The roar of the crowd is deafening. Reno is loving them tonight, its adoration rolling over Frank like a thick syrupy wave. The auditorium is in chaos. The band is going off, sounding tight and hard and loud, the mix is perfect and the punters are eating it up.
Roasting under the glare of the hot lights, coated in sweat, and doing his best impersonation of himself on a good show night, Frank is fucking pissed.
A tight coil of rage is seething beneath his inked skin. Frank's trying to direct it into his playing, push the frustration out through his fingers into the strings, into the mix, out to the arena and the world. It's not fucking working. He still wants to kill. The burning anger borne of frustration and hurt is refusing exorcism.
He is so sick of this shit.
The screaming crowd and blaring monitors feed his rage, pouring adrenaline through him, pushing it through his bloodstream like a heady narcotic. He's feeling the familiar switch-off in his brain, and he lets it overwhelm him, disengaging his mind and allowing the surging blood to take over.
Instinct is moving his feet, directing him to the source of his anger. Gerard is wailing into the microphone, blue-tinged stage light bathing his pale face, his eye scrunched to slits as he screams out the lyrics at hysterical onlookers.
When it happens, there's no thought in it. It's a knee-jerk reaction, driven by rage and fuelled by adrenaline. There's not a conscious thought in Frank's mind when, halfway through "Thank You For The Venom", in front of the packed Hilton Amphitheatre and a documentary film crew, Frank kicks Gerard right in the balls.
It was a bit different ten shows ago. Ten shows ago they were in St. Paul. In St. Paul, Gerard was on fire.
Everyone knows it’s a normal part of the act that Gerard and Frank like to fag it up on stage a bit. The hugging. The crotch grabbing. The groping. The licking. All very regulation.
So what if it's been steadily escalating on this tour? Big fat deal if it seems like Gerard is spending more time with his hands on Frank than on the microphone. Frank seriously doesn't care, he enjoys messing around with Gee, it's a riot.
It really doesn't bother Frank that Gerard is on some kind of sex fuelled high tonight, leaving Frank having to adjust his jeans more than a few times before they've even hit the encore.
It's after the encore when it happens. Gee tries stepping it up another level, and that's when things start to unravel.
Before the final chords of the final song have even finished ringing out, at the point when they really need to be getting offstage before they get mobbed, Gee decides to kiss him.
Not that Frank minds, he actually kind of likes kissing his bandmate. It's always good for a laugh and they get a lot of mileage out of it.
This kiss is different to their usual stagegay kisses. It lasts longer. Rather than the swift bump of lips with the optional cheeky lick thrown in, this kiss is a real kiss. Frank's a little surprised when Gee latches onto his mouth, fingers sinking into his damp hair, hanging on like a limpet. The kiss is soft but firm and that coupled with tug of Gee's hands in his hair is sending warm, zinging electricity all through Frank.
Dully he registers the high pitched squealing of the front rows watching this, but he doesn't dwell on it, instead letting his eyes drift shut and his mouth work back over Gerard's soft, soft lips. Vaguely he registers a tug on his belt, Gerard is stepping backwards, pulling Frank with him by his buckle, other hand still pressing firmly to the back of Frank's head. Gee's lips are still moving over his, tongue swiping across his lips randomly.
Frank gets it. Gee's going to kiss him all the way off stage and it's going to be a mad prank for the crowd and they'll see it pop up all over YouTube in a few hours. Frank takes the cue to move, following as Gerard backs them up off stage, their mouths still locked. Frank gets into it, sticking one hand on Gerard's waist, digging the other into his hair and kissing back for all he's worth. Their hips are bumping as they walk, halting steps towards side stage and Frank's fighting not to smile beneath Gerard's mouth because he loves this shit, it's hysterical and he's still pretty amped from the gig.
He feels a wall against his shoulder, and a quick peek between slitted lids shows him they've made it safely into the wings. Now they're out of sight, he waits for Gerard to break the kiss, then they'll have a laugh and go backstage, congratulating themselves on one-upping the crowd yet again.
Except Gerard doesn't stop kissing him. And the longer they keep going, the longer Frank wants it to keep going.
So that's how they wind up, with Frank pressing Gerard up against the stage wall, their bodies locked together, hands in each other’s hair and roving over chests, backs, waists. Sucking, caressing and tasting sweat and greedy lust. High on sex and adrenaline.
Frank's got Gerard's head trapped between his hands, his knee pressing and forcing between Gee's thighs and before it has time to compute Gerard is humping his leg, holy fuck Gerard is humping his leg. Suddenly breathing is too hard and Frank breaks the kiss, resting his sweaty forehead on Gee's shoulder.
Their breathing is strained and Gerard is making the most insane little moaning noises. It's like he just can't stop moving, clutching at Frank's neck and arse and grinding - yes grinding - on Frank.
Frank's starting to think maybe this is going too far but every neuron in his head is screaming happy noises at him and Gerard's body feels so good, so warm and hard... speaking of hard, oh fuck he can feel just how much Gerard is liking this. He can feel it digging into his leg. Though he doesn't mean to, his body stiffens because well shit - that's his bandmate’s fucking boner digging into his fucking leg.
Gerard's stopped moving, he's twigged to Frank’s pause and they both find stillness simultaneously, bodies still entwined, breathing harsh and short. Frank looks up to assess his friend's expression, expecting to see his mischievous grin. It's not what he gets.
Gerard looks mortified. Colour is flooding his face and Frank can see the "oh fuck I just dry humped my bandmate" penny dropping before his eyes.
"Gee..." Frank starts to say something reassuring like don't worry I was halfway there myself but Gerard is too quick. He lets out a strangled sort of squeal as he wrenches himself from Frank's embrace and just runs away.
Frank finds himself tapping on the door of Gerard's locked dressing room, trying to blow it off.
"Jesus dude, it's a fucking boner, who cares?"
No dice. After getting nothing but silence from the other side of the door for over ten minutes he gives it up.
They never speak of it.
Gerard doesn't mention it and Frank certainly isn't bringing it up if Gee's uncomfortable with it. But it festers there between them like rancid meat just the same.
For all intents and purposes everything is normal. Except now there is no more Gerard pillow for Frank's head. No more falling asleep in Gerard's bed together talking shit. No more Gerard lighting Frank's cigarette and pulling it from his own lips to put in Frank's mouth. No more casual hand on his shoulder, leg, waist. No more crawling into Gerard's lap, brushing that floppy bit of hair out of his face to see those big hazel eyes.
Frank didn't even know how much he jonesed for all those things until they were suddenly off limits.
The worst part of it all is the gigs. The shows where a three foot invisible barrier appears around Frank, making a Gerard-free zone. And Frank's getting very familiar with the feeling of being avoided. Neglected. Ignored.
The thing that shits him the most is that it doesn't seem to bother Gerard at all. He doesn't seem to miss their old fucked-up back and forth. He’s just as on as he ever was, playing up to the crowd, bantering, rocking out with the mic stand.
Frank’s starting to wonder if he's just going crazy, obsessing over this. Like maybe he's blowing their old act all out of proportion in his mind. It's not like Gerard was sticking his tongue down Frank's throat at every show, after all. Or even every second or third. But try as he might, he can't think of any gigs before where Gerard didn't touch him even once. Not once. In ten shows.
So if Gerard's not going to come near him then Frank just has to go to him. And he honestly doesn't plan to kick him in the balls, but he's pissed off and freaked out and high on adrenaline and rage and the hurt just takes over.
Gerard squeals as he bends double, one hand falling to his crotch, the other still gripping the microphone. Frank regrets it immediately.
But there's nothing he can do now, so he laughs it off as best he can, remembering too late that there's a film crew side stage shooting.
At least he got Gerard's attention.
Frank doesn't even get 20 minutes to himself after the show before Gerard finds him. Frank's hiding in the support act's deserted dressing room, splayed out on one of the old couches that smells of beer and cigarettes.
"What the fuck dude?" Though there's an edge to Gerard's voice, he sounds more hurt than angry.
Frank's not ready to deal. He rolls over onto his stomach, smushing his face into the couch.
"I don't want to talk about it." he groans desperately, voice muffled into the upholstery.
"You kicked me in the fucking balls man." Gerard almost sounds whiney. He's not going to let this drop.
Frank pounds a fist into the couch and moans with frustration, flipping over onto his back to see Gerard perching uncomfortably on the edge of a coffee table. Ten shows ago he'd be sitting on the couch with Frank, possibly on Frank.
A strangled noise escapes Frank's mouth as he covers his face with his hands, not ready to see Gerard just yet.
"What did I do?" Gerard's asking, like he really doesn't know.
Frank peers at him through his hands, his fingers a blurry frame around Gerard's pale face. Gerard hasn't showered yet, still in his gig clothes, his hair sweaty and tangled and his makeup all smeary. Frank can smell him, the familiar musk of unwashed Gerard.
Gee's staring at him expectantly, still wanting an answer.
"Nothing man. You didn't do anything." The words exit Frank's mouth on a sigh, he drags his hands off his face, looking Gerard in the eye as he continues saying, quite pointedly, "You haven't done anything. For like, ten shows."
Gerard's mouth forms an "O" and Frank knows he gets it. Now it's his turn to stare Gerard down.
"Did you think I wasn't going to notice? You've been avoiding me, Gee. What the fuck did I do?"
Gerard's grip on the edge of the coffee table tightens. He's staring at the floor, hopelessly stonewalling.
"I don't want to talk about it." Gerard's voice is level, throwing Frank's words back at him.
Frank sits up on the couch, leaning forward on his knees, getting in Gerard's space. "I wasn't allowed to use that one - neither are you." Frank's keeping his voice light, trying to taunt it out of Gerard. He punctuates the remark with a poke in Gee's shoulder.
Gerard's not buying in. He's wringing his hands, folding in on himself, looking anywhere but at Frank.
Frank wants desperately to touch him. Put a hand on his knee, offer some comfort. Ten shows ago he would've. But Gerard's made it abundantly clear that his personal space is a Frank-free zone, so Frank just bites his lip.
"What's going on Gee?" his voice sounds very small, but finally Gerard looks up, looking miserable.
"I don't know, man." he's grabbing handfuls of his sweaty hear and pulling absently as he speaks. "I just... I can't keep fagging around on stage with you."
"Why not?" The words are out of Frank's mouth without checking with his brain first, sounding far too plaintive. Jesus he wants to touch Gerard now, he's looking so pained and agonised, Frank just wants to hug it all away. He deliberately sits on his hands so he can't do something stupid.
"I just can't." Gerard's words come out in a rush, sounding panicked. And Frank knows Gerard's thinking about St. Paul, because it's all Frank's been thinking of. He’s peering at Gerard trying to read his mind, but Gerard shakes his head, repeating "I just can't" and he’s pushing himself up off the coffee table and racing for the door. Running away. Again.
Frank's ready for him this time and he's faster. He gets to the door before Gerard's gotten it all the way open, slamming it shut again and holding it closed with one arm. This traps Gerard in the room, but also kind of traps him between Frank's body and the wall. He's looking skittish as a spooked horse and Frank is staring him down.
"Why not, Gee?" Frank speaks as slowly and gently as he can.
Gerard's shifting from foot to foot, his back brushing the wall as he backs away from Frank. He's staring at Frank with big round eyes and he looks so shit-scared that Frank nearly relents, lets him out, lets him walk away.
Just when he thinks he's not getting an answer, Gerard's voice comes out very small and soft. "I don't want to break this..." his hands gesture helplessly between them, "Us. I don't want to fuck it up."
And Frank knows he's talking about St. Paul, that stuff like St. Paul is gonna break them. He can’t help that his crotch grows warm at the memory and now he can't stop staring at Gerard's mouth.
"Dude, I kicked you in the balls tonight in front of fucking Reno. We're already broken."
Frank barely notices that he's edging forward as he speaks, leaning in closer to Gerard and Gerard's run out of space to back up, he's right up against the wall with his fucking crazy horny bandmate almost on top of him.
"I guess that's p-pretty bad." Gerard chokes out. He's shaking a little, looking wide-eyed and scared and so fucking kissable Frank can hardly breathe. Frank's so close now he can feel Gerard's shaky breaths on his face.
"I'd say the friendship is pretty much fucked." Frank whispers, his words feathering over Gerard's lips, which are close, so close to his, it would take nothing to close that last distance. When Gerard meets his eyes the world slows to a languorous ooze and Frank knows he's asking a silent question and Gerard is giving a silent answer and the answer is yes and that's all Frank needs to close those last millimetres between them and take Gerard's mouth with his for their first kiss. Their first kiss. The first one that is their own, not for anyone else's benefit or entertainment, it's just Gee and Frankie and it is bliss.
The first touch is gentle and Frank immediately remembers the softness of these lips. With a moan in the back of his throat he deepens the kiss and is greeted with the familiar sensation of Gerard's hands on his neck, clutching his hair. Gerard is giving him tongue now and he sucks on it, eliciting a sort of moan-sigh from Gerard as their bodies move impossibly closer. Gerard's hair is damp in his fingers and his smell is all warm male sweat, Franks wants to drown in it. They clutch at each other, mouths never parting, the support of the wall they are crushed against the only thing keeping them upright.
Gerard's hands have found their way up underneath Frank's shirt and his fingers feather gently over his back and shoulders, sending shivering zings of sensation up his spine. Frank's got one hand on Gerard's arse, squeezing and handling him, he slips one leg between Gerard's, hauling him up so their crotches are pressed. He wants Gerard to hump him again, wants to feel his hardon grind against him for real, instead of having to relive it from memory like he has too many times since it last happened.
Gerard complies and soon they are both grinding on each other, moans leaking between their joined lips. Frank's starting to swoon, he pulls his mouth from Gerard's and buries his face in pale smooth neck, nibbling and biting. Gerard's tugging on Frank's shirt, trying to get it off. Frank leans back long enough to claw the offending bit of cloth off him, then he's back to kissing Gerard only now he's got Gerard's hands on his bare chest, taunting him and stroking him and it's making it hard to concentrate.
Gerard's wearing too many goddamn clothes and Frank's trying to peel them off without having to look down at buttons and zips because he's not ready to relinquish these lips, this kiss. He's making frustrated noises into Gerard's mouth and Gee must've noticed because he starts helping, peeling off jacket and shirt and undershirt until they are both naked from the waist up. Pressing bare chest to chest, hot groin to groin, they break the kiss and find themselves just staring at each other.
Gerard's eyes are bright, mouth wet, hair sticking out at all angles and Frank doesn't think he's ever seen him look this sexy, it doesn't matter how many photoshoots they've done, this is the real thing. They're both breathing shallow and Frank can feel Gerard's fingers slowly tracing up his arm, over his shoulder, down his chest, towards his belt. He's staring at Frank as he does it, reading his face, all signals are "go" and then he's tugging at the buckle and Frank does the same with Gerard's belt.
He knows this is a big step, he's never done this with a guy before but wants wants it so bad he can't imagine stopping now. He's a bit more adept with Gerard's belt (actually it was one of his) so he gets Gerard's pants open first, unbuttoned, unzipped and his hand is hovering above Gerard’s crotch, not sure if he’s welcome, if Gerard’s recovered enough for this.
“Is this okay, are you like... hurt?” Frank whispers the question, breath feathering over Gerard’s cheek. His fingers are just pressing inside the top of Gee’s jeans, feeling his warmth and it’s taking a lot control to not just dive in.
“I’ll fucking kick you in the balls if you don’t keep going.” Gerard growls back, his words peppered with shallow breaths. Relieved, Frank slides his hand into Gerard’s pants, finding him warm and hard through his boxers.
Gerard hisses at the contact, head falling back and hitting the wall with a painful-sounding thunk.
"Aagh!" Gerard yelps
"You okay?" Frank asks, voice thick and low. Gerard reaches up to rub the back of his head, looking goofy and horny and bit resigned.
"Yeah, yeah. Just my head. God stupid much though? Fuck." Gerard's hand covers his face and he looks so fucking cute and shy and hot. Frank reaches up to draw Gerard’s hand away from his face because he can’t stand not seeing his eyes. Then he’s kissing him again and Gerard’s sighing and moving his hips impatiently. Frank remembers where his hand is and starts to trace the shape of Gerard's cock through his boxers, gently, so gently. Gerard starts to moan and Frank quickly puts his other hand up to cover the back of Gerard's head, preventing any further head traumas.
Somewhere in the kiss, between the nibbling and the tonguing Gerard has had success with Frank’s pants, and Frank has to break off, panting, as Gerard’s fingers find him and oh god it just feels so good when it’s someone else's hands on your cock. He starts biting Gerard's neck and moaning, his hips moving on their own under the gentle onslaught, giving back as good as he’s getting and being rewarded with more breathless Gerard-moans. Soon they are both reaching cracking point, Frank starts pulling Gerard's boxers down to touch him properly, but Gerard grabs his wrist.
"What?" Frank meets his eyes, a little nervous.
"I can't keep standing up, I'm gonna fall over." Gerard states raggedly, looking like a fucking debauched school boy with his messy hair and undone pants.
Frank just smiles and drags him over to the beer-scented couch. Throws him down, happier than ever that Gerard's body is most certainly no longer a Frank-free zone, and climbs on top of him. The kissing starts again then, and it's amped up and frenzied and Frank is just devouring Gerard for all he's worth.
He's pulling on Gerard's pants, get's them down to thigh-height and that's all he has he patience to do, as soon as Gerard's cock is free, his hands are on it, shaping him with nimble fingers, feeling him out the way he would a new guitar, looking for the sweet spots. He knows when he finds them because Gerard makes those insane moaning noises and bucks his hips up against Frank and Frank thinks he could just come from that alone because, jesus, Gerard is so fucking hot.
Gerard's pulling on Frank’s jeans, and Franks wiggles to help him out. Soon they are both undressed down to the thighs and when Gerard finds Frank's cock, free of jeans and boxers, the touch of his hands is searing. Fuck. That is good. He's not going to last. He's careening towards orgasm already.
"Gee... I'm gonna..." He pants into Gerard's neck
"Me too..." Gee's voice is soft and ragged and Frank lifts his head to look down at his incredibly fucking sexy bandmate getting ready to come. Gerard's face is flushed and sweat is beading on his lip. Frank covers his mouth with his, sucking and kissing in a furious frenzy as their hands move on each other’s cocks in an escalating rhythm.
Gerard's moaning into his mouth and Frank's moaning back and oh-fuck-here-it-comes. Frank breaks the kiss and watches, just watches panting with effort as Gerard Way has a fucking orgasm on a shitty old couch in a dressing room from Frank jerking him off. It is so amazing and blindingly hot that Frank shoots all over Gerard's stomach, groaning out his name as he does.
So they lie there, sticky and sated, waiting for their breathing to return to normal. Frank rolls to his side so they're both squeezed onto the couch. He can't stop looking at Gerard. The pink in his cheeks, the smeary eyeliner, the fucked up hair. He's committing it all to memory, hoping he'll never need to roll the memory out because he'll always have the real thing to look at.
Gerard's starting to look a bit uncomfortable from being stared at, so Frank rests his head on Gerard's shoulder instead, looking down at their entwined bodies, loving how the ink of his full sleeve stands out against the milky white skin of Gerard's torso. He traces his hand up Gerard's side, down his arm and clasps their hands together.
"So I guess we're not friends anymore." Gerard says, eyes flicking up to meet Frank's, as their fingers play over each other in their shared grasp.
"I guess not." Frank agrees, a tiny smirk curling one side of his mouth.
Gerard kisses him then, deep and searching and comforting, their clasped hands tightening their grip.
No they weren't friends anymore. Whatever they were, it was so much better.