Frank is aimlessly drifting around his small apartment before his shift, nervously checking his phone every minute to see if Gerard has messaged him. It's stupid. He knows he shouldn't be like this, all on edge and desperate. After all, it's not like Gerard is actually his boyfriend. Nothing similar to that title had ever been spoken between them so he knows he shouldn't assume anything, despite it being six months since they had first slept together. A part of him really wonders if Gerard remembers that it is their anniversary of sorts. The writer was due to arrive in town sometime before nine AM and had promised to get in contact about where he will be staying. Frank pulls a face, remembering the time he had taken Gerard back to his for the night and made the mistake of offering him the chance to stay any night that he was in town. The loud laugh which Gerard had given still makes him stomach twist painfully and his throat close with embarrassment. He hasn't made the mistake of offering again.
He is just pulling the keys to his car out when his phone finally vibrates with a message. He tries to ignore the odd fluttering sensation in his stomach as he tugs it out, flipping the screen open to read it. This time it is actually from Gerard and plainly states that he has just landed and will be checking in shortly. He knows that they have previously discussed why Gerard can no longer stay at the hotel where he works, especially not after Brendon walked in on Frank with his hands literally inside Gerard's pants in a way that indicated things were more than just friendly between them. Frank quickly snaps his phone shut and hurries into the elevator, feeling very much on edge. Half of him expects that the writer would've booked in where he works just to spite him, the other half almost desperately keen for him to do it to show that he really wants him. He mutters a quick hello to Ray before subtly looking through the bookings. Gerard's name... isn't there. Unsure whether he is relieved or secretly gutted, he gathers up his list of appointments for the day and heads out back. Dewees from dry cleaning notices his mood immediately and for once doesn't give him shit about it. He simply brushes his black hair off his face and shoots him a knowing look with a sight nod.
Frank has barely time to set his bag down next to his second favourite overlocker, when the phone rings shrilly.
“Miss me?” a familiar voice asks before Frank can even offer the stock standard “Good Morning, Heritage hotel tailoring services, you are speaking with Frank, how may I assist you today?” He frowns slightly at the receiver.
“...Gerard? What are you...? I'm working!” Frank whispers harshly into the phone.
“Yes, I dialed your work number.”
“You know I'm not supposed to-” Frank quickly covers the phone as Greta drops off a few shirts with a cheerful good morning. “What was so pressing that you couldn't have txted me?” he asks when she leaves the room. It is strictly against company policy to receive personal calls during work hours, most especially on his work phone and Frank knows that has all but used up the last of his warnings.
Gerard scoffs a little before confidently stating that he thought that he might like to hear his voice before assuring him that he will txt him as well. “I'm just checking in down the road,” he states, his voice echoing weirdly in what Frank can only assume is the lobby and not the sidewalk where he would have just crushed out that last of his cigarette. There is a small pause before “Oooh... I wonder if that's the tailor, he's cute.”
“Uh-huh,” Frank tries his very best not to sound jealous but knows that he is totally failing. “Yeah, I saw your name wasn't on the books.”
“Oh? You looked?” Gerard sounds very pleased with himself, “You do miss me! How sweet.”
“I... no,” Frank quickly replies, “I just didn't want to get fired, especially after what happened the last time you stayed here.” He glances at the pile of shirts with missing buttons which has seemingly multiplied in his misdirected attention. “Look, I really have to go-”
“Last time? Nothing wrong with the last time I stayed there. Oh well, your loss. I'll see you tonight baby.”
Frank opens his mouth to reply but realizes that there is no point when all he can hear is dial tone and jams the handset down harder than what he meant to. He glares at the pile of shirts and pants as if they were the source of all this god-forsaken mess before digging his phone out and sending a quick txt asking what hotel and room number is. Gerard has some sort of fancy charity dinner that he has decided that he wants to drag him to and sounded positively gleeful about the fact that there will be photographers there. The dinner starts at seven and Frank had to practically beg on his hands and knees to Lindsey and Ray to let him knock off early. He hopes that his efforts aren't wasted and the weird carpet burn rip doesn't progress any further on the knees of his nice dress pants.
He is midway through sewing on his fourteenth button for the day when his phone vibrates with an incoming message. “Oh, he ~is the tailor! I'm getting him to fix that jacket you fucked up the other week” is not really the reply he was expecting. He frowns, tapping out a quick retort of “I didn't fuck it up! Look, I get off at 6 2nite, I can fix it then.” and presses send.
Hardly a second later, Gerard sends back “Jealous, baby? He's pretty fucking cute.” He knows that he is doing this to fuck with him, but a part of him cannot help but be scared that he is actually serious. Gerard is hot, hotter than anyone he has ever picked up before, girls included. It makes no sense that he should still want to see him.
“Maybe U should ask him out 2nite instead.”
Frank realizes his mistake the minute he pushes send. He knows that Gerard would have no problem picking up someone else to take with him as he has made clear on a number of occasions. It would be pretty shitty to open up the newspaper or whatever and see a different guy on his arm. His throat feels tight and uncomfortable as he quickly types out that he takes it back, that he has already ironed his shirt for him and to txt him the room number when he gets the chance. He puts his phone back into his bag so he's not tempted every two seconds to look at the goddamn thing and tries his best to get on with his day.
It is nearly three PM by the time he fishes it out again and there are a number of messages from Gerard around the concept of “You should come and visit me or won't you cause I can't hire you from this hotel?” He quickly messages back for the second time that he gets off at six and that he has to head home to change first.
“At 6? I'll get you off before that if you come over ;)”
Frank rolls his eyes and pretends to himself that he's not all that interested. He makes the mistake of telling Gerard that he had to grovel on his knees to get off earlier.
“You begged for me, baby? Awww how sweet. You can beg me later ;)”
Again with the wink, as if the sexual innuendo wasn't obvious enough. He sighs, leaning his elbows on the sewing desk to type a reply something along the lines of “Yeah, nothing like orgasm denial to start my weekend with you. I'll be sure to rub one out in the shower before I come over.” It is a barely disguised threat, one that he more than intends to carry out. It wouldn't be the first time Gerard has done something like that to him and it isn't exactly his favourite game.
He is just in the middle of trimming some loose threads off the bottom of his own shirt when his phone vibrates loudly with Gerard's reply. “Well, if you're not keen then I'll bring the cute tailor from this place up to my room. I'm sure he'd be game.” The very suggestion makes him feel desperately uneasy and he finds himself quickly tapping back a “I never said I wasn't keen” and pressing send. Gerard's response comes back a few minutes later, a simple “Good, I'll see you then. You can change and shower here.” It isn't exact relieving and he finds that his heart is still beating too hard.
The remaining hours drag out and it is twenty past six by the time he is actually able to leave. Part of him didn't want to message Gerard and let him know he'd be late, to let him maybe feel some of the anxiety he feels whenever the red head is in town. But he had relented, sitting in his beat up car with his suit carefully folded on the passengers side. He receives no reply, not even as he is walking through the expensive looking lobby or traveling up in the mirrored elevators. It feels very weird to be in the hotel and he half expects the attending staff to rat him out. It is hard not to make comparisons between his work and this place, what with the way the carpet is softer underfoot and the fact that each of the card slots are a highly polished mock bronze. It's nice here, far nicer than his own place of employment but everything feels weirdly rigid and stiff.
He quickly knocks on the door which Gerard had told him was his and cannot help checking down the hallway a few times.
“If you're not tiny, tattooed and totally hot for me then fuck off!” A slightly mumbled voice shouts through the heavy fire door.
“Classy!” Frank yells back, “How about you open the door and find out?”
“Oh good, you're feisty too,” the voice replies, growing louder before the door is suddenly opened and Frank is hauled in by his shirt. “You're late.”
Frank looks at Gerard with a mixture of amusement and relief and quickly tells him that a wizard is never late, nor is he early, that he arrives precisely when he means to. He's seen the ring which Gerard keeps on his keys and its a fairly safe bet he got the terrible reference. He is pushed roughly against the back of the door, the peephole digging uncomfortable into the back of his head.
“You are Frodo in that story, baby,” Gerard states, giving him a burning once over. “The hot version. I always forget how pretty you are-” The rest of the sentence is cut off when Frank raises his eyebrows. He's not used to the taller man actually giving him compliments. He gives into the one desire that has been plaguing him since Gerard had hinted that he was even coming to the city in the first place and grabs his face, kissing him hard. It's not the smoothest thing ever and there is a few bumped noses and sort of unfortunate accidents involving teeth but it's so good and leave him panting and wishing he wasn't pinned down.
“Fucking missed you,” he mumbles, in between furious battle for domination and more friction, “Hope you didn't actually invite the other tailor.”
Gerard makes an odd noise in the back of his throat and pulls away a little, trailing his fingertips across his jaw line. “He wasn't that cute,” he explains with a small shake of his head.
If there is one thing that he has gained from this hook-up or whatever the hell it is between them, is that he can't trust the man currently undoing his belt. “Oh really?” Frank asks, reaching down to take over from Gerard's fumbling hands. The belt is an old one and is a bitch of a thing to undo at the best of times, but he had refused to get leather and this was the next best thing. “You just saying that to spare my feelings?”
Gerard pulls back and raises one of his slightly unruly eyebrows plainly stating that Frank should know by now that is not how he works.
“Now I'm really hurt that you'd toy with me like that,” Frank jokes with a mock pout, “I should've gone home to get ready-”
Gerard rolls his hips sharply against him, bringing his swollen lips right to his ear. “Aw, don't be like that,” he breathes, sending shivers down his spine. It's hell having him this close and having in complete control as his hot mouth trails down his neck, sucking the fragile skin in between his small teeth. Frank closes his eyes and attempts to stifle the embarrassing moan attempting to work its way out his throat when Gerard suddenly stops.
“Go shower, you smell.”
“Really?” Frank asks, whining a little at the loss of contact as Gerard steps back. He raises one arm and sniffs a little at it. It's really nothing offensive and all he can really smell is that weird overlocker smell and... “You don't like the smell of other mens cologne and women's perfume on me, do you?”
It's barely a slip, but for a second he swears he saw something on Gerard's face other than an amused smirk. For the first time he's actually able to see him clearly and weirdly impressed at how well put together he looks today in tight fitting jeans, black combat boots and some random T-shirt which probably cost more than a months worth of wages for him. Frank takes the hint and pries himself off the door and makes a move towards the bathroom.
“Nope, just mine, Frankie,” Gerard tells him, not at all being subtle in the ways his eyes follow him, hungry and dark with want.
Frank grins back and quickly lays his suit over the arm of one of the decorative chairs before stripping off and heading for the shower. He half expects Gerard to join him, but after about seven minutes of standing there in the blast of the hot water, he gets sick of waiting and quickly cleans himself. This hotel uses the same brand of body wash and shampoo as his own, some sort of weird citrus blend that leaves his skin soft and red in the heat, making his tattoos stand out vividly. He re-enters the bedroom clad only in a towel and is strangely excited to see Gerard in just his tight boxer briefs. They are black this time and Frank can't help but think that they look too similar to all his other ones, as if they were from a ten pack. He hides the little giggle which threatens to spill forth and quickly tells him “This place is fancy, I like their towels.”
“Hmm, it's alright.” Gerard doesn't turn around, apparently preoccupied with ripping the plastic off a new box of cigarettes. Frank tries to ignore his body's scream for the nicotine and looks around the room instead.
“I mean, it's looks okay.” He wanders over to the bed and sits down, bouncing a little. “Their mattresses are shit though.”
Gerard turns to face him, bringing his lighter up and igniting the cigarette hanging out from between his thin, bitten lips. “You'll be comfortable enough between me and the mattress,” he states with certainty, inhaling deeply but never once breaking eye contact.
“You wanna prove this theory to me?” Frank asks a little breathlessly, “or should I get dressed? Don't want us to be late.”
“Oh we won't be,” Gerard replies, sauntering closer and slipping his thumbs into the waistband. It's a hint he can definitely take and without too much thought he reaches forward and drags Gerard's hips closer, his hands fitting perfectly into the yellow faded bruises there. His breath catches in anticipation as he slides his flattened palm across Gerard's rapidly tenting boxers, feeling the heat and the aching want. It doesn't take long before his mouth replaces his hand, ghost over the fabric. He knows that he must look like a completely inexperienced idiot right now, but he doesn't care, not with the way that Gerard grabs hold of his short hair and yank his head back with almost sickening force.
“You want it, Frankie?” Gerard whispers, using his spare hand to slowly tug the material down, letting them catch somewhere near his knees. The sight is almost too much and Frank finds himself whining. He doesn't need to look to see the smug, pleased expression on Gerard's face to know that it's there, to know how much he enjoys this. Usually he'd have to beg and plead before being let go but tonight things seem to be in a hurry and there isn't time for the usual games. The sound of Gerard's hitched breath as he seals his lips around him is perfect, the sound he's been longing to hear for weeks, the sound which means that Gerard wants this, wants him and in that moment he can pretend that things are a little bit different, that this means something more than a casual hookup. There is no point trying to fish out a condom for this. Frank hates the taste of the latex, and the lube in which it is covered even more so. It's probably not the smartest idea ever, but it's a bit late considering all that they've done together in the last few months. He still remembers the intense pleasure of barebacking for the first time with nothing to dull down the sensation of buried inside Gerard and hearing his whispered promises about it being okay. The doctors visit that week confirmed that everything was fine, but he can't help but feel the weirdest stab of jealously and fear as he looks at pictures online of Gerard at various signings and events with a different guy or girl with him, dressed to the nines and looking absolutely besotted with him. He can't help but wonder how often the author has done this and if there is anyone back in Portland. It would certainly explain why he's never ben allowed to his house, even that one time when he actually got on a fucking plane to see him. They'd stayed in a hotel that weekend. Frank really should stop being surprised and expecting things to be different.
Gerard moans loudly, his grip tightening as his hips find a steady rhythm. Frank keeps his eyes closed and tries to remember how to breath and not choke to death. The weird part is how much he totally gets off on it, how much he loves the feeling of being used like this. He must not have been doing the best job in the world as Gerard pulls out with a dissatisfied groan and finished himself off instead. Frank doesn't mind a shot in the face now and again and is very thankful that he took the time to shave this morning. Gerard brings his hand up and smears the rapidly cooling mess into Frank's mouth, shoving his fingers in almost too far. Sucking on Gerard's long fingers with his oddly short bitten nails has to be one of the greatest things in the world and just as he makes a move to open his towel to stroke himself, Gerard's fingers slide out and bat his hand away.
“Get dressed,” he commands, stepping back and tucking himself back into his boxers.
Frank blinks a little, confused and stupidly turned on. He looks up the ornamental clock on the wall and realizes he totally doesn't have the time to jerk off, no matter how hard and straining for contact he is. With a reluctant sigh he undoes the towel and wipes his face, giving himself a swift squeeze as he does so. He really needs something more then just this, just this swift action to take the edge off, but knows he's not going to be getting it for a while.
The ride in the limo is toture. Gerard insists on crowding his space with light, teasing touches and lowly spoken promises about all the things he's going to do to him after the dinner. There is only so much of this Frank can take and he finds himself complaining bitterly as Gerard's hand slinks up his thigh. “I thought you were gonna get me off?”
“Only if you came over earlier,” Gerard replies, his dark hazel eyes shining in the reflecting streetlights which peek in mutely through the heavily tinted windows.
An embarrassing whine slips from Frank's mouth. It's not his fault that there was an emergency involving some guy's suit jacket and poorly stitched linings. He grumbles something along the lines of Gerard being the worst type of cocktease and somehow misses the look in Gerard's eyes that scream sorry.
Frank tries his best to distract himself from his painful hard-on pressing against his pants by looking out the windows. It had gotten unexpectedly cold earlier this year and he finds a shiver crawl down his back that has nothing to do with the way the wind is blowing through the trees on the sidewalk and everything to do with Gerard's lingering fingertips stroking over the shell of his ear.
The small action does something weird to him and without really thinking, he grabs Gerard's wrist, asking in slightly uncertain terms what they are exactly. It's a stuttering mess of mismatched words and weird “um”'s thrown in for good measure. He is in desperate need for some sort confirmation of anything really. He knows it is a bit of dick move, especially as he feels the car pull up to the pavement and can see the small congregation of photographers clutching their cameras alongside journalists.
Gerard shoots him this look which he doesn't really understand before stating “Why do you think I invited you here?” and climbing out of the vehicle and into the crowd.
Frank is about a second away from yelling “That's not an answer!” but does the responsible, adult thing instead and gets out to smile at the cameras and join Gerard's side just in time to hear him being asked about who he is here with tonight, because he's been a regular at these sort of charity events which goes against Gerard's usual socialite streak. Frank shifts somewhat nervously, staring at Gerard with battered breath. Boyfriend. Lover. Partner. Important, he chants in his head, but instead of either of them all Gerard says is “This is Frank,” before he walks off and into the building, leaving Frank alone in the thick of the clustered bodies around him. He quickly cracks a joke about chasing after him and dodges questions about what he does for a job, if he lives in the city or is from Portland. There is no way in hell he'd ever let anyone know what he does for a job, especially the media.
It takes him a little while to find Gerard again, but when he finally does, he tugs him over to a more quiet part of the lobby and asks him again what they are, making the lame excuse that he will know what to tell the press next time. He isn't expecting the way Gerard's eyes narrow and the glare he is fixed with.
“Don't tell them anything.”
“Why? You scared?” Frank jokes, trying to break the tension between them.
“Then don't need to know anything,” Gerard reiterates, before deflating a little and looking around them. “I'm not having them fuck with this. Not after six months of... of...” he gestures in the air, looking for the right work before drawing a blank and letting his expressive hands droop back to his side once more.
They are interrupted before Frank can even ask what the hell he means. Six months. He had said Six months. He tries not to get his hopes up over what he thinks that it means. But then there was that pause, that uncertainty about everything and his heart sinks. He follows Gerard into the main conference hall and sits at his allocated seat, peeling the label on the empty beer bottle in front of him as Gerard “networks,” touching people's shoulders and tilting his head back in laughter, exposing his pale throat that begs to touched with teeth and tongue.
“So is this guy the reason why you're finally moving to the city after all this time?” someone asks Gerard, gesturing towards Frank and startling him out of his daydream about how he could smuggle a puppy into his apartment.
Moving to the city.
Frank shoots him a surprised look and sees Gerard swear under his breath before bullshitting about how nothing has been finalized before shooing the person away and glaring around the room. Frank swiftly turns his head, trying to ignore the tight feeling in his throat. Why wouldn't Gerard say anything about moving? Did he really mean that little to him that he wouldn't bother to say something?
“Sign of sexual frustration, that,” the little old lady seated next to him states, nodding towards the half peeled label of the beer bottle in his hand. Frank places it down with a sheepish grin and gives a little nod. The grandma shakes her head with a knowing look and introduces herself. Apparently she specializes in adult pop-up books and Frank doesn't know whether to amazed or disturbed. At some point during her story about attending a dungeon as part of research, Gerard takes a seat beside him but doesn't speak.
“Ahh, that explains it,” Joyce states, leaning in a little to catch a glimpse of Gerard before gently patting Frank's hand. “I hope you stay for the dinner, they have a lovely vegan option on offer tonight.”
Frank opens his mouth to ask how she knew he didn't eat meat but instead thanks her and turns back to a sulking Gerard. “So,” he asks in a surprisingly measured tone, “you're moving here?”
Gerard looks at him for a moment before flicking a look around the room. “I've made an appearance. We should go.”
“We haven't eaten and Joyce says there is actually a vegan option for once,” Frank argues. It wouldn't be the first time they had skipped out early. Gerard is one for stealing the limelight at such events and tonight it seems would be no different.
“Then stay,” Gerard tells him plainly, standing and throwing his jacket back on. “I've got boxes to unpack again back home.”
Frank turns his head to mutter a quick goodbye and a nice to meet you to Joyce who gives him a thumbs up and a cheeky grin.
“Why didn't you tell me? Did your publisher transfer you?” he asks somewhat bitterly when they reach the sidewalk and Gerard lights up a cigarette like it's his saviour.
“He tried to convince me not to, actually,” Gerard replies, tipping his head back to exhale into the frigid night air. “You're a fucking idiot.”
“Fuck you, seriously,” Frank replies, digging his battered pack out, “Can't you just fucking come out with it for once? You only call when you're in town or want something to jerk off to, you've never once taken me out on anything remotely like a date, never let me even see your house.”
“I take you out every time I'm here...” Gerard sounds almost wounded as he adds “I... I don't do this,” gesturing between them again. “Ever, not with anyone.” And just like that the mask is back on again as he fixes him with a glare and a self righteous twitch of his lips. “Not that you're all knowing about the situation, but you do come when I call...”
“You don't do this...” Frank repeats slowly, still not getting it.
Gerard quirks his eyebrow which is his way of expressing amusement at something pitiful and below him.
“I don't do this. You don't get to have me at your beck and call. Movies and taking me out to a show is a date. You might want to try it in the future.” Frank grinds his half finished cigarette beneath his polished work shoes. It is about time he stood up for himself.
“You sure?” Gerard asks with a smirk, “You've seemed to like it.” He pauses for a moment as he hails them a cab. Frank isn't really prepared to have him grab his hand and plant a soft kiss to it when they slide in and give directions back to the hotel. “I'll keep all that in mind, though,” Gerard tells him with a great deal of sass.
Frank tries to ignore the storm of butterflies which explode in his stomach at the kiss and slides further away from him. “So why exactly are you moving here? You never actually said. Getting too broke to keep paying for hotel rooms?”
“It's no fun when I can't stay at yours, and you get bitchy when I do that. My publishing company is out here and this once-a-month fuck really isn't doing it for me.”
His heart sinks like a ton of concrete. Of course. He should've seen this. It should've been blindingly obvious. “Oh, right, I get it,” he mumbles, fidgeting and decidedly not meeting Gerard's eyes. It is strange being dumped when you've never really been dating in the first place.
“You get what?” Gerard sounds nervous, his usual smart-ass remarks all dried up, as if he is worried about not being in as much control of the situation as he thought he was. The tone of his voice seems to suggest that he is trying to cover up some serious emotion and failing a bit.
“That I'm not enough, that all I've been is just some convenient, easy fuck,” Frank replies, turning around with a shrug to finally face him. “I mean, I kinda worked it out a few months ago when you first stayed around at my apartment. What would you want with some stupid college drop out when sews buttons for a living? I'm tired of this game, Gerard. Sure, you mean a lot to me but I don't wanna keep putting myself out there.”
Gerard bursts into uncontrollably laughter. “Oh my god, you're more of an idiot than I thought!” he exclaims when he is finally able to compose himself a little, before tugging Frank in for a tight hug. “I tell you that you are the only one and you think I'm breaking up with you,” he whispers in his ear over the noise of the engine and some slow R&B on the taxi's radio. “I'm not. I'm moving around the corner from your apartment. On purpose.”
Frank shudders, trying his best to process this new information. “Oh... only one?” he asks dumbly.
Gerard attempts to stifle his laughter with little success. “Wow, you're really big on repeating what I say tonight aren't you?” he reaches up and cups his face, his hands slightly chill against the heat there. “Frankie, baby, I like you. I've had different dates every time before because I didn't care if I saw them again or not. Now you... You don't call me, you kick me out of your hotel, you make it very difficult for me to tell you anything, and yet here I am. Here I am moving house to be closer to you...” He pauses. “Hmm, maybe I'm the idiot, huh, that never occurred to me before-”
His words are cut off by Frank quickly grabbing him, smashing their mouths together and practically tackling them into the worn upholstery that smells of stale booze and cigarettes. It's not enough contact and his hands and finding their way up inside Gerard's shirt before he can even process the action.
“Use your words, Frankie,” Gerard pants with a bitten off laugh, grinding his hips upwards.
“You're an asshole.”
Frank can taste his smirk before he even gets the chance to state “Don't pretend you don't like it.” He breaks the kiss and looks at his pale face, illuminated in the passing lamp posts and headlights of other vehicles, his dark lashes sweeping shadows over his cheekbones. “I like the guy who sits around on a saturday night in his batman pajamas watching the Texas Chainsaw Massacre with me and eating cereal out of the box.”
Gerard's breath catches a little as he blinks before sighing, his face softening before a rare and very real smile creeps onto his face. He leans up to kiss him, slowly curling his hand around his neck. “I think I know that guy,” he whispers, like a hopeful secret.
They are lying in Gerard's bed when Frank hears the words. The mattress is soft, the blankets heavy and Gerard is warm against him. The apartment itself is huge and filled with the vivid orange and streaking yellow of the sunset which wrap themselves around the various bookshelves crammed with comic books and figurines.
“What?” he asks, too caught up in how comfortable he is lying on Gerard's chest. He feels the rib cage beneath him vibrate with small laughs as the hand in his hair starts to pet him again, and the words spill out into the room, clear as anything.
“I said, when are you moving in, Frankie?”