Status: In Progress

The Majesty of Choice


Gerard doesn’t know what time it is, but the sun set completely about half an hour ago, so he’d say it’s pushing nine or ten at night. Their camp is very minimal, but fine nonetheless. As it turns out, there’s only three tents. Hayley gets one to herself, making Gerard more jealous than he’d care to admit, and the other two are divided from there.

It would be super crammed in them if Frank hadn’t specified that they should take shifts to keep an eye out for anything. Frank of course says shifts of two, and they’ll trade off every couple of hours. Gerard doesn’t even need to put any effort into guessing which two people Frank is going to choose to take the first shift.

“Gerard and I will have the first shift,” Frank says, “and Travie, and Hayley will go after us, followed by Alex and Ryan.”

“What about me and Patrick?” Pete asks.

“Um, don’t take it personally guys but I really don’t trust you two to not get us killed in case of emergency,” Frank says.

Pete nods and makes a sound of agreement, “fair enough, I probably wouldn’t trust me either.”

There’s a few minutes where everyone starts negotiating about who gets what tent and they settle on Pete and Patrick sharing with Travie because really, no one trusts the two of them alone together. Not in a sexual sort of way, but like, if an ogre or someone else were to attack them in the night, Pete and Patrick would die so fast you wouldn’t have enough time to say ‘run.’

Frank watches as everyone starts to settle in, the tents looking like they barely provide any cover, merely an illusion a privacy.

Gerard’s slept in a tent once in his entire life, when he went camping as a kid. Mikey was there, and his mom was alive. Ray had spent about three hours trying to start a fire with magic to no avail, and almost just to spite him, Gerard’s mom had found a spark rock and got it started in under a minute. Ray had moped for about an hour after that as Mikey and Gerard had laughed at him. Ray got back at them later that night by pulling the stick out of their tent and making it collapse on them. To be fair, they deserved it.

Finally, the night around them becomes peaceful as everyone’s settled in, and Gerard knows that he can’t do anything to escape being alone with Frank right now. He just has to deal with it. He’s panicking a little, but he tries to focus on his breathing so that he doesn’t completely pass out.

“Now, I think,” Frank says quietly, “would be a good time for us to have that talk.”

“Oh,” Gerard frowns, even though he knew that this was to happen, he knew that it would likely happen soon. He had hoped he could prolong it, at least overnight, so that he could find purchase on his own thoughts and feelings of the matter.

Gerard takes a seat next to Frank, on the ground which is somehow both hard and soft. He looks at the flames from the fire pit, not as strong and large as they had been a little while ago, but still bright and warm. Much like Frank.

“I don’t have anything in particular to say,” Gerard says, when Frank just looks at him, not saying anything.

“Well, I guess I should talk then,” Frank replies, and Gerard nods. “I’m not sure what really happened, if I’m being honest with you. I think, well, I know, that we were about to kiss. And you… didn’t pull away.”

“I didn’t know what to do,” Gerard says. “I just sort of froze.”

“So you didn’t want it to happen?” Frank asks.

“I didn’t say that.”

“You did want it to happen?”

“I didn’t say that either,” Gerard says.

“Well, how did you feel?”

“I haven’t decided that for myself quite yet,” Gerard responds.

“What does your gut say?”

“Well,” Gerard starts, “my brain is telling me it was wrong. We shouldn’t have done whatever it was we almost did. We shouldn’t have. And we never should.”

“I didn’t ask what your brain says, I asked what your gut tells you.”

“I do not know this either,” Gerard says, “my gut simply says that I haven’t a clue.”

“Oh,” Frank sighs, dejectedly.

“But my heart is saying that I very much wanted it.”

“Oh?” Frank asks with a very different tone than the last, he sounds almost hopeful.

“But I do not know what to listen to,” Gerard says. “I’ve never made it very far on my heart alone. My brain seems to really be the only thing that’s gotten me here, to this exact spot. I don’t know if my brain has led me well or not. I cannot say it’s been an easy journey, or a smart one. I simply haven’t a clue.”

“May I tell you how I feel?” Frank asks.

“Yes,” Gerard nods.

“I feel that, well I suppose that mainly I feel as if I’ve been falling for you since I met you that first day. Gosh, with my foot stuck in a trap, your cynicism all the way up to your ears, and your constant criticism aimed at me I don’t know how I could have even liked you minutely, but I like you far beyond that. You are the first person I have ever met who I feel like I can actually talk to. You don’t treat me like everyone else. You don’t walk on eggshells around me, you are honest, and real, and your words are very sharp, very cruel at times, but they’re not wrong. You point out my vices like I am not a future king. You talk to me casually, like I am just a person, treat me like I am not a prince, but like a person. And on top of that, you are wonderful. You’re outspoken, wise, kind even despite your attempt not to be, and you are vividly insightful.”

“Thank you?” Gerard asks.

“You are also brash, stubborn, somewhat of a pushover, and monstrously cynical.”

“That sounds like me,” Gerard nods, not getting mad because he kind of deserves it.

“But I am falling in love with every part of you,” Frank admits. Gerard turns away. He doesn’t want to look at Frank. He doesn’t want to see his eyes after such words. He doesn’t think he can handle it.

Gerard just looks at the fire, watches as flames crackle chaotically, with smoke billowing upwards into the night sky which is dazzlingly clear from this spot. Somehow, the stars seem brighter, the moon seems larger, the sky seems broader.

Gerard used to wonder what was up there when he was a kid. Sometimes he still does. He’s fascinated by the sky, by the idea that there’s something more. Something more than him, and more than even his own planet. There could be other worlds out there too. Maybe life is as hard on those as it is here.

“Say something,” Frank says, and Gerard’s struck with the order like a snap back to reality.

“I don’t know what it is you want me to say,” Gerard says.

“I’m laying my heart and soul out to you here, anything in return would be great.”

“I can’t reason with my own feelings,” Gerard says. “I can’t rationalize them.”

“I don’t need them to be rational, I just want to hear them.”

Gerard groans, standing up and turning away from Frank, “I just don’t know.”

“I don’t mean to push you,” Frank says, standing up as well and standing beside Gerard. “I just can’t help but feel that there is something here. There is something between us.”

“I-” Gerard shakes his head, “From the moment we met, I thought you were an idiot. I thought you were snotty, overly defensive, arrogant, naïve, cowardly, and many other things I shouldn’t say to anyone, let alone the prince. But at the same time, I’ve been, I can’t really describe it, I feel different. Part of me feels a little broken, but also more alive than I’ve ever felt. I’ve never even had a crush on someone, Frank, not a single person. I’ve had feelings about the idea of a person, like a perfect, stunning, amazing person who could never possibly exist, and it never never occurred to me that I had the capacity to feel any semblance of love or romance at all for a man. Not ever. It never crossed my mind that I had it within me to like another guy. I’ve had trouble with the idea of liking a girl, and I don’t know why that is, but it’s like, for the first time in my entire life, I actually feel like… I feel like I might actually have feelings for someone, and it’s all wrong, because it’s not for a girl. Frank, I can’t- I can’t like boys. I just can’t. It’s not right.”

“Who says so?” Frank asks.

“I do,” Gerard replies. “it’s just not right. I shouldn’t like you. I shouldn’t. Yet I unmistakably do. I can’t help it. I have feelings for you, and I don’t entirely understand them, but I know that I’ve never in my life thought of kissing anyone, thought of even wanting to kiss anyone, and then you came along and it’s almost like I’ve never wanted anything more.”

“Gerard,” Frank says exasperatedly, “I’ve been waiting my whole life to feel this way about anyone. I’ve yearned for it for years, and now you’re here and it- it hurts. I never knew it would hurt, but it does. Like, I miss you when I’m standing next to you. I crave you even when I’ve felt that you might not feel the same way back. I’ve been going out of my mind crazy for you these past few weeks, thinking I wouldn’t see you again. I’ve almost turned around completely just to visit you once more. I think, I very well might have done so given more time. I might have ridden two days straight just to see you again.”

Gerard turns to finally look at Frank and it’s a mistake, which he realizes only after looking at him. He’s beautiful. He’s so utterly amazing that Gerard’s mouth almost waters. He’s so perfect, stunning, and everything Gerard wants and he doesn’t know why he’s not pouncing on this man right now. He wants him. He wants him so much it hurts. Gerard knows now what Frank meant when he said it hurts. It’s not a bad hurt. It’s painful, and it makes his chest contract, but it makes him feel alive. It’s a hurt that he feels might be the greatest fuel in the world. Part of him feels as though he would do anything, absolutely anything in the world, without an order, just for Frank. He would move a mountain for Frank.

“It’s just that I’m so terrified,” Gerard admits.

Frank nods, take a small step closer. “I think that’s how it’s meant to be.”

Gerard doesn’t step back; he thinks that there’s a very real possibility he might actually have leaned in just now. If he did, it wasn’t intentional. Maybe his heart is controlling his body now instead of his brain.

“I want everything from you,” Gerard says, “everything. I want all of it. But I don’t want to want that. I don’t want to feel this way.”

“You can always back away,” Frank says.

“But I can’t,” Gerard shakes his head. He can’t back away. He can’t physically back away and he can’t pull his emotions away either.

Frank puts a hand on Gerard’s cheek, and it’s so warm. It’s so perfect. It’s like it’s meant to be there, perfectly molded to the side of his face. It feels right, and Gerard hates that it does. He feels desperation, he wants Frank, wants him in every way. Wants him to hold his hand, to hold him at night, to hold his waist on the horse, to just be there. Be there wherever Gerard is. It doesn’t matter where they are, he just wants Frank to be there with him.

“Frank, I’m scared,” Gerard says, his voice raw and choked. His breathing is staggered and heavy, and he feels his face heat up and burn with the fear of it. He’s afraid of everything. He’s absolutely petrified, can barely move a muscle. It’s different than last time. He hadn’t really known what was coming until it was too late, now it’s like every single moment is prolonged and weighted in drawn out anticipation.

“Gerard,” Frank shakes his head, and Gerard can honestly hear his breath like it’s louder than thunder. It’s all he can hear in the world.

“I don’t know... I’m... Frank,” Gerard says, practically whimpers.

“Gerard, I’ll stop if you tell me you want me to,” he says, moving the hand on Gerard’s cheek to the side of his neck.


“Gerard, sometimes it’s okay not to think about it, and to just let what you want be what matters,” Frank says.

Gerard nods, but it doesn’t convince him of anything. All he knows is that Frank’s hand is on his neck and it’s so warm, and he’s terrified. He feels like he’s about to burst into flames, his skin feels like it’s completely on fire, but Frank’s hand is there and it’s all that’s keeping him from losing his mind.

Gerard doesn’t know what he feels. He feels terror, and guilt, and he’s so unbelievably scared of his own thoughts. He just wants to not want Frank, but he does want him, and he can’t make that go away and it’s absolutely killing him that all of this is real and it’s all so intense. He just doesn’t know how to feel anything but want and fear.

“Gerard,” Frank says, and all Gerard can do in the world is just look deep at those eyes and he feels everything come to a boiling point where it’s ten times harder to think.

“Fuck,” Gerard groans before he can stop himself. He can’t think, he can’t reason with himself out of wanting Frank. He knows there’s so many things that he probably shouldn’t be wanting that he does want, and just as many that he should want but doesn’t, and even though he knows he should be worried and terrified of those things, it’s all overwhelmed by the fact that all he wants from Frank in the entire world is just to love him the way that he knows he’s getting close to, and not caring. He just wants him. He wants Frank so much, and he wants to care that he shouldn’t like him, but he does like him, and he doesn’t care.

Gerard, thinking not really being his strong suit at the moment, grabs the side of Frank’s neck, the same spot where Frank’s hand is on him, and he just kisses him. He does what his entire mind and heart are telling him he wants, and he doesn’t care. He doesn’t care that he knows he shouldn’t want it, because all he cares about is that he does.

It’s the best moment of Gerard’s life.

It’s hasty, and nervous, and barely even a kiss, because Gerard doesn’t really know how to kiss. He’s never kissed anyone before, so he’s uncertain of what’s supposed to happen. It’s soft, and warm, and innocent, and sweet, and a million other cute little adjectives.

Frank opens his mouth a little, sucks in on Gerard’s bottom lip, and Gerard doesn’t know what to do. He’s never done this. He’s never even really seen any other people do it either. He’s glimpsed a peck on the cheek or two, but he’s just never kissed anyone, or seen anyone else kiss someone, not like this. The whole concept is foreign. He doesn’t dislike it though. It feels weird in a good way.

Gerard opens up to it a little more, allows Frank to take the lead, to show him what it is that they’re supposed to do. He just knows that if he’s going to kiss Frank he’s going to make it count. He very well might get so scared about this that it will never happen again, so this one needs to be important, memorable, perfect.

Gerard wonders if Frank’s kissed a lot of people. The very thought sickens him. He can’t handle, or even accept the idea of Frank kissing anyone. The thought that anyone has kissed Frank before him makes him feel weird. It takes a moment or two for him to realize that he doesn’t have the right to think like that. If Frank has kissed other people, that’s just something that Gerard has to deal with, and can’t change. Frank didn’t do anything wrong if he did kiss anyone else. That’s entirely his choice. Gerard doesn’t have any right to be mad or feel bad about that, because Frank has a life, has had a long life before meeting Gerard.

Gerard thinks about how he wants Frank’s life from now on to be his life too. He wants every moment of Frank’s. He wants to know his thoughts, wants to share his memories, he wants it all. Everything up until meeting Frank, he wants that too. He wants to know everything. Wants to know Frank’s first words, his favorite foods. He wants Frank’s life and his to be forever bound together. All the things that happened before Frank, he doesn’t want them to be forgotten, but he wants to make his future better than his past. He wants to show Frank what living is, and wants Frank to do the same thing in return.

Gerard falling hard. Really hard. And it’s happening so quickly. Frank might not even care for Gerard as much as Gerard cares for him. It’s all happening so fast and somehow, the speed is making the momentum that much stronger. The quickness of it only feeds the strength of it, like kindling to the fire.

Gerard loves the way Frank’s hand is on the back of his neck. He loves the way that it keeps him there in a way that shows how much Frank wants this, but with enough ease to let Gerard pull away if he wants. Gerard doesn’t want to pull away though. He wants nothing less than he wants that. He wants this to last. He wants this moment to be forever carved into his memory.

Frank’s mouth is so perfect. It’s like a perfect mold, absolutely perfect. Everything is right. He conforms perfectly to Gerard. It almost feels like he can feel everything Frank does. Like he has merged with him. They are two entirely separate people, but the kiss makes it feel as though they are only one. Like Gerard’s found the missing part of him that he didn’t know he was missing.

Gerard whimpers a little into the kiss, almost having forgotten where he was. It’s not a bad whimper, it’s just that all of his emotions are too much. There’s far too much going on in his head, everything and more all at once. It almost distracts from how amazing this moment is.

Frank pulls away when he hears the noise, and looks concerned.

“I’m fine,” Gerard says, shaking his head before laughing slightly. “I’m more than fine, actually. I’m great.”

“Yeah?” Frank asks.

“Yeah,” Gerard nods. “I’ve… I’ve never kissed anyone before. I didn’t know it would be that like. ‘Was good.”

“It was good for me too,” Frank nods, “I’ve never kissed anyone either.”

Gerard knows he shouldn’t, but he feels relieved at that. He doesn’t want to be compared to anyone, because he knows he’d be worse than anyone in comparison. Gerard smiles and laughs lightly again.

“Are you still scared?” Frank asks.

“Absolutely fucking terrified,” Gerard replies.

Frank nods, “same.”
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