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Illustrations to Front Row Seats

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He dry-swallows the pill and lets himself collapse onto the bed, praying that if there has to be a tomorrow, it will be better than this.

 

He barely gets out from under the bed before Frank sees him – but maybe that shouldn’t shock him. Frank’s always had a soft spot for wide-eyed doggy rejects.

“Hey.” Frank is on his knees in front of Gerard before he even registered him move. “Hey, little guy. Where did you come from?”

 

“Frank…” Mikey has the slightest edge of warning to his tone, but Frank just blinks up at him, innocent, from where he’s putting a small, studded collar around Gerard’s neck.

“What?” he asks, then tries to bite back a smile when Mikey rolls his eyes. “He’s going to need some food, and I thought he might need a walk.”

 

“Don’t worry, little dude,” he says. “I’m gonna look after you. Can’t let a cute puppy like you go out on the mean streets on your own, can I?” He grins as he zips Gerard back into his hoodie, and Gerard doesn’t care that he doesn’t get the leash if it means being this close to Frank. “We gotta get you a name, baby.”

 

They’re kissing, Gerard realizes with shock. He tries to ignore the ugly twist of jealousy in his chest as he watches the stuttering slide of Mikey’s hand over the tattoos on Frank’s arm, as Frank’s fingers tighten convulsively on Mikey’s waist as he pushes into the kiss. He wonders if they’ve done this before, wonders if this is something they’re used to, something he’s been too fucked up to notice. He wonders when both of them got this beautiful.

 

You ain’t seen nothing yet, Gerard thinks, starting to pull his paw down the earth in the first, downward stroke of the letter F, but Frank doesn’t let him get any further. He grabs Gerard and bundles him up into a hug.

 

 

He doesn’t care that Gerard’s freaking out – he’s not disgusted or impatient; he doesn’t act like Gerard is a disappointment – doesn’t seem to feel Gerard’s letting him down. Instead, he crouches down next to the treatment table, his hands cradling Gerard’s face and his eyes meeting Gerard’s eyes, whispering nonsense words of comfort until the shots are done and the vet pats Gerard on the butt.

 

The thought is unsettling enough that Gerard’s eyes snap open, and it’s then that he sees Frank, looking down at him as if he’s something disgusting, something beneath contempt and his stomach clenches in concern because he has no idea what he’s done to make Frank look at him with this unsettling mixture of anger and pain on his face.

 

“I don’t want you to say anything,” he says. “I just want you to give me my puppy back.” He looks at Gerard without anger for the first time. “Please, Gee. He’s only little and he’s going to be scared without me. He doesn’t know where he is and he doesn't know anyone apart from me and Mikey and…” Frank’s mouth tightens and Gerard realizes he’s on the verge of tears. “I need him back. Please.”

 

“Thank you,” he says, and Mikey drags him up off the chair to give him a hug. “I know I don’t deserve it but…”

“Shut up.” Mikey’s arms are tight around him, holding in place, in his body. “You’re my brother, of course you deserve it.”

 

He keeps scratching, rubbing his fingers all over the bumps and muscles of Gerard’s scalp, pressing his fingers down on the tight cords of Gerard’s neck.

It feels good, so good, that Gerard could cry, but he’s learnt this lesson, he’s not going to overthink this or second guess himself. He lets himself go limp under Frank’s hands, just making tiny, involuntary noises when Frank hits a particularly sore spot.

 

He only gets a wordless noise of pleasure from Frank, and the jerk of his cock as he comes, hot and slick between them. It’s filthy and wet and Gerard can’t hold back. He groans as he comes, pulling Frank close enough to kiss, to rub himself against, to luxuriate in their closeness.