It’s not often these days that Gerard wears a skirt. Art school was a long while ago and his aesthetic in the band hasn’t really gone down that route.
But there are times, occasionally, when everything gets too much. When the weight of the band, of the expectations – from fans and management and everyone – becomes too much to bear. When he would do anything to stop being himself.
He has coping strategies for moments like this. A set of clothes in the bottom of a duffle. Knowledge of what he can do to make it all okay again. The burden of day to day life is so much easier to cope with when you have a safety valve.
Which is why he’s here: in a bar. Sipping a Jack and coke. Dressed in a band t-shirt he took from Frank’s laundry, Docs, ripped, black pantyhose, and a skirt short enough that he’s having to be careful how he sits on the barstool to prevent flashing the barflies leering at him from across the bar.
Well… not him. Not at the moment.
It might be the clothes; it might be the makeup – it might even be the fucking blonde wig – but he’s pretty sure he’s passing. The bartender calls him darling and keeps a watchful eye on him, even though it’s not really the sort of bar where emo kids are welcome, much less the obviously… different. So he must look female, or female enough at least. He takes comfort in that, takes comfort in his drink, and he watches everything around him – the people in the bar, the way they’re interacting, the people who are coming in – from under heavily mascara-ed lashes and keeps himself to… well. Herself.
Protocol for nights like this is to be careful. To have a drink or two and get back to the van before the others notice he’s gone. Not to talk to anyone, not to take unnecessary risks. Just to do the bare minimum that lets him survive and no more. It’s a good strategy – it’s served him well – and he sees no reason why he should deviate from it. Not until the door slams open and Mikey and Frank spill into the bar, mid-conversation, laughing loud, looking beautiful and wild and free.
His first reaction is to hide; to drop off the barstool and crouch down being the bar and to hope against fucking hope that they don’t see him.
It would be a stupid thing to do, though. Would draw far more attention than it would deflect. But it still takes everything he has to stop himself doing it.
Instead he hides his face behind his drink, barely breathes, prays to whatever gods listen to the likes of him that he escapes detection, and for one glorious moment he thinks he’s actually been successful.
Mikey and Frank go to a booth, order drinks, don’t even look over at him. If Gerard strains, he can hear Frank’s laughter over the chatter of the bar, over the god-awful music that’s playing.
He can’t help himself – it’s a sound that makes him relax. He’s fucking conditioned or something, but there’s only so many times that he can be comforted by a giggling Frank – on stage, in green-rooms, in vans – before the giddy sound of his laugh has some sort of automatic response.
He’s not about to push his luck, though. He’ll finish this drink and go. Sneak back to the van via some restroom somewhere where he can clean off his makeup, change his clothes. He’ll be home and dry, and it’ll be weeks before he needs to do this again.
He drains the drink and puts his glass back on the bar, a tinkle of glass and ice-cubes. It’s a tiny noise, given the hubbub of the bar, but for some reason it attracts Mikey’s attention, like it’s a signal, like Mikey hears all the thoughts running through Gerard’s head.
Gerard is still careful. He doesn’t make eye contact, doesn’t even look in the direction of their booth, but even from here he can feel the weight of Mikey’s gaze. It’s not recognition though – far from it. If Gerard didn’t know better, he would think Mikey was checking him out.
He can’t be, though. And even if he was, it wouldn’t make any difference. Gerard bends over, picks up the purse he brought with him, and takes a deep breath, ready to leave, ready to pick up the reigns of his normal life again, to become himself again.
The hand on his arm comes as a shock, makes him freeze.
“Leaving already?” The voice is deep, amused, almost as familiar to Gerard as his own, and he doesn’t have to look at the warm body behind him to know it’s Frank. “But we only just got here. You should let us buy you a drink before you go.”
The words freeze Gerard in his seat. Frank can’t see his face, not from where he’s standing, so Gerard still has a chance to get away with this. Or he could come clean, make a joke, pretend it’s a set-up he’s planned to catch them out… Frank’s fingers stroke his arm, pushing up under the sleeve of Gerard’s t-shirt (well, the t-shirt he non-consensually borrowed from Frank’s backpack earlier) and he shivers. No. Not that, he decides.
“I can’t.” He pitches his voice a shade higher than usual, rounds his vowels. It’s probably still too deep to pass as a woman, but he doesn’t care about that anymore – only cares that Frank won’t realize that it’s him.
“Why not?” Frank is standing very close to him and Gerard has to fight to stay still. He’s never noticed Frank being a jerk like this with women in the past – but maybe he’s just never looked. Passing as a woman can teach you a lot of uncomfortable truths.
“Because,” he says, and leave it there, unsure of what to say. Frank laughs.
“Gonna turn into a pumpkin?” he asks, his tone wicked. “Should I call you Cinderella?”
“It was her coach,” Gerard says, before he can stop himself. He breaks off, bites his lip, and Frank’s hand tightens on his arm.
“What?” There’s the slightest edge to his tone now, and Gerard has to answer.
“The pumpkin. It was her coach. Not her.”
There’s silence for a second, then Frank hums.
“You remind me of someone I know,” he says, thoughtful. “A friend.”
“You’ve got good taste in friends then,” Gerard says. “And you should get back to them before they wander off and leave you.”
That makes Frank laugh. “Not gonna happen,” he says. “They know when they’ve struck gold.”
It’s such a Frank thing to say – such a perfect combination of scrappy punk attitude and self-deprecation – that Gerard has to hide his smile behind his hand.
“I’m sure they do.” The words come out softer, more breathless than he intended and Frank makes a pleased noise, like he thinks Gerard’s flirting with him.
“So, whaddya say?” He leans even closer, close enough that Gerard can smell the scent of beer and sweat and van that’s sticking to his skin, and it takes everything he has not to lean back. “’S’just one drink. What can happen?”
There’s a part of Gerard that’s telling him that this is the easiest way to get rid of Frank – to have one drink and make his excuses. Escape before Mikey comes over or Frank has a chance to look at him too closely.
That part of Gerard is a filthy fucking liar, so he has no idea why he turns his head, why he nods, why he lets Frank hook his chin over his shoulder. Why he lets Frank take hold of his wrist and push the glass in his hand forward until the bartender notices and comes over.
“Get me a Bud,” he says, “and whatever this lovely lady’s drinking.”
He hands over a twenty and the bartender grunts as he gets the drinks, much less interested in making small talk now that Gerard is with someone.
Frank is almost radiating smugness. He does back off a few feet though, perches on the barstool next to Gerard and turns to face him, his smile wide, genuine, charming.
“So,” he starts and Gerard sighs.
“Let me guess.” The words come out arch, amused, which wasn’t Gerard’s intention at all. “Do I come here often? Or what’s a nice girl like me doing in a place like this?”
It surprises a laugh out of Frank, loud and graceless.
“No,” he says, when he’s got control of himself. “I was gonna ask if you’d ever seen them live.” He gestures at Gerard’s tits, at his Bad Religion t-shirt Gerard realizes.
“Oh.” Gerard bites his lip. He has, of course, but he saw them with Frank so he can hardly say that. Hell, it was when Frank bought the t-shirt he’s wearing right now.
He’s saved from answering though when Mikey slides onto the stool on the other side of him and leans across Gerard to glare at Frank.
“Thought you were coming back.” He doesn’t sound amused but Gerard knows his brother, and Mikey’s not pissed, not really.
“Sorry.” Frank sounds anything but. “Scenery was better here, Mikeyway. You understand.”
Mikey looks at Gerard, and again Gerard gets the feeling he’s being checked out. It makes his cheeks hot, makes him want to squirm away.
There’s no way on this Earth that Mikey can’t recognize him now – not when they’re so close – and Gerard’s can’t help it, he holds his breath.
There’s no flicker of recognition in Mikey’s eyes though, just the warm appreciation that Gerard’s seen him look at a hundred girls with, and when he looks away to catch the bartender’s eye, he leans in a fraction closer to Gerard, until Gerard can feel the warmth of his body in a line down his own.
It’s a distracting sensation, and he misses the moment when the bartender brings him yet another drink. He should ignore it – if he was being sensible, he’d refuse it, or pretend to drink it, or something. But he’s not sensible. Hell, if he was sensible he wouldn’t be in the bar in the first place, much less sitting between his brother and his best friend, as if he has a chance in hell of going unrecognized when they see him in the full light.
He drinks the drinks – the one Frank bought him, the one Mikey bought him… the next drink Frank buys. He buys a round of his own for them, giggling like it’s second nature and leaning into Frank while Mikey puts his hand on his thigh, well above his knee, brushing the hem of Gerard’s skirt.
Gerard has no idea how he’s getting away with this, but they seem oblivious. They’re doing this back and forth across him that Gerard’s seen them use to devastating effect on a hundred other girls, and he’s slightly blurry with his drinks and for just one second he closes his eyes and pretends that he could be their next conquest.
It’s a mistake. When he opens his eyes again, Frank has slipped his arm around Gerard’s waist and Mikey’s hand has crept up under his skirt.
It’s shocking – not in what they’re doing, but in how much he wants this – and he realizes he needs to get out now.
“I should go.” The words don’t sound convincing, even to his own ears, and he’s not surprised when Frank holds him tighter, Mikey slides his hand further up Gerard’s leg.
“C’mon.” Frank leans into him, so close that Gerard can feel his breath on his neck as he talks. “One more drink, beautiful.” He runs his fingers over Gerard’s waist, tucking them under his t-shirt and stroking the soft skin he finds there. “We won’t make you do anything you don't want to, I swear.”
“One more,” Gerard says, even though he knows what a fucking bad idea this is, and Mikey hums with satisfaction and holds out a twenty to the bartender.
It’s one drink too many, even for him, and he catches the concerned look the bartender shoots him when he climbs down off the stool and stumbles slightly as he picks up his purse. He doesn’t know what to say, though, and in the end it’s Frank who shrugs at him.
“We’ll get her home safe,” he says, and catches Gerard as he stumbles. He has his best trustworthy face on, and Gerard knows just how unconvincing it is, and ends up choking on the laugh he tries to swallow.
They get as far as the outside of the bar before Frank breaks his word, though.
He turns and pins Gerard to the wall, kissing him, filthy and slow while Mikey huffs a laugh and lights a cigarette. The bricks are cold against Gerard’s back. He wishes he’d worn a jacket, but he kisses Frank back, lets Frank swallow the little involuntary noises and moans he makes. This is the hardest thing he’s done – he’s never kissed anyone like this, can’t remember through the clouds of drink and lust how women are meant to respond. They’re not meant to get hard – that’s the only thing he's certain of – but he is.
That’s the only reason he slaps Frank’s hand away when he tries to run it up his thigh.
“No,” he says. “I’m not like that.” Except he sounds breathless and needy and Frank’s eyes are wide and he’s noticing everything.
“Yeah?” Frank kisses him again, pulls away just enough that he’s speaking against Gerard’s lips. “You sure about that? Cuz from here you look exactly like that.”
He twists his wrist, breaking Gerard’s grip, pushes his hand up under his skirt and cups the front of his panties, where Gerard is breathtakingly hard, where the silk of his panties is stuck to his erection with pre-come.
“You’re soaking through your panties,” Frank says, his voice rough, as if Gerard is just some other girl. “Tell me you don’t want this, and I’ll stop.”
They can’t know it’s me, Gerard thinks. The makeup, the clothes, the wig. It must be fooling them. He gasps against Frank’s mouth, stops trying to force his hands away, puts his arms around Frank’s waist instead, and when Frank leans in again, kisses him, Gerard lets him.
Maybe that’s why he lets Frank take him by the wrist the next time they break their kiss, why he lets Frank lead him back to the van while Mikey trails behind them, while Gerard can feel the heat of Mikey’s gaze on his legs and ass.
It’s easy to fall into the role like this. He’s just some scene girl going back to a van with a band, out for a good time and some no strings thrills. He knows what he’s getting himself into here, even if Frank and Mikey don’t.
The idea is strangely intoxicating – it even gives the funk of the van novelty and Gerard doesn’t do any more than wrinkle his nose when Frank pushes him down onto the ratty mattress they’ve slung in back for when they get the chance to actually lie down.
“Gonna suck my friend before I fuck you?” Frank asks, and Gerard bites his lip, finally tries to pull away.
“Didn’t realize he was part of the package,” he says, faking a bravado that’s a million miles away from how he’s really feeling, and Frank shrugs.
“Why not? Isn’t he pretty? I mean…” Frank kneels up so he can cup the back of Mikey’s neck, turns his head so he can pull him close and kiss him, his lips sure like this is something they’ve done a hundred times before, his eyes fluttering shut like it still means something. Gerard’s breath catches because he didn’t know that Frank and Mikey did that together, and his stomach twists with something that could be jealousy, but which feels a lot more like arousal. “You’d have to be blind not to want him.”
“I…” Gerard can’t find the words. “I can’t.”
“Why not?” Frank sounds curious, but his lips are swollen from Mikey’s kiss. “You’re not getting shy on us now, are you, beautiful?”
He’s not shy, and he can’t give the real reason, and so he kneels there, mute, completely unsure what he can say.
“He likes you,” Frank says, mischief dancing in his eyes. “Don’t you, Mikes?”
Mikey’s slouching with preternatural grace in the cramped space between boxes of merch, his eyes dark as he licks his lips and nods his head. Frank kneels down next to Gerard, and the van isn’t big – he’s almost between Mikey’s knees already.
It makes it easy for him to grab Gerard’s wrist, to guide his hand to Mikey’s crotch.
“See?” Frank says, his voice gentle. “See how hard he is for you?”
“Yeah.” Gerard’s voice is broken, and he lets Frank lead him, their fingers tangled, rubbing Mikey through his jeans until he moans. He wants to close his eyes, to look away, but he can’t, even though he can barely breathe as Mikey meets his gaze, dark-eyed with lust.
“It’s nothing.” Frank’s whispering in Gerard’s ear, his lips grazing at the lobe until Gerard wants to start panting. “We won’t think any less of you. We just want to share you, that’s all.”
It could be the drink, or the role, or maybe Gerard’s just losing his fucking mind, because he nods.
“Yeah,” he says again, the word very little more than a whisper, but he knows Frank hears him, feels him radiating triumph. “Okay.”
“Come on then,” Frank says and actually fucking unzips Mikey’s pants, pulls out his cock. It’s hard, damp with pre-come at the tip, and Gerard’s never looked at it before – not like this – but now he can’t look away.
He has to try, though. He has to give his conscience something to hold onto in the sleepless nights that form his future.
“He’d prefer you,” Gerard says. “He’s hard for you, not me.”
Mikey laughs, low and husky, like Gerard’s only ever heard when he’s with some girl, in his room or in the back of the van while Gerard’s pretending to sleep.
“C’mere.” His voice is low, beautiful, draws Gerard like nothing else does, and when he takes hold of Gerard’s wrists, Gerard doesn’t even try to pull away.
He’s seen girls like this with Mikey before, knows how they look up at him like he’s the answer to their prayers. He’s uncomfortably aware that his expression is not dissimilar to that now, and even though he’d like to say that it was acting, that it was part of the role… it really isn’t.
“‘m hard for you,” Mikey says, and it takes Gerard’s breath away. “Tell me you’ll suck me, baby?”
There are probably a dozen excuses that Gerard could come out with – hell, all he really has to do is to say no and Mikey would back off – but he doesn’t use any of them. He nods his head and Mikey smiles down at him, warm and satisfied.
He’s still not sure what to actually do though, and it’s Frank who breaks the stalemate. He puts his hand on the back of Gerard’s neck and guides him forward so he’s nestled in the tight space between Mikey’s spread thighs.
“Suck him,” Frank says, and he doesn’t give Gerard much option, pushing his head down, even though Gerard isn’t actually trying to pull away – not any more.
Instead he’s putting his hands on Mikey’s thighs and letting Frank guide him forward. It’s easier like this, with Frank setting the pace and depth, when Gerard doesn’t have to think about what he’s doing. When he can just concentrate on his mouth and tongue and lips; on making this good for Mikey. On making Mikey fall apart for him.
He knows he’s succeeded, or he’s starting to, when Mikey bucks up under him, slides deeper than Gerard intended – maybe than Frank intended – comes close to fucking his throat.
It’s not something he should allow – it’s going to fuck up his voice tomorrow and he has no idea what excuse he’ll find to explain it when the others ask. But he also wants it, and he’s trying to relax his jaw, his throat, when Frank presses his free hand to Mikey’s chest.
“Steady,” he says. “Don’t want to choke her, Mikes. Be gentle.”
You don’t need to Gerard wants to say, but his mouth is busy, and he can feel how Mikey’s thighs tense up under his hands, how he forces himself back down into the seat. He wants to fuck Gerard’s face, Gerard can tell, but he’s been told not to, he’s thinking of Gerard – of his welfare – and so he takes what Gerard and Frank give him, until he calls out and comes, spilling bitter and hot into Gerard’s mouth while Frank pins his head in place, makes him take it.
He pulls off afterwards, stops sucking Mikey even though he wants to keep going, to tease Mikey until he’s squirming and begging. He rests his face on Mikey’s thigh and tries to catch his breath, tries not to concentrate on the taste in his mouth that’s filling his senses.
Frank doesn’t give him a chance to recover, though. He pushes Gerard’s face into Mikey’s lap and pulls his hips back so his ass is in the air.
“God,” he says, reverent, and he flips Gerard’s skirt up, pulls the silk of his panties down just enough that Gerard’s exposed, that the peach silk is caught around the middle of his thighs. “I need to fuck you. Can I fuck you? Please?”
His fingers catch on the rim of Gerard’s ass and there are a million reasons why Gerard should say no, but he can’t think of a single one right now.
“Okay,” he says, the word nearly muffled in the denim on Mikey’s thigh. “Yeah.”
Frank sighs and Gerard hears the rip of foil and then Frank’s fingers are back, lube-slick and probing and pushing inside of Gerard.
He groans and Mikey slides his fingers around so he can scratch at the nape of Gerard’s neck, where his wig is rubbing his skin.
“Pretty girl.” Mikey’s voice is rough. “You’re doing so well. Gonna take everything we give you, aren’t you?”
He slides his fingers into Gerard’s mouth as Frank pushes inside of him, stifling the terrible, desperate noises that he’s making. It’s a small mercy, and Gerard tries to convey his gratitude in the swirl of his tongue around Mikey’s fingers, in the careful pressure of his teeth against his knuckles.
It’s overwhelming – Mikey’s fingers pressing down on his tongue, Frank’s cock sliding slowly into him and filling him up. He blinks his eyes shut, feels the sting of sweat in them, the slide of his eye makeup as it smears across his face, blurring his features.
He groans with Frank’s first thrust, nearly sobs when the subsequent slide of his cock catches against his prostate, sends sparks up his spine.
He copes though, manages to deal with the mass of sensation until Frank reaches around and touches his cock.
“So wet for me.” Frank sounds as ruined as Gerard feels, and Gerard shakes as Frank runs his fingers up the length of his cock. “Can feel your clit jumping for me.”
That makes Gerard moan, desperate, and Frank tightens his other hand on his hip, keeps fucking him with long, perfect strokes, even as he wraps his hand around Gerard’s cock and starts jerking him off in time with his thrusts.
“Play with her tits,” he tells Mikey. “You know how girls like that.”
Gerard feels the tension in Mikey’s fingers for the fraction of a second before he pulls his hand free and twists forward until he can pull Gerard’s t-shirt off over his head.
It leaves Gerard more exposed than he ever imagined he could feel. His panties around his knees, the noise of Frank’s slick cock fucking into him, Mikey’s eyes as they track over the pale skin of Gerard’s torso, as he reaches out and strokes the satin of Gerard’s bra.
Gerard holds his breath as Mikey pulls out the pathetic amount of padding he’d actually bothered with from his bra. He’s not sure what he’s expecting, except that it will be catastrophic. That he’ll be called out as a fraud, a fake – as himself. But Mikey doesn’t say anything, he just runs his fingers over Gerard’s nipples, gentler than Gerard would have expected, but still making Gerard want to whine with the sensation.
“You like that?” he asks as Gerard moans and then he pinches – hard – and Gerard keens, his entire body tightening.
“Do that again,” Frank says, his voice rough and his hips snapping forward. “Jesus, Mikey. She squeezed me like a fucking vice then.”
Mikey chuckles, low and confident, and does it again, again in terrible, beautiful counterpoint to Frank’s thrusts, and Gerard can’t hold back. He comes, clenching around Frank’s cock, humping Frank’s fist, biting Mikey’s thigh to hide the noise he makes and Frank’s hips snap forward, once, twice.
“Fuck,” he pants, his voice breaking. “Fuck, Gerard.” And he comes, hard enough that Gerard swears he can feel Frank’s cock pulsing inside him.
He slumps over Gerard afterwards, pushing Gerard’s face further into Mikey, and the only noise Gerard can hear is panting as their breathing slowly returns to normal.
Frank is tracing patterns on his skin, and Gerard feels languid, boneless, fucked out. There’s something nagging at the back of his mind, but he can’t be bothered to unpick it. He puts it to one side, with his moral dilemma, with his crushes, with his need to collect his clothes and leave before they look at him too closely in the light.
“Fuck.” Mikey is back to rubbing circles on Gerard’s neck again, like he does when Gerard has a headache, or hasn’t been able to sleep, and it’s so easy to let himself relax now, just like he always does. “That was a thing.”
“Yeah.” Frank makes an unspeakable noise as he pulls out of Gerard, and he runs his fingers over Gerard’s hole, horribly intimate and strangely soothing. “That was.”
It’s over and Gerard blinks his eyes against the stinging.
He’s tired. Drunk. He needs to sleep. He can’t think too much about how this is the only time he gets this. He can do that later, when he’s back here as him, listening to Frank and Mikey sleeping on the seat behind him, watching them when he thinks he can get away with it.
“I should go,” he says, and winces as Mikey tightens his hold in his hair.
“Really?” Mikey sounds incredulous. “Now?” He sighs, exasperated. “Fuck’s sake, Gee. Can’t you give it five minutes before you start overthinking everything?”
It’s his name, Gerard realizes. That’s what was nagging at him. Frank said his name when he came, and now…
They know it’s him.
He freezes, and Frank leans forward, pressing him into Mikey, stroking his hands down Gerard’s sides.
“You think it matters?” he asks. “You think we said one word that wasn’t true tonight? Did one thing we hadn’t wanted to do before?”
“Yeah?” Gerard’s voice doesn’t sound like his at all right now. “So, you just happened to wait until I was dressed as a girl?”
“Saw you go out.” Mikey’s voice is impassive, but Gerard knows him, knows everything he’s trying to hide. “Followed you before we realized you were going out…” he pauses. “In character.”
“He wanted to leave it,” Frank says and Gerard tries to turn to look at him, but Mikey is still holding his head too firmly. “It was me who made him carry on.”
“Why?” Gerard asks, because he needs to know this.
“Because you were too pretty to be alone in a bar like that,” Frank says, his words gentle and his fingers soft on the dip of Gerard’s spine. “Because we wanted you.”
“Oh.” Gerard closes his eyes and Mikey runs his fingers over his lips, a touch to replace the kiss they still haven’t shared.
“We should get cleaned up,” Mikey says. “Before Ray gets back.”
Frank giggles, a shockingly normal sound after everything that’s happened.
“What’s he gonna see?” he asks, and this is the Frank Gerard knows, the asshole he loves. “Gee’s in makeup, you stink of sex.” He bends down, kisses the side of Gerard’s face. “It’s not like it’s anything he hasn’t seen before.” He pulls Gerard’s panties back up though, settles them over his hips with a gentle stroke that lingers just a fraction too long. “Sounds like a normal Friday night to me.”
There’s so many things wrong with that statement that Gerard’s not sure where to begin, but he’s drifting now and it’s easy to let Frank pull him down, to let Mikey slide onto the mattress next to them and pull a dubiously smelling blanket over them.
“I…” he starts, but Frank pulls him close, silences him with a kiss.
“Leave it,” Mikey says. “Just for tonight, yeah?” He presses his lips to the pulse point on Gerard’s throat, kisses him so gently that Gerard’s not sure what just happened.
He closes his eyes, lets himself drift further.
“Hey.” Frank’s voice is a shade over a whisper, and Mikey hums, sleepily. “Totally scored the hottest girl in the bar, Mikes.”
“Cuz you were with me,” Mikey says, and Frank’s laugh, warm, genuine, is the last thing Gerard hears before he falls asleep.