Three Cheers for Tragic Ends

Chapter Six

August 18th, 1997

“Wanna come downstairs?”


The artist was shuffling his feet, biting at his crooked lip and glancing down when Frank looked at him, one perfect eyebrow raised in inquiry. “You want me downstairs?”

“Well, yeah,” he acceded, “Of course. I mean we’re always up in here and– Ah, I dunno. I thought it might be nicer downstairs, more space and stuff…” Gerard trailed off, and he was still anxious, as if inviting the other boy down into his home was synonymic to proposing himself a raise.

“Uh…” Frank was disconcerted for a moment, before settling himself on answering, “Yeah.”

“Yeah?” Gerard looked up, confused. “Yeah what?” By now Frank had made from his wonted spot on the windowsill to the side of the older boy, and he laughed.

“Why are you so nervous?” he said, for it was seemingly out of character that the artist appeared so. “I’ll go down with you–” But he cut himself off, a sly expression etching into his face. “Wait. You trying to get me in bed with you?”

Gerard reprimanded him via punch to the arm. All the nervousness in the older boy was gone now, replaced by a look of exasperation soon fractured by a small smile. “No, dork. You wish.”

“I do wish,” the younger boy purred archly; and he draped one arm over Gerard’s shoulder, leaning in to the older boy. “All. Day. Long.”

The artist’s face flushed and he pulled the boy underneath him into a half-assed chokehold, and ruffled his hair as he would do to his brother. “No need to be prudish,” he voiced sarcastically. Frank laughed.

“Are you kidding? I’m a total killjoy. Now,” he pressed, “show me that bed of yours.”

Frank walked around Gerard’s room absorbedly, taking in each feature as if somewhere in his mind he was cataloging the differences. The artist didn’t exactly know what the younger boy would have the differences to compare to, but he enjoyed watching as he would trace his fingers along the polished furniture and make content humming noises. Gerard wasn’t exactly sure why he craved so badly the younger boy’s approval, but every time Frank made a noise of consent, his heart would jump just slightly and his pulse would speed up just a bit.

Finally, Frank’s attention landed on a polaroid image wedged up in the corner of the large vanity. It was one of him and Mikey a few years back, and across the white space the words of his brother in near illegible scrawl read, “Remember that I love you.”

“This is your brother?” Frank asked softly. His fingers hesitated to brush the photo and Gerard said, “Yeah,” and then, “Go ahead. You can take it down.”

Frank turned back and smiled at him, and carefully dislodged the photo from the vanity. He held it carefully in his hands, as if touching possessions other than his was something endangering. He held it up to Gerard’s face, just so, and his lips quirked into a small smile. “Babyface,” he joked, voice hinting at licentiousness. He then said, “Well, he has your eyes.”

“We get that a lot,” Gerard admitted; and he moved across the room to Frank’s side, and looked at the polaroid. “People always say we have nothing alike, except our eyes.”

“Are his full of secrets too, then?”

“Huh?” Gerard looked up from the photo to his companion, whose eyes met his gently, a coy grin accompanying.

“Your eyes are full of secrets,” he said simply. “Sometimes it looks like the weight of the world sits in those hazel eyes. Is that why your brother’s eyes are like yours? Do they hold the world too?”

“Wha- hmm?” Frank only laughed at the artist’s confusion; and he passed the photo off to the older boy, and said, “Never mind. How is he, though?”

“He’s great,” Gerard said, immediately dismissing his prior incomprehension as he returned the photo to its place in the vanity. “He’s… great. He’s starting school next month, you know? Senior year, man.”


“Yeah, he’s–” But the artist interjected himself suddenly, “He doesn’t know… about my grandma, I mean. He’s… I just haven’t had the heart to tell him, you know?”

“You probably should.” Frank moved to set himself down on Gerard’s bed, and he extended his arms to the older boy. “Come sit with me,” he requested lightly.

Gerard made his way to the bed and set himself down next to Frank, who wrapped his arms lightly around the artist, and said, “I think you should.” And he laid his head on Gerard’s shoulder, “But maybe if he hasn’t got a clear mind, it’s not the best time.”

“Well, that’s the thing, I think he’s having an inner debate with himself; you know I don’t want to jump to conclusions but he’s my brother, and I know him a bit more than he thinks.” The artist sighed at that, and slumped himself more into the younger boy beside him.

“Well what’s on his mind, then?”

“I think he likes boys.”

Frank laughed. “That’s not a bad thing, why’s he worried?”

“I haven’t the slightest,” Gerard divulged, “But he’s probably scared, you know? It’s not like there’s a reason for it, but… maybe he just hopes he won’t end up like his big brother. Which, ouch, but that’s probably for the best anyway.”

“Oh, I think he’d be proud to grow up like you,” Frank smiled. “I think anyone would be proud to be like you.”

“Well, no,” Gerard began, but Frank silenced him, filling the air with a question in only moderate relation.

“Have you ever had someone?” he asked quietly. He slowly weaved his fingers between Gerard’s, and the artist looked down.

“In exactly what sense?”

“Oh, someone that you wanted, because they were special to you? I had one once,” the boy spoke, and he snapped his gaze to Gerard shortly before returning it to their joined hands. “Oh, I did. It was perfectly, undoubtedly illogical, but we were going to get married one day.”

“So why didn’t you?”

Frank smiled sadly. “Because all fantasies must come to an end; because little boys grow up, and dreams are wasted on cigarettes and petty products of temporary indulgence; because–” and he cut himself off, and snapped his gaze back up to the noirette before him. He smiled, and said, “Oh, he had the most perfect, pastel lips; and he had a hot touch,” and he giggled, before collecting himself. “But he had a rogue mind, and ice for a heart; and he was a scared little boy, and he couldn’t save me.” And Frank ended his speech, and once more flicked his tired, hazel eyes to the artist. “So… what about you?”

Gerard nuzzled himself into the younger boy, and held there until he said, “Sympathy doesn’t answer my question.”

“Well there was a guy once, but–” Gerard cut himself off with a curt life, and said, “He was like talking to a brick wall. He didn’t– well, he only wanted…” and he sighed.

Frank said, “He didn’t love you back.” The boy’s words were bold, but on the mark. Gerard nodded.

“Pretty much. I didn’t have a fairytale romance gone awry, I was just a stupid boy who wasted his time on a stupid hope that one day, I’d get out of there with someone by my side. I’d rather not, you know…”

“Let’s talk about something else then, hey?” Frank suggested. “Ah, I dunno. Oh, but lay down with me.” He pulled on the artist’s sleeve, laying down and bringing the older boy with him. He laughed then, and curled up next to Gerard, resting his head on his chest.

“What d’you wanna talk about, then?” The artist asked, looking down at the younger boy snuggled p against his side. He reached out and began to run his fingers through the boy’s hair, softly.

Frank shrugged. “I don’ care. Tell me about the last dream you had.”

Gerard tensed underneath the younger boy, face flushing. “Um–”

“Oh?” Frank looked at the artist’s blushed face, and laughed. “Now I really want to know.”

“Just things,” the older boy lied, hoping to shrug off the matter. But his younger companion was clinging like a limpet to the idea.

“No! Story time. Tell me all your dirty dreams, pretty boy,” he purred, and winked at Gerard.

“Things happened,” the older boy stressed, and put one hand up to hide his face. Frank quickly pried it away.

“Spill! I haven’t had a dirty dream in years, let me live through yours.”

“You’re so weird,” the artist complained, but Frank just smiled.

“Whatever, you love it,” he giggled. “Seriously though, tell me.” He began prodding at the older boy’s side, whining, “Tell me, tell me, tell me!”

“There was a guy. And we did stuff.”

“Congratulations! The award for being the most descriptive human being on the planet goes to you,” Frank exclaimed, sarcastically. “C’mon, at least tell me who it was.”

At this, the artist flushed beet red. “Maybe you don’t know him.”

“Maybe it was me.”

“Maybe not though.”

“Maybe it was your brother, then.”

Gerard let out a mortified noise, expression pained. “Don’t say those things! I’m not– just, no.”

“You have such a problem with that,” Frank giggled, face scrunched up. “Why’s it such a big deal? You know I’m joking.”

“Yeah well one time I was really drunk, okay? We both were. And…” Gerard trailed off, glaring slightly at Frank’s amused expression. “I kissed him, right? Well he’s wasted off his head, can’t tell right from up and down from left, and so he kisses me back. And it was not okay,” the older boy said, emphasis heavy on the ‘not’, “and it was not legal, and it was not– it was awful. I can’t do that, I can’t get drunk and kiss my fucking brother, hell.” Gerard sighed then, and said, “He didn’t remember it in the morning, thank fucking God, but I did. I do, and so that’s why I have such a problem with… oh, whatever.”

“Yeah, that’s awkward,” Frank admitted. “So, not talking about that…” He looked up at Gerard then, and scooted himself up until his face was merely inches from the older boy’s. “There was a crooked man,” he began, breath ghosting over the artist’s parted lips, “who walked a crooked mile. He was crooked in the head and he had a crooked smile.” He leaned in more then, so that as he spoke, his lips brushed up against the older boy’s bottom one. “Your stupid crooked mouth,” he laughed softly, and then, almost warily, “Can I kiss you?”

And the artist breathed out a heavy, rushed, “Yes,” and he pushed himself up just slightly, pressing his open, pastel lips to the younger boy’s.

Frank brought one hand up to cup the artist’s face and he slid himself up and over the older boy, straddling him. Gerard’s arms went up and wrapped around the boy’s neck as they continued to kiss, softly, parted pastel lips against slightly chapped ones. The younger boy pulled away a bit, pulling on the artist’s bottom lip before parting entirely, and he said, “You taste like coffee.” He slid himself down the artist slightly, pressing small kisses to the older boy’s neck.

Gerard let out a small mewl as Frank nipped lightly at the boy’s revealed collarbone, before sliding back up, hovering his lips over the older boy’s once more. “I don’t wanna stop,” he whispered, and he sounded almost scared; like if he let himself get off guard for too long, something would take Gerard away.

So the older boy said, “Then don’t.” And he slid his arms down Frank’s back, and grabbed at his hips, pulling the boy up against him. “Don’t stop.”

Frank pushed himself down against the artist lightly, every time he would come up and squeeze his hips, or pull him closer; and he pressed another quick kiss to the boy’s mouth before saying, “You know, I never kissed him like this.”

Gerard raised an eyebrow. “No?”

“Everything was hot and sloppy. God, this is so nice–” and Frank whimpered softly when the artist pressed up against him again.

“Fairytale romance and he didn’t kiss you like you were his prince?” Gerard sounded almost appalled; but his voice was quiet, more sad than angry.

“We weren’t gentle, we were teenagers.” The boy’s lips quivered with his words and he placed shaky kisses to Gerard’s neck, and gave soft mews when the artist moved against him. “Cherries don’t care.”

“Well, I do.”

“But you’re not a–” and Frank looked up, suddenly, eyes wide with a childish humor. “Wait, what?”

“Oh, way to ruin the moment there,” Gerard huffed, and Frank giggled.

“Sorry, you’re a virgin?”

“I am sorry. I’m sorry that you’re an asshole,” the artist grumbled, and he shoved at Frank, who wavered slightly before slumping to his side. He was still laughing. “Asshole!”

“It’s funny, though. You’re twenty?” The older boy only growled in response, and Frank started laughing again. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry…” but he didn’t look sorry, not really.

“You are a big, fat dick,” the artist whined.

“Oh-ho, is that a problem?” The boy taunted, and stuck his tongue out at the noirette. “I mean normally, that’s not a problem, but hey, what can I say? I’ve got good genes–”

“I’ll push you off this bed, god dammit.”

“I’m so threatened,” the younger mocked. “Haha, you’re a virgin. Hah– wait.” Frank stopped suddenly, seemingly contemplating something. Finally, he asked, “What entails sex, again?”

“Oh. My. God.”

“I thought hand jobs counted, sorry!”

Gerard wasn’t even mad anymore. He was doubled over with laughter at his younger companion’s lack of knowledge. “To losing your virginity? No! You idiot.” He waved a hand frantically, hitting Frank in the process. “Oh, you’ve never had sex, oh man,” he mocked, and then, “Oh wait, neither have I!” He had to press a hand to his mouth to contain his hysterics. He was sure the neighbors could hear, heck, maybe even the people outside of the Grove.

“You’re a butt,” Frank pouted. Gerard wiped at his eyes and looked at the boy incredulously.


“Yeah, you.” The pout didn’t let up. Finally, as the older boy had regained air to his lungs, he leaned in and kissed Frank’s bottom lip. “I’m sorry. We’re both fucking dorks.”

“Whatever,” the younger one whined; but he sounded marginally less bothered. He leaned in then, looking like he was about to kiss Gerard, but then he laughed, again, and said, “But how?”

“Oh, excuse me!” The artist cried. “It’s not like I haven’t done what you have; for the record, in high school, I wasn’t exactly a top pick.”

“I don’t believe it,” Frank said; and he really looked like he didn’t. Gerard rolled his eyes and said, “Well, do.”

“But like, why not?” The younger boy looked confused.

“Um, okay so imagine me about a lot of pounds heavier. And with short hair. Who doesn’t ever wash his clothes, or brush his hair, and is drunk all the time.”


“Yeah,” the artist said, a pointed look on his face.

“Well, to be honest, you don’t look like you brush your hair now, and I’ve seen that shirt on you almost every time I’ve seen you; and you have chub.”

“Thanks.” Gerard said, voice flat. “That’s great.”

“Well, it’s true!”

“Remember when I said you were an asshole?” Frank nodded. “Remember what I said I’d do?”

At this the younger boy shook his head, slowly, until mortification dawned on his face just a bit too late; Gerard was already shoving him off the bed.

“So, you’re actually Satan,” Frank groaned, and looked up at Gerard, whose crooked mouth was turned up in a smirk.

“Maybe. Doesn’t that make you my little demon slave then?”

“Ooh, role-play. Kinky.” Frank pushed himself back up onto the bed, where he was only shoved right back off again. “Okay, that was an asshole move.”

“You’re dumb,” Gerard laughed. “I like watching you fall.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Frank cried, appalled. Gerard shrugged, and giggled. “Whatever,” the younger boy said, and gripped onto Gerard’s arm. “If I’m down here, then you’re coming down with me.”

Gerard let out a girlish shriek as he landed on top of Frank, who was sprawled out looking equally discomforted and surprised. “Hey, I remember this position!” he cried, and Gerard narrowed his eyes at him.

“You’re so fucking weird.”

“Whatever, chub boy.”

“That was uncalled for!” The artist cried. “Just for that, I’m going to sit on you.”

“Oh, Jesus no,” Frank begged. “You’re not fat, okay? But I don’t want things crushed–”

“Deal with it,” Gerard shot back; but instead, he pushed the boy back into a lying position and straddled his hips, and leaned down and pressed their lips together once again.

“I thought you– huh?” Frank said, in between quick, soft kisses.

“Well, yeah.” Gerard shrugged. “But I decided I’d rather do this.” And he leaned down again, right next to Frank’s ear, and said, “And I’m not gonna kiss you like a cherry; I’m gonna kiss you like a prince.”

The younger boy didn’t protest to that.