Status: In Progress

The Majesty of Choice


Gerard is awoken earlier than he would like to be, by Frank, which he supposes makes it slightly more okay. Frank is telling him something, though Gerard is still between the realm of asleep and awake, so he doesn’t hear any of it at all.

He’s very much aware of Frank getting up though, because it takes away all of the warmth in Gerard’s entire body, or at least, that’s how it feels. Gerard hadn’t realized it until now, but he’d been pressed up against Frank, with Frank’s chest against his back, and it was quite possibly the most comfortable thing he’s yet to experience in his life until Frank decided to ruin it by standing up.

“Where are you going?” Gerard asks groggily. He’s still definitely not awake, and he’s having trouble comprehending that he’s alive, because it’s too early in the morning for this shit. Gerard hasn’t even decided that he exists as a human yet; it’s too damn early.

“I told you,” Frank says, “we’ve got to head out, we have a whole day of riding ahead of us.”

“Oh,” Gerard says, sounding sad. He had hoped that he’d be able to convince Frank to come back and that they could sleep a little while longer. But he supposes that it’s his own fault they’re leaving this early.

Today isn’t a big day, nor is tomorrow, but the day after, that’s the one Gerard’s got to look forward to. Even then, he’s just going to be accessing records. He’ll be able to find out where Brendon lives. Once he knows that, he’ll travel however far he needs to go. Anything to bring him top Brendon.
And once he finds Brendon, he’s free.

It’s so early in the morning that Gerard can’t even register why his curse is that big of a deal, because sleep is just way more important than some stupid old curse, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s like if the building were on fire, like yeah he knows he’ll die and that would suck, but sleep is just too much fun to bother not dying. Except if he could convince Frank to come back to bed, he would get to have Frank, and to have Frank is perfect.

“Gerard, get out of bed!” Frank groans after a few minutes pass and Gerard still hasn’t made the attempt to so much as move let alone get up. And that’s when Gerard feels all the reasons for why he hates the curse come flooding back to him.

No more orders. No more doing what you’re told. No more life that’s not your own. Gerard could hear people telling him to be quiet and he could scream in their fucking face. When someone tells him to do something, he can tell them to go to hell.

And after that, well the possibilities are endless. He could go back home. He could run away with Ray and Patrick in his tow. He can scour the country for someone to help Mikey. He can tell his stepsisters to eat shit. Maybe he could stay with Frank a little while, learn the castle, learn the Prince. He could see the King, the real King, the King Frank will become.

Frank’s order pulls Gerard out of bed, but not without a fair share of groaning and complaining as Frank throws a change of clothes at him. Someday he’ll have the chance to sleep in until he damn well wants.

Gerard, still feels his eyes heavy with sleep, with his body aching from the loss of the sheets and mattress, finds himself quite suddenly pulled into alertness when Frank starts undressing right before Gerard’s very eyes. He doesn’t mean to stare, he never in his life has meant to stare at Frank, but he can’t fucking help it.

Just like he’d done last night, Frank pulls his shirt off and then searches around in his bag for a shirt to change into, as he hadn’t already grabbed one so now Gerard is left with this solid minute of just gawking at a shirtless Frank.

The ink that scrawls Frank back is easier to view now. They are patterns, scripts, flowers; timeless and brilliant. The black ink is vivid, seeming to Gerard to be fresh, but Gerard’s never seen any tattoos up close before, so he doesn’t have anything to compare these to.

Gerard can’t help himself, he steps over to Frank and lets his fingers trace one of the lines near the top of Frank’s shoulder. Following the line is like following a fly, watching its trail, not losing sight of it. It’s somehow hypnotic.

Frank doesn’t seem terribly surprised when Gerard’s hand first touches him. He tenses, turns his head to try to look at Gerard without forcing Gerard’s hand away. He doesn’t want the hand to go away, he just wants to look at Gerard, look at the softness of his face, the beauty in his every inch.

Gerard peels his eyes away from the color for a moment to see that the pupils in Frank’s eyes are blown out, huge and monopolizing the brown behind them. He looks almost predatory for a moment, and Gerard doesn’t know why. Frank doesn’t know why either.

Frank’s not used to people touching him at all. He’s a Prince, people rarely ever make physical contact with him. Gerard’s the first person who he’s ever been in prolonged physical contact with. Like ever. Really, Frank’s only ever touched a few other people, shaken a few hands, been in a few combats, practiced fighting. Never anything prolonged at all. And he’s certainly never had anyone dare touch him with his back turned. That would be verging on criminal in most other situations. But then this is Gerard. Gerard does not neatly fit into any category of person that Frank has ever dealt with before for any reason at all.

For one thing, Frank has never kissed anyone else. He’s never slept in the same bed as anyone else, twice now, and it doesn’t get any more prolonged than that. He’s never had anyone touch his face, his neck, his shoulder, anywhere really that wasn’t his hand. But now here’s Gerard, openly tracing the ink of his back like it’s something normal. It drives Frank absolutely crazy.

Gerard’s the only person who would ever dare do it. Gerard’s also the only person who’s ever dared to speak up to him. He’s the only person to have ever talked to him like an equal, not like a Prince, or like anything but who he is. Gerard is the only person to have ever been blunt with him, to have ever been honest, to have ever showed any opinions at all to him. And he’s the only person who has ever made Frank feel like this.

Frank can’t stand it, as he feels Gerard’s fingers on his skin, he turns, forcing Gerard’s hand away, but the departure of contact is brief, as the second Frank turns, his lips are against Gerard’s and he’s grabbing hold of the sides of the boy’s head. He can scarcely stop himself. Normally he has more control over himself, but it’s an animal instinct. It must be due to the early hour of the day, and the lack of sleep that he’d gotten the night before.

Gerard doesn’t seem to be particularly bothered though. He welcomes the advance, opens his mouth to Frank’s. This kiss is certainly very different to any others the two have shared, because the majority of those have thus far been rather innocent. Most of them chaste, all of them experimental. This is nothing like those. There is hunger, and deliberate intent. Gerard imagines this to be on a very different scale, something entirely separate from what he’s ever experienced before. It makes him feel some sort of way. It’s an interesting feeling, one that’s never experienced in any situation other than late at night in the comfort of his own bed, while everyone else was asleep. It also doesn’t help him that it’s the early morning when he can’t control a thing about his body. This is like yesterday in the tent all over again, except Gerard’s certain he didn’t wake up with this problem.

Thinking about that makes Gerard blink his eyes open a few times to figure out of he actually is where he thinks. Yesterday morning he was waking up in the middle of the woods in a tent he shared with Frank, the Prince of the very kingdom in which Gerard lives. Yesterday, he had practically pushed Frank off of him when waking up beside him, had been embarrassed, terrified, scared of the mere idea of waking up next to this man. Now, only a day later, he wants to crawl back into bed with him. And that’s not the only thing Gerard wants to do in bed with him.

Gerard forgets this however, when the kiss grows, if possible, more heated. It’s taking on new heights, making way for new terrain. Gerard puts his hands to Frank’s waist, and he tries to pull him, guide him into the direction he wants to go, the direction towards the nearest bed. Frank follows.

What comes next is not coordinated, but neither of them care. First Gerard topples over, and Frank is soon to follow, neither of them parting contact for more than a few seconds. Frank ends up on top of Gerard, his legs on either side of Gerard’s body, kissing him like he provides the air Frank’s body needs, when in fact, he’s not getting any air at all. He doesn’t even care though, because what he wants from Gerard is far more important than breathing.

Now it can’t be said that Gerard is clueless. He knows some things which he’s not going to own up to knowing, but he does know things. Namely, Gerard knows this is a prelude to something and he knows what that prelude is to. And Gerard is very much interested in continuing on with this story to experience what comes next. He’s really excited for the pinnacle of the story, the climax some might call it.

This is the part where he should be saying “no, we mustn’t.” The part where he should be considering the opinions of those in this Kingdom, should be concerned for his own self. They would be aghast, it’s immoral, improper. It might even be treason.

But he is very much inclined to let this situation continue and to experience all it has to offer. He should push Frank away, it’s the right thing to do, theoretically. Frank’s people, Gerard’s peers, what would they think? The Prince, with another man. The Prince, not even married. But he really doesn’t care about that. And Frank certainly doesn’t care either.

Frank gasps, breaking away from him for a moment, “tell me to stop, if you need to. Tell me, and I will.”

“Please,” Gerard pleads, “don’t. Don’t stop.”

Frank groans, and it breaks through a barrier in Gerard’s insides. He worries other people can hear it, but it’s not even that loud. It just effects Gerard.

Frank kisses him sloppily, tongue angry against Gerard’s. He holds the side of Gerard’s face, with his other hand he’s gripping Gerard’s hand in his own, Gerard holding both hands to his chest.

Frank makes a sound. It’s a sound that Gerard has never heard before, and though he doesn’t know a word for it, he would describe it as an interested one. A pleased one. But you wouldn’t make that sound eating cake or anything, it’s reserved for special occasions.

Frank, who is already without shirt, decides that Gerard should be introduced to this idea, and begins to mess with the folds of Gerard’s tunic, with the intent of trying to pull it off. The only reason Gerard protests is because he would have to separate his lips from Frank’s if this happens. He prolongs it, not for the purpose of stopping it, but so that he can taste Frank. He certainly is tasting Frank, or at least, it looks like he’s trying to, because he’s got his tongue about as far into Frank’s mouth as he can manage to get it, exploring Frank in a way he hasn’t before.

This isn’t right, this most certainly isn’t right, this shouldn’t be happening between two people who barely know each other, between two people who aren’t wed. With another boy, if it could get any worse. But Gerard doesn’t care.

Just how much Gerard doesn’t care is not quantifiable. He is aware of what he should do, but he has never desired to do the right thing less. This may not be the proper thing, but he’s never wanted anything more. It may not be right, but it feels right.

Frank doesn’t know what prompts him to do so, but he’s got this lingering need to kiss Gerard’s neck. He breaks away, kisses down Gerard’s jaw, leaving Gerard open mouthed in what’s definitely not awe, but could be mistaken for it different circumstances.

What really catches Gerard off guard is not what Frank does, but what he himself does. There’s a tension in his pants, a certain feeling he’s not unfamiliar with, but one he’s certainly never felt with another person in the room. He craves friction. Craves to be met with something, anything to meet that need. For this reason, it’s a shock to both of them when Gerard pushes himself against Frank, meeting his thigh where he finds something of what he needs. Gerard makes the same noise that Frank had made earlier, one he still can’t describe, but it’s a pleasurable one all the same.

The breathing in the room is heavy, the temperature is warm and almost palpable, like it is something to be felt, to be held, rather than to itself hold.

Frank makes a sound which tries to contain, but he reciprocates. It’s unknown territory. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. Frank moves his head back up to meet Gerard’s mouth, and allows his body to intertwine with Gerard’s, meeting in all the right places. They’re a mess of sound, of tension, of friction, of heat, and of desperation. Both are too helpless or too frantic to think anything more than the here and now, and how good it feels.

For a few minutes, they remain this way. Neither of them have words, neither of them feeling the need to speak. They’re not exactly quiet though. Whimpers, whispered curses, more of the sound Gerard doesn’t know how to describe. They try to stay quiet though, knowing the others are in adjacent rooms.

It’s rushed. It’s awkward. It’s clueless, and it’s brash. It’s a mess of adjectives that neither of them care about. It’s not particularly romantic, but neither of them see it that way. This is more about a craving for closeness than it is about anything else. Romantic it may not be, but there’s a transcendence of something to be found here. Never have they been so close, their hearts and souls rubbing against each other, just as they do.

Far too early for his liking, Gerard cries out, and his breathing stops altogether, like his airway has been shut. For a moment, he is gone, entirely absent from his body, entirely absent from this world. He is a shell, and he would like to remain that way, as a wave of ecstasy hits him, making him feel entirely different than anyway he’s ever felt before now.

Their kiss breaks as Gerard’s head falls back against the bed, his eyes closed, his face soft and covered in a pure high that Frank can’t quite meet. He looks down at Gerard in this moment and he’s never wanted anything more, never wanted anyone more. This man who he loves so much that it hurts him to look at him sometimes, because he wants to be closer to him, wants more from him than a person can ever have. Frank wants almost to be the same as him, so that he can never leave Gerard’s side. He wants to stitch their two hearts together, so they can never be apart.

It's at this thought that Frank’s forehead falls against Gerard’s, his eyes closing, and the world stops entirely. They are the only two people within it. All the sound there is to be heard is the heavy breathing of the other. All that there is to be felt is this peak, a moment neither ever dreamed of having with the other even so much as a day ago.

For a long time, their room is filled with nothing but breathing. Gerard’s falling back into sleep without being aware of it. Frank’s nestling himself against Gerard, having toppled off of him, with now only his leg draped across Gerard’s body. They are at peace. They are content and warm. They’re both a little messy now and surely something’s going to need to be done about that eventually, but right now, they want nothing more than to be where they now are.

Gerard’s stunned with himself. Mostly he’s stunned that he doesn’t mind so much. He doesn’t know if what’s just happened technically qualifies as sex or not, because he’s still almost fully clothed and so is Frank. It’s not how he would have imaged it. Gerard definitely wouldn’t say he didn’t like it though. Not being what he imagined doesn’t make it bad.

This isn’t really how he saw his morning going.

For a start, Gerard doesn’t know how this happened. All he had done was touched Frank’s back, and now he’s lying here, hazy feeling creeping over him, and it’s brand new. He doesn’t know why now, he doesn’t know how, he doesn’t know anything. But he does suppose this was inevitable. He knows that with a certainty. From the second he first laid eyes on Frank, though he didn’t know it at the time, this was always going to happen. This was his fate, which is something to be said since Gerard doesn’t believe in fate.

“Frank,” Gerard says before stopping himself. He cuts off his own words before they pass his lips though. He was about to says he loves him. It would be true, but he doesn’t want to say it. Not yet anyway. He can’t say where anything he feels for Frank has come from, but these feelings come from deep inside of him, and now, more than anything, he’s sure this is what love is. If it’s not what he has for Frank then his body surely won’t be able to handle it when it does find out. If love is anything more than what he feels now, then his body will burn up entirely.

Gerard mumbles the words incessantly into Frank’s neck. He can’t say them enough. The passion he has for Frank fills him so entirely that there is room for almost nothing else.

“You mean a lot to me,” Gerard’s voice cracks, and he can feel himself almost on the brink of crying, because the words mean nothing. They don’t translate what he means to say. They aren’t strong enough.

“I love you,” Frank whispers, eyes closed, squeezing Gerard’s hand tightly between his own hands. He opens his eyes, only to get Gerard to stop talking, to stop sounding so desperate. He presses his lips to Gerard’s, and that’s all there is. Just the two of them again, the world theirs alone.

Gerard wants to say it back. He wants to say “I love you too.” But he doesn’t say it. He doesn’t know how. He doesn’t know if he’s ready to say it yet. Frank deserves to know, it would be the truth. But the moment isn’t right. When will the moment ever be right?

The two stay like that, drifting between consciousness. There’s a soft knock on the door before someone’s voice, Patrick’s, calls out from the other side. “Guys, the sunrise is coming. We should be heading out.”

The two of them remain quiet for a second, trying to rationalize being awake before Frank sighs softly, saying briefly, “We’ll be ready.”

Patrick seems content with this answer as there are footsteps that fade from earshot. The two of them eye each other before they resign to actually waking up, for real this time. Frank, who had already felt weary when originally waking up, now feels less so, his body feeling a calmness in the state of being right now. He can honestly say he’s never felt so content in his entire existence, never felt more okay.

“We gotta get up,” Gerard mumbles to Frank when neither of them makes any attempt at actually moving.

“I don’t want to leave,” Frank says, pressing his forehead against Gerard’s.

“Yeah.” The two of them remain there for a few more seconds before they eventually decide that they’d better stop being lazy. First Gerard than Frank stand, and neither of them look entirely comfortable in doing so.

It takes quite a bit longer than is normal for them both to get ready to go, as they’ve got to clean up before either can even get dressed. Gerard’s too embarrassed to even look at Frank, so he averts his eyes when Frank so much as takes his pants off, probably not the thing someone else in his situation would do, but Gerard is still trying to retain some of his innocence. Where the idea of innocence could possibly be found after what’s just happened, he doesn’t know, but he’s content to live in his delusions for a little while.

After several minutes, the two of them make their way, baggage in tow, down the stairs of the inn to meet the rest of their party. Ryan and Travie are already saddling the horses and preparing to take off when the two of them make an appearance. Patrick gives Gerard an eye, that doesn’t quite see through him, but definitely detects something off. This is one secret that Gerard is not going to be sharing with him though.

Gerard’s excited for the day, despite knowing it’ll be a boring one. He’s getting closer and closer to Brendon by the minute. The closer he gets to the fairy, the closer he gets to his freedom. He hasn’t been having a lot of trouble being ordered around these last few days since he and Patrick ran away, but it’s definitely still a problem. Mostly, he thinks, there’s a relief in being away from Hattie and Olive. Those two couldn’t make it through a day without ordering Gerard around at least a dozen times each.

Gerard misses Ray a lot though. Gerard’s rarely ever been away from Ray for so long, and even then, the last time was several years ago. Ray is, for all intense and purposes, the only parent Gerard has. With his mother dead and his father not giving a shit about him, it’s always been him and Ray. Gerard makes a note to send Ray a letter when they reach the castle. He wishes he could afford a magic mirror, that way he can see and talk to Ray wherever he goes, but Gerard would probably have to sell the entire town of Frell to make the money for a single magic mirror, and what’s one mirror without someone on the other end to talk to?

The entire group helps prepare the horses, Pete and Patrick struggling because they’re both shorter than the horse. They grab a quick breakfast from a bakery down the street before the party prepares to set off.

This time when Gerard is pulled onto the horse with Frank’s body pressed against him, he doesn’t have as many complaints. He knows that he’s falling fast, and hard, and his feelings are premature, but he can’t help it. There’s something magical about the way Gerard feels for Frank. The love is natural, and by no means is Gerard in doubt of that, but the way Frank makes him feel is where the magic comes in. You could never convince a person to fall in love purely through magic, but Frank’s personality is a magic of its own.

Their party sets off, chasing the sunrise, which is a brilliant mix of pink, orange and yellow. Gerard’s sure that the silhouette of the six horses climbing up the hill to depart Giantville must be a sight to behold. They are very small in the landscape, inconsequential in comparison to the Giant buildings, to the oversized streets, but they are still beautiful against the brilliant sky.

Their party proceeds in near silence. The sounds that fill the air are the sounds of horse’s feet on the ground, of the occasional giggling and murmuring between Patrick and Pete. It’s hard to hold a conversation on horseback when you’re riding so swiftly. Your words are behind you before you finish them, leaving the grass and trees with an echo of conversations that will never be understood.

Frank and Gerard are mostly silent. Frank’s arms are around Gerard, and he’s warm, very warm against Gerard’s back. Occasionally, Frank’s eyes will close and he’ll press a kiss to the back of Gerard’s neck, which send chills through his body. Frank disarms him, takes his barriers down.

Conversation is hard, but it’s not impossible. After a few hours of silence, Gerard looking at the vistas as they pass, Frank speaks up. “Should we talk about this morning?”

“I’m content not to,” Gerard replies.

“Is that to say no?”

“Is there anything we need talk about?”

“Well, I suppose, more what you need to talk about. I’m not… well I’m not going to say I don’t often consider the abnormality of who I like, but I don’t have as much of a problem with it as you do.”

“I’m not okay with it,” Gerard replies, and he thinks it’s the truth. He doesn’t really know what to think, in all seriousness. Gerard may never quite be okay with the fact that he likes Frank, but he’s not exactly against what liking Frank entails. Namely, having Frank at all is worth whatever his own gut may dislike about it. “I mean to say… I’m not comfortable with my own attraction to you on the surface. But, I am not opposed to… well, I am not opposed to the way you make me feel.”

“So you don’t, like, regret what happened?”

“On the contrary,” Gerard replies, suggestively, and Frank gulps. “I don’t regret it. For the time being, I will live with my own discomfort in the circumstances for the sake of the fact that my desire outweighs all else.”

“I don’t follow.”

“What I mean is that I like you a lot, Frank. I’m not proud of the fact that I do, but I can’t deny it any more than I can resist you.”

“Gerard, we’ve had this conversation before.” Frank makes a dejected sighing sound.

“I know. The thing is, I am growing. Not long ago, the very thought of me kissing you was absurd. But here I am, wishing only to kiss you more. And then this morning… I swear, only yesterday I would have said it was impossible. I can’t say how long it’ll take, I have to unlearn all it is I thought I knew, but I am realizing that I might have other roles in this world than I first thought.”


“I thought I would die in Frell. Older than I am now surely, and likely unwed if my stunning lack of attraction to all girls in my town was an indication. I thought my father’s life would be my own. Maybe, maybe, if I broke through, I’d own a shop, maybe help Patrick with his. I don’t know. Provincial. That is how I would have described my future. And now… now, I don’t necessarily expect the stars. But I don’t know if I’d be content with that life anymore, not after knowing you. You’re perhaps the most important person I’ll ever know. In as little as a few weeks, I’ve seen you change. When we met, you were rather corrupt in your beliefs, or ignorant might be a better word. But I’ve seen those ideals change, and it stuns me to think I played a part in it.”

“It was a long time coming. I should have known my Kingdom better than I did. You’ve helped open my eyes. I know now what I need to do as a King. I don’t know how yet, and I don’t know how successful my reign will be, but I know what I’d like to achieve. You’ve helped me a lot to see that.”

“We digress,” Gerard says. “I’ve seen in you my ability to make an impact. I don’t think I could stand the routineness of my home any longer. I don’t want to settle with my life. I want to make something of it.”

“How does this relate to your inability to accept this? Us?”

“It has everything to do with that. I may have helped to change you, Frank. I have shown you something you never saw, never considered before. But you’ve done the same for me. You have changed me in enormous ways.”

“Have I?”

“How could you doubt that?” Gerard asks.

Frank makes a sound, “It’s not doubt, I think I’ve just been hesitant to believe that what I want more than anything might be within reach.”

“What you want more than anything,” Gerard repeats to himself.


Gerard is stunned by that. He knows Frank likes him, has heard Frank say he loves him, but somehow, it never occurred to Gerard that Frank might be seeking more from him than Gerard originally planned on. Gerard hadn’t planned on any of this, but the idea that Frank wants him, it baffles him.

“You love me.”

“You know this,” Frank says. “What I want to know is whether I’m idiotic to. You said you ‘might’ be okay with this ‘someday.’ I’m just worried about those uncertainties.”

“Considering what happened this morning,” Gerard says, thinking to himself how uncharacteristic of him that was, “it’s not a far-off possibility.” Fucking hell, how could Gerard not want him? He’s the sweetest man Gerard’s ever met, and the only person he’s ever been actually attracted to. He’s given Gerard a reason to change his entire perspective on the world, something that’s definitely not easy. Gerard’s madly in love with him. How could Gerard not be capable of growing with everything in the world giving him reasons to want to change.

There’s almost no doubt to it anymore. If “someday” is when Gerard is able to accept who he knows he must have always been, then someday is becoming less and less like a possibility and more like an absolute. With a reason as convincing as Frank–sweet, kind, generous, beautiful, funny Frank–what choice does Gerard have?
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Not only is this story back, but you can expect another chapter by Sunday evening!