps away from the doorway to allow Gerard inside.

“Have a seat, can I get you anything to drink? This might be a bit,” Kellin says with a smile.

“Uh,” Gerard hesitates. To be honest, the way Kellin has suddenly stopped being crazy and practically uncontrollable and has traded the aforementioned traits for seriousness and politeness has caught him a little off guard. “Water is okay,” He finally decides.

“Got it,” Kellin says. He leaves the room momentarily and returns with a glass of water, as promised.

“Alright, give me a moment, I’m going to go get your date. I apologize in advance for any crazy antics you may witness,” The other boy says as he disappears down the hallway.

Gerard takes a sip of his water, the ice cubes clinking together and against the glass. The silence is shattered by a shout from Kellin.


Their argument sounds as if the two are a married couple who have learned exactly what to say to the other to agitate them. The response Frank gives is almost as funny as the taunt itself.

“I’M A VEGETARIAN YOU FUCKNUT,” Frank yells through the door, his voice reaching Gerard incredibly well, not even muffled by the distance and the wood that his voice has to carry through.



Gerard chuckles. Frank’s inability to come up with a decent response must indicate a win on Kellin’s part, because in the next few moments Kellin reappears with a death grip on Frank’s wrist, dragging him out to the living room.

“Here you go. Gerard, right?” Kellin says, shoving Frank forward with an amount of force that is undoubtedly disorienting, but Frank doesn’t show any signs other than a small stumble.

“Yeah. Hi Frank,” Gerard says, trying his best not to let the nervousness he himself is plagued with bubble to the surface.

“Hi. So. Uh, should we get going?” Frank says, keeping his gazed directed to the floor, looking up at Gerard once, before looking back down and shifting his weight from foot to foot.

“Absolutely. Sure, yeah, um, my car’s just out front,” Gerard responds, jabbing his thumb in the direction of his car.

Kellin dramatically rolls his eyes.

“You two are so socially awkward it hurts. Get out of here,” He says as he ushered the pair out the door, tossing Frank his jacket when he attempts to push past Kellin, saying he needs it. Knowing full well that Frank is going to just disappear to the bathroom again, Kellin effectively blocks Frank from getting around him and throws him his jacket in one smooth motion.

“USE CONDOMS!” He shouts as Frank and Gerard begin to drive away, resulting in a flush to spread rapidly across both of their faces.

“FUCK YOU QUINN!” Frank shouts back, leaning and arm out the passenger window to flip Kellin off.

“Sorry about him. He’s just lonely, and can’t concentrate for jack shit.”

“So I saw. Anyway, look in that CD case down there and pick something. I trust your music taste.”

Frank leans down and grabs the circular, leather CD case from the floor. He flips through Gerard’s collection almost mindlessly, until his fingers settle on a CD. He pops it into the player and waits until the noise begins to fill the car.

“Misfits? I was so right to let you pick the music,” Gerard says.

Gerard lowers his hand and turns up the volume to almost (but not quite) unbearably loud as they drive down the highway, occasionally shouting over the music about other bands they like and shows they’ve been to.


When they finally reach the café, Frank can’t help but find himself forming a small smile. The boy he’s currently on a date with is in a gang, has killed people and wouldn’t hesitate to do it again, and yet, here he is, stuttering like an idiot and blushing like crazy, practically tripping over his own two feet as they walk inside.

Eventually, the thought that he’s with a murderer begins to fester and take hold in his mind, bouncing around the insides of his brain like a rubber ball against a cement wall, or Kellin that time he’d mixed every kind of soda and energy drink he could find and then proceeded to eat half a pint of ice cream. Frank swore he thought Kellin’s heart was going to give out, much like his own right now.

Gerard had picked a booth at the back of the café, quietly and discreetly placed in a corner with a window facing the main street. Frank and Gerard find themselves passing the time waiting for their food by looking out the window and making up life stories for the people that pass them.

“See that one,” Gerard says, pointing his finger to a middle-aged woman with a baby on her hip and a young child’s hand enclosed delicately in hers. “She used to be a model.”

“Oh yeah?” Frank says, pulling a drink of his soda through the straw.

“Yeah. And then she fell in love with the photographer, and he only wanted a quick fuck,” Gerard continues.

“So where do the kids come into play?” Frank asks.

“Well, one time he got her pregnant. He freaked out, and left her. Left the business. Left the town. She had to quit her job as a model to raise the baby and took one at a bakery instead. She was heartbroken, but evidently found a new, better man, and had another kid with him. Now they have a perfect, happy family, and she has come to love her job at the bakery,” He concludes.

Frank takes note of how Gerard’s fingers have found their way to the straw of his drink and are absentmindedly stirring the ice with it. Gerard becomes aware of his movements and stops, leaning back in his seat.

Slowly, Frank becomes slightly puzzled by Gerard’s sudden disposition. He seems dejected, almost bitter.

“Gerard, is there, ah, any…… inspiration behind that story?” Frank tentatively asks.

The other boy looks up at him in surprise. “I don’t usually unload all my personal bullshit on the first date,” He mutters, his fingers finding their way back to the straw once again.

“I don’t mind,” Frank replies honestly.

Gerard takes a deep breath before deciding ‘fuck it’ and speaking.

“There’s a fraction of truth to the story…. My mom wasn’t a model, and my dad wasn’t a photographer, but they did meet through work, and when they found she was pregnant with me…. He flipped shit. Left town. The state. Hell, maybe even the country. I don’t even know. Never got a chance to meet him. A few years later, though, she met the guy that would be Mikey’s dad, and he stuck around for a little bit before leaving too. My mom’s just never had much luck with picking decent guys. And then some other shit happened, and me and Mikey are basically on our own. Sorry for unloading this all on you, it’s really uncalled for, I shouldn’t have-”

Frank cuts him off by reaching across the table to put a hand on Gerard’s arm, letting it slide lower and allowing their fingers to tangle together, fighting down the smile that threatens to appear on his face when he notes the rosy color that splatters across Gerard’s cheeks.

“It’s okay. I seriously, genuinely appreciate that you felt confident enough to tell me this. Thank you.”

Later on in the evening, Frank wonders what would have happened after that moment had the waitress not showed up with their orders right then. It’s not that he isn’t grateful that she showed up then – God, the food was so fucking good, he has to remember the name of that place – but later, he just wonders. What would Gerard have said, had he kept talking? His mouth was open and trying to form words, but failing.

At the time, however, Frank just decides to let it drop and enjoy his food.

The rest of the evening is spent with both boys swapping stories and creating their own, genuinely enjoying coming up with life stories for complete strangers. By the time they leave and climb into Gerard’s car, the sun has begun to slink below the horizon, the first few pale and cold rays of moonlight fighting the remaining beams of sunlight.

Gerard sits there for a minute, key in the ignition, hand poised to turn it, when he looks over at Frank and asks him a question.

“Have you ever swung at night?”

Frank is pretty confused. “What do you mean?”

“Like, at a park. On a swing set. After dark?” He asks.

“No, I haven’t.”

“Perfect,” Gerard says with a grin. He starts the car and pulls out of the parking lot, leaving Frank more confused than he was when Gerard first asked the question.

They drive for a little bit, seemingly without destination, until Gerard turns down a narrow and creepy looking road.

As much as he hates to admit it, Frank’s thoughts immediately jump to ‘oh god, he’s gonna kill me and no one will find my body’. He relaxes as soon as he sees the playground in front of them, abandoned and looking as if it’s going to break apart from a single touch.

Gerard hops out of the car ecstatically, with a grin on his face to envy that of the Cheshire Cat’s.

“Come on, Frankie, you have to experience this. Get out of the car, come on come on come on!” Gerard says.

“It’s cold!” Frank protests, huddling into the seat of the car to preserve as much warmth as he can. Gerard rolls his eyes.

“I will carry you if I have to. Come on!”

Reluctantly, Frank gets out of the car and joins Gerard, who is already on the swing set, seeing as he had practically sprinted to the swing set. Frank, however, opted to walk.

He sits down on the swing next to Gerard, hands stuffed in his pockets, feet gently pushing the ground so he no more than slightly rocks back and forth.

“No, you’re doing it wrong. You actually gotta swing, Frankie. Kick your feet off of the ground, hold on to the chains, and pump your legs. Otherwise you won’t get the full experience,” Gerard insists, demonstrating how to ‘properly’ swing. Frank finally relents and begins pushing his legs through the chilled night air.

Frank slowly finds himself breathing deep, even breaths, getting lost in the progressively appearing stars above them as their eyes adjust to the darkness. He begins to feel so small, a tiny little blip on the radar of the entirety of creation. Imagining what the other life outside of this world lived like, whether or not they had swing sets and clear skies to look at and feel small, Frank tilts backward, nearly falling over.

“See, isn’t this amazing?” Gerard says, reminding Frank he’s not alone, that someone is with him, someone who is also probably feeling like a miniscule speck on the face of the cosmos.

“It really is. I totally don’t even really care that I’ve lost feeling in my toes and feel slightly motion sick,” Frank replies. He drags his ankles on the ground to slow his speed, dreading the feeling building up in his stomach. Fucking motion sickness.

Gerard laughs and stops as well.

“Are you ready to go home?” He asks with a small smile.

Frank smiles back and casts one more look at the infinite night above. “Yeah. Yeah, I think I am.”


The only light illuminating Frank’s front porch is the distant street lamp casting an eerie orange glow up and down the cement sidewalk.

How the light hits Gerard’s face is fascinating, highlighting the shadows that play across his features, the way they carve out his cheekbones and his jawline. Beautiful.

Frank is beyond enamored, and wonders, briefly, how Gerard is viewing him right now, in the same, strange, glowing orange light. He almost wishes he could keep this image of Gerard behind his eyelids forever, because right now, he really does look breathtaking.

“Thank you for tonight. I... I had a great time,” Frank says, shuffling back and forth awkwardly.

“Me too,” Gerard says, smiling, which makes him look even more beautiful, if that’s fucking possible. Frank is very close to declaring Gerard’s beauty illegal, but he puts that aside to speak again, hopeful.

“I think this is the part where you’re supposed to kiss me goodnight,” Frank says, pushing down the blush that threatens to appear on his face.

“Yeah?” Gerard says, his voice almost a whisper, leaning just a little closer to Frank. His arms snake their way around Frank’s waist, and Frank brings his own to wind around Gerard’s neck. Their foreheads are resting together, and neither of them make a motion to change it.

So really, it comes as a surprise to both of them when they find their lips pressed together in a sweet, chaste kiss that truly is a goodnight kiss. Innocent and slow, not leading anywhere else.

When they pull apart, Gerard moves back in and presses their bodies together in a tight hug, slowly rocking them back and forth, smiling a little at the vibrations that spread through both of their bodies when Frank releases a low hum in content.

After what feels like forever (or maybe it’s too short, maybe it’s no time at all) they separate.

“Goodnight Frank,” Gerard whispers, leaning down once again and presses his lips to Frank’s forehead.

“Goodnight Gee,” Frank whispers in return. He tries his best not to flinch at the loss of warmth as Gerard pulls away completely and begins walking back to his car. He stops half way there, and then turns on his heel in one swift motion.

“See you again sometime?” Gerard says hopefully. Frank smiles, genuinely smiles.



“Kellin, I’m fucked,” Frank says the second he walks inside his house.

“How so? Did you use a condom like I told you to?” Kellin says, doing the thing that Frank still isn’t sure if he hates yet or not, the thing where he’s serious for all of three seconds and then immediately jumps into stupid idleness.

“I think I’m kinda sorta falling in love with him,” Frank says, jumping over the back of the couch to sit next to his taller companion.

At this, Kellin gives him his best ‘are you sure about this’ face and turns the volume down considerably on the TV.

“Are you being serious?” He asks.

“Yeah. Yeah, I am. Don’t look at me like that motherfucker, you said you’d fallen in love with Vic the day we saw him in the mall,” Frank shoots back.

“I’m a funny person so I do funny things. I have a crush on him, sure, but I don’t think I’d say I loved him after one date,” Kellin says skeptically.

“Just… Just trust me on this, okay? I know I shouldn’t be rushing things and shit, but I genuinely feel like... you know… I could easily spend the rest of my life with him.”

“You’re delusional, Frank. Go the fuck to sleep,” Kellin says, shaking his head and turning the TV back up. Frank mumbles a ‘fuck you’ at his friend and pulls the heavy blanket off of the back of the couch and proceeds to pull it around himself and burrows into the side of the couch. Sleep soon follows.

Frank dreams of endless stars and swing sets.
♠ ♠ ♠
once my twin brother tried to overdose on caffeine by mixing a redbull and monster and it didn't work but he stayed awake for three days straight and then crashed and i banned him from caffeine for the rest of his life