He'd always believed in the supernatural, so when he'd found himself standing over his own dead body in his basement bedroom, it had been surprisingly easy to accepted the fact that he was a ghost now. What he hadn't accepted was the bright light shining in the corner, in theory he knew what it meant, where he was apparently supposed to go at that point. But he hadn't, he'd kept back till the light faded. He'd never been a fan of the unknown, the light could be a trick, it could take him somewhere bad. He'd wanted to stay, stay with his family. He stood over himself and waited for someone to find him. It had been Mikey, bouncing down the stairs with some new comic in his hand. He'd frozen at the foot of the stairs, gone pale. He'd dropped the comic and run to Gerard's side, shaking him, begging him to wake up. Gerard hadn't woken up, he'd been so desperate to hug Mikey, to tell him everything would be alright. But when he touched Mikey's shoulder all he had done was shiver. Mikey couldn't see him and that was when fear began to creep in, he was alone. He hated being alone.
Paramedics were called after his parent's had come down, having heard Mikey yelling. No one had been able to see him and Gerard watched them all leave, leave with his body, trying to convince himself he wouldn't be alone long, they would come back and it would be okay. They couldn't see him, but he could see them, he wasn't alone. After they came back he'd realized a lesson high school had already taught him, you could be surrounded by people and still be completely alone. Mikey had moved into the basement after that, he'd kept all of Gerard's things where they were and mixed his own in, nothing was thrown away. Mikey had slept in his bed, watched his TV and he'd stopped going out.
At first Gerard had thought Mikey's hermit routine was purely due to grief and selfishly he was glad, because it meant he wasn't alone, he had Mikey. But then he heard Mikey on the phone to one of his friends Pete. Gerard had died of a rare heart defect, a genetic, inherited defect, a defect that Mikey had as well. It didn't have to be fatal, there were medications, lifestyle changes, ways to live full and long lives. They had found out too late for Gerard, but not for Mikey. Some of Mikey's friends started visiting him in the basement, Ray convincing him to start playing again. Gerard watched them play together, listened to the music and he felt like he was really with them, not alone. He had no sense of time as a spirit, ghost, whatever he was, but before he knew it Mikey was leaving, moving in to live with friends in his own apartment. He watched Mikey pack, begging him not to go, but Mikey couldn't hear him. His mom had come into the basement once Mikey was gone and packed all of Gerard's things into box's, Mikey had taken some stuff, sketches, shirts, random things Gerard had guessed he wanted to help him remember Gerard.
Once Mikey was gone nobody came to the basement anymore. He could hear his parent's talking upstairs, but he couldn't leave the room. Being able to hear them had made him feel like he wasn't completely alone. And then one day their voices were gone. The house was empty and still and Gerard was very much alone for the first time in his life/unlife. He'd thought about crossing over, but he'd been afraid that wherever it was he went, he'd still be alone. He was so afraid it would trap him all alone somewhere, forever, that he didn't try and go anywhere, he just stayed in the basement.
He wasn't sure how long passed before he heard voices again. But he did, people were moving into his house. A boy moved into his room. Frank was short, his hair was half shaved off and he covered the room in band posters. Gerard thought that maybe if he'd met Frank when he was alive they would have been friends. The first day Frank moves in Gerard learns a few things about him, he's vegan by choice, he's afraid of spiders, he has tattoos and piercings and, oh yeah, he can see Gerard.
"Great my room's haunted." Frank groans.
"You can see me?" Gerard asks, which is pretty dumb, obviously the guy can see him. But his social skills are rusty, he hasn't talked to another person in god knows how long and it's not like he was the most social guy before he died.
"Well yeah, you’re standing right there, dude." Frank shrugs.
"Sorry, I haven't talked to anyone in a long time." He'd talked at Mikey, but it hurt too much never getting an answer back, so he'd given up on that long before Mikey moved away.
"You've been a ghost a long time?" Frank asks.
"I don't know, time, it's not the same as when I was alive." Gerard shrugs.
"Have you thought about moving on?" Frank asks, all business.
"I, there was this light, but I was afraid. I didn't want to go somewhere and be alone." Gerard admits.
"But you've been alone here." Frank points out.
"I knew it wouldn't be forever, but once I cross over, that's like forever. I could be alone forever." Gerard sighs. He's so afraid that there is nothing but that bright light on the other side, no other people, just loneliness, he doesn't want that, can't stand the idea of eternity alone.
Frank doesn't push. He just keeps un-packing, he puts on some music explaining it'll stop his parents from thinking he's talking to himself if he talks too loud. Gerard has never heard of the band that Frank puts on, so he asks about that. He's not heard of a lot of the bands that Frank talks about and for the first time in a while he wonders how long he's been alone for.
The first week is great, he worries that Frank will try and get rid of him and he'll end up alone again, but Frank doesn't seem to mind having Gerard around. He tells Gerard about bands he likes, shows he's been to and films he's seen. They talk comic books and horror films and for the first time in a long time, Gerard isn't alone. By the second week he realizes he's crushing hard on Frank and ends up stammering through half their conversations. Frank bugs him till he tells him what is wrong and instead of mocking him or freaking out, Frank blushes and smiles shyly, before telling Gerard that he likes him too. It feels beyond good to know he's wanted like that.
That night Frank lays above the covers, his hands in his pyjama pants as he starts slowly jacking off. He knows Gerard is watching, he doesn't even take his eyes off of Gerard as his fist works his cock under the thin material.
"Let me see." Gerard whispers, Frank moans and pushes the thin cotton pants down, exposing his cock to the chill night air and Gerard's gaze. Frank's face is flushed, his lip pink from being bitten into, his cock is rock hard and leaking. Gerard has never seen anything more beautiful, he wishes he could hold a pencil to draw it, he wishes more that he could touch Frank. Get a hand on his dick, warm and slick, maybe get his mouth on Frank's skin. Gerard can't get aroused, doesn't have a body that can flush and get hard, but he feels something as he watches Frank work himself toward completion and for a few moments he doesn't even fear being alone.
Frank doesn't move into the dorms when college starts, he says he wants to live at home to avoid dept, well Gerard hears him tell his parents that, Frank tells him he doesn't want to leave him alone like that, he knows how much Gerard fears being alone. Gerard realizes in that moment that he's holding Frank back. He won't leave because he wants to stop Gerard from being afraid. He's missing out on college life, parties and all-nighters. He never leaves Gerard unless he has to, has become a hermit, hardly ever leaving the basement. Gerard has heard Frank's parents talking, they’re worried about their son. A man who used to be so out going, always at shows and clubs, hanging out with friends. It reminds Gerard of Mikey, the way he had been, never leaving till he had to and it makes him feel like shit. He's been thinking about his own fears and needs and not Frank’s and that's just fucked up. If he loves Frank the way he thinks he does, he should stop trapping him here.
He tells Frank to move into the dorms, but Frank won't listen. He has a project that week, that involves looking into the history of the house. Gerard is standing behind him as he sits at the computer and he sees the news article at the same time as Frank does. It's about him and it's over eighty years old, he's been gone that long, a ghost for eighty years. He gets Frank to look up his family after that, it takes a while, but Frank finds that his parent's died twenty years ago in a car accident. Mikey, his little brother Mikey died in his sleep four years ago, his heart finally giving out. He'd had a wife, kids, his first grandchild, he'd lived a full and happy life. Something in his chest feels like it becomes hollow with the knowledge that his family are long gone. The people he loved in this house are long gone from this world and he hadn't even known. Like everything else, like the passing of time, he doesn't see anything down here. For the first time in a long time, Gerard starts to think about moving on.
Frank is here now, Frank who can see and talk to ghosts, but Frank will leave or die and Gerard will have to stay with only his memories as company. He fears being alone in this place, he doesn't think he could cope being alone in this basement again, with the memories of Mikey and Frank haunting him. Frank is with him, loves him even and because of that Frank is alone. Gerard doesn't want that, he wants Frank to live as full a life as Mikey did, he knows Frank won't leave the basement though, not while Gerard is still there, so he decides, he's going to face his fear. He's going to cross over like he should have done when he died, instead of sticking around as a ghost. He's so very afraid that he might end up alone, but he knows he has to do this. He can't stay and let Frank be alone, having nothing but a ghost, a lover who can't touch him.
Frank cries when he tells him, but he seems to understand. Frank thinks maybe he has seen this coming ever since he did the research and found out how long Gerard had been alone for before Frank came into his life. He can't be alone in his basement like that again, he knows he'd go mad, become something else maybe, the sort of ghost shown in the horror films he's watched with Frank. He wants to kiss Frank goodbye, so he presses his lips against Frank's knowing they both can't feel it, but not caring, it’s as close to a proper goodbye as he can get.
He steps back, closing his eyes, thinking about how the light had looked and begins to feel a tugging in his chest. When he opens his eyes Frank is staring at the corner of the room, close to where Gerard had dies all those years before. He's crying and smiling, like he's sad Gerard is leaving, but he's pleased for him. Gerard takes a breath, even though it does nothing and walks towards the light. He is terrified about what will be on the other side, that he'll be alone forever. But he keeps walking, he won't stay here forever and watch as everyone he loves dies, he'd rather be alone as scary as that is to him, than have to face another loss. He walks in to the light, it's so bright it blinds him, but it feels so warm on his skin, he hasn't felt warm in a very long time.
He opens his eyes to see that his fear about being alone hasn't come true. His grandparents, his parents and Mikey, there all standing in the light. They look like they have been waiting for him, Gerard smiles and walks towards them, he knows now that he won't ever be alone here and one day, when it's time, he'll see Frank again.