Status: In Progress

The Majesty of Choice


“You know, I feel like I’ve eaten bread for every meal for the past month and a half,” Travie says.

“That’s probably because you’ve eaten bread for every meal for the past month and a half,” Hayley responds.

“Ah yes, that would explain things,” Travie replies, biting into a piece of bread. It’s the easiest thing for them to find in small towns and to transport halfway across the Kingdom. It’s hard to bring fruits or vegetables which spoil rather quickly and weigh quite a bit. A good starchy bread is cheap, light and fills you up, so it’s the best of all options.

“My friend Ray is the best cook you’ll ever meet,” Gerard says, more to himself than to Frank who’s standing right beside him. Ray is also the only person who’s ever really cooked for Gerard, aside from the occasional meal at Patrick’s house. His mother is not a fantastic cook, his family works at a candle shop below their house, his mom makes good candles, but candles don’t taste nice.

“I’ve got to meet this Ray sometime. It seems like you have a lot to owe him concerning who you are.”

“He’s basically my parent. I love him more than I have words to say. He’s the best damn person on the planet. Other than my brother.”

“I’ve got to meet him too. I just want to meet your whole family. I’d like to meet your dad even though you’re not too fond of the guy. I just want to get to know what makes you who you are, know more about you. Even the evil stepsisters.”

“Can’t forget about the evil stepmother,” Gerard says, “What story would be complete without one?”

“I doubt she’d approve,” Frank says, probably referring to his and Gerard’s relationship, which makes Gerard blush because Frank always makes him blush. It’s not a friendly feeling, your face going all red and the warmth seeming to radiate off of it, but it’s a familiar one that Gerard has grown far too used to.

“She’s thoroughly convinced that Hattie is going to marry you. Believe me when I say this, if you ever were set to marry Hattie, you should find yourself a good cliff to jump off of in preparation for the wedding.”

“I don’t doubt that. She’s not really my type anyhow,” Frank says, and that’s a fact if there ever was one. Gerard is the furthest a person could ever possibly get to Hattie. They are so dissimilar that they barely seem like the same species. Frank cannot possibly be attracted to the both of them, they are mutually exclusive. Plus Frank being into guys plays a part.

Gerard wonders what Frank’s “type” actually is. Is it brown haired peasant boys? Or maybe it’s just sarcastic assholes with big mouths? Or maybe he likes it when people insult him. Maybe he doesn’t care as long as they’re not female. The existence of Travie makes Gerard doubt that, because surely if you’re okay with dating anyone who’s not female, your first jump would be the most attractive guy on the planet.

Gerard doesn’t have a type. He never has. He’s never been particularly attracted to anyone he’s ever met. There are people who he has found to be physically appealing, Frank, Travie, Hayley. But no one has a personality that he’d ever want to be around for more than a few hours at once, not even Patrick. Gerard needs some space to himself whenever he’s near someone for too long. Except for Frank, who is the person Gerard wants to crawl back to every time he leaves. He can’t get enough of this boy, he’s hooked on him, addicted.

Part of the reason Gerard’s never liked anyone else is because he’s never felt comfortable around other people. He’s usually on edge around people, even Patrick and Ray, because he knows that at any minute, he might get an order. He might be told to do something. He also just doesn’t feel like he can be entirely himself with them, it’s like he’s been hiding this whole thing a secret his entire life without knowing it. Frank has done a lot to change him, even made Gerard realize things he somehow always was but never knew.

Everything is different with Frank. It’s not like Frank hasn’t given him orders, but Gerard doesn’t feel wary around him. He’s not nervous. He doesn’t feel like he needs to hide himself or pretend to be anyone who he’s not. Gerard can let his guard down with Frank, and that’s why he doesn’t get bored with him, why he doesn’t want to be away from him. Frank makes Gerard feel as comfortable as he is when he’s alone.

Gerard gets lost in his own reverie, so he doesn’t notice when Pete walks up behind him and taps his shoulder. Gerard turns and has to look down a little ways to make eye contact with Pete, but his head doesn’t tilt as far is it does when he sees Patrick. Despite the fact that Pete and Frank are about the same height, Pete seems quite a bit smaller. It’s perhaps because Pete is an elf, but also maybe because Frank is a Prince and somehow his status makes him appear taller than he is.

“Gerard, I need to talk to you for a moment,” Pete says, somewhat surprising Gerard who hadn’t expected himself to be the one Pete needed to talk to. He would have expected Pete to spend his time talking with Patrick instead, even if the two of them have been chattering away the whole trip so far.

Gerard turns to Frank, giving him a silent question like he’s asking if Frank is okay with it, but he doesn’t exactly need his permission. He just wants to know if Frank will be alright with Gerard leaving him alone. Frank has a blank expression which Gerard decides is a go ahead of sorts. He hates leaving Frank though, wishing the second he looks away to return to him.

“Alright,” Gerard shrugs, though not without hesitation.

Pete pulls him away to a more secluded area, just beyond the tree line, so that they’re not quite out of sight of the rest of the party, but they’re hidden, and most certainly out of ear shot. Frank won’t let them go too far off on their own, surely. Frank is quite protective over them, he’s the prince with a whole team of knights protecting him, and yet he is just as protective of his knights and anyone else who crosses his path. It’s things like these that hint at just how great a King he’s going to be.

“So you know, Patrick?” Pete begins, which is not much of an opening sentence if you ask Gerard.

“I’m aware of him, yeah,” Gerard says, in a tone of voice that illustrates his annoyance of the question.

“So, like, I mean, okay, so, where to begin? You’ve known him for a while, I suppose.”

“Almost all of my life, yes.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought. Well anyway, do you know, like, do you know what his interests are then?”

“As in, do I know if he likes boys?”

Pete turns pink, the blush spreading from his cheeks to his neck. “I didn’t say that.”

“You meant it, though.”

“Well, I mean, do you know?”

“I do,” Gerard responds, matter-of-factly. Patrick is his best friend, and the two of them read each other like books. It’s hard for one to keep a secret from the other. Patrick even knew about Gerard liking Frank before Gerard did. That’s real friendship.


“He doesn’t,” Gerard replies bluntly, which isn’t necessarily lie.

Pete’s face falls, and it’s not an exaggeration. His whole expression turns from hopeful to mourning. You can see the daylight fade from his eyes, and the darkness fall into the bags below them. At once he is an empty man.

“Well,” Gerard continues, “he doesn’t like boys, generally speaking. But he does like one.”

Pete’s face, going through a rainbow of emotions, lightens up dramatically at Gerard’s words. Gerard can’t help it if he’s a bit of a drama queen. Besides, he just likes to mess with Pete.

“Does he?” Pete asks, hopefully.


“In like, in a, I don’t know, in more than just a friendship type of way?”

Gerard questions himself, wondering if he’s said too much. This isn’t his own relationship he’s meddling in, it’s Patrick’s. “I really shouldn’t be talking about him behind his back,” Gerard says, voice showing his growing agitation. He doesn’t know Pete that well and he knows Patrick better than anyone else. Even if Pete is trustworthy, Gerard shouldn’t be spilling all of his friend’s secrets so quickly, especially considering they’ve only known each other for a little while now. It’s true that trekking the Kingdom with little else to do but talk does imply getting to know a guy pretty well, but Gerard can’t be positive that Pete is a good person from what little he’s learned of him.

Pete makes a whining sound, “come on, you have to tell me!” It’s an order. Gerard feels the weight of it, stabbing him. If he had any doubts why he was here, doing all this, he doesn’t any longer. Even the smallest orders, they aren’t small enough.

“He likes you,” Gerard says, hating himself for saying it. “Romantically. Or I suppose, he thinks that’s how he feels.”

Pete bites his lip, looking excited. “Tell me exactly what he said!”

Another order. “He told me you two kissed. He said he wants to kiss you again.”

“Shit, really?”

“Would I lie?” Gerard asks.

“I hope not,” Pete says, and he gets this really excited gleam in his eyes. He’s definitely encouraged by the news. Gerard’s not exactly unhappy that Pete knows the truth, he just wishes the two of them had worked it out together. To be fair, Gerard’s own relationship would’ve gone too far without Patrick meddling in it, but Gerard’s not entirely comfortable being in the middle of things. He doesn’t want to be blamed if things turn sour.

Pete is standing still, but somehow, it seems as if he’s hopping, jumping for joy. He’s barely moving at all, but there’s a smile spread widely across his face.

Gerard doesn’t know what else to say. He stands there, wondering if there’s anything else he’s meant to say or if he should go back to the group to go find Frank. He wants to talk to Frank. He always wants to talk to Frank. He wants to see Frank’s big smile, the smile he always has whenever Gerard starts speaking to him. It fades gradually, but the smile remains there, the ghost of it on his face whenever Gerard’s around. The truth is that it’s hard on Frank’s cheeks to smile as much as he wants to when Gerard is around. He tries to make it less obvious, because he doesn’t want to creep Gerard out. But he can’t help but be happy whenever he sees that boy. Anyone would smile when they love a guy as much as Frank loves Gerard.

“Oh, I meant to ask,” Pete says, getting a look on his face like he’s just remembering something. “What’s going on between you and the Prince?”

“What? Nothing!”

“Well, the first time we met, Patrick mentioned you had a thing for the Prince.”

“Patrick doesn’t know everything about me.”

“And then there’s the fact that you kissed him last night,” Pete says. He’s got him there. Gerard doesn’t know how to get out of that one. He knew this was inevitable. He kissed the Prince in front of a whole bar of people. So far everyone Gerard knows, and at least everyone in Giantville knows that Gerard kissed Frank. At most, the entire Kingdom is going to know by the evening. That part is inevitable, it’s just a matter of how long news takes to spread throughout a Kingdom of this size. Gerard supposes that he’ll get home in a week or so, and everyone in Frell will be talking about it.

Will they know it was him? Wil Gerard get more eyes on him, shaking heads, whispered gossip to make his name live in infamy? Will Hattie and Olive even keep him alive or while they throw him out the window of his old bedroom that’s now theirs? It makes Gerard’s skin crawl, just thinking about going back there. Frell doesn’t seem like home anymore, not without Frank.

Gerard blushes. He can’t incriminate himself any further if he says nothing at all, so he chooses this route, saying absolutely nothing. Yes, Pete saw them kiss. Yes, Pete knows that Gerard has a thing for the Prince. But no, he doesn’t need to know any more than that.


“It’s really not any of your concern,” Gerard says.

“I mean, it is if you’re the future King, isn’t it? Co-King? How’s that gonna work?”

Gerard’s the one to turn pink this time. He doesn’t say anything, and he tries to prevent himself from thinking anything either.

The thought never occurred to him that what he feels for Frank might be more than just a few days. That he might actually have a relationship with this man. What would that even be like?

Gerard’s somehow suppressed the entire idea of it, but now it seems an obvious path of thought. Of course Gerard was going to spend time with Frank. What else would he do? Go back home? If Gerard ends up without his curse in a few days, why would he return home when there’s nothing there for him? Ray’s the only thing that was keeping him there. If Frank wants him, why can’t Gerard move on with his life? Maybe he could even convince Ray to leave. Gerard’s the only thing keeping Ray in Frell too, keeping him in the employment of Gerard’s family.

And if Gerard does stay with Frank, what comes next? Would Gerard get to just be with him? With him all the time? Will he get to wake up next to Frank, kiss him, hold him? Maybe he’d get to experience the life that Frank has, and maybe with the two of them together, Frank would be able to enjoy it. Maybe Gerard could even give him guidance, help him to prepare to control the Kingdom.

Would Gerard live in the castle? Maybe share Frank’s room, he’s sure that it’d be big enough for what little Gerard has, and if it’s not, the only space Gerard really needs is the space next to Frank in the bed. Maybe he could get job in the castle. Work in the kitchens, help do laundry.

But if he’s with the Prince, would things be different? What about what Pete said? What if Frank were to actually marry him? Would that not make Gerard King too?

That’s the thought that Gerard won’t allow. He doesn’t want to even consider the idea. He knows it’ll never happen. He knows it’s unrealistic and idealistic. Frank would never want him in that way, and even if he did, it probably wouldn’t ever happen. How would the kingdom react? It would be a scandal, not a celebration.

“Frank and I are friends,” Gerard says. “Nothing more.”

“Do you kiss all your friends?”

“I… it was taken out of context. It didn’t mean anything.”

“Come on, Gerard,” Pete rolls his eyes. “You like him. You like him the way I like Patrick. Only you two are moving a lot faster than Patrick and I.”

“Pete, would you please just let it go?”

“Gerard, I’m not an idiot. Well, I mean, I am a bit, but I’m not clueless. I’m not blind.”

“It’s not your business, keep out of it.”

“But you like him! You’re in love with the Prince! And what’s more, I’m pretty sure the Prince is in love with you.”

“Would you just stop,” Gerard says, raising his voice slightly in order to get the message across to Pete that he doesn’t want to talk about it. Gerard’s not entirely comfortable with how he feels about the relationship. He’s not comfortable thinking his own thoughts in private. He’s certainly not in the position to discuss it with someone else, especially not Pete.

“You like him!” Pete says emphatically.


“Just tell the truth! Admit it!”

Gerard doesn’t at first realize it’s an order, the words stumble out of his mouth anyway, angrily and without care. “Fine. I’m in love with him.” The words startle Gerard, but they’re far more surprising to Pete.

Pete’s noticed that Gerard has a tendency to be a bit of a pushover. He has an uncanny habit of doing what he’s told. Pete doesn’t know why that is, but it’s growing ever clearer the more he talks to him.

“You love him?” Pete asks. “You’ve only known him a little while?”

“I know,” Gerard says. He can’t deny it now. He wishes he hadn’t exploded, wishes he hadn’t spilled the truth. It’s like it’s his fault though. He wishes he didn’t have this stupid fucking curse so that he could have secrets. Gerard never has secrets. Well, he has one. The curse is the only secret Gerard is able to keep.

“You love him,” Pete repeats, more to himself than to Gerard. Pete doesn’t know what to do with the information. In Pete’s case, he likes a guy who in the eyes of the Kingdom, is nobody. He’s just a guy from a small town. But Gerard’s situation is dramatically different. Gerard is in love with the Prince. The most important person that there is, probably ever, and Gerard’s in love with him. And it’s plain to see that Frank’s in love with him as well.

“I don’t know if I love him. I just know that he’s the first smile I have in the morning and the last smile I have at night.” Gerard looks up at the sky. He looks at the clouds, forming shapes, blissfully ignorant of their ease of existence. Gerard would give anything to be a cloud, or to be anything else, something without thoughts or feelings. To be a cloud, a tree, a flower, never having to think about things, just being. Life would be so much simpler. No one would order him around, he wouldn’t be pushed over. He would simply be. Gerard would love that. To not have the torment of thoughts, of emotions, of his curse.

“That’s love, buddy,” Pete says.

“I figured,” Gerard sighs. “There really wasn’t a way it could ever be anything else.”

“What do you plan to do about it?”

“I don’t have a plan,” Gerard says, and it’s honesty if there ever was any. “I want to be with him. I’m realizing that more and more. I don’t know how I could ever leave him. Fuck, it’s been a day, and he’s got me feeling like this.” It’s actually been a few weeks since they met, but they’ve only really known each other for a few days in total.

“Just imagine how much worse it’ll be by tomorrow,” Pete says. Gerard nods. If this is a day, there’s no way he’ll be able to stand two. Or three. When the days start to double, how far will Gerard be able to take it? How long until Gerard’s form withers away due to the passion he feels within himself for Frank?

Gerard spots Frank’s form through the trees. Short, and awkward, not the typical profile of a future king. He’s tiny compared to most of his Knights. If you didn’t know who he was, you could easily look over him, count him out. He doesn’t look like a leader. He doesn’t look like a fighter. He doesn’t look like a King.

The question isn’t how long Gerard will be able to last with Frank. It’s how long Gerard would last without him.

“Are you going to tell him?” Pete asks.

Gerard considers it for a moment. He’s had a million times to say he loves Frank but none of them has ever felt right. He doesn’t know what the right moment feels like, but he’s sure it’ll be obvious once it comes along. He doesn’t want to mislead Frank though, and that’s the main reason for why he continues to push it off. Gerard doesn’t know for a fact that he’s going to be with Frank when all of this is over. He thinks he wants to, but he’s only known Frank for a little while, and he’s afraid he’ll base all of his decisions off of a rash one. Gerard just wants to be fair to Frank. He wants Frank to have a sense of security when Gerard tells him. Because if Gerard tells Frank he loves him, that’s a commitment. It’s not something he says to him willy nilly, even if it’s true. He has to be ready for what love means, and he’s not sure he’s ready for that.

Gerard looks at Frank again through the trees. He’s so goddamn perfect. Gerard loves him so fucking much. He wonders how Frank could be unaware of that. It must flood off of him. Patrick and Mikey surely see it, and Ray probably would too if he were here.

No, Gerard won’t tell him yet. Sooner or later Frank will likely realize it for himself. It’s not like Gerard won’t tell him, he just needs to wait. At least until after the curse is gone. If he’s still got the curse than he can’t ever truly be with Frank. Once the curse is gone, then he’ll tell. Once the curse is gone, then he can let himself dive completely into Frank. Once the curse is gone.
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Almost called this chapter "What Is Love (baby don't hurt me)" and I guess my fatal flaw is that I don't have the courage to do so.