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The Life and Times of a Pansy

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It’s late, the streetlights shining through the little cubby hole window in Gee’s room – and Gee’s pretty sure she’s never felt more anxious in her entire life. The warm bottle of Scotch pressed to her lips probably agrees with her.

Behind her, buried under piles of blankets and records and comics, Mikey groans, his head popping out from underneath the wreckage.  His glasses are askew and his hair resembles a bird’s nest (which means it’s gone un-damaged during his trek to the bottom of Gee’s bed) and his cheeks are rosy.

“What?” Gee twists and turns in front of her mirror, fingers digging into her stomach, palms flattening and pushing the skin in like if she does it hard enough her body will just stay that way.

“You’ve sighed, like, twenty times in the past thirty seconds. You’re still not dressed and the night’s not getting any younger; the longer you put this off the worse it’s going to get.”

“‘The night’s not getting any younger’,” she scoffs, toeing on her boots while balancing precariously on one foot. Gee’s a fucking expert drunk; she’s so good at being drunk people should pay her to go through life drunk because she’s almost positive the results would be better than the ones she’d get if she went through life sober. Although, she still hasn’t managed to stop slurring her words so much.

Mikey flops back down onto the bed, grumbling something about the remote, and throws a pillow at her; Gee lets it hit her stomach before kneeling down to dig through the pile of clothes at her feet, lacing up her boots while she’s at it. She latches onto something soft and yanks it out, lips curving up into a smile when it turns out to be her velvet dress.

She tugs it on, nerves easing just a tad, because she likes the way the fabric feels when she bunches it up in her hands during a nervous fit and the first time Frank saw her in it he couldn't keep his hands off her hips. Mikey nods his approval from over her shoulder and pushes himself off the bed, stealing the car keys as he passes. She doesn't bother asking what time he’s going to pick her up from whatever party Frankie's supposedly wasting away at tonight because there's no way Mikey would let her go without him.

They slink out to the car and Gee uses the lights to apply her lipstick; she kisses Mikey's cheek as some sort of blotter and laughs when he shrinks away, spitting into his hand before rubbing his cheek. She thinks this is what it must feel like to be a middle aged woman in the Way family... probably any family really.

Unsurprisingly, Mikey manages to find a station that plays an odd mix of Elton John and Joy Division and even odder Gee finds that they complement each other quite well.

"So what's the plan?" Mikey's eyes flick towards her for a second, nervous to take his eyes off the road for even a second. He’s had his permit for a month or two now and is still so conscientious. Gee was never a careful driver, it's probably why their parents refuse to buy her a car of her own.

The plan? She doesn't really have a plan. She kind of just pictured herself stomping in there, dragging Frank out, ordering him to stop writing whiny poetry about her, and then kissing him because fucking hell the boy wrote whiny poetry about her. She says as much to Mikey.

He snorts, "Christ, Gee."

"C'mon!" She whines, "You've got to admit it's at least a teensy bit adorable."

Mikey raises an eyebrow and in a nasal voice recites, "And all I want for Xmas is to fly two blunts deep."

Gee counters with, "I've found healing powers beyond my wildest dreams behind your lips."

Mikey gags, but Gee's too busy fawning over stoner boys who write angst filled poetry to care. He groans, "You broke up a week ago, fucking seven days today and he's acting like it's the end of the world!"

Gee laughs, "Didn't you hear the news? Only four hours 'til a meteor hits and kills us all. It's up to us to save the world with our nauseating love for each other."

Mikey grumbles something like, "now it's love we're talking about?".

Okay so maybe Frank isn’t the only one writing sappy poems here. But, it’s not like Gee’s passing them out to the general public and making a quick buck while she’s at it. I mean, they’re the kind of poems Gee’s waiting to burn in their living room fireplace once they get back together because fucking hell they need to get back together.

Mikey parks on the other side of the street, and it's a shitty parking job, way too crooked, but Gee's too busy worrying drunkenly over Frank to make him redo it. "Go mingle Mikeyway, maybe you'll meet someone who's willing to have a threesome with you and Morrissey."

Mikey snorts again, but wishes her good luck before hopping out and high tailing it into the house. Gee checks her hair and makeup one last time before swinging the door open and trudging in after him.

It's pretty packed, but nothing like the ragers Pete throws when his parents are out of town or even the ones Gabriella throws when her parents are going out to see a movie and have dinner. So although her chances of locating Frank within an hour just increased it wasn't by much.

She navigates her way through the different cliques: jocks, stoners, punks, and even the odd Harvard-bound student with ease, eyes searching for an idiot boy with greasy hair passing out zines filled with poetry written about her. She takes a break from searching for Frank after about a half hour and starts looking for the kitchen, wanting something cold to drink, and maybe if she’s lucky Mikey will be in here and she can get a quick confidence booster. You know, one that didn’t come from a plastic cup.

When she gets to the kitchen Mikey’s nowhere to be found, but she does locate some Jack Daniels and a pack of cigarettes that someone left lying on the counter. She nicks both and plops down on the kitchen table, empty cups rolling off onto the floor. Gee takes a swig from the bottle and sets to lighting a cigarette (they’re fucking Newports, but whatever), steeling her nerves. It’s not that she actually believes Frank will come find her and talk to her, because she knows Frank and she knows that when she told him to leave her the fuck alone he was going to do exactly that. She keeps her eyes peeled for anyone walking into the kitchen and doing a complete 360 once they spot her.

She’s in the middle of trying to convince herself to resume the search when Bert walks in, Quinn on one arm and Jeph on the other. She waves her over, relief making her shoulders slump. “Bert, hey!”

Bert grins at her, whispering something to Jeph and Quinn that makes them disappear before she bounces over to Gee. “How’s it going?” Bert glances at the pack of Newports in her right hand and the bottle of Jack in her left, before reaching out and swiping the bottle. “You drink all this yourself? You know what would go great with Jack Daniels?” she pauses, head tipping back as she brings the bottle to her lips. “Anything but Newports, fuck, those things are nasty.”

Gee laughs, tugging at Bert’s hoodie until she’s pressed back to chest and Gee can drape herself over her shoulders. “They’re not mine; I just found them. It’s not like you’ve got anything better.”

“Ah,” Bert says, wriggling around in Gee’s arms, stilling when she pulls a little baggie of weed out of her pocket. “But, I do.” Gee makes grabby hands and Bert holds the weed farther away which makes Gee try to lean around her and almost ends with her falling off the table. Bert steadies her, wrapping Gee’s arms back around her shoulders so she has something to hold onto. “Fuck, Gee, you only get this drunk when you’re nervous…or sad… or bored, or annoyed, or anything really, but the point is I already promised Jeph and Quinn VIP access and they’ll be pissed if they don’t get it.”

“Greedy,” Gee teases, smiling. They talk for a while longer, somehow getting to the topic of Frank since Bert’s managed to weasel it out of her and that’s when the music cuts off.

People groan and shout collectively throughout the house, wondering who in their right mind would dare touch the stereo. And then Operation Ivy start playing and Gee's ears are assaulted by one of many angst-y love songs Frank's played her in the past.

“It’s like a punk mating call,” Bert muses, helping Gee off the table. Jeph and Quinn appear simultaneously, taking their rightful place on Bert’s left and right, greeting Gee softly. Bert points at her, “Find your man, kiss the shit out of him, and don’t puke on his shoes. I believe in you.”

Gee salutes Bert, she can’t really figure out why, but it felt right at the time and heads for the living room where the stereo is being fiddled with. She kind of really really wants to chicken out and bail, maybe mope for another week or two before Mikey takes it upon himself and somehow manages to lock both Gee and Frank in the basement until they work shit out.

The song’s changed from Operation Ivy to Jawbreaker and Gee can’t pinpoint why the fuck she’s so crazy about a boy who brings the mixtapes he made for himself to other people’s parties with plans of hijacking the stereo. And then she sees him flinging himself around the living room like a total spaz, plastic cup and a lit cigarette in hand and that doubt is swept away by adoration and the urge to get her mouth on him. There’s a cassette case sticking out of his back pocket that Gee’s sure has something stupid like ‘Boyz Rool Girlz Drool’ written on it in black sharpie. Leave it to Frank to still condemn CD’s and girls all in 1994.

Gee leans against the wall, lighting another cigarette and pulling Frank’s zine, The Life and Times of a Pansy, out of her purse (he made a fucking zineGee hasn’t even made a zine yet) and waits for him to stop moshing in the fucking living room while even the punks and Goths watch him like he’s a freak.

If she wasn't just barely suppressing the urge to puke she'd join him, up the freak meter in the house to a whopping thirty percent. Frank stops when the music does, hand raking through his hair so he can see again, and Gee's eyes are drawn to his wrist where she spots the shitty bracelet with the beads that spell her name that he stole from her amongst all the other ones he wears.

Frank looks like sex with his mouth open, pink and wet, and his hair falling in his face in the way that makes his mom brandish scissors and threaten to chop it all off in his sleep. His eyes are dark when they meet hers and for a second nothing happens, he just stands there, chest rising and falling quickly as he gets his breath back and Gee tries to reign in her nerves.

She waves the zine at him and mouths, "Hi."

Frank's eyes drop to her thighs where her hands are bunching up the fabric of her dress like she knew they would and it's like something snaps, the tension just oozing out of him as his shoulders slump and he smiles at her. It's more of a twitch of the mouth than a smile, but she catches him stuffing his hands in his pockets to keep from reaching out to her.

She jerks a thumb over her shoulder, mouths, "Talk?"

Frank nods, turning to get his tape before stepping closer. It's the first time she's seen him in a week and she's really fucking missed being around him, feeling his warmth pressed along her side. She tips her head forwards and Frank takes the hint, one hand falling to her hip as he leads them away.

Frank takes them to a surprisingly clean upstairs bathroom, Gee's guessing the others haven't found it yet. He shuts the door behind them but doesn't lock it, moving away so Gee has easy access and she really fucking loves him for it.

She wants to dive right into it - intends to - but when she opens her mouth all that comes out is, "I'm going to kiss you now, okay?"

Frank's eyes widen, she hears his throat click as he swallows. "Okay."

Gee surges forwards, hands tangling in his hair and hips pressing up tight against his as their mouths meet. His hands latch onto her hips like she knew they would and when she tugs he moans against her, a chill running down her spine. Frank bites her lip and she licks into his mouth, sighing at the taste of him.

She doesn't know how long they kiss for, but since they haven't said more than ten words to each other it's for too long regardless. When she pulls away she can feel him hard and hot against her thigh. He looks like fucking sex again.

"I thought you said poetry doesn't work on girls," she jokes, eyes lighting up when Frank barks out a laugh.

"Are you mad?"

Gee shakes her head, "I'm jealous."

Frank raises an eyebrow, incredulous, "You? Jealous? He scoffs, "Of what?"

"Nobody bought my whiny poetry," she pouts, winking.

Frank actually blushes though and looks at the floor when he asks, "You wrote poetry about me?"

"Of course I wrote poetry about you, asshole. I fucking missed you."

Frank grins, leans in closer so she can feel his lips brush against hers when he says, "I missed you, too. A lot. Sorry I was such a dick."

And he was a dick, fucking showing up drunk off his ass, a fresh shiner and bullshit accusations greeting her when she opened the door. She probably would've forgotten about the whole thing if he'd quietly accused her of sleeping with Adam instead of screaming and cursing so loudly her entire family could hear every word from the kitchen. It was embarrassing and mean and she wasn't going to tolerate it.


He pulls away, looks her in the eyes. "I know you wouldn't cheat on me. I fucking trust you, I do. I was just stupid and drunk and it's not an excuse, I know, but I'm sorry."

"Who told you I was cheating?" She had to ask, it’s been bothering her for a week.

Frank winces, "Johnny?"

She stares, lips pressing together in a tight line. “God help you if you believe anything that comes out of Johnny Sancka’s mouth.” Frank flushes, cringing once more and Gee takes pity on him. "You need to make it up to me."

He brightens almost instantly and Gee bites back a laugh, "Yeah, no, of course! Fuck, of course."

"Starting now," she groans, racing to the toilet. "Hold my hair back for me."