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Three Red Balloons

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Three Red Balloons

"Let me go!" Frank growled lowly, fighting hard against the burly arms of the hospital security guards that were forcing him through the steel doors of Nexus Mental Asylum for Boys. They had him by each shoulder, his arms pressed hard against his sides. He jerked again in an attempt to get loose.
"Let me the fuck go!" He howled loudly, this time, and every single person in the entrance hall turned to stare at the 5'4, spiky haired insane punk with tattoos pouring over his arms and neck and poking out from under the hems of his white muscle shirt. He continued struggling, hard, and he felt the anger boiling under his inked skin and pumping with his pulse, like his blood was melted iron and his bones were made of hot steel.
Fuck, he was getting so mad, so, so fucking angry-
The entrance hall was all white, with bolted down chairs and that horrible smell that belonged to hospitals and only hospitals; clean and stagnant and so horribly sterile, and it made Frank’s skin crawl and his heart stutter. The smell was disgusting, it reminded him of weeks spent as a child. The orderlies and nurses were staring at him with some sick version of sympathy. He wanted to spit.
His parents could not be fucking leaving him here, they better not dare to leave him in this place, he wasn’t crazy, dammit-
But that was when he saw a nurse go a little ahead of him with three or four bags of clothes- his full closet- and start carting them towards a stairwell.
Panic started rising in his chest, like a hollow sucking vacuum ripping down his sternum and squeezing his heart with cold, flaming hands.
He started struggling harder, now, panic overwhelming his senses. They were leaving him here, oh my god, they were leaving him here...
“Look, kid,” One of the guards grunted, making a face. “Can you calm the hell down for just a goddamned minute so we can process you or do we have to drug you up with something so you will calm down?!”
The thought of that cooled Frank’s anger just enough so he stopped struggling and let the guards pull him up the stair case and deposit him in a bright, white room with a scale and a height measure on the wall that smelled like bleach and somewhat like stale urine, tittering about going to escort his parents in so they could sign paperwork and they hoped he had a real nice stay at Nexus. They proceeded to lock him into the room, the lock clicking hard.
Frank’s heart plopped down into his stomach and he backed into a wall, wrapping his arms around himself and blinking down at the floor.
They were leaving him here, he thought, staring down at his bloodied knuckles. Weren’t parents supposed to love their kids?!
His hands ached, a stinging ache that nestled itself down into the joints of his fingers- it had probably been a bad idea punching that window- but he had done it, and his dad had said that was the last straw. He wasn’t coming out this time.
Frank hadn’t realized he’d closed his eyes until the padlocked door swung open and more hospital smell wafted into the room along with two male nurses, dressed in scrubs and nasty teal gloves, one holding a clip board and a pen.
They looked at him with curled up lips, as if they were thinking, great, another nut case. The one with the clipboard sighed and turned to Frank.
“Take off your shirt.” He said, stoic and slightly annoyed.
“Excuse me?” Frank replied, backing his head and narrowing his eyes.
The nurse looked a fair bit more annoyed.
“It’s a mark check, kid. For tattoos and scars.”
That didn’t comfort Frank one fucking bit, but he pulled off his shirt and glared hard at the ground, feeling like it would crackle under his stare.
Frank did, showing off his back and feeling his muscles tense in a rage. Fuck.
“What’s your chest piece say, kid?” The other nurse asked, like he was trying to strike up a conversation.
“ ‘I am a graveyard’.” Frank mumbled, continuing to glare hard at the tile floor.
“Okay. Pants off.” Frank glared hard at the nurse, but followed the instructions grudgingly. If looks could kill, he thought madly, feeling his nose crinkle with how hard his brows were knitting together. The sound of the pen scratching at the paper was the only sound in the room, save for the heaving sighing of the second nurse.
“Alright. Get dressed and step on the scale, leave the shoes off.”
Frank pulled on his jeans and dropped his shirt over his head, and stepped on the scale.
The nurse fiddled with the weights on top for a moment until they balanced at around one thirty five, and he scribbled that down onto a sheet of paper and instructed Frank to stand against the measure on the wall, scribbling down his height and making a face.
“Can I have my damn shoes?” Frank grumbled, crossing his arms. The floor was cold and sticky.
“Sorry,” The second nurse said, smiling sympathetically. “No strings. That means no shoelaces.” He finished, tossing Frank a pair of hospital socks. They were beige with white traction spots, and read ‘CareSteps’ across the top. He grudgingly put them on.
“Lip ring, nose ring, and gauges, please.”
Frank blanched.
“Oh, you’ve got to be fucking kidding-”
The nurse looked serious and irritated, hand on his hip. Frank could throttle him, but he just took out his nose and lip rings, popped out his stretchers and agitatedly handed them the the second nurse. Frank decided he liked him better than the bitchy first one.
“Alright, kid, let’s go take you to the day room and get you introduced to Dr. Schechter.”
Frank followed, the anxiety choking him again, curling into his chest and pushing out his ribs with each breath so it felt like they were going to pop out of his skin. He shuffled after the nurses, suddenly feeling very panicky and upset and tight, feet moving in accordance with the nurses ahead of him until they reached a brightly lit room, with old, rustic furniture and lime-washed windows and a lot of huddled up kids in chairs.
A doctor approached them, with a tattoo on his neck, a nose piercing and four or five piercings on his ears. He reached out and shook Frank’s limp hand.
“Sup, kid, what’s your name? I’m Brian. Dr. Brian Schechter.”
Frank swallowed and blinked, his brows raising.
“I, uhm, I’m Frank. Frank Iero.”
“Iero, eh? Italian. Nice. Anyway, we’ll get your medical bracelet all done and on you in a minute, alright? Anyway, I’m just going to point out some of the patients that’re out here, okay, Frank?”
Frank nodded, but Dr. Schechter had already started pointing at kids with his pen.
“That’s Brendon,” He said, pointing to a kid with spiky brown hair and huge brown eyes who was talking to himself and smiling down at his hands. He then pointed at a kid with an insane head of hair who was talking with a burly blond kid. “The one with the awesome hair is Ray, and the blondie is Bob.,” He then pointed out a couple more patients, but Frank’s attention had already been caught by a boy sitting in the corner. He was wearing skinny jeans and a big sweater, a sketch book perched against his knees. His face was half hidden by a curtain of messy black hair, but what was visible was what had caught Frank’s eye. He had a slightly round, pale face, and tired green-brown eyes. Under his eyes were splashes of bruises from lack of sleep, his nose was pointed and his lips were cracked but were still a pale pink.
He looked like he didn't belong in such a place.
“-and that’s Gerard,” Dr. Schechter said, using his pen to point at the pretty kid in the corner. “Don’t try to strike up conversation with him, he doesn’t exactly like talking. In fact, he hasn’t spoken in the whole six months he’s been here and for two years before that! He’ll just write you an answer and go back to sketching. Good kid, though. Real good kid.” There was a fondness in his voice.
Frank couldn’t really answer. Anxiety was starting to dig at his chest again, clawing and hissing out paranoia. He blinked and rubbed his upper arm, sighing.
“You’re going to sleep out here, tonight, Frank. We’ll have you a room by tomorrow.”
Frank nodded, sighing again.
“Why am I here? I mean, I’m not sick. I just get mad,”
“You’re here because you get so mad, Frank. You break things, you hurt yourself and other people. You’re also deeply depressed, according to your parents. Which really does not help your case, in all honesty.”
Frank grumbled, glancing back at Gerard.
He was gone.
Frank looked around, brows knitted together, but he was no where to be seen.
“I’ll have Ray and Bob show you around later, okay? Right now We’re just going to get your vital signs- we do every shift change- so step over here and let me get your blood pressure.”
Frank shuffled over to an awful, red plastic chair that had a little portable blood pressure station next to it, and he glanced down at his socks again.
It still smelled like a hospital, and it made Frank shudder to know that in a day or two, he’d smell like Nexus. Dr. Schechter had him stretch out his arm as he put a Velcro cuff around his bicep, and pressed a couple buttons on the machine and it started pulling the air out of the hollow cuff, squeezing tight and sterile around Frank’s pulse. He put a thermometer between Frank’s lips, and Frank watched, slightly mesmerized, as his arm turned a hue or two darker than normal and the ink seemed to float on the skin as the cuff tightened. The machine beeped and the tightness released. Then the thermometer beeped and Frank was left alone in the room with the other patients glancing curiously over at him like he was some kind of alien in their creepy, clean, hospital world. Frank fidgeted.
He watched Dr. Schechter escort his parents in, and he glared with every single ounce of hatred he could squeeze out of his panicking soul to come out of his eyes like fire. It seemed to work.
The next hour passed in complete silence, save for the kid- Braydon? Brent? Brandon? Brendon, ah, yes, that was it- jabbering on to himself about it being nine o’clock in the afternoon, or something equally creepy. The “day room” was apparently where the patients spent most of the day, since the steel door he entered in bore a sign that said ‘WARNING: Keep closed at all times, high elopement risk.’
Fuck yeah, Frank thought. There’s a motherfucking elopement risk, I’d run the hell out of here if I go the chance.
The guy with the fro was very obviously staring at him, head cocked to the side slightly, his hair, like, fucking inflated or some shit. It was kind of creeping Frank out, like, a lot. It was almost a foot off of his head if Frank had to guess, all big and brown and fucking fro-ish. But, eh, it was kind of entertaining and funny. If fros were funny.
God, this place was affecting him already and he hadn’t even been here two hours. Oh shit. He was soooo fucked. He was going to be a mindless asylum zombie soon enough.
If Frank closed his eyes and thought hard enough, he could almost feel a cigarette on his lips, the heavy smoke flowing down into his lungs and painting them deliciously black. He really wanted a cigarette.
Dr. Schechter came shuffling out, his parents in tow. They looked satisfied. The security guards led them out, smiling and saying something in-audible.
His parents left.
Something inside of Frank died at that second.
Frank was somewhat frozen as Dr. Schechter walked over, hands in his pockets.
“Bob, Ray, can you show Frank the ropes?”
Ray nodded, smiling wider than Frank had seen someone smile in quite a long time.
"Yeah, of course!" he said, standing and tugging Bob up behind him, which was a feat. He almost skipped over to Frank, still smiling so wide it almost looked like his cheeks were going to split. It was getting a little creepy. Who could be happy here?
"Hi!," he greeted. His voice was high and verging on squeaky, but it was kind of endearing. A little. "I'm Ray. Ray Toro. This is Bob!"
Bob waved a little, putting on a half hearted smile. "Bob Bryar." he greeted, then went silent again. Frank followed the two out of the day room, where the sun was setting outside the imprisoning windows.
Ray turned to him, face alight with joy. "Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be abducted by aliens? Man, it'd be creepy! And cold. Then they’d probe you with these sticks, man, like what the fuc-"
Bob rolled his eyes, shaking his head and glancing over at Frank.
"Just ignore him when he starts talk about aliens-"
"Bob!" Ray whined.
"- He's just jabbering out nonsense. Isn't that right, Ray?"
"Yeah, yeah, whatever. Killjoy." Ray huffed and crossed his arms over his chest.
Frank nodded, eyebrow arched.
“Sure. Okay, yeah.” He murmured, looking longingly out the window.
Ray and Bob showed him the wing of the building where the rooms were, the medical ward, the recreational rooms and the group room.
There were close to no windows.
They were on the second floor of the asylum, looking out upon the city (that was if you could find an unoccupied window), but you could see Newark pretty well. The fact that he could see the city made Frank feel more trapped than he had felt before.
Bob and Ray turned out to be pretty cool people; Ray was funny, if a little strange, but he cracked some funny jokes and he made Frank just the slightest bit more comfortable.
Bob was cool, too. He was pretty quiet, but when he spoke it was pretty damn funny, and he was a big dude. Nice for, y’know, protection if you needed. From loonies.
But Frank couldn’t consider them friends. Not yet.
It was far too soon, but they were cool. For crazies.
He was on 24 hour lock down, as of the moment, and wouldn’t be able to leave the day room until he was a level B.
Right now, because he had just come in, he was a level C. There were three levels, Level A, B, and C. C being the lowest, you had to earn points from good behavior to rise up in the ranks. If you fucked up, they would drop your level and you would lose some rights.
So, as per Frank’s general luck, when dinner started, Ray and Bob left, that Gerard kid trailing behind them, and Frank was stuck inside.
It was quiet, and Frank felt suddenly really lonely.
His friends were all probably hanging out at the liquor store; Jepha, Joel, Benji, and Pete were probably forgetting all about him.
“Frank? Frank Iero?”
Frank looked up and towards the nurses station, towards the horrible butchering of his last name; standing and shuffling with his hands stuffed in his jeans pockets towards the little opening in the bullet proof glass.
Bullet proof, Frank thought. With the amount of searching they do? Bah. As fucking if.
“Yeah?” He asked when he got to the station, frowning.
The nurse was pudgy, a little ugly, with wispy white grey hair and old brown eyes. Frank decided he did not like this, this, this Nurse named ‘Candy’.
“Your wristband,” She told him, taking his hand and wrapping it slightly loose around his wrist, and then sticking the sticky part to the plastic next to the bar-code.
“Always have this on,” She instructed sternly, like he was fucking five. “Or we’ll drop your level. Have a good night, dear.” She said, and Frank shuffled away, staring down at his wrist. It read:

DOB: 10/31 PT.#: 09016579943
RESIDING DR: Schechter, Brian DOA: 10

Frank sighed, still staring at the shiny plastic on his wrist and trying to get comfortable in this godawful chair. It was impossible. All of the chairs were these strange, bendy white metal chairs that had no sharp corners whatsoever, with colorful cushions.
In all honesty, Frank just wanted to go to sleep, but so much panic was making him feel hollow and hungry, and he really wanted something warm to eat. He almost felt like crying for some reason, but crying was out of the question. So he sat and waited until they brought the patients back, rolling a cart with Styrofoam trays and little cups of juice on the levels. Frank was handed a tray, and upon checking it’s contents, he sighed and started eating the vegetables, lips curling as he pushed the chicken away. Ugh. Meat.
He ate everything but the meat, drinking the tiny cup of juice before tossing the tray and the plastic cup into the bin.
He waited another two full hours until he could actually fucking get a nurse to get a mattress and some sheets and put it in the day room next to the window; because everybody started shuffling out and going to their rooms. Frank needed to sleep, and wake up and see this was a nightmare.
He was given some Sepocol to help him sleep, and he pulled the threadbare sheets farther over his body and sighed, wrenching his eyes closed.
He wanted to go home.

Frank didn’t sleep all that much.
He tossed and turned and dreamed fitfully, hot and cold and freezing and on fire all at the same time, the moonlight shining in on his clenched eyes.
He awoke at every hour, or so he thought; there were no clocks anywhere, or that he could find. He would look around with wide eyes, look at all of the chairs and breath for a moment before laying back down.
So in the morning when his eyelids turned red from the sunlight, he groaned and tried his best to curl into himself. He was exhausted, he felt heavy in every sense of the word, eyelids like steel shutters and his arms and legs filled with led pellets. He felt weak and hollow in the places where the anger from yesterday had resided, and he wanted nothing more than to lay here on this uncomfortable inflated mattress and these rough sheets.
But when he did manage to sit up, muscles tight and groaning madly in protest, he noticed that the pretty boy, Gerard, was staring at him, pencil moving quickly across the page. When he noticed Frank looking at him, he blushed furiously and turned away, dropping his sketchbook in the process and then turning away quickly.
Frank smirked.
He sat up completely, leaning against the wall and groaning again. Fuck. That was not a good sleeping position, how ever the fuck he had been sleeping.
His neck was taut and painful, and he still really wanted to go back to sleep. But he knew he wouldn't be able to. So, he simply cracked his neck and stood, walking to the nurses.
"Can I have something out of my bag to change into?" He questioned, sniffing.
"Yes. We went through your things last night and removed strings and other illegal items, okay? Thank you, Mr. Iero." She said, walking back inside the station and rummaging through his bag before grabbing a shirt (looked like a Black Flag one) and a pair of his black jeans before walking back to him and smiling once more.
Frank nodded, taking the change of clothes and going to seclusion after having another nurse unlock the heavy steel door (he was getting panicky again, thinking about the fact that it was likely that he was stuck here) and stepping into seclusion.
Seclusion was the room he'd been processed in, the room that was whiter than any white should be and smelled like piss and bleach and hospitals, with the bright lights that hurt Frank's early morning eyes.
He stepped into the bathroom, pulling off his shirt and twisting around to crack his back into place with a series of satisfying pops; and then pulling on the clean tee shirt that smelled sickeningly like his room and his home. It made him feel like stretching himself back to Belleville, no matter how much it hurt or how hard it would be. He'd play by every body's rules and be really fucking obedient. (like that would happen, his subconscious said).
He sighed and pulled on his new jeans, relishing the smell of home once more before picking up his dirty clothes and shuffling out of the Seclusion and back to the day room.
Ray and Bob seemed to have awoken, Bob looking drowsy and freshly out of the thick of sleep, and Ray looked tired but just as happy as ever.
Frank sat down in a chair at the same table as Ray and Bob, staring down at the rips in his jeans.
These, Frank remembered, were the jeans he had worn on the first night they stole from the liquor store- he had tripped and shattered a bottle of vodka, and ripped his jeans open, and oh, he and his friends had laughed so hard-
"Good morning, Frank!"
Frank looked up, sniffing again, noticing a waving Ray and a smiling Bob.
"Mornin'." Frank greeted, shaking his hair into his face.
"Breakfast time!" Ray singsonged, bouncing in his seat. "You're on lock, right, Frank?"
Frank nodded, shrugging. "I guess. Maybe I'll get to go to dinner."
Ray nodded.
"Yeah! You can sit with me and Bob. Right, Bob?"
"Definitely. Frank's cool."
So Frank had friends.

Ray and Bob went out to breakfast, lining up and waiting in the line before a nurse unlocked the door and the shuffled out into the hospital. Once again, Gerard followed about two feet behind them, head bowed and hair in his face.
Frank really thought he should let people see his face more often.
Frank glanced around, noticing some of the kids had chosen to stay behind; curled up in their chairs with tiny little golf score pencil and composition books.
Frank sighed and examined his fingers, the HALLOWEEN tattoos that resided there; sharp colors and angles and sweet memories attached to each picture. He had a lot, for his age, though that was okay. They were his pictures, his story- like his Lady of Sorrows. She was one of his favorites.
He had, just a day or two before coming in here, had the words ‘search and destroy’ put around his hips, so they were still somewhat sore and raised and pink, but when they healed over it’d be another addition to his canvas.
Tattoos calmed him. His calmed him. Looking at them, like he was canvas stretched over wood, stapled taut and painted on with different colors. It made him feel a little important. Like he could be something.
Well. As if that was going to happen, now. He was going to rot here, rot in a straight jacket in some white room. That smelled like hospitals. Cause the world hated him like that.
He sat there for quite a long time before the patients came back and he got his little tray. It was bacon (ew) eggs and a cinnamon doughnut. Well, fuck.
Frank picked up the cinnamon doughnut and started eating, frowning. Fucking nasty asylum processed murder food.
He finished off the doughnut and he little cup of juice (damn, he missed coffee), and tossed the tray and cup into the bin by the nurses station. He was still hoping that soon he'd wake up in his own bed or on the floor at Pete’s with a bottle of vodka near his head. That’d be nice.
There really was nothing to do here but watch TV (motherfucking cartoons, man) and sit around and do nothing.
Ray (who’d apparently gone to wash up, because his hair was deflated with water), sat down in front of him, pulling out one of the orange metal chairs and sitting, a big smile on his face.
“So where do you come from, Frank?” He asked as soon as Bob took his place beside him.
“Belleville.” Frank said dully, looking down at the table top.
“Really?! Me too!” Ray exclaimed happily, smiling. “Bob’s from Chicago.”
Frank raised a brow.
“Why a hospital in Newark then?” He questioned. Chicago was not close to here whatsoever.
“Only place I hadn’t been, I guess. A long term place. There are none in Chicago. Only short term hospitals. Nexus is supposed to be a good place.”
Frank thought it was kind of sad that was kind of the longest thing he’d ever heard Bob say.
But that was cool. He’d never known someone from Chicago, even if that person was now a crazy dude.
“Therapy, boys,” A nurse announced, standing near the ward entrance with a cork clipboard that read ‘Nexus’ across the back. “Frank?”
Frank stood, walking over to the nurse with a frown on his face.
“Your therapist is ready to see you. Go wait outside room 107.”
Frank nodded and shuffled down the hallway, past seclusion and past the rooms. He sat down in a wire chair next to the door, crossing his ankles and frowning deeply. He poked at the holes in his jeans, blinking broodily and singing a song in his head, trying to pass the time until the stupid therapist-
“Frank?” A man said who had poked his head out of the door. He was Chinese, with a thin face and close cut hair. He was wearing a blue pinstriped shirt that was rolled up to his elbows, and black slacks.
“Hi, Frank,” He said, ushering Frank into the tiny little room that held a mahogany desk, and two chairs. On the desk was a file that read “Iero, Frank Anthony Jr.”
“My name is Doi. I’ll be your therapist while you’re here. How are you today, Frank?”
Frank stared at him for a moment before sighing. “Tired.” He answered gruffly, staring down at the holes in his jeans.
“Well, we’ll see if we can get you your room ASAP, okay?”
Frank shrugged.
“So, Frank, what do you want to accomplish through your stay here at Nexus?”
“I don’t know.,” Frank replied, frowning again. “I just want to get out of here.”
Doi scribbled something down in his file.
Frank frowned again.
“Well, Frank, while your here what we’re going to try and do is get control over your severe anger, depression and anxiety, and provide a safe environment for you, okay?”
Frank sighed and shifted uncomfortably in his chair. “Sure. Whatever.”
Doi smiled softly. “Alright. Tell the nurse to send the next boy in. Thank for your cooperation, Frank.”
Frank didn’t reply, he just stood and walked out with his hands in his pockets. he walked back into the day room, and the nurse, Becky, looked up and smiled.
“Gerard?” The nurse called, and Gerard stood, kind of slumped over, looking absolutely miserable. Frank noticed he was wearing something different now, a pair of black skinny jeans and a black shirt and a black hoodie. The guy really seemed to like black.
He walked up to the nurse, who handed him a comp book and a pencil.
“Try to talk today, dear. Do your best.”
Gerard shied away and hurried down the hallway.
From that point, it took another hour for every patient to see Doi (he assumed they all had the same therapist), but after ten minutes Gerard came back down the hallway looking even more miserable than before, and Frank couldn’t help but feel the slightest bit curious, and the smallest bit concerned. The line to the therapist went some what like this:
Himself, Gerard, Ray, Brendon, Bob, Patrick, Ryan, Spencer, then some kid named Dallon. But, apparently, after therapy everybody had group. So, Frank got up and shuffled to the group room, following Ray and Bob and Gerard (whom he’d still said nothing too, even though the guy intrigued him). They went inside, Frank sitting next to Bob, with Ray on his other side and the Gerard kid next to Ray. The other kids shuffled in, talking amongst themselves, and a larger man, dressed similar to Doi, sat down in one of the chair in the little circle.
“Hello, boys,” he said, smiling. “I see a new face or two, so I’ll introduce myself. I’m Roger, and I’ll be leading your group sessions. Would everybody like to introduce themselves?”
It started with Brendon, then Ryan, then Spencer and Patrick and Dallon, then Ray smiled and began.
“I’m Ray Toro and I’m from Belleville.”
“Bob Bryar. Chicago.”
The came to Gerard, who scribbled something out on a page in his ever-present comp book, and turned it in Frank’s general direction.
It read:
‘Gerard Way. Bellevile, New Jersey.’
Roger smiled. “What about you, sir?”
Frank was silent for a moment, looking down at his hands.
“Frank Iero. Belleville.”
Roger nodded. “And why are you here?”
Frank felt his hands go into fists.
“I put some kid in the hospital and broke all of the windows in my house, parents caught me with drugs and drinking.” He said in one breath, clenching and unclenching his injured fists.
Roger nodded again.
“And how old are you, Frank?”
Roger pretty much left Frank alone after that, he just talked and talked about how to manage anger and shit that Frank didn’t really listen to at all, he just stared at Gerard, which, yeah, was ultimately creepy, but hell. He was bored.
Gerard really was pretty. He had pale skin and hazel-green eyes, and a overly girly face. It was sort of endearing.
Group ended soon after that, everybody shuffling out and back into the dayroom. It must have been around ten by now, but, as per Frank’s luck, he couldn’t find a clock anywhere.
So he waited.
Waited for what, well that he wasn’t quite sure.
Ray sat in front of him, yawning.
“It’s funny,” He said, resting his head on his arms. “All we do is eat, get medicated and watch TV but I’m still so tired.”
Frank figured that’s how he would feel when they prescribed him medication.
He was almost hesitant to think of being put on medication- he'd been put on some shit caled Lexapro or something, and it had worked for maybe two weeks before he crashed hard.
"Frank and Gerard, come here please," A nurse called, and Frank stood and shuffled over to her with a bored expression on his face. Gerard looked a little nervous.
"Well, Frank we've gotten you a room. You will be staying with Gerard in room 102, is that alright?"
Frank nodded, going to tug on his lip ring befroe remembering it wasn't there. He frowned and tensed his fists.
The nurse took them to the room, unlocking the heavy padlocked steel door and showing Frank inside. Gerard nervously shuffled in the doorway.
It was a basic square room, with shelves to his right, a bathroom behind those so the room was really shaped like a fat 'L'. There were two beds, one horizontal next to a window (that was the one that was taken, the nurse said), and another bed facing the bathroom. The room was beige, and the shelves were blue; the rain outside splattered against the second story window and Frank looked longlingly out the window. He missed his house, his room, his bed.
"Well, boys, it's Quiet Time now so go ahead and lay down. Frank, quiet time is basically and hour where you guys get to sleep, okay? Okay." The woman walked out, locking the door behind her.
Frank shuffled to his bed, toeing off his socks and watching as Gerard laid down and covered himself, curling into a self-comforting fashion and closing his eyes. Frank laid down, sighing and falling asleep to the sound of motion outside the door.
An hour later, Frank awoke from a dream of bloated spiders. He shot up in bed just as the nurse came to open the door- hot and uncomfortable and anxious, tangled in his sheets. He looked around the room, feeling like spiders were crawling all over his skin.
Gerard was already awake, looking down at his socks and wringing his hands. He stood, glanced at Frank, and shuffled out.
Frank followed from a distance, glancing over as Gerard sat down. He was looking at Frank, but immediatley turned away, shaking his hair into his face.
Frank smirked, letting out a small, breathy little laugh.
The day was basically long afterwards. They went to the gym once (a lot more boring that it sounds, actually, and Frank basically sat there and stared out the windows that were far, far too high up. The light streamed in from the tall, rectangular shaped windows like thickly cut slabs of smoke, and Frank shuffled over to a chair that was directly in one of the light blocks and had sat there the full hour, feeling the strangest happiness that, fuck, sunlight was warm. )
He stretched in the chair, yawning and curling down into his jacket and pulling his knees up to his chest.
He stared at his fingers, realizing that, well, wow Frank, he had a habit of staring at his finger tattoos now. He rolled his eyes at himself, setting his hands on the arm rests of the chair, drumming his fingers as he played a song through his head and nodding his head slightly.
There was one more quiet time before visitation, and Frank hoped no one would come, they would leave him all alone and let him rot in pieces and in peace.
But of course, Frank's mother showed up. She looked shaken, uncomfortable and a little bit worried, even, which Frank eventually figured was fake.
They didn't speak.
Frank went back to the unit, grudgingly, and went to his room an hour early and fell asleep before Gerard could even make it back.

It had been two weeks. Two fucking weeks since his parents had dropped him here at Nexus asylum. It was horrible in here.
Two weeks of being medicated and sleeping and going back and forth from the cafeteria, watching people stab themselves with pencils and go a little more insane with each day. Days went so slow everyday. So slow but time went by so fast.

It was morning, and today was October fifteenth. It was a nice day out, from what Frank could tell from the windows. He really missed sunlight.
He was currently sitting at breakfast with Bob, Ray and Gerard, Bob and Ray chatting animatedly (well, mainly Ray) and Gerard and he listening intently. The day was sunny today, nice and comortable if you sat in front fo the light.

"Bob, don't be a dick. There are aliens out there and you know it!"
Bob rolled his eyes. “No, Ray. No. I will not believe your lies.”
“It’s not lies!”
“Well, how do I know that, Ray?”
Ray huffed and crossed his arms over his chest, mumbling angrily.

Frank smiled slightly, leaning on his right arm and yawning.

Well, all in all, he had a couple friends.
He had also gotten to know Gerard better. Gerard would always leave him these little notes; but he was strange in how he gave them. They would always be folded neatly in half and left on his pillow, but Gerard would always turn away, flustered, when Frank found them. They were simple little things, like how he missed his baby brother, Mikey (a boy who visited every two days) or how he saw three red balloons pass by their window that day.

Gerard was a really good guy. He was twenty, and, well, he was here because he simply stopped talking. He had a great sense of humor, and he always drew little vampires on the notes he gave Frank, a thin little vampire that had some how adapted to have a fauxhawk and stretched ears.
Frank saved the notes Gerard gave him in his comp book.
The nurses never really asked any questions.
Frank was still not used to Nexus. It always smelled like a hospital, and now his skin and his hair smelled like hospitals.
Things were weird here, too. It was just like Ray had said- after they put him on a nice, healthy cocktail of medications (an anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant, a mood controller and something to help him sleep, along with something for bi-polar disorder. They said he had that, apparently. Frank didn't believe them.) he was always so tired.

Showers were weird, too. The little bathroom in room 102 was small, with no mirror and a small tile-block shower that was maybe 3x3 feet in total, and the hygiene that he was given, of course, smelled like Nexus. And the temperature in the shower was the flaming fires of hell and the arctic circle. Frank preferred normal, fuck you very much, shower.

Ray and Bob were cool. They never really asked all too many questions about why he was here or what his life had been like before Nexus. They always just chatted about bands and music or comics and D&D. Frank liked their conversations. (But he always caught Gerard looking at him during these little chats, his lips pursed and his pencil flying across a page of his composition book. Frank finally realized that Gerard was drawing him.)

"Brekfast, boys. Get in line." A nurse called, holding his clipboard in his hands and smiling slightly. Gerard got up, giving his notebook to a nurse and Frank followed Ray and Bob to the line at the door, talking about Blink 182 and their level of awesomeness, with a side conversation about how can Spiderman vs. Batman be one of the most epic battles ever.

Gerard was silent as the conversation went on, and Frank and noticed as Gerard stared his fingernails, that there was left over black nail polish around his nails. Frank was curious about how he could even use the polish in such a place. Maybe a doctor's order? Frank vagley wondered in the back of his mind if he could get a doctor's order to wear his gauges and piercings. Maybe he'd talk to his doctor. Frank found himself thinking about Gerard often- in the spaces of time where his eyes went to the windows.

The nurse unlocked the padlock door, ushering the boys out to the cafeteria. Ray, Bob, Gerard and he immediatley went to the table closet to a row of three windows where the sun shone in every morning. The sunlight shone on the table, bringing out the color of the false granite cover upon the wood. They all pulled out their chairs, the plastic making a strange groaning noise against the tile floor.

The breakfast today was the same as always, bacon and eggs and a cinnamon doughnut. Frank ate the doughnut and the ceral that was served on the side, frowning and tossing his tray into the bin, waiting as the other guys finished their food and they were escorted back into the unit.
They talked a bit more until Frank was called to see his doctor, Brian Schechter, And he shuffled down the hallway with is question heavy in his mind. Dr. opened the door, smiling.
"Hey, Frank." He greeted, still smiling.
Frank took a seat, going over his normal questions and answers before he asked,
"Do you think it's possible for me to wear my gauges and piercings? I'm kinda anxious they're gonna end up closing up and shrinking, y'know."
Dr. Schechter nodded.
"I'll see what I can do," He said, smiling before he let Frank leave.
Frank was just walking out of the physician's room when someone he didn't recognize- a man in a white button up shirt and grey slacks- came walking up to him and stopped about a foot in front of Frank's path.
"Frank Iero, I need to speak to you." He said, and Frank panicked a little.
"Why?" He asked, glancing down the hallway towards Ray, Bob and Gerard who were staring in curiousity.
"You've been charged with first degree assault. I am your lawyer."


Frank sat in the office, eyes wide and his hands clasped together, pressed hard together; so hard his hand were turning an angry white and red around the joints. His lawyer, and Dr. Schechter were seated with him, one looking sympathetic, the other cold and hard.
"Well," His lawyer, Mike, said, blinking a little too slowly for a human. "We'll fight for your cause in this case, but you did break a boy's arm and shatter his ankle, Frank. It's not good for your case."
Frank bit his lip, staring hard at the ground, wishing that the tile would crack and shatter just like that kid's arm had. He'd deserved it, that bastard, calling Frank crazy. Frank had felt the anger rise in him like acid, and before he knew it he had been punching and fighting and breaking. The kid had shreiked and yelled but Frank simply couldn't stop. He had been pulled off by Pete and he'd ran as fast as his legs would take him until he saw his dad's car.
Dr. Schechter turned to his lawyer, and ushered Frank out, going back to talk with Mike. Frank was redhot and trembling with anger, his fists clenched hard at his sides. He saw red.
He walked brisquley back to the day room, taking a seat near Bob, Ray, and Gerard, but not speaking or saying anything. He pulled his knees up to his chest and laid his head against his knees, putting his hands over his head and trying to calm himself down.
Breathe in. Out. In. Out. In. Out-
He was shaking, hard, Frank realized, his hands trembling above his head and his body shaking with a vengance. He was so mad. So, so fucking mad and so scared he wanted to scream and punch a wall until his hands were bloody as fuck. He raked his hands through his hair, letting out a harsh breath and rocking slightly, curling harder into his self protecting ball and trying to calm down so his body wouldn't feel like a ball of fire.
A first degree charge, fuck. He could go to jail. He could be stuck in jail- and for one thing, he'd rather be in Nexus or rotting in hell than be in JuV. He'd rather be stuck here, in his own living hell than go and risk all of that in JuV. Fuck, fuck, fuck!
His mother. His mother would be heartbroken. She'd be sick from pain and heartbreak. His father would be so disappointed in him, shit, he'd never have respect for his son again if he even had any now.
Someone prodded his shoulder, Ray, probably, but Frank's muscles froze and tightened and he instinctively prepared to fight, but the person must have noticed because the hand left seconds later.
Frank couldn’t calm down. His muscles were tensed up like ropes, and he physically could not calm himself. Physically could not.
“Quiet time, boys!” A nurse called, and they all- including Frank- shuffled to their rooms. Frank stood there, near the shelves, his eyes clenched closed, but they opened when he heard Gerard set something on his pillow.
‘What happened?’ It read, and Frank pursed his lips.
“I’ve been pegged with assault,” He said, the little paper crinkling in his hands. Gerard’s face contorted slightly, his brows arching down and his pretty lips forming a frown.
‘I’m sorry,’ he mouthed, looking down at the floor.
Frank nodded, licking his lips. He wasn’t mad, he realized, anymore. He was cooling down, melting like ice in the sun. Thanks to Gerard.
“Thanks for calming me down, though.” He commented, sitting on his bed. Gerard pointed to himself, looking a little confused. Frank nodded.
Gerard smiled a little, hazel eyes looking down towards his black painted nails. His hair fell in his face a little bit and laid down a second later. Just as Gerard laid down, though, his sleeve slipped up and Frank caught sight of a row of pink scars.
Frank bit his lip, immediately knowing what they were from and he felt angry at Gerard for ever doing that to himself.
No one with a heart like his should feel the need to do that. God, Gerard was gorgeous, though. He wasn’t over the top pass out beautiful, but he was good enough for Frank.
Gerard let out a tiny little airy sigh that Frank barely heard; but it was shock. Maybe it was similar to Gerard’s voice, he thought. But that sound was gorgeous. He replayed it in his head until his fell asleep.
Dinner had been completely uneventful. He couldn’t stop thinking about that little sound, though. It had been so small, but, fuck, so gorgeous.
He had gone a little day dreamy, Ray said, and berated him as to why. Frank said he was thinking about home, even through that was a lie.
The evening had been boring, as usual, TV and comp books and little coloring sheets and other things that Frank ignored as he closed his eyes and thought.
After they had gone to bed, Frank sat up that night, wondering how Gerard would sound- maybe like that airy little sigh he'd heard when Gerard had been sleeping that afternoon, just... A tiny bit louder. Maybe he'd be silent; save for tiny little moans and maybe whispers that would be hoarse from years of silence.
Frank thought of how he would look, an expanse of perfect, white skin and self inflicted scars that just proved that he FELT, the way he might breath heavy, ribs poking out just the slightest bit as he said Frank's name.
But Frank agreed with himself that either way Gerard would be fucking beautiful, and that was that.

Frank awoke a little too early the next morning, covered in a sheen of sweat and heart pumping hard in his rib cage with anxiety. It was, judging by the sky in Gerard's window, no earlier than four o'clock in the morning. And Frank surely wasn't getting back to sleep with the dream he'd just had, so he sat up, shuffling across the dark room, glancing at Gerard's sleeping form before walking to the shelves and grabbing a change of clothes (which consisted of a comfortable white v-neck he had stolen from Pete, a pair of threadbare bluejeans that were ripped all through out the denim and a pair of black socks).
He shuffled quietly in fear of waking Gerard, whom he'd learned was a light sleeper, and opened the heavy, blue wooden door to the compact bathroom and stepped in, flicking on the light. He set his clothes on the edge of the bed, grabbing his hygiene bag which contained his toothbrush, toothpaste, a soft bristled plastic hairbrush, and some shampoo body wash in one shit; and stripped out of his dirty clothes and changed into his cotton shirt which was kind of too thin, so you could clearly see some of his darker tattoos, and his old jeans that smelled vaguely of pot and sweat.
He squirted some toothpaste on his toothbrush and scrubbed his teeth, rinsing his mouth ands sighing dejectedly. He gathered his dirty clothes in his arms, flicking off the light and walking out of the bathroom and back to the shelves, putting his dirty clothing in a nice little pile on his shelf and grabbing a loose hoodie to wear for the day.
He felt his way back to his uncomfortable bed, laying back down and closing his eyes, lacing his fingers together.
He had no idea what he was going to do if he lost this case- I mean, like I've said before, the kid fucking deserved it. Mess with the bulls you get the horns, Frank thought sullenly, turning onto his side and listening to the rough sheets beneath him rustle accordingly.
The room was a comfortable darkness, and strangely enough, Frank almost felt like he could go back to sleep- the darkness was shrinking warmly around him, his eyes half lidded and he let his eyes fall closed and he fell asleep, a short sleep devoid of any dreams whatsoever.
What must’ve been two hours later, a nurse came in a flipped on the lights, murmuring a soft, ‘Goodmorning, Gerard, Frank.’ and shuffling back out.
Gerard sat up, the sheets pooling around his lap and his hair disheveled and a little more messy than usual. He yawned and stretched a little, smiling at Frank and waving.
Frank waved back, smiling slightly and standing, pulling on his socks again and waiting for Gerard to straighten himself (which honestly just consisted of running his hands through his hair) and walked out with him, ranting off quietly about comic books. Gerard liked comic books, and liked to hear about them , or so he had written to Frank one day.
They sat in the chairs around a table near two windows, leaning on their arms and Frank doing the talking, Gerard doodling out a quick response every now and then, drawing the little vampire near the words, the little dude smiling and showing off his sharp little fangs. Frank loved that little dude.
Ray and Bob came out, Ray’s fro half flat, with a Ramones t-shirt and blue jeans, and Bob with an argyle shirt and jeans. They took their seats in front of Frank and Gerard, each with their respective smiles and good mornings.
The nurse took them out to breakfast after gathering vital signs, and breakfast was actually acceptable in Frank’s mind, for once. Vanilla yogurt, cereal and an apple. Niceee.
Ray, Bob, and he talked more about Doom Patrol and Grant Morrison while Gerard listen and smiled, and Frank couldn’t help but stare every now and then, looking at Gerard’s eyes and his lips and his awkwardly tiny teeth, and how his pinky finger always went out a little wider than the rest.
Gerard even shot him a shy little smile at one point, which, well, was fucking adorable and Frank couldn’t help but smile at the table top.
Ray giggled.
Bob stared.
After breakfast, Frank met with Mike again.
But this time, his parents were there.
His father looked all around really fucking pissed off, and his mother looked worried and tired and sad all at once. Mike was a stoic bitch.
Mike basically started talking immediately.
"Frank, we're losing this case,"
Frank's heart dropped.
"Bill's injuries are far too severe for anyone to believe that it was at all by accident. Frank, you're in trouble, son. This is a first degree charge, you could be in big trouble."
Anthony Iero grimaced.
"I'm very disappointed in you, Frank. Haven't you done enough?! You're a failure, Frank. A fuckup and a failure."
Frank's mother deflated.
"Shut up," Frank growled dangerously, anger boiling in him again. They put him in here, they had no right to speak to him like that, not fucking now, the bastard! "Shut up!"
Dr. Shechter raised a hand, his brows creased worriedly.
"Mr. Iero, please," He said to Frank's father, frowning. "Frank doesn't need that now. You could trigger his anger, and that would revert his very nice progress. Frank, why don't you go have a nurse take you to the yard? Ray, Bob, and Gerard are out there now. I'll discuss this with you later."
"But Bria-" Mike protested, brows knitted.
"No, Mike. He is my patient and I make the decisions. Go, Frank."
Frank was out the door, slamming it so hard that it echoed through the hallway.
A nurse turned and smiled sympathetically at him.
"Do you want to go outside, Frank? Your friends are out there."
Frank nodded slowly, looking angrily down at his feet.
"Alright, hun. Let's go."
The nurse led him through the cafeteria, out through a door where he breathed outside air for the first time in three weeks. he couldn't help but smile despite how mad he was.
"Frank!" Ray called from the grass in the sunlight, a huge smile on his face. "Over here!" Frank walked over slowly, looking up at the sky happily the anger melting a little. Wow. Fucking sky.
Gerard and Bob were sitting in the grass, messing with the blades between pale fingers. Ray was standing to greet Frank. When Frank got close enough, his smile faltered slightly.
"You okay, Frank?" He questioned softly, sitting with him on the grass.
"My dad is a bastard," He answered softly, ripping some blades of green out of the ground with angry fists.
Gerard looked up with a concerned, sunlit face.
'What happened?' He mouthed, putting his hand near Frank's leg.
Frank shook his head and looked at the grass and his swallows through his white t-shirt.
"My dad. He says some pretty harsh shit, y'know? He's just an asshole sometimes. Sayin' some shit about me being a failure and whatnot. That's all."
Gerard got this worried little expression on his face, his lips tugging down into a frown and his eyes saddening with worry. He shook his head, scooting closer to Frank and closing his in a loose little hug.
Gerard's arms were warm around his shoulders, and Gerard himself smelled sharp, like soap and like graphite all at the same time. It was strangely comforting.
He pulled back, gave Frank one last smile, and went back to picking at the grass. He stayed fairly close to Frank's side, though.
Lunch was uneventful as always, Frank and his friends sitting in the sunlight and chatting about music and comics and Gerard listening contentedly, except this time he was staring at Frank, his big eyes opened happily, but when Frank caught his staring and gave him a sly smile, Gerard turned a red to rival his apple and glanced down at his lap.
Frank smiled wider.
The rest of the day, of course, went slower than a snail's pace and Frank was bored with doodling little things in his comp book, so he started watching Gerard draw in his notebook. He caught sight of little comic book strips and sketches of himself, Ray, and Bob in different poses and even all together, all cartoony like. Gerard paid a lot of attention to Frank's tattoos, too.
After dinner, Frank went to sleep with Gerard on the brain.

Frank bounced in his seat.
"Shit, doc, you aren't kidding! I get my peircings and my gauges back?"
Dr. Schechter smiled and handed Frank his jewlery back. Frank rolled the little metal things around in his palm, smiling widely.
"I'll have a nurse open Seclusion so you can use the mirror in there, okay? You had enough points to get your things back, good job." Dr. Schechter said, and Frank smiled and bounced on his heels at the same time, holding onto his things in his palm tight, so he could feel them pressing against his skin.
Dr. Schechter opened the door, and Frank practically ran down the hallways to Seclusion, where a nurse was already opening the door. She smiled and congratulated him as he went in.
Fuck, he was a mess, he realized as he looked in the mirror. His face had gotten thiner and his eyes were tired, and his hair had grown out to a length where it curled under his left eye and under his chin. He set his gauges and his peircings down on the ege of the sink, picking up his lip peircing and opening the little clip. He opened his mouth slightly, pushing the metal through and clicking it back into the place. The peircing holes had gotten a little smaller due to not being used but it felt so much fucking better to have his ring back in he could fucking shout, man.
He pushed his nose ring back in, flinching slightly (little bastard had started closing up), and smiling. The guy in the mirror looked a lot more familiar.
He pushed his gauges back in, cracking his neck and running his fingers through his hair. It was amazing how something so little could make him feel so much fucking better.
Gerard was in therapy this morning, looking at Frank with wide, terrfied eyes as he had shuffled out of the room. Frank was, in honestly, worried.
Which worried him.
He'd known, since he'd first seen Gerard Way, that there was a little something bubbling in his stomach for the guy. He was gorgeous, sweet, funny and fuck, he drew Frank little vampires, how cool was that?!
But... it had taken Frank one month, two days and eight hours to realize that he was fucking in love with the guy.
He dreampt about Gerard. He thought about Gerard almost non-fucking-stop. Yeah. Frank was pretty sure he was in love.
Frank walked out of Seclusion, flicking his lip ring with his tongue and smiling so wide it almost hurt.
He sat down with Ray and Bob, smiling widely.
Ray smiled wider than he was, poking Bob and pointing to Frank's face.
"You got your shit back!" He exclaimed, then looked around self conciously for any curse-watching nurses. When none were found, he turned back to Frank and smiled again. "God job, man, you look badass."
Frank smiled slyly. Shit, he'd missed his piercings. "Hey," He said, feeling his brows knit together. "Where's Gerard?"
Bob and Ray shared a look.
"He went to lay down. He was really upset after counseling."
Frank got up ad went to room 102 without another word.
When Frank got to their room, Gerard was on his bed, his eyes red and downcast
"G?" Frank asked, and Gerard immediately rushed to wipe his eyes and look away. He shook his head.
"G, are you okay?" Frank asked, sitting next to Gerard. Gerard shook his head and took a piece of paper and a marker from his pocket.
'I had a bad anxiety attack.' He wrote, and Frank frowned.
"I'm sorry, Gerard."
Gerard nodded.
'I just feel guilty' He wrote under the last line.
Frank frowned deeper, looking over at Gerard.
"Don't feel guilty. You have no need to feel guilty. It's not your fault, okay? Nothing is ever your fault unless you do it. Understand?"
Gerard smiled a little and nodded. Frank stood and walked over to his bed, and he heard Gerard stiffen behind him.
Frank had always loved Gerard's notes. Thy were always a little something he looked forward to after being medicated and told that he wasn't sick, he just needed help and that's why he was staying here now. But this one, THIS ONE made his heart clench and burn inside his tattooed chest. It had been placed on his white, hospital issued pillow as usual; lined paper folded in half. But when he picked it up, he wanted to explode- anger and confusion boiling inside like hot water. It read:
'Why do you like me? I'm not a good person. I can't even talk to you.'
Frank hadn't felt this mad since the day he arrived at Nexus- trapped and scared and confused and angry, everything making it feel like the ink in his skin was going to crackle and dry. So he stood, stalking over to Gerard who was now staring- a little scared looking- his hazel eyes widened and his hair in his face. Frank stopped, putting a hand on the side of Gerard's face- and pressed his lips hard to his. Gerard was still, a little stiff for a moment, but then it seemed like he melted- like he was ice and Frank was fire; his long, trembling fingers found their way into Frank's hair, curling into the black.
"I like you cause you're fucking amazing, okay? And I don't like you," he said, kissing him again. His lips were soft, warm and so fucking Gerard that Frank could barely stand it. "I'm pretty sure I fucking love you, alright?"
Frank pulled away and kept his hand on Gerard'd cheek, staring softly.
"Never doubt yourself, okay? I know your afraid of being alone. You don't have to be alone anymore, yeah? You have me," Frank paused. "If you'll have me."'
This time, Gerard was the one to kiss him.

Quiet time was enjoyable for the first time in a long time- with Gerard warm and curled up by his side, his hoodie smelling like graphite and soap and nothing like Nexus, it was perfect. He was perfect. This was perfect. For the first time in a while, Frank was happy. Really, truly happy.

At dinner that night, Gerard held his hand under the table. Things were good again.

Frank awoke the next morning with Gerard's head tucked under his chin and warm against him. It was a nice way to wake up, instead of sick and with vodka bottles spilling next to your head. Yeah. He definateley liked this better.
Frank sighed happily. This was something he prayed would last a while, just, innocence even. Just Gerard was perfect.
Frank laid still for a while, but out of a fear of a nurse walking in a catching them, softly disentangled himself from Gerard and walked to get changed.
He went through his morning routine, changing his clothes and combing his hair and brushing his teeth and changing his socks. He shook his shoulders out, cracking his neck and sighing.
When he got out of the bathroom, Gerard was awake and changed, sitting on his own bed. He was wearing a cool Doctor Who teeshirt, and a pair of nicely fitting black skinny jeans. He smiled happily when Frank came out, leaning his head on Frank's shoulder and looking up at Frank from the corner of his eye.
'Morning' He mouthed.
"Morning to you too, G." Frank said as Gerard stood and shuffled to the bathroom, listening as the other boy brushed his teeth and combed his hair. Frank realized something, at that moment, as he heard a nurse shuffle down the hall, that he could really get used to being in love. In love with Gerard, at least. It was easier, far easier, than living the life he had before, even though, hell, that life was pretty damn fun. But he'd give that up for anything like this, for that shock that zinged through him when he kissed Gerard. For any of this, honestly. He'd been dreaming of this shit since day one. (He glanced down at his hands, at his 'Hopless' and 'Romantic' tattoos. Yeah, He thought, that's kinda true.)
A nurse opened the door, smiling as she noticed the boys were up. "Morning boys. Come out whenever your ready." She closed the door behind her.
Gerard stood, donning a fresh hoodie, and sat back down next to Frank, smiling softly at him.
Frank smiled back, kissing him once before standing and shuffling towards the door, Gerard on his heels.
No one was really awake, the lights dim and the windows shiny and dark. Gerard was still smiling and looking down at his feet, being all cute and shit. Frank smiled.
They sat down and Frank watched Gerard doodle little things in his notebook, little vampires and demons and a little monkey that wore a baret. Ray and Bob came out and watched Gerard, too. It must've seemed a little insane, watching a mute doolde in a seventy-five lined paged composition book, but, hey, it was better than fucking kiddie shows, y'know?
Ray and Bob eventually branched into a conversation about vampires and wherewolves and how gay Twilight was, but Frank couldn't help but keep on watching as Gerard flipped a couple pages back to three realism sketches of himself, Ray and Bob, and continued working on them. Frank was mesmerized, he didn't even notice when Mike walked in.
Mike came over, the bastard, and tapped his shoulder silently. Frank abruptly sat up, turned and accidentaly glared.
"Can I speak to you? In private?" Mike asked, looming, and glared back.
Frank shrugged and stood, going to a nurse and asking her to open seclusion.
She did, and Frank led Mike in, Frank tugging on the sleeves of his too long shirt.
"Yeah? So what'd you want?"
Mike stared at him, an edge of sympathy in his eyes and said-
"I'm sorry, Frank, but we've lost the case. You've been charged with second degree assualt which means, by the judges rule, seven more months here in Nexus, for your safety, instead of JuV. I'm sorry, Frank. I did everything I could."
Frank felt his heart sink into his stomach, and his world shattered like a glass vase a five year old pulled over.
He backed into the wall, shocked, pained, hurt and angry and so fucking hurt that his lungs felt like they were vises and his ribs were iron barred cages trapping a bird.
Frank hadn't cried since his grandmother died four years ago. He hadn't cried when he got punched in the eye, or when he got expelled for punching Gordon James in the face. But now, for some strange reason, he found himself covering his face with his hands and sleeves, and his shoulders were shaking and he was actually, really fucking crying, for the first time in years.
Mike left without another word.
A couple minutes later, Frank had cried himself rotten; he walked out of seclusion with a new found depression. His eyes were red and raw, rimmed around the edges with a tint of pain. He knew he looked pathetic, pale face splotched with red and dried tears and his eyes just a little more dead, that he really couldn't blame Ray and Bob and Gerard from staring when he sat down, head hung and body limp.
He curled his arms on the table and laid his head atop them, sniffing.
He could feel Gerard staring, but he refused to look up because he knew what expression would be there; it was the expression with grey around the edges, the expression he had learned over the past coule of weeks meant that Gerard was worried about him. His pretty hazel eyes would clear with worry and his lips turn to a frown, and Frank promised himself he'd never cause that expression again, but, well, look where he was now.
He looked up and Gerard's expression was the one he hated, and Gerard prodded his hand with his finger and blinked rapidly, leaning forward as if to say, 'Frank, what's wrong? Tell me, please.'
Frank sniffed, looking at Gerard's marker covered fingers.
"I lost the case," He announced, his voice raising on the last word. "I've lost. I've been sentenced with first degree assualt. I'm fucked."
Ray's expression faltered. Bob shook his head. Gerard grabbed his hand. "Fuck, man, I'm sorry. That's... wow. I'm so sorry." Ray said, and Frank nodded solemnly. Bob relaid his sympathy, softly patting his back.
Frank looked up to Gerard, who still looked like someone had just told him his puppy had been run over in Markson Lane, and sighed.
"It's okay, I guess," He said, and Gerard shook his head. "I mean, I probably shouldn't have broken Bill's arm, or shattered his ankle. It wasn't the smartest think to do, but, y'know. I was drunk. I don't like being insulted. No one does." Gerard nodded, but still looked worried. He grabbed his notebook, and a grey marker, scribbling something out across a page and frowning deeply when he showed it to Frank, discreetly. 'Shut up and stop blaming yourself, Frank. You did what you did, so what? I love you, okay? Just remember that, if it means anything.' Frank smiled a little and scratched the back of his neck, above 'Keep the Faith', and sighed. "Okay, I guess. And it does mean something. A lot, actually." Gerard sat with him until his father came and started screaming at him in the conference room, so loud they could probably hear it in the day room. But this time, Dr. Schechter wasn't here to help him. He had to face the music. The shitty, shitty music.

It had been three weeks since the case was lost. But honestly, Frank could care less.
He and Gerard. Fuck.
He and Gerard had been progressing rather nicely- sharing warm makeout sessions during quiet time and the occasional wandering hand would end up here and there.
It was midday, and there had been some kind of tension between he and Gerard, little glances here and there and the smallest little touches bringing on a shock that Frank hadn't felt in a long time. Fuck that, he'd never felt this.
Gerard had been staring at him for the past half hour, big eyes hidden with some dark emotion that Frank loved, it looked good on him.
Ray and Bob were acting like there was nothing amiss, even though Frank figured they knew what was going on. They chatted about comic books and superheroes while Frank bit his lip, pressing his lip ring under his tongue until the metal was warm.
His whole body itched for something he didn't know could even happen. I mean, just, what the fuck, Frank thought, biting his lip and staring at the back of Gerard's head as the boy doodled; he's so fucking gorgeous. Why not?
Frank knew what he wanted from Gerard. But he didn't know if it was possible.
Breakfast was hell on earth, everything swirling in his brain like a whirlwind of fire, leaning his head on his hand and poking at his food like a machine. Gerard seemed to be in the same mood.
Gym was even worse, but Frank managed to calm down just enough and sit in the gym light slabs for a little while before he meandered over to a corner in the gym and did maybe twenty push-ups until his mind was blank and he was able to stop thinking, but, well, that acheivement didn't last long, his calm mind fled when he saw Gerard just fucking stand there. Shit. He was in it deep.
During group, Gerard decided it would be fun to play with the strands of his hair, his mouth open just enough to be obscene as he breathed and listened as Brendon ranted about how Mary did it or something. Frank tried to listen, but the more and more Brendon got off track, the less and less he cared. He ended up searching arounf the room with his eyes, landing on each patient and examining them with a calculating brain.
But he couldn't stop thinking about Gerard- how he would look, how he would sound... what reactions he'd give him. It got so bad that he ended up having to leave group in the middle of a discussion to go jerk off in the 102 bathroom.
The sun was hidden behind a thick layer of clouds that covered any light that would have made it through the windows of the asylum; it made Frank feel in a worse mood that he was before, which was not cool. At all.
They ended up going to the gym a second time, in which Frank brooded, biting his lip ring and messing with his tattooed fingers.
Frank looked up, towards the door, noticing a nurse wearing teal scrubs standing the entrance next to the broken water fountain. He stood, walking over with his hands in his pockets.
"Your parents are here."
As if the day could have gotten any better.
Frank followed the nurse down the windowed hallway that led to the gym (it was a wide hallway with a vending machine next to the door of the gym, with long slabbed windows that let out a veiw of the yard and of the psych ward. Frank really wouldn't mind standing here and soaking up what little sun was flowing in today), and exited the heavy doors after a nurse pressed in a code.
He was led into the cafeteria, where, in the center table, his parents sat across from eachother with a chair open for Frank.
Frank shuffled over, eyes narrowed slightly. This wasn't even visitation time. Visitation time was usually during the 6:00 Quiet Time; not at noon. Frank felt an ulteirior motive.
He sat down, flicking his lip ring with his tongue and waiting for someone to speak.
His father looked gruff, upset, his pinstriped shirt crinkled. His mother was worse for wear, her eyes tired and her face thinner; Frank, even though he and his mom had a rough past, didn't think she deserved feeling whatever she was feeling.
He moved his chair a little close to his mom.
Since no one was breaking the silence, Frank bit his lip and cleared his throat.
"Um. Hi." He said, brushing his hair behind his ear.
His mother looked up and smiled softly.
"Hello, Frankie," Her smiled faltered a little and she touched the side of his face hesitantly. "You've gotten thinner, dear. Are they not feeding you?"
Frakn huffed out what resembled a small laugh. "Yes, ma. They're feeding me. And you've gotten thinner, too. Are you sick?"
His mother shook his head and went to speak, but Frank's father raised his hand to signal for her to basically shut the fuck up.
Frank felt like punching him.
"Frank," He started, looking mad and uncomfortable. "Frank, Tom-" (Tom Killeen was a drug buddy of his, he'd gotten most of his weed and other things from him; Tom was also the one he told basically everything. They were like brothers.) "-told us something. Something we do not approve of."
Frank swallowed. Fuck, Tom wouldn't. Tom wouldn't tell them , the fucker better not dare-
"Tom told us that... that you're gay." His father stuttered madly, And Frank clenched his fists. Fuck. That son of a bitch was going to die when he got out of here, goddammit, Tom-!
"Don't speak!" His father nearly yelled, his face turning beet red. His mother shrunk back slightly.
Frank glared with all of his might at his father, trembling, suddenly.
"You must stop this, this nonsense, Frank. You must, it is not natural."
Frank nearly exploded, his blood boiling and rising in his veins like lava.
"What the actual fuck, dad, I can't stop being g-"
"No! Yes you can, I am you father, you listen to me! You will stop this bullshit and function like a normal person!"
Frank stood from the table.
"You know what? You can fuck off. Goodbye. Don't come back. She can, but not you."
He said before he stormed off, nearly knocking the heavy chair over as the nurse followed him, bustling with little, "oh Frank, you poor thing" and others that Frank didn't give a fuck about right now.
He stalked into the unit with a vengance, and stayed inside the unit for lunch.
Gerard stayed with him, not saying anything, of course, just sitting by his side and being something to keep Frank grounded. Gerard always helped Frank's anger.
The nurses didn't say anything, even, when Gerard leaned his head on Frank's shoulder and doodled Frank a little picture of a ghost and a vampire dueling with lightsabers.
Quiet Time was nearly unberable- the kissing more heated, on edge, beautiful. Frank held Gerard's face between his hands, tongues tangling smoothly and eyes fluttering; it was amazing, with Gerard nearly crawling into Frank's lap and leaning into the kiss for dear life.
Dinner was a little easier to bear with, chatting with Ray and Bob about Batman and gasmasks, while they ate and Gerard held his hand under the table.
Once the padlocked doors were lcoked that night, Frank had Gerard pressed against the wall within seconds, kissing him with every ounce of itch he'd felt that day. Gerard returned the kiss with just as much enthusiasm. Clothing was shed and hands wandered, soft panting staying low to the floor as Frank led Gerard to his bed, tangling himself into another kiss.
The room was dark, completely dark save for the security lights close to the tile floor, flashing little slabs of light. It was silent, other than the soft kissing noises coming from Frank's bed. Frank's mouth was pressed to Gerard's, his fingers in the long black onyx stands. Gerard made a small whimpering noise against Frank's lips, his artsy fingers resting on Frank's shoulders, playing with the hair on the back of his head. Gerard's skin was soft, an explanse of white, white skin and pink little scars, bleeding warmth from his chest and his neck that Frank had blossomed with little bruises. He looked so beautiful, stretched out on his back, moaning softly and writhing each time Frank rolled his hips- and Frank's brain was barely functioning with how perfect this was. He kissed Gerard harder than he had before, sloppy and dirty and so much better than anything he'd ever felt and fuck- Gerard made a tiny little noise somwhere along the lines of a soft whimper and a moan, angling his hips and turning his head to the side and panting. His pupils were blown, his chest rising and falling with deep, quick breaths that were cut off with muffled moans. Frank kissed and marked near Gerard's collarbone, rolling his hips down hard and and drinking in the way Gerard's skin felt and tasted the same way he smelled, so perfect that Frank could not stand it. He just, he just needed Gerard to feel this- to feel it so fucking right.
Gerard was too far gone, running his bitten nails harshly down Frank's back and biting down on his lip to supress something that would have probably sounded beautiful- And Frank stared down at him, at the slickness on his skin and the way he had his head was pitched back and exposing his neck so gorgeously.
Frank's tattoos were alive in the light, and Gerard ran his fingers across some as Frank trembled, gasping, and god, could anything be more perfect?
Frank rolled his hips and Gerard came to his breaking point, turning his head into the pillow to muffle the hoarse, near silent shout that escaped his pink lips.
Frank met his end moments later and he collapsed on Gerard, panting and smiling and his life was fucking perfect, okay? Case or no case. His life was fucking goddamn perfect right at this moment, with Gerard smiling up at him shyly and fuck, his cheeks hurt from smiling so fucking wide. "Hi," Frank said. "Hey," Gerard replied. Frank just about fell off of the bed.

Gerard slept with his head tucked under his chin that night after they had gotten dressed and cleaned, breathing softly and sleeping without dreams.
Frank slept calmly for the first time since he arrived at Nexus that night.

In the morning, Frank realized he didn't care. He didn't care about this place, or the lost case. He didn't care about getting out or his 'friends' outside. They had never really been his friends, in the first place. They had always just been casual friends. He couldn't tell them anything.
But Ray, Bob, especially Gerard- he could tell them anything. He knew they were his friends. His only friends. And he was strangely happy with that.
Gerard was still sound asleep, eyes closed and his thin hands balled up in the front of Frank's shirt.
There were tiny little bruises visible on his collarbone, where his shirt rode down.
His hair was splayed about his face, black against pale, china white- frank was glad he had managed to Get someone as perfect as Gerard.
To every demon his angel, he thought, closing his eyes in a vain attempt to go back to sleep.
For some reason, Frank had a strange habit of waking up at four thirty in the morning, two hours before lights on.
It gave him time to watch Gerard sleep, though. He had a lot more time in here, he thought, frowning into the top of Gerard's head. He hoped, selfishly, that Gerard and Ray and Bob wouldn't leave. Frank didn't know what he'd do if he was alone in this place.
Frank hoped that his father got it through his head with what he'd said yesterday. He hoped. He did miss his mother, though.
He wondered.
Gerard's parents. Frank had never seen them, only the skinny younger brother named Mikey, who visited every other day. Frank wondered if Gerard missed his mom and dad. Maybe.
Frank never did end up falling asleep- he shuffled around uncomfortably, watched Gerard, sat on the floor. He brushed his teeth, dressed; for some reason, this morning, he felt hollow in a good way and a little animated. He figured his medications were finally starting to work. He felt a lot more lively, alive. He could contribute that to Gerard, though, Gerard made him feel alive.
A nurse opened the door, her face turning a little shocked when she saw that Frank was up early once again.
"Up early again, Frank?"
"Yeah," He murmured, softly. "I'll wake Gerard."
The nurse nodded, and walked out, leaving the door cracked. The light flowed in from the gap, lighting the tan floor and shining into the dark room.
Frank walked over to Gerard, setting his hand softly on his cheek.
Gerard turned slightly, making a soft noise of annoyance.
"G." Frank repeated, poking his shoulder.
Gerard sat up, this time, hair all in a mess and eyes half closed.
"What?" he said, and it seemed to Frank that Gerard realized that he spoke then smiled brightly, half of his mouth crooking up.
"Morning.," Frank greeted, smiling back. "Are... are you, y'know, okay?" Frank asked, slightly nervously, biting his lip. Gerard rolled his eyes, standing and kissing Frank's cheek. "I'm fine," he said, but his voice was rough and Frank figured that Gerard had made enough progress for one day.
Franks smiled, and the two happily shuffled out of the room. The hallways were bright, and Ray and Bob were already awake, chatting with Brendon, the nine'o'clock in the afternoon kid.
He and Gerard sat down, talked, and for the first time, Frank was happy. Frank was truly happy. He had Gerard. He had friends. He had people worth living for.
It didn't matter that he was in Nexus; hell, he was getting help. He felt alive.
Frank sat down with Gerard by his side, and looked out the window. He leaned back, glancing at Gerard, who smiled and leaned towards him, his lips close to Frank ear: "Thank you, Frank," He whispered. His voice was soft, on a strange pleasantly beautiful pitch. Frank thought he'd be a great singer. "I love you."
He could get used to this.

Chapter Text

Hi guys. A sequel will be up soon, I'll post the link here soon.