“Have you ever had a crush on someone?” Frank asked Gerard as he sat down next to him in the cafeteria.
Gerard looked up at him briefly, giving him a smile, before going back to his sketchbook. “No,” he answered easily.
Frank looked surprised and a bit...as if he didn’t know what to do with himself. “Seriously?” he groaned. “Oh, man…”
Gerard rolled his eyes at his friend. “What? You need help or something?”
“Well, yeah.” Frank rolled his eyes back at Gerard, who only giggled. “So, I have a crush on this... person , yeah?” Gerard nodded. “And I don’t know if I should tell them?”
Gerard shrugged. “Who is it?”
Frank momentarily froze. “Can’t tell.”
“Can’t tell?” Gerard asked, disbelieving. “Well, it’s hard to help you if I don’t know who it is. Everyone reacts differently.” He was closely eyeing Frank, who was very intently staring at the table. Gerard was trying not to feel hurt, because they tell each other everything , but he also wanted Frank to get some space if he needed it. But still. What was the big deal? It was just a crush on a random person .
Frank eventually looked up at Gerard and shrugged. “Well, shit.”
Gerard snorted, giving Frank a small grin. “Whatever.”
A few days later Frank buried himself under the covers on Gerard’s bed, sticking his face out at the top. “So you’ve never had a crush?”
Gerard, who was sitting against the headboard and looking at Frank, rolled his eyes. “Nope. Never .”
Frank lay on his back, seeing Gerard upside down, and frowned. “Why?”
“I’m aroace,” Gerard answered. When seeing Frank frown even more, he started to explain. “It stands for ‘aromantic asexual’. It basically means that I’m not interested in people, like, at all .”
Frank smirked, wiggling his eyebrows. “Not interested in people , eh?”
Gerard mock-gasped. “Did you just call me a furry?!” he squeaked and threw a pillow at Frank’s head. “Fuck off, Frankie!”
Frank cracked up and hid his face in the blankets. “I can’t believe you’re a furry, Gee!”
Gerard jumped in top of him, starting to tickle his sides. “I’m not , you asshole! I don’t want to fuck anything !”
Frank just continued to giggle, even after Gerard stopped his tickling. Gerard shook his head at him.
A bit after they calmed down, Frank asked, “So you’re not interested sexually or romantically? That’s a word, right? Romantically?”
Gerard laughed at him. “Yes it is. Aren’t you supposed to be good at english? And yeah. Or no, or whatever. Not interested,” he answered. “Why so interested?”
Frank shrugged casually. “Just curious.”
Two days later Frank caught up to Mikey in school, during lunch, grabbing the back of his shirt and hauling him into the nearest bathroom.
“What the fu-” Mikey started and turned around, only to see Frank smiling innocently at him. “Dude, what the hell?”
Frank smiled sheepishly. “I just needed to talk to you,” he said, looking down. “It’s important.”
Mikey raised an eyebrow. “Important to whom, exactly?”
“...me?” Frank tried, but it came out sounding like a question.
Mikey just rolled his eyes and nodded his head for him to go on.
Frank took a deep breath. “Okay, so… I’m kinda in lo-” he cut himself off. Was he? In love ? He nervously looked to Mikey who just raised his eyebrow again, looking mildly bored. “Um. I have a crush on Gee, and… He’s aroace? And, like, should I tell him? Because he wouldn’t want to be with me, and I don’t want things to be awkward, but I also can’t just not tell him, you know?”
Mikey rolled his eyes, but he seemed amused. “Just tell him,” he said. “He won’t hate you or anything.”
“We done?” Mikey asked. “I’m hungry.”
Frank blinked. “Uh, yeah. Sure, man. Rad.”
Mikey shot him a small smirk before leaving Frank alone in the bathroom. Just tell him. Easy peasy, right?
Well, for those of you who haven’t guessed yet… It was not easy to ‘just tell him’. Frank had had multiple opportunities to tell him, but he just...couldn’t. Every time he was about to, thoughts of Gee just going stiff and then not being able to act...normal around him anymore filled his head. And he just couldn’t tell him if there was a risk of that happening.
Instead he decided to be, what he called, sneaky (he just appeared suspiciously interested in Gerard’s sexual and romantic orientation, and not in a ‘I want to learn more about different sexualities’ way).
“Gee,” he started one day, about a week after his and Mikey’s conversation in the bathroom. “Have someone ever had a crush on you ?”
Gerard sighed and rolled his eyes. “I don’t know, Frank. Have they?” he asked back, with a look that made Frank fear he knew why he was asking all these questions.
“Uh,” he answered, trying not to look scared. “H-how am I supposed to know?”
Gerard just shook his head. “At least no one’s told me they have a crush on me.”
Frank was surprised to hear this. Or well, at least a little. They did tell each other everything, after all, so he would know. But still. Who wouldn’t want to have Gerard? “Really?”
Frank hummed. “But what would you do?”
“If someone told you tell had a crush on you. What would you do?”
Gerard thought for a moment. “I don’t know. I suppose it depends who they are?” he answered uncertainly. “Like, if I don’t know them I would just politely tell them that I don’t feel the same. Probably be a little awkward about it.”
Frank laughed, he could totally see Gerard give them an awkward smile and a ‘Um, I’m aroace. And I don’t really feel the same? But we can be friends!’.
“But if it was a friend I’d… I don’t know,” he continued. “I’d be very surprised. And flattered. And I don’t know… Hug them?” He looked uncertain, but like he was really thinking on it.
“You wouldn’t be mad?” Frank asked timidly.
Gerard snorted. “Of course not!” he protested. “It’s not their fault they like me. It’s just...unfortunate, I guess? That I can’t like them back.”
“I guess,” Frank agreed after a brief pause. “But wouldn’t it be weird for you?”
“Maybe,” Gerard said with a shrug. “But really, nothing has changed, you know. I’m just aware of their crush now. It was there before too.”
Frank nodded and yawned. “Cool.” He turned over onto his back and stretched his arms, making a soft noise. He turned back onto his stomach and looked at his friend thoughtfully. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to tell him after all? He still wouldn’t do it now though. Now he wanted to watch a movie or something. “Gee.”
Gerard hummed in answer.
“Want to watch Night Of the Living Dead?”
Another week went by and Frank found a million reasons not to tell Gerard how he felt. So when he was dragged into a school bathroom by Mikey he can’t say he was surprised.
“What?” Frank asked petulantly, arms crossed.
Mikey just stared at him, unimpressed, with a raised eyebrow.
“What?” Frank asked again, annoyed this time.
Mikey just sighed. “Come on. You have to tell him sometime anyway.”
With a sigh Frank slumped back against a wall, glad no one else was in there with them (he had checked). “I know… It’s just- I don’t know.”
Mikey poked him in the side. “Don’t sulk. You’re too good friends for him to just drop you. And he obviously wouldn’t do that anyway. And it’s not like you don’t know he’s going to turn you down.”
“Jeez, thanks, Mikey. You really make me feel so much better about this!” Frank sassed.
With a roll of his eyes Mikey went to stand beside Frank, shoulders touching. “I’m not here to make you feel better. I’m here to make you tell Gee so you can feel better yourself.”
“What if he won’t cuddle with me anymore?” Frank asked quietly. “What if he’ll be all weird about touching and stuff, thinking I just want to...I don’t know, feel him up, or something?”
“He won’t,” Mikey assured him. “He loves you. He wants to cuddle you as much as you do.”
“I can be there if you want,” Mikey offered, before his expression changed. “No. I will be there, so I can annoy you into telling him just to get rid of me.”
Frank gaped. “Um, no, I think the fuck not!”
But Mikey didn’t listen, obviously, and instead slipped out the door with a small smirk playing on his lips.
It took the rest of the week before Mikey had both Frank and Gerard cornered (without them being aware, of course) in his house. They were watching Star Wars (it was Gerard’s turn to choose), and Frank was starting to get a little bit restless.
Mikey saw this as a perfect opportunity, and started poking Frank in the side.
“Fuck off, Mikey,” Frank whispered as to not disturb Gerard.
“Tell him!” Mikey whispered back, continuing to poke at Frank.
Realisation dawned upon Frank and his expression turned even more irritated. “No!”
“Tell him!” Mikey hissed again, digging his finger in harder.
“Mikey!” Frank yelped. “Stop it!”
“Just tell him already!”
“No! Fuck off!”
They didn’t notice how loud there were, and definitely didn’t notice when Gerard completely stopped trying to pay attention to the movie and stared curiously at the pair instead.
“Frank,” Mikey finally said in his do-not-fuck-with-me voice. “Just tell him.”
“Tell me what?” Gerard asked curiously, and a little worriedly. He had no idea what it was that Frank was keeping from him, and was just a tiny bit hurt that Mikey knew and not him.
Frank tensed up, shooting a venomous glare at Mikey, and turned to face Gerard. “N-nothing.”
Gerard’s expression turned from curious worry to disappointed hurt in a second. “Oh, okay. Um. Will you at least be a bit quieter?”
Frank felt his heart ache at his friend’s crestfallen look. “Gee…” His eyes briefly met Mikey’s encouraging ones before flicking back to Gerard.
With a deep breath, and a squeeze on his shoulder from Mikey, he decided to tell him. Right now. “You know the crush I talked to you about? That I have?”
Gerard looked up, curiosity coming back. “Yeah?”
“Well,” Frank scratched the back of his neck awkwardly, “It’s kind of more ‘being in love’ than a crush. And um…”
Gerard tilted his head adorably to the side in a silent urge to carry on.
“Look, it’s you I’m in love with, okay?” he muttered quietly. It did feel good to have said it, finally. But he still wouldn’t dare meet Gerard’s eyes.
Gerard himself needed a second to process this. It wasn’t like he had been completely oblivious. But when he actually told him , that was a huge difference from just suspecting . It was real. Frank was in love with him. Frank was in love with him . He exhaled a lungful of air he wasn’t aware he had been holding in. “Oh, Frankie,” he said and leaned forward to hug his friend. He saw Mikey silently get up and leave to give them some privacy, but then focused back on the boy in his arms.
“I’m sorry,” Frank said quietly.
“Don’t be. It’s not your fault,” Gerard answered simply, squeezing him tighter. “And I’m sorry too.”
Frank huffed a bittersweet laugh. “Don’t be. It’s not your fault.”
It did change something. Telling Gerard. It eased the pressure in Frank’s chest, and it eased the strain he had put on himself to hide, hide, hide his feelings all the time, and he just generally felt better after telling Gee.
Obviously, they had talked it over, told each other exactly what they felt and how they would deal with it, at Mikey’s request. Because communication is important and he wouldn’t let his friend and his brother grow apart just because of this.
But after that...nothing really changed. They were still very close best friends who cuddled and slept in the same bed and probably spent a little too much time together for it to be completely healthy. But it was them . And everything was okay. Because really, as Gerard had said. The only thing that changed was Gerard’s awareness of the feelings involved. And that doesn’t have to change a single thing.