Frank hits the jock right in the nose and tackles him, kneeing him between the legs and punching him a couple of more times for good measure before getting up and brushing himself off. "Watch who you call names, motherfucker," he spits down at the dude, who's too busy clutching at his junk and moaning to really pay attention.
Gerard is shocked, pale.
Frank jerks his head toward the double-doors of the exit, past the endless rows of identical lockers. "Let's go."
Gerard meekly follows him outside and around to the little alley the smokers use. There's no one there; everyone is in class except for Gerard and Frank and the asshole who called Gerard—called Gerard that word.
Visibly shaking off his surprise, Gerard turns to Frank. "What the fuck, dude?" Gerard hisses. "You just—jumped that guy for no reason. Violence is never the answer."
Frank looks at him, eyes wide. He doesn't understand why Gerard is mad at him. "Are you serious?" When Gerard continues to scowl, Frank shakes his head. "He called you a—" He has to take a deep calming breath, because just thinking about it makes his blood boil. "—a cocksucker."
Frank's stomach is one big knot of anger and fear and worry. He wants so much to keep Gerard safe from all the vicious names that people call him because he's different.
Gerard makes a vague get on with it gesture. "And?"
Frank growls a little. Gerard can be clueless sometimes. "He. Called. You. A. Cocksucker."
The confusion doesn't clear from Gerard's face. "Yeah? So?"
"It's not a good thing, Gerard." Frank's shoulders slump, because of course Gerard would totally miss the point and make Frank spell it out. "Especially when it's not true."
"But it is true." Gerard's eyebrows scrunch together.
Frank, who is gearing himself up to explain to Gerard in even smaller words why being called a cocksucker is a bad thing, just stares. "What?"
"What is?" Frank shakes his head, because Gerard can't be saying what Frank thinks he's saying. He's just totally misunderstanding the words coming out of Gerard's mouth.
For the first time, Gerard hesitates, biting at his bottom lip. He leans against the brick wall awkwardly. "I'm into guys."
"You're. . .into guys." Frank can't believe what he's hearing, because he wants it to be true so badly.
"Yeah," he says, in a small, uncertain voice.
"Oh." Frank looks at Gerard, who's staring down at his battered sneakers, shoulders hunched miserably. Even now, he's so beautiful to Frank. "I didn't know."
Gerard wraps his arms around himself. "I didn't want you to know. I was worried—"
"Gee," Frank sighs, stepping closer. "You know me better than that."
Gerard peers at him from under his eyelashes, a little hopeful and a lot scared. "I was afraid you'd see how I felt—"
"I do," Frank whispers, and he does, finally. He sees what Gerard's been hiding, that bright, shining feeling that echoes what Frank's been carrying around his chest since the day he met Gerard. He goes up on his toes and wraps his arms around Gerard's neck, pressing their lips together. Gerard gasps and his hands settle around Frank's waist, fingers digging in a little. Frank nips at Gerard's bottom lip like he's always wanted to do and slides his tongue into the warmth of Gerard's mouth, tasting coffee and strawberry poptarts and Gerard.
It feels good and right and Frank threads his fingers through the long hair at the back of Gerard's neck and holds on. He's never going to let go.