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The Boy With The Hazel Eyes

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“We’ll continue the lesson in just a moment,” a teacher spoke to her sophomore class, “but the student body president will be coming in to make an announcement.”

Two boys sitting in the farthest desks towards the back groaned loudly in unison. The class chuckled quietly.

“Frank, John,” the teacher addressed the students firmly, “is there a problem?”

“Not at all,” John shrugged, resting his elbows against his desk.

“Yeah, we won’t continue the lesson for, like, five hours when Mr. President is done talking,” Frank added to John’s statement.

The class laughed in agreement. The student body president was known for talking a lot more than necessary. Students had a love-hate relationship with him—they loved that he delayed most of their classes, but hated actually having to listen to him speak.

“Well, you two can spend the next five hours up front,” the teacher said, pointing at two empty desks in the front row. “Come on. Grab your things. Now.”

Frank and John did as they were told, grumbling and complaining on their journey from the back of the class to the front. There was one seat right on the edge of the front row, and one behind it. John and Frank shoved each other on their way, trying to get away from the seat in the front row. John won, easily pushing Frank aside. Frank groaned and dropped heavily into his seat.

Just as they got settled, the student body president walked into class and smiled gleefully at the teacher.

“Ah, perfect timing,” the teacher greeted him. “Go ahead and make your announcement, Gerard. The class is all yours.”

“Thank you,” Gerard nodded at the teacher, and then took his place at the front of the class, smiling at the unenthusiastic faces before him. His black hair hung just above his eyes—not long enough to cover his hazel eyes—and contrasted against his light skin. He adjusted the front of the leather jacket he was wearing, and smiled at the students. Aside from a few girls staring dreamily at Gerard, the class looked uninterested.

Gerard quickly launched into a long speech about “student unity” and not being “divided by grades or social quotas” that had everyone yawning. Frank busied himself with the skin around his fingernails—they were far more interesting than anything Gerard had to say.

Frank felt a sharp jab in the middle of his back and twitched in his seat, sitting up abruptly. He turned to see that John had a sneaky smile on his face, having dug his foot roughly into Frank’s back. Frank mouthed, “Fuck you,” and turned back to face the front of the class, taking a moment to actually look at the talkative president.

Frank couldn’t understand how someone could enjoy speaking so animatedly to people who were obviously uninterested, unless, Frank concluded, he just loved the attention. That was probably it. Gerard seemed to enjoy the sound of his own voice more than anything else.

While Frank was making slandering remarks about Gerard in his head, Gerard’s eyes flickered over to his direction. It was that sort of casual sweep across the classroom that public speakers were supposed to do, except that his eyes didn’t quickly go back to sweep across the rest of the class. They locked on Frank’s and stayed there.

“And, uh….the, um, the dance…” Gerard mumbled and stuttered, his rhythm and natural grace completely thrown off.

“Looks like Mr. President’s mouth finally dried up, huh?” John hissed in Frank’s ear.

Frank brought a hand up to his lips to hide his smile, his eyes staring right back into Gerard’s.

There was an awkward silence while Gerard struggled with his words. It was typical to see a student grow nervous when the time came to recite a speech to a sea of mostly bored faces and eyes. For Gerard, though, that wasn’t usually a problem. He could speak to people for hours on an end without so much as a smudge on his confidence. Speeches—torturously long ones—were his specialty.

Frank wasn’t sure if anyone else noticed how Gerard’s eyes were locked on his; he was too scared to look around and see, so he bravely held the president’s stare, and even added a cocked eyebrow. Frank didn’t know the president personally and he never had an inclination to, either. As far as Frank was concerned, he was a stereotypical overachiever—student body president, lacrosse team captain, a GPA too high to be considered normal—with a big head that was swollen with arrogance.

Gerard blinked a few times at Frank until Frank rolled his eyes and looked away. The president regained his focus, cleared his throat, and delved right back into his usual unbroken stream of words.

“It’ll be a masquerade and it’s open to all students. We realized we have a lot of events and dances, but they’re usually separated by grade level. We’ve never had a dance for all the students. It would usually be hard to do something like that because of how much it would cost to host an event catered to that many students, but after a lot of planning and fund raising, we’ve finally made it happen. We’re going around personally telling everyone about it so everyone can attend. It’ll be great.”

“Sounds fun,” the teacher beamed, clapping her hands gently in front of her. “Is that all, Gerard?”

“Yeah,” Gerard nodded, turning his attention to the teacher and then back on the class. “I hope to see everyone there.”

The class applauded politely; it didn’t sound enthusiastic at all. Gerard smiled once more, his eyes lingering slightly on Frank, before walking out. Once again, Frank noticed, but he didn’t care enough to wonder why.

**

Gerard never lost his cool like that. When he walked out of the sophomore classroom, he ran his hands through his hair, clutching at the back of it, and taking deep breaths. He was always smooth and precise when it came down to giving speeches. Nothing could ever distract him during a speech. This time, though, there was a distraction. That student at the front of the class, who Gerard didn’t even know. When Gerard had caught sight of that student’s large and round hazel eyes, all he wanted to do was stare.

There was something about them that pulled at something inside Gerard, practically prying his eyes over there just so he could get a better look at them. For lack of a better word, they were beautiful, and they captivated Gerard. He knew nothing about the student that had done the impossible and made Gerard want to stop talking, but he wanted to. He needed to know as much as he could about the boy with the hazel eyes.

**

With the boring class lesson underway, Frank couldn’t help but wonder why Mr. President had been staring at him the way he was. Luckily, no one else had noticed it, or else he would have known because John had the tendency to be overtly loud about anything and everything that ran through his mind. The only thing John was loud about when they left class was how much his ass cheeks were aching from sitting so close to the front row—according to him, the seats were harder.

“You down for this masquerade shit they got going?” John asked Frank as they stood at their lockers, wasting time away before their next class.

“Is this your way of asking me to be your date?” Frank smirked. “So not romantic, John. I’m not impressed.”

“You fucking wish,” John scoffed, pushing himself off of his locker so he could actually open it. “The girls totally dig this shit, so if I asked any of them they’d be all over it. Perfect chance for a hook up.”

“Well then fuck you, I’m not gonna be a third wheel,” Frank sighed, looking down at his feet.

“You’re not a third wheel, dumb ass, you’re going,” John insisted.

“Not without a date.”

“No impressive knights at your door yet, Cinderella?”

“Cinderella’s man was a prince, not a knight,” Frank corrected him.

“And that means no.”

“If you haven’t noticed,” Frank muttered, “the gay guys here are more girly than every girl I know, and I’m not into that. I’m gay ‘cause I want a guy, not a chic with a dick.”

“That rhymed,” John laughed, slamming his locker shut. “Write a song about it.”

Frank flipped him off and they headed off to their next class. Even though Frank wasn’t at all enthusiastic about the latest dance the school had planned, it was always a letdown to know he would be dateless again. He always thought that coming out as gay would be the most difficult part about actually being gay, but that seemed to pass by without any troubles. The real trial was finding someone now that everyone knew he was gay. Whenever John talked about it, though, Frank laughed at it off, ignoring the thought in the back of his mind screaming that at least John had a lot of options to choose from.

**

Undoubtedly, the best part about being student body president was that Gerard knew people who knew people that he didn’t know. Anytime Gerard had an inquiry about someone in school, it wouldn’t be hard to ask around and find out who they were.

At lunch, Gerard sidled up to the table he usually sat at; all the students who were active on the student committee were at that table.

“How’s my favorite vice president doing?” Gerard struck what he thought was a charming smile to a girl with short curly black hair. She had on a pair of glasses, which were slipping down her nose while she read attentively out of the book in front of her.

“What is it you want, Gerard?” she mumbled without glancing up from her book.

“Oh come on, Kat, I’m insulted,” Gerard feigned shock, a dramatic hand pressed to his chest and everything.

Kat glanced up from her book and adjusted her glasses. She fixed Gerard with a stare that basically said “spit it out or my book will end up in one of your organs” and it was scary enough to have Gerard spilling his deepest and darkest secrets if he had any.

“Ok, ok,” he spoke quickly, “there’s this boy and I have no idea who he is.”

Kat rolled her eyes but smiled nonetheless. She was at least relieved that she could approve or disapprove of people before Gerard approached them. It made it easier for her to look out for him, so she didn’t complain about being his own personal snoop.

“Grade, teacher, and period that you saw him,” Kat instructed, marking the page she was on and putting her book away. She pulled her phone out from her pocket.

“Second period, sophomore, and I think it was Mrs. Flynn, or something like that,” Gerard informed her.

Kat nodded while Gerard spoke, tapping quickly at her phone, scrolling through the class rosters that she had access to since she was Gerard’s vice president, as well as head of student affairs.

“Ok, you know half of these guys,” Kat said, her eyes scanning wildly over the screen of her phone.

“Just text me all the names of the guys I don’t know and I’ll look through the yearbook when I’m home,” Gerard said.

“Ok, done,” Kat nodded and just as she did, Gerard felt his phone vibrate in his pocket.

“You’re fucking awesome, you know that?” Gerard beamed.

“Yeah, yeah,” Kat shrugged. “Just let me know who he is when you figure it out so I can check the guy out.”

“Will do, Mother,” Gerard smirked.

“I’d die if you were my son,” Kat shook her head, pulling her book back out of her bag. “Way too much of an asshole.”

Gerard smiled at her and stayed silent, allowing her to delve back into her book. The rest of the table was chatting loudly away and Gerard tried to join the conversations; his mind was far away, though. Every once in a while, his eyes would sweep over the cafeteria, hoping to somehow catch a glimpse of the boy with the hazel eyes. Lunch ended, and he didn’t see him. School ended and he didn’t see him. By the time he got home, he had already filled his notebook with sketches of the eyes that had won him over at a glance that day. They seemed to be engraved into his mind. The perfect shape of them, the largeness that allowed Gerard to clearly see the color of them, and the perfectly shaped eyebrows, arched just right.

Gerard couldn’t wait to get home to add color to the many sketches he had accumulating, and more importantly, put a name to the eyes lingering in his mind.

**

For days, Frank had to force a smile on his face as everyone around him bustled around excitedly in preparation for the masquerade dance. No matter how many times people called them “stupid” or “lame,” they all still got excited for the dances whenever they came up, and this one was the biggest one yet.

“No arm-candy for you, yet, Frankie?” John said as they walked into school on a Wednesday morning. The dance was on Friday night. Frank had basically given up hope.

“Nah, Ima be too busy being eye candy for everyone else,” Frank said simply.

“Oh, you’re just so fucking considerate,” John laughed.

“I try,” Frank shrugged. “You got someone already?”

“Yeah, this girl that always hangs around us and stuff,” John said like it was no big deal. “Her name’s Sady. She’s always there but I never talked to her. She seems cool, though. I mean she agreed to a date with me, so she has to be.”

“Or insane,” Frank suggested. “Definitely insane more than cool.”

“Jealous,” John sneered jokingly. Frank had to force himself to laugh. He felt so stupid about the fact that he actually was jealous. “Anyways, man, Ima head to first period.”

“Alright, I’ll see you after,” Frank nodded, and they headed their separate ways.

While John rushed off to his first class, Frank made a stop at his locker first so he could lighten up the load of books in his backpack. When he reached his locker, he noticed a piece of paper peeking out from one of the vents. He stopped in front of his locker and glanced around, trying to figure out who put it there. There were only a few students left in the hall, walking hurriedly to their classes.

Frank stared at the glimpse of paper for a few more seconds before he finally gave in and pulled it out. It turned out to be an envelope with the words, “To the boy with the hazel eyes,” written on the front of it. Frank glanced around again, as if the person behind the envelope would just be casually leaning against a wall and watching him.

He dropped his backpack to the floor and tore the envelope open. Inside, there were two items. One was a beautiful drawing of a pair of eyes, made out of oil pastels. It took Frank a few seconds of staring to realize that the eyes were his. They were so perfectly drawn that it took his breath away. He gently ran his fingers over the roughness of the oil pastels. For a minute, he forgot that there was another item to look at because he was so mesmerized by the drawing. He finally tore his eyes and hand away from the drawing to look back into the envelope and pull out the second item. It was a note and it read:

“Frank Iero,
I noticed your eyes not too long ago and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them. They’re all I’ve been able to think about and draw. It might sound cheesy, but they’re beautiful. I have a suggestion for you. I think I’m so in love with your eyes that I can identify them if they were the only part of your face that I could see. So, go to the masquerade this Friday, wear any mask you’d like as long as your eyes are clearly visible, and if I can identify you, you have to be my date. Do we have a deal? Write your answer on a piece of paper and stick it anywhere on your locker. I hope I’ll have the pleasure of seeing your eyes up close.”

By the time Frank finished reading the small note, he had the widest of grins on his face. Everything about the gesture was so sweet. The fact that whoever this person was knew nothing about Frank but his eyes, and the fact that they were confident enough to think they could identify them at the masquerade; whoever the mystery person was, they had already managed to make Frank blush. And Frank hardly ever blushed.

He was already knelt over by his backpack, looking for something to write his response on, when he noticed something else written on the back of the note. It said: “PS Just in case you’re wondering, I am a guy.”

“Even better,” Frank laughed to himself, shaking his head. He found a sticky note somewhere at the bottom of his messy backpack, pulled out a pen, and wrote a large “YES!”

Frank placed the sticky note on his locker, carefully slid the note and drawing back into their envelope, and hurried off to his first period without emptying his heavy backpack. He arrived to class late, and took the teacher’s reprehension with a smile on his face.

**

Frank felt like a teenage girl. For the rest of the week, he was in a vastly different mood than the one he had been in the first half of the week. Rather than jealously watch his friends prepare for the dance, he joined them. The colorful decorations and signs littering the school had been a glum reminder that Frank had no one. Now, they were an anticipatory countdown to the day that he would meet his mystery date.

Frank had John’s date, Sady, help him pick out a mask, aiming for something that clearly displayed his eyes, just as his mystery date had asked.

“You’re glowing, little fucker,” John said to him quietly one day as they scouted the mall for masks. Sady and a few other people were walking ahead of John and Frank.

“What—” Frank had begun, but John was quick to interrupt him.

“You’re all excited and shit for this date,” John said. “I haven’t seen you this excited about anything.”

“Well, I haven’t really had a proper date,” Frank shrugged.

“I’m happy for you, man,” John nudged Frank with his elbow.

“And I’m gay?” Frank raised his eye brows, his lips tight in a smile.

“Fuck off,” John laughed, smacking Frank’s head. “I can’t say nice shit to you without getting shit for it!”

“I’m kidding,” Frank said, rubbing the back of his head where John had smacked him. “I am happy. And thanks. I just hope it goes well.”

“It better,” John shrugged, “or I will go after this guy.”

“Aww, you’re so cute when you’re protective,” Frank teased, throwing an arm around John’s shoulders in a sort of half-hug.

John rolled his eyes and they followed the group they were with into an accessories store, its masks hanging behind the display window.

**

The day had arrived. The excitement that had been charging through Frank was transformed into a pile of nervous butterflies in his stomach, threatening to induce vomit at any given moment.

Frank was sure he broke some sort of record for the amount of times he looked in the mirror before he left. All the apprehension came in slow bouts every time he gave himself the once over, until his mind was filled with nothing but negativity.

Who was the guy, really? All he knew and liked about Frank were his eyes. He knew nothing else about him. What if he didn’t like Frank in the end? What if Frank was a disappointment to him? What if the guy was a disappointment to Frank? By the time John and Sady were at his door, Frank was wondering what the hell he had gotten himself into.

“Frank! John and his date are here!” Frank’s mother called from the living room.

“This is stupid,” Frank sighed at his reflection.

He was a wearing a pair of black skinny jeans that were dark enough to pass for a pair of really tight slacks. He had paired that with a simple white v-neck and a black blazer. He had told Sady he was aiming for a “I’m trying, but not too hard, but I still look hot,” look and that was what she had put together for him.

Frank held the mask in his hand and looked up to the paper that was taped onto the corner of his mirror. The drawing of his eyes. He would meet the artist that night, or so he hoped, if he could actually identify Frank with the mask on.

“Fuck you, mysterious ass hole,” Frank muttered, flipping off the drawing and finally leaving his room.

“Guys,” Frank said as he walked into the living room, “I don’t think I should be doing this.”

“Hell no, man, you are not flaking!” John said right away. He was standing by the door with his arm around Sady. They both had their masks on and he was wearing a shirt and tie that were the same shade of blue as Sady’s dress.

“Don’t be nervous, Frankie,” Frank’s mom comforted him, going over to smooth his hair down. “It’ll go well.”

“What if it sucks?” Frank whined like a child.

“Then you have fun with us, duh,” John scoffed.

“Come on, Frank, you’ve been excited about this,” Sady tried to help. “And you look hot.”

“She’s got that right, sweety,” Frank’s mom smiled, her hands resting comfortingly on Frank’s shoulders.

“Ok, ok, fine,” Frank sighed.

Frank’s mom smiled and took the mask from his hand. She put it on for him and adjusted his hair over the elastic strap that held it in place. The mask was black like most of his outfit, and had a cutout swirling pattern. The holes for the eyes were large, leaving Frank’s eyes and eyebrows in clear view.

His mom adjusted his hair a few more times, before giving him one last hug and a few encouraging words, and then they were off.

The hall in which the dance was being held was massive. Most school events were held in the school’s gym, but they had rented out an entirely separate facility to accommodate all the students. Frank’s heart sank a little when he saw how many people were actually there. How the hell would his date actually find him?

John and Sady tried to keep Frank distracted, dragging him over to the table that was covered in deserts, and then onto the dance floor where he swayed stupidly around them until a slow song was on, and he was forced to leave because he wasalone.

Frank was sitting at a table, busying himself with the lace fabric that was draped over the table cover, poking holes into it. For the entire duration of the slew of slow songs, Frank had his eyes locked downwards until he felt someone poke at his shoulder. His head snapped up excitedly, but then his face fell when he saw that it was only Sady.

“Oh, gee, don’t look so happy to see me,” she teased.

“Sorry,” he sighed, looking back down, “I just—”

“I know,” she smiled, taking a seat beside him, “I’m kidding. I know you thought I was him.”

Frank stayed quiet.

“Hey,” she said, shoving his shoulder. He looked up at her questioningly. “What did that note he gave you say again?”

“It said he’d try to find me,” Frank mumbled, “and if he could, then he’d get to be my date.”

“And how is he supposed to find you?” she asked.

“You already know,” Frank groaned.

“Refresh my memory,” she shrugged.

“With my eyes,” Frank said. “He’d know it was me just by my eyes, even with my mask on. It’s fucking stupid, I know.”

“No, actually, it’s romantic and you know it,” she said. “But you’re not making the guy’s job easy.”

“What do you mean?” Frank asked, sitting up a little straighter. Just then, John came up to them with two cups of punch in hand. He handed one to Sady and she took it with her eyes still locked on Frank. John leaned against her chair while she spoke.

“I mean,” she began, “that this guy is probably looking into the eyes of every guy he sees, but you’ve been here all sad and looking down for like half an hour. How is he supposed to see your eyes?”

“Oh,” Frank said. “Oh.

“Yeah,” John laughed. “She’s a genius, right? She came up with that while we were dancing.”

“That’s a good point,” Frank smiled, suddenly filled with a bit of hope that there was still a chance.

“So get up, get around, keep your eyes totally visible, and give the guy a chance to find you,” Sady said, leaving her cup on the table, and standing up. She took Frank’s hands and pulled him up and off of his chair.

“Thanks,” Frank smiled gratefully and allowed her to pull him onto the dance floor. John followed closely behind them.

“Told you I liked this girl,” John whispered from behind Frank. Frank turned his head and nodded. He definitely approved.

Frank was able to enjoy himself without the constant badgering thoughts of where his mystery date might be. They danced to a few songs, John and Sady making him feel comfortable and not at all like he was a third wheel.

With only about an hour left until their curfew, Frank and Sady were hanging out by a table, waiting for John to get out of the bathroom. Sady was explaining to Frank the different colors that would bring out his eyes, and he was unabashedly paying close attention so that he could wear nothing but those colors for the rest of his lifeonce he met his mystery date.

“Uh, excuse me,” someone interrupted Frank’s question of whether or not dying his hair would be a good idea, and both Frank and Sady turned to look at the person. “Frank?”

Frank’s mouth dried up and he wondered when all the bones in his body had turned into jelly because he was almost sure that he couldn’t stand straight.

The guy was just a few inches taller than Frank—which was not a surprise considering how short Frank was—and was wearing a simple black mask that went over his eyes and most of his nose. He had black hair that was slicked back, just barely reaching the collar of his black button down shirt that was left untucked from his black skinny jeans. The all-black ensemble was interrupted by the pop of red coming from the tie he had on.

“A-Are you—” Frank had begun to ask, when the guy suddenly looked right into Frank’s eyes and smiled, because he knew. And Frank knew that he knew.

“Yeah,” the guy smiled. “Yeah, it’s me.”

Sady was glancing excitedly back and forth between Frank and his mystery date, trying to contain herself from squealing happily.

“Good luck,” she whispered to Frank before smoothly leaving the two of them alone.

“Wow,” Frank sighed, rendered speechless. “You really found me.”

“Yeah,” the guy chuckled breathily. “Fuck, I was so nervous.”

“You?” Frank laughed. “I was this close to leaving.”

“Hey, you didn’t have much to do,” the guy said matter of factly. “All you had to do was come and wait for me to find you. The pressure was all on me.”

“Yeah, but…” Frank stopped, not ready to look like a fool and tell the mystery guy how nervous he had been about impressing him and being a disappointment. “Well, you succeeded.”

“So,” the guy smiled this stupid little smile that was obviously him trying to contain himself from grinning. Frank was already falling for him. “That means you’re my date?”

“Deal’s a deal,” Frank shrugged, “so yeah. To be honest, I’ve been your date since I found that note.”

“Did you like it?” the guy asked. “The drawing?”

“Fuck yeah,” Frank nodded. “It was amazing. You seriously drew that yourself? Just from memory?”

“Yeah,” the guy shrugged, blushing slightly. “I couldn’t, uh, I couldn’t really get your eyes out of my head. So it wasn’t hard to remember.”

“Oh,” Frank bit his lip, this time being the one to contain the grin that would surely split his face in two. “So am I gonna get to know your name at least?”

“Let’s leave that till the end of the night,” the guy smiled. “I like this whole mysterious thing.”

“Ok, I guess I can deal with that,” Frank nodded, “as long as you’re finally here.”

Frank and his date were standing at an awkward distance from each other, looking like strangers, which was what they were. It didn’t feel like a date with the way they kept their distance, but Frank didn’t know how to close it, so he shuffled awkwardly in place.

His date, though, apparently got the hint and suddenly stepped very close to him. Frank held his breath as the mystery guy reached forward and took Frank’s hand.

“Slow song,” his date said, nodding his head towards the dance floor. “You wanna dance?”

“Yeah,” Frank breathed, releasing the breath he was holding, and returning the grip that his date had on his hand. He led Frank over to the dance floor and immediately placed his hands on Frank’s hips. Frank’s hands joined at the back of his mystery man’s neck and he couldn’t help but blush at the way his date was smiling at him. He dropped his gaze to his shoes, embarrassed.

“Hey,” his date spoke softly, “I’ve been dying all night to get a good look at your eyes. Don’t hide them from me now.”

That made Frank even more embarrassed and put an invisible bond between his eyes and shoes. Knowing that his date would be paying that much attention to his eyes made it that much harder to actually look at him.

“Come on,” his date urged again.

“I’m such a fucking dork,” Frank groaned, allowing his forehead to drop onto his date’s shoulder as they swayed slowly to the unknown music being played.

“I didn’t take you for the shy type,” his date laughed softly. Frank could feel his date’s cheek resting on the side of his head. That he could handle; eye contact, he couldn’t.

“I’m not usually,” Frank said. “I don’t even know why I am right now.”

“Well, I’m a stranger who’s kind of obsessed with your eyes and now all of a sudden I’m your date,” he explained to Frank. “It makes sense.”

“Yeah, but I’ve been waiting for tonight and now I can’t even look at you without getting nervous,” Frank sighed.

“I make you nervous,” his date said. Frank could hear the smile in the way he spoke.

“Stupid, I know,” Frank sighed again. He was making a fool of himself, he just knew it. His date would leave because Frank just couldn’t get his shit together enough to have a proper conversation.

“It is not,” his date argued. “Ok, I’ll break the ice. Who’s your favorite band?”

“That’s hard,” Frank said, inwardly smiling at the fact that his date said “band” and not “singer” because that increased the chances that he was talking about the kind of music Frank liked. “I have a lot.”

“Name a random one, then.”

“Um,” Frank thought for a moment. “The Descendents, I guess. I was just listening to them at home.”

“Oh, man,” his date sighed, “I fucking knew you’d have good taste in music.”

Frank couldn’t help but lift his head at that statement and the small smirk on his date’s face turned into a smile when he got a look at Frank’s eyes. Now that he held his gaze, Frank couldn’t look away.

“You like them too?” Frank asked, his eyes wide with excitement.

“Love them,” his date smiled. His eyes never left Frank’s. “Favorite album?”

“Oh ‘Milo Goes to College’ for sure,” Frank answered immediately.

“Shit, same here!” his date exclaimed happily.

“Shut up,” Frank tilted his head back. “You’re so just saying that to impress me!”

“I am not,” his date giggled. He fucking giggled. Frank couldn’t explain why he found that endearing even if he tried.

“Ok, ok, name your favorite song on three?” Frank suggested.

“Deal,” his date nodded. “One, two, three.”

They both said, “I’m Not a Loser,” at the exact same time and burst out laughing at the exact same time as well.

“Ok, this is too fucking awesome,” Frank sighed after they stopped laughing. Just minutes ago, he was too embarrassed to even look his date in the eyes. With just a few words, though, he had managed to make Frank feel comfortable and like they’d known each other for years.

“You’re awesome,” his date nodded.

“Oh, come on,” Frank groaned, dropping his gaze again. “I was just getting over being embarrassed, you can’t say shit like that.”

“I can’t help it,” his date shrugged. “But ok, I’ll try not to embarrass you. Just stop looking down.”

Frank did just that and looked right back into his date’s eyes. They were a shade of hazel very similar to Frank’s, but differed by their shape and size.

“Ok, since you’re awesome,” his date continued the conversation, “you have to like Queen.”

“Fuck yeah,” Frank nodded. “Who doesn’t?”

“Favorite song on three?”

Frank nodded again.

“Ok. One, two, three.”

Their answers were not in sync like they were the first time around. Frank said, “Bicycle Race,” and his date said, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

“Oh, come on,” Frank scoffed. ‘“Bohemian Rhapsody’?? That’s so predictable!”

“Oh, please, ‘Bicycle Race’ is good, but who the hell does not choose ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ as their favorite Queen song?”

“Exactly,” Frank rolled his eyes. “That’s so damn predictable. It’s, like, even if you’re not a fan of Queen, you’d pick that song ‘cause everyone knows it.”

“Everyone knows that song because it’s awesome,” his date argued, “so it only makes sense to choose it.”

“I disagree,” Frank pressed his lips together, adamantly shaking his head.

“And I disagree,” his date said in the same tone. “So let’s just agree to disagree because it’s really hard not to tell you how fucking cute you look when you’re stubborn, and not embarrass you.”

“Oh my God,” Frank laughed, keeping his head up, but focusing his eyes on the red tie in front of him. “You’re such an asshole.”

“What? It’s true.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Frank rolled his eyes, tightening his grip around his date’s neck.

“See? Like that,” his date said, dipping his head low so that he could catch Frank’s gaze. “When you roll your eyes. Obviously I have a thing for your eyes, so I’m gonna fucking love that.”

“I’m gonna blindfold myself for the rest of the night if you don’t stop,” Frank said, trying his hardest to hold onto a serious expression.

“Fiiine,” his date sighed.

Frank was about to speak when the music changed to something a little more fast paced, but neither Frank nor his date felt like dancing to it, so they had some sort of silent mutual agreement to get off the dance floor. As they made their way away from the dancing crowd, Frank caught sight of John and Sady peering nosily at the two of them.

“You wanna go outside?” Frank’s date called loudly over the music. “It’s too loud to talk!”

Frank nodded wordlessly and allowed his date to walk him out of the hall, their hands together. There was a small lobby just outside of the room where the dance was being held. It was dimly lit with elegant chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. There were sofas and armchairs scattered around it and Frank’s date walked him over to a sofa that was across from the fireplace.

Frank was about to take a seat on the sofa when his date pulled him by the hand even closer to the fireplace and sat down on the floor.

“The floor?” Frank raised an eyebrow. “There’s a perfectly comfortable-looking sofa right here.”

“I know,” his date shrugged, looking up at him. “I wanna face you while we talk, though. And see you clearly.”

Frank smiled and didn’t question him. He hated to admit it, but his date was turning him into a hopeless romantic. He sat with his legs crossed across from his date, who was sitting in the same fashion.

“Ok, so discussing music is not safe because we’re gonna disagree and kill each other,” his date nodded. “So, talk to me about you.”

Frank laughed shyly, glancing at the fire for a bit, before looking back at his date. “I don’t know what there is to tell,” he shrugged.

“Anything,” his date urged. “I just wanna know you.”

Frank smiled and looked down. “You’re not even trying to embarrass me, it’s just fucking natural, isn’t it?”

“Sorry,” his date smiled sheepishly.

“Well, let’s see,” Frank began, his fingers picking at the stitching on his jeans, “I’m sixteen. You know the music I like. I like horror movies and anything related to zombies. And reading. I read a lot. Uh, my parents are divorced, but they’re still friends, so it’s cool and not like ‘oh hey I’m traumatized.’ My best friend is John because he’s the only person who’s been real for as long as I’ve known him. Oh, and I hate fake people. So, yeah. This feels like a fucking cheesy ‘about me’ on a blog or something.”

“Well, I like cheesy,” his date shrugged, the smile on his face not faltering the entire time that Frank spoke. “What’s your favorite horror movie?”

“The Exorcist,” Frank smirked, “only ‘cause it was fucking ridiculous and hilarious.”

His date laughed, nodding his head in agreement. “The shittier they are, the better.”

“Exactly!” Frank exclaimed. “People totally don’t get that.”

“I know. It’s, like, it totally takes talent to have a horror movie that’s supposed to scare you make you laugh. I mean, it probably wasn’t the intention, but hey, five stars for that anyways.”

“Yeah, man, you totally get it!” Frank gushed. How had he been lucky enough to get a mystery date he held most of the same opinions as him?

“We’re meant to be,” his date joked, yet it still managed to make Frank blush. Fortunately, his date continued the conversation. “What makes everyone other than John not real to you?”

“I hate talking about myself a lot,” Frank sighed. His date just fixed him with a stare and a smile and Frank knew he had no choice in the matter. “You’re stubborn as fuck, so no need to include that in your ‘about me’ when you tell me about yourself.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” he laughed.

Frank took a deep breath before speaking. “Ok, well, I just have seen a lot of people change. And, I mean, change is normal, I know that. But, like, by change I mean I’ve seen them be fake. They act a certain way to certain people, or, like, they’re fucking two-faced and you don’t know what side is real, or if there even is a real side. I’m kind of a clueless person, so I don’t notice shit like that. I only started noticing it after I came out to everyone. I just kind of casually let it get around because I didn’t want it to be this huge thing. But, I started to notice people change around me. I didn’t deal with, like, bullying or whatever, but they just changed. I could tell some of my guy friends felt awkward around me, like they didn’t even wanna touch me. I even found out some of them were talking shit about me behind my back. I literally lost every single friend that I had before I came out, except for John.

“The worst part is that they faked it. If they just came up to me and said they don’t wanna be friends anymore ‘cause I’m gay, I would have had respect for them or something. But, they just faked it and that made it worse. John didn’t change a-fucking-bit. And he was friends with all the people I was friends with, but he just stopped talking to them. I didn’t want him to do that, ‘cause it was my problem, you know? But he did it.”

“He sounds like an awesome friend,” his date said, a genuine smile on his face.

“He is,” Frank nodded. “Oh, man, I’m talking about another guy on this date. Isn’t that, like, a rule on dates or something?”

Gerard laughed and shook his head. “Is he your ex?”

“Oh God, no! He’s straight. Way straight.”

“Then, no, you didn’t break any rules.”

“Ok, good,” Frank nodded. “Now it’s your turn.”

“If you thought you were uninteresting, then you’re gonna fall asleep on me.”

“Shut up,” Frank rolled his eyes. “I wanna know you, too, you know. So tell me. Anything.”

“Ok, hm, well I just turned eighteen a couple weeks ago. I like drawing—oh, well, you knew that. I really like drawing comics, though. I hardly do realistic stuff, like what I did for your eyes? But I just had to draw them as close to accurate as possible. I can’t even remember the last time I drew something like that. But, yeah, usually it’s just comics. I have a shitload of ideas, I don’t even know where to start, so I’m always just drawing random stuff. My parents are really cool about so much stuff, like me being gay, but when it comes to comics, they give me so much shit. They didn’t even let me sign up for art school, so I had to do it secretly. I got in and they don’t know it yet.”

“So you’re just gonna go and not tell them?” Frank asked.

“That’s the plan,” he nodded.

“Why don’t they like it? I mean you’re fucking good.”

“Typical parental shit, they want me to go for something ‘practical’ and ‘realistic.’”

“But you’re good…” Frank said simply.

“Thanks.” His date finally took the role of looking embarrassed instead of Frank. “I just hope it works out, ‘cause it would suck if I did all this for nothing, you know?”

“Hey, it’s whatever works for you,” Frank said. “You don’t need to ‘make it’ or whatever, as long as you’re happy doing it.”

“That’s exactly what my brother always tells me. He’s been helping me cover shit up and basically make it look like I’m going to NYU.”

“Oh, you have a brother?”

“Yeah, he hasn’t started high school yet, though. He’s gonna be a freshman next year.”

“Well, I like him ‘cause he’s helping you out,” Frank nodded. “So I can help him get through freshman shit since you won’t be around.”

“Ok, you like good music, terrible movies, you’re stubborn, totally motivational, and now you’re sensitive and caring and you’re gonna protect my baby brother for me? I think you’re the one trying to impress me now.”

“Shut up,” Frank laughed. “I thought we were gonna stop with the embarrassment.”

“Stop being so fucking perfect, then!” his date argued.

“I am not perfect,” Frank scoffed.

“How lame would it be if I said I think you’re perfect for me?”

Frank’s face most definitely had to be hotter than the sun at that moment. Every compliment his date gave him made him blush, but they were usually said with a taunting smile or smirk, waiting for Frank to blush. This time, he said it so coyly and genuinely, having to force himself to continue looking into Frank’s eyes. Frank couldn’t even look away. Or say anything, for that matter.

“Look, Frank, I know we haven’t had that much time together and we hardly know each other, but I really am…I’m falling for you. You, as a person, and not just your eyes. I didn’t know how tonight would go, but I’ve never felt this...this…connection with anyone so fast. You’re different. This is different. Fuck, I would feel really stupid if I’m the only one who feels that.”

Frank shook his head. He couldn’t get himself to utter any words. He saw the nervousness that covered his date’s face, though, so he quickly voiced his thoughts.

“You’re not alone,” Frank blurted out. “Fuck, I feel the same way. I was so scared that tonight would suck, to be honest, that you wouldn’t be what I thought, or whatever. But you’re…you and me…we just—I don’t know—work.”

“God, you’re so cute when you’re nervous,” his date blurted out.

“Oh my God!” Frank exclaimed, hands flailing, and face blushing again. “Shut up already!”

His date giggled like an idiot, until it faded slowly, and his expression abruptly turned serious. “Make me,” he said.

Frank was about to open his mouth and say something stupid like “how?” or “is me punching you in the face part of this date thing?” when it clicked in his head what his date really meant.

“Oh,” Frank sighed.

His date simply nodded and held his place, not moving. He was allowing Frank to make the decision.

“Ok,” Frank nodded, swallowing nervously. “Ok,” he said again, getting on his knees and shuffling closer to his date, who still sat cross-legged and completely still. He was so calm and collected, while Frank was a complete mess.

Frank was now settled on his knees, right in front of his date. His knees were touching his date’s legs, and their faces were just inches apart. Frank let his hands rest lazily on his date’s shoulders before he finally got closer.

The first touch of their lips was just a quick peck from Frank and then he needed more, so he pecked at his date’s lips again. One, two, three times before the lips he was pecking were kissing him right back and he had to remind himself to breathe or else he would suffocate. So he released a long and heavy breath through his nose that his date felt all over his face. He giggled at the feeling, and Frank pulled back nervously, because laughing during kissing was usually not a good sign, but his date didn’t give him time to get nervous because he had his hand on the front of Frank’s shirt and pulled Frank back into the kiss.

The short pecks turned into long kisses. The long kisses turned into an open-mouthed exchange that left them both grunting and groaning into each other’s mouths. Frank couldn’t contain himself. He kept pressing forward, and forward, until he pushed his date back and he barely caught himself with one hand. He unwound his legs from beneath him and outstretched them so that they were on either side of Frank’s knees.

Frank pulled his lips back for a short moment, panting heavily and staring at the masked guy before him.

“Fuck,” Frank sighed.

“Yeah,” his mystery guy nodded and they were back at it. Their teeth clacked clumsily whenever they tried to adjust their heads within the kiss, and their noses bumped with every move they made, but the kiss—the kisses—proved to be everything they thought it would be. They felt the spark in the warmth in their stomachs. They felt their connection become physical.

“Uh, ok, I don’t know the proper way to interrupt a kiss, BUT FRANK WE GOTTA GO!”

Frank forced himself away from his date’s lips, and there was a wet sound when they separated that left them both smirking. Frank looked up and found John standing there with Sady, who had a huge smile on her face.

“Mom’s here,” John shrugged. “We gotta go.”

Frank glanced at his date and then back at John. “Ok, just gimme a minute.”

“Alright, but don’t take too long or she’ll flip out on me,” John warned. He started walking away and Sady lingered back, staring at Frank and his date with an overtly excited grin on her face. John rolled his eyes, walked back, and pulled her away.

“Already?” Frank’s date panted. “Seriously?”

“I know,” Frank groaned, sitting back so that his ass was resting on his heels. “Curfew. If you’d found me earlier, we would have had longer.”

“I saw you right when you walked through the door,” his date said. “I was waiting by the door, looking at everyone that got here, and spotted you and knew it was you, but then I was fucking nervous and it was fucking hard finding you again with all these people.”

“Well, you got me,” Frank said. “And we need to see each other again, but I think I’m gonna need to know your full face for that to happen.”

“Right,” his date laughed. “Ok. You first since I already know who you are.”

“Ok, that’s fair,” Frank said. He pulled the mask off, the elastic ruffing up his hair in the back when it came off.

His mystery date, who wouldn’t be a mystery for much longer, smiled and ran his fingers down the back of Frank’s head, adjusting his hair.

“Your turn,” Frank nodded, leaving his mask on the floor and reaching over to finally take the mask off his date. The mask was secured in place by a ribbon so Frank had to tug gently on it to untie it. He took a deep breath and shut his eyes as he let the mask fall. When he opened his eyes, he definitely was not expecting the face of Gerard Way to be in front of him.

“Wait, what?” Frank blinked, looking down at the mask in Gerard’s lap as if it was some sort of mistake. “Fuck, no.”

Gerard’s eyebrows pulled together in confusion; that was definitely not the reaction he was expecting to get out of Frank. Frank looked closely at Gerard’s eyes; those were the eyes of his mystery date, he was sure of that.

“You?” Frank said, his face a picture of confusion and revolt that Gerard could clearly read and it sent painful stabs straight to his heart. “Fucking…Mr. President? Really?”

Gerard opened his mouth to speak a couple of times, but shut it. He didn’t know what to say. He didn’t know how to gauge Frank’s reaction.

“Is this a joke?” Frank asked. “Are you and your friends trying to pull something on me? Is everything I said to you gonna be the joke of the school Monday?”

“What the fuck? Why would I do that?” Gerard shook his head. “This isn’t a joke, Frank, I thought—”

“Man, my speech about people being fakes must be really fucking ironic now,” Frank scoffed. “I should’ve known.”

“Should’ve known what?? Why are you acting like this?”

“Stop already,” Frank muttered, standing up from his spot between the legs of the fucking president. “The joke’s done. Go and laugh about it already, you don’t need to drag it out.”

Gerard kept opening his mouth to say something and yet the only thing he could do was make these choked sounds like the words were jammed up right in his throat. He was shocked. The sweet and lovable Frank that he had been with the entire night was not who was talking to him at that moment. That Frank was cruel, heartless, and judgmental. The cruel, heartless, and judgmental Frank walked away from Gerard without another word, and Gerard was left to stare at nothing but his back.

**

“So, how was—” Sady had begun to excitedly ask when Frank settled into the backseat of John’s mom’s car.

“Don’t wanna talk about it,” Frank interrupted her. He stared out the window and didn’t dare look at anyone. The rest of the ride to all their homes was silent and tense. Frank was buzzing with anger and if he spoke any words about the night, they would have most likely been words to incite John’s mom to forever ban him from seeing Frank.

Of course it was President Gerard Way. The guy who was known for having girls all over him was actually trying to fool Frank into thinking he was gay. He had put on an amazing show. Frank was pulled in and he had been entirely convinced that he and the mystery man could have been a thing for far more than that one night.

**

Frank didn’t forget about that night, though. No matter how hard he tried to just get over it, he couldn’t let go of the disappointment that nagged at him every second that he was awake. The night had been amazing and he had fallen for Gerard, but it was all fake. He hadn’t fallen for Gerard, though, he had fallen for whatever character he was playing. Frank couldn’t care less about Gerard Way; what hurt was the fact that he wished Gerard had actually been who he made Frank think he was.

Frank spent the entire weekend brooding in his room. He avoided everyone, no matter how many times John and Sady tried to contact him. He knew he would have to face his stupidity on Monday when people would know how easily he swooned over Mr. President, so he would rather hold off the suffering until then.

When Monday arrived, he took his time going to school, wishing he could pause time and never allow the day to continue. First period passed by normally, with his teacher’s usual lecture about being late, and no teasing from the other students. Frank was surprised by that. He wondered if the news was still travelling and hadn’t reached sophomores yet.

During his transition from first period to second, John caught up with him and held him back by the shoulder.

“Dude, what the fuck,” John said simply and Frank assumed that the news had reached him.

“Look, John, can we just drop this shit?” Frank sighed, shrugging his shoulder out of John’s grip. He continued walking and John automatically followed him. “I know it was fucking stupid, but just…I don’t want any shit about it. I already know it’s coming.”

“Uh, yeah it was stupid,” John said. “One second you were making out with your mystery man, then you’re all fucking pissed, and then you’re hiding out from everyone all weekend. What the fuck happened?”

Frank paused, just feet away from the door to their classroom. John stopped with him, and crossed his arms, waiting for Frank to explain himself.

“Wait, you don’t know who it was?” Frank asked.

“He had a mask on,” John stated simply and slowly, like he was speaking the obvious to a clueless child. “How was I supposed to know who it was?”

“You mean you haven’t heard from other people?”

“Other people? Like who?”

“It was…It was a joke.”

“What? What the fuck? The guy was playing a joke on you??”

Frank could tell John was getting angry without even knowing what exactly happened. He couldn’t get himself to explain anything yet, though. It was still embarrassing and if no one knew about it, he’d rather keep it that way.

“I’ll explain later, alright?” Frank spoke lifelessly. “Class is about to start.”

Frank hurried off to class like he actually cared about tardiness. John had no choice but to follow right behind him and hope that he could get Frank to spill later. He didn’t, though, and about halfway through second period he grew tired of trying to force something out of Frank, so he gave up. Frank knew he was irritating John with his silence and seclusion. He knew it. And he knew that if he was in John’s place, he would be just as angry. He wasn’t in John’s place, though; he wished he was.

For the rest of the day, John hardly spoke to him. Frank deserved it so he had no objections. Even Sady, when Frank saw her, only gave him a wordless smile and nothing else. That didn’t surprise him. He had been an asshole so he had it coming. What surprised him was that no one knew. Every time anyone even looked at him, he braced himself for some stupid remarks. None of it came.

Frank scouted the cafeteria for Gerard when it was time for lunch. He wouldn’t even admit it to himself, but he definitely took a lot more time than usual getting his food. When he finally did spot Gerard, he felt the same anger from Friday night surge through him. Gerard was sat slouched at a table, his arms crossed. And there was a girl—of course—sitting next to him with an arm slung around his shoulder.

Frank couldn’t help but stare for a few seconds. He could see the girl’s lips moving, saying something to Gerard, whose emotionless face cracked into a small smile at whatever the girl had said.

“Move it, asshole,” someone said from behind Frank, snapping him out of his daze. He gritted his teeth and made his way out of the cafeteria to an outside table where he usually sat with John and their group of friends. He ate his lunch silently. No one bothered to talk to him.

Frank was not jealous. He definitely was not jealous. He kept repeating that to himself to make it true. The reason he was angry was because Gerard was proving exactly what Frank knew was the truth and it served as a reminder of Frank’s stupidity.

Frank was also not jealous when he spotted Gerard with the same girl at the end of lunch, standing in the hallway outside of the cafeteria. She was practically hanging off of him, her hands interlocked behind his neck, and staring up at him. Frank hurried away without staring so that Gerard didn’t see him. He did not desperately want to be in the place of that girl.

And Frank was definitely not jealous every single day at lunch when Gerard was in similar positions with different girls. It made Frank see nothing but a raging red every single time he spotted the face of a different girl hanging onto Gerard. His not-jealousy had gathered into an angry pile in his mind that left him in a sour mood. If anyone tried talking to him, it resulted in him snapping at them.

“Ok, man, I’m so done with this shit,” John confronted him on Thursday. It was at the end of the day and they were at their lockers. “What the fuck is up with you, huh? Since when do you not tell me what the fuck is going on and act like a total asshole instead?”

“Just ‘cause I have nothing to say doesn’t mean I’m an asshole,” Frank mumbled, shoving books from his locker into his backpack.

“You’ve been an asshole,” John countered. “There’s no fucking denying that.”

“Maybe I just don’t wanna fucking talk, John!” Frank snapped, slamming his locker loudly shut.

John’s eyes widened in shock and he tilted his head back. “Seriously?” he raised an eyebrow at Frank’s outburst. “Fine, fuck, whatever. Do whatever the fuck you want, Iero.”

Frank rolled his eyes, which only angered John more and he stormed off from Frank, not saying another word to him. Frank knew he was being an asshole. He was just so angry and he couldn’t talk about it because he was angry at himself for being such an idiot.

He kicked the locker that was below his, heaved his backpack off of the floor, and marched out of school, ignoring the aching in his foot from the impact with the locker.

The universe was set on fueling Frank’s anger as much as possible, he was sure of that, because the moment he stepped out of the doors of the school, he spotted none other than Gerard in the parking lot, hugging yet another girl. The girl released Gerard from the hug, waved, and walked off. Gerard hung back and leaned against the door of his car, watching the girl walk off.

Frank snapped.

He all but ran to the parking lot. Fortunately, there weren’t any other students around them. The moment Gerard’s eyes landed on Frank, Frank started shouting.

“Seriously?! Are you even gonna try to put on a show at least?? Or are you just gonna keep purposely proving that everything I said was true?? You’re such a fake and lying bastard! And you fucking suck at it!”

Frank dropped his backpack when he was just a couple of feet away from Gerard, who had heaved himself off of his car and was staring at Frank with wide eyes. His back was reacquainted with the door of his car when Frank shoved him into it. Gerard just stared at him. It was still only Frank who could leave him entirely speechless.

“Actually, you don’t suck at it,” Frank sighed, his voice softening. It was still drenched in hostility, though. “You were really fucking good at it on Friday. You really got me. I believed you were this amazing guy, and…but what the fuck was the point? You didn’t even tell anyone! Were you just bored and wanted, like, a fun game to play by yourself? What? What was it?”

Frank was holding Gerard against the car, fists wrapped tightly in the fabric of Gerard’s shirt.

“I…You…” Gerard couldn’t form thoughts, much less words, because he was confused. He had no idea what Frank was even saying to him. “What the hell are you talking about, Frank?”

“You’re still gonna try to act, Gerard?” Frank scoffed. “Really? For one second, stop being a fucking fake!”

“I’m not a fucking fake!” Gerard finally snapped right back. The sadness that had taken him over due to the bitter taste of rejection was turned into rage at that moment with Frank’s repeated accusations. He shoved at Frank’s shoulders, able to get his shirt out of Frank’s grip. “You are!”

“Me?!” Frank laughed bitterly. “I’m the fake? How the hell am I fake? You’re the asshole with a different girl all over you every fucking day and then seriously trying to make me think that Friday night was something.”

“Oh my God, really?” Gerard narrowed his eyes. “You’re so fucking stupid.”

“Yeah, I am,” Frank nodded. “For believing all the bull shit you gave me.”

“No, you’re fucking stupid for thinking all of that. All the girls you’ve seen me with? They’re friends. And they’ve been doing what friends do when the people they care about are fucking hurt. And I’ve been fucking hurt by you so they’ve been comforting me!”

“Oh, right, friends,” Frank rolled his eyes. “That’s totally it.”

“I’m gay, you idiot,” Gerard gritted his teeth. “Every single one of my friends fucking knows that.”

“Whatever,” Frank sighed, bending over to pick up his backpack. “I don’t even fucking care.”

Gerard groaned loudly and surged forward towards Frank. He spun them around so that Frank’s back was against Gerard’s car, his backpack flying out of his hand and falling back to the floor. Gerard held Frank firmly against the car and Frank struggled against his old.

“Fucking gimme a second,” Gerard grumbled, using one hand to dig into his pocket. Frank actually stopped struggling just to see what he was doing. Gerard pulled out his cell phone, dialed a number, and put it on speaker. It rang a few times before it went to voicemail.

“Dammit,” Gerard sighed, dialing another number. That time, it rang a couple of times and a girl answered.

“I just saw you like an hour ago, Gerard,” a girl answered. “What do you want?”

“Kat, what’s my sexual orientation?” Gerard spoke into the phone, his eyes locked on Frank’s. Frank raised an eyebrow at him.

“Uh, isn’t that a question for you and your dick, G?” Kat asked.

“Just answer me, Kat,” Gerard sighed impatiently.

“You’re such a weirdo,” Kat mumbled almost incoherently into the phone. “You’re gay. You like dick. And I have no idea why I’m confirming that for you.”

“And is it a secret that I’m gay?” Gerard asked, not commenting on her extra remarks.

“Nope,” she answered, popping the ‘p’ in her answer. “I mean, you don’t go around with a gay pride rainbow coming out of your ass, but you sure as hell don’t hide it.”

“Thank you,” Gerard answered, giving Frank a look that was practically screaming ‘I fucking told you.’

“You ok, G?” Kat asked.

“Yeah, I’m good,” Gerard said. “I’ll explain to you later.”

“No, I don’t bother trying to understand you anymore,” Kat said. “I meant are you ok with the whole Frank thing? I didn’t get to talk to you much today. You still seemed out of it.”

Frank was surprised to hear this girl mention him even though he had no idea who she was. Had Gerard actually been telling the truth? There was no way for him to have known that Frank would confront him, so he had no way of planning the phone conversation.

“Yeah,” Gerard sighed, taking one last condescending look at Frank before looking at the phone. “I’ll talk to you later, ok?”

“Alright. Just talk to me when you need me. Bye, G.”

Gerard hung up and shoved his phone back into his pocket. He released Frank and crossed his arms. “So you still don’t believe me? Or should I call up everyone in my contacts? They’ll all have the same answer. And most of them will ask about you because all I’ve been doing is moping around about how Friday night was a fucking disaster and I don’t even know why. But now I do. It’s because you’re a hypocritical asshole.”

“I’m not a hypocrite,” Frank shook his head. That was the only thing he could defend.

“Yeah you are,” Gerard argued. “You gave me this whole speech about how people changed because they judged you, and then you did it to me. You got to know the real me that night, but then you decided to believe all these stupid ideas in your head about who I am, instead of just believing the person you had been fucking talking to.”

“I just—”

“Don’t even fucking defend it, Frank,” Gerard interrupted him. “You were a hypocrite, you were a fake, you were every fucking thing you said you hated.”

“I’m sorry,” Frank gave in. There was on use in arguing anymore. Gerard was right. Frank was a hypocrite and he had judged Gerard the same way that most people judged him. And to top it off, he had ruined the beginning of something that could have been a great relationship.

Gerard expected Frank to argue more, but was surprised at the soft spoken apology that left his mouth. There was a sincerely regretful expression on his face, eyebrows upturned, eyes downcast, bottom lip trapped between his teeth. Gerard had to actually remind himself that he had just been angry at him a second ago.

“It fucking sucks how fast I wanna forgive you,” Gerard shook his head.

Frank looked up at him, his face still sorrowful. “Do it,” Frank blurted out, and then quickly backtracked. “I mean…I hope you will. If…if everything on Friday night was real, then I wanna try it again. I’d get if you didn’t forgive me, though, but…I just hope you do.”

“Have you ever heard of me fucking around with other students?” Gerard asked, running a hand through his hair. “I mean, ok, the girl thing I get, but do I have a reputation of pranking people like that?”

“No,” Frank admitted hesitantly. “It just seemed like the only thing that made sense.”

“Me liking you didn’t make sense?”

“Not if you weren’t gay.”

“Do you believe that I am now?”

Frank nodded.

“You’re supposed to say no,” Gerard smirked.

“No?” Frank cocked his head. “Why?”

“So that I could prove it to you…”

“Oh.”

Gerard nodded. “Oh.”

Gerard had Frank pinned to the car using the entirety of his body. His hands and arms were the only things not touching Frank, used instead to hold himself up against the car. Frank’s hands were latched tightly to Gerard’s hips, keeping him close. Gerard held his forehead against Frank’s, his lips a teasingly close distance away.

“Does this mean we can start over?” Gerard asked.

“Yes,” Frank smiled. “Definitely. God, I’ve been an asshole to everyone lately because of you.”

“No, you’ve just been an asshole because you naturally are one.”

Frank laughed and slid his hands up Gerard’s stomach, over his chest, and around his neck. “At least I’ll have a good story to tell them when I’m explaining myself.” The smile faded from his face. “I’m sorry for ruining that night.”

“It was still a good night,” Gerard spoke softly. “The ending sucked, but the rest of it was still amazing.”

“Let’s just forget the ending then?” Frank suggested, his fingers sliding beneath the collar of Gerard’s shirt.

“Yeah,” Gerard nodded. “I like where we were before the shitty ending, too. So we can start there.”

And then they were continuing the kiss that had been interrupted that Friday night. There was that familiar and overwhelming spark again in the way their mouths and tongues came together. It was strong and bright enough to extinguish all the anger that had gathered that past week. It was enough to secure a promise for a fresh and much better beginning for the two of them.