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A Lesser Disaster

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Frank can't see the tattoos on his hands through all the blood.

It's weird that he cares, considering he's waiting outside his best friend's hospital room, but his brain won't work. He can only think about his hands, or the memory of Gerard lying in a pool of blood on the front step of his house, pale and still.

His dirty hands. This he can deal with, if he can just fucking move.

Mikey comes out of Gerard's room. He holds out a handful of paper towels, and Frank wonders if Mikey read his mind.

"He's awake," Mikey said.

Frank nods and wipes the blood away. The lines reappear.

-

Gerard's up and around in a couple days, and the hospital kicks him out. It's too soon; how could someone on fucking death's door two days ago go home? But he does.

Frank's been at the hospital constantly, and he follows the group home and sits on Gerard's couch. Gerard's asleep in bed, and Gerard's parents are talking quietly and smoking. Mikey slips in and out of Gerard's room, and Ray sits next to Frank for a while, but he goes home. Frank should leave, but any time he thinks about it, he sees Mikey staring hollow-eyed at the floor. He wouldn't really notice if Frank was gone, but fuck, he can't leave Mikey to deal with this alone.

When Gerard's parents leave, Mikey curls up on the love seat, and Frank picks up a controller and puts Mass Effect in the Xbox.

-

Frank rubs his cheek. His stubble's fucking ridiculous. Even Mikey ran home to check in with Alicia and, you know, shower, but sitting in Gerard's house for days must've made Frank absorb some of his essence. His hair's greasy and he probably looks like a mountain man, but he can't care.

"You look like crap."

He sits up so fast the controller crashes onto the floor and the battery pack falls out.

Gerard's leaning on the back of the love seat with the arm from his good shoulder. He's pale with rings under his eyes, but he's smiling. Of course, that's hard to see when his shirt's bagging forward and his stitches are visible.

"Uh," Frank says.

Gerard's coming around the couch, a little stiff, but walking without help. He looks worried. "Fuck, when was the last time you slept?"

He puts a hand on Frank's knee and eases onto the couch next to him.

"I sleep," Frank says finally. "Just not as much as you."

He's seeing Gerard now, not his fucked-up shoulder. The roots of his hair are ridiculous, but it's so normal Frank barely notices. What's weirder is the weight he's lost. His clothes hang off, and Frank can see hipbone.

"I think I broke my sleep." Gerard smiles crookedly. God, how does he look so good? "Use my bed. I'll play your Shepard for a while."

Frank snorts. "No fucking way. You'll just make him a Paragon, and I've worked my ass off on my Renegade points."

"Please, I'm the baddest motherfucker in the galaxy."

Gerard picks up the controller from the floor and winces, but he eases back and starts playing.

Frank watches until he passes out on the couch.

-

"It's hot."

Frank keeps his eyes on the TV. "No shit. It's August."

"I'm opening a window."

"Dude, shut up." He opened every window in the house the last time Gerard complained, which felt like five minutes ago, but was probably more like an hour or two.

"What about a fan?"

"I don't know, what about it?"

Gerard tosses a pillow at Frank's head. "Come on, I'm sick."

"You're the worst sick person ever."

"Fuck you, I don't have practice like some people."

It wasn't fair. They bummed around Gerard's house like they did during tour breaks, and Gerard was unwashed and painting and just like he always was. If Frank didn't keep seeing the scars on Gerard's shoulders - and damn, they'd healed fast - he would've forgotten Gerard'd been in the hospital a few weeks ago. Frank could get a cold and be laid up for weeks, but Gerard nearly dies, and the fucker's bouncing around like he's got all the energy in the world.

"Just drink your fucking tea. It's cold by now."

Gerard scowls as Frank pauses his game. He has a blue paint smear on his cheek. "Only if I get coffee after."

"Coffee's hot."

"I don't care."

Frank rolls his eyes.

Gerard takes the hint and downs the tea. He's still grimacing when he hands the mug back over.

"You're so Ray's problem tomorrow," Frank grumbles. He stands up and walks to the kitchen.

"Yeah, sure."

Frank sticks the mug in the sink and pokes around the cabinets for coffee filters. He doesn't feel bad about leaving to visit his mom. That's stupid. Gerard's obviously fine, and Frank's stomach churning is just his stomach churning. Maybe he's just pissed he's missing Ray. Ray's always got it together, and Frank could use a little of that right now.

He hears the kitchen door behind him as he finishes setting up the coffee maker and begins the search for the actual coffee. "Good thing Mikey's shopping right now," he says, "or we'd fucking starve."

When he finds the beans, he smells something. Judging by the smell of acrylics and cigarettes, it's Gerard. Funny, he isn't half as rank as normal.

"I hope you don't want sugar or anything," Frank says, taking the lid off the can.

Gerard's fingers graze his shoulder. Frank bats at them, but Gerard doesn't back off like he normally does. He slips his arm around Frank's front until he's rubbing his hand on his chest, and then he's pressing into Frank's back, and his nose is digging into his hair.

"Gerard?"

"Frank." There's no way Gerard's moaning his name. And there's no way Frank's shivering and closing his eyes. He needs to say something, he needs to...

...is that teeth? On his ear?

"Uh." He has to do better than that. "What are you doing?"

Suddenly, Gerard's gone. Frank turns around, and he isn't sure what he expects to see, but it isn't Gerard hugging himself, staring at Frank with eyes so big that he thinks of the stack of anime by Gerard's TV.

"I..." Gerard looks at the ground.

Now Frank feels like he kicked one of his dogs. It's a fucking terrible feeling.

"It's okay," Frank says. He takes a step forward, but Gerard turns and bolts, nearly stumbling on his way out. "Dude, don't--"

But what sounds like Gerard's bedroom door slams a few minutes later, so he won't hear Frank at all.

Frank leans back against the cabinet. He still has the lid to the coffee can in his hands.

"Shit," he says.

-

Mikey comes back with bags of groceries. Gerard's still in his room.

"Does Gerard seem different to you?" Frank asks as Mikey fills the cabinets.

Mikey shoots him an are-you-fucking-kidding-me look. Which isn't too different than his hi-how-are-you look, or his I-don't-give-a-rat's-ass look. But Frank gets the idea.

"Okay, that was stupid. But he's..."

"What?"

Frank doesn't know what to say. Your brother groped me a half-hour ago? And I really liked it, but he didn't seem to know what the fuck he was doing? Yeah. No.

"I think he's sick of me," Frank finally says. "I'm gonna go home."

Mikey's still staring at Frank, but this time...okay, Frank can't actually read his face this time, but he thinks it's probably on purpose.

Frank eventually gives up and starts walking for the door. "You'll call me if something happens, right?"

"Seriously?"

"Right, yeah. See you around."

He steps outside and looks back at the house automatically. It looks like the curtains in Gerard's room are parted, and he raises a hand. The curtains drop right away.

-

"You really want me to get him?" Frank isn't sure why he's asking. He's already almost at Gerard's. "For a party?"

Mikey laughs. "He doesn't want to go. But you'll make him."

"And why's that?"

"Because we can't go on tour if he won't leave the house."

Frank turns the car, and Gerard's house comes into view. He parks out front and notices the curtains in Gerard's room move again.

"You think he wants to see me?"

"Dude, he told me he wasn't mad at you."

"But..." Frank thought before that he could tell Mikey anything. But now that he thinks he kinda wants to hump Mikey's brother, he's finding that isn't true. "He'll bail early if we make him go."

"And that's new how?"

Mikey's a fucking pain when he's right. "Fine. I'm here."

"See you soon."

Frank gets out of the car, and the late-afternoon sunlight hits like a ton of bricks. His shirt's sticking to him in seconds. Fuck, he's so over summer.

He jogs up the front walk and lets himself in the house.

The place is trashed.

Gerard isn't the neatest guy normally, and considering Frank and Mikey have been spending lots of time in the place without picking up, it's been worse than usual. But Frank thinks he would've remembered the couch turned over, and torn papers all over floor, and pillow filling floating through the air.

"Gee?" Frank asks. His heart's pounding so hard it hurts.

"Yeah?"

He's leaning out of the kitchen, covered in red. Frank's heart stops until he sees a brush in Gerard's hand. Paint.

Okay, Frank knows Gerard's not dying, but the guy's like his house: a bigger fucking mess than usual. His clothes are rumpled and dirty, his hair's sticking up, his pupils are blown, and he's looking at Frank up and down like he wants to eat him alive. He even licks his lips.

Frank takes a deep breath. Fuck.

"What's up?" Gerard says. He's tilting his head like Frank's the weird one.

Frank has to swallow before he can talk. "Um. Party."

Gerard groans. "Do I have to?"

"What the fuck?" Frank gestures at the mess around him.

"Yeah, I forgot someone was coming by." Like he trashed his place normally, but he always tidied up afterward. "I couldn't find my paintbrush."

Gerard's pants are sliding off. Not much, but he hasn't gained all the weight back yet, and Frank can see that little bit of hip again. Except this time, he's thinking about licking it, and that's not...he shouldn't. Right?

"Anyone home?"

Frank blinks hard. "Sorry. What?"

"I said, I'll take a shower, and we can go."

"What..." He can do this. Really. "What changed your mind?"

Gerard's scratching at his hair and walking for his room. "Dunno. Guess it'll be nice to hang out, you know?"

He's taking off his shirt as he steps in the bedroom. He doesn't even bother closing the door, and Frank wants to go after him, do something, anything.

It's only when he hears the water start that he realizes he's been staring at the door for five minutes straight, clenching his fists.

Frank is so fucked.

-

The party's at some industry guy's place. It's big and lit up, even though the sun's not fully down yet. Frank's parking outside the house while Gerard's tapping his fingers on his knee.

"A park!"

Frank looks where Gerard points. If this is a park, then the Atlantic's a lake or a pond. There's thick trees, and Frank can't see any light from the other side.

"Let's go!" Gerard says.

They're both out of the car and halfway across the street when Frank thinks about it. He's going in a place that'll be dark soon and will probably be free of anyone gawking. If Gerard doesn't want Frank to jump his bones, this is the wrong fucking tactic.

"Wait. The party?"

"Whatever. We'll be fashionably late."

Gerard's trying to kill him. It's the only explanation.

They cross into the trees, and Frank finds out he's right about the gawking. The trees swallow the noise from the party, and it's almost like they aren't in Jersey at all. Of course, there's a smoggy haze in the dark blue sky, so it's hard to forget entirely.

Except Frank's head blanks out entirely when Gerard grabs his hand.

"Look," Gerard says. "I was a jackass. Sorry."

"About..."

"The other day. When I...the kitchen?"

Frank waves his free hand. "Forget it."

"No," Gerard says. "I don't...I mean. God."

He takes his hand back and grabs the hem of his shirt. Frank speaks pretty fluent Gerard, but he's getting nothing here.

And then Gerard leans in and kisses him.

It's not the first time they've kissed; they've done it on stage, wild and sloppy. It's not like those kisses meant nothing, because fuck if Frank hadn't jerked off thinking about them. But they're nothing compared to this, the hesitant touch followed by pressure and sweetness and--

Gerard draws back, breathing hard.

"Whoa," Frank says.

"Yeah," Gerard says, smiling a little, and then he winces.

Frank frowns. "I didn't think I was that shitty a kisser."

"No! No." Gerard grabs at his scarred shoulder, rubbing a little. "It's just my--"

His sentence cuts off with a groan, and he drops to his knees.

Frank's heart's in his fucking throat. "What's wrong?"

"I don't know, I don't..."

Frank gets on his knees and rests his hands on Gerard's, so gently it's almost like he's not touching him, but Gerard cries out and falls backward. He's hunched in on himself.

He has to...shit, Frank doesn't know what to do. Call someone. Mikey.

While he pulls out his cell phone and pushes buttons, he says, "It's okay, it's fine, I'll just..."

Gerard moans, but it's loud now. Almost a growl? That can't be right.

But as Frank's phone tells him he's getting no reception, Gerard's body is moving in ways it shouldn't. His legs snap in weird directions, and his hands curl and growing longer and...

He looks up at Frank, and his eyes shine golden in the darkness. And yet, he's never seen Gerard look so terrified in his life.

"Run," Gerard says, his voice deep and twisted. He screams, loud and long, and it gets deeper the longer he does it.

Frank runs.

He's running randomly for a second, just trying to get away from Gerard - god, he shouldn't leave him, what the fuck - but then he realizes he should get Mikey or Ray or somebody. Or he should warn them. But he's not entirely sure what direction the house is in. He looks up, trying to get his bearings.

The moon's rising over the trees.

The full moon.

Shit.

He keeps going the opposite direction from Gerard.

Frank finds the street just as the cries cut off. It's not because he's standing in the road. He could hear them perfectly one second, and the next, nothing.

What the fuck is he doing? Gerard could hurt somebody, he could get hurt again or worse, and that'd be on Frank because he was too chicken shit to stay. He's still holding his cell phone, so he texts Mikey with a quick stay inside not safe and runs back in the park.

Frank's cell phone lights up in his hand after a few seconds of running. He'd remembered to turn off the sound and vibrate, but he'd forgotten about the light. He hits buttons, trying to get it to stop. Unfortunately, he hits the on button, and Mikey's voice comes out.

"You there? Frank? What's going on?"

The screen goes dark, but Mikey's voice bounces off the trees, and now Frank can't find the off button. He can't--

Something hits him, and the phone goes flying from his hand.

It's the last thing he remembers.

-

He wakes up to the sound of a heart monitor and the feel of oxygen blowing into his nose.

"Fuck," he groans. The hospital. He fucking hates the hospital.

"Jesus, Frank."

He pushes his eyes open. Mikey's hovering over him, gripping at the rail of his bed. His hands are covered in blood.

"So," Frank says, his voice rough. "I think Gerard's a werewolf."

"Yeah," Mikey says. He looks sick.

-

It takes Frank a week to get moved home. Fucking figures.

Mikey stays with him in the hospital. When Frank asks about Gerard, Mikey shows him a poker face and does this weird little shrug that could be anything. But he does give up the goods on what happened.

"I could hear...I don't know what the fuck on the phone," Mikey says. "So I went outside, and I could hear the same thing in that weird little park in front of the house. Ray and I went in, and then we saw..."

He stops. Frank doesn't need that part. The chunk out of his side's pretty easy to understand.

"I couldn't see it very well. But it was big. I yelled and threw a rock, and it looked up, then ran away."

When Frank hears the story, he's too tired to do anything but nod and fall back asleep. And that's most of the week for him. But by the time he's on his last day and he's waiting for the doctor's last test, he's about ready to jump out of his skin. Moving hurts, but he can't seem to stop bouncing his hands.

Mikey raises an eyebrow. "Chill. You'll pull your stitches."

"You think they can find werewolf shit?"

"Lycanthropy," Mikey says seriously.

"Loser." But Frank smiles. "Well, do you?"

"I don't think so. Not if they haven't found anything by now."

"Because they can't find it, or because I'm not?"

Mikey shrugs, and it reminds him of Gerard.

Frank doesn't know what it is. He was just nearly torn apart, and he could be a...but he doesn't really care. Not as much as he probably should. No, he wants to know where the fuck Gerard is, and why he hasn't fucking visited him. It's the only reason he wants out.

"Frank?"

"Sorry," Frank says. "What?"

"Alicia's outside. I think some of her earrings are silver."

Frank grins. "You've been dating her how long, and you still blush when you say her name?"

"Shut the fuck up," Mikey says. "So?"

"What?"

"You want a werewolf test?"

Frank shrugs like Mikey did a few minutes ago, and Mikey ducks out of the room. He comes back with a couple silver hoops cupped in his palm.

"So what?" Frank asks. He feels stupid. "You'll poke me with them?"

"Basically."

He finds a part of Frank's hand that's tattoo-free and rests the edge of a hoop against his skin. It fucking burns. Frank yowls and pulls his hand away, and it's only after he's done waving it that he sees the angry red line.

"Fuck," Frank says.

Mikey's eyes are huge. "Fuck," he agrees.

-

"Why are we doing this?" he asks Ray and Mikey as they lower him onto his bed. There's a stack of pillows for him to balance against; the stitches in Frank's stomach and back means he has to sleep on his side for a couple days. "Shouldn't we be...I dunno, buying silver bullets?"

"No one's shooting anyone," Ray says. "We're moving your legs."

"I can move my own fucking--" He hisses as Ray and Mikey lift his legs onto the bed.

"Brian's making calls," Mikey adds. "He knows people."

Of course he does. "And he couldn't have said this when Gerard was in the hospital?"

"We didn't know it was werewolves then," Ray says reasonably, draping a blanket over Frank.

"But...the tour," Frank says. "Next leg's in what, three days?"

"Don't worry about it," Ray says.

Frank raises an eyebrow. "Really?"

"It's been postponed," Mikey says, and Ray frowns at him.

"Post--shit, don't do that. If you've got it figured out, get someone to fill in, I'll be fine."

Mikey doesn't answer him; he answers Ray's face. "I'm gonna tell him."

"And freak him out?"

"You're already freaking me out," Frank says.

"We can't find Gerard," Mikey says.

Frank jerks, and his entire body shoots with pain. He groans. "And why aren't you out fucking looking for him?"

"Because he texted me."

"When?"

"That first day," Ray says. "And a few days after. He wanted to make sure you were okay."

"What number was it?"

"His. Why?"

Frank's phone was in pieces in the park. Frank liked that cell phone. He sighs and waves his arm. "Give me your phone."

"What?" Mikey asks.

Frank grumbles. "Give me your phone, a phone...I don't fucking care."

Ray pulls out his phone and puts it in Frank's hand, and Frank dials Gerard's number. It goes to voice mail.

"Listen, motherfucker," he says after the beep. "You'd better not be doing something stupid because you're guilty or whatever. Get your ass back here or I'll hunt you down, stitches or no stitches."

He hangs up the phone and hands it back to Ray, scowling.

"You think that'll work?" Ray asks.

Frank nods. It totally will.

-

It takes about a week, but it totally does.

In that time, Frank starts sleeping on his back again, and it feels fucking amazing. Just like Gerard, the wounds scar and start to fade faster than they should, even if he's still more sore than he thinks Gerard was. Fucking creature of the night, and he's still fragile as glass.

More importantly, Brian visits with a box of unmarked pills after the first day.

"Wolfsbane," he says, grinning. "One a day, and you'll be neutered when the full moon happens."

"Not literally, I fucking hope."

"Nah. You'll be just like a puppy. A puppy with big teeth." When he sees the look on Frank's face, he laughs. "But you won't bite."

"How do you know this shit works?"

"My supplier in Chicago uses them."

Frank's eyes practically bug out of his head. "Who? Not--"

"Bob?" Brian shakes his head. "But does it matter?"

Frank thinks about Bob, who wanted to fly out when Gerard first got attacked. But they'd told him not to, and now Frank misses him. Had anyone even called him about his own attack? Fuck.

He pops a pill and talks with Brian for a while longer about nothing. It's nice.

So he's feeling...well, not human. He can see in the dark. There's something extra bouncy about the way he moves, which explains why Gerard was prancing all over the fucking place after he started feeling better. And his sense of smell's a lot better, almost too good. He can smell whenever Mikey and Ray show up, before they even go in the house, and all the animals that pass by his yard, and the garbage in the garage and the kitchen.

Which is why he wakes up when he smells Gerard in the middle of the night.

Without even opening his eyes, he groans, "You can't ring the doorbell?"

"Your door was unlocked."

Frank waits for the usual follow-up - something about getting robbed, usually - but it doesn't come.

He breathes in and smells Gerard. The paint and cigarettes and unwashed scent's there, but there's something else, something...he doesn't know, wolfy? He wonders if he smells the same to Gerard.

When he opens his eyes, it's like he's seeing with a light on, or in the middle of the day. Gerard's lurking in the corner like a creeper, but Frank can see every detail of his face: the puffy lids, the rings under his eyes, the chapped lips. He looks destroyed.

Frank yawns and gets out of bed. Gerard shrinks away.

"I won't bite," Frank says. So what if it's obvious.

Gerard's staring at Frank's shirtless stomach, and Frank's skin heats up before he realizes it has nothing to do with the kiss. Of course. He hadn't seen the wound.

He walks over and takes Gerard's hand.

"You can touch, if you want," Frank says quietly. "It doesn't hurt that much anymore."

Gerard makes a quiet noise, but he doesn't pull back when Frank rests his palm against the lines in his side. Frank wants to touch him back, but he isn't sure he should.

"I'm so sorry, Frankie," Gerard finally says.

"Why?"

A laugh escapes Gerard's mouth, and he looks surprised even as he looks miserable.

Frank puts his hand in Gerard's hair. "You didn't do anything."

"I did, I--"

"No." Frank pulls Gerard's head forward a little and rests their foreheads together. "You didn't know. And I was a dumbass."

Gerard shakes his head. "I ran away. After."

Okay, he did. And Frank'd be lying to himself if he didn't admit it pissed him off, leaving Mikey hanging and Frank sick to his stomach. But then again, if Frank'd been the werewolf first, and he'd attacked Gerard...

"You're here. And you're staying?"

"Yeah."

"So I don't care."

Gerard yawns. He looks a little better now, so Frank pulls back.

"I don't know about you," Frank says, "but I'm fucking tired."

"Right. I'll just--"

"Get into bed, asshole."

Gerard frowns. "But your stitches."

"Trust me, they hurt a lot fucking worse a week ago."

It doesn't make Gerard look any happier, but he lets Frank lead him to the bed. Frank kicks away the stack of pillows and lies on his back - which still feels amazing - and Gerard stretches out next to him.

Frank rests his hand on Gerard's stomach, circling it a little. He'd be lying if he didn't want to move it down, but instead, he slips it under Gerard's shirt and goes up. "Can I?"

Gerard nods without asking what Frank means.

His scars are still there, but they look and feel like they've been there for years. Frank's not there yet, but it's kind of cool to know he probably will be soon.

Gerard's breathing goes deep, and Frank traces the lines with his fingertips until he falls asleep again.

-

Sunlight on Frank's face wakes him up. He groans and tries to throw his arm over his face, but someone's lying on it.

Gerard. Right. Who's staring at him for no particular reason.

"I went to Chicago," he says quietly.

"Chicago?" Frank's not awake enough for this. "Did Brian talk to you?"

"What? No. I just thought I'd see Bob, or something."

Frank snorts. "Apparently, Brian knows a supplier or some shit in Chicago. He's been hooking me up with anti-werewolf pills."

Gerard digs in the pockets of his jeans and pulls out a capsule. "Like this?"

Frank stares for a minute. "Is this a secret club? Am I getting a card in mail?"

Gerard laughs quietly. "No. I just ran into Patrick Stump. Or he smelled me. I don't know which."

"Patrick--" Frank sits up. "You're kidding."

"No way. He talked me down. I...wasn't in good shape."

He looks down, and hair falls in his face. Frank gets the urge to brush it away, and even though moving that side of his body still hurts a little, he does it.

"I'm okay," he says. "Really."

Gerard looks up. "Frankie, I--"

Frank leans forward and kisses Gerard.

Gerard doesn't kiss back at first. Frank starts to pull back, but Gerard puts a gentle hand on the back of Frank's head and presses his mouth carefully against Frank, almost like he's afraid he'll spook or break. Frank doesn't have the same reservations, and he's not afraid to play dirty. He nibbles Gerard's lip, then slips the tip of his tongue in Gerard's mouth and trails the edges of his lips.

The moan out of Gerard's mouth is fucking beautiful. Still, he slips back, even as he keeps his hand in Frank's hair.

"Are you...I don't want to hurt you again."

Frank rolls his eyes. "Shut up and kiss me, dickhead."

They kiss for a while. Frank feels himself getting hard under his boxer briefs, and he's willing to bet Gerard's feeling the same, but he also figures Gerard would flip if he tried anything remotely like a hand job. More, and he'd probably high tail it, and that's not something Frank wants to happen ever again.

So once Gerard pulls back, Frank goes to make breakfast. He can be patient.

-

The next couple weeks are so domestic, Frank could puke. Or he would if it wasn't Gerard. Fucker has a habit of making him smile goofy for no reason.

Of course, Frank calls Mikey that first day. He figures Mikey would want to see Gerard, but to his surprise, not so much.

"You two have things to work out," Mikey says. To the average person, he'd be as monotone as ever, but to Frank's well-trained ear, Mikey sounds positively sweet. "I'll come by later."

"You're not just saying that because you're staying with Alicia, right?"

"Bye, Frank."

So they have this little nest in Frank's house, kind of like it was at Gerard's a month ago, but swapped. Gerard's feeding the dogs, he's cooking most of the meals, he's making sure they both take their wolfsbane, he's camping on Frank's Xbox. But it's still different because when Frank sleeps a lot, Gerard lies in bed next to him for a lot of it, even when he doesn't sleep.

Frank almost hates to admit it, but it's pretty fucking nice.

Except there's something at the edges that won't go away.

He first sees it in Gerard's eyes. Frank's bedroom faces the street, and sometimes, when cars pass, Gerard's eyes reflect the headlights back. It scared the shit out of him the first time it happens, and even though he didn't think he reacted, Gerard jumped out of bed and apologized. Frank wonders if Gerard smelled it on him. Or, worse, if his eyes did the same thing, and Gerard lost his shit. Either way, they pretend it doesn't happen after that.

But Frank can't ignore it all. His skin stops aching and starts getting hot. Like, worst fever of his life hot. Gerard seems to feel the same way, so they swap taking cold showers that do practically nothing.

"We could take the same fucking shower," Frank grumbles after the third or fourth time they do it. "Save the water."

He shouldn't find the blush on Gerard's cheeks as cute as he does. "I don't think that's a good idea."

And of course, he follows that up by moaning all the way through his shower. He does it every time, and Frank knows why - the water's great while it's running - but it doesn't stop him from cramming his fingers in his ears.

It's a good idea to take things slow, he knows it is. But he still feels like he's about ready to explode by the time the day before the full moon rolls around.

Frank wakes up alone in bed in the early afternoon - he can't believe how fucked his sleep schedule is, it's usually better on breaks - and he hears thudding in the living room. He goes in, and Gerard's pacing the length of the place, followed closely by the dogs at his ankles.

Gerard's covered in a sheen of sweat. It's warm for late September, but not by much, so it's probably the werewolf shit again. Frank's fine until he really starts looking at Gerard, and then he feels his own skin warm. The more he looks at the curve of Gerard's neck, or the movement of his fingers, or the line of his dick through his jeans, the worse it gets.

And fuck, Frank's hard.

Gerard's staring at him now, and he has that look on his face again, the one where he wants to eat every inch of Frank. But this time, Frank's looking at Gerard the exact same way.

Fuck patience.

He takes off his shirt, and Gerard gasps a little.

"Gerard," Frank says, low and deep.

"But we...I mean, you're hurt."

"Only if you don't come over here."

There's a heartbeat that seems to last forever and then...

...and then Gerard finally, finally lets go.

He runs across the room and scoops Frank up. Normally, that shit pisses Frank off. But that's because being carried is usually followed by remarks on how pocket-sized he is, not being carried into his bedroom and thrown on the bed. Or Gerard pinning his hands over his head and sucking on his neck.

"We're werewolves," Frank says, but it's around a moan, so it doesn't mean much. "Not vampires."

Gerard giggles. Dork. "So what, we should do it doggie style?"

"Shut up, asshole."

He licks the scorpion tattoo on Frank's neck. Frank shivers and starts tugging at Gerard's shirt. Gerard takes the hint and slips it off, starting to unbutton his jeans. He's hurried about it, which is nice, but he also keeps fucking it up. Frank sits up and manages it in about a second.

He'd normally give Gerard all kinds of shit about it, but he gets to push down the jeans entirely and grope Gerard in the process. There are worse things.

After Gerard kicks off the jeans entirely, he pushes Frank back down. He can't help but grin as Gerard slips off his sweatpants and underwear and tosses them across the room.

This is fucking awesome.

"I've been thinking about this for days." Gerard's kissing his stomach now and talking against his skin, working his way down. "Can I?"

Because Frank will say no, god. "Please, come on, just--"

Gerard takes Frank in his mouth, and he loses his entire grip on words at that point. Pretty much everything coming out of his mouth is a vowel, although he throws in the occasional consonant to switch things up.

It's just. Fuck. The way Gerard's licking him, sliding him between his lips, making little noises in the back of his throat. Frank's pretty much ready to blow at any second, so he grabs Gerard's hair gently and makes him come up for air.

"I don't...I mean, it'll be over too fast."

Gerard grins. His lips are swollen and everything, and Frank has to hold back again.

"We've got all day," Gerard says, and he goes back for more.

Frank comes about five seconds after that, yelling loudly enough that his dogs bark in the living room.

Gerard hovers over him after that, grinning. He's still naked, and still really hard. His skin's so...empty. Not in a bad way, just. The naked guy Frank sees on a regular basis is himself, and his ink's badass. He forgot how nice blank skin could be.

He runs a hand on Gerard's chest. "What do you wanna do?"

Gerard's eyes flutter closed at his touch. "Whatever you want."

"That's not an answer."

Gerard settles on the bed next to him, and Frank straddles his lap. He nibbles at Gerard's collar bone. He follows it until he runs into the scar on his shoulder, and then he starts licking.

Judging by the way Gerard hisses and arches into his mouth, he likes it.

"Well?" Frank asks.

"Jerk me off, blow me, I don't care. Just do it."

Frank reaches over to the bedside table and takes out lube. He squeezes a little in his palm, puts the bottle back, then rubs his hands together to warm them up a little. Gerard's staring at him with glassy eyes and mussed hair.

"God, you're pretty," Gerard says, and smiles crookedly.

Funny. That's almost exactly what Frank's thinking. "Don't you mean hot?"

"That too."

Frank reaches down and strokes Gerard, sliding with a loose hand. Gerard groans, and for the first time, Frank notices the edge of a growl at the bottom. It makes him a little scared and totally psyched all at the same time.

"You're not bad yourself, you know," Frank says. He's taking his time, having occasional breaks to circle the head of Gerard's dick with his thumb. He also tries using the tips of his fingers where his calluses are, and Gerard actually trembles.

Frank picks up the pace. He figures he's tortured him enough; Gerard was right about having all day. And the way he throws his head back and grabs uselessly at Frank is so worth it.

Finally, he shoots on his stomach and Frank's hand and slumps, gasping.

While Frank's grabbing tissues and mopping them up, Gerard's laughing again. "Fuck. We should've done that sooner."

-

They spend the entire day fucking, and the entire night sleeping. Frank gets up in the middle of the night to piss, and when he sees Gerard reaching for Frank in his sleep, Frank's pretty ready to call it his best day ever.

The phone wakes them up the next day.

Gerard groans against Frank's neck. "Turn it the fuck off."

Frank's feeling pretty much the same way, but when he lifts his new phone off the table, he sees it's Brian. He picks it up.

"Gerard there?" Brian asks without saying hello.

"Yeah," Frank says. "What's up?"

"The full moon's tonight. You didn't forget, did you?"

Frank can't believe it, but yeah, he actually did. He's a little pissed he has to remember now, and guilty. "Oh yeah, no. What are..."

He trails off. When the sun goes down, he's turning into a monster. One that probably won't kill anyone, sure, but it's going to fucking hurt, and he's going to have no control over it.

God, this is going to suck.

"You there, Frank?"

"Yeah."

"Ray's basement," Brian says. "We've been rigging it. Patrick says we probably won't need it after this, if we keep an eye on you and make sure of everything."

Frank can't make himself say anything. It's only when Gerard takes the phone that he realizes that he not only hasn't talked for five minutes, but that he'd forgotten Gerard was even there.

"Hey, Brian." Gerard listens quietly for a moment. "Cool. Yeah, I think that'd be a good idea. So you talk to Patrick, too?"

They kept talking, and Frank can't listen to it, especially with Gerard as cheerful as he seems to be.

Frank gets up and goes in the living room. He hears snarling, and when he looks behind the sofa, he sees the dogs playing with a chew toy. He smiles fondly. They tear stuffed animals to shreds, so the last time he was at the pet store, he found something extra durable. It's shaped like a gingerbread man, so it's kind of extra cute with little dogs failing to get him torn apart.

Still, one manages to get the side out, in almost the same...

...in almost the same shape as the scar in his side.

Frank squeezes his eyes shut and puts his palms over his face. He won't lose it. Gerard can handle it, so he can. Even if Gerard didn't know what was going on last time.

"You okay?"

"No," Frank says. He takes one breath, and another. At least his lungs seem good for now. "When are we going over?"

"Six."

"Okay. I think I'll...I'll just..."

Gerard sits on the couch next to Frank. After a pause, Gerard slides his arm around Frank's shoulder. Frank leans into him.

"You can do this, Frankie," Gerard whispers in his hair. He sounds like he's trying to convince himself just as much, but Frank'll take it.

-

Ray's basement is smaller than Frank remembers. And there's fucking chains on the wall.

Gerard's in front of him, and he stops in place on the stairs. That's good, actually. He can focus on Gerard and not the way he wants to barf all over the concrete floor.

"Come on," Frank says. "It's kinky, right?"

Gerard barks out a laugh - okay, that was an image he didn't need - and climbs down the stairs the rest of the way.

Now that they're downstairs all the way, he can see Brian, Mikey, and Ray sitting across from the chains in folding chairs. Mikey looks like Mikey, but Ray looks a little green around the gills. And Brian's holding a shotgun.

"The fuck, Schechter?" Gerard says, scowling.

"Calm down," Brian says. "It's tranquilizers."

Actually, Frank's really relieved. "So what, we can sleep through it?"

Mikey shakes his head. "In case you break the chains."

"Is that likely?" It's Gerard's turn to look a little nauseous, and when Frank sees where he's looking, he gets his point. The basement's not big enough to give Brian much time to shoot if he needs to.

"Not at all," Ray says. "Come on, we need to get going."

Gerard nods and starts to strip.

"Whoa," Frank says. "Wait a sec. We have to be chained and naked while you guys watch?"

"Like we haven't seen your dick before, Iero," Brian says.

Point, but still. "I...do you have to watch before?"

Brian rolls his eyes. "I guess I can wait at the top of the stairs. As long as Ray doesn't mind that you might trash his basement."

Ray's on his feet and shaking his head hard. "Nope. Don't mind at all. Mikey?"

Mikey's a little slower to get up. "You okay with this, Gee?"

"Oh yeah," Gerard says, and he looks relieved. "Thanks."

They go up the stairs, but Brian pauses and puts a hand on Frank's shoulder. "I know what to do."

"I trust you," Frank says, and he means it.

Brian climbs up the stairs.

He and Gerard strip down. Gerard starts putting the restraints around his ankles right away, but Frank pauses. He feels fine. Nothing like the hot skin, or the soreness, or anything. Maybe it was a fluke. Maybe this won't happen.

"We don't have much time, Frankie."

Frank looks over at Gerard. His eyes are watery. And that's all the incentive Frank needs because if Gerard breaks down, it'll be way more than he can handle right now.

He puts the cuffs on. They've got some kind of lining, so it actually doesn't hurt or feel tight like he thought they would. But then, he's not supposed to be a threat. The chains are backup.

Once he's done, he sinks on the floor, where Gerard's already sitting.

"You won't let me say I'm sorry again, will you?" Gerard asks.

"No fucking way."

They sit in silence for a few minutes.

Frank's relieved when the pain starts, as sharp and overwhelming as it is. He's puking in the corner, but it's okay because at least he's fucking dealing with it. He squeezes his eyes shut again, and he feels his body yank and tear, and he's crying a little, and he can hear Gerard is too, but it's okay, it really is.

Especially when it stops.

Frank didn't expect to be aware for this. He figured the wolf took over, and that was it. And the wolf is opening its eyes and looking around, sniffing at the other wolf nearby, but Frank's a full passenger for this ride, it seems.

Now he's really fucking glad he took the wolfsbane. And he gets why Gerard bailed. If he was aware for every second of the attack...

He smells Brian coming down the stairs, and the wolf looks over. Brian gets close, and Frank wants to yell at him, make him get away, but the wolf seems bored and lies down.

"Good doggie," Brian says. He'll so get him for that. "I'll make sure to unchain you guys in the morning, okay? Try to get some sleep."

The words mean nothing to the wolf, but Frank's glad to hear them. He wonders what Gerard thinks.

-

So really, it's one of Frank's most boring nights ever.

His wolf and Gerard's wolf sniff each other for a while, then they do what Brian says: sleep. And even though Frank's been sleeping constantly, it's pretty much the best fucking sleep of his life.

He wakes up naked and unchained next to a naked and unchained Gerard. And again, Gerard's staring at him. It'd be creepy if it wasn't so cute.

"We can do this," Frank whispers. "We can actually live like this."

Gerard cracks a smile. "Yeah. We can."

-

The first time back onstage feels fucking amazing.

Frank throws himself around more than he ever has before, and the crowd eats it up. He can't stop grinning, and neither can Ray and Bob. Hell, even Mikey cracks a smile now and then.

And Gerard. He's always been theatrical, but now? He's like a god or something. If there wasn't so much going on, Frank wouldn't be able to tear his eyes away. As it is, he's ogling him way more than he probably should be.

"And remember, motherfuckers," Gerard tells the crowd just before they launch into Prison. "It's really fucking good to be alive."

Frank's never agreed more.