Status: In Progress

The Majesty of Choice


Gerard talks to Mikey for a little while longer, because he can’t really focus on anything at all for more than a couple of seconds before his mind immediately jumps back to how depressed he is. He had been so sure that he was going to get rid of the curse today. He wanted so much for it to go away, but life does not agree with him.

“Don’t worry, Gerard,” Mikey says, “it’ll happen someday.”

“But what if it doesn’t?”

“Don’t allow yourself to think like that,” Mikey shakes his head.

“Sorry, it’s just… it’s hard not to be negative when all I’ve seen of the world so far has been negative.”

“I get it, believe me, I do. Part of the thing that sucks the most about being, well, a fucking book, is that I can see just about anyone, at any time I want, and what I have seen does not always give me hope, but people are not all bad. I would actually say that people are basically good.”

“Yeah?” Gerard asks. “How much do you actually know about Frank? Like, not to be creepy, but have you ever looked in on him, do you know anything about him that I should maybe know?”

“Uh, I mean of course I’ve checked in on him a couple of time, he’s the Prince.”

“Yeah?” Gerard asks.

“Well, I can tell you that recently he’s got a crush on this one guy-”

“Oh, shut up,” Gerard says, blushing.

“Other than that his life is actually super boring. Like he doesn’t do much. At the castle, he mainly just walks around and talks to himself.”

“About what?”

“I don’t know!” Mikey says, “I can only look at people, I can’t hear them.”

“Oh,” Gerard sighs. “Well do you know… does he… is he any different now than he used to be?”

“By ‘now’ do you mean since he’s met you?” Mikey asks.

“Well, kind of, yeah.”

“Well, if you want the completely honest answer, yes. There’s definitely a change in his demeanor. He’s much, I don’t know, I guess he’s just happier, and more upbeat. He smiles a lot more than he used to. That’s not saying much, because he really didn’t smile at all when I saw him, maybe I just never caught him when he was, but he always looked super bummed out about something or other.”

“Does he really smile more?” Gerard asks, his spirits perking up a little bit. Gerard thinks back and he’s surprised to find that almost all of his memories of Frank are of him smiling. He barely knows what Frank looks like when he’s not smiling. He doesn’t frown much. Or maybe, Gerard just has a really big effect on him, which sounds like it might be the case given what Mikey just said.

“Yeah, definitely,” Mikey says, “listen, I love you, bro, I do, but I really don’t want to talk about your boyfriend with you, it’s making me uncomfortable.”

“My what?” Gerard asks, looking scared. “No, no. God, no. Definitely not. Fuck, maybe? I don’t know. Just, I’m sorry. I should go anyway.”

“Yeah, probably,” Mikey says. “Gotta go pretend you’re not falling in love with Frank.”

“Shut up,” Gerard says, but Mikey just laughs. Gerard hurries a goodbye, and then he’s heading out the door, trying to take his mind off of how much it hurts that he missed Brendon by a mere hour.

Gerard, after solemnly walking down the stairs of the inn, informs Patrick and Pete to tell the others where he and Frank will be. He heads back to the tavern, not wanting to leave Frank alone for any longer. He’s starting to miss Frank’s company. It feels weird that Frank’s not here, like he’s just supposed to be by Gerard’s side.

Gerard’s feeling fairly shitty, beyond shitty actually, and right now, all he wants is to just be near Frank. He considers pulling Patrick aside and talking with him, because he’s the only person Gerard is close to besides Frank and Mikey, but when he sees Pete and Patrick smiling and laughing, he can’t bring himself to.

The two of them, Gerard can’t put into words, honestly. Like even if Patrick weren’t insanely attracted to the guy, they just sort of make sense. They kind of just belong with each other. It doesn’t matter in what way, but they just do. And Gerard is definitely the slightest bit jealous, because Patrick is his best friend, he’s the guy he most relies on in this world, but also, Patrick smiles a lot when he’s with Pete. Like a lot. Like more than he’s ever smiled before. It’s not that he was unhappy, it’s just that he’s happier now.

Gerard walks past the two of them, looks at how comfortable they are, and just unabashedly themselves. Patrick doesn’t seem to have the same level of internal conflict that Gerard does, or at least if he does, he doesn’t show it outwardly in the slightest. Gerard wants that. And he wants it with Frank. And the thing that sucks is that he’s scared about wanting that with Frank. It’s a paradox of want.

“Wait stop,” Patrick says before Gerard can exit the inn. Gerard makes an angry face, wanting to chew Patrick out for the order, but he just stops, turns, and looks back. Pete’s eyebrows wrinkle together at the way Gerard’s entire body tenses at Patrick’s words. There’s something not quite right about Gerard’s reaction.

“Are you okay?” Patrick asks him. “I mean, I know it must be hard that we came all this way, and he’s not even here.”

Gerard nods, touched with his concern, but still annoyed by his order. “I’m not happy, no, but I’m not going to give up just yet. What my next step forward is, I do not yet know, but I will have one, with time.”

“Alright,” Patrick nods, and Gerard thinks that the conversation is over, so he turns back around again and heads toward the door once more. Pete watches him go for a few seconds before turning back to his conversation.

Gerard makes his way across the town, liking the fact that people aren’t staring at him too much. At least not yet. He knows they’re going to find out sooner or later that he’s the one that the Prince was kissing. He considers hiding away in the room at the inn, but then his heart hurts at the prospect of suffering through his pain alone. He wants Frank with him, because he’s sure that Frank is the only person who can make him feel less awful about the fact that Brendon is gone.

Gerard walks down the street again, and he feels as though it’s a new sight. He didn’t get the chance to actually take anything in when he had been running earlier, so now he gets a chance to actually see the town. It’s huge. Not because there’s a lot of people and a lot of buildings, but because all of the buildings are enormous. He walks past a wine shop and looks at the window to see bottles of wine bigger than he is. He considers how cost effective it is to buy Giant products, because you just get way more for your money, and then he realizes that most Giant products would kill him. Like he could literally get squashed by a wheel of cheese.

Gerard walks down the street, and hurries when he spots the tavern in front of him, knowing that Frank is in there somewhere and that he’s probably missing Gerard, or at least, wishing he weren’t alone.

Gerard enters through the human entrance, walks up the long staircase, and then finds himself back on the bar counter where he’d been earlier. People look at him the second he steps foot on the landing. He knows he’s going to have to get used to that.

The barkeeper, calling over to him asks, “did you find your friend?”

“No,” Gerard shakes his head, and he doesn’t bother saying anything more before he walks over to where he sees Frank, still conversing with the Giant.

“Frank,” Gerard says, coming up behind him, and Frank turns to him excitedly, his face lighting up even more when he sees Gerard.

“I think he likes me,” Frank whispers to Gerard, who smiles back at him. Gerard doesn’t know why Frank seems so surprised by that though. Even Gerard likes him, after he had been so determined to hate him. If Frank can make Gerard of all people like him, he’s not going to have any trouble connecting with Koopooduk. Hell, Frank has made Gerard reconsider his entire life, Frank has definitely got a way with people.

“You’re a decent person, Frank. Anyone who meets you can see that.”

“You found your friend, I hope?” Koopooduk asks, and Gerard shakes his head sadly.

Frank’s face falls when he sees the gesture, and he puts his hand on Gerard’s shoulder. “I am so sorry, Gerard.”

“It sucks,” Gerard says, because saying that it’s okay wouldn’t be accurate. It’s not okay. Nothing is okay. Gerard just wants his curse to go away. “I’m not giving up though. I can’t give up. I’ve travelled all this way, I’m not just going to throw it in now.”

“Do you know where he went?” Frank asks.

“No. I haven’t a clue. I don’t even know where he lives.”

“You know,” Frank says, getting a look on his face like he has an idea. “At the castle, we actually have a hall of records, where we keep the yearly census.”

“You mean, you have the records for where he lives?” Gerard asks, looking excited.

“Yeah, or at least, I can tell you anywhere that he’s lived for the past hundred or so years, we don’t ever throw the records away, though I couldn’t tell you why. Not everyone can just look at them, of course, but, I’m the Prince, I can probably pull a few strings.”

“Frank, are you being serious?”

“Absolutely!” Frank replies. “You wouldn’t have come all this way if it weren’t important, and I think it’s too late to deny that I like you. So anyway that I can help, I will.”

Frank leaves out the fact that he would do anything in this entire world to prolong his time with Gerard. He can’t imagine what’ll happen once Gerard’s goal is accomplished and he just goes home. Frank doesn’t think he’ll even accept it. He’ll buy Gerard a house in Lamia if he has too, hell, he’ll give the guy a room in the castle if it keeps him close.

“That would mean more to me than you know,” Gerard says, tempted to kiss the guy, but then he remembers Koopooduk standing right there and he decides against it.

“You’re not leaving so soon, are you?” Koopooduk asks.

“We really should be going,” Gerard says, frowning.

“Gerard, the sun’s going to set in less than an hour, and we’ve got a two days’ trip back to the castle. There’s really no point in leaving until sunrise.”

“Are you sure?” Gerard asks. They did already book the rooms at the inn, but if they get started now, that’ll cut half a day off of their trip. Gerard really wants to find Brendon as fast as he can, and he doesn’t like being patient at the best of times.

“We’re going to need sleep eventually. Wouldn’t you rather do that on a bed in a room than on the ground in the middle of the forest?”

Gerard considers it, making a face, but even he can’t deny that Frank makes a point. Leaving now would be pointless, and he does really want to sleep on a bed, it feels like it’s been years since he was in his own bed, and he longs for it. Any bed at all at this point would do.

“Fine,” Gerard sighs, and he contemplates what it’ll be like spending another few days with Frank. He hadn’t even considered the fact that finding Brendon today would have implied that he’d have to say goodbye to Frank. He would have just gone home, he supposes, and Frank would have gone back to the castle.

He can’t even imagine being away from Frank though. He just adores having the guy around. Honestly he thinks he might be falling in love with him, and he doesn’t know what to do with that. He doesn’t know what you’re supposed to do when you fall in love. But he’s pretty sure that it’s going to be Frank on his mind every night for the rest of his life. He’s never going to forget the feelings he has for this man.

“Excellent!” Koopooduk says, emphatically. He turns to look at the Giant behind the bar, and says something about how the Prince is staying in town overnight, and how nothing this exciting has happened since someone’s house burned down a few years ago. Gerard doesn’t know if he would want to live in a town where the only exciting thing that’s happened has been a fire. To be fair though, nothing so exciting as a fire has happened in Frell for a few centuries.

Frank just shrugs at Gerard and grabs his hand, pulling him over to a corner of the bar where hopefully they can just sit alone by themselves.

“So what did you two talk about?” Gerard asks him.

“I told him about some of the policies I’ve got in mind for the future,” Frank says.

“Policies?” Gerard asks, “since when do you have policies? Since when do you know what policy even means?”

“Oh, shut up,” Frank groans, but he’s smiling at Gerard when they sit down in the corner, right next the fireplace. It somehow feels more secluded here even though it’s far more brightly illuminated than the rest of the room around them. Everyone can see them here, he’s sure, but no one else can hear them talking, so it’s a tradeoff.

Frank’s sure he’s going to have to speak with some more townsfolk before the night is over, but right now, he just wants to be with Gerard. Really, he always wants to be with Gerard, but if he doesn’t have that right now, he’s sure he’ll just breakdown and cry.

“So what are these policies then?” Gerard asks.

“Basic stuff,” Frank shrugs, “I want to abolish the act that forces elves into entertainment. Pete was telling me earlier that he wants to be poet? It never even occurred to me that elves were essentially enslaved. He’s not allowed to hold most jobs. It’s not fair.”

“That’s not basic,” Gerard says, “that’s huge, that’s monumental. That’s life changing for a lot of people.” Gerard kind of feels something like pride at the thought that Frank has come up with that idea. It’s not that he credits himself as to why Frank came up with that, he’s just proud that the guy he likes has had that idea at all.

“Well it’s the least they deserve. I also want to stop the forced employment of Giants as well. Do you know they’re forced to tend to crops? This town doesn’t really even look it, but this is a hub of sadness, and is predominantly run on forced labor. It makes me sad, knowing what little say these people have. Everyone deserves a say in the matter.”

“Tell me about it,” Gerard huffs, because if there’s anyone who knows how important it is to make your own choices, it’s him. “What do you plan to do about Ogrecide?”

“That I’m not sure about,” Frank says, shaking his head. “My father was killed by an Ogre, and just yesterday, I almost lost you.”

“But they’re being killed off in high numbers,” Gerard says. “Does that not seem corrupt?”

“I just question the danger in growing numbers of Ogres. Maybe, controlling the population isn’t such a bad thing.”

“Not all of them want to kill people. And the more that are killed off, the angrier they are likely to grow. Right now, they are already diminishing in civility, if you allow more of them to die, this will only become a more rapid descent into animosity.”

“But some of them want to kill people no matter the state of the Kingdom,” Frank says. “You of all people should understand my wariness.”

“I do understand that, but I’m telling you, as someone who was attacked by Ogre’s, and was almost killed by them too, I don’t support their genocide. If anything, my opinion matters more than most others because of my experience.”

“Gerard, sometimes I can’t believe you’re real,” Frank says, shaking his head, but the look on his face is one that gives Gerard a soft, fuzzy feeling throughout his entire body.

Gerard’s surprised when Travie comes up behind them a moment later and he’s got a curious expression on his face.

“There you two are!” Travie says.

“Here we are,” Frank replies.

“I heard your fairy is out of town,” Travie says, frowning as he looks at Gerard.

“Yeah,” Gerard says, feeling a cold sensation wash over him at the reminder. He doesn’t want to think about the fact that he still has the curse. He made it all the way here, to his destination, and he hasn’t even found the person who can take it away yet.

“I’m taking him to the hall of records,” Frank says, “we’re going to find his fairy if it’s the last thing we ever do.”

“Oh, okay,” Travie nods. “So you two get to spend more time together, that’s… convenient.”

“What?” Gerard asks.

Travie ignores his question and says, “I’m going to go, I don’t want to spoil your guys’ moment, or whatever.”

“We’re not having a moment!” Gerard says, calling after him as he walks over to the bar counter where the rest of their party is all gathered, Patrick looking over at them quizzically. Travie just winks back at Gerard at his words, and Gerard turns scarlet.

“I don’t know, it felt kind of momenty to me,” Frank shrugs.

“Shut up,” Gerard snaps at him, though he’s blushing.

“You shut up,” Frank says, and Gerard grins. There are very few phrases that sound like they might be orders which Gerard’s body does not accept as an order, and thank god ‘shut up’ is one of them because that’s got to be at least three fourths of his vocabulary, and vice versa.

“What is a moment?” Gerard asks, because he’s not sure he’s thinking the same thing that the other two are.

“It’s just… a moment? I don’t know? Like, kind of, sort of, like, romanticish?”

“Oh,” Gerard says, nodding. That’s what he had thought. He supposes they were having a moment then.

Gerard bites his lip, because he doesn’t know what happens now. He doesn’t know what happens after a ‘moment.’ Or during a moment, strictly speaking.

“Kiss me,” Frank says, and Gerard feels a boiling, intense sense of hatred all of a sudden. He’s almost tempted to punch Frank in the fucking face.

Gerard doesn’t need to be ordered to kiss Frank. That’s the last thing he needs. He needs to be ordered not to kiss Frank. And the fact that Frank, this guy he’s absolutely crazy for, would order him with something as big and important as that, it sickens him.

This is the reason for why he is on this whole adventure in the first place. It’s not to fall in love with Frank, or to be ordered around by him, it’s to get rid of the curse. Frank ordering him around, Frank of all people, it hurts him more than when anyone else tells him to do something. Because this is Frank.

Frank the future King. Frank the guy that’s made Gerard question everything he thought he knew about the world. Frank who makes him feel like he’s living. Frank who he’s desperately falling in love with.

“That wasn’t an order or anything,” Frank says, “just, I mean, just if you want to. Fuck, never mind, I’m an ass, I’m sorry.”

Gerard feels like someone poured sand over his sudden hatred, because now, he most definitely wants to kiss Frank, but he does not feel ordered to. Now he just really wants to make the fuck out with this boy.

He’s in disbelief that Frank took back an order. That rarely ever happens. When it does, it’s usually Ray, who realizes only after saying something that it’s an order. Frank took it back all by himself, without even knowing about the curse.

Frank taking back an order has honestly got to be the hottest thing in the entire fucking world. It leaves Gerard feeling kind of weak-kneed.

Gerard can feel the whole room, and he can feel that a majority of the room has eyes on him. Only a little ways away there’s Pete, Patrick, and all the Knights, people who Gerard would even consider friends at this point. So many people looking at him, and at Frank, and in twenty minutes, most of them will still be looking at him and Frank, because this is the fucking Prince. Who doesn’t want to be looking at him? He takes up almost all of every space he’s in, because his presence is so huge, and so important and so surreal. Frank’s always going to have all eyes on him.

For the rest of his life, Frank is going to have all eyes trained on him. Every day, every night, every week, every year. Frank will have eyes on him at every single turn, every single breath. Gerard’s not sure he can handle that. Because if he is next to Gerard, then all the eyes on Frank will also be on him. Gerard will be as much in the eyes of people as Frank is. Right now, he’s got practically the same number of people looking at him as there are looking at Frank.

It’s weird, it makes his skin crawl, knowing how many people are looking at him. Big people, little people, people he knows, people he doesn’t know. He can’t even yawn without everybody in the room knowing about it.

But at the same time, the secret is out. People know that Frank kissed a guy, and with the way that they’ve been clinging to each other, and the way that Frank looks at him, there can’t be many doubts as to who the person that Frank was kissing is.

He questions why he’s so embarrassed and nervous when there’s nothing to be done. Everyone already knows. Certainly, all of Frank’s Knights know, like there was every any real doubt. They’re the ones who Gerard was originally concerned with, because strangers scare him a lot, of course they do, but when someone who knows you knows your secret, even if you don’t know them very well, that’s a really big deal. That’s someone who you will see again who will know something very deep and private about you, that you wish no one knew, but they know now.

So, if everyone knows, then what is Gerard actually hiding?

Gerard dwells on this for only a few moments before he decides that he doesn’t have anything to lose. He grabs Frank by the sides of his face and pulls him in for a kiss, and not one of the scared, secret kisses that they’ve had so far, but like and actual, real, kiss.

It’s like a hunger, a craving, that Gerard just needs to satiate or he’ll die. He just needs to kiss Frank, and he needs to be near the guy. He just needs Frank. He doesn’t care in what way, he just needs him, and it’s taken him a long time to come by this information, but he is sure, undoubtedly sure, that his life is nothing anymore if Frank isn’t in it. He doesn’t know how he could have made it all this time without him.

He doesn’t know how he could ever have convinced himself he hated this man. How could he have ever hated Frank? Frank makes him feel alive, not just a little bit, but like he’s a real, actual, human being who’s out in the world, doing something.

And kissing him, how could Gerard have ever convinced himself he didn’t want this? He’s so far past the point of attracted to Frank, he doesn’t know the words for what he feels. He just wants Frank. He wants him like he’s never wanted anyone or anything. He feels an entirely different way about Patrick. A different language, and planet away from what he feels about Patrick. Frank is different, and new, and alarming, and so very much perfect.

Gerard becomes aware that he’s been kissing Frank for about two minutes past socially acceptable. He’s aware that he’s now probably going to be considered a whole assortment of dirty words by all of these strangers, because you do not kiss people in public, not in this fucking century. And you definitely don’t kiss people for longer than a few seconds. And you definitely don’t kiss the Prince. And you definitely don’t kiss a boy when you’re a boy.

Gerard pulls away when he has that thought and he turns such a violent shade of red that he can feel it in his toes.

“What was that?” Frank says, looking pleased and surprised and a little pink himself. That could be due to many reasons. He didn’t expect Gerard to actually kiss him. He just slipped before, didn’t filter his own words before they came out. But Gerard actually kissed him. Gerard kissed him.

Come to think of it, Frank thinks that all of their kisses were initiated by Gerard. He had thought he was pressuring Gerard, but Gerard’s the one who’s been egging them on. Not that Frank hasn’t of course, he just hasn’t been as good at actually starting anything.

“I don’t know,” Gerard says, shaking his head. “I’m regretting it now, everyone’s staring at me.”

Gerard looks around to see that everyone is indeed staring at him. Especially their own party, none of whom look entirely shocked so much as they look surprised.

“Because of the actual kiss or because of the fact that people are looking at us?”

“No the kiss was great,” Gerard says, meekly, and Frank beams widely back at him.

“It’s fine, Gerard,” Frank chides, “let them stare. Fuck them. Who are they?”

“They’re your people, Frank,” Gerard says, shaking his head, because this is precisely what he and Koopooduk had discussed not twenty minutes ago.

“I mean, who are they to the fact that I’m falling in love with you?” Frank says, and Gerard looks up at him, surprised by that even though Frank’s said it before.


“You’re an idiot.” Frank shakes his head.

Gerard just nods and grabs Frank again, because he’s got a point. Who are they? Who are they to say no, to tell them to stop, to judge. They’re no one. Gerard doesn’t believe in subjugation, but honestly, this isn’t about subjugating, this is about people being assholes. Gerard likes Frank. He doesn’t care what they think. Well, he still does, but he’s trying not to. So, what if they judge him for kissing Frank? They’re opinions mean nothing to how he feels about Frank. If Gerard’s passion were a candle, they’re judgement isn’t even a gust of wind.

But Gerard’s passion for Frank isn’t a candle. It’s a bonfire.
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So, it's been a VERY exciting few weeks for me. Namely, I got my first tattoo, my birthday was on Wednesday... oh and I kind of got married.