Frank is freaking out. Badly freaking out. He’s in the wedding suite of some fancy hotel he can’t even pronounce the name of in New York City, and he can’t breathe.
Frank’s not so sure he can do this after all.
There’s a rapping on the door followed by Pete Wentz’ head poking in.
“There’s my favourite groom,” he smiles as he slips inside. The smile drops off his face as he notices that Frank is still in his ripped denims and faded ‘Souls shirt. “And my favourite groom isn’t dressed yet.”
Frank sighs and falls back on the king size bed. He spreads his arms out and thinks about how in a few hours time, he and Gerard are supposed to be wrapped up in those sheets. Together. As one. As husband and husband.
“Frankie,” Pete says slowly, taking a tentative step forward. Frank looks up and he can see the worry on Pete’s face. It doesn’t quite match the pressed suit and yellow rose on his lapel. “You’re not having second thoughts are you, man?”
Frank bites his lip and stares at Pete for a few seconds before he shakes his head. “Nah, just…stressed. Need a minute.”
Pete lets out a breath and pats his chest. “You had me for a minute there, dude. Don’t fucking do that!” He laughs. “Don’t think you leaving Gerard at the altar will help me out on my quest to bed his brother.”
Frank screws up his face and sits up. “Leave the kid alone, dude.”
Pete just grins and shakes his head. “He wants me. He just doesn’t know it yet.”
Frank rolls his eyes then lets out a breath. “Right. Okay.” He looks at the pressed suit hanging up by the fancy white closet. “Okay.”
Pete bites his bottom lip and watches Frank. “You sure you’re okay, dude? I mean, if you wanna talk--”
“I’m fine,” Frank says quickly, and he turns to Pete with what he hopes is a reassuring smile. “Could you go make sure my mom isn’t anywhere near dad and Maria? The last thing I need is a catfight.”
Pete nods and gives a small salute. “Yessir!” He says, and he’s grinning as he leaves.
Frank figures he’s got about ten to fifteen minutes before the next friend of family member that’s worried about him comes dashing through the door, telling him it’s okay to have second thoughts, it’s completely normally to panic.
The thing is, it isn’t that Frank’s having second thoughts per se, it’s more the idea of permanent commitment that’s scaring the shit out of him.
He and Gerard have been together a long time now, and Frank knows, he knows he wants to spend the rest of his life with Gerard, he really does. But a wedding…that just makes everything so final. Like, that’s it. There’s no going back. No more screw ups, no more second chances, that’s it.
And Frank’s not sure he can do that, he’s sure he’s completely up to it.
There’s a knock on the door that pulls Frank out of his thoughts and he runs a hand through his hair, taking a breath. “Who is it?” He tries to stop his voice from shaking.
The door creaks open a little, and the bespectacled face of Mikey Way peaks in.
Frank smiles softly and nods. Mikey nods back then slides into the room.
It’s funny to see Mikey dressed in a suit, Frank thinks, with his hair all slicked back and dark (he denies dying it just for the wedding, but Frank knows him a little better than that by now). He’s got a yellow rose on his lapel, just like Pete and the rest of the grooms’ men.
“Hey, Mikes…” Frank says in a quiet voice. He hadn’t meant to sound so defeated, but he can’t help it. He’s freaking out here.
“You okay?” Mikey says, but he says it in that tone of voice he uses when he knows the answer, but he wants to know if you do.
Frank nods but doesn’t say a word. He also doesn’t make any form of eye contact with any part of Mikey’s body, because although Frank and Mikey might not be crazy close, Mikey has this terrible knack for knowing when Frank’s lying.
“Then why aren’t you dressed?” Mikey asks, and he takes a few more steps closer to Frank.
Frank shrugs. “Didn’t wanna get it creased,” he says, staring at his socked feet.
Frank can practically feel Mikey roll his eyes, before he throws himself down next to Frank on the bed.
“Second thoughts?” Mikey asks casually. Frank doesn’t say anything, ‘cause this is his future husband’s kid brother, how can he tell him anything? “It’s cool if it is. Everyone gets them.”
Frank sighs and nods. “Yeah…s’not that.”
“Well,” Mikey says, and he bumps his shoulder against Frank’s. “What is it then?”
Frank shrugs. “S’nothing. I’m just…nervous, is all.”
Mikey lets out a ‘pfft’ sound and Frank looks up.
“Iero, you never get nervous,” Mikey says, and Frank raises an eyebrow. “Come on, just tell me. I’m not gonna get mad, I promise.”
Frank just shrugs again, then gets to his feet. “I’m fine, Mikey.” He walks forward and unzips the bag protecting his suit and pulls it off the closet door. “I should get ready.”
“You should,” Mikey says, and he gets up and walks over. He takes the bag from Frank’s hands and rests it on the dresser. “But instead you’re gonna talk to me.” He gives Frank a soft look. “Come on, Frank. You really think I’m gonna let your go ahead with this if you’re not a hundred percent certain?”
Frank frowns and stares at him. “What?”
“Frank,” Mikey says, and he puts both hands on Frank’s shoulders. “If you don’t want to do this, you don’t have to, okay? Don’t think--”
“Hey,” Frank laughs and steps back from Mikey. “Shouldn’t you be telling me to get my ass down that aisle before you kick it?” He turns his back to Mikey and stares at his reflection in a full length mirror. Really, he feels out of place in such a fancy place.
“I could,” Mikey says. “But if I do that, and you’re not ready to do this, I’m the one going to be picking up the pieces when you break my brother’s heart in three weeks time when you decided you shouldn’t have did this.”
Frank spins to look at Mikey. “I’d never--”
“I know,” Mikey says, and he’s oddly soothing. Frank never imagined the quiet, younger Way to be a people person. “I know you wouldn’t hurt him, okay? And I know you love him, but if you aren’t ready for--”
“What if I screw up again?” Frank blurts out, and suddenly he can feel all this bubbling, shaking anxiety building up through his stomach, through his veins. “What if he realises he made a mistake, and I’m not the one? What if I let him down?”
“What?” Mikey says, and he looks utterly confused.
“And everyone’s watching,” Frank says, and he can’t remember starting to pace, but he’s walking up and down the length of the bed now. “And they’ll all remember how I screwed it up, and I’ll ruin his life, and everyone will hate me and--”
“FRANK!” Mikey shouts and Frank looks up. Mikey is holding his arms down by his sides, but he’s not squeezing tight. In fact, he’s moving his thumbs as if he’s massaging Frank’s arms in some strange way. It’s oddly comforting.
“Frank,” Mikey says again, softer this time. “Just calm down, okay?”
Frank sucks in a breath and nods. He lets Mikey push him back to sit on the edge of the bed.
“Now what’s this all about?”
Frank looks up at Mikey, and he never once imagined the kid to have a mature bone in his body. “I don’t know. Everything was fine until this morning.” He leans forward, elbows on his knees and rubs his face. “Mikey, what if I screw everything up?”
“Frank,” Mikey says with a smile in his voice. “When have you ever screwed anything up? Anything that isn’t dinner, I mean?”
Frank gives a sad chuckle.
“My brother loves you,” Mikey says, and Frank looks up. He feels so tired, and he hasn’t even did anything yet. “And all he wants to do is show everyone that for better or worse, he’s always going to love you. Even if you screw up, and even if he screws up…fuck, Frank, you think Gerard isn’t gonna make anymore screw ups?” Mikey stares deep into Frank’s eyes. “He’s gonna screw up over and over again, you know he is, it’s what he does.”
“But I love him,” Frank whispers, and he can feel a sting behind his eyelids.
“And he loves you,” Mikey says quietly.
“So if you’re not ready to--”
“I’m ready,” Frank cuts Mikey off. “I’ll…I’ll be down in a minute.”
Mikey stares at Frank for a few seconds, then nods. He walks towards the door, and just as he’s about to leave he shouts, “Get your ass down that aisle before I kick it,” over his shoulder.
It was stupid, Frank thinks as he ties his Converse, being nervous. It was obviously just a last minute panic. He’s been completely calm throughout the whole planning process, whilst Gerard’s been like a headless chicken. When the printers got the font on the invitations wrong, it was Gerard that had taken a meltdown and cried into a tub of Ben and Jerry’s whilst Frank had called them up to sort it out. When the hotel had double booked the rooms, it was Frank that had stayed calm until it was fixed, whilst Gerard had taken an anxiety attack in the bedroom. When the caterers had forgotten that three quarters of the guests were vegetarian just that morning, it was Frank that had spoke with the manager, before he had Mikey make sure Gerard didn’t get near any form of alcoholic beverage before the nuptials.
Frank has been completely calm the whole time, so he was due for a small freak out, right?
He stands in front of the mirror and runs a hand down his lapel. He and Gerard have matching red roses, and he fixes his a little, because his mother (who’s just left after crying and fawning over his hair) never gets it just how he likes it (he was the same in school, he never liked anyone doing his school tie for him, because they could never get it right).
“Lookin’ good,” Frank tells his reflection, then he takes a deep breath. He’s to meet Pete, Brendan and Dewees in a room just off of the great hall, and he knows Gerard’s with Mikey, Ray and Jared in a similar room on the opposite side.
Frank takes another breath, then lets himself out of the room. He takes the stairs, because he has some time, and he passes a few of his guests. He grins and bears it when great aunts and uncles stop for hugs and cheek pinches, and he ignores Gerard’s cousin Kathryn’s comments about his eyeliner (he still doesn’t know why they invited her).
When Frank gets to the ground floor, he’s just outside of the entrance to the great hall. The great, big, giant hall, where he’s about to take someone else’s name and give them his. Frank swallows and just stares at the people flowing through the doors.
He doesn’t know how long he’s been standing there, but Frank jumps when someone grabs his elbow.
“Dude,” Dewees laughs as Frank grabs at his own chest. “You okay? We’ve been waiting for--”
“Uh,” Frank swallows again and he tugs his arm out of Dewees’ grasp. “I just-- I gotta-- uh, I’m gonna get, uh, some air.”
Dewees starts to protest, but Frank’s already out the main entrance of the big fancy hotel and is running across the lawn towards a large garden just off to the side. He can hear a few people calling his name, and he just knows half the guests are staring at him in horror, but he just needs air, he just needs to breathe.
Frank stops running when he’s in the centre of the huge garden. There’s a little park bench, all shiny and silver looking, and Frank sits down on his and puts his head in his hands. That sting’s returned to the back of his eyelids, and there, he’s already managed to screw everything up in a moment of blind panic, and he isn’t even married yet.
It seems like an eternity has passed when Frank can hear the grass crunching under someone’s footsteps. There’s a few seconds between that and the weight of someone sitting next to him on the bench. There’s silence, and Frank doesn’t look up, but he peaks down at the big, chunky army boots on the feet of the person next to him, the bottom of their suit pants tucked in messily.
“It’s bad luck to see me before the wedding,” Frank says sadly.
Gerard chuckles lightly and says, “Isn’t that just brides?”
Frank groans and leans up. His cheeks feel wet and he knows he has eyeliner tracks. “I’m acting like a girl, I may as well be one.” He looks at Gerard, and for the first time in weeks, the older, dark haired man looks a picture of calm.
“I’m sorry,” Frank says, and Gerard is silent for a minute, before he nods.
“Mikey said you were having second thoughts.”
“I’m not…I’m not having second thoughts,” Frank says, and he mentally curses MikeyFuckingWay. “I just…I don’t even know.”
Gerard bites his lip. His hands are clasped on his lap, and he starts to play with his fingers lightly. “Do you not want to get married anymore?” He asks softly, and it’s not angry, or sad, it’s completely calm. “Because if you don’t, that’s okay. I’ll tell everyone that I--”
“No,” Frank says, and he quickly grabs Gerard’s hands into his own. “I do want…I do want to get married, I just…” He looks down at Gerard’s hands, and he resists the urge to roll his eyes at the paint still caked on Gerard’s skin. “I’m just scared I’ll do it wrong.”
Gerard’s hands pull out of Frank’s and he takes Frank’s face in them. Frank blinks at him, hoping that he doesn’t start crying again.
“I didn’t know there was a wrong way to get married,” Gerard smiles, running his thumbs along the skin of Frank’s cheek bones. It’s oddly similar to the way Mikey was rubbing Frank’s arms earlier, and just as calming. It must be a Way thing.
“I don’t want to screw it up. I don’t wanna end up like…” He stops talking and closes his eyes. He can hear Gerard take a deep breath.
“You don’t wanna end up like your mom and dad?” Gerard says in a quite voice, and Frank just nods.
“I don’t wanna mess everything up, and then in thirty years time be at Frank junior’s wedding and have him trying to keep us apart, like Pete’s doing with my mom and fucking Maria.” (Frank had wished he didn’t need to invite Maria, but apparently it would have been rude to invite his father and not his father’s girlfriend of six years)
“Frankie,” Gerard says, and Frank opens his eyes. Gerard is smiling at him warmly, and Frank can feel the doubts and anxiety begin to soften, like they’re melting. “Frank, there’s no right way to get married. Everyone screws up in one way or another. It’s a part of marriage, baby. We all make mistakes.”
“Yeah,” Frank says. “I just don’t want you to make one by marrying me.”
“Frank,” Gerard says in an almost stern voice. “Marrying you would be the best mistake I could make.”
Frank can’t help but smile at that. He meets Gerard’s eyes. “Yeah?”
“Yeah,” Gerard says, and he rubs Frank’s cheekbones again. “And marrying me is just the same. You think I haven’t noticed Pete taking every glass of wine from me today?”
Frank bites his bottom lip and Gerard just smiles. “I make just as many mistakes as you, probably more, but I just want to be with you, okay?”
Frank swallows and nods.
“Okay,” Gerard says, and he leans forward and presses a kiss to Frank’s forehead. Gerard gets to his feet and holds out his hand to Frank.
“Frank Iero,” he says. “Would you do the honor of being my husband?”
Frank can’t fight the grin that crawls across his lips as he takes Gerard’s hand and lets him pull Frank to his feet.
They walk back through the garden in silence, just hand in hand, and when they get to the large doors of the great hall, the music starts up as shocked and worried faces stare back at them. But Frank doesn’t care, he just holds onto Gerard’s hand tightly as they walk down the aisle together. He knows his mom is probably freaking out, because this isn’t part of the plan, they were supposed to go down the aisle separately, but fuck it, Frank thinks. It’s his wedding, his and Gerard’s, and they can make as many mistakes as they want.
Frank can’t stop himself from grinning every time he looks down at the white gold band on his ring finger, and he knows Gerard is doing the same. Well, Gerard would be doing the same if he wasn’t being waltzed around the dance floor by Frank’s great aunt Lucy. Just a little off to the side, by the punch bowl, Frank can see Pete whispering something into a bemused Mikey Way’s ear. Frank figures he’ll leave it until after the honeymoon before he kicks Pete’s ass.
“You’re evil,” Gerard whispers when he slips back into his seat. He cups his hand over Frank’s, and Frank just smiles.
“She likes you,” he says with and amused expression. “She’s a tough old broad, so you musta did something right.”
Gerard just smiles and presses a kiss to Frank’s cheek before he turns to watch everyone on the dance floor.
“We did it,” Gerard says after a few minutes and Frank nods.
“Man, I thought you were going to run out of me for a minute,” Gerard says in a shaky voice and Frank turns to look at him. Gerard give a nervous smile. “I thought I was gonna throw up.”
“What?” Frank says. “But you were so calm! You were--”
“Faking it like a fucking pro!” Gerard laughs and he runs a hand through his hair. “You were so calm through everything, I couldn’t lose it the one time you freaked out, could I?”
Frank just stares at Gerard for a few seconds, then shakes his head and laughs. “You’re an asshole.”
“But you love me anyway.”
Frank looks up and smiles. “Yeah, I do.”
Gerard grins and leans forward, pressing a soft, slow kiss to Frank’s lips. “Ready to spend forever making mistakes?”
Frank lets out a slow, steady breath and nods.