‹ Prequel: Frank Iero: P.A.

Gerard Way: Artist


My night was rough, spent camped on the couch beside my brother as he vomited off and on all night. Alicia offered to stay up with me, but I advised her to go bed – for the sake of my little niece or nephew growing inside her. I know she hates sleeping alone in that big bed, but Mikey just couldn't make the short trip to the bedroom and it was better for me to sleep on the couch with him than for her to do it.

As expected, Alicia is up with the sparrows because she couldn't stay in bed any longer. She looks exhausted when she greets us both with a tray of drinks – coffee for me, water for Mikey, juice for herself. Once I finish off my coffee she insists that I head home and enjoy my weekend.

“I can handle it, Gerard,” she replies when I offer to help once more.

“I know you can handle it, but you shouldn't have to,” I tell her. All it does is cause her push me closer to the door.

“We'll be okay,” she whispers, then kisses my cheek. “I'll phone you later and let you know how he's doing.”

“Okay,” I agree, although I'm not happy about leaving. “Goodbye Mikey!”

It is just after seven o'clock when I arrive back home. I park my car in the garage and walk around to the front of the house. The sun is shining brightly and there is barely a cloud in the sky; the grass is still wet from the slight storm we had overnight. There is a slight chill to the air, but nothing a light jacket won't solve. If it weren't for the state my brother's in, I'd say it is a beautiful day.

When I enter the front hallway I let the door slam behind me. A loud thud comes from the living room barely two seconds later. I walk into the room off to my left. Everything looks normal upon first glance, until I spot a throw rug hanging carelessly off the side of the couch. I take a few steps closer and find Frank lying on the floor looking disheveled, with half of the blanket draped over him.

“Did you sleep down here?” I ask. He looks ridiculous.

“No,” he replies sarcastically, “I’m always down here this early on a Saturday.”

Well, if he wants to be rude, I'll do the same right back. I step over his crumpled form and head out of the room towards the stairs. It doesn't take long for his heavy footsteps to start chasing after me.

“What were you doing coming in at this ungodly hour?” he shouts after me.

I ignore him. My whereabouts are none of his business.

“Did you have to shut the door so loudly?” he tries again.

I step onto the upstairs landing and walk on to my studio. There's some work I want to get on top of today in case Mikey and Alicia need me again.

“Can you say something you cock-sucker?” he shouts once more.

As my back is to him, I let a grin form on my face. Ever since I met him on that train I've loved the rare moments where he loses himself and tells me what he really thinks. He is the only person outside of those I consider to be family that actually has the courage to speak to me truthfully. But, despite my liking that, he's not to know I enjoy his feisty attitude.

“I don’t recommend you speak to your boss like that, Frank,” I reply.

“You’re not my boss on Saturday’s,” he bites back.

It's as attractive as all hell. I turn around to face him, my hand now resting on the handle of my studio door.

“I’m your landlord,” I tell him.

“I don’t pay rent.”

I feel myself smirk at his quick, and rather smart, response. “Touché.”

It quickly hits me that we're getting to comfortable with each other. I back-pedal immediately.

“Fuck off, Frank – I’ve got art to create.”

Inside my studio I find myself releasing a long breath, one that calms me and my hormones. There is no denying how attractive Frank is, but unfortunately now is not the time for indulging in that. Immersing myself in work is the only practical solution to rid me of my thoughts of him.

An hour of doodling passes like a minute. Staring back at me from the canvas I've been working on is an image of Frank. This was supposed to be human shadows cast over the New York skyline. Not only have a I created another artists impression of Frank, to be added to the other nine pieces in my studio, but I am also an hour behind on the work I actually get paid for.


I snap my pencil in half, throw it at the door, and make my way over to the pile for a fresh canvas. As I prop it onto my easel my iPhone vibrates in my pocket. The caller I-D makes me feel guilty - for about two seconds.


“Hi Gee-Baby!” the caller replies.

I cringe at the name, the tone of voice in which it is said, and the fact this is the person I stupidly allow to call me his boyfriend.

“Hi Toby,” I say, without an ounce of affection. “What do you want?”

He fakes a gasp. “Is that anyway to speak to your life companion?”

We've been together three months. Sure, it feels like a lifetime – an extremely long, torturous one – but I wouldn't call him my “life companion”.

I sigh. “Like I said, what do you want?”

“Well – considering my boyfriend is rich and makes his own hours, I thought you could break out that platinum credit card of yours and book us some accommodation in Napa Valley for the weekend. We could...”

Toby drones on and on about the hotels he has found, all the best places to see, how much sex we'll have... I feel like smothering him with a pillow just to shut him up. For me, this is a relationship that is purely physical. When stress overcomes me I need release, and he is attractive enough to satisfy me, but all this romance bullshit is not why I keep him around. He knows that is exactly how it is, and I'm not oblivious to the fact he wants me for my money and status. However, if he wants me to keep funding his life he should at the very least make the effort to know even the most basic of things about me.

“–and then we'll come back next week feeling very refreshed and very drunk.”

“I don't drink.” I snap at him.

“Well, you should – it'd make you more fun to be around,” he replies in a joking voice.

I ignore that comment. Toby is very much aware I refuse to drink, no matter the occasion, but I haven't revealed my reasoning behind it. As he is someone only with me for material gain, my reasoning for anything – unless it concerns not using my credit card – is of little interest to him. Luckily for me, I don't want to tell him about it anyway. With the threat of him taking our relationship to the media, and any tid-bits about life with it, the less he knows the better.

“I'm not paying for a three-day vacation to Napa Valley,” I tell him firmly. “You are aware of my brother's situation – my earnings will be spent on providing him with the best medical support possible. That's all there is to it.”

I end the call without notice and place my phone inside my desk drawer, turning it off in the process. The only other people who would call me on my cell are Mikey and his wife Alicia; if I don't answer they'll call the house. Toby, for good reason, doesn't have the number for the house, just my cell and the office.

Another two hours pass and I've made considerable progress on the canvas I was originally meant to create. However, it'll require at least three to four more hours of intense work before it is ready for the buyer.

My stomach begins to ache and I decide to take a quick break for lunch. As I walk along the hallway toward the stairs I hear the sound of a guitar. I listen for a few seconds, becoming quite impressed with what I'm hearing. The sound strikes me as a little known independent-alternative band, still fumbling with its sound. With a little more practice, they'd definitely be good enough to get some serious air time on radio.

I shrug and continue down to the kitchen. It's a shame Mikey has had to quit his job as a talent scout for one of the minor label record companies in New York; he would love what I just heard and be keen to recruit the band. I might have to ask Frank for the name later.

Ellie has prepared me soup for lunch today, perfectly suited the crisp, chilly air outdoors. For some reason, she's chosen to hide it behind several other meals. I'm beginning to understand why I always send Frank to the fridge to retrieve my meals.

“Can I get to the fridge, Mr. Way?” his voice suddenly calls behind me.

I've told him far too many times to count that I hate being addressed that way by my employees. There is something about it that bothers me when it comes from people who I live with, who I work so closely with. It makes me feel far too superior than what I actually am. Admittedly, by the end of Marty's time here, he was calling me Mr. Way, but that was the result of his ongoing stupidity. Anyone who can't follow simple instructions won't get the privilege of referring to be by my first name.

Finally being able to get the Tupperware container from the fridge, I turn around. Frank's eyes are fixed on me, but in such a way it appears he isn't actually looking at me at all. There's someone kind of cute about it. Well, if he's here, I might as well offer him some of my soup.

“Do you want some soup?” I ask him. He doesn't say anything, still looking blankly at me. “Frank?” I try again.

He snaps out of his stall. “Huh?”

“I asked if you wanted some of this soup,” I repeat.

There's a slight look of shock on his features, but he comes right back at me with one of the smartass comments I'm starting to love about him.

“Are you sure you won’t need it all to keep that big head of yours energised?” he says seriously, but I know he's trying to provoke me.

“I’ve decided to go on a diet – I don’t like the way my head looks in the mirror,” I reply, with the same serious tone he used on me. I can't help smirking.

Frank begins to smile, too, that effortless sexy smile that sends heat to the pit of my stomach. The prospect of having lunch with him now is one I truly want to take advantage of. I take two bowls from one of the overhead cabinets and begin to ladle Ellie's delicious Moroccan sweet potato, carrot, and chickpea soup evenly. Ordinarily, if Frank and I eat together at all we do so at the kitchen island, but today I feel like being more relaxed around him. It could possibly be because of that smile.

I carry our bowls into the living room and place them on the coffee table. Feeling excited, I catapult myself onto the sofa and spread out. Frank opts for the floor and selects one of the bowls. Guilt creeps in on me, but I remind myself that this is my house, my couch, my free time and my rules; everyone has to accommodate themselves around me if they want to be part of any of them.

We share a comfortable silence as we enjoy the soup. The flavours dance on my tongue, sweeping me away to a warm tropical environment. A pleasurable sound almost escapes my lips. It doesn't take long to recall that I have company, so I keep my vocal appreciation at bay. My eyes are drawn to Frank's perfect features, the whole time taking mental snapshots to store away for later.

His jawline is sharp, his skin has the hint of a tan and looks as smooth as porcelain. Plump, cherry lips stick out among the soft colours. An adorable nose juts out only slightly and is perfectly rounded with no evidence of ever being broken. I'm a little disappointed that from this angle I can barely see his eyes. The mixture of colours – greens, browns, and golds – are remarkable.

Frank turns his head and our eyes meet. I feel triumphant as his eyes are now on full display to me. They're rich colour is all I remembered them to be and more. I gaze at them for a few more seconds until he becomes disturbed enough to demand me to stop.

“What?” he asks crossly.

I shrug and, sadly, focus my eyes casually back on my lunch. “You have tattoos; I’d never noticed them before.”

It's an outright lie. Those tattoos are impossible not to notice, and it would be another lie for me to say I've only glanced at them once or twice. They're one of his most predominate features and I find myself looking at them easily a dozen times a day.

“Are you serious?” I asks me, the annoyed tone not escaping my attention for a second.

“Yeah,” I reply easily, not allowing myself to take another look. The lie continues as I gesture lightly to his knuckles, which I can spy out of the corner of my eye. “Do you seriously like Halloween enough to get it written on you permanently, or did you forget which holiday the pumpkin is for?”

“My birthday’s on Halloween.”

I don't miss the opportunity to take a jibe at him. “So you forget when your birthday is?”

My eyes flick in his direction; he looks infuriated. A smirk forms on my lips. Barely a second passes before we're both in hysterics. This conversation isn't all that funny, but just being around this hot guy – who, yes, I wouldn't mind teaching a thing or two about the human body and desires – makes me let my guard down enough to just laugh.

We both sigh gently when our laughter has subsided. This strange feeling overcomes me when I look at him again. I want him closer to me, maybe so I can see him close up again. My feet slide back along the couch instinctively until my knees are bent. It takes Frank several seconds to realise I'm offering him a seat beside me on the couch. Quite honestly, he should feel honoured to be offered a seat at all; growing up Mikey was never afforded the same opportunities, and I actually loved him.

“Do you have any tattoos?” Frank asks me when he's settled on the couch. I like that he chose to rest against the padded arm so we're facing each other.

“No – I’m scared of needles – so no piercings either.” I answer him, shuddering at the question.

Aichmophobia has affected me since I was really young, I can't exactly describe how or why, but let's just say any doctors visits I've had have not gone well. If I had to take a guess, though, I think it could be because of Mikey. He was very small when he was born, so he was frequently visiting doctors and getting all sorts of injections. As I was young my parents always made me tag along. He'd cry, I'd cry (being old enough to understand what made him so distraught), and I'd refuse to let doctors anywhere near me afterwards. The intense fear seems to have followed me my entire life.
I don't disclose all this to Frank, however – it's not something he needs to be aware of.

“Wow – you’re like the only dude I know without any tatts or piercings,” Frank tells me, sounding more shocked than I think is necessary.

What kind of people has he been around to make such a declaration? Asking would be too personal, and honestly I don't want to know too much about his past. That would probably make me question hiring him, which I do enough as it is.

“It’s a pleasure to be your first,” I find myself saying seductively. Clearly, that was worse than asking him a personal question. I try to cover myself. “I like that one.”

There's a tattoo that spans across both his hands I'm rather fond of. I take his hands in my own and push his two together. When pressed together, his hands read “Hopeless Romantic”. It's a sentiment I appreciate, and one I would love to put into practice should someone catch my heart, not just my attention. My fingers sweep softly over the ink as my eyes study the tattoo completely. His skin is soft and surely an indication of what the rest of him would feel like.

This isn't right, though.

I let his hands fall away. My hands feel suddenly cold, my heart feeling empty. It is an overreaction. There is no way Frank Iero will ever be anything more than a pretty face in tight jeans.

“Where did you go last night?” he asks me suddenly.

The question feels like a slap to the face. My brother is lying on his couch, drained of energy, vomiting, unable to work despite wanting to, and things aren't going to get better any time soon. All this is going on, and I'm sitting here selfishly indulging myself in a man I will never get to bend over and have my way with.

Could I be any more pathetic?

I place my bowl on the coffee table, much of the contents still in it, and make my way out of the room.

“I need to get back to the studio,” I say, more for my benefit than Frank's.

Even I can tell my voice lacks all discernible forms of emotion. That is the way things should be, however. If Mikey is suffering, than as his older brother I should be too.

Despite being early afternoon, my studio is particularly dark and gloomy when I enter. Grey, almost black clouds have fallen over the sky. Apt, considering my current mood.

I spend the next few hours in my studio drawing, catching up on the work I should have got done earlier in the week. While I try to distract myself, to avoid everything, my mind still circles back to lunch. Just hanging out with Frank, talking about random things, laughing and joking - it was nice. Then it all ended. It had to end for me, because I don't deserve to be happy right now, but it shouldn't have had to end for Frank. I feel like he was enjoying that time together, too.

I fucked up, there's no two ways about it, and I owe him for that.

For the first time in a long time I think back to all the cooking lessons I had with Ellie as a teenager. At art school I didn't use many of them, for pathetic reasons, and then my career took off and Ellie came to work for me. She needed to feel useful after her children moved out of home and I, if I'm honest, didn't want to be alone in this massive house all the time. That's part of why I've got myself a Toby - someone to fill the loneliness when it becomes unbearable. Those recipes Ellie taught me, though, they're flooding my mind. It occurs to me what I can do to make things right between Frank and I.

When I lived with Ellie as a teenager I learnt many valuable lessons. While I loved her very much, I was moody and irritable - almost constantly. A simple question or simple request was enough to set me off on a rage. Despite me clearly overreacting, each time I got angry Ellie would make me something delicious to eat and apologise. It was more than I deserved, but it always made me feel better.

Frank may not have got angry, but I feel the same principle can be applied here. I head down to the kitchen. As I pass Frank's bedroom I hear that same song from earlier today being played again. I really must ask him who it is, but not right now; I need as much time as possible to pull off this culinary feat.

The fridge is stocked to the brim with a great array of food as Ellie only did the grocery shopping on Friday afternoon. I have a menu in mind already, but unfortunately not all of the elements are here. This is disappointing.

I take out my phone and ring Ellie.

There is a lot of static coming from the phone when it stops ringing.

"Bernie! Is this the right button? I'll try them all!"

I pull the phone away from my ear as several beeps come through. "Ellie!" I shout.

"Oh - it's working! Put the manual down Bernie!" Ellie calls out to her husband. "Hello?"

I roll my eyes. This happens every time I call her cell phone, but she insists I do instead of the landline so she can learn how to use it. "Ellie, it's Gerard."

"Oh, hello, Gerard!" she replies. "What are you doing calling me on a Saturday? Is Michael alright?"

"I stayed over there last night; he was vomiting most of the night, but he looked slightly better this morning," I tell her. "That's not why I phoned, though."

"What is it then?" she asks.

"I need one of your world famous baguettes. Do you still bake bread on Saturdays?"

She scoffs. "Just once, Gerard, I'd like you to call me just to see how I am, not because you want something. But you're in luck; I made three this morning." I feel myself let out a breathe of relief. " I was going to give one to each of my kids and keep the other for Bernard and myself, but I'll let you have ours. What do you need it for, anyway?"

"I'm going to cook," I tell her proudly.

There's silence on the other end of the line briefly. "Who for?" Ellie asks suspiciously.


"Oh, Gerard!" she yells crossly. "This how you make an already messy situation worse! What about Toby? Where is his homemade gourmet meal?"

"Perhaps he should learn to cook," I find myself replying sarcastically. I once asked him to pass me a spatula; he had no idea what it was until I pointed at it and even then he thought it was a sex toy.
Ellie lets out a loud, irritated sigh. "Gerard, this is-"

"Do we have to have this discussion every time I mention Frank?" I ask.

"No, but you do bring him up an awful lot more than you should," she says. "I'll drop the baguette over now."

I end the call and toss my iPhone – the latest model, of course – onto the stone bench top. It's rubber case protects. Ellie has really annoyed me. I've spoken to her a lot of late; with the way Mikey has been I've needed her support. However, it seems almost every time we speak Frank is somehow thrown into the conversation. I won't deny that I am often the one responsible for that, but she doesn't have to indulge me either.

It takes about twenty minutes for Ellie to arrive at the house. She comes straight in and places the baguette on the counter for me. The look on her face suggests she is regretting our earlier conversation.

“I apologise, Gerard,” she says eventually. “I'm just concerned for you.”

My expression has been cold since she walked in, but it softens at the comment. I lose my temper often, but in my heart I know Ellie says and does these things because she cares about me. “You don't need to be.”

“You're under a lot of stress with Michael's illness, and you're trying to juggle that along with your career, Alicia's pregnancy, and your high maintenance boyfriend,” she tells me. “I just don't want to see you complicate things further because you've developed feelings for Frank.”

That brings my anger right back.

“I haven't 'developed feelings' for Frank,” I tell her firmly, the anger flaring up in my voice. “He is my assistant, nothing more, nothing less. Yes, we spend a lot of time together and, yes, I enjoy talking to him to some extent, but that is just called managing your employees, Ellie.”

She sighs. “I don't want this to turn into a fight, just promise me you'll think about how you treated Marty when he worked here. Did you ever cook him a meal?”

Ellie kisses my cheek, picks up her handbag from one of the bar stools and makes her way out of the house. I listen as her sandals slap against her heals as she walks until the sound becomes too faint to hear. The question she left me with echoes in my head. The answer is simple.

♠ ♠ ♠
Hello my lovely readers!

Well, as mentioned last week, I saw Gerard perform over the weekend. It was good - he's a great performer - but I felt quite emotional seeing him there with a different band. If you get an opportunity to go, you should definitely take it, but be prepared for tears.

I'll share with you one of the photos I took.

Don't forget to show the love and leave plenty of comments telling me what you thought of this chapter.

Coming up in Gerard Way: Artist...

I dial his number. All I want to do is forget.


“Hey you–”

“–Shut up,” I cut him off. “I'm coming over. Be naked.”

I can sense the joy in his voice. “Are you asking for a late night booty call?”

Annoyed with him already, I sigh long and hard. “Yeah... that.”