Status: In Progress

The Majesty of Choice


Gerard’s having a very odd series of dreams. When he finally falls asleep, it’s beside Frank. It’s too close. It’s far too close. It’s almost touching close. He’s only a few inches away. They have the tent to themselves but it still feels like not enough room. It’s too condensed, too small. Gerard doesn’t want to be this close to Frank. Except he does. He wants nothing more than to be this close to Frank. But it feels wrong all the same.

Maybe it’s his proximity to Frank that sends his dreams into the weird spin they’re taking.

First, Gerard finds himself in his house. Ray is there. So is Mikey, but not in book form. Something is off though, and it’s more than just Mikey being there not inside his book. He looks around the room, and nothing looks any different. Something just feels wrong, dark. It feels like something bad is going to happen, and it’s not a feeling Gerard could describe, because nothing is wrong now. But it feels like it’s inevitable.

The house looks the same as it always had. He sees the same old furniture and tacky artwork, older even then his own father. This was his house as well, it’s been in the family for many generations. Gerard dreads to think it will someday be his. He doesn’t want to be stuck in Frell for the rest of his life.

Gerard then turns, and to his surprise, he sees Frank, standing in the doorway. He looks out of place in a dingy room like this. He’s so regal, and beautiful, and bright, yet the house is so dark, dank, and poor compared to him. Gerard can’t escape how he feels completely overwhelming joy at the sight of Frank. It’s like nothing he’s ever experiences. It’s like seeing Frank fills him up. He’s completely filled with such emotions; he couldn’t describe them.

He’s aware that he’s in a dream, which is a new feeling for him. He knows that this isn’t real, but he still feels unnerved. He feels more fear than he thinks he ever has when awake, and he’s not sure what it is he’s afraid of in the first place, since there’s nothing here that might harm him.

“You make sense in a way,” Frank says to him, “seeing where you come from?”

“Is that to say that I am as depressing as my home?”

“No,” Frank shakes his head, “Quite the opposite. You are a reflection of so many good things.”

“How so?”

“You have very good people in your life,” Frank says, nodding his head towards Ray and Mikey, and when Gerard looks back at them, he sees Ray with that little glimmer in his eye. It’s that one that always makes Gerard feel like everything is going to be okay. Ray is such a good person, always makes sure that he feels safe, makes sure that he lives the best life he can, even with his curse. Ray is the only person who keeps him sane.

Then he looks over at Mikey, who looks so different from when Gerard saw him last. He’s got the same face as in the book, but seeing him with a body is surreal now. He’s lanky, and boney, with sharp edges all over the place, from his jaw to his elbows, but he looks astounding. He’s a real person, a good one at that, and he deserves so much. Gerard wants Mikey to live such a happy life, do everything he could ever dream of, and be really free. He never realized until now how much Mikey’s life parallels his own.

Mikey is as trapped as he is. Trapped inside his book, not even having the simple freedoms Gerard takes for granted. Mikey can’t even move, he can’t walk around, can’t be an active person, and it’s just as restrictive as anything Gerard’s had to go through.

Gerard keeps seeing himself in other people. First in Pete, now in Mikey, but he never really considered the fact that no one is entirely content with their lives, and no one is entirely free. No one has the simple luxury of being completely free, or of being happy at all times. Not even the Prince is completely happy.

Gerard turns to Frank again and wonders why it is his brain feels the need to show him this. Why is this what he needs to see right now?

“What is this supposed to mean?” Gerard asks.

Frank sighs, “your curse is not ideal, Gerard. But your life is a good one. You may not see it for what it is, but you have so many people in your life that care about you. It may not seem like a lot, but just one person is a million stars. One person who cares makes everything worthwhile.”

Gerard wonders how Frank knows about the curse, and begins to panic a little bit, but then it occurs to him that this is a dream. Frank can know anything in a dream. Mikey can have a physical form when he’s in a dream. Maybe Gerard doesn’t have to be ordered around when he’s in a dream?

“Are you trying to tell me I should just live with it?” Gerard asks.

“Not at all. I understand why you would have the desire to get rid of it. You just need to understand that you live a good life despite it. You have people who love and care for you. If you can’t escape this curse, can never get it to go away, just remember this much is true. You are loved. You have the entire world in your hands if you have even one person love you. And Gerard, you have many people who love you,” Frank stops and pauses a moment like he’s going to go on, but then he decides against it, and looks at Gerard with those wise brown eyes of his.

“I’m sure people love you too Frank,” Gerard says, only being able to guess at what it was Frank was about to say.

Frank gives him a soft, sad looking smile. He shakes his head, and for some reason, Gerard feels as though he’s being truthful. This is only a dream version of Frank, he doesn’t know if anything he thinks is true of the real Frank, because it’s Gerard’s imagination that conjured him, but somehow it feels like Frank is telling him something true here. No one actually does love him.

He has people who care if he gets hurt, but it’s because he’s a prince. He has people who protect him, guard him with their lives, but it’s not out of their love for him, it’s out of their sense of duty to their kingdom. Who does Frank actually have to tell him that they love him?

Gerard contemplates a moment before saying, “I could love you.” He thinks that he could. He thinks that if he waits a little longer, all he’ll need is Frank’s personality and his presence, and it’ll be inevitable. He could love Frank. He might already be on his way.

Frank starts to disappear, and Gerard turns to see that all around him, everything seems to be disappearing. The world is collapsing. Gerard sighs sadly, because he wants to know what Frank would have said about the idea that Gerard could love him, but by the time he’s about to start talking, he’s already gone. There’s a moment where everything is black. Or white. Somehow it’s both and neither at the same time. Everything is black, but nothing is black. Everything is white but nothing is white.

Then Gerard is somewhere he’s never been before. He’s in a large field, a very large field. It’s quite barren, except for a few sporadic trees. When he turns to look around at the scene around him, he sees that not far off in the distance is a very huge, very important looking castle.

He’s never seen the castle before, but he knows somehow that this is it. This is where Frank lives. This is where all the important decisions are made that ruin the kingdom. Edgar must be in there somewhere, living a pampered life, not knowing how many lives he’s ruined, or if he does know, uncaring of them.

Gerard turns around again and there’s a man there who wasn’t there before. Gerard doesn’t know him but he looks familiar. He’s sure he’s seen this man somewhere.

“You’re ungrateful,” the man says to him. Gerard doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

“I’m what?”

“Ungrateful. You are an arrogant, ungrateful, selfish little boy, who cares not for other people’s hard work.”

“I haven’t done anything to you.”

“You insult my work, demean my gift to you.”

“Your gift…?” Gerard questions and then he remembers where he’s seen this man before. “You’re Brendon!”

“I gave you a good gift, one that anyone would be envious of, and yet you spit on my effort, care not that I bestowed on you a great power.”

“It’s not a gift,” Gerard says to him. “It makes my life impossible to live.”

“You live still, impossible must not be the right word.”

“I am not my own. I have no authority over my own life. Do you not see what hell it is to always have to do what your told? People are not kind, I do not always see the bright side of them when ordered around. I am kicked around, I am beaten down, I am treated with little courtesy, and it’s because you haven’t any foresight or common sense.”

“You insult me further! What are you to me if not inconsequential? How dare you?”

“How dare I? How dare you!” Gerard says, angrily, “you ruin my life, never even let me start it out with a chance, and now you question my character for insulting you? I have every right, you have given me no chance to prosper and are still incapable of seeing it. It is because of you that I am pushed around. Someday, I fear, I may see far worse. I may die, I may see someone I love die because of this so called ‘gift’ and it will be on you. If I get hurt, or if someone else does because of this curse, that blood will be on your hands, and yet you haven’t the sense to see that.”

Brendon doesn’t respond, doesn’t even blink before he disappears, done with the conversation, completely refusing to admit that he might be wrong, that he might have made a mistake.

Brendon’s image fades, and with it, so does the entire world around him. Everything is the black but not black, and white that it had been before.

Gerard doesn’t even have time to consider the interaction. He barely allows himself to consider that this is what could possibly happen to him in the future. This might be what happens when he confronts Brendon. He may face the same reaction, and what then?

Then, in the same spot that Brendon had only just been is a new figure. This is another person whom Gerard has never seen before however he doesn’t look familiar at all. His eyes are a bright, alarming, glaring white. Not grey, not a light shade of blue or green, not even a pallid looking blindness, they’re just a pure white. His pupils are still there, it’s just that they have no significance compared to the pearly, incandescent white. There’s no glint, no richness, no anything. They’re the brightest of white and yet completely dark and soulless despite that.

The rest of this man’s form is blurred, like Gerard can’t really see his face, can’t actually look at this man, he’s far too distracted by those eyes that the rest of his figure basically isn’t there.

When Gerard looks at the man, still incapable of really registering his face, he sees something glimmer in his hands. When he looks down, what he sees makes his blood run cold.

There’s a long, sharp, dagger and the man is holding it as he walks toward Gerard, and of course his immediate reaction is that this guy is going to stab him in the fucking chest, or slit his throat, or do something worse. He’s going to kill him. Gerard is going to die. He’s going to be killed by this white-eyed man.

Then he notices that the man is not pointing it at him, but rather holding it out to him. He wants Gerard to take the knife. What he wants Gerard to do with it he doesn’t want to know, but he knows that whatever it is won’t be good.

“Take it!” the man yells. Despite his previous hopes, even in his own dream, Gerard can’t escape the order. He’s haunted by the curse even now.

“I don’t want it,” he replies, his hand reaching out to take it anyway.

The man just smirks back at him, and then he’s gone, but the scene around him doesn’t leave. He’s not sure where he is, it’s dark and there’s nothing around him, and then suddenly there’s four people standing in front of him.

The man’s voice rings out around him, but it’s like he’s whispering into Gerard’s ear. He feels a prickling on his neck, his every nerve standing at attention at the sound of this man’s voice, the feeling of him so close to Gerard. His voice is like a snake, penetrative. It makes Gerard feel as though the man is made of jet-black water, completely void of color and hope, all consuming and terrible.

“Choose,” the man says, and Gerard doesn’t understand, but he doesn’t like it anyway. He no longer remembers that this is a dream. His brain won’t allow him to access that information. This is real, it’s actually happening, and the feeling of trepidation and horror in his stomach isn’t one that he can just wake up from.

Gerard looks around him, looks for the man whose voice is everywhere but seems to be coming from nowhere, but he doesn’t see a source. The man isn’t here, but his eyes are engraved in Gerard’s mind. Those eyes are going to follow him everywhere; he can just feel it. There was something inhuman about them, but not just that, it was like there was sheer villainy. Many species have humanity without being human, but somehow that man, and Gerard’s sure it was a man, had nothing. He’d lost every sense of morality he ever might have had.

“Choose what?” Gerard asks. He feels as though someone pushes him, because there’s a force that simultaneously pushes him forward and knocks the wind out of him. He falls to his knees, and the four figures in front of him gain more prominence. He recognizes these faces. They’re faces he knows better than any other faces in the world.

The first is Ray, his hair everywhere and a mess, but his face an emotionless one, as are the other three. The next is Mikey, looking as lanky as he had been before, completely free but awkward in his own limbs. Then there’s Patrick, who’s substantially shorter than the other three. Then there’s Frank on the end. Even now, he looks the most spectacular of the others. Not that the others aren’t as equally as important, Frank just always looks the cleanest, the noblest, the most prominent person in whatever space he occupies.

“Choose,” the man’s voice repeats.

Gerard definitely doesn’t like the sound of it, and he wants to ignore the voice, but some small little part of him overwhelms everything else, forcing him to ask why, because he can’t stop himself from doing whatever it is this man tells him to do.

His voice is brittle, and broken when he says, “what do I have to choose?”

“Who is expendable?” the man clarifies, and Gerard feels a weight fall in his stomach. He has to choose. Choose a life. Choose a death. Choose a person. It doesn’t matter how you put it, he has to choose someone to lose, to kill.

He doesn’t know if he’s ever felt as terrified and disgusting as he does now. The mere thought of having to choose makes his skin crawl, repulses him because he’s forced to think about who he could live without. None of the people standing before him he feels like he could live without, and he knows it’s stupid. He’s known Frank for only days, and it’s not that he’s any more special than the other three, because he’s not, it’s just that, the idea of having to kill him sends him into a panic. He can’t kill any of them. He knows Frank is the obvious choice, he’s only known the man for a little while, but he can’t.

“I don’t want to,” Gerard says, practically pleas.

“You will choose one person to die,” the voice says, and it’s like Gerard’s gag reflex is a toy, because he wretches and falls even further to the ground, like being on his knees isn’t belittling enough.

“I can’t,” Gerard says, shaking his head, because he simply can’t. There’s no one he could kill. He can’t kill anyone, not even an enemy. How could he ever kill any of these people, probably the four people on the planet he cares the most about?

“Do it,” the man says, and the order pieces Gerard, hard and painful like a hammer right to his cranium. He thinks he might just keel over and die at the prospect of killing any of them.

With an aching heart, body sweating like he’s completely engulfed in flames, Gerard sees another alternative. He feels the dagger in his hand, feels the weight of it like it’s an entire human itself, and he tries to make peace with his options. All he has to do is choose one person to die, any person. It’s his choice. Looking at the four people in front of him, he knows what he has to do.

He takes the dagger in his hand, closes his eyes, and plunges it into his own chest.

Gerard wakes up in a very real sweat, much like the one in his dream, only this one is cold and uncomfortable. He feels like he’s on fire and hurriedly strips the blankets off of himself, looking terrified at his surroundings.

It’s dark still, with almost no light around him, and he can barely see a thing. His eyes take several minutes to adjust but when they do he sees Frank still lying there, completely asleep, completely innocent beside him. He looks so defenseless and almost childlike when he’s asleep, everything about him looking soft, and safe.

The darkness in his dream, the feeling that something is going to go wrong, it’s still there in the air around him. He can practically smell it, and it sends him even further on edge.

Gerard looks around, tries to gather his thoughts. He can’t believe it had only been a dream, because it had definitely felt real at the end. He doesn’t know how to adjust to the new reality he occupies, doesn’t know what it is he’s to do with what he just saw in his own head.

The hole at the front of the tent opens to reveal the dark outline of Ryan’s face peering in, outlined by a sliver of moon behind him.

“Is everything okay? I heard a noise,” he asks, and Gerard just nods.

“It’s fine, just a bad dream,” he responds, quietly, not wanting to disturb Frank from his sleep.

“You sure?” he asks, and Gerard nods again. This seems to satisfy him as Ryan lets go of the tent and walks away, leaving Gerard to his own mind, which is not where he’d like to be right now. He’s terrified to have to go back to sleep with those thoughts right there in his head. He doesn’t want to face them again, wants to forget that he ever had to think them.

His own decision scares him. It was just a dream, he knows that, but he sacrificed himself. He took his own life, and saved the other four. He sacrificed himself for the man lying next to him now. He saved Frank.

He turns to look down at him, and almost feels clarity, but mostly terror. He doesn’t know how he’d react if a situation like that were to happen in real life. He doesn’t know which decision he’d ever be able to live with, maybe what he did in his dream was the best one.

Gerard doesn’t want to think about that right now. He doesn’t want to think about it ever, but he certainly wants to cast it aside now.

He lays himself back down, feeling uncomfortable and cold now that the dream has started to wear off. He grabs the blanket that he’d thrown off, and wraps himself with it, still not feeling entirely warm or comfortable at all. He feels like something is missing, something just isn’t there or isn’t right.

He looks over at Frank, his face angled towards Gerard’s from this spot, and he’s so pretty like this. He’s so soft and delicate and everything Gerard doesn’t want to want from another man but does anyway.

Gerard almost hates himself for it, almost lets his pride get in the way before he can muster up the courage to, but he does it anyway. He adjusts himself closer to Frank, and carefully puts his head in the crook of Frank’s neck. Everything in him says not to but he wants it and can’t help himself.

Frank makes a sleep sound, doesn’t wake up, just sort of moves a little with the invasion of his privacy, his body forcing him to adjust. Gerard considers for a moment, and decides he should move, begins to pull away when Frank gets an arm around him, pulling him closer. Gerard is nervous for a second, and then he welcomes it, because it’s what he needs. He wasn’t sure a minute ago what it was that could make the fear dull enough for him to find comfort, but it turns out that it’s Frank. Frank is the one who calms him, relaxes his every bone.

It’s only with Frank wrapped around him that Gerard manages to fall back to sleep.
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I know none of you are asking for any recommendations from me but I saw Young Guns for the second time at Warped Tour and they're amazing so you should check out Young Guns, and if you want to you should leave a comment too.