It was a good night, Grant thinks. The food and wine had been outstanding and the company even better. Even the cab ride home through the streets of Los Angeles had been pleasant. But by the time he gets home he finds himself missing Frank and Gerard again. More than he ever thought possible. More than a mere week since seeing them last seems it should warrant. They were in Detroit tonight and will be in Toronto the next night, and then home, though.
He strips down and crawls in his empty bed, his mobile clutched in his hand. It takes him a couple of tries to type in his search query, partly due to tiredness, partly due to the wine. He sees a few videos have already made it onto YouTube and clicks the first one. The sound is terrible, but he can see them, which is the most important part. Well, he can see them after a fashion. The fan who took this particular video was a little too far back to be able to really see their faces. He clicks onto the next video. It's a bit shaky, but he can see Gerard and Mikey, which is delightful. And then it pans over to Frank and Grant has to pause the video and stare.
His fingers are getting out of the YouTube program and calling Frank before he stops to think. When Frank answers sleepily, sounding concerned, Grant suddenly remembers how late it must be where he is.
"Oh," Grant says, "Everything's fine. So sorry it's so late. I just—"
"It's okay," Frank murmurs and makes a little noise like he's stretching. "What—"
"You cut your hair," Grant says, tries to make the words count so Frank knows how much... "I want to—" He stops with a small moan, hand giving his dick a stroke. Frank makes a similar noise back and Grant wishes it were possible to crawl through the phone lines not for the first time.
"You're too fucking far away," Frank says.
“You’re - Frank, it’s so late, you must think I’m fucking mad to call you this late, but - I couldn’t help it.” He whispers it into the phone, wishing he were whispering it into Frank's hair. This way, it's a cold confessional.
“Any time, Grant, I mean that," Frank answers, but then he huffs out a sleepy little laugh and adds, "If this is all just to tell me you hate my hair at four in the morning, you’re lucky I love you.” Grant breathes in, suddenly frozen, phone clenched tight in his hand. “Grant, I -” Frank continues, then stops.
"Frank?" There's nothing but silence on the other end of the line now, silence and a crackling hiss of cellular disturbance. "Frank!" He can't be gone, not now. He just can't.
“I gotta go, fuck. I’m gonna wake everyone - Grant -”
“Frank.” He's not gone, but he's going, and he's not saying it again. Grant's sitting bolt upright in bed now, as if he could reach out and physically grab onto Frank and stop him.
“Goodnight,” the phone whispers at him, and then the call really is dead, and Grant lets his phone hand fall into his lap, staring at it in dismay. He takes a deep breath and punches out a text message. Did you mean it?
The response is so immediate, he knows Frank must be holding onto his phone too. Yes, it says, but nothing more, and no messages follow it.
"Frank, what are you thinking?" Grant murmurs to no one. He's been wanting those words for a while now, has known all along Frank wasn't ready, and now...now he's not there when he really needs to be.
Gerard is there, though, sleeping somewhere nearby. Hopefully sleeping. Grant hates to risk disturbing them both, but he sends Gerard a text anyway. Gerard doesn't answer, and Grant's not surprised, but he's wide awake now and his buzz is fading and he's feeling - fragile.
He gets out of bed and puts on his robe, pads through the silent house to the kitchen and fixes himself a drink. Johnny hops into his lap when he sits down in the living room and he runs a hand over the cat's fur and watches the lights in the valley. He sends Gerard a couple more messages, trying to explain without explaining, and finally gives up. He falls asleep on the couch and wakes up a few hours later to a text saying, He's okay. He feels awful for hanging up. I'll call when we get to the hotel.
It's nice to hear from Gerard, but that message doesn't really help Grant feel much better. He's on edge until Gerard finally calls. "Grant," Gerard says gently, "this is big for him, and I think he just needs to say it in person."
"And hear it in person? I didn't get a chance to say it back," Grant says quietly. He knows he sounds hurt. He is hurt, a bit, in a way where he's mostly anxious. He feels bad for Gerard, too, who can't do a thing about it. And Gerard's quiet for a moment, and it's a long moment.
"Yeah, I know. He's…he takes this stuff pretty seriously, and family is really important to him, and I think he just wants to be able to look you in the eye and tell you and hear it back, and he feels like he fucked up by making it a joke over the phone for the first time. It's…with Frank, it's almost like a vow."
"Gerard, that's - that's how it should be. I just -"
"I told you I loved you for the first time in bed," Gerard reminds him.
"I knew long before that."
"But saying the words -"
"I didn't know, with Frank. I hoped, but I didn't know." How hard he'd hoped, how desperately, knowing it was the key without which they couldn't go on.
"Grant...." Gerard breathes his name. "Be patient. For me. Just one more day."
He's waited a lot longer than that. Just one more day.... "I'd wait longer. As long as it takes."
"Tomorrow, Grant, and you won't have to wait any more, for either of us."
"I love you," Grant tells Gerard.
He can hear the smile in Gerard's voice. "I know."