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the glam rock life

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Frank was fucking exhausted. He fought with the hotel room door, inserting the key card first one way, then the other, and then back again before the damn light flickered to green and unlocked with a muted click. He stumbled into the darkened room, his carry-on bag catching on the rug and barking his shin.

He swore silently, mindful of the room's occupant, and wrestled his bag into what he hoped was an out-of-the-way spot before ducking into the bathroom. He turned on the lights once the door was shut, wincing as the bright fluorescents flickered to life, making him squint.

Frank looked like shit, no surprise. His face was ashen in the mirror, unshaven and stubbly, reflecting his bone-deep tiredness. His hair was greasy and lank, his mouth tasted like death, and he was just barely holding on to consciousness.

Twelve hours from JFK to Abu Dhabi, an hour layover, and then another fourteen hours before landing in Melbourne, trapped in a tiny economy seat that felt claustrophobic even to him because there'd been nothing available in first class. That would teach him to impulse fly around the globe just because he fucking missed Gerard.

He grinned at himself, because he was stupidly ridiculous. Gerard had the next few days off, but Frank would be back on a plane the day after, racing against the clock to get back in time for his next show.

Frank took a piss and washed his hands, splashing some water on his face just to wake up a little. He borrowed Gerard's toothbrush, got rid of the nasty film on his teeth, and gulped down two glasses of water because he always felt severely dehydrated after flying.

He desperately wanted to shower, to wash the travel-sweat off his skin, but he was too tired. It could wait. He checked his watch and it made no sense, and couldn't remember if he'd adjusted the time to Melbourne local or not, so he shrugged. It didn't really matter.

He turned off the light and let himself out of the bathroom.

Gerard's management always made sure that his hotel room had a night light; years of stumbling around in strange, darkened hotel rooms had taken their toll on Gerard. It was just enough light for Frank to make it across the room without any difficulty. He toed off his shoes, pulled his layered shirts over his head, and unbuckled his belt, letting everything drop to the floor.

Frank paused for a long moment, listening to Gerard breathe, the way his exhales turned into soft snores, and the familiarity of the sound settled something inside of him, welcomed him. He let go of all the tension that had built up since he'd started this fool's errand, and it melted away.

He shivered, standing next to the bed in nothing but his ratty underwear.

"Idiot," he muttered to himself, and made himself move forward, close enough to see Gerard's face in the dim light. His hair was a mess, white-blond and spread out on his pillow, and there was makeup smeared around his eyes like he'd been channeling his younger self. But it was the sparkle of glitter that made Frank bite back a giggle while his heart tried to flutter its way out of his chest like a bird. "Move over, baby," he whispered, lifting up the sheet and climbing in next to Gerard.

"Fr'nk?" Gerard blinked and peered at him in confusion. "You real?"

"Yeah, I am."

Gerard seemed to have gotten the hint, and wrapped his arms around Frank and pulled him close, resting his cheek against Frank's hair. He was warm and familiar and mostly asleep again, but Gerard was home, and Frank had missed him so fucking much. "Love you," he whispered.

"Glitter," Gerard muttered back, and Frank wasn't entirely convinced Gerard was awake anymore, so he swallowed his laugh and held on to Gerard until he fell asleep between one breath and the next.