As a kid, Frank’s favorite game was hide-and-seek. He loved finding impossible places to hide and making it work so that kids could search for at least half an hour and they would never find him. His mom thought it worked well, seeing as most of the time Frank was a restless ball of energy and you could rarely get him to calm down for anything. So on his eighteenth birthday, during his party at the Way’s house, he decided that he wanted to play hide-and-seek.
Mikey rolled his eyes. “Seriously, Frank?”
Frank shrugged his shoulders and put his arm around Gerard’s waist. “It’s my birthday, Way. And if I want to play hide-and-seek, then we’re going to play it!”
Mikey shook his head, but didn’t say anything as Frank pushed himself away from Gerard.
“Gerard’s it,” he yelled at his group of friends before he took off towards a hiding spot he had always wanted to try out.
“I’m coming after you first, Frank!” He laughed to himself as he heard Gerard yelling protests after him, but he didn’t care. Gerard was never going to find him. He just knew it.
He found the cabinet in the dining room of the Way household with ease. Whenever he had been over for dinner, he had always stared at it, wondering if he could fit in it. And now he was going to test that theory out. And if it turned out that he couldn’t, well then he’d just hide in a closet somewhere.
He opened the cabinet and looked inside. It was perfect. He grinned to himself as he ducked down so that he could fit himself into the cabinet. It was a tight fit, but he barely managed it with his back pressed up against the side and his knees against his chest. His shoes were barely touching the photo albums that were stuffed in there with him, but they didn’t really bother him. He reached out to close the door and closed his eyes, knowing that the darkness that greeted him would only creep him out.
He wasn’t sure how long he waited there. He couldn’t hear anything while he was in the cabinet. Maybe Gerard never suspected that he would stay there. Or maybe no one ever passed by it. He was sure that he had almost been in there for an hour when he decided that he had waited long enough.
He cautiously opened the cabinet door and glanced around the room. Nothing. No one was in the room with him. He sighed and slowly crawled out of the cabinet, shutting the door after him. He glanced around, wondering why it was so silent in the house, before he decided to see if everyone had passed out in the living room.
Instead, when he walked into the living room, he was greeted by a black wolf. The eyes that were staring back at him, yellow and reflecting the moon’s light streaming through the window, had Frank stopping in his tracks. He took a step back, wondering what the fuck was going on. Had a wolf come into the house while he had been in the cabinet? Oh, fuck. Maybe everyone else was hiding from it. Maybe everyone else had been killed by it. Oh, shit.
The wolf lowered itself to the floor, growling at him. And then it pounced, successfully tackling him to the ground. He screwed his eyes shut, knowing that he was in all kinds of trouble. That the wolf would rip out his neck. But when he glanced down at his chest, the wolf was merely staring at him.
And then the weirdest thing happened.
The wolf turned into Gerard. He had to stare for a few moments, wondering if he had somehow hit his head while he had been sitting in the cabinet. Maybe he had too much to drink. That could explain it. But then Gerard was surging forward and kissing him, his teeth latching onto Frank’s bottom lip before he was licking into his mouth. It took Frank longer than it should have to realize that Gerard was completely and totally naked.
He pushed Gerard away from him, taking the time to just stare up at him. “What the fuck is going on?”
Gerard pulled away, a frown on his face. And then he was leaning forward and pressing his nose into Frank’s neck, inhaling deeply. He made a weird noise and then jumped off of him, covering himself with his hands. “I should be asking you that. Why do you look like Frank? Why do you smell like him? You can’t be him. There’s something missing.”
“I am Frank! Why do you look like Gerard?”
Gerard rolled his eyes. “I am Gerard. But you can’t be Frank. You aren’t…” he trailed off, not quite meeting Frank’s stare. “That doesn’t matter. What matters is why you’re here.” He walked over to a closet and pulled out some clothes. Frank quickly looked away, wanting to give him some privacy.
“I don’t know what’s going on. I was playing hide-and-seek, I hid in the cabinet waiting for you to find me and then when I got tired of waiting, I came out here and found you like this.”
Gerard stared at him for a few seconds before he sniffed the air. He recoiled from Frank, taking a few steps away from him. “Are you human?”
Frank laughed, not being able to help it. “Of course I am! When the fuck did you turn into a werewolf?”
“I’ve been a werewolf my whole life, Frank! The whole time I knew you, you were never a human. Humans don’t exist anymore, okay? So what the fuck is going on with you?”
And that really confirmed it for Frank. He would have been ready to admit that maybe Gerard, his best friend and the guy he had had a crush on for three years, might have been able to hide that he was a werewolf from him, but not everyone in his life. No way. So where was he? Because he certainly wasn’t in his world anymore.
He put his head in his hands, shaking his head back and forth, trying to dislodge the thoughts from his mind. “No,” he whispered before he collapsed onto the floor. “What the fuck?”
Gerard watched him for a few seconds. “What’s going on, Frank?”
He glanced up at Gerard, knowing that he was starting to shake. “This isn’t my world. Where I come from, there are humans everywhere. Werewolves don’t exist.”
Gerard’s face fell a bit. “Shit. So that means you’re not even from here.”
Frank shook his head. “No. I’m really not.”
Gerard grabbed his arm and stared pulling him towards the dining room. “We have to get you out of here. It’s not safe.”
Frank let himself be dragged towards the dining room. Gerard stopped in front of the cabinet and gestured for Frank to get in it. Frank sighed and scrambled into it. Gerard closed the door for him and then he was greeted by complete darkness again. He shut his eyes, willing himself to just go back home. He waited for what felt like hours, but it was probably only five minutes. He opened the door and glanced out, feeling dread wash over him as he saw Gerard standing there.
Gerard frowned down at him. “I guess it didn’t work. Shit. It’s almost daylight too. You’re going to have to sleep here tonight.”
Frank nodded his head, not wanting to get out of the cabinet. “Can I sleep in here?”
Gerard shook his head and grabbed Frank’s arm. “It’s not safe.”
Frank didn’t like the sound of that. “Not safe?”
Gerard shrugged his shoulders but didn’t say anything. “You can sleep in my room. Mikey needs his room because it’s the only one that won’t get any sunlight.”
Frank went to say something, maybe about Mikey and where he was, but then the front door slammed shut. Gerard immediately put himself in front of Frank, his back practically to Frank’s chest. But after a few seconds he relaxed and moved away from him.
Mikey walked into the dining room a few seconds later. “Why are you in here, Gee?” And then he spotted Frank practically trembling where he was standing and his eyes went dark. “What is Frank doing here? That can’t be possible. Frank is,” but Frank never found out what Mikey was going to say because Gerard was rushing forward and pulling Mikey out of the dining room.
Frank stood there for a few moments, not sure what to do, before Mikey came back into the room. He stopped in the doorway of the dining room, staring at him for a few moments. “It’s really you, Frank?”
Frank nodded his head. “It’s really weird seeing you and knowing that you’re not my Mikey. You’re not the best friend I grew up with.”
Mikey sighed and shrugged his shoulders. “I could say the same about you.”
Gerard stepped into the room then. “Mikey’s a vampire, Frank. You have to be careful around him.”
Frank frowned, trying to wrap his mind around the idea of Mikey Way being a bloodsucking creature of the night. “Why?”
Mikey looked like he was going to roll his eyes for a few moments, but he didn’t. “Because you’re the only human in this world, Frank. Your blood is so rare, that every vampire in the world would be after you.” He closed his eyes for a second and then opened them, staring at Frank again. “I’m trying so hard not to attack you right now.”
Gerard made a noise at that and immediately put himself between Mikey and Frank. “You can’t drink his blood, Mikey. We can’t send him back to his world as a vampire.”
Mikey actually did roll his eyes at that. “You think I don’t know that?” He groaned and walked out of the dining room.
Gerard stared after him before he grabbed Frank’s arm. “Come on. Most werewolves are out during the day unless it’s a full moon night. We sleep in the basement because it’s safe. Nothing can get in it if it’s locked.”
Frank really didn’t like the sound of that. “Why is it so dangerous?”
Gerard didn’t answer him. He just pulled him towards the basement door. “Mikey should be sleeping already. So just go ahead and go down there. He won’t wake up until the sun sets.” Frank took a few cautious steps down the basement stairs, listening to Gerard locking the door behind them. And then Gerard was at his back, a hand on his shoulder. “It’s okay, Frank. I’ll take care of you.”
Frank couldn’t deny the fact that he liked the idea of Gerard protecting him. Gerard was a werewolf. He obviously knew Frank, but not this version of him. He knew that there was something else going on there, but he would have to wait to ask Gerard about that later. Once they got down to the basement, Frank walked over towards the couch in the room. Gerard shook his head and pulled him over towards one of the doors. “Mikey’s room is just over there. I can’t guarantee your safety if he wakes up before I do tonight.”
Frank couldn’t help but wonder if Mikey would really drink his blood, but he really didn’t want to leave his faith in Mikey to chance. So he let Gerard pull him into another bedroom and nudge him over towards the bed. He crawled under the covers and pressed his back to the wall, wondering if he was really safe there. But Gerard didn’t leave him. He just locked his bedroom door and joined Frank on the bed. He smiled over at Frank and reached out to squeeze his hand. “Good night, Frankie.”
Frank wasn’t sure if he could fall asleep there. Gerard was too close and he wasn’t even his version of Gerard. Everything was fucked up and he just wanted to go home. But before he could even think about the way that Gerard was so adorable while he was asleep, his own eyes were closing and he was drifting off.
When he woke up he didn’t remember what had happened the night before. He was surprised to find himself in Gerard’s bed. Gerard had his arm around his waist and his leg thrown over both of Frank’s. His nose was pressed up against Frank’s neck and he was breathing deeply, like he was inhaling Frank’s scent even in his sleep. And that was when he remembered everything. He had just been hoping that it had been one insane dream, but he could see that it was night again. That meant that they had slept through the day. “Fuck,” he whispered to himself. He shifted and elbowed Gerard in his side. “Gerard. Gee. Wake up.”
Gerard huffed out a breath. “Frankie.” And then he pressed a kiss to Frank’s neck. And then another to his jaw, the corner of his mouth, and then against his lips. Frank froze, not quite sure what to do. Of course he liked it. He was in love with Gerard back home, but he wasn’t sure where he stood with this Gerard. It was still Gerard, but different. This Gerard was a freaking werewolf.
Gerard suddenly jumped off the bed, staring at Frank with wide eyes. “Oh, shit. I’m sorry. It’s a habit that I tried to get over but the second you’re in my bed, that all goes out the window.” He laughed and shook his head. “Fuck. I really need to go see Brendon tonight, but I can’t leave you here. I guess you’re just going to have to go with me.”
Frank had so many questions to ask. Was there a version of Frank here? Did Gerard know him? What did he mean by a habit he tried to get over? Who was Brendon? But then Gerard was grabbing his arm and pulling him out of the room. Once they got upstairs, Gerard brought him into the living room and made him sit down on the couch.
And then Gerard took off his shirt. Frank stared at him, his eyes growing wider as Gerard reached down and started undoing his pants. He glanced up at Frank and shrugged his shoulders. “I can sense things more when I’m in my wolf form. I’ll be able to protect you better.”
“But I thought werewolves can only change on the full moon? Aren’t you just a shifter if you can do it at any time?”
Gerard rolled his eyes. “That’s some Stephanie Meyer bullshit, Frank. Stupid zombie. But no. I’m a werewolf. Were meaning man. Wolf meaning, well, wolf. I’m a man wolf. A wolf man. What the fuck ever.” He laughed and then took a step towards Frank. “Are you freaked out?”
Frank wanted to nod his head quickly and then run away. But Gerard was the only person he trusted in this fucked up world. So, he shook his head and then watched as Gerard quickly shifted into a wolf. Gerard nudged his knee with his nose and then started walking towards the door. Frank stood up from the couch and followed him, not sure what they were doing, but he knew that he was supposed to follow Gerard.
He opened the door when Gerard barked at him and then followed him out of the house. He shut the door after him, contemplating if he should lock it, before he realized that he didn’t have a key. He trailed after Gerard, letting him lead the way. It turned out that Brendon was only a few houses down, but that was farther than Gerard liked. A guy on the other side of the street had spotted them and started drifting their way, but Gerard had put himself between Frank and the stranger and growled, snarling as a way of warning the guy that he better go away. The guy glared at Gerard but kept walking, sparing Frank another glance before he turned a corner and was out of sight.
Gerard led him up some stairs and then stared at him until Frank realized that he should knock on the door. It was only a few seconds later that a guy that was only a little bit taller than Frank opened the door. He had brown hair and was wearing glasses. The guy glanced down at Gerard and grinned. “Gerard. What are you doing here?”
And then the guy looked up at Frank, his eyes widening when he saw him. “Frank? Is that you?” He reached forward to touch him, but Gerard snarled and brushed past the guy.
Gerard shifted back into his human form. “Brendon, I need to talk to you about something.”
The guy, Brendon, was still staring at Frank as if he had seen a ghost. But after a few seconds, he finally turned away from him and nodded. “Sure, Gerard. Why don’t you start by telling me why Frank is a human?”
Gerard growled and moved so that he could drag Frank into the house. “Give me some fucking clothes and then I will.”
Ten minutes later, Frank was sitting on a couch in the living room while Gerard sat beside him. Brendon was in an armchair across from them. He kept staring at Frank, like he couldn’t believe that he was actually there. “What happened?”
Gerard glanced over at Frank. “Tell him, Frankie.”
So Frank told Brendon everything that had happened. Brendon kept glancing at Gerard during the story, like he was trying to figure out what he thought about everything. When Frank was done, Gerard smiled at him and then glanced at Brendon. “Do you know if there’s anything that will work? I mean, I can’t let him stay here. He probably wouldn’t last a week.”
Brendon nodded his head. “Yeah. Shit. I’ve never heard of anything like this, Gerard. I wish I knew what to do, but I really don’t. I can talk to Pete? See if he has any ideas.”
Gerard frowned, like he didn’t like that idea, but shrugged his shoulders. “Sure. Call me if you get anything?”
Brendon nodded his head and then walked them to the door. Gerard didn’t shift this time for the trip back to his house. Instead he kept his arm around Frank’s waist. “That was a vampire we saw earlier. I just want to make sure that he knows who he’s dealing with.”
Frank didn’t say anything to that. What was he supposed to say? He still felt like he was dreaming. Despite everything, he knew that he wasn’t. Gerard kept his arm wrapped around him the whole walk back to their house. Thankfully they didn’t see anyone on their way back to the house and before long Gerard was pulling him into the Way household. Frank wanted to ask Gerard where his parents were, but he was almost sure that he wouldn’t like the answer. But for all he knew, they were living up in Canada. Yeah, he was going to go with that.
Gerard froze near the front door, his head tipped back and his nostrils flaring. He turned to look at Frank. “Stay here. If anything happens, I need you to run.”
Frank was going to protest, but Gerard just shook his head and left Frank there. Frank took a few steps backwards until he was pressed up into a corner. He didn’t know what Gerard was doing, but he knew that Frank should probably be scared.
And then before he could blink, there was someone there, pressing him up against the wall. It took him a few seconds to recognize the vampire from before. Shit. This wasn’t good. Where the fuck was Gerard? The vampire tipped his head to the side and grinned at him. “Frank? I didn’t know you were still around. Thought Bert took care of you.”
And then Gerard was standing behind the vampire. “William,” he growled. “Get the fuck away from him.”
William shook his head, his eyes still on Frank. “I don’t think so, Gerard. The last human. The last human is here and you weren’t even going to share. Saving him for Mikey?” Gerard growled again, but that just made William smirk. “Oh, you’re saving him for yourself. That’s kind of twisted, Gerard. He’s certainly not your Frank. Can’t be. That Frank is dead.”
Frank stared at William for a few moments, trying to process what he just said. Dead. The version of him in this world was dead. That’s why Gerard had acted so weird. Oh, fuck. This was all kinds of fucked up. And then before Frank could even blink, Gerard was hauling William away from Frank and throwing him across the small hallway.
“Run, Frank. Go down to the basement. Don’t come out until I say.”
Frank didn’t even have to think twice about that. He took off, bumping his shoulder against the basement door in his haste to get down there. He ran down the stairs and into Gerard’s room, throwing the lock on the door and then going to sit down on the bed. It was one of the only places where he felt safe at that moment.
He stayed on the bed, his knees pulled up to his chest, until someone knocked on the door five minutes later. He froze, wondering if it was William, before he heard Gerard’s voice on the other side of the door. “It’s me, Frank.”
Frank was immediately up and across the room, unlocking the door so that Gerard could get into the room. The second the door was open, Gerard was pushing into the room, and then his lips were on Frank’s. Frank gasped and stumbled backwards, but Gerard grabbed his wrists and kept him close. He pulled away after a few seconds, staring at Frank. “I’m sorry. I just,” he paused, taking a deep breath, “you. I need you, Frank. I know you’re not the Frank that I knew, but I still care about you. I still want you.”
Frank felt almost the same. He knew that he didn’t really know this Gerard, but it was still Gerard. He had technically been in love with him for years. So, he found himself nodding his head and moving forward to kiss Gerard. “Okay,” he mumbled against his lips. “Okay.”
Gerard walked him back towards the bed, working Frank’s shirt up over his head as they went. “You sure?”
Frank quickly nodded his head and let Gerard push him back onto the bed. “Really sure.”
He woke up the next night with Gerard’s arm wrapped around his waist and his nose pressed against his collarbone. Frank wondered if it helped him. If he smelled anything like his Frank, then it had to sooth him. He sighed and sat up, dislodging Gerard’s arm. Gerard stirred and glanced up at him. “What’s wrong?”
Frank shrugged his shoulders and glanced away. “What happened to your Frank?” And wow, that was weird to say, but there wasn’t any better way to phrase it.
Gerard sighed and tugged on his arm until he could curl up against Gerard’s side. “He was a werewolf too. I guess you could say we were mates. And then one day, Frank went out on a full moon run by himself. I wanted to go with him, but Mikey had just broken up with Pete and so I decided to stay with him. But then Frank never came back that night. And I searched and searched for him for a week before a vampire named Bert McCracken sent his stupid goons to tell me that he had killed him. I went all around his territory and I could smell Frank’s blood.” He didn’t say anything for a few moments after that. His fingers were slowly moving up and down Frank’s arm, like he needed to remind himself that he was there. “That was a year ago.”
Frank didn’t know what to say for a few moments. “That’s why you jumped me when you first saw me.”
Gerard laughed, the sound almost hollow. “Yeah. I thought you were him. I just didn’t realize that you were a parallel world version of him.”
Frank sighed and gathered up enough courage to kiss Gerard. “It is pretty fucked up. I mean, I’m in love with you, right? Back where I’m from. But it still feels like you, even though my Gerard isn’t a werewolf.”
Gerard nodded his head. “Definitely weird.” He kissed Frank again before he got up from the bed. He pulled on some jeans and then threw Frank’s boxers at him. “We should probably get going. I want to see if the cabinet works tonight and then I want to see if Mikey’s heard anything from Pete. They’re back together again, but who knows how long that will last?”
Frank tried to keep up with what Gerard was saying as he pulled his clothes on, but before he could get his shirt on, Gerard was standing in front of him, framing his face in his hands and then bringing Frank in for a kiss. “Thanks for last night. You didn’t have to.”
Frank laughed, the sound incredulous and disbelieving. “I wanted to, Gee.”
Gerard grinned at him then, the sight almost making Frank’s chest ache with how weird all of this was turning out to be.
Days, weeks, even months passed. Frank found himself sitting in the cabinet every day that he was there, begging for it to let him go back. He just wanted to go home. He loved Gerard, he really did, but he didn’t like this fucked up world where everyone wouldn’t think twice before killing him. Even Mikey still stared at him like he wanted nothing more than to sink his fangs into Frank’s neck and drain him of all of his blood. He didn’t like it. The only person he felt safe to be around was Gerard and Frank wasn’t sure if that was because he knew Gerard really cared or because he was having so much sex with Gerard it was insane. Maybe both.
He wasn’t even sure how much time had passed. He had lost count of the days, his numbers getting confused the longer he was there. Had it been fifty-four days past the three hundred day mark? No, that had been last week. Maybe it was sixty-two. He didn’t know anymore. He knew that Gerard was worried about him, but he let Gerard take care of him in a different way. That was the only thing that he could do.
The air was starting to get a chill to it when Frank decided that he had had enough. He loved Gerard. He really did. But being kept in the house practically every night just because Gerard wanted to protect him was driving him insane. So he waited for Gerard to leave the house so that he could go to the store before he left. He just wanted to take a trip around the block. Fresh air. That was all he needed.
He really didn’t realize how stupid he was being until ten minutes into his trip outside when he noticed a few guys walking in his direction on the opposite side of the street. He froze, not sure if he should turn around and run back to Gerard’s house, before the guys all turned as one to look at him. And then before he knew what was happening, the guy at the front of the group was walking over towards him.
He had long, greasy black hair. He was smirking at him as he got closer. “Frank Iero. What the fuck are you doing here?” He stopped about two feet away from him. “But you’re not the one I’m thinking of. You’re a human.” He turned to grin at the group behind him. “We’ve got ourselves a human here, boys! The last in existence.” He glanced at Frank again. “Now how can that be? Because when I last saw you about a week ago, you were still a werewolf.”
“You only saw Iero a week ago, Bert? He’s going to fucking starve if you don’t feed him more than that.”
The guy, Bert, shrugged his shoulders. “He’ll live.” And then he reached out to wrap his fingers around Frank’s throat. “Which means that you’re not the Frank Iero we need. And it’s been so long since I’ve had human blood. I’m sure you won’t mind if I take it.” Bert leaned forward, his mouth inches away from Frank’s throat, when they heard growling coming from behind them.
Bert huffed out an annoyed breath, ignoring Frank’s attempts at getting away, as he turned to see Gerard, Brendon, and Mikey. There was another guy there, holding hands with Mikey, so Frank figured that had to be Pete. Gerard was glaring at Bert, but he took a few seconds to shift his glare to Frank. “I told you not to leave the house, Frank.” And then he turned to stare at Bert. “What do you mean you saw Frank a week ago? He’s alive? My Frank is alive?”
Bert scoffed. “You think I’d really be stupid enough to kidnap a werewolf’s mate and then kill him? I’ve been having some fun with him. He screams so easily now. He’s stopped flinching whenever he sees the silver. You wouldn’t believe how much fun we’ve had watching the burns slowly fade just to create new ones.”
Gerard growled again and moved forward, but Brendon reached out and grabbed his arm. Bert smirked at Brendon. “I wouldn’t pounce just yet, Gerard. One wrong move and I snap this human’s neck before you can take another breath.” His grip on Frank’s throat tightened, making black spots appear on the outer edges of his vision. “Because I know you, Gerard Way. You’ve fallen in love with this version of Frank too. And you know what? I’d be willing to break him too. To drink his blood until he couldn’t breathe anymore. And then I’d turn him. Just to get to you.”
Gerard looked like he was five seconds away from ripping Bert’s throat out. But he wasn’t moving yet. He knew that Bert had the upper hand here as long as he had Frank. So Gerard stayed where he was, his eyes going from Frank to Bert and then back to Frank, like he had to keep telling himself that Frank was still alive. “What do you want?”
Bert shrugged his shoulders. “Not much. I don’t know why, but I just don’t like you. I like seeing you miserable. So I guess I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure you stay that way.” He wrenched Frank’s head to the side at that, his fangs just barely scraping the skin before Bert’s presence was gone, making Frank fall to the ground. He gasped as the sidewalk rushed up to meet him. He could practically feel the bruises forming on his neck where Bert had been holding onto him.
When he chanced a glance at what was going on, he was shocked to realize that all hell had broken loose. Mikey was helping Pete take care of two of the vampires. Brendon was wrestling with another one. And Gerard had shifted into a wolf just so that he could sink his teeth into Bert’s neck. Frank blinked a few times, trying to get a grasp on what he was seeing, but he couldn’t quite figure it out. When he could focus again, Gerard was backing off of Bert. His neck was torn open and bleeding. There was blood absolutely everywhere. But it looked like Gerard didn’t even have a scratch on him. And then Gerard jumped forward and really did work on tearing Bert’s throat out.
Frank couldn’t help it. He had to close his eyes at that. It was all too real. Too gory and gruesome. He had to maintain at least a little bit of his sanity.
A few minutes later, he felt hands running over his face. When he managed to open his eyes, Gerard was staring down at him, a concerned expression on his face. “What happened,” he rasped, trying to ignore how much his throat hurt.
Gerard glanced behind him to where Brendon, Mikey, and Pete were all watching one of the vampires that had been with Bert. Apparently they were keeping him alive.
“I need at least one of them to help me find Frank. If Bert wasn’t lying, which I know he wasn’t, then he’s out there.”
Frank definitely kept his eyes away from Bert’s body. He was pretty sure Gerard had done a lot of damage to him and he really didn’t feel like throwing up at that moment. He nodded his head and then closed his eyes, knowing that he was probably pretty close to passing out.
“Hey, Frankie. I need you to stay awake, okay? We’ve got to get you back to the house and I want to check over your injuries.”
Frank groaned, but nodded his head. The next thing he knew, Gerard was picking him up, his head rested against Gerard’s chest as Gerard kept his left arm wrapped around Frank’s back and his right one under his knees, supporting his weight. Frank closed his eyes and the next thing he knew, Gerard was sitting him down on the couch in the living room. He had his hands on Frank’s shoulders, staring at him with wide, worried eyes. “You okay, Frank?”
It took him a few seconds, but Frank finally nodded his head. “Yeah. I’ll live.”
Gerard smirked and leaned forward to place a brief kiss to the corner of his mouth. “You better,” he growled before he pulled Frank up so that he was standing. “I’ve got a lot of ideas about how we can spend the night. You interested?”
Frank grinned at him and let Gerard lead him towards the basement door. “Always,” he whispered as Gerard started walking down the stairs leading towards his room.
The next night, Gerard kissed him over and over as he made Frank promise that he would actually stay in the house that night. Frank promised him, smiling at Gerard as he watched him leave with Mikey, Brendon, Pete, and the vampire named Quinn that they had let live as long as he led them to Gerard’s Frank. Frank hoped that they found him. He wanted Gerard to be happy. He knew that Gerard loved him, but that Frank had been his mate. The one that he wanted to be with for life and while Frank was almost exactly the same person, he really wasn’t. And with their relationship, that made all the difference.
He found himself drifting over towards the cabinet before he could even think about what he was doing. He crawled inside of it and stared at the sides of the cabinet that he had become so familiar with. He reached out to close the door, not even minding the darkness now that he had gotten used to it.
He wasn’t sure how long he stayed in the cabinet. It could have been minutes, hours, days. He honestly didn’t know. All he could think about was Gerard. His Gerard. He wanted to know what he was doing at that moment. If he even missed Frank. He wondered how long he had been gone. If his parents were okay. If anyone thought about him. He sure as hell thought about them. It took him a while to leave the cabinet. A part of him didn’t want to see Gerard all over his Frank when they found him. He knew that it wouldn’t be jealousy that he would be feeling, although that could be a part of it. But it would be longing. For his Gerard. The one he grew up with and loved more than anyone. He just wanted to see him again.
He took a deep breath and then opened the cabinet door. When he glanced up, he noticed that the dining room was littered with candles. They were casting weird shadows on the walls. Frank got caught up in watching them for a few moments before he walked out of the room. He wondered who would have found the time to do that. And why the hell hadn’t he heard them moving around the dining room? That was a bit strange.
He walked into the living room, surprised to see the candles everywhere in there too. It took him a few moments to realize that Gerard was sitting on the couch, staring off into space. The whole house was silent. Of course. Gerard was probably depressed that he didn’t find his Frank. That had to be it. He felt sad for him. He couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to have someone you had loved so much to want to have them as a mate for life and then to have them gone for over a year.
“You okay, Gee?”
Gerard’s head snapped up, his eyes landing on Frank within the next second. “Frankie?” His voice was shaking and his eyes were wide, like he couldn’t quite believe that Frank was there.
Frank nodded his head. “Who else would it be?”
And then Gerard was up and across the room, his fist coming up and connecting with Frank’s jaw in the next second. “You asshole! What the fuck, Frank?” Frank gasped and tried to keep his balance. And then Gerard was hugging him, the tears that were suddenly falling from his eyes were making Frank’s neck damp. “Where the fuck did you go, Frank? How could you just leave us like that? You’re such a fucking asshole. Fuck. I missed you so much.”
Frank tried to pull himself away from Gerard, just so he could figure out what was going on, but Gerard only tightened his arms around his waist. “What’s going on, Gee?”
Gerard pulled back a little to look at him. “You’re asking me that? You’re the asshole who’s been gone for a year! One year today, Frankie.”
Frank shook his head. “I’m back,” he whispered to himself. He knew that more than anything now. From the way Gerard was acting to the way that this world felt. Lighter. Not as dark. Still, he had to ask Gerard something. “Are you a werewolf?”
Gerard frowned at him, a look of confusion on his face. “What the fuck are you talking about?”
That was all the confirmation Frank needed before he was surging forward and pressing his lips against Gerard’s. He expected Gerard to hesitate, but he immediately took control of the kiss. He pushed Frank up against the wall, his hands touching Frank absolutely everywhere. And while everything he had done with Gerard in the other world had felt good, this was absolutely fucking perfect. Because he knew that it was his Gerard. The one he had wanted all along.
After what felt like the best minutes of his life making out with Gerard up against the living room wall, Gerard pulled away to stare at him. Frank wanted to protest. He wanted to drag Gerard down to the basement and let him fuck him. But he knew that this was important. “Where did you go, Frankie?”
Frank took a deep breath and then started nudging Gerard towards the couch. Once Gerard was sitting down and he had crawled into his lap, he told him the whole story. By the end of it, he was almost crying, everything he had gone through over the past year threatening to overwhelm him. Gerard was carding his fingers through Frank’s hair. “It’s okay, Frankie. You’re back. I’m so fucking glad you’re back. I thought you were just being an asshole, disappearing during a game of hide-and-seek so we’d just keep looking for you. But then weeks passed and no one had heard from you. Even your parents.” He took a deep breath, like it was getting difficult for him to keep speaking. “And then I knew that you weren’t simply hiding. You were missing. And fuck, it’s been a whole year.” He swiped a thumb under Frank’s eye. “I’m sorry I hit you. I was upset. Shouldn’t have done that.” He froze and then straightened up. “Shit, Frank, your parents. You have to call your parents. They’ve been so fucking worried about you.”
Frank nodded his head and stood up, waiting for Gerard to let him borrow his cell phone. He had left his in Gerard’s room the last time he had been here. He glanced around the living room, remembering something. “What’s with the candles?”
Gerard bit his lip as he stared up at Frank. “It’s Halloween, Frankie. The anniversary of your disappearance. My parents and Mikey all left so that I could kind of mourn in peace. I lit all of these candles in your memory.” He laughed shakily and shook his head, tears threatening to fall again. “That’s so fucking weird to say now that you’re here again. I’m not dreaming, right?” He started frowning, but Frank was quick to move forward and kiss him again.
“You’re not dreaming, Gee.” He trailed kisses all along his jaw and then nipped at the skin of his neck. “Doesn’t this feel real?”
Gerard hissed, his hands coming up to Frank’s hips. “Fuck. Yes. So real, Frankie. You’re here.”
Frank grinned against his skin and then moved up so that he could kiss Gerard again. He sat back and grabbed his phone. Gerard reached out to take his hand as he put the phone to his ear, anticipation running through him at the thought of hearing his parent’s voices again. He smiled down at Gerard. Not quite believing that he had him now. And now that he did, he sure as fuck wasn’t letting him go.
“Hello?” He couldn’t help but close his eyes at hearing his mom’s voice. Fuck. He couldn’t believe that he had been gone a year. His parents must have been worried sick. “Gerard? Are you there?”
“Mom,” he tried to say. He knew that it was barely audible, but Gerard squeezed his hand and gave him an encouraging smile. “Mom? It’s me, Frank.” He took a deep breath as he heard her start to cry with relief and then said the words that he had wanted to say for a year.