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Basement Rhapsody

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Gerard's finally done it. The massive heap of blankets on his bed has at last caved to his will and become the perfect lair. With the help of three pillows propping everything up, and some creative folding, there's more than enough space for him to curl up with a stack of comics, a flashlight, and a half-empty bottle of bourbon. There's even a tiny tunnel burrowed to the outside world for ventilation. It's perfect. Genius.

Which is naturally when Frank stampedes down the basement stairs, his split-second pause at the doorway not nearly long enough for Gerard to battle his way free of his 200-thread count palace to bellow a warning before Frank launches himself onto the bed.

"Ow, fuck!" Frank says, over Gerard's wheezed, "Motherfucker." Hands start patting at the blankets, searching for Gerard's lifeless body. "Sorry," Frank chirrups through a giggle, groping dangerously close to places that ought not to be groped. "Didn't see you there, man."

"I'm okay!" Gerard flops around clutching the bottle close to his chest. His head finally pops out over the edge of the bedding as Frank yanks at the heavy, coverless duvet. "Thanks, Frankie."

Frank grins delightedly. "For kneeing you in the balls?"

"Jesusfuck," somebody not Frank, and definitely not Gerard, says. A pained grunt echoes down the staircase. "What the fuck died down here?"

"Don't ask me," someone else--two unknown someones!--chokes back. "Frank promised he wasn't a serial killer."

"Dude, you got lied to."

Gerard turns wide, accusatory eyes on Frank. Frank scratches at the back of his neck. "You know that guy I told you about? The one, um, who moved in next door for the summer? Adam?"

"Yes," Gerard says. Frank spent an entire hour enthusing about the possibility of being neighbours with someone not completely lame. When the Bowie posters showed up (Frank had obviously taken to spying through his neighbour's windows to discover their douchebag quotient), Frank decided they were going to be friends. Once Frank decides to befriend you, you really don't have a choice in the matter. Gerard should know.

"Mom kicked us out for being too loud. But your mom's cool, I knew she wouldn't mind if I bought the guys over."

Gerard resists the urge to burrow back under the false security of his blanket lair. Frank would only haul him out again. "Guys?" he prompts cautiously.

There's a scramble on the stairs, some hurried whispering and suspicious thumps, and a freckled, redheaded giant stumbles into the room. "Tommy!" he yells, trying to sound pissed but laughing too hard.

"Had to be done," says the guy moseying down the stairs, pausing on the last to take a glance around. He's tiny, almost Frank-tiny, with hair bleached blond and buzzed close on one side. "Wow. Bog of Eternal Stench." He grins up at the redhead, who must be Adam. Unless Frank's made more friends. "You stepped in it, you're gonna stink for life now."

Gerard warily scoots out from underneath his blankets. Just to be safe, he stuffs the capped bourbon bottle between the mattress and the wall. The small one, Tommy, is sufficiently Frank-like that some of the tension holding Gerard's shoulders tight eases. He's debating the safety of Adam--Bob's kind of huge, but he's good people, though Gerard suspects this is because Bob is the one who broke the mould--up until Tommy edges in close, as if he's honestly worried something on the floor might bite him, and Adam drops an arm around his shoulders, nuzzles at the shaved side of his head.

"See?" Frank says, beaming. Fuck, can Frank beam. Gerard feels like he got shot in the face with a raygun of joy. "I knew you'd like them."

"I didn't say that," Gerard says.

"Oh my god," Adam gasps, then bursts out in another laugh. He looks like he does a lot of smiling and laughing. The good kind. "You're not a blanket."

"No," Gerard says evenly, "I'm not. I'm Gerard. You're in my room."

"Hi!" Abandoning Tommy, who doesn't seem one bit fazed by suddenly being cast adrift in the detritus of the Bog, Adam strides over to the bed. His nose wrinkles slightly, as if he got a fresh whiff of something he doesn't like, and Gerard surreptitiously checks the floor. Invaders deserve to step in two-day-old pizza. When Gerard glances up, Adam's right in front of his face, hand held out. "I'm Adam. Thanks for having us over. Are we doing it down here?"

Hand tentatively holding Adam's, Gerard blinks and says, "Doing what?"

Adam holds up a plastic bag. "Dyeing my hair! Frank said you do yours all the time." Leaning close, Adam peers critically at his roots. "You can use the leftovers for a touch up if you want. Frank picked out the same colour for me."

Gerard doesn't even have to look at Frank to know he's scrunching down in a shame-faced ball. Adam backs off slightly, glancing uncertainly at Tommy. Tommy shrugs.

"He, um," Adam says, biting at the corner of his lip. Even his lips have freckles. "Frank, did you forget to ask if we could come over?"

"I didn't, like, forget," Frank says. He scoots closer to the foot of the bed. "I mean, if I'd asked, he would've said no."

Adam deflates. Literally. His shoulders slump, his eyes lose their bright blue sparkle, two inches of height just vanish into thin air. It's actually kind of cool. And heart-wrenching. "Oh."

"That's not really cool, man," Tommy says from the doorway.

"I know!" Frank says, gesturing wildly. "But sometimes you've got to con him into shit for his own good!" He looks up imploringly at Adam. "You know what I mean?"

Adam flings another glance at Tommy, which says surprisingly loudly how much he knows exactly what Frank means. Tommy gives him the finger. "Well, okay," Adam says, crouching down on the balls of his feet, arms folded on the bed and the bag slumped dejectedly on the floor. "Gerard?"

Gerard startles. "Yeah?"

"I'm sorry we barged in."

Gerard shrugs. He's sorry they barged in, too, and that Adam looks like somebody stuck his puppy on a rotisserie for dinner. He scoots back a bit, making sure he's not blowing bourbon-breath into Adam's face.

"But since we're here, do you think you could dye my hair for me anyway? Tommy's got pizza money. And I promise I'll do your roots for you."

Frank pokes Gerard's thigh. "C'mon, Gee. Tommy's only out for a week, they need a place to, um. Hang."

From Frank's ramblings, Gerard knows Adam's stuck in Jersey instead of LA for the summer because of his parents' divorce. Frank hasn't even mentioned the other one. "You're from LA?" he asks Tommy.


"So how come you're here?"

Ten zillion glances go flying across the room. It's like laser tag without the lasers. Finally, Adam says, "He's. He's with me."

Gerard's mouth drops open. He takes in Adam's shy, hopeful smile, Tommy's defiant, just-fucking-say-something glare, Frank's wide, earnest eyes. Oh. "Oh."

"Gee," Frank starts.

Shoving the blankets off the bed, Gerard clambers up. "I've got a shirt around here somewhere you can borrow. Ziggy's too cool to get dye on."


"You know you could've just said," Gerard says, puttering about his cramped bathroom--even more cramped now, with Tommy and Frank perched on the counter, and Adam sitting on the edge of the tub facing the mirror. Adam's legs are five fucking miles long, and Gerard keeps bumping into his knees. He doesn't seem to mind. Even weirder, he smiles every time. "That you needed a make-out spot, I mean."

"They don't need a make-out spot," Frank says sourly, and Adam says, "My parents know."

"Mine don't," Tommy says, before Gerard can ask. "Catholic."

Gerard winces. Frank looks glum. "But, uh, yours are okay with it?" Gerard asks Adam, holding out a stained towel for Adam to wrap around his neck. Gerard's borrowed shirt barely fits across Adam's shoulders. It rides up in the back when Adam leans forward, head bowed for Gerard to tuck the towel in the collar himself. Even Adam's hips are covered in freckles. Gerard's never drawn freckles before.

"Okay with it," Adam says, slightly muffled, "but pretending we're celibate."

Obviously meaning they're not. God. Gerard's got so many questions. Most of which you don't ask people you've known for ten minutes. Or people you've known for ten years. He hopes Frank's proud of him right now for biting his tongue.

Like Frank can read minds, he gives Gerard a thumbs-up.

Since Adam practically beat a promise out of Gerard to let Adam do his brownish roots--with an earnest, hopeful voice he's only ever had Frank use on him, and the backup of two sets of wide brown eyes peering over his shoulder, which is old school Mortal Kombat overkill--Gerard only hauls on one crinkly glove. Giving the dye bottle another shake to make sure it's all mixed up, he turns to Adam. He's never done this for somebody who isn't immediate family. Or Frank. "Ready?"

Adam beams up at him. Gerard's heart flutters. "Ready! So ready, you have no idea."

"You're bouncing," Tommy says dryly. "I think he's got an idea."

Puffing out a breath, and a quiet, "Stay still, please," Gerard reaches out cautiously to comb his fingers through Adam's hair. It's thick and warm through the thin glove, a little dirty. Good for the dye, not so good for Gerard, because now he knows what Adam's hair smells like. Not shampoo or soap, but Adam. He's gotten away with sniffing Frank before, since Frank stays the night and crawls all over him all the time, but it's probably not a good idea to stick his nose in the crook of Adam's neck five minutes after meeting him. Though Adam's eyes are closed, a tiny smile on his lips, so maybe he wouldn't notice.

No. Bad idea. Resolutely, Gerard skims the applicator tip through Adam's hair, parting it, and squeezes.

Adam shivers. "Sorry. Cold."

"It'll warm up in a bit," Gerard says absently, concentrating on keeping drips from running down over Adam's forehead, even if it would look cool like blood trails. Adam's smile grows wider, showing teeth. His fingertips skim Gerard's kneecap.

"I'm so blowing you after this," Tommy says out of fucking nowhere, and Gerard jumps. Adam's hand slides further up, palm pressed to Gerard's thigh, as if he's calming a skittish animal. It doesn't really work. "He played Dracula at school once, it was so fucking hot. They sprayed his hair black and gave him fangs."

"Did you get to keep them?" Frank asks.

"Yeah," Adam says, sounding slightly far-away-ish, and Tommy says, "He likes to bite me with them."

"Dude," Frank breathes. Technically, Gerard thinks this is the kind of information Frank would give him a Look over, if he tried to pry it out of them himself, but since they're voluntarily sharing, possibly this makes it okay. Gerard sticks his tongue in his cheek and bites on it anyway. You can never really tell.

"Stop trying to traumatise them with our sex life, Tommy," Adam says very firmly.

"Frank likes it!"

"Frank is, like, Zero Action Man," Frank agrees. "He'll take what he can get."

"That's a terrible superpower," Gerard mumbles. Since it's actually his superpower, he thinks he's entitled to an opinion.

Adam says, "Unless you're a Republican," his hand still on Gerard's thigh.

"Man." Frank slumps back heavily against the mirror, bottles clattering in his wake. "The Republican. There's a fucking terrifying supervillian."

"He'd boycott tights," Tommy says.

"Badly-tailored, decade-out-of-style power suits all the way," Adam agrees.

"Are you gonna do his eyebrows, too, Gee?"

Sunk in a three-page spread of The Republican facing off against Equal Rights Boy, Gerard blinks. Adam's hair is done. For the last minute or so, Gerard's been massaging the dye in, swirling Adam's hair around in little patterns like icing. When he glances up, Tommy's frantically waving one hand, circling a finger above his own head. Gerard starts to shake his head no, but Frank leans in dangerously close to Tommy, almost falling into his lap, nodding furiously.

Gerard glances down, biting at the inside of his lip. Adam's drifted off into scalp-massage bliss. He doesn't seem like the type to get upset. Besides, it would be pretty cute. Gathering up all of Adam's hair, Gerard swirls it into a peak at the crown of his head, then steps to the side so Frank and Tommy can see.

"Hey, cupcake," Tommy says, his grin a perfect match to Frank's, "hair's done."

Not really with it yet, Adam says, "I love my hair played with," and blinks his eyes slowly open. His gaze falls on the mirror first thing. Gerard tries to edge away, just in case. He's the helpless victim of peer-pressure in this scenario.

But instead of getting upset that they're making fun of him, or even rolling his eyes in disgust, Adam tilts his chin down, checking out his cupcake swirl, and laughs. "It's like the Jetsons!" He looks up at Gerard, beaming. "But you can't leave me with ginger eyebrows, that's just mean."

"Um, yeah," Gerard says, groping for the toothbrush he stuck on the counter. Frank helpfully holds it out. "I mean, no. I wouldn't. Leave you with them, not do them." He tugs roughly on a stringy lock of hair fallen into his face. The very careful words he's got laid out in his head refuse to reach his tongue. "Close your eyes?"

Face tilted up, Adam immediately shuts his eyes. Carefully, Gerard daubs some dye onto the toothbrush's bristles, then paints it gently across Adam's brows.

"I'd get it all over my face," Frank says, adding in a splot sound-effect. "Gee's an artist, though."

"Yeah," Tommy says eagerly, "you showed us the tattoos he designed for you. Dude, that is gonna be so cool."

Gerard's face and belly heat. He ducks his chin, concentrating on following the perfect shape of Adam's eyebrows.

"Oh!" Frank catapults off the counter, almost banging Gerard's elbow. Used to dealing with Frank's random flailing while he's working, Gerard deftly avoids giving Adam a third eye. Though that would probably be pretty cool. He'll have to draw one on Frank later. "I was gonna show you that comic! Gee, can I show Tommy your shit?"

"Sure," Gerard says, nudging Adam's chin with his wrist to make sure he stays in the light.

Frank scrambles out, but before Tommy leaves, he presses a hand to the centre of Gerard's back, a warning for when he leans in to peck Adam on the mouth. "See you in a few, hot stuff," Tommy says, and saunters casually after Frank.

When Gerard turns back, the five points of Tommy's fingers burning brightly on his skin, Adam's smiling up at him. "You're really nice."

Gerard intelligently says, "Uh."

"No, you are. You're doing this for me, and letting Tommy hang out, and you don't care that we're dating." Adam touches Gerard's thigh again. "I thought anyone that Frank wants to be really close with had to be cool, but it's nice to know I was right."

Forgetting about the dye-covered glove, Gerard scratches his fingers through his hair. Oh well. Adam'll be dying it for him in a few minutes anyway. Which is strange and bizarre to think about. Frankie's offered to do it for him, especially after the very first time when he missed a giant patch on the back of his head, but he doesn't really trust Frank to quit fidgeting long enough to follow through.

"Thanks," Gerard finally says, letting loose the shy, crooked smile tickling at his lips. "You too."

Adam smiles big and broad and bright. Gerard feels dizzy. Does every-fucking-body need to have these high-beam smiles, and do they really need to keep aiming them at him? Not that it doesn't feel good to be on the receiving end of that sort of happiness. One of these days, though, he's gonna go blind. That would suck so much. Retinas burned out by the same joy he'll never get to see again.

Adam's smile dims, forehead crinkling. "Hey, are you okay?"

Gerard shakes his head to throw out the whole literal blinded-by-happiness thing. When Adam's eyes go wide in alarm, and he starts to stand up, reaching out, Gerard blurts, "No, no. I'm okay. Weird random thought."

Settling back down, Adam says, "Okay," as if he's not quite buying it. Then he stands up again abruptly. Gerard sincerely hopes Adam's done growing, because he's really tall enough as he is. Those extra inches could totally be put to better use on someone else. "We should do your roots before you need to rinse me."

Before Gerard can agree, Adam's manoeuvring him around to sit on the closed toilet lid. In one deft move, Adam tugs on the leftover plastic glove and scoops the dye bottle out of Gerard's lax grip. "Don't worry," Adam says, a few fingers light on Gerard's jaw to tilt his head up, then sliding back into the hair at Gerard's nape. Adam's smile is back in full force. "I've done this a lot for some of my girl friends. And their makeup. I could do some for you later."

Gerard's gaze jumps guiltily to the few stubs of cheap black eyeliner scattered on the counter. He's got some mascara somewhere, probably dried up and flaky. "Eyeliner's not so hard to put on."

"I'm magic, though," Adam says, combing his fingers gently through Gerard's tangled hair. "Let me try, you'll see."

With one shiver after another tripping down Gerard's spine, there's not much he can say except, "Yeah, okay," as he quickly closes his eyes before another smile slaps him in the face. The force of Adam's grin ekes through anyway, sinking into Gerard's skin in a warm, buzzing glow, a lot like the hum of a good drunk gearing up, or whenever Frank's pressed close in his bed at night.

It doesn't take long for Adam to smear what's left of the dye into Gerard's roots. He's really thorough about it, combing and parting and combing and parting and rubbing way more than he needs to. Gerard should probably say something, but then Adam would stop, and he hasn't figured out if he wants that to happen yet.

Eventually, it has to, and Gerard's wondering if that was reluctance on Adam's part, or if he'd gotten his fingers snarled up in Gerard's messy hair. More likely the latter. It hasn't seen a brush in a couple days. He cracks open one eye cautiously, just in case Adam's up there waiting with another retina-frying smile. When all he finds is a small, pleasant quirk, he opens up the other. "You should wash your face first," he says, and tugs some toilet paper off the roll, using it to gesture at his own eyebrows vaguely. "The dye."

Adam glances in the mirror, surprised. "I completely forgot." Taking the toilet paper, he carefully wipes the excess dye off, then ducks his head down to splash some water on his face and rinse his glove. He scrubs hard at his eyebrows, reddening the skin. Water dripping off his chin, he asks, "Got it?"

Helpfully, Gerard leans forward to peer at his eyebrows. There are even freckles hidden beneath the tiny, freshly-dyed hairs. It's really, really cool. "Yep." He hands over a towel that's mostly clean. It doesn't smell mouldy, anyway.

Maybe it's not clean enough, though, because instead of patting his face dry, Adam drops it on the floor and kneels on it. Thankfully, he's facing the tub, so he can't see the way Gerard's mouth falls open. Even if Gerard isn't getting any, he has a laptop, and internet access. Watching somebody go to their knees has pretty much a hardwired response that totally bypasses his brain and goes straight to his dick at this point.

Adam's elbows thump dully down on the tub. His head's bowed, waiting, his shoulder blades standing out in sharp relief in the too-tight tee, his back stretched out in a long, smooth curve. "Ready," he says.

Yeah. So's Gerard. Just not in any way that's at all appropriate. "Maybe I should, um," he tries.

"Before it drips into my eyes, yes, please," Adam says.

"Oh. Shit." Fumbling at the taps, Gerard accidentally turns the hot on blast, almost scalding his pinky in the backsplash. He sticks his arm in front of Adam's face to protect it and scrabbles at the cold, successfully reducing the chances of unfortunate maiming. Tommy seems like a really laid-back kind of guy, but Gerard's not so sure that extends to the bodily injury of his boyfriend.

Which might actually be a moot point, considering how Gerard's straddling Adam's calves, and has a hand braced in the centre of his back to lean in over him while he's fiddling with the water. Being around Frank so often is messing with Gerard's judgement of personal space. Even if he doesn't really need any, he's usually better at remembering other people do. Other people not Frank. Mikey doesn't count.

"Sorry," Gerard says, mostly an embarrassing squeak.

"No, it's okay," Adam says, and fuck if his hand isn't on Gerard's fucking leg again, holding him in close. "You're not heavy. Tommy's on me all the time. He's more solid than he looks."

There's a reminder Gerard really doesn't need. Deciding the temperature's okay, he nudges Adam closer to the taps. He goes to put a hand over Adam's eyes to shield them from the water streaming down and bumps into Adam's fingers already there. "Sorry."

"God," Adam says, on a weirdly happy-sounding huff. "You're so sweet. Stop apologising for it."

Gerard opens his mouth automatically on an apology for apologising, then snaps it shut so hard his teeth clack. Face burning, he gets busy pushing the water through Adam's hair, squeezing out the dye and watching it swirl down the drain. Something about washing someone else's hair, even with the weird angle making Gerard's lower back twinge uncomfortably, is soothing. Showering's generally a pain in the ass that gets in the way of all the other things he'd rather be doing. Possibly the trick is luring someone into the bathroom with you, so you've got something to keep yourself occupied. Other than your actual self, that is.

It takes Adam pushing against Gerard's legs for him to realise the water's running clear. He backs up quickly as Adam straightens, using the towel around his neck to pat at his hair, Gerard stuck staring like an utter idiot as Adam finger-combs it back into a mild Elvis-like wave. "Look good?" Adam asks, gazing up like he honestly wants Gerard's opinion.

"Really good," Gerard says, nodding fast. "Tommy'll love it."

"Tommy's easy." Rocking up onto his feet, Adam plucks at the front of his shirt where it's gotten wet. It slaps back against his chest, clinging. He makes a face. "I guess it'll dry. Anyway, you should grab a shower. We'll order the pizza. Frank knows what you like, right?"

"I, um. What?"

"Clean canvas," Adam says, touching Gerard's face again, thumb smoothing close to the birthmark high on Gerard's cheek. "I'm pretty sure your eyes are gorgeous, but I need to see them without the old liner before I put on the new."

"I can just-"

"Shower," Adam insists, pointing imperiously at the tub.

Gerard scowls. He doesn't need to shower. But Adam's standing there like a fucking monolith, a demanding one, and also hot. Fine. There. Gerard's admitted it. Frank's new friends are hot. And apparently almost as touchy-feely as Frank is, seeing as how Adam still hasn't let go of Gerard's face. It makes it difficult to say no. Not impossible. Gerard could still present at least four different arguments to prove that he doesn't need to shower for Adam to put makeup on him.

Except for the glaring fact that Adam seems to believe this shower is necessary.

"Fine," he says, flapping a hand. "I'll be, like, five minutes."

Adam frowns. "Ten."

"Okay, ten." Really, this is excessive. They've only just met. And yet that warm, contented tingle comes roaring back when Adam smiles, and Gerard thinks about how Frank cuddles close all the time anyway. It's not like he deliberately skips showers. Most of the time. There's just so much else to do.

Seemingly content, Adam turns around to face the mirror, picking up one of the black pencils and eyeing it critically. "Do you have a sharpener for this? Oh, wait, I see it."

Gerard stares at the back of Adam's head.

"Do you mind if I dry my hair?" Adam's rooting around through the cupboards, reading the labels on Mikey's collection of mousses and gels and who knows what else. "I want to show Tommy."

"I, uh-"

"Oh, right!" Adam turns around with a sheepish laugh. He strides to the door, eyeliner and hair dryer abandoned, and the tight knot in Gerard's belly loosens. Of course Adam wasn't going to-

Instead of the the knob, Adam reaches for the towels hanging on the cracked plastic hook stuck on the wall behind the door. Unsure, Gerard takes it from Adam's grip. It's obviously Mikey's towel, still damp. Gerard never remembers to hang his up, if he bothers with one at all.

"I won't look," Adam says, nudging the door with his hip. The catch snicks, such a tiny sound to be so decisively final. "Even when I'd nearly rubbed myself raw imagining it, I never peeked at Tommy in the shower. Promise."

Squinting at Adam's face, searching for a telltale twitch, Gerard thinks maybe this is okay. It isn't like somebody's needed to see proof of his total lack of anything even resembling muscle definition to rag on him about it before, and besides that, Adam doesn't seem the type. If Adam was only using him for his hair-dyeing prowess, then there's no reason for Adam to still be there. And here he is, gazing at Gerard hopefully, as if it's really, really important Gerard trust him.

Gerard frowns hard and clutches at the hem of his hoodie. Taking this as a cue, Adam whips around, his eyes firmly closed as he squirts some mousse stuff into his palms. Gerard keeps a wary eye on Adam's reflection as he starts tugging off his clothes, ready to beat the crap out of him with the hair dryer or stab him with eyeliner or at least scream like a little girl if Adam gives any sign at all of looking.

Massaging bubbly foam into his hair, Adam says, "Tell me when you're in," and Gerard jumps, diving into the tub and yanking hard at the curtain, metal rings screeching. The water isn't even on yet.

"In," Gerard says calmly, as if he hadn't totally spazzed out. He fusses with the water, holding a hand under the tap to monitor the temperature while he stares holes through the curtain at Adam's broad back. Something's going on here. At times he's oblivious, he realises this, but there is definitely something happening right now that has nothing to do with dye jobs and makeup and pizza. He transfers his scowl to the shampoo bottle. Snatching it up, he dumps way too much onto his hair, stubbornly scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing, and it isn't until grey suds start dripping down his arms that he remembers the dye. "Fuck."

"Sorry, what?" Adam asks.

"Forgot about the fucking dye. Ugh."

Adam's laugh is a warm and pleasant thrum all up and down Gerard's spine. "It'll wash off. I can't wait to do your makeup." The dryer switches on.

Hands buried in his soapy hair, Gerard blinks down at his dick. He's used to it having loud, insistent opinions on a lot of things, like Tank Girl, lazy Saturday mornings, and stiff breezes. And Frank. It is incredibly vocal about Frank. But not generally the unknown, even if the unknown is remarkably kind and attractive, and especially not when unknown's boyfriend is hanging out in Gerard's basement. He scrubs harder at his hair, possibly hard enough to make his scalp bleed for real. His dick needs to learn some manners.

The shadow of a hand flails wildly across the curtain. Gerard freezes. "You should use this," Adam says, jabbing a bottle vaguely in his direction.

"That's Ma's," Gerard says.

"Oh come on." Adam shoves the bottle pointedly closer. Out of pure self-defence, Gerard grabs it, leaving murky soapsuds clinging to Adam's fingers. "I met your mom twenty minutes ago, she won't mind at all if you use her makeup remover. In fact, I bet she'll give me cookies for getting you into the shower."

Not if Adam phrases it exactly like that, she won't. Then again, maybe she would. She's always been pretty gung-ho about her boys experiencing life. He tries to picture Adam's cookie-expectant face, and the reaction when Ma hands over condoms instead. A full Technicolour version of Adam's bright grin wallops him upside the head. His cock weirdly seems to like Adam's smile.

"Can't hear you over the dryer!" Adam calls. "It's okay, though. You're an artist. I talk to myself all the time, too."

"Yeah," Gerard mumbles, watching his possessed hand skid down over his belly and curl around his cock. He bites his lip so hard it splits, but he manages to not jack it, leaning forward to brace his other hand on the wall and stick his head in the spray. Grey water swirls down the drain. For a minute--only a minute, or maybe two--he wonders how bad it would really be if he rubbed out a quickie. "Probably pretty bad."

"Don't forget conditioner," Adam says.

Gerard's shoulders slump. This is going to take all fucking day.

In reality, it only takes about another ten minutes. Adam's out there humming away fussing with his hair, and it's nice. Almost like having Mikey out there, which doesn't happen all that often considering Gerard's shower schedule, but when Adam breaks out into lyrics, he's so on-key it almost hurts. Gerard ends up absently soaping his arms over and over, listening to Adam sing snatches of songs he's only ever heard Bowie nail.

"You're really good," Frank says, and Gerard almost cracks his skull open on the tile.

"Frank?" Gerard asks, wondering when the fuck he got back. "Did you-"

"Chill, Gee, s'cool. Tommy's totally drinking all your, uh, Pepsi, though. I'm helping."

"Oh no," Adam says, in an actual dire, end-of-the-world moan. "If he, you know-"

"You chill, too," Frank says breezily. "Both of you stay in here and do your thing. I got Ratliff handled. And these are for Gee."

"What's for me?" Gerard asks, risking poking his head out around the curtain. "And what if Tommy does what?"

But Frank's already gone, a cool breeze left in his wake. "You've got soap on your nose," Adam says. Gerard swipes absently at his face, busy trying to peer around Adam's bulk to see what Frankie dropped off. Maybe some morals. Or a sense of decency, one of those would come in handy right about now.

Mouth quirking, Adam reaches out and wipes off Gerard's nose. "I'm not peeking," he says, "but you're almost out of curtain."

"Shit," Gerard hisses, and ducks quickly back inside. Water slaps him in the face, pouring into his open mouth, and he splutters, choking.

Adam's by the tub in an instant. "Baby, you okay?"

"Fine," Gerard croaks, while his brain's going, Baby? What? Baby? "Water contains oxygen, but it is not for inhaling."

A soft laugh floats over the patter of water on the curtain. "An important life lesson."

Gerard firmly turns off the taps. No one he's heard of has ever drowned standing up in the shower but he's not about to take any chances. He sticks a hand outside the curtain and gropes around the hook looking for his towel. He's about to ask Adam to toe it closer when damp cotton brushes his fingers. "Thanks," he says, because even if certain parts of his anatomy are out to lunch on manners, the rest of him can manage just fine.

"You're welcome," Adam says happily. "Frank brought you some clothes. Do you want me to pass them in?"

Gerard chews on his lip, debating. "No," he says, deciding it's much safer if he can haul everything on really fast instead of risking an errant breeze stirring the curtain (or other things) while his underwear are somewhere completely unhelpful. "It's okay, I'll-"

"Eyes are closed," Adam says, his shadow shrinking as he steps back. "Say when."

Like ripping off a bandaid, Gerard shoves the curtain back. He snatches up a wrinkled t-shirt, which Frankie dug up out of an exceptionally clean corner of the basement going by how it smells like carpet dust, and hauls it quickly on, then goes after his socks, because his feet always get cold first. On underwear, he comes up empty-handed. Considering it's Frank who picked out his clothes, and he's always ragging on him for going commando, that's a little weird, but touching in the way where Frank's caving to his preferences. There are other preferences he would much rather Frank cave on, but he's okay with starting small.

Adam shifts impatiently. "Better zip up before Tommy gets impatient. I'm a man of my word, but he believes all is fair in love and sex, and that includes shower-stalking."

Gerard's brain absolutely intends to send the message to his fingers. It maybe even does, but gets a busy signal. Adam's lounging against the counter, arms loosely crossed, his eyelashes long and dark against his cheeks. Chunks of his hair are feathered across his forehead, longer bits framing his face, all of it swept slightly to the side and spiked up in the back so it looks complicated and amazing and really very hot. A strangled noise echoes low in Gerard's throat.

Which Adam bizarrely takes to mean he's all zipped up and ready to go, because Adam's eyes open. He starts to smile, lips frozen in a half-curve as his gaze drops and he realises Gerard's jeans are only partway up his ass, and the fly's wide open. He stares for the long count of seven panicked heartbeats before his eyes snap shut, colour flaring brightly high on his cheeks. "Sorry! I'm sorry!"

Knocked out of his daze, Gerard tugs up his jeans and zips. "I'll just, um."

"No, no," Adam says, flailing at him. "I saw belly. And, uh, that you're a brunet. But I knew that second one already, and I'm sure I was aware that between your chest and your legs you have a stomach. Please sit down?"

When Frank trots out the desperate, imploring gaze, he looks like somebody not only killed every single puppy in the world, but did so in the most heinous, repellant way possible, and it involved spiders. Adam's isn't quite as impressive, but it's close enough that Gerard wants to hug him so hard and tell him it's okay, it was only a nightmare, all the puppies are safe and sound curled up in happy spider-free piles of adorableness. Gerard settles for plopping his ass down on the toilet lid and roughly combing wet hair back from his upturned face.

"I'll be really careful," Adam promises, tucking a missed chunk of Gerard's hair behind his ear. "Close your eyes?"

Deathly afraid he'll be treated to another shot of the doomsday pout, Gerard squeezes his eyes shut. He eases up a moment later, remembering that Adam probably wants to be able to find his lashline. It takes forever before fingers touch his chin, steadying him, and forever again for Adam's hand to rest lightly against his cheek. Gerard breathes out slowly in anticipation and manages to keep from jerking when the pencil tip feathers along his lashes, quick, sure strokes easing the tension in his back but ramping up the fluttering in his belly. Pressing a hand against his stomach doesn't do much to calm the brewing storm.

"Okay?" Adam asks, his voice sounding a hell of a lot closer than expected.

"I'm not drunk," Gerard says. He hadn't had a chance for more than a few mouthfuls. "But it feels like it? Spinning in circles sitting down."

"Maybe the water was too hot." Adam's thumb drags over his eyelid. "Look up for me."

There's a water stain on the ceiling in the shape of an astronaut giraffe--the big blob that should be the giraffe's head isn't very giraffe-like, but it's got the ears and the horns, and the rest of it is definitely nothing else but a giraffe. Even Mikey's forced to agree with Gerard on this one. Gerard thinks about sun-browned savannahs and if they look like freckles from space.

"You fixate on things, don't you," Adam says softly, the alternating strokes of the pencil and his fingers soothing in the steamy heat. Gerard's done a fair amount of smudging in his time. Adam's taking it to an art form. Which, he supposes, makeup is. Painting faces without the canvas.

"Yeah," Gerard says, minutes too late.

Adam's thumb rubs one last time beneath his eye. "All done. No, wait." Burying both hands in his hair, Adam fluffs it up, then combs it back again, then fluffs again, and it all seems sort of pointless but Adam's smiling a soft, happy smile, and his eyes, blue-and-smoky black, shine like the midnight sky caught in time-lapse. "There. Beautiful."

Not sure what to do with that, or the 'baby' still rattling around the back of his skull, Gerard stands up to look in the mirror. It doesn't seem like Adam's done anything more than Gerard usually does, except for the extra fussing with his hair. Everything's the same, but different. His whole face is different. Pinpointing exactly how escapes him until he sizes it up the way he'd analyse charcoal portraits. His eyes are bigger, soulful, the tumble of his hair accenting the black that lies thick against his lashes and fades out to grey on his eyelids. He looks up at Adam's reflection. "Thanks."

Grinning, Adam grabs his hand and squeezes. "C'mon. I can't wait for them to see you."

"Tommy'll want to see your hair," Gerard says, letting Adam tug him out into the hall and down to the basement. He's used to Frank dragging him everywhere like a sack of sleep-deprived potatoes. "I pretty much look like me."

Adam nods quickly. "You do. But more you."

"That makes so much sense," Gerard says, completely sincere. He really should've thought of that.

Somehow, Gerard ends up on the stairs in front of Adam, their hands still clasped. Gerard is perfectly aware that it's strange. Holding hands with Mikey is a given. Frank's been thoroughly indoctrinated into the ways of the Ways over the years, so holding hands with him is also a given, even if it results in unimaginative insults and threats of bodily harm. Maybe Adam's cool with it because it's a Californian thing. Or because he's gotten so used to holding Tommy's hand, it doesn't feel right if he's free-ranging. Gerard can understand that. Sometimes, a guy needs an anchor.

Taking in the scene happening on his bed right this very second, Gerard's very appreciative of Adam keeping him firmly rooted to the ground. Tommy's flat on his back, one hand loosely holding onto the bourbon, and the other loosely holding onto Frank, who's curled up tight against Tommy's side, head on Tommy's chest, reading loudly from the first issue of Byrne's Doom Patrol reboot. Not the best in the series by far, but a really good starting point for the argument that comics, despite their reputation for being able to get away with things mainstream media can't touch, aren't immune to societal mores, and-

"Fuck, Gee," Frank says, the comic listing.

Gerard gestures vaguely, ta-da. "Here's my face."

Frank scrambles up, tripping on the edge of the blankets trailing across the floor and careening through the mess, somehow mostly upright. Gerard says, "Oh fuck, brace me," and miraculously, Adam's hands come up to plant firmly against his shoulders the second Frank's feet leave the floor in a flying leap. Frank slams into them both, rocking them back on their heels, Frank's arms and legs flung around Gerard to hold on, and Gerard clumsily grabbing at him, trying to get a grip.

"You're hot, Gee," Frank says, yanking his hand free from the tangle of Gerard's hair to paw at his face. "We drank all your shitty booze and you're really hot."

"That's not shitty booze," Gerard says, his only concession to Frank's uncoordinated fumbling to close one eye when Frank almost pokes it. "Fuck, you're heavy."

"Am not. I'm the littlest shit ever." Leaning back way too far, so far Gerard's in danger of dropping him--wouldn't be the first time--Frank points at the messy bed, and Tommy lounging on it, eyebrow cocked. "Put me over there."

Calmly, Gerard says, "I'm going to drop you."

Frank wiggles and kicks and grunts, treating Gerard like a particularly stubborn pack mule. "On the bed!"

Game to try, Gerard takes a shuffling step forward. Frank hits the floor flat on his ass two seconds later. "I told you."

"Ow, fuck," Frank says, rolling around dramatically. "Crippled for fucking life, man."

"There's rum in my closet."

Grabbing onto Gerard's jeans, Frank climbs him like a tree. In danger of losing his pants, Gerard takes hold of his arm and hauls him the rest of the way up, stumbling back into Adam. Adam barely budges, Bob-solid. It's impressive. Frank's a squirmy little fucker.

"Tommy," Adam explains with a shrug. They share a silent moment of fond commiseration. Gerard loves silent moments.

"Hey," Frank says, peering over Gerard's shoulder. "Hey, you got hotter, too. You're both, like, emo porn."

"You gonna c'mere and let me see or what?" Tommy asks.

Shooting Gerard a quick smile, Adam sidesteps around them to navigate his way far more carefully across the room than Frank's ever bothered. He stops at the foot of the bed, staring down at Tommy while Tommy stares up at him. Frank starts humming Jeopardy music under his breath.

"Holy fuck," Tommy blurts, shoving off the crooked mound of pillows to roll smoothly to his knees, "shit, like, fuck," and Adam drops to one knee on the bed to meet him halfway, Adam's hands in Tommy's hair and Tommy's mouth open, a brief flash of pink tongue before Adam's on him. It's messy and dirty and wet-looking, and Gerard can't help staring. Watching porn's one thing. Watching live-action tongue-sucking happening seven feet away on his bed is something else entirely. Watching it while Frank's clinging to him, also watching, is possibly the best worst thing that's ever happened to Gerard, because he's getting hard. Normally, that doesn't bother him--they watch porn, they get hard, it's completely natural. Getting hard over Frank's friends, that's a little more iffy.

"Wow," Frank breathes when Adam pushes at Tommy's shoulder and Tommy starts sinking back, knees up and spread for Adam to crawl between them. "Fuckin' wow."

Gerard flaps a hand at him and hisses. This is not the time to interrupt. He can deal with his conscience later.

Frank, of course, bursts out laughing, and Adam freezes, deer-in-headlights, before joining in. "Sorry," Adam says, scratching at the back of his neck and ignoring Tommy's impatient glare. "Sometimes I get carried away."

"It's okay," Gerard hurries to say, in what he hopes is a completely normal, non-creepy-voyeur tone. "If you want to borrow my room, I mean. That's okay."

"We're not kicking you out of your own house," Adam says, firmly shoving Tommy further up on the bed. "Frank promised movies."

"He said borrow," Tommy mutters, but gamely scoots up, back propped against the wall, to make space for another body and a half on the bed, exactly the right amount for Gerard and Frank. Gerard hangs back, poking through his DVD collection, while Frank clambers up to wriggle his bony ass between them. Gerard frowns. He's about to point out how mean it is to get between boyfriends that probably don't have a lot of opportunity to do much of anything fun when Tommy slumps down to cuddle against Frank's side, and Adam loops his arm around Frank's shoulders, fingers in Tommy's hair.

Frank beams. "Movie, Gee," he says, snapping his fingers.

"Right," Gerard says, fumbling at the movies. What really isn't fair is how nice Frank looks snuggled between them. Adam and Tommy look warm and cosy, champion cuddlers, and Frank is Frank, and Gerard doesn't know who's making him more jealous here. Torn between Highlander and the first Halloween, he holds them both up for a vote.

"There can be only one," Tommy intones. Inexplicably, Gerard's heart sinks.

"Total load of bullshit," Frank says. "There's like, three hundred of the fuckers. Bitches gotta learn to share."

"Exactly!" Adam jumps in. Tommy gives him a withering glare. "Well, I agree. You can't stop me from agreeing."

"But there's only supposed to be one," Tommy insists. Adam shrugs. Tommy turns his pleading gaze on Gerard. "Right, Gee? Only one, because that's the way it is."

"Destined to be alone," Gerard agrees morosely.

"Ha," Tommy triumphantly says to Adam, then to Gerard, "Put the movie in and get your fucking ass up here."

Jamming the DVD into the player, Gerard grabs up the remote. Halfway to the bed, he says, "Wait," and veers for his closet, which is actually a stack of milk crates with a few poles stuck between them for the things his mom insists have to be hung up, like his suit. Digging through the pile of shirts that didn't make it into one of the crates the last time Frank attempted to tidy up for fear of spider nests, he unearths the rum. "I don't have mixer. Or glasses."

"Mixers are for pussies," Tommy says, at the same time Frank says, "Only pussies need glasses," and they stop, noses wrinkling as they giggle at one another. Even if Gerard's already told Frank a hundred times not to use sexist language, it's still so fucking adorable his heart aches.

Adam scoots a few inches away from Frank and gives the sliver of uncovered bed an inviting pat.

"I'm not Frank-sized," Gerard points out.

"Fuck you," Frank says, and practically crawls into Tommy's lap to free up another inch of space. "This is your spot."

The arctic chill taking up residence in Gerard's belly thaws a fraction. He takes a few quick gulps of rum to hurry it along on his way over to the bed. Tommy holds out a hand, so Gerard puts the bottle in it, then blinks at Adam's hand outstretched, too. "I gave it to him," Gerard says, pointing at Tommy.

"I mean you." Adam's hand waggles impatiently.

"Oh," Gerard says. Shrugging, he climbs up, muttering apologies as he gets Frank with an elbow and Adam with a knee. He tries unsuccessfully to squish himself into the teeny tiny space they made and ends up slumping against Frank with his legs stuck awkwardly over Adam's lap. "This really isn't working."

"Shut up," Frank says, and Adam hums his agreement, shifting around until Gerard's sprawl isn't quite so awkward. It isn't exactly comfortable, though, his shoulders tight and thighs trembling with the effort of not resting too heavily against Adam.

Tommy gives him a look and silently hands over the rum. "Oh thank you," Gerard says, clutching at it. As he drinks, he tries not to think about how Tommy's mouth was on the rim seconds ago, and how Adam's mouth was on Tommy's only a couple minutes before that. Disappointingly, he can't taste anything but alcohol. He's very thorough about making sure, though. Several gulps sure.

Adam's mouth touches Gerard's ear. "Share," he says, quietly, and Gerard swallows hard, offering the bottle.

Most of the movie passes in a blur. The bit of sunlight eking through the window he doesn't remember opening gradually fades to twilight, leaving the room lit by the flickering television. Gerard's warm all over, inside and out, his head heavy and his limbs thrumming weirdly. For the past five minutes, he's been staring down at Adam's hand on his thigh, and the occasional stroke of Adam's thumb along the inside seam of his jeans. It doesn't seem like something Adam's doing on purpose. There's no reason for it. Unlike the weird, phantom echo of Adam and Tommy's kiss Gerard can't stop hearing. He didn't even hear it when it happened, not really, but he's imagining the wet noise, their soft breaths, the rustle of cotton, over and over and over. An active, vivid imagination can be such a cross to bear. He heaves a sigh, sinking against Frank's back.

Two minutes later, still tortured by imagined kisses, Gerard thinks, Frank's back? and twists around. Frank isn't watching the movie. In fact, Gerard would be shocked to learn that Frank is even aware there is a movie, or of where he is, or anything beyond the glaring fact of Tommy's tongue in his mouth. Gerard stares, and stares, and tries to figure out how this could possibly come about, and why Frank would ever think it's a good idea to stick his tongue in somebody's mouth when that somebody's boyfriend is close enough to murder them all in a jealous rage. "Shit," Gerard says, whipping around, "shit, fuck, fuck," because of course Adam's noticed now, Gerard practically jumped up and down waving his arms to get Adam's attention.

Adam makes a soft shushing noise, resting his hand lightly over Gerard's mouth. Gerard's eyes bug out. He paws frantically at Adam's hand; he doesn't want to be suffocated in his own fucking bed because Frank couldn't keep his fucking cute little mouth all to his fucking self, for fuck's sake.

"You don't like it?" Adam asks, whisper-quiet, and Gerard rolls his eyes. Of course he doesn't like not breathing. "You liked me kissing Tommy. Is it because now it's Frank?"

Gerard's lungs seize. That's not it at all. He doesn't have a claim on Frank. Or, he'd like to, sort of, but Frank seems like he's enjoying himself, and Gerard is all for a happy Frank, but Adam's got a claim on Tommy, and Adam's hand is sliding off Gerard's mouth, thank fuck, so he can say all of this and more, because he's got a lot to say about alcohol and lowered inhibitions and the general stupidity of teenagers, a group to which they all currently belong (as long as no one dies within the next three minutes), and-

And Adam's tongue is somehow in Gerard's mouth. Gerard lets out a muffled squeak and flails, his forehead scrunching. He tries asking what the fuck, because, what the fuck, but it comes out as a garbled mess.

"Kiss me back," Adam says, their lips touching, his fingers sliding into the hair still damp and heavy on the back of Gerard's neck, "please, kiss me back." He doesn't wait for permission, or even agreement, before pushing in again, licking at the inside of Gerard's mouth. Kissing apparently feels nothing at all like the way it looks. Not even close. It's better and worse and amazing, and Gerard might not have a lot of experience in the field--to date, none--but he's willing to make the assumption that Adam is really, really good at it.

Gerard's not really following through on Adam's request. If Adam's disappointed, he can't tell, because Adam isn't stopping, and Gerard's burning up, melting, he's going to fucking explode.

"Fuck," Frank rasps, "fuck, you guys, fuck."

Adam breaks away with a dark laugh completely at odds with Gerard's mental image of him as a summer-bright Californian coastline, happy and light and free. "What?" Gerard asks, but there are too many questions all tumbling over each other, scrambled and chaotic and, "What? What?"

"You're so fucking hot," Frank says, slumped against Tommy, his kiss-red mouth noticeable even in the dim glow of the television, and Tommy's fucking hand is on his dick through his jeans. "Even when you're fucking clueless, so fucking hot, god, Adam, kiss him some more."

Certain he's fallen asleep and this is some bizarre dream, Gerard blinks up at Adam. He doesn't have dreams like these. He dreams about vampires and funerals and talking churches, not gorgeous West Coast boys making out with him while Frank watches. But that's exactly what the fuck is going on here, Adam starting at Gerard's jaw this time, working his way up to Gerard's open, panting mouth, kissing his lips, tongue sliding between them, coaxing Gerard into clumsily trying to kiss back. He mustn't do too badly; he gets a moan for his trouble and he tries harder, mimicking what Adam's doing, twisting his hand in Adam's t-shirt to drag him closer.

A hand pushes up the inside of Gerard's thigh. His eyes fly open. Adam's hands are still in his hair and on his face, holding him exactly how Adam wants as Adam kisses him deeper, and he can't figure out who the fuck is working their way up to groping his crotch before Frank groans. Oh shit, Frank. But that's not Frank's hand. Gerard knows Frank's hands, which means Tommy's the one squeezing his dick. And Frank's dick. While kissing Frank. While Adam's kissing him.

It's obviously too much for Gerard's brain to handle. He completely blanks for at least ten seconds, only dimly aware of the shuffling going on around him, hands pushing at him. Hitting the bed flat on his back jolts him back to himself, a lot like he imagines it feels like to come back from the dead, nothing-nothing-nothing then bam.

Adam's kneeling above him, somehow between his legs. Frank's halfway on top of him on one side, leaning over his chest to get at Tommy on his other side, to get at Tommy's mouth, and Tommy's hand is on Gerard's bare belly, fingertips snuck beneath his waistband. "Is this okay?" Adam asks, keeping Tommy's hand from sliding further down. "You don't have to."

"Fuck, he wants to," Tommy says, trying to twist his wrist out of Adam's grip. "He's so fucking hard, he wants it."

Frank nods furiously. "You do, right, Gee? You want it. It's cool. It's gonna be so fucking good."

Bizarrely steady, Gerard says, "We're all really drunk."

Frank hunkers down to bump his nose against Gerard's. He nods again, his breath rum-heavy. "So drunk. But not, like, not too drunk. I've been trying to get you to, like, fuck, for weeks, man, fucking weeks. Shoulda just grabbed you and did it. Shoulda just fucking done it."

"What, Frankie?" Talking hurts, Gerard's chest too tight, his heartbeat thudding in his head and his fucking dick, but he's got to know. "What'd you want to do?"

"Fucking kiss him," Tommy says, his hand on the back of Frank's head guiding him in for it. "Fucking kiss him."

"Tommy," Adam says reproachfully, which is fucking hilarious considering Adam's holding Gerard's legs spread, and then Frank's kissing him and none of this is one bit hilarious at all. It's nothing at all like kissing Adam. Adam is soft and firm at the same time, gently taking, Frankie's fucking ravenous, snatching up the kiss like he's afraid this is a dream, too, and one wrong move is going to make is disappear in a puff.

Gerard loses track of everything that isn't Frank's mouth. There are hands, and they're doing stuff, but he's not really sure what the fuck's going on until Frank slips away, time enough for one miserable groan before Tommy takes Frank's place. Tommy kisses a lot like Frank does, and Gerard wonders if that's something Frank picked up from him, or if they really are that alike, and then it hits him that he's gone from never-been-kissed to making out with three guys all at the same time. Obviously, this is a historical moment for virginal basement-dwellers everywhere. He's got one hand buried in Frank's wavy hair and the other in Tommy's, thinking about the logistics of switching off, when Frank murmurs, "Quit analysing," and Tommy says, "Go with it," and Gerard gives up, letting whoever wants a shot at his mouth take it. Long before they're done, his mouth is sore, lips hot and swollen, and he wants more. He arches up for it, makes noise for it, and Tommy grins, pinning him to the pillow by his hair. The jolt goes straight down Gerard's spine like an electric shock to the dick.

"Oh fuck yeah," Tommy says, eyes dark behind the fall of his hair. "It's good, right?" He fists his hand tighter, tugging. "Like you're gonna fucking explode."

Biting at his stinging lip, Gerard gives Tommy's hair an experimental tug. Tommy says, "Yeah, c'mon," and Gerard pulls harder, breath caught in his throat when Tommy's eyes flutter shut and he groans loudly, way too loud but good, so fucking good Gerard's got to do it again. And again, hauling Tommy down onto the bed by his hair, and Tommy's scrabbling desperately at Gerard's fly, moaning his name, "Gee, fuck, Gee," over and over as he tries to fumble open the buttons. He gives up before he's even got one undone, palming Gerard's cock through his jeans.

"It's hot, yeah?" Frank says, mouthing kisses along Gerard's jaw. "Like, getting him so fucking primed for it, like you got me ready to fucking go, c'mon, say yes."

"I can't believe I'm party to so much peer-pressure," Adam says roughly.

"Sorry," Gerard gasps, no hands free to reach for Adam, so he nudges Adam's calf with his foot instead, trying to get his message across. "I didn't mean to, to monopolise, fuck."

Frank rubs harder at Gerard's balls, his hand half-hidden by Tommy's. "Shut up and let us suck you off."

Gerard squeezes his eyes shut, breathing fast and shallow through his mouth. "I can't," he starts, and then his voice goes entirely, and Tommy rasps, "Oh fuck," and Frank says, "Fuck, fuck, he's coming," and Gerard's dimly aware of more pressure on his dick, Adam's hand over Tommy's and Frank's to feel his cock pulse, the warm seep of heat through his jeans.

"That wasn't exactly a yes," Adam says as Gerard slumps down, gasping.

"Sure as fuck wasn't a no," Tommy points out, and Gerard grunts. Tommy's pushy, but he's not wrong.

"Fuck," Frank adds, "I wanted you to show me how to blow him."

"Oh god." Gerard shudders, his cock twitching. "I'm not a fucking sex toy-"

"That's right!" Adam declares.

"-you got to give me a minute to catch my breath," Gerard finishes weakly.

Frank shoves Adam with an elbow. "See. Fucking told you."

"I'm not opposed to any of this," Adam says, his hand sliding up to touch the bare skin of Gerard's side where his shirt's rucked up. "I'm perfectly happy to watch you both crawl all over him until he's wrung dry, but don't you think we should ask what he wants?"

"As if you didn't spend the hour you two were in the bathroom fucking, fuckin' seducing him," Tommy says. He looks down at Gerard. "That's what he does. He's gorgeous and kind and wonderful until one day he smiles at you and your fucking pants fly off."

"I don't do it on purpose," Adam protests.

Gerard gapes. That's fucking exactly what Adam had been doing up there! It's so deviously brilliant, Gerard has no choice but to be impressed.

"Well," Adam says, flushing, "I admit I'm a little nicer to the cute ones. But not specifically to get in your pants! You're just." He waves a hand. "You're cute."

"Thanks," Gerard says, only slightly out of breath.

"Besides," Adam goes on, "it's not like you weren't down here with your hand in Frank's pants, Tommy Joe."

Tommy shrugs. "You said I could."

"Wait," Gerard says, flapping both hands at everybody. "Wait, wait. Frankie, did you- Did he-"

"Maybe," Frank drawls, his eyes lit up in a way that says they were absolutely down here fucking around while Gerard was in the shower. "You want to stick your hand in there too?"

"Oh god yes please," Gerard says, and his face goes red-hot. "If you want me to. I'm with Adam on the peer-pressure issue, it's not cool."

"If I'd waited for Adam to make a move, I'd be dead," Tommy says conversationally.

Adam says, "Hey!"

"Glacial," Tommy says. "Slow like a fucking glacier."

"Maybe he didn't know you wanted him to make a move?" Gerard cuts a sideways glance Frank's way. Weeks, Frank said. Gerard had no fucking idea.

Tommy snorts. "Because I'm real subtle."

"He's got you there, man," Frank says to Adam.

"I'm a romantic," Adam says, crossing his arms. "I didn't want to just-"

"Stick your hand down my pants?"

Gerard is all for open communication. Mass media has instilled in him a keen understanding of the shit that can go down if people aren't clear, honest, and real. That isn't an issue here. "We can do stuff," he says, getting everyone's attention at once. "I liked kissing. But I've already come in my pants once, so, whoever wants to go next, I guess?" He hopes they don't want him to choose. It's like picking favourites. He doesn't have favourites.

"Blowjobs," Frank says decisively. "Somebody put a dick in my mouth."

"Jesus," Tommy says, scrambling up faster than Gerard's seen him move all day, "I'll suck you off so hard, no fucking problem," grunting a curse when Adam catches him easily with one arm, holding him back. "Lemme go, he asked."

"You're such a slut sometimes," Adam says fondly, giving Tommy's hair a tug. Tommy whines-- whines, Gerard never would've thought Tommy able to make a sound like that, let alone do it willingly--and slumps into Adam's grip. "Stay up there and keep Gerard company. I've got Frank."

"Fine," Tommy grumbles, flopping back down, his head landing on the pillows next to Gerard's. He looks at Gerard for a long, long time, the sour twist to his mouth evening out into a smile. "It's a good thing you're pretty."

"You're pretty," Gerard says, which isn't what he meant to, but oh well, it's out there now. Buoyed by a post-orgasmic haze, he skims his fingertips over the sharp angle of Tommy's cheekbone, sucking in a breath when Tommy turns to nuzzle at his palm. Tommy grins and nips at the base of his thumb. It's exactly like getting kicked in the balls, except good. So very fucking good.

"Adam's gonna suck you," Tommy says, grin turning wolfish when Gerard closes his eyes on a groan. "He's gonna get your dick wet, and then he's gonna show Frankie how it's done. You gonna cream it again before they got a chance?"

"Maybe," Gerard admits. He can't stop chewing on his lip as hands tug at his belt. If he looks down, sees two sets of hands anywhere even near his cock with intent, he really will blow it. Resisting the urge to come is not one of Gerard's strong points.

Tommy scoots in closer, breath hot on Gerard's mouth. "Adam's really, really good, too. Like he fucking loves his mouth stuffed."

"Stop trying to make him come," Adam says, nudging Gerard's hips up so they can haul down his jeans. He goes along with it, not thinking until cool air hits the come sticky on his belly. He instinctively tries to curl up, Tommy's arm thumping heavily to his chest holding him down. They're all still dressed, nobody else even has a fly open, and Gerard's practically naked.

"Can't help it," Tommy says, playing at kissing Gerard's mouth, tiny bumps of their lips that make Gerard arch up wanting more. "He looks good when he loses it."

"Gee, you do," Frank says, and Gerard's heart gives a hard lurch. Frank watched him come. Frank wants to make him do it again. With his mouth. Gerard's cock gives a hard twitch, precome beading hot at the tip, so much it starts to drip down the shaft.

"I'm dreaming," Gerard says to the pebbly ceiling. "This is a really, really good dream."

"I've only ever done this for Tommy," Adam says, settling down on his side between Gerard's legs, leaving space for Frank to worm in beside him. And holy fuck, Gerard should not have looked, no he should not, because they're between his legs for fuck's sake, spreading his thighs wide about to go down on him. "So you should tell me if there's something you don't like. Or something you really like."

"It's your mouth on his dick," Frank points out, "what's he not gonna like?"

Adam shrugs. "Tommy likes a bit of teeth every now and then. I'd rather tongue."

"Oh god." Gerard squeezes his eyes shut again, turning to hide his face in Tommy's chest. "Please stop talking or this isn't ever going to happen."

"Teeth, man," Frank says in an awed voice. "You're so hardcore."

"Too much talking," Tommy says, "not enough cocksucking."

"Bitch, bitch," Adam says, then, "Hang onto Tommy if you feel like you're gonna come too soon. He doesn't mind bruises," and he takes hold of Gerard's dick, nice and firm at the base, and sucks the head straight into his mouth.

Gerard clenches his teeth down so hard against a shout his jaw creaks. Whatever the fuck he was expecting, it wasn't the sudden rush of hot-wet-pressure, the endless tug pulling at him, and he can't help twisting, not sure if he wants to get away or get closer or fucking die.

"Oh fuck, Gerard," Frank says, mouth moving against the inside of Gerard's bare thigh, and Gerard bucks up again, babbling apologies because he at least knows you're not supposed to try to choke the guy going down on you.

"Here, here," Tommy's saying, urging Gerard's chin up, "gimme your mouth, kissing'll make it even better," and Gerard squeaks in alarm, convinced he really will die if that's true. There's just so much happening, hands and mouths and wet, eager noises, Tommy sucking on his tongue while Adam sucks on his dick, the weight of Frank leaning against his leg trying to get in there too, and god, god, he's going to come so fucking hard.

Instead of the rush of heat spooling out from his belly, cool air floods in as Adam pulls off. Gerard's whine is muffled by Tommy's mouth as he gropes for Frank, Adam, someone to finish him. It takes him a few seconds to remember that he's been doing this on his own for years, but the second he reaches for his cock, Adam's pinning his hands.

Tommy huffs a laugh. "And you fucking thought I was the pushy one, right?"

"Dying," Gerard croaks. "Please, fuck, I gotta come, it fucking- Frankie, please."

"Give him a minute," Adam says, his thumbs gently stroking the inside of Gerard's wrists. Even that feels like too much and still not enough. Gerard shudders, tugging roughly at Adam's hold. There's too many of them, though, holding him down, and not enough of him.

"But I want," Frank starts, and Adam cuts in, "Kiss me if you want to know what he tastes like."

Gerard's eyes fly open. It might kill him, but he can't not watch this. Tommy looked so small next to Adam when they were kissing, Frank's even tinier, brash and loud but short and compact and fucking Jesus, Gerard really should've paid closer attention to his favourites on xHamster.

"Fuck." Frank levers up, rubbing his mouth dry on the back of his arm. "Fuck, I haven't, like, dude, I was totally going to suck dick with you and I never even kissed you yet, fucking crazy."

Adam pushes up to meet him, mouth glistening wet with spit and precome in the low light. "Crazy gets around," Adam says, almost there, and Frank shivers, shoves forward to make it happen. Adam's hand comes up right away to cup his face, and Gerard wants to watch, he really fucking does, but it's so easy to twist closer to Tommy now, scrabbling at Tommy's fly because if he's not getting blown, then god fucking damn it, he's gonna blow somebody.

Shock chases eager lust across Tommy's face. He wrenches open his jeans, shoving them down so Gerard can get a trembling hand in, pull his cock out. Now that he's got it right in front of his face, it's bigger and more intimidating than he thought. Trying to work back up to that giddy need, he jacks it a bit, stunned when Tommy groans and lists forward, like it's actually really good. "Please, c'mon," Tommy says, rubbing his hand over Gerard's chest, his face, up into his hair, touching like he can't not do it, like he's getting off on it almost as much as Gerard fumbling with his dick.

Sort of mostly forgetting about Frank and Adam stuck between his legs, Gerard rolls clumsily over, pushing up on his knees and one elbow to shove his face into Tommy's crotch. The whole room is soaked in the smell of sex, but here it's even stronger, thick and heavy and Tommy's skin is so fucking soft against his lips, delicate almost, thin and hot and he opens up to take Tommy in, wanting the taste of his dick, the feel of it trapped in his mouth. Tommy surges up, giving him more than he thinks he can handle, but it slides in smoothly, stretching his lips and filling him up. It sounds like everybody fucking groans at once, his muffled and low, and there are more wet noises, kisses, hands on his back pushing his chest down, hands on his thighs spreading them wide. He whines and sucks harder, not sure what to do with his tongue, and moving in any sort of rhythm is totally out of the question; he's all over the place, probably not making it very good, but Tommy's petting at his hair and his face, breaths sharp and hissing, and he's willing to admit it's probably not terrible either.

He almost chokes when Frank drops heavily against his back. There's only skin between them, and that's Frankie's fucking dick pressed against him. A shot of panic straight to his belly turns to a terrified thrill. Frank's mouthing at his shoulders, stroking his stomach, grabbing onto his hip to give a shaky, rolling thrust that gets Frank's dick sliding wetly over his ass, wedging into the crack.

Gerard tears himself off Tommy's cock, pressing his face into Tommy's stomach, moaning, "Oh fuck, Frankie, what, what're you- Your fucking dick." All he gets from Frank is a ragged groan and short, sharp snaps of his hips, riding his ass, and it shouldn't feel so good, it isn't even really doing anything, but every single nerve ending Gerard's got lights up like nothing else he's ever felt before. How the fuck do people know their bodies can do this shit? Why didn't anybody fucking tell him it felt like this? "I, I want-"

"It's okay," Adam says, mouth skimming close to Gerard's ear, hair caught on his lips as he bends down to kiss him, barely managing a touch before Frank shoves so hard Gerard tumbles against Tommy. Clutching at the sheets, he tries to scramble back up, but Adam says, "Baby, it's okay, just take it," kissing his throat, guiding him back with a hand in his hair so Adam can get at Tommy's dick, nuzzle it up against Tommy's belly.

Teeth clenched, Gerard shakes his head. Adam doesn't get it. He wants more. Too much isn't enough anymore, he needs Tommy back in his mouth, their hands on him, he wants to feel Frank push inside him. If he could fucking slow down for a minute, he'd ask for it, but he hates the thought of stopping for even a second. Frank's gonna come, he can fucking feel it. And Adam's right in front of Gerard's face sucking Tommy off, so Tommy's gonna come soon too. He doesn't know what Adam's doing, if he's got a hand on his dick at all, and the next thing Gerard knows he's groping for it, finding layers of denim in the way, twisting and tugging at them until he figures out Adam's fly is open, he just needs to reach inside, wrap his fingers around Adam's cock and let Adam fuck his fist.

Frank loses it with a ragged shout, so loud Gerard would be worried his parents can hear it but Frank's always down here making a racket anyway, jumping and yelling and being a total fucking hoodlum, and besides all that crap, he doesn't give a shit. Frank is plastered to his back humping the fuck out of him, coming on him, and it's not gross, disgusting or wrong at all, it's fucking perfect, human and gorgeous and real. Leaving his hand wrapped loosely around Adam's dick, he shoves his face closer to Tommy's, trying to get in there to help Adam get Tommy off, and probably making a complete mess of it. Tommy comes anyway, Adam's mouth on his cock, Gerard's on his balls, and Gerard can feel when his nuts draw tight, when the thick pulse goes through him and he spills over Adam's tongue. Tommy's not even finished before Gerard slumps against him, breathing hard as he tries to get the right angle to jerk Adam off. Adam doesn't go as easy or as fast as the other two, like he's used to holding back, or maybe Gerard's not doing it right. It's a fucking dick, though, it's hard to do it wrong. Gerard's overthinking things again instead of going for it. Yanking his hand free, he spits on his palm, shoves it back inside and resists the urge to go for long, smooth strokes, instead concentrating around the head the way he likes when all he wants to do is get off.

"Fuck," Adam spits, shuddering, "wait, Gee, wait," but Tommy says, "Don't listen to him, keep going, make him lose it, fucker's always the last to blow," and Adam drops flat to the sheets, clutching at Gerard's hair, staring wide-eyed and open-mouthed up at them.

"S'fucking right," Tommy says, bending down to lick at Adam's mouth between words, "fuck you and your fucking gentlemanly shit, you're gonna come for him right the fuck now, gonna lose it 'cause he wants you to, gonna let us all see you give it up."

Adam hisses, "Shit," his back arching, head digging into the lumpy mattress, all the pillows knocked to the floor or jammed up against the wall. A shudder goes through him, and that's it, Gerard knows Adam's given in even before Adam plants his feet on the bed to fuck up into Gerard's hand, his fingers squeezing tight on Gerard's wrist, not trying to slow him down or speed him up anymore, letting it happen the same way he told Gerard to take it. Gerard wants to kiss him, and suck him, just do more to him, but it feels like Gerard's cemented to the bed, unable to even fucking twitch as Adam bucks up desperately. Tommy's hand clamps over Gerard's, firming his grip and keeping up the rhythm, and then Adam's coming all over their fingers, his belly, his face pressed against Tommy's thigh to muffle the noises he's making.

Gerard rubs his forehead against the sheets, breathing hard. The thick smell of spunk is everywhere. There's actual spunk everywhere, sticky on Gerard's back, his hand, some smeared on his face from he doesn't even fucking know who. He hasn't come a second time yet, or maybe all that mess on his thighs isn't precome and he's hard again, he doesn't even fucking know, like his brain and his body both have thrown up the white flag, too much to handle.

"Roll over," Frank's saying, shoving at him, "roll him the fuck over, Jesus, fucking help," and Gerard tries, he really does, before he figures out Frankie's not really asking him. Between one blink and the next he's on his back, head in Tommy's lap, Tommy's long fingers tracing over his lips as Adam leans in to kiss him. "Yeah," Frank says, breath hot on Gerard's belly, "fucking yeah, gonna, gonna-" and this time when hot, wet heat surrounds Gerard's dick, it's so good he screams. It comes out thin and high, muffled by Adam's mouth, and he barely has time to register what the fuck's going on before he comes so hard his vision whites out at the corners. By the time it fades to black again and the world comes creeping back in bits and pieces, the brush of the covers, the looping of the DVD's title menu, Gerard's too wrung out to even consider opening his eyes.

Tommy's talking again, a low, wordless thrum in Gerard's head barely noticeable over the pounding of his heart. Not having a clue what the fuck he's saying doesn't make it any less hot, especially with the weight of someone lying against his legs, and someone else's fingers in his hair, and he's pretty sure his head's still in Tommy's lap.

The first words that actually make sense come from Frank. "You guys are fucking crazy."

Adam laughs, pleased and somehow shy-sounding. "It's not like we do this a lot."

"My fucking ass we don't," Tommy says. There's a weighty pause, then, "Shut up, I meant me and you."

Frank giggles. "No, no, I get it, it's cool. We're totally special and shit."

"You know," Adam says, and there's a squeak and a shuffle like he's poked Tommy somewhere ticklish, "when I said I didn't mind if you made out with Frank, I didn't expect you to turn it into an orgy."

"Me! Fucking- Dude. Dude. You took one look at Sleeping Beauty here and wanted all up in his business so fucking fast fucking NASA saw your boner from fucking space."

"He's cute," Adam says, a frown in his voice.

"Fucking unbelievable," Tommy mutters.

Gerard drags in a couple deep breaths, and on the third he manages to slur, "M'not asleep."

"Gee," Frank says, pressing close. "Fuck, Gee, man." He giggles nervously. "Thought maybe we fucking broke you."

"M'not broke." Possibly not all in one fully-functioning piece, but not broken. Or at least not in any way that isn't fucking amazing and instilling in him a very deep desire to never be fixed.

A warm hand idly rubs at Gerard's stomach. Weirdly, it's easy to recognise as Adam's even before Adam speaks. "We should clean up."

"Twice in one day?" Frank snorts. "Keep dreaming."

Prying his eyes open seems like way too much work to be worth it, but once Gerard's done it, and he's managed to blink the room back into focus, it's absolutely worth twice the effort. Frank's sprawled mostly-naked between his legs, cheek resting on his hip, and Adam's curled up beside them, still weirdly fully dressed, though his jeans are open and he's not tucked away yet. Craning his head back, Gerard finds Tommy shirtless, jeans and shorts down around his knees.

"Hey," Adam says, and Tommy grins, his hand stroking Gerard shoulder sliding in to curl lightly against his throat.

"Is this, uh." The vicious flutter in Gerard's belly steals his voice. He swallows hard, takes another few deep breaths, and decides that it's really silly to be nervous around these guys now. Mutual orgasms should take care of all sort of social awkwardness. "Is this a one-time thing? Because that's okay. I'm okay with that."

Adam and Tommy share a look. Frank shuffles around, looking down at Gerard's kneecap. Nobody says anything for a long minute, then Frank says, "Fuck this shit. Gee, you're so fucking, augh." He bangs his forehead against Gerard's leg. "Augh."

Gerard blinks. He's not so sure that's a good thing. But Frank had said-

"I'm pretty sure you and Frank need to talk," Adam says, and backhands Tommy's thigh when Tommy rolls his eyes. "Talking is healthy!"

"They're really fucking hot for each other, Adam, Jesus, they don't need to talk about it, they need to fuck."

"Obviously they do need to talk, or they would've been doing that already!"

"Maybe both," Gerard ventures. "Frankie?"

"Yeah," Frank says, looking relieved and nervous and excited and like he's going to get up and start breaking stuff again, like he does when he's feeling too much for his tiny body to contain. "Yeah, Gee, I- Yeah."

Gerard beams. Zero relationship experience or not, he can so do this. Maybe. "Okay," he says, levering up. He doesn't get very far, but he's got a plan now. Life is always so much easier to tackle when he's got direction. "We should order some fucking food before Frank starts trying to eat the wood paneling again, and I think Mikey's got tequila stashed in here somewhere."

"Are you sure?" Adam asks. "Gerard, you don't owe us anything."

Halfway off the bed, Gerard pauses. "I know. I do, I know that. But I really like you. This is something you do with people you really like."

"Aw," Tommy says, ruffling Gerard's messy hair. "You've got a crush on my boyfriend."

Gerard's stomach goes cold. "I don't, I mean, it's not-"

"Don't freak out," Tommy says, darting forward to give Gerard a quick kiss. "It's cute. Adam's totally worth a good crush."

"Besides, Tommy J's got a crush on me," Frank says, stretching lazily like a self-satisfied cat. "Dude's not a hypocrite, just Californian."

"Asshole," Tommy says, grinning. "You totally eat wood."

Giving him the finger, Frank grins back. "You know it."

"God," Adam groans, groping for a pillow to shove over his face. "Gerard, you have no idea how happy I am you're here. These two have been fucking killing me."

Searching for the phone, Gerard absently reaches out to give Adam's calf a comforting pat. If Tommy's as much like Frank as Gerard thinks he is, as soon as there's food, they'll be too busy stuffing their faces to drive Adam crazy. And then maybe he can get Adam to show him how he did his eyeliner, and they can talk about Bowie, since Adam's obviously a fan, and later, if everybody's into it, they could maybe try out some more stuff. He's got questions, still. Lots of them.

Surfacing with the phone and hitting speed dial, Gerard glances over his shoulder. Frank's crawled up the bed to sprawl between Adam and Tommy, back to talking about Doom Patrol and X-Men, and how there's this endless debate about which came first. Adam looks up, a small, happy smile on his face, then flicks a glance down at Frank, all, check him out, he's so fucking delighted, Gerard smiles back, thinks that yeah, yeah, this is good.