It was now Christmas Eve, one of the holidays that had stopped being as happy as Gerard had always thought it to be when he was younger. He didn’t know what it was. Possibly the fact that he was constantly worried about Frank coming back. He hadn’t seen him since the time he was actually back and not just in some dream. It had been unsettling. For weeks afterwards, he spent a lot of time afraid of his own bedroom, because he was sure that Frank would be in there, waiting to take him away and force him to be evil or something.
His mom was out at a Christmas party for her work that night and Mikey was over at a friend’s house. He never liked having the house to himself, but there wasn’t much he could do about it. Practically all of his friends already had plans or they were out of town.
He frowned to himself as he walked through his empty house, going from room to room trying to decide what he wanted to do with his spare time. He sat in the living room for a while, thinking about watching a Christmas movie, but he wasn’t sure if he actually felt like watching it. There was just too much going on in his mind at that moment and at the same time it was like his mind was a complete blank. There was only one thing that made sense to him. He was scared. He really was. What if Frank came back for him? That’s what he had hinted at, right? It was only logical to think that Frank wasn’t just going to let him go.
But at the same time, he still held all of these feelings for Frank. They didn’t have much by means of a relationship, but he still felt something for Frank. It confused the hell out of him and sometimes, he was sure he wanted to erase the memory of Frank from his mind, but then at the same time he never wanted to forget Frank.
He sighed to himself as he stared at the wall of the living room, finally getting fed up and getting up from the couch. He was tired. It was ridiculous that he was avoiding his bedroom. He would just go in there, go to sleep, and not worry about Frank at all. It would be that simple.
He breathed out a sigh of relief when he flipped on the light switch from where he was standing in the doorway of his bedroom. It would be stupid of him to not admit he was terrified. He was. He was home alone. This would be the perfect time for Frank to show up and do something. But no one was in his room waiting for him.
Once he had convinced himself to shuffle over to his bed, resolving to sleep with the light on, he finally sat down and glanced around his room before he allowed himself to stretch out and close his eyes.
Miraculously, he made it through the night without any encounters from Frank. He grinned to himself as he brushed the mistletoe at the top of his doorframe with his fingers, walking out into the hallway and then making his way to the kitchen for breakfast.
His mom smiled at him once he walked into the kitchen and then made her way over to him, hugging him for a brief moment and then going back to her cooking. “Merry Christmas.”
He grinned at his mom, “Merry Christmas! Where’s Mikey?”
His mom waved a hand at him, “He stayed the night at his friend’s place last night. He’ll be back around noon, but I think he’s going to another Christmas party tonight. I swear, if I didn’t love him, I’d be pissed he’s not really spending Christmas with us.”
Gerard laughed and nodded his head. “Yeah, I know what you mean.” He moved over towards the counter, already working on getting himself a cup of coffee when his mom’s sheepish voice rang out.
“Actually, Gerard, a few coworkers of mine are having a party tonight. I wanted to ask you if you would be okay with me going.”
Gerard felt a small shred of dread rip through him, but decided to push it away. His mom was making friends at work. He could at least be a good son and let her go to the party without her feeling guilty about it. Frank had had an opportunity the night before and hadn’t taken it. He would be fine. He smiled at his mom, “That’s fine, mom. I’ll just read some comics and watch some movies. It’ll be great.”
She grinned at him over her shoulder and then took a plate of pancakes to him, leaning down to kiss his cheek as she put the plate in front of him.
That day, once Mikey had come home, they all exchanged gifts and stayed in the living room, enjoying their hours together as a family. They watched a few Christmas movies, drank hot chocolate, and watched the snow falling gently outside. Gerard didn’t even care that he would be alone again that night. He just loved this time he had with his mom and his brother. It was perfect.
Mikey and his mom left around seven that night, leaving him to eat dinner by himself and watch ‘Home Alone,’ on the couch before he decided to go to his room and hang out there until he fell asleep.
He walked into his bedroom, almost instantly noticing a small box on his bed. He frowned and walked closer, wondering if Mikey or his mom had put it there for him. The box was white and in red and green letters on the top it said, ‘Gift Card.’ He slowly picked it up and took the top of the box off, almost instantly feeling like he was going to pass out at the sight of a small white card, with red spirals on it with a line through them. He gasped and dropped the box on his bed, quickly backing up until his back connected with someone’s chest.
He slowly turned around, ready to lash out, and almost felt himself throw up at the sight of Frank in front of him, that damn smirk on his face. This was what true terror felt like. He couldn’t do this again. The amusement park. Frank. Any of it.
Frank reached out and wrapped his arms around Gerard’s waist. He grinned at him, “Miss me?”
Gerard shook his head, hands scrabbling at Frank’s arms so that he would let go of him, but it was no use. Frank wasn’t going to let him go. He knew that.
Frank’s eyes traveled upward until they landed on the top of the doorframe. “Oh, look, mistletoe. Doesn’t that mean I get a kiss?”
Gerard frowned, already going limp in Frank’s arms because there was no escaping. Frank squeezed his waist and then leaned forward, pressing his lips to Gerard’s. Gerard’s mind froze for a few seconds before he found himself kissing Frank back. He hated himself for it, but he couldn’t help himself at the same time. It was fucking conflicting for him, but in the end, he was always going to hold some sort of feelings for Frank. And if he couldn’t do anything about it, then he might as well take advantage of it.
Frank walked him backwards, kicking his bedroom door shut as he went. He pulled back from the kiss and unwrapped his arms from around Gerard’s waist, taking a step back and just staring at him. “How have you been Gerard?”
Gerard shrugged his shoulders. This was so weird. Why the fuck did Frank want to know? “I’ve been okay.” He almost had to laugh at himself when he nearly asked Frank the same question. Instead, he found himself asking, “What the fuck are you doing here?”
Frank smiled at him, like Gerard had just asked the question he had wanted to hear from the very moment Gerard had laid his eyes on the card. “Didn’t you see my invitation?”
Gerard’s eyes strayed over to his bed, where the white card was on his comforter. He had the urge to burn it. Just so that it wouldn’t be around to scare the fuck out of him anymore. He glanced back at Frank. “Invitation?” He knew he wasn’t going to like the sound of whatever Frank had to say, but he had to ask. He couldn’t just leave it. Especially since this was probably a matter of life or death for him.
Frank shook his head, though. “It doesn’t matter right now. It’s Christmas and as a sign of good faith,” he chuckled at the words, “I’ve come to help you celebrate. Especially since it seems you’re all alone tonight.”
Gerard sighed, not sure if Frank really had something in mind for him that he wasn’t going to like at all, but if Frank wanted to actually be nice? Then Gerard wasn’t going to stop him.
Frank grinned at him, like he just knew that Gerard was accepting this. “So, what do you want to do?”
Gerard didn’t know what to say. Obviously, if this were a perfect situation, then he would let Frank fuck him up against a wall or something, but it wasn’t a perfect situation. Far from it. Gerard just wasn’t sure if he was ready to explore that route with Frank yet. So, he found himself saying, “We could watch a movie.”
Frank nodded his head. “Sure.”
Gerard put a movie on while Frank settled down on his bed, his back to Gerard’s headboard and his legs crossed at the ankle. Gerard glanced back at his bed once he had the movie going, not sure whether this should feel like a normal situation or something incredibly bizarre. He was just going to settle with somewhere in the middle.
He sat down beside Frank, smiling nervously at him when Frank reached out and took his hand, twining their fingers together.
Gerard couldn’t help but think that this suspiciously felt like a date. And Frank felt like his boyfriend for a moment. He watched Frank with a guarded expression for a few moments before he focused his attention on the movie.
After another Christmas movie, Gerard was ready to go to sleep. By the time the second movie had ended, he had been fully under the covers with his head pillowed on Frank’s chest.
Finally, midway through the third movie, his eyes fell closed.
Frank smiled down at him, running his fingers through Gerard’s crazy, tangled black hair before he let his hand fall to Gerard’s shoulder. “Don’t worry,” he whispered. “Soon enough, you’ll accept that invitation. Whether you want to or not.”
When Gerard woke up in the morning, Frank was gone. But the small white card with the red spirals on it with the line through them was sitting on his bedside table.
He sat up in his bed and picked up the card, turning it over in his hands before he set it back down. He knew he would never accept it. Never. It just wasn’t a possibility. But for a moment, his mind was settled on the way Frank had been with him the night before. Almost nice. Almost caring. It was a side of Frank that he definitely wanted to see again.
And even though seeing Frank again would have normally terrified him, it really didn’t this time.