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******

The first time they talk, she lies to his face.

Gee rolls out of bed when the sun in her eyes is too much to bear and if she hits snooze one more time she'll be so late that they might actually fire her ass this time. She glares at the half-inch gap between the blackout curtains and the window and pulls it closed, shutting the sunlight out completely.

She's topless but still wearing last night's ripped fishnets, black skirt and Docs. She frowns, looking around for a clean shirt, and after poking through three piles finally finds one that smells less rank than the others. Fuck the bra, she's too fucking late. She zips on a hoodie, grabs her bag, and runs out the door.

The art building is all the fucking way across campus, and she's completely out of breath by the time she gets to the A/V room. "Sorry. I'll be open in a sec," she wheezes at the students lined up at the counter. The girl at the front of the line looks her up and down and smirks at her friend.

Gee unlocks the staff door and whirls inside, putting a hand to her head as soon as she's on the other side. Fuck. She didn't look in the mirror before she left, and her hair is still sticky with last night's hairspray, standing up everywhere and matted in the back. She attempts to detangle some of it with her fingers while she tries to put a name and a face to the girl she'd been kissing last night. She remembers her shirt coming off. And vodka. Lots of vodka. The girl had been tall and maybe blonde.

She hears murmuring on the other side of the door and a pronounced throat-clearing sound and sighs, giving her hair up for lost. She slides the window open and pastes a smile on her face. "Hi. What do you need?"

~~~

Four hours later, Gee is leaning on the counter, head propped on her hand. She's halfheartedly reading an article for her art history class and counting the minutes until she can close up and get up to her studio space to work.

She doesn't notice him at all until he's right in front of her and says hello. She looks up and this kid is smiling at her. His grin is bright and he's got this lip ring that her gaze keeps catching on, keeps drawing her back to his mouth, and his eyes are this amazing green that she wants to try to recreate in paint because it would be a challenge. He's wearing an inside-out t-shirt and his head is shaved except for some long pieces in front, and it's just not fair that someone with a mouth like that also has perfect eyebrows. He's maybe the most beautiful boy she's ever seen. And she doesn't get floored like this by boys. Not since junior high. Not since Angela Crespo took her under the bleachers and made her forget her own name.

He clears his throat, and she straightens up quickly and immediately knocks a stack of paper off the counter. "Fuck." She can feel her face flush as she bends down to gather the paper. "Um, hi." Her voice comes out all breathy, and she stays down there for a few extra seconds, pressing her cold hands to her cheeks.

"I've seen you around," he says as she stands up. "You're at the coffeehouse a lot, right?" She nods quickly, and her heart is beating in an unrecognizable rhythm. "I work there. I'm usually in the back, but they're going to train me on the espresso machine." He extends his hand across the counter for her to shake. "I'm Frank, by the way."

She stares at his hand for a moment before grabbing it—too tightly, fuck—and shaking it. "Um, hey." She lets go to cross her arms over her chest when she feels her breasts shift under the hoodie. He's looking at her expectantly, and she's trying to figure out what she's supposed to say next. What the fuck do people talk about?

"And you are?" he prods, and she huffs out a laugh.

"Fuck, right." She reaches up to run her fingers through her hair, then remembers the bird's nest situation and lets the arm fall. "Gee." His eyebrows go up, and she anticipates his next question. "Um, it stands for, uh, my name is Gerard?" Her voice lilts up at the end in this valley girl way, and she rolls her eyes.

He giggles. "Never met a girl named Gerard." He's smiling, though, not making fun. "Or a boy, actually."

"Yeah, well. It's totally a boy's name. My parents weren't expecting a girl, and they decided to stick with the name they'd already chosen." She smiles, looking down at the counter. "Because apparently they wanted me to be picked on for all eternity."

He laughs. "So, just Gee, then."

"Thanks," she sighs, giving him a quick smile. It's quiet then, and she's desperately trying to think of something to say that's not your eyes are so beautiful I'd like to take one back to my studio and paint it to try to get the color just right. Because giving voice to thoughts like that is one of the reasons her only friends at school are Gabe Saporta and Pete Wentz. Those dudes can't be out-creeped.

"Nice to meet you." He sounds hopeful when he says, "So I know it's kind of late, but can I still get a camera for the weekend?"

"Right, okay." She grabs the rental form and starts filling out the dates and her name. "So what are you shooting?" She lets a breath out, relieved to have come up with a halfway decent question.

"My dad's band. He's a drummer, and they're playing a show tomorrow night. He's awesome." Frank's face is lit up, and he's gesturing as he talks. "I fucking love music, especially live. And like, I want to try to capture that—the way it feels to be there, to be in the room with the musicians, that experience. Even though it's silent film." He sees that she's staring at him and trails off, looking down. "I don't know if it'll work, or anything. It's just an idea."

Gee looks down at the form, where she's accidentally drawn a long tail on the eight in 1998. She scribbles over it and writes the date again. "No, I think that's awesome." She makes herself look him in the eye as she says it, and he breaks into a smile again. "Seriously."

"Thanks." He looks down at the rental form when she pushes it toward him. "So, I just need a Super 8 until Monday."

She looks under the counter at the last Super 8 camera and then back up at his stupidly beautiful face, and she's actually reaching for the camera when she says, "Fuck, sorry, they're all gone," and her heart pounds because she's a fucking terrible liar and he's going to know.

His face falls. "Oh, shit." He puts his hand on his head, almost like he doesn't know he's doing it, and his face is scrunched up with worry. "I already bought my film. Fuck, I should have made sure I had a camera reserved."

He's so distraught that she starts to feel genuinely sorry for him, and then remembers the reason she lied. "I've got one. Like, of my own. You can borrow it if you want."

He looks at her, and she tries to project an air of honesty and truth. "Seriously?" He's beaming, and she feels this warm rush of pleasure. "You're totally saving my ass. Thank you so much."

She tells him what time to come by for the camera and then as soon as he's gone she drops her head to the counter, pulling up her hood. She's a horrible creep who's abusing her job at the A/V counter so she can get some play. What the fuck. She doesn't do this. She doesn't initiate conversations. She certainly doesn't prolong human interaction any further than she absolutely has to. Pete and Gabe call her their favorite shut-in, for fuck's sake. She hasn't looked at a boy in years, and the first pretty one she sees everything's out the fucking window? She is so totally fucked.

******

The first time they kiss, they stay up all night talking.

Gee gets home from class the following Thursday and finds a note on her door with a phone number scrawled across the bottom. Above the number is a little drawing of Frankenstein with a speech bubble that says "Arghhhhhhhh (call me)". Pete finds her sitting on her bed, note in hand, trying not to stare at the phone.

"'sup, Gee." He cannonballs onto the bed and spreads out, somehow taking up the entire twin bed. He smells like he took a bath in Drakkar Noir.

"Ugh, Pete." She shoves him away from her. "I can't believe Gabe gets anywhere near you when you smell like this."

He laughs. "Gabe got plenty near me this morning, don't even worry. And you're one to talk, Ms 'One Shower A Week If We're Lucky'." He curves around her and snatches the paper from her hand.

"Hey, no," she cries, trying to wrestle it back from him. The fucker is fast, though. He curls up with his back to her and reads the note.

"Oh my god, how fucking adorable is this," he crows, holding the paper out of her reach. "It's your beautiful freshman, right?"

She deflates and wraps her arms around her bent knees. "Yeah. Frank."

Pete's beaming at her. "You like this one. I can tell. You never get like this." He waggles his fingers in her face. "Usually you just stand against the wall and cast your awkward spell on unsuspecting girls."

"Shut up," she mumbles, feeling her face heat up. "They're totally, like, suspecting." He gives her a look, and she rolls her eyes. "Whatever, they always leave happy." She pauses, thinking about the mystery girl last week. "I'm pretty sure."

He hands her back the paper and sits up. "So, what did he want?" She doesn't answer. "Oh, god, you've been sitting here not calling him for fucking ages, haven't you?" He grabs the phone, dialing and shoving it into her hand in three seconds flat.

She can hear it ringing and mouths, "I hate you," at Pete as he grins back, showing all his teeth.

"Yeah." The guy that picks up sounds pissed, and her heart sinks.

"Um. Is Frank there?" She hates how timid she sounds. She clears her throat.

"Nope. Call back later."

"Oh. Uh. Like. Okay." She seriously should not be allowed to interact with humans. Ever.

She's about to hang up when she hears him say, "Oh shit, wait. Is this Gee? Are you Gee?"

"Um. Yeah?" Her heart starts to beat faster.

"He said to tell you to meet him in editing room three. If you want." He hangs up without saying goodbye.

She looks at the receiver for a second before hanging up. "Wow. His roommate's kind of a dick." Pete's looking at her expectantly, and she sighs. "Frank wants me to meet him in his editing suite."

Pete does victory arms, his giant grin all up in her face, and she shoves him away half-heartedly. Her mind is whirling. She's hung out with Frank twice already, when he picked up and returned the camera, but this is different. This seems kind of like a date. Maybe. "Oh god, what the fuck am I going to wear?"

Pete's already opening her closet. "Leave that to me."

She rolls her eyes. "Awesome. I'll just wear the opposite of whatever you pick out, okay?"

He grins back at her. "I'm wounded, Geeway. Wounded."

~~~

It takes her an hour and a half to get there, what with three outfit changes and a full hour of sitting on her bed, chewing her nails and trying to convince herself that it'll be fine, he just wants to hang out, it's cool. She can totally be cool about this. Totally. Unlike last time, when she'd flitted nervously around her room and watched him go through her videos and comics, desperately trying to get up the nerve to ask him to coffee but then chickening out because duh, he works in a coffee shop—why the fuck would he want to go to one for fun. Whatever awkward mojo she supposedly has with girls apparently flies directly out the fucking window when faced with Frank.

He opens the door when she knocks and his grin is bright in the dimly-lit room. "Hey, you came." He stands aside to let her in. "And you brought me coffee." He steps close, fingers trailing over hers as he takes the cup, and her heart starts to beat faster. She's looking down, but she can hear the smile in his voice as he says, "Thanks."

"Um, sure." She holds her own coffee with both hands, taking a sip and burning her tongue. "Ow, fuck." She puts the cup down and throws her bag onto a chair, bending closer to the light table, where strips of 8 millimeter film are spread across the surface. She takes a deep breath, willing her heartbeat to slow down to a normal human pace. "Hey, so. How's it going?" Her hair brushes the table and she gathers it up with one hand, peering closer at a strip of film to make out the images.

He pushes up next to her, leaning in. "Not too bad, I think." His voice is low and right in her ear, and she startles and straightens up, still holding her hair in one hand. He stands up too, and he's so close, and all she can hear is her stupid heart pounding as he bites his lower lip and gives her a look. "So listen," he says, taking a breath. "I don't think I'm going to be able to get anything done with you here—"

"Oh," she says quickly. "Fuck. I'm sorry, I thought— I'll go."

"—unless I do this first," he finishes, and then they're kissing, his arm slipping around her waist. Gee squeaks into his mouth and then remembers who she is—she knows how to kiss. She lets go of her hair and it falls around their faces as she strokes his jaw, feels the scratch of stubble under her thumb. Frank pulls her closer, the flat plane of his chest pressed up against her tits. It's not what she's used to, not at all, but it's Frank, and it's what she fucking wants. She slides her hand around to the back of his neck, opens her mouth against his, and he moans into it, kissing her harder.

When they finally break apart, she grabs the table for support. "Fuck," she breathes. Seriously, how is he always so fucking smooth? He's a goddamn freshman—where did he get these moves?

"Yeah." He looks dazed, and she pushes him back gently until he's sitting on the stool that's next to the table.

She grins at him from behind her hair, looking down at the light table again. "So, um. You need to get work done, yeah?" She's trailing her fingers down his arm even as she says it, though, tracing the lines of his tattoos.

"Yeah, it's due tomorrow." He sighs and rubs a hand over the short hair at the back of his head, looking at her sideways. "But fuck it. Want to just make out all night instead?"

She laughs, her cheeks heating up. "I would be down with that."

His eyebrows shoot up and he breaks into a wide smile, reaching for her. "But," she says firmly, stepping behind him and turning him back toward the table, "I actually really want to see your film. So." He groans and leans back against her. Without even thinking, she lets her hands slide down over his chest. She can feel his heart beating fast under her fingers and wonders if he can feel hers, too.

"Evil taskmaster." He sighs and lets his head fall back against her shoulder.

"Fuckin' right," Gee laughs, letting go and pushing him forward. "Work. I'm going to sit over there and watch you." She grins as she sits down and pulls her knees up. "Like a creeper."

He laughs and starts lining up film clips on the table. "You can creep on me anytime."

She raises her eyebrows, chin resting on her knees. "Is that a challenge? You don't even know the levels of creep that I'm capable of."

"Yeah? How about I know that you lied about the camera?" She gasps, and he gives her a steady look. "Leah's in my film class. She told me she got the last one just before you closed."

"Oh my god," she groans, and then slides her hood up and pulls the strings as tight as possible until only a tiny circle of her face is visible. "I'm just going to stay in here." Her voice is muffled by the fabric, but he laughs and comes over to extract her.

"I forgive you, creeper," he says, getting back on the stool. "How do you think I finally got up the nerve to kiss you?" He grins, his cheeks flushed, and his voice is quiet when he says, "I figured if you were willing to do that, you maybe liked me a little."

Gee smiles back and then schools her face into a bored expression. "Whatever. You're okay, I guess."

He laughs, and she grins down at her lap, curling up in the comfy chair and pulling her skirt over her knees. While he cuts and splices, they talk about music and have good-natured arguments about Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins and Trent Reznor: yay or nay. They bond hardcore over the Misfits, and Frank talks her ear off about Bouncing Souls, makes her promise to go to a show. They talk movies and comics and books and school. He asks about her art and keeps asking questions even after she tells him her initial high concept, when most people just nod and smile politely and then change the subject.

Every so often they pause so that he can run the film through the projector and check the progress. She watches it take shape, come to life, and by five in the morning, he's got a rough cut ready. They watch it together from the bench seat, her head on his shoulder. It's beautiful—evocative and joyful, and the shots and angles he chooses make Gee feel the rhythm of the music even though she can't hear it.

She falls asleep on the bench while he makes his final edits, and then he wakes her up and walks her home, the frost on the ground sparkling in the first light of day.

******

The first time they fuck, she lets him take charge.

It's the middle of the day, and Gee's got Frank spread out on her bed. Pete and Gabe are out at class all day, and she and Frank are damn well taking advantage of the empty suite. Between his roommate, her two suitemates, and their competing schedules, this is the first chance they've had to be alone since that night in the editing room. They've pretty much made out in every possible place on campus—if there's a vertical surface with a modicum of privacy, Gee's had Frank pressed up against it, moaning into her mouth, hands roving everywhere.

But finally, fucking finally, they've got a bed and hours to themselves, and she's straddling him, boots still on, skirt hiked up to her thighs. Her shirt is half unbuttoned under her unzipped hoodie and her hair is wild, but she's concentrating on marking up Frank's neck, leaving bruises and bites as he moans under her mouth.

It should feel strange, fucking around with a guy again after all this time—fucking around with a guy and meaning it—but it doesn't. Everything about Frank feels fucking right—his dark eyes and filthy grin as he teases her nipples hard through her shirt, the uninterrupted slide of her fingers down his chest, his cock hard and hot through her panties as she grinds against him.

She pulls back, panting, and looks down at him. He's flushed and unkempt—shirt rucked up, soft belly exposed—and she wants to see more. She's trying to form coherent sentences, but all she can manage is, "Less clothes," her voice low and breathy.

He says, "Fuck, yeah," like he scored backstage passes for the Misfits or some shit, and she grins as she shrugs out of her hoodie.

He strips off his shirt and kneels on the floor to help unlace her boots. He tugs the second boot off and then stands up, pulling her up with him. He's undoing a button on her shirt when he stops and says, "Does the curtain have to stay closed? I want to see you." He steps over and opens it to let a crack of bright sunlight into the room. When it falls across her face, she hisses and shrinks away like a vampire, and he laughs and sits on the bed, facing her. His belly pooches out over the waistband of his jeans and it makes her want to push him down and bite him all over. But later. Because, fuck. "I want to see you," he says again, but quietly this time.

Gee takes a breath and steps into the beam of sun so that it stripes across her body from shoulder to thigh and slowly unbuttons her shirt. She keeps her eyes on Frank and can see the catch in his breath when she shrugs it off. He's watching her, bottom lip in his teeth, as she slides her skirt down and off, pushing it into a nearby clothes pile with her foot.

She takes her time standing back up, making sure he gets a good look at her tits in the black lace bra she's been wearing every day since they first kissed, just in case. She's standing there in only her bra and panties, heart racing under his gaze, resisting the urge to cover her belly, and when she looks back at Frank, his eyes are dark. He looks hungry, and she lets that shore her up before she reaches back and unhooks her bra, pulling it down her arms and letting it fall.

"Fuck," he whispers, his tone almost reverent. He's leaning back against the pile of pillows behind him, legs apart, one hand not-so-casually slung over his dick. He's hard in his jeans, and Gee watches as he palms his cock while she slides her thumbs under the waistband of her black panties and slowly draws them down. She bends low and then steps out of them, straightening up, keeping her eyes on Frank. His mouth is open slightly and he's breathing harder as he touches himself. She doesn't know what to do with her hands, and they flutter at her sides as she looks down to see the sunlight falling across her breast, down her stomach to the curl of hair between her legs. She feels brave, standing there, letting him see. The sun is warm on her skin.

It feels like she stands there for ages, but it's only a few seconds before Frank pushes himself up off the bed, stripping off the rest of his clothes. He pulls her close and kisses her breathless, his hand slipping down between her legs. She gasps and opens them and they both moan as his fingers slide slick and easy inside her.

She keeps kissing him, slides her hand down his chest and wraps it around his cock. She's surprised by how warm it is, at how weirdly alive it feels in her hand. She runs her fingers down to the base, then down to his balls, touching them carefully. He's not moving his hand inside her now; he's just... still, mouth on hers, breathing against her while she touches his cock. She swipes her thumb over the head and down, and he bites her lip, gasping, "Shit, sorry, sorry," as she keeps jacking him slowly.

"S'okay," she whispers, her hips moving against his hand. "Come on, let's—" She pulls away, tries to move back to the bed, but he resists.

"I'm just— I need—" He drops down and kneels in front of her, and her thoughts are a jumble of jesus fuck—spank bank, and I wonder if he'll have bruises on his knees when he gets his hands on her waist and just buries his face between her legs. She gasps and bucks forward, but he can't get a good angle—the height isn't right—and he makes a frustrated noise. "Wait, fuck. Hang on." He climbs on the bed and lies back, tucking a pillow behind his head. "Okay, c'mere." His voice is low and dirty, and his fingers leave a wet smear on her hip as he pulls her up onto the bed, his hands on her ass, pressing her up against his mouth.

"Holy shit," she gasps, bracing herself on the wall behind him, sliding her legs further apart and rocking her hips against him, riding his tongue. It's so fucking good—that feeling, like nothing else in the world, of a wet mouth against her slick cunt. He's fucking her with his tongue, and she's so close already, just reaches down and brings herself off while she fucks his face, crying out as she comes so hard she's shaking with it. "Oh my god. Oh my god."

He waits until her panting slows and then grins, looking fucking filthy, his mouth smeared wet with her come, and bucks his hips so she falls on her back against the pillows. He clambers after her, moving so quickly that she giggles. He doesn't seem to notice, though, just palms her breast and leans down to take the nipple into his mouth.

"Oh fuck," she moans, her hand on the back of his head as he tongues over her other nipple, his cock hard and leaking against her stomach.

She pulls him into a messy kiss, and when they break apart he looks fucking wrecked, mouth hanging open, brow furrowed like he's concentrating as he grinds against her.

"Oh god. Fuck." He kisses her again, his cock sliding easy against her belly. "I need to fuck you, Gee," he says against her neck, low and desperate, and just like that, she fucking needs it like breathing.

"Fuck yes," she says and grinds her hips up against him. He sucks in a sharp breath and grabs for the condoms. When he slides inside her, she moans and wraps her legs around him, spreading wide. "Jesus, fuck. Deeper. I want to feel you everywhere."

He lets out a strangled moan and thrusts harder, arm muscles straining as he leans over her. She grabs his ass and pulls him in, again and again, gripping his cock and feeling him hard and thick inside her. She closes her eyes, hands skating across his sweaty back as he keeps fucking into her steady and deep.

She comes again as he fucks her, clutching him tight as her whole body shudders against his. He kisses her hard, teeth against lips, and finds a new rhythm, fucking her hard and fast. She rocks her hips up to meet him until he cries, "Fuck, fuck," thrusts in deep, once, twice more, and comes inside her. His strokes slow as he comes down, and he collapses against her, chest heaving.

She feels his breath hot against her neck as his panting slows, and he starts to laugh.

She frowns. None of the girls ever laughed after she fucked them. "What the hell?" She wraps her arms around him, his skin tacky from sweat. "Hey, motherfucker, what's so funny?"

He pulls out slowly and gets rid of the condom. "Nothing." He flops down next to her and buries his face in her neck. "Just happy." She snorts, and he lifts his head, giving her a wounded look. "You're not?"

She grins. "I'm very happy. I'm happy squared." He ducks his head, smiling stupidly wide. Gee hesitates, then says, "So, can I ask you something?" He nods, and she reaches up to unstick his sweaty hair from his cheek, pushing it back and off his face. "How the fuck did you last 'til I came twice? I'm fucking impressed."

He rolls his eyes and then starts to giggle, burying his face in her tits. His voice is muffled when he admits, "I maybe jerked off right before I came over."

Gee starts to laugh, too. "Seriously?" He says something she can't understand, and she grabs his hair, tugging him up. "What?"

He bites his lip, and then says, "Well, like. You're used to being with girls, right?" He shifts so that his back is against her chest, her arm curled down across his belly. "I didn't want to be, I don't know. A letdown, or whatever."

She pulls him closer, her mouth against the back of his neck. "Trust me when I say you don't have anything to worry about. Okay?" He's quiet, and after a moment she leans over so she can see his face. He's grinning, so wide she can see all his teeth. She rolls her eyes, laughing. "Oh god, just say it. I know you want to."

Frank immediately does sideways victory arms and crows, "I'm awesome in bed and you came twice." He looks back over his shoulder and waggles his eyebrows. "Next time, I'm going for three."

She laughs and kisses him. "Dork." He reaches back and messes up her hair even more. She giggles, fending him off. "Ow, stop it, motherfucker. Super-serious post-sex talk means we get a fucking cigarette."

He finally stops messing with her and Gee grabs the pack, lighting one and taking a drag, then sticking it in Frank's mouth. He makes an appreciative noise, and they smoke together in silence, sweaty limbs tangled on her messy sheets. Gee lies back, watches the smoke curl into the sunlight, and grins up at the ceiling.

******

The first time they fight, they don't speak for two days.

They're in town at the thrift store, and Gee is trying on wedding dresses. They're going to Pete and Gabe's party as a zombie bride and groom, and Frank's making her try on the biggest, poofiest dress on the rack. It's yellowed with age and covered in lace and little bows. There are cigarette burns all down the right side. She tries it on and poses dramatically. He takes a Polaroid, waving it around as he gives her a new dress, pointing at the changing room. She shimmies out of the first one, tossing it over the cubicle to Frank. When she comes out in the next dress and does a twirl, his laughter dies out.

She looks down at the dress. It's strapless and pretty simple, compared to the rest of the ones she's tried—fitted to the waist with a long, full skirt made of layers and layers of tulle. "What? Is it on wrong?" She tries peer at the back of the dress in the mirror behind her.

"You look really pretty." His voice has gone soft.

She snorts. "Dude, you may need glasses. I look ridiculous."

He shakes his head and takes a picture. "You don't. Anyway, this is the one, definitely. You look awesome, and we can do tons of rotting flesh all over here, since there aren't straps."

Gee turns and looks in the mirror. Her hair's a mess from pulling the dresses on and off, and she's as pudgy as ever. Her skin's so pale that the off-white dress looks odd against it. She just doesn't see it.

He comes up behind her and rests his chin on her shoulder. His hair is spiked up and he's wearing her eyeliner. He's so much more beautiful than she is that she laughs and kisses him, heading back to the changing room.

He must be standing just outside the door, because his voice is loud and clear when he says, "I'd get a ring tomorrow if I could afford one." He sounds matter-of-fact, like this is something she obviously already knows about him.

She freezes with the dress halfway off. "What?" She can't keep the shock out of her voice.

He laughs. "And if I thought you wouldn't run screaming in the other direction."

She makes herself move again, gets the dress off and drags on her jeans and hoodie, opening the door to his grinning face. "Frank, you know you're a freshman in college, right? This is crazy talk."

He just smiles wider. "When you're sure, you're sure."

Her head is spinning, and she lets him drag her to the front and pay for their costumes. He wants to marry her. It doesn't even compute. She decides to put this information into a tiny compartment in her brain and not take it out again for a nice long while. But before she does, she lets herself feel a little thrill, just for a minute. Because someone—because Frank—wants her that much, is that sure of her.

The woman behind the counter—Vera, according to her name tag—smiles at them as she hands them the bag. "Thank you for coming. It's so refreshing to see a nice young couple like you." Frank takes the bag, grinning. She lowers her voice. "We get a lot of the homosexuals in here from up at the college." She gestures vaguely with her left hand. "They come in here—boys, trying on dresses, like they have no shame."

Frank's grin disappears and Gee can feel his whole body tense beside her. "What?"

Vera recoils at his tone.

Gee grabs his arm and hisses, "Frank, don't." She's seen him at parties when he's a little too drunk and someone rubs him the wrong way. He gets physical, throws his whole body into shit, and she doesn't want him to trash the fucking store. She grips his arm, the muscle firm beneath her fingers.

Gee leans across the counter and says, in her sweetest voice, "Just so you know, Vera? I'm going to take him home right now, strap one on, and fuck him 'til he forgets his name."

Vera's hand flutters up to cover her mouth, and Gee pulls Frank out of the store.

They start walking quickly away and Gee just stares at the sidewalk, her face hot and heart pounding. It had been a fucking lie—they've never even talked about it, though she's thought about it kind of a lot, especially with the way he bucks and moans with her fingers inside him—but she'd wanted to shock that bitch out of her complacency. It wasn't just that she was a homophobe, it was also the way she had assumed that they were on her team. Gee shakes her head and looks over at Frank, whose face is still an angry mask.

"That bitch. Seriously, who the fuck does she think she is, saying shit like that?" He takes her hand and gives her a small smile. "You were fucking awesome, though. God, her face. I just wanted to knock shit off the shelves." He huffs out a laugh. "Your way was better. Much less getting arrested." His anger seems to be dissipating as he talks about organizing a boycott of the store and getting the word out around school.

Gee just nods at appropriate intervals, her thoughts a squirming mass of what the fuck. This is what it means to be with Frank—people assuming that they're straight, that they're something they're just not. She's never been with a boy before, not like this. She's fucked a few at parties, given blowjobs in the backseats of cars, but when it came to holding hands in the hallway, to being seen, it had always been girls. She doesn't know what to think, but she knows that she has to figure it out. Frank isn't going anywhere, and it's finally starting to sink in, what that really means.

She's pulled up short when Frank stops abruptly. They're at the path that leads to campus, and Frank is frowning at her. "You haven't been listening to a word I've been saying, have you?" Gee doesn't answer, just looks at her feet. "What's going on with you? Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. I just—" She sees a clutch of students coming toward them on the path and drops Frank's hand without thinking.

He looks down as the kids pass them, talking and laughing, ignoring them completely. His voice is quiet and hurt when he says, "Gee, seriously. What's going on?"

"I don't know." She wants to tell him, but she doesn't fucking know how. She doesn't want to hurt him but she can't figure out how not to, so she doesn't say anything at all.

"You don't know," he repeats slowly. "But you don't want to hold my hand in public anymore." His voice is flat, and she looks at him. He's still looking down, hands shoved in his pockets.

"I just can't right now." She can't talk about this, can't think about it. She needs to be alone and figure shit out. "Frank—"

She can barely make it out when he interrupts, saying, "I have to go," and walks off quickly without looking at her again. She stands there long after he's out of sight before turning to go.

~~~

"I fucked everything up." She flicks ash from her cigarette and tries to remember how many she's had, frowning at the overflowing ashtray. "I called him six times yesterday, but he wouldn't pick up. He fucking hates me, Mikes."

Mikey sighs. His breath is loud through the phone. "No, he doesn't." She can hear a rush of noise in the background on his end, a door slamming, and then quiet. "What did you do?"

She exhales. "Sorry, fuck. Is it a bad time?"

"It's fine." His voice is flat, but she can tell he means it, so she settles in and tells him the whole story—the thrift store, Frank's crazy talk about a ring, Vera's assumption and her own reply. Mikey listens quietly, interrupting when she gets to the part about telling off Vera to say, "Augh, what the fuck, Gee. I did not need to know that."

She snorts. "It's not even true." She blows smoke up and watches it drift through the light filtering in from the half-open curtain. She closes her eyes. "I'd kind of like it to be true, though," she says in a small voice, and then feels like there's a fist clenching around her heart when she remembers that Frank hates her and she might not get the chance. She finishes the story, trailing off when she gets to the end. "He looked so fucking hurt. But I didn't know how to explain."

He's quiet for a moment. "So, you're, like, worried that people will think you're straight? Because you're with Frank?"

"Sort of." She leans her head back against the wall.

His voice is low when he says, "What's so bad about being straight? I'm straight."

"Nothing. Mikey, that's not what I meant." She squeezes her eyes shut for a moment, trying to organize her thoughts. "It's just— I'm not. Straight. So, there's nothing wrong with it, of course not, but it's not what I am."

"But people will think you are." He coughs, and she can hear the snick of a lighter on the other end of the phone.

"Right. It just feels so— I don't know, false." She sighs and stubs out her cigarette. "I'm a fucking mess." She threads her fingers through her hair and tugs until it hurts. "All I've done for the past day and a half is smoke and cry and watch episodes of X-Files that I recorded off TV."

"You know what I'm going to say, right?" She can hear the smile in his voice.

She grins and rolls her eyes. "That I should talk to Frank."

Mikey's voice is muffled, like he's talking around his cigarette. "Go camp out in his hallway if you have to."

Gee lets go of her hair and sighs. "I miss you. Miss your stupid face."

"You too, dork." He exhales, and she pictures him blowing smoke sideways. "So, which X-Files did you watch?"

~~~

Gee pulls on her favorite black skirt, the too-small Rolling Stones shirt Frank likes best, and his old army jacket. Armed only with the outfit and a bottle of apology whiskey, she walks over to Frank's dorm like she's approaching her doom. When he opens the door, she can see it all over his face, just how much he doesn't hate her at all, and she lets out the breath she didn't realize she'd been holding.

She offers him the bottle. "I was a dick. Can we talk?"

He steps forward, sideswiping her outstretched arm, and kisses her. His mouth is warm against hers, and the bottle thunks against his back as she pulls him in.

******

The first time he asks her to fuck him, she almost chokes on her waffles.

They're in the dining hall, in a booth across from Gabe and Pete and their nontraditional meal of home fries and strawberry soft serve. She and Frank have been congratulating themselves for the past five minutes straight on making the two o'clock cut-off for brunch when it's all the fuck way across campus. And a Sunday. Even though Gee is still wearing her Star Wars pajama pants and Frank's hoodie is zipped up to his chin to hide the truly spectacular come stains on his t-shirt, they fucking made it, and now there are waffles, and that's what's important.

Gabe and Pete are fighting over the last bite of ice cream when Frank leans close and says, "You could, you know." She looks over, frowning, and he looks back steadily, still chewing, and then swallows. "I want you to." His voice sounds somehow both dirty and hopeful.

"I could... what?" She's distracted, watching Gabe kiss Pete, trying to share the last bite against Pete's will.

Frank is quiet for a moment, then leans close. She can feel his breath hot against her neck as he says, "Strap one on. Fuck me 'til I forget my name." She sucks in a sharp breath and forgets the bite of waffle already in her mouth, ends up red-faced and coughing as Frank rubs her back and grins.

She gets him back ten minutes later, while the guys are arguing about the correct penalty for wussing out of a dare in Truth or Dare. Frank sides with Pete, and they're both trying to wear Gabe down when she slides her palm up Frank's thigh under the table, not stopping until she's cupping his dick. He breaks off mid-sentence and coughs, then stumbles through the rest of his thought while she looks across the table and nods along earnestly.

When Pete turns away, she leans in, mouth over Frank's ear, and breathes, "Fuck, yes. I want to bend you over, fuck you hard 'til you come all over yourself." She pauses, slides her hand slowly over his hardening cock. "I want to mess you up. Make you beg for it." His face is flushed when she kisses his cheek and slides her hand away, turning back to the conversation as Frank leans forward over the table and adjusts his jeans.

~~~

A week later, they're hanging out in Frank's room when he throws his Psychology book down on the bed and says, "I got you a present." He sits up on his knees and clasps his hands, and she laughs and puts down her own book. "It's supposed to be for our six month anniversary, but I can't wait another week."

"Our six month—" Gee tries to do the math in her head. She hadn't even thought about it. Shit, and now she needs to get him a present.

Frank rolls his eyes, grinning. "Don't worry, you don't have to get me anything. This present is for both of us." He reaches under the bed so far that all she can see is his ass and legs, and she grabs a leg to help pull him back up. He ends up in a heap on her lap and hands her a blue gift bag with a flourish.

In the bag, nestled in a sea of bright blue tissue paper, Gee finds a black dildo, the base flared to fit in a harness. It's silicone and shaped to look like a real cock, with a head and veins and everything. She swallows and grins at Frank, then glances at the door. "Kyle's gone for a while, right?"

"Yeah, he's at work 'til eight." Frank's eyes are bright. "Do you like it?"

"It's—" She's not sure how to explain, but she wants to put it on right away, wants to feel the weight of it against her. She takes it out of the bag, running her fingers over the ridges.

Frank's watching her, biting his lip. "Don't worry, it's brand new and everything. It came in this plastic thing, but I wanted it to be pretty when you got it, so I took it out of the package and washed it and stuff. And—"

"I love it." She interrupts him, glancing over from behind the dark fall of her hair. "It's very me."

She slides up so her head is on the pillow, shoving her book and the gift bag off the bed with her feet. "C'mere."

Frank props his head on his arm and lies facing her, the dildo between them. She can't keep her hands off of it, keeps running her fingertips up and down the shaft and around the head. He touches it too, fingers tangling with hers, and she leans her head on her other arm, watching them touch her cock. "So," she says, her voice low and dirty.

His head snaps up and he sucks his lip ring into his mouth, worrying it with his tongue. "Yeah?"

"So, the other night I put my harness on." She pushes him over so his back is flat against the bed and straddles him. "Haven't worn it in ages." She reaches down and undoes his pants with one hand, sliding her palm down over his briefs and stroking him through the thin material. "Looked fucking good in it, too, all that black leather against my skin." He gasps and presses up against her, cock hard under her hand, and she slips her fingers under the waistband of his briefs, kisses him slow and dirty. She leans up, lips against his neck, and whispers, "I jerked off, thinking about fucking you."

"Oh, fuck." He sounds wrecked, and he's fighting the material of her skirt, trying to get his hands on her. "Please, Gee, just—"

"Yeah," she breathes, and they shove his jeans and briefs down his thighs, slick on the condom, and she wriggles out of her panties, not bothering to shed any other clothes. She sinks down on him with a long, low moan, pressing him into the bed, her hands on his wrists. She grinds against him, dirty and slow, letting the sensation build.

Frank is arching against her hold, and he keeps up a steady stream of dirty talk, telling her how good it feels to have her fingers inside him, how he can't fucking wait to feel her big cock, how deep he's going to take her, that he wants her to make him beg for it. It's heady and so fucking hot, and when he thrusts up hard with his hips, mouth open wide, and comes just before she's ready, when she's almost fucking there, she slides off him with a whimper, rolling onto her back. She closes her eyes and slips her hand down to get herself off, but he's quick, so fucking fast, and he's got the dildo and slides it against her cunt and inside her before she knows what's happening.

"Oh jesus fuck, yes, that," she moans, grabbing his hand and guiding the cock deeper. "Fuck me. God, please." And he knows her, knows just what she fucking needs, and she spreads her legs wide and rocks against him, pulls him down to kiss her deep and messy until she cries out, really fucking loud, and comes so hard she feels dizzy.

Once they've both caught their breath, they end up tangled together in the tiny bed, wet and dirty and smelling of sex. "Holy fuck, that was hot." He sighs and kisses her head where she's resting on his chest, tracing the flame tattooed over his heart. He sounds kind of smug when he says, "I fucked you with your own cock."

"You really really did," she says, laughing. "That was a fucking great present. And all I got you was this lousy orgasm."

Frank laughs and tightens his arm around her shoulders. "You'll just have to make it up to me," he deadpans. "With your cock." She giggles, and he continues in a stage whisper, "With your cock in my ass. In case that wasn't clear."

She snorts softly. "I don't know, you're pretty subtle. Explain it to me some more."

******

The first time she tells him she loves him, he fucks her up against the Applied Sciences building.

They're at a show at the tiny club just off campus. Frank is friends with the dudes in the band, knows them from the scene back home. The show is fucking great, and they've spent an hour in the pit, swirling and shoving, dancing hard. Gee had hung back by the bar at first, nursing a beer and watching Frank move through the crowd during the opener. He'd emerged halfway through the set, put her beer down on the bar, and pulled her in with him, his eyes bright and alive as he pushed back onto the packed floor.

She's flushed and hot, her t-shirt clinging to her, and she feels fucking high. He hasn't let her go since he brought her in, and it feels like the two of them against the crowd, the beat thudding through them as they move together. Frank's friends are really good, and halfway through their set the lead singer gets on the mic and calls Frank up onstage. He shakes his head "no" as the crowd calls and cheers, but eventually goes, looking tiny onstage standing with his hands clasped behind his back. Gee moves to the side to stand and watch, and she sees him change when they give him the guitar. He straps it on and his chin goes up. He looks at the crowd like he's daring them to fight, stance wide, blowing the hair out of his face.

They launch into a Nirvana cover, and Frank is—fuck, he's mesmerizing up there. When he drops to his knees, mouth open and back arched, she whispers, "Holy fuck," and steps back until she's leaning against a column. She fucking needs something to hold her up right now. She's seen him play, just the two of them in the practice rooms, watching his hands as he worked through a chord progression over and over, making jokes about his bad fingering technique until he got his hand in her pants and proved her wrong. Frank onstage is something else entirely. He plays with his whole body, flinging himself across the stage, electric and beautiful. She can't take her eyes off of him, doesn't even see anyone else onstage.

~~~

When they meet up outside after the show, she walks right up to him, pulls him in and kisses him hard. They break apart after a bit and she presses even closer, pulling his hips against hers. "I'm a total groupie cliché and I don't even fucking care," she murmurs against his lips. "I don't care. That was so fucking hot."

His eyebrows go up and he laughs. "Seriously?"

"Seriously," she answers, and even that sounds dirty coming out of her mouth. She pulls him behind a clump of thick bushes, and he's still laughing as he presses her up against the building behind them. It's so dark in the shadows that she can barely see his face. She fists her hand in his hair and pulls him down to kiss her deep and dirty.

She's already scrambling to unbuckle his belt when he gets his hand under her skirt and into her panties, stroking slick and hot between her legs. She bites his arm to keep from moaning, and that makes him gasp. "Come on," she whispers, fumbling in his back pocket for the condom she knows he keeps there. He gets his jeans open in record time and then her back is scraping hard against the brick with every thrust, her ass propped on a tiny ledge, barely enough to keep her up. They kiss to keep themselves quiet, and when Gee has to move back to breathe, she slips her fingers over his mouth, trapping the sounds he makes as he fucks her hard and fast.

She keeps sliding down, and her t-shirt's rucked up to her armpits, and she doesn't give a fuck. She comes first, writhing against Frank, scratching her back all to fuck and biting down on his hoodie to muffle her cries, the zipper cool against her tongue. He slides her up to a better position and fucks her faster, harder, pinning her against the building. It's hot and close and she can barely breathe and she doesn't care at all. He thrusts in one final time, so fucking deep, and comes, gasping around her fingers and holding her closer, shaking against her as he comes down, his head falling forward onto her shoulder.

They lean together against the building, catching their breath, and she can't wait until they pull their clothes back together, just slides her hands up under his sweaty t-shirt and presses her face into his shoulder. "I love you, okay. I just." She's mumbling the words into his chest, and she forces herself to be brave and look at him. She can't quite meet his eyes, so she tells his mouth, "I'm totally fucking in love with you." She looks down again. "So." Her heart is pounding in her chest, and the silence stretches for a fucking eternity before she dares to look up.

Frank looks a little like he's been hit by a two-by-four, but in a good way. His voice is soft and warm when he says, "Love you back, Gee Way."

They pull themselves together and walk back under the darkness, holding hands the whole way home.

******

The first time she fucks him, she comes before he does.

They're in Frank's room—his roommate is gone for the weekend, and this way there's no chance of Gabe or Pete "accidentally" walking in on them. The door is locked and the desk chair is shoved under the knob, just in case. Frank is naked, spread out on the bed on his stomach, and Gee is on her knees, two fingers inside him, grinning as he gasps and writhes under her hand. She's had him here for a while, getting him worked up, and he's just now started to beg.

He's already come once tonight. She wanted to take the edge off, let him enjoy this, so she pressed him up against the door as soon as they got it closed, sliding to her knees and sucking him off fast and messy until he came so hard she couldn't swallow it all and sat back on her heels, smiling up at him with come running down her chin.

Now she's got him ready and waiting, her cock jutting up from the black leather harness. She pulls her fingers out and wipes them on the sheet. "Hey," she says, her voice low and languid, a stark contrast to the racket her heart is making in her ears. "Want to suck me off before I fuck you?"

Frank looks up at her and then his eyes trace a slow, obvious path down her body. She runs a hand through her hair and keeps the other on her hip while he focuses on her cock. He bites his lower lip and when he looks up at her again, he nods, his eyes dark. He crawls over, pressing his face into her belly, sliding down and biting the leather strap of the harness. He's hard and leaking again already, but every time he tries to get a hand on his cock, she tells him no. She wants him to come with her cock in his ass, not before.

He wraps his hand around the dildo and licks his lips, hesitating. She runs her thumb across his mouth and he opens up immediately, sucking it in. His mouth is so hot, so fucking slick, and she gasps as he licks the pad of her thumb. She pulls it out, drags it wet across his cheek. He leans forward then and just goes down, sucking her cock into his mouth and hollowing his cheeks. The sight of his lips stretched around her makes her moan, and she moves her hips, watches her dick slide into his mouth and then back out, shiny with spit.

"Fuck, Frank. Look at you," she whispers.

He makes a noise low in his throat, pulls off and gets up on his knees to kiss her, his hand running over the harness, sliding down her cock and lower, between her legs. She sucks in a breath and automatically spreads her knees, giving him room to slip his fingers back and inside.

"Jesus," he groans, two fingers sliding in easy, and he kisses her deep and messy. Gee moans into his mouth, grinding against his hand, her cock forgotten until he pulls her close and it gets in the way. He pulls out and wraps his slick fingers around her dick, breathing hard and resting his forehead on her chest. "Gee, fucking please," he begs, voice low and needy. "Fuck me. Please."

"Yeah," she breathes, and fuck, she didn't know her voice could even sound like that, all sex-tinged and smoky. "Yes." She kisses him quickly and rearranges them so he's on his knees, bent over in front of her. She takes a deep breath, slides a condom on and slicks herself with a fuckton of lube. "Tell me if you need me to stop, okay?"

"Jesus fucking christ, woman." He's laughing and desperate all at once, head bowed between his folded arms. "Stick it in, would you?"

Gee laughs too, and pushes forward until the head is inside him. He stops laughing abruptly and for a moment their breathing is the only sound in the room. She strokes her hands down his hips, gripping again and pressing slowly in. She keeps it steady and slow until she's all the way inside him, her belly flush against his ass. She holds there, letting him adjust, waiting.

"Oh fuck, Gee. Fuck. You're so—" He breaks off and she can feel him moving his hips, pushing back against her. "You feel so fucking big, fuck."

"Are you good? Can I—" Gee's forcing herself not to move, stopping her hips from pulling back and thrusting in again. She wants to fuck him hard, wants it in a way that she didn't expect. She can feel him as he moves under her, and she wants to take him apart, watch him come to pieces around her cock.

"Fuck, yes, do it," he gasps, and that's all she fucking needs. She pulls out slowly and then snaps her hips forward, and he cries out and pushes back harder. She holds him steady and gets a rhythm going, strokes in deep and hard. Every thrust teases her clit, and she lets herself grind against him.

She reaches down and takes his cock in her slick hand as she fucks him, and he groans and bucks forward into her fist. She rides him harder and tries to jerk him off, but he keeps slipping out of her grip and she pulls back, frustrated. "Fuck, can you—" She grabs his hips and slows down a little. "Wait." He makes a little noise of complaint. "Turn over, okay?"

He nods quickly and Gee pulls out slowly. He's on his back in seconds and she kneels closer and runs her hands up his legs, starts pushing them back and further apart. Frank's eyes are glassy and he reaches for her, pulling her close, running his hands over her tits. She's still wearing her bra, and he pulls the cups down and thumbs her nipples hard.

She slides back in and he closes his eyes and rolls his hips up into her thrusts, and he's so beautiful she kind of wants to stop and draw him, the way his head is thrown back, the lines of his throat. She leans down so her tits are in his face, keeps fucking him with steady strokes, and he groans and sucks a nipple into his mouth, flicks it with his tongue.

"Fuck, yes," she gasps. "Suck it." She thrusts in again and again, his mouth on her tits, and suddenly—fuck—she's fucking there. "Oh god," she breathes, her voice thick and raspy, fucking him faster, closer and closer with every thrust. She feels fucking frantic, hands fisted in the sheets, arm muscles burning as she moves above him, panting, "Oh fuck. Fuck. Please, just—"

"Yeah. Fuck, yeah. C'mon." Frank grits out, jerking his chin up, voice low and fucking blown. He's jacking his cock, fist sliding against her sweaty stomach as she grinds against him one more time and comes, loud and long, clinging to him through the aftershocks with deep, shuddering breaths.

"Holy fucking shit," she breathes, her voice dark and wrecked. She kisses him then, keeps moving inside him, pillow shoved back, bed moving with the force of her thrusts. She licks the sweat from his collarbone, lets her teeth scrape up his neck, then pulls back so she can watch him touch himself.

"Fuck. Jesus," Frank gasps, brow creased. He pushes his head back into the mattress, his neck straining as he arches into her thrusts, fist moving on his dick. "You feel so fucking good. Just." His breath is coming in fits and starts, and his whole body is held tight—on the fucking edge. "Don't fucking stop, Gee. Don't—" He's jacking himself hard and fast, and she can tell he's close, so fucking close, keeps her rhythm steady, and she's holding her breath when he finally cries out, "Fuck, oh fuck," and comes all over his chest and belly. She breathes out, grinning, and leans down to kiss him as he strokes himself through it. He lets go of his cock and she pulls out slowly, gets rid of the condom, and flops down, her face smashed into his neck.

"Jesus fucking christ," she slurs, pausing to kiss his sweaty skin. "I forgot what a workout that is."

"You're amazing," he says slowly, pulling the words out one at a time. She rolls to her side and he lets his head loll towards her, like he doesn't have the energy to move anything else. "Gonna feel you for days," he murmurs, his face somehow bright and happy, even with the heavy-lidded gaze of the well and truly fucked. "That was—" He trails off, running a hand down her sweaty chest and wrapping it around her cock.

"Fucking intense," she finishes, still a little breathless.

He laughs and kisses her. "Fucking perfect."

******

When she asks him to live with her, he says yes before she can finish the sentence.

They're sitting on her bed, reading. She's propped against the wall by the pillow, and he's down by the end of the bed, his left hand curled around her ankle as he reads.

She pokes his thigh with her toe and says, "Live with me." She swallows. "Next year, I mean—"

"Yes," he cuts her off and jumps on top of her. "Fuck yes. Thought you'd never fucking ask." He's beaming, and he kisses her stomach and just rests his head there, arms and legs around her like an octopus. "I already deferred campus housing for next year."

"You what?" She's shocked—she'd only just worked her way up to this yesterday.

"Yeah, weeks ago." Gee can see the side of his face, sees him smile. "Told you. I'm sure."

She runs her fingers through his hair and he hums and snuggles closer. "Me too," she says quietly.

His smile spreads wider. "I know."

They're quiet then, and he nestles his head more comfortably on her belly, closing his eyes. She thinks about how it'll be, living in town, commuting into the city every day for work. "Oh hey," she says, keeping her voice low. "Maybe we can get a dog."

He's already falling asleep, but he squeezes her side and mumbles, "Fucking love you."

She grins, picks up her book and shifts to make herself more comfortable, resting an arm across his back. The sunlight falls on her face, and she tilts her head so it's not in her eyes and just keeps reading.

 

The End