Status: In Progress

The Majesty of Choice


Gerard is woken up by the sound of two very loud, very shrill, screaming girls. His first instinct is that the house is on fire which is really unfortunate because they have no money and would therefore be homeless, but then he realizes that Olive just borrowed Hattie’s makeup, so it’s morning as usual.

Gerard’s body says it’s too early to wake up, but he knows it’s probably later than he wants it to be, and that sucks. He wants to go back to bed and sleep for another several hours but he’s got shit to try to get out of. Also, he’s tried sleeping through his responsibilities before and he ended up sleepwalking while practicing the flute that he was neglecting to practice, which is as odd a thing for one to be woken up by as anything else.

He often finds his body doing things his brain tells him he doesn’t want to do. When someone orders him, it’s kind of like he’s a puppet. He has full control of his mind and voice, but he doesn’t always have control of his body. If he resists something, it makes him feel like he’s about to puke his guts out. He gets sweaty, his stomach wrings, and his vision gets blurry. Gerard has no choice in being told what to do, and if he tries to disobey, he gets sick. His life is awfully shitty. He doesn’t know how anyone could look upon it and see it as a gift.

Gerard nevertheless pulls himself out of bed, and looks around his room that’s not his room somberly. He doesn’t want to be in here any longer than he has to, so he dresses quickly. He unconsciously makes the decision to dress nicely. He doesn’t know if he’s going to escape Patrick this afternoon, but on the off chance that he does see Frank and Frank sees him back, he would very much like not to be dressed like a farm boy. It’s not that he cares what Frank thinks, or at least he tries telling himself that, he just wants to appear better than a poor little boy in rags.

Gerard stumbles out of his room, he makes his way downstairs where he sees that the girls are now arguing with Buggy, and she is, as always, taking Hattie’s side. Honestly, if she weren’t such a pretentious asshole, Gerard would feel bad for Olive sometimes. The way her mom and her sister treat her is gross, but the fact that she reflects that disgusting behavior back on everyone else means that she lost the right to have Gerard’s pity before he even considered giving it away.

Ray hands Gerard an apple as he stands in the door frame chewing on a piece of bread, watching the two of them like they’re the most interesting play he’s ever seen. He’s mesmerized by the red blotchy colors of their faces as they all scream at each other. Gerard shrugs, and decides not to question it as he takes a bite of the apple, startled by how entranced in their own argument they are to not see Ray and him watching the scene unfold. The crisp sound as he bites into the apple is almost inaudible over their shrieking. Gerard wants to get away from them.

He catches quite a few words on the topic of how Hattie needs to look gorgeous for her future husband. Gerard rolls his eyes. She has no idea. The Prince is too good for her. Gerard can’t believe he’s saying that about the guy, because he hates him, or at least he wants to, but it’s true. The Prince is far too good for Hattie. He’s too good for a lot of the girls Gerard knows.

Gerard doesn’t know what the girls in other towns are like, but prospects are not bright on his own future, or the Princes. He’s probably going to end up with some whiney girl like his sister, because in his eyes, no girl, or really any person at all, could ever live up to the image his mother set for him. She was as perfect as perfect can get. Maybe Michael would’ve been just like her.

Gerard depresses himself with this, and decides he’d better head off. It’s not a short walk and he needs to think through what it is he plans to say to Patrick to try to get him to say they don’t have to go. Anything he can do to get Patrick to retract his order, that’s all he needs.

“See you later,” Gerard says, and Ray barely acknowledges him before turning his attention back to the drama unfolding.

Gerard makes his way out of the house, glad to be out of it. The day is starting to look kind of dreary, no sun to be seen with grey clouds coming in, on an almost white sky. Maybe the event will be rained out. Then Gerard won’t have to make excuses. Gerard looks at the road as he starts walking, remembering being here with the Prince yesterday. It seems so surreal now that he’s not there. It’s just a shadow, not even real to Gerard’s mind.

He walks quicker than he had yesterday, he has more determination to get to where he wants to go. The sky isn’t getting any brighter as he walks the few miles to town. The ground isn’t soft so it can’t have rained last night while Gerard was asleep, but it looks like it might rain soon and that’s really going to mess with his shoes. He tries not to think about that.

The walk is mindless to him, because everything seems different knowing that the Prince, the person who has more power over almost anyone in this entire kingdom, has walked along this same path. The Prince knows where Gerard lives. The Prince could easily have Gerard executed for the shit he said yesterday. Had it been Edgar, Gerard wouldn’t have gotten to see the sunset. Right now he’s getting a sunrise that he probably wouldn’t be given under some other royalty. That says something about Frank, Gerard’s just not sure what.

Gerard also can’t believe that his internal voice has started calling the actual fucking Prince, who actually is royalty, Frank. The name seems weird to him. It’s the Prince. He’s not Frank. That’s far too familiar a thing to say to someone who literally will rule the kingdom someday. What’s more is that Gerard got the actual fucking Prince to call him Your Highness. Multiple times.

It was a crazy day. He hopes it doesn’t get any crazier.

He’s delusional.

Gerard enters town after it’s awoken, so most people are already out and about. He has to dodge more people than usual, because he usually comes here in the morning and leaves in the evening. Being here during the throng of rowdiness isn’t completely new, but he doesn’t like it, and avoids it for this specific reason.

The fountain in the middle of town where he’s meeting Patrick is boring at best. It’s too small, it’s too old, and it’s too fallen apart to be anything but an eyesore. Gerard thinks they should get rid of the whole thing.

When he gets there, Patrick is already sitting, looking down at it and Gerard just knows he’s thinking about scooping up some of the coins in there. See, it’s not even a wishing fountain, but people throw their money away and wish for shit anyway. If Patrick weren’t so honest, he could probably move his family into a mansion. Anybody could really, but the lady who lives across from the fountain is a witch of a woman who would not think twice about disemboweling any would-be thieves.

“Hey Gerard,” Patrick says, standing up quickly, looking relieved at his arrival. People are talking about him, they don’t make it hard to figure out. It’s about as conspicuous as can be. It’s Gerard’s fault, and he knows that, but Patrick’s all he has. Patrick is his only friend who isn’t Ray, and therefor obligated to be there for him. Patrick has a huge choice in it, and Gerard’s too selfish to push him away, even for his own good.

“You’re not going to believe the shit I have to tell you,” Gerard says.

“Is it good?” Patrick asks.

“It’s really good,” Gerard replies.

“Oh, well in that case, let’s go somewhere that isn’t surrounded by thirty people trying to hear everything we say,” Patrick says, and Gerard agrees. “How big is this stuff you have to tell me?”

“Picture the moon,” Gerard says, “and like, it’s a little smaller than that, because the moon is really fucking important and I don’t want to disrespect it.”

“I can’t wait much longer, lay it on me Gerard.”

“Okay so you know Frank?” Gerard asks.

“The Prince? Yes, I am aware of him.”

“I met him.”

“Met who?”


“The Prince?” Patrick asks.

“Yes, that’s who I met.”

“You met the Prince?” Patrick asks, looking extremely suspicious.

“I’m not lying!” Gerard says, sensing that Patrick doesn’t believe him. To be fair, Gerard wouldn’t believe himself either.

“Okay, sure, Gerard,” Patrick says.

“I’m not kidding. He’s like, I mean, I don’t know what to tell you. He’s nice... he’s still a jerk, but he’s a nice jerk.”

“Does he also ride a unicorn?” Patrick asks and Gerard, because he’s a good friend, hits him in the arm.

“Patrick, I’m telling you the truth,” Gerard says. “He gave me this rock.”

“The Prince gave you a rock?” Patrick asks, eyebrows raised as Gerard hands him the rock. He doesn’t even remember putting it in his pocket. He doesn’t know why he would’ve done that. “So the Prince, master of all the riches in this entire kingdom, who probably sleeps on a bed of diamonds and gold, gave you a rock.”

“Yeah, he gave me a rock,” Gerard says.

“Okay, so like, I want to believe you, because you look all serious, but you know I can’t, right?” Patrick says.

“I’m not lying! This is true, I promise. I met him. He, well, okay so I was walking home, and I ran into him and he needed some help, so I helped him out. And then he walked me home. I gave him my book, and told him he should read it because it exposes all the shit that Edgar’s done, and he was super defensive about it, but he still didn’t seem to be that.... well he could’ve done much worse. He kept saying that he could have me executed and I mean, I said way too much, I shouldn’t have said the shit I said to him, but I did day it. But the point is, yeah, I met the Prince and I think he’s not actually that bad, but he could have been better too. All in all, I think he’ll be a much better King than Edgar.”

“Prove it,” Patrick says.

“Prove what?”

“Prove you met Frank,” he replies.

“How am I supposed to do that?”

“I don’t know, but I literally can’t believe you,” Patrick says. “I mean, it’s kind of hard to believe, isn’t it? The Prince?”

“Patrick, I promise. I wouldn’t lie to you!” Gerard says, “Honestly!”

Patrick stares at Gerard for a few seconds before sighing, “Alright, for the time being, let’s pretend that you did meet the Prince. What was he like?”

“I told you!” Gerard says, “He wasn’t that bad. He was, well he was royalty, but he didn’t seem as arrogant as you’d expect from someone like him. He seemed... I don’t know, I mean if I didn’t hate him so much I’d think he was nice. He was kind, almost.”

“Oh my god your sisters are starting to get to you,” Patrick sighs.

“Why does everyone keep saying that? Ray and now you. I’m not a fanatic girl like she is, I have a conscious and some sense!”

“Are you sure?” Patrick asks. “How good looking is he?”

“Oh there you go again. Did you and Ray share a playbook or something? Are you reading off the same script?”

“Gerard, literally every girl we know is in love with him. It’s a valid question.”

“I’m not a girl!” Gerard says.

“You’re also not a flamingo. Do you need to state any more completely irrelevant facts?”

“How is this irrelevant?” Gerard asks, “It seems like a huge deal!”

“Gerard, how stuck in your own head are you? Thinking someone’s attractive doesn’t depend on what gender they are or aren’t.”

“Wait what?” Gerard asks, “No, I don’t wanna talk about this.”


“Patrick, I really do not want to talk about this!”

“You’re working your brain into a twist. You’re thinking about things too plainly, Gerard. Humans aren’t as boring as you have convinced yourself that they are.”

“Don’t wanna talk about it,” Gerard groans.

“Whatever,” Patrick shakes his head, “the point is, you think he’s cute.”

“I don’t!”

“We don’t have to talk about it, but that’s what it seems like. I barely believe you met him, but I sure as hell will believe that you did if you admit to thinking he was attractive,” Patrick says.

“I didn’t meet him then.”

Patrick rolls his eyes, not sure how on earth Gerard’s managed to stay this delusional.

“If that’s what you want to pretend is the case, then fine. You didn’t meet him. You don’t think he’s cute. He didn’t give you a weird shaped rock.”

“I like this rock, okay?” Gerard says.

“It’s a cool rock. I mean, it would be cooler if the Prince gave it to you, but since he didn’t it’s only kind of cool.”

“You’re a bitch,” Gerard replies, “Do we have to go to the event though? I don’t want to see him again.”


“Because I’m afraid that’ll make me hate him less, and I have a certain angsty reputation to uphold, so getting all sympathetic for regality then I’m going to lose my whole dark loner thing, and then what do I have? Image is all I’ve got, dude.”

“I’ll bet you the Prince has to tell himself the same thing, and maybe giving him a chance, since you literally just said that you already think he’s not as bad as you gave him credit for, would be a good idea for the both of you.”

“It’s not like I’m ever going to talk to him again. I’m especially never going to see him again,” Gerard says.

“Yes you are,” Patrick says.

“Please don’t tell me what to do,” Gerard pleads.

“Alright,” Patrick says, “I won’t tell you what to do. But I’ll be really sad if you don’t come with me.”

“You’re going to guilt me with that damn puppy dog face, aren’t you?”

Patrick sticks his lip out, and Gerard isn’t really affected, but he hates being a bitch to Patrick. The guy is too nice for people to walk all over him, and Gerard is also too good a person to say no.

“Damn it,” Gerard groans, and Patrick smiles back at him victoriously. “I’m slouching the whole time. If the Prince were to see me, he’d know I was lying when I told him I was busy.”

“Why did you tell him you were busy?”

“Because I was... I didn’t know what to say to him. I wasn’t going to tell him that we should hang out again, I mean, I don’t want to see him, I’m terrified of the guy, he can execute me.”

“Sure, but you said he was nice.”

“On the outside, but I don’t have a clue as to what he’s made of.”

“Which is your way of saying that you think he’s pretty but you’re not sure if his head and mind live up to that.”

“I don’t think he was cute! Why do you insist on making this about me thinking he’s... ugh, I just don’t want to think about that.”

“Yeah, get back to me on how you think he looks when you’ve shown the least bit of interest in a girl,” Patrick replies.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I’m not here to help you figure yourself out, that’s your job,” Patrick says, “I’m just the voice of reason.”

“I don’t know why I keep you around.”

“You’d be bored without me,” Patrick says.

“Whatever. Should we start heading to the thing? Don’t wanna miss out on the chance to see Hattie and Olive weeping over their beloved Prince.”

“Don’t wanna miss out on you weeping over your beloved Prince either,” Patrick says to himself, under his breath.
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Given the consensus on last chapter, I've decided that I'm going to continue to update this fic, just maybe not very frequently.