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Carry Me to the End

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Frank

Frank’s not sure what he’s thinking when he stops in front of the jewellers.

They’re in London, playing a show, and he’s run away to Camden in the hope of tattoos and a few hours’ peace. He hadn’t intended to grind to a halt in the middle of Camden Lock Place, eyes fixed on a simple silver looking band with a discrete card next to it that informs him it’s made of platinum and 18k white gold.

He doesn’t know anything about that, generally isn’t much for jewellery that isn’t linked to a piercing, so all he knows about the ring is it’s fucking expensive and he can’t tear his eyes away from it.

He’s not sure how long he stands there looking at it, but Camden is thronged and it can only be a few minutes before someone jostles him, swearing under their breath as they do, and it motivates him to move.

When he steps back out onto the street half an hour later, he has a small box tucked in the pocket of his jeans and no money left for that tattoo.

He really doesn’t care.

--

It’s not like he even does anything with the purchase. He hides it at the bottom of his bag when he gets back to the bus, and from there it migrates to a drawer in his dresser, under his socks, when he gets home. And yeah, he’ll take it out from time to time when he’s completely sure he’s on his own in the apartment, but by and large the box is at the bottom of his drawer and the bottom of his mind, and he’s happy that way.

They’ve been together – all three of them – for a year, more or less, when he takes it out again. He’s had the box for at least six months.

He tucks the box in his pocket, grabs Gerard’s arm, and drags him out to their favorite place in Wallington for coffee.

“I’m gonna ask him,” he says, looking up from under his lashes at Gerard, speaking in a low voice so Gerard has to lean close to hear him over the bustle of the coffee shop. “Gonna ask Mikey.”

He doesn’t show Gerard the box; he just holds out the ring that he’s planning to give Mikey, and he can’t explain – not even to himself – why he isn’t showing Gerard the other two that match it.

It takes Gerard a second to get it. Frank can see the confusion passing across his face before he shuts down completely, freezing in place, every vestige of emotion dropping off his face.

“Oh,” he says, his tone carefully and completely blank. “Yeah. Congratulations.”

“Hey.” Frank grabs his hand, runs the pad of his thumb over Gerard’s knuckles. “So, I’m asking you first.”

“What?” Gerard raises an eyebrow, reserve still in place. “For my permission?”

“No.” Frank rolls his eyes. “For you to stand up next to me at the altar when I marry him.”

“What?” Gerard’s brow furrows. “You’re asking me to be best man?”

“If that’s what you want to call it.” Frank glances down at their hands, at how Gerard’s linked their fingers together despite himself, and he smiles. “What do you say, Gee? Will you help me marry your brother?”

For a second Gerard is very still, then he smiles, crooked and sincere.

“Yeah.” He squeezes Frank’s hand. “Course I will.”

--

It seems that as the band gets bigger, more successful, that they spend less and less time at home. It’s part of the job, and Frank loves it like burning and is learning to cope with the practicalities of it all, but there are still moments when things throw him utterly for six.

It’s their last day at home before they hit the road again and Frank’s woken up cranky. He has a list of chores as long as his arm that he wants to get done before they go, but he has a headache and is generally at odds with the world. It doesn’t help that he hasn’t had a chance to ask Mikey, even though he talked to Gerard over a week ago.

The problem is that there hasn’t been anything resembling a perfect time, and romance might not be Frank’s thing, but he knows that Mikey deserves a perfect proposal.

He’s thinking about it – sulking about it if he’s being completely honest – as he pads into the kitchen to make coffee. Jersey, much as he loves it, doesn’t do well in providing stunning waterside sunsets to propose against. Maybe he should bring the box on tour, he thinks, reaching for the canister of ground coffee. Maybe there’ll be somewhere in LA or Germany or Japan or wherever they’re going that will work.

He frowns down at the canister and shakes it. It’s empty. “What…” he starts, turning around.

Gerard takes a large sip from his mug. “Not me.” He shrugs, eloquently. “Mikey.”

“Mikey did it?” Frank raises an eyebrow, torn somewhere between anger and a sort of resigned fondness that is far too familiar. “That’s what you’re going for?”

“It’s true,” Gerard tells him. “I think he brought the rest of the pot into the other room after he poured this for me?” He takes another sip, and Frank can almost taste the coffee. “He might have some left?”

Frank sighs, because that isn’t really likely and now he’ll have to go to the store before he can even get caffeinated.

“Mikey?” he shouts, an edge to his voice, and there’s the banging noise from the other room that suggests Mikey’s upended a pile of stuff from the sofa as he got up.

“What?” Mikey’s scowling as he ducks his head into the kitchen. Judging by the way his mug is dangling from his fingers, he’s definitely finished the coffee.

“Coffee?” Frank doesn’t mean to snap, but he’s only been awake for less than an hour and he’s only human.

“Gone,” Mikey tells him, and that would be fine, Frank could cope with that if Mikey stopped there, if he didn’t smirk slightly. “Pick some donuts up when you go get coffee?”

Frank takes a deep breath and pinches the bridge of his nose, kissing everything non-urgent on the chore list goodbye.

“Sure,” he says, a forced cheer to his voice that should warn Mikey he’s skating on thin ice here. “Anything else I can get you?”

“Nah.” Mikey puts his dirty mug on the kitchen table, rather than the sink or the dishwasher. “But if you’re doing a load of laundry, could you put some of my stuff in as well?”

“Seriously?” Frank stares at him. “The day before we go, Mikes? You didn’t think of this before now? I mean…”

“Geez.” Mikey turns away from him. “Fine. Don’t do it then. You don’t have to nag.”

“Right.” Frank picks up the mug and turns to the sink, banging the water on so he can rinse it out. “And then you’ll run out of clean clothes three days into the tour and I’ll end up trying to find a laundromat in fucking Paris again.”

“No one asked you to do that.” Mikey’s snapping now as well. “And I wouldn’t have let you do the laundry if I knew you’d never shut up about it.”

“What?” Frank slams the mug down on the drying rack. “Because I mention it when I’m trying to stop the exact same thing happen again? Because none of us want to have to deal with the Way funk from the start of a tour? Because…”

Mikey makes a tiny, furious noise, and Frank stops, looks at him and really sees him. Yeah, he’s angry and hurt, but more than that, he’s worried about the tour, stressing out about leaving home again. He’s not hiding anything, Frank realizes. None of the awkward, difficult parts of himself. It’s all there – all laid out for Frank to see because Mikey trusts him.

It makes Frank’s breath catch in his throat, and he’s next to Mikey before he’s consciously decided to move, close enough that he can feel the fraught, fast thrum of Mikey’s pulse under his fingers when he reaches out to cup his jaw.

“I fucking love you,” Frank says, and it’s not something he says often, even though he feels it all the time. “I really do, Mikes.”

“Frank,” Mikey starts, his voice shaking, and he sounds so vulnerable, looks so open that Frank can’t. He drops down to one knee, any thoughts of romance and perfection evaporating in the face of the reality of life and how he feels.

“Hey,” he says, catching Mikey’s hand and grinning up at him. “Mikeyway, will you marry me?”

Mikey makes an odd noise, something between a laugh and a sob, and he tries to pull back, like he’s scared this is a joke he hasn’t gotten yet. But Frank isn’t letting him go anywhere, and he holds on, waits until Mikey realizes that he’s serious.

“Really?” He darts a look at Gerard. “But…”

“We talked about it,” Gerard says, and he shrugs, his mouth shaping something that could be a smile, could be something far more complex. “It’s okay, Mikey.”

Mikey turns back to Frank, his eyebrows raised. “You asked for my hand?” He runs his thumb over the back of Frank’s hand.

“He did.” Gerard sounds altogether too smug right now, but Frank doesn’t have the attention span to scowl at him. He’s too busy trying to keep breathing with his heart in his mouth. “He’s gotten you a ring and everything.”

“A ring?” Mikey raises an eyebrow, his expression giving away nothing of what he’s feeling, and Frank tries his best to swallow around the lump in his too-dry throat. “Well, in that case…”

“Is that a yes?” Frank asks, because he needs an answer, can’t cope with not knowing any more. “Cuz this floor’s cold and my knees aren’t getting any younger.”

“Yeah.” Mikey pulls him up to his feet, stronger than he looks and more than able to cope with Frank’s weight. “Of course I’ll marry you.”

“Fucking finally,” Gerard says, his tone dry, and Mikey is laughing, loud and delighted as Frank kisses him.

Gerard

Weddings take a lot of organizing.

Gerard’s not sure he’s ever considered it before, but now he’s faced with the reality of what Mikey and Frank are doing and it’s a bit overwhelming.

There’s the legalities to consider of course – not everywhere allows two men to get married after all, and the places that do seem to have residency requirements – which means that the whole thing is going to have to be split in two, with guest lists for both, and travel arrangements and accommodation to be arranged for the legal part, and venues and catering for the social half. There are outfits and vows and table plans and dietary requirements and flowers and invitations to be sent and counted back in and rings… Well. Not rings, Gerard knows. Frank’s sorted that out at least.

He’s not sure how he seems to have ended up responsible for most of the arrangements, but he’s Best Man, and he’s gonna make sure that Mikey and Frank have a fucking awesome day, even if it kills him.

It’s bittersweet doing this. He loves Mikey and he loves Frank, but he doesn’t think that Jersey is going to be legally recognizing multi-partner relationships any time soon – especially not when one of the partners is his brother. So, this is something he’s never going to get for himself, not if he wants to stay with Mikey and Frank, and it’s been a long while now since anything else was an option – if it ever really was.

But Mikey’s so damn excited about the whole thing that Gerard doesn’t mention it – does his best, in fact, not to think of it at all. Instead he puts himself at Mikey’s disposal, lets himself enjoy Mikey’s enjoyment as if it was his own, and to his surprise it works.

It helps that he and Mikey talked about this before it happened – well, not this, but them. The conversation was excruciating – something Gerard would do his best to forget. Except…

Except, Mikey loves him, loves him and wants to be with him, and everything that Mikey feels for Frank – everything Gerard feels for Frank doesn’t change that.

Gerard can’t remember the last time he felt properly secure, felt like he knew where he was in a relationship, and it turns out that once he could accept that, everything else was easy – even if he sometimes wishes that Frank asked him, or that he could ask Mikey.

But those are just whispered words from the back of his mind in the small, lonely hours of the morning, and he can ignore them in daylight or when he’s with people.

He takes them both, separately, to buy outfits.

He starts with Frank, because he makes the foolish, schoolboy error of assuming that he’ll be easier to shop with than Mikey, and to begin with it even looks like he’s made the right choice.

Frank positively bounces along the sidewalk next to him on the way to the first shop, talking through the cake samples they’d tried last night. Trying to get something that worked for Frank’s dietary restrictions was a ball ache, but if it’s made him smile like this then Gerard doesn’t begrudge a second of the time he’d spent on it.

Frank’s good mood lasts all the way to the shop and through the snooty assistant pulling out a tape measure and starting to take Frank’s measurements, while his lip curls every time he sees another tattoo and Frank’s face closes off more and more with each second that passes.

Still, Frank keeps his mouth closed, and even when the assistant goes off to pull out suits for him to try he just shrugs at Gerard, his mouth twisting.

“I’m hardly their dream groom,” he says, and Gerard wants to punch everyone in the damn shop.

He tries on the first suit the guy brings back with fairly good grace though, even manages to share a smile with Gerard when it looks vaguely ridiculous – just a bit too large so he looks like he’s dressing up in his dad’s clothes. But it goes rapidly downhill from there, and soon he’s scowling at everything from the morning suit that Gerard thinks suits him, to every single cravat and cummerbund that the reluctant assistant drags out.

The top hat, though, is the deal breaker.

“Nope,” he says and doesn’t try to hide his distaste of the assistant as he pushes the hat back into his hands. “I know you have your vision, Gee, but I’m not gonna make myself ridiculous. Not even for you.”

“Maybe sir needs some time to decide?” the assistant says, in the snootiest tone Gerard guesses he can manage, and Frank actually takes a step forward, like he’s going to punch the guy, before Gerard catches his arm.

“Give us a minute,” he says, but he doesn’t wait for a reply before he drags Frank out of the shop.

Frank pulls himself free as soon as they’re out the door, but he follows Gerard across the street, scowling like a recalcitrant toddler the whole way.

“Look,” Gerard says when they’re far enough away that he can validly pretend that Assistant McAsserson isn’t watching them. “You can wear what you want for the ceremony in Canada, yeah? Just…” He pauses, stares at Frank, willing him to understand. “This’ll mean something to Mikey. You know it will.”

It stops Frank dead and he quirks his head to the side, regarding Gerard steadily.

“You sure about that?” he asks at last. “Or is this something you want, Gee?”

“What?” The noise of the street around them suddenly seems much louder, but Gerard can hear the pounding of his heartbeat even over that.

“You seem really sure what Mikey wants,” Frank says, and his face is serious even as his tone is gentle.

“We’ve talked about it!” There’s a note of defensiveness to Gerard’s tone, but he can’t help it, because Gerard has talked to Mikey about what he wants – he’s talked to both of them.

“Yeah.” Frank’s watching him steadily, his eyes narrowed. “But did he really tell you what he wanted? Or did he tell you what he thought you wanted to hear?”

“I…” It would be easy to make the easy answer here – the angry one – but Frank isn’t trying to wind him up right now, despite how he was acting in the shop. Gerard stops and thinks about it properly. “Maybe it’s me.” He looks at Frank, his mouth twisting down as he realizes that he’s fucked up again and that he should back the fuck off.

“Cool,” Frank says, nodding. “In that case I’ll do it.” He gestures to the shop behind them. “Tell me what you think works best and I’ll order it.”

“But…”

Frank looks at him, steady and unafraid. “You get a say in this too,” he says and takes hold of Gerard’s wrist. “You want me in a top hat and morning suit? I’ll do it. Just don’t confuse what you want with what Mikey wants, or he’ll end up getting hurt.” He squeezes Gerard’s wrist then lets go, turns back to the shop. “And I’m wearing a fucking Misfits shirt in Canada.”

“Hey.” Gerard reaches out and catches his arm. There’s so much he wants to say right now – that he wants to argue or agree or ask – but he doesn’t have words for any of it. But Frank doesn’t rush him. He stands, still and peaceful, the man that Gerard loves joint most in the whole world, and Gerard takes a deep breath.

“If that’s what you want,” he says, even though that’s not the most important thing – not at all. “Then that’s cool, but not here.” He scowls. “I’ll be fucked if we give that douche a cent of our money.”

--

“What’s up?” Mikey asks him later as he’s frowning over the project book that’s stuffed full of wedding stuff. “You look like you’re sulking.”

“Hummm?” Gerard looks up, shakes his head in a vain attempt to clear the swarm of thoughts he’s been trying to sort through. “Nothing. I guess. Just…” He looks up and there must be something in his face. Mikey comes and perches on the arm of the sofa next to him, dropping a kiss to his forehead.

“What?” he asks. “You can tell me, Gee. You know you can.”

“Am I taking this over?” He looks at Mikey, trying to judge his response to the words. “I mean, you do want the wedding like this, don’t you?”

Mikey looks at him, silent and serious for a beat too long before he nods.

“Yeah,” he says. “And you’re allowed to have the things you want as well.”

“Only if they’re what you want,” Gerard says, because he’s sure about this and he needs Mikey to be sure too. “This is your day – and Frank’s day. Not mine.”

Mikey’s mouth twists into a frown. “You know it’s not like that, don’t you?”

“Sure.” Gerard nods as he says it, but the frown on Mikey’s face says that he doesn’t believe that any more than Gerard does.

--

Ray goes with him to sort out the flowers, because Frank and Mikey both have suspiciously vague excuses and insist that Gerard can handle this part of the wedding by himself. Anyway, Ray fucking rocks and Gerard’ll fight anyone who says anything different.

It helps that Ray’s being a damn good sport about the whole thing, even if he’d laughed like fuck when they first told him.

“You managed to choose one of them then?” he’d asked, and Frank grinned at him, obnoxious.

“You’re just jealous,” he said. “Just cuz you don’t have game.”

Ray had just smiled, though, and since then he’s been around whenever Gerard has needed him – sometimes before Gerard’s even realized he does need him.

“I like the lilies,” he says now, frowning over the pot of flowers. “What do you think, Gee?”

“Bit gloomy,” Gerard says, even though they are beautiful. “Maybe the stargazer ones? Except Mikey doesn’t really want pink.”

“Yeah.” Ray nods, looking thoughtful. “I can see that. How about roses?”

“They’re traditional,” Gerard says, “and Mikey likes them, but…” He stops then, remembering what Frank has said about mistaking what Mikey wants for what he wants. “No. Roses might be good. They both like roses.”

Ray puts his head on one side, frowns at him.

“But what do you want?” he asks. “Cuz I’m guessing it’s not roses.”

“Me?” Gerard blinks at him, confused, pushing the thoughts of irises to the back of his mind. “What does it matter what I want?”

“Well…” Ray looks at him like they’re talking different languages. “It’s your day too, isn’t it?”

There’s no judgement in the words – he sounds honestly curious but Gerard finds himself taking an instinctive step backwards.

“No,” he says, trying to keep his voice as firm as he can. “It’s their day, not mine.”

For a second, he’s convinced that Ray’s going to argue with him, and he’s not sure he can cope – much less find the right words to respond with, but Ray takes a breath and lets the subject pass, pointing at some daisies and asking if Gerard thinks they would work in a bouquet.

They make a good go of the flowers, and even if they don’t put the final order in, they come away with two big bunches of flowers for Mikey and Frank to choose between.

Ray keeps up a steady stream of conversation all the way back to the apartment, and when they get in, Gerard leaves him to grab a beer with Frank as he brings the flowers in for Mikey to look at.

“Okay,” Frank says turning off the TV and ignoring the disappointed noise Mikey makes about the movie he’s watching. “Vow time.”

“Fine.” Mikey sounds grumpy, but Gee knows false protestations when he hears them and Mikey’s grinning as he stands up.

“You love it,” he says, and kisses a still-muttering Mikey on the temple. “Now, you want me to get you beers before I go?”

“Go?” Frank scowls at him. “Oh, no, Way. You’re going nowhere.”

He looks almost angry, none of the light joking that he’d normally be showing, and Gerard blinks at him, confused.

“But they’re your vows,” he says. “You don’t need me here for that.”

“Bullshit.” Frank takes a step forward so they’re close enough to touch. “You, Gee, are a vital part of this process.” He gives Gerard a second to process this, then takes him by the shoulders and steers him to the kitchen table where there are notepads and pens and (in a slightly worrying development) books of poetry. “Now, sit down and get vowing.”

Maybe this is something Gerard should be lying to himself about, but he’s been thinking about vows, about the words that encapsulate a relationship, since this whole thing began. He sits down, and pretends he doesn’t see the small smile that Mikey and Frank share.

“Where do you want to begin?” he asks, and Frank breathes a sigh of relief and sits down next to him.

“I got some ideas,” Frank says, “and so does Mikes, but I think we’re both stalled. What do you think?” He pokes the back of Gerard’s hand gently with his finger. “What do you think is important?”

“Thinking the best,” he says and smiles when Frank scrunches his forehead in confusion. “You know, when you can choose how to react to how someone acts? Like they could be trying to hurt you, or they might just have been clumsy or tired or rushed. Choosing to think that they don’t ever mean the worst thing.” He looks up at Frank from under his lashes and shrugs. “I think that’s important.”

“Yeah.” Frank’s smile is soft, and Mikey reaches out and touches Gerard’s hand. “It is.” He reaches over and puts his hand over Mikey’s where it’s touching Gerard’s. “So, what else have you got?”

“Just obvious stuff.” Gerard can feel the warmth building in his cheeks. “Taking the time to listen to them, trying to make them smile. You know.”

“And?” Mikey strokes his fingers over the back of Gerard’s hand. “C’mon, Gee. There’s something else, isn’t there?”

For a moment Gerard thinks of denying it, but they’re both looking at him and he can’t deny them anything.

“Don’t give a shit about what anyone else thinks,” he says. “What we feel…” He stops, remembers. “I mean, what you both feel, that’s the only important thing, right? No one else should get to put any expectations on you or to say what your relationship should be. You’re the only ones who get to decide what this marriage is.”

It feels very quiet once he’s done and he bites his lip, wondering if he’s said the wrong thing, but then Frank nods.

“Yeah,” he says. “See? That was what we were missing, wasn’t it Mikey?”

Mikey nods, squeezing Gerard’s hand.

“It’s perfect,” he says, smiling at Frank, and there’s enough warmth between them that – for the moment at least – Gerard can almost feel part of this.

--

The actual wedding comes around way quicker than Gerard expected, and – if he’s being completely honest with himself – is kind of an anti-climax.

They’re between shows and hungover as fuck. Frank’s wearing his Misfits shirt and jeans that have seen better days; Mikey’s in a Dawn of the Dead t-shirt, his hair straightened to within an inch of his life, but he’s bubbling with a barely suppressed energy that makes Gerard smile to see.

He’s not sure what he’s wearing – he’s more concerned with the tight coil of pride and love and fear in his chest. Because it doesn’t matter what anyone else says – this is going to change everything. And still… this is Frank. This is Mikey, and they look so happy together, so proud, that it almost takes his breath away.

There’s only Gerard and Ray as witnesses, and Ray must feel him stagger – or maybe he just knows Gerard that well, because he slings his arm around Gerard’s shoulder and grins at him, and it turns out that Mikey’s small, hesitant smile when he says I do makes everything – every complex feeling – worth it.

They both tear up when Ray pulls out the ring box and hands the rings, one after the other, to Frank and Mikey. They’re not using their vows – not here. Those are for the celebration, when they stand up in front of friends and family. This is just the legal bit, they all know that. Still, Frank’s voice is shaking as he repeats the registrar’s words back to her, and he nearly fumbles the ring as he pushes it awkwardly onto Mikey’s finger.

Gerard can’t tear his eyes from Mikey’s face. It’s lit up, beautiful with what he’s feeling, and as he puts the other ring on Frank’s finger, he’s smiling like he’s seeing Frank with new eyes, like he’s falling in love all over again.

They go out after, stand in the cold evening air with the Niagara Falls behind them because Frank says that you have to be cliched on your wedding day, and Ray is red-cheeked with the cold and grinning as he pulls a bottle of proper French champagne from his backpack.

“Not yet.” Frank frowns at him, mock stern. “The other thing first.”

For some reason this makes Ray grin at Gerard, and he pulls the ring box back out of his pocket and pops it open.

“Here you go,” he says, and as he passes the box to Frank, Gerard sees that there’s still a ring in it.

He frowns. He hasn’t seen Frank or Mikey take their rings off, and for a second he’s worried there was something wrong with one of them, but he looks at their hands and they are both still wearing their rings, and right now he officially has no idea what’s going on.

“Why’s there a spare ring?” he asks, scared to believe that what he thinks is happening is actually true. “I don’t understand.”

“Really?” Frank nods at Mikey, and together they walk forward, pushing closer until they have Gerard pinned between them. “What part of this don’t you understand?”

“Yeah.” Mikey’s smiling at him, his face as open and full of love as it was earlier when he was looking at Frank. “We might not have been able to do this in there with you, but we wanted to do it now.”

“But Ray…”

“Ray knows all about you freaks,” Ray says, his tone amused. “You think I’m blind? Or stupid? That I didn’t realize how serious you are about each other? Anyway…” He shrugs. “You need a witness for this, don’t you?”

“A witness?” Gerard asks, his voice shaking, and Frank nods, takes a step backwards.

“I don’t give a shit about what anyone else thinks,” he says. “We’re the only ones who get to decide what this marriage is, and we want you as part of it. At least…” He takes hold of Gerard’s hand in a loose grip. “I do.”

“I do too,” Mikey says, and presses a kiss to the back of Gerard’s neck. “What about you, Gee?”

“Yeah.” Gerard smiles at them, still not able to believe what’s happening. “I do.”

His breath catches as Frank pulls the last ring from the box, and as Mikey holds his wrist and Frank pushes the ring onto his finger. It’s cold, heavier than it has a right to feel, but it makes him feel a sense of security that grounds him more than anything else has ever done before.

“In that case, since there’s no one better here, I guess I get to pronounce the three of you married.” Ray grins at them. “Mazel tov. Now, can we drink?”

That makes them laugh, but Frank’s shaking his head as he steps closer to Gerard.

“Gimme a minute,” he says. “Got to seal the deal before he starts to regret his decision.”

He stands on tiptoes and kisses Gerard, deep and filthy until Gerard’s gasping, and when he pulls back he only does so to turn Gerard’s face with firm fingers so that Mikey can kiss the rest of the air from his lungs.

Gerard’s head is spinning when they finish, but he’s not sure if it’s breathlessness or disbelief that this has happened. He’s still trying to decide as Ray pops the bottle open, as Frank grabs it from him to drink, as Mikey complains, laughing, that they’ve spent a hundred dollars on champagne but didn’t remember to get glasses.

“Drink,” Mikey says, when the bottle comes around to Gerard, and he does, letting the sharp bubbles sting his tongue while the Falls thunder behind them and the new ring on his finger catches the light.

The American event is a different matter though. The planning for that starts weeks before it happens.

Everyone is invited and Gerard goes into overdrive trying to make it perfect.

On the morning of the wedding, Gerard is a fucking mess.

He insisted that Frank and Mikey spent the night in different rooms, because tradition is a thing even if Frank insisted blow jobs were a far more important thing.

Of course, that means Gerard spent the whole night going between their rooms, trading the kisses and touches they couldn't give each other, until he was aching with it, desperate to come, and Frank had eventually taken pity and sent Gerard in to Mikey to sleep, sated, the taste of his own come on his lips from the last kiss Frank had given him.

But no one said the job of best man was going to be easy, and Gerard is planning to make sure that nothing goes wrong on his watch.

Except it feels like every time he blinks, the scene in front of him is shifting.

He’s helping Mikey get dressed, straightening his cravat and holding his buttonhole while Mikey makes minute adjustments to his hair to make it perfect.

He’s pinning Mikey’s buttonhole to the lapel of his jacket, kissing his forehead, telling him how proud he is of him, and Mikey is shaking his head, pulling Gerard close to kiss him back, only pulling away when their mom knocks the door and shoos Gerard out so she can talk to her baby boy on his own before he gets married.

He’s standing at the door to Frank’s room, hand raised to knock, but Frank’s opening the door before he can manage it, pulling him inside and kissing him like his life depends on it. And maybe Gerard shouldn’t be kissing his brother’s husband on their wedding day, but those boundaries are well past blurred and Frank is trembling like he’s scared or got stage fright and Gerard kisses him calm, reminds him that he’s loved and loved and loved.

He’s standing next to Frank at the table they’ve set up in place of an altar that has no place here for them, and the back of their hands are brushing, unobtrusive but comforting to both of them. The music starts and Frank turns slightly, and Gerard hears his breath catch as he sees Mikey in the door, his mom next to him because nothing about this ceremony is traditional, and if Gerard is best man then of course their mom is giving Mikey away.

He’s watching them exchange vows, his heart pounding as he hears them repeat the words he’d given them in front of all their families and friends. In the front row, Ray is grinning at him like he’s sharing a secret, and Gerard knows they’re both remembering a cold night in Canada with bright lights and thundering water, and he twists his wedding ring on his thumb as Mikey and Frank exchange theirs, and feels like he’s lucky to be part of this.

He’s sitting next to them on the top table during the wedding reception, too nervous to taste anything he’s eaten, suddenly impatient and anxious to get out of here and away from everyone. But Frank’s hand is on his knee under the table as he leans across Mikey to talk to his mother, and it makes it all more bearable, until at last he can stand up and tap the edge of his fork against his wineglass, and tell everyone to raise their glasses to the happy couple.

And then it’s over, and everyone is dancing, and Ray is pushing a glass of something fizzy into his hand and steering him to the edge of the room.

“Dude,” he says, and shoves him with his shoulder. “We did it. You did it.”

“Yeah.” Gerard grins at him. “We did. Dude…” He drains his drink. “Mikey’s married. Can you believe that?”

Ray giggles in response and taps the arm of a server so he can snag another couple of glasses.

“What you gonna do now?” he asks, and Gerard shrugs.

“Drink. Watch them dance.” He gestures to where Mikey and Frank are swaying slowly in the middle of the floor, their arms wrapped around each other. “Go to bed, I guess.”

“Awww.” Ray sips his drink. “Dude. That sucks, right?”

“Nah. This is theirs.” Gerard presses against him, enjoys the feeling of warmth and companionship. “We have other times, and we had Canada, you know?” He grins, remembering the night they spent pressed up against each other in their hotel room. Ray makes a face of mock disgust.

“Nope.” He puts his hand on Gerard’s wrist. “I need no details. I have to work with you guys.”

“Fine.” Gerard sighs theatrically. “I won't tell you about the ri…” He breaks off as Ray jams his hand over his mouth and they devolve into a wriggling, giggling wrestling match that only stops when they’ve both lost their drinks as casualties of war.

The rest of the evening passes without much of note. He chats to his mom, does a round of the tables, chatting to all the family and friends who are around. Honestly, there isn't much difference in the guest list than there would be if today was his day, and he’s kind of enjoying that, and every time he feels the smallest pang of regret, Frank or Mikey appears at his shoulder, stopping for a second to pick up a drink, or swap a word before moving on again.

Gerard’s not alone, though, and he tries to remember that, even when he’s cornered by one of Frank’s aunts, who tells him what a lovely speech he gave, and pinches his cheek alarmingly.

“So…” She gives him an appraising look, like he’s a horse she’s considering buying. “A lovely young man like you… When are you going to get married?”

She’s about to trot out a niece or nephew or even (god forbid) a grandchild, but Gerard is saved from answering by Frank, who appears like he’s answering Gerard’s prayer.

“Auntie Dina.” Frank submits to a kiss on each cheek and gives her a squeeze. “Are you trying to steal my best man away from me?”

It makes his aunt giggle, but Frank shakes his head sadly.

“We all know how dangerous you are to pretty young men,” he tells her, and takes a firm grip on Gerard’s arm. “But I can’t let you win Gee over tonight.” He glances at Gerard and back at his aunt. “His brother needs him.”

It allows Gerard to bow out gracefully and he manages to hold back his sigh of relief until they’re out of earshot.

“Thank you,” he says under his breath, and Frank grins.

“Thought you were struggling,” he says. “And anyway, Mikey snuck out of here a while ago with Pete.”

“Seriously?” Gerard raises an eyebrow. “You think…”

Frank raises an eyebrow at him, and grins, wicked. “I think he's planning something, and I think you should be with me when we find out what that is.”

“Yeah?” Gerard can’t keep the hesitant note from his voice. “You want me there? Tonight?”

“Really?” Frank sounds almost angry now and he shoves Gerard from the room ahead of him, even as he smiles politely at the people they pass. “You really think that? Even now?”

“I dunno.” Gerard keeps his voice low, because anyone could walk in on them, even now. “I know you both want me, but Frankie…” He risks the fact they’re on their own, that no one else is queuing for the elevator and strokes Frank’s hand, quick and furtive. “It’s your wedding night. You get to have this with Mikey without me if you want.”

“Well, I don’t want.” Frank’s voice is certain and his grip is iron-firm on Gerard’s wrist as he drags him into the elevator. “I want you and we want you and you need to get over that, Gee.”

He kisses him then, filthy and perfect and Gerard can’t face arguing any more. He kisses Frank back, pinning him to the wall of the elevator until it arrives on their floor and they spill out, surreptitiously straightening their clothes and they start towards Mikey’s room.

They’d get away with it, except Pete is halfway down the corridor, his expression far too knowing and amused.

“Congratulations,” he says, nodding at Frank and letting his eyes linger on Gerard just a shade too long. “I hope you’re very happy together, and…” He smirks, mischief dancing in his eyes. “Have a good night.”

He’s gone before they can reply, whistling something tuneless and irritating, and Frank looks at Gerard and shrugs.

“Only one way to find out,” he says, fumbling the keycard from his pocket and Gerard gives in to temptation and puts his arm around him as they open the door.

Mikey

Just because it’s his idea doesn't mean that Mikey isn’t nervous when Pete wanders onto the dance floor and taps Gabe on the shoulder.

“Gonna cut in, dude,” he says, the lines at the corner of his eyes crinkling as he grins, wide and infectious. “Can’t have you monopolizing the blushing bride all evening.”

Gabe scoffs and tightens his hold on Mikey. “I am protecting him from your heteronormative drivel, Wentz. Go find someone else to dance with.” He turns his head so he can leer at Pete. “I bet Patrick’s just waiting for you to ask.”

“Patrick’s dancing with Bilvy.” Pete leers right back. “And the DJ says the next song is going to be a slow one, so…”

“Fine.” Gabe scowls and stoops slightly to kiss Mikey’s cheek. “I’ll leave you with the nasty man then, Mikey. Just remember you should tell him to stop if he tries to…”

“Fuck’s sake.” Mikey pushes Gabe away, grinning. “Go get your boy. Pete’s perfectly safe.”

Gabe’s mouth does something complicated but the music starts to shift and he stalks off across the floor, leaving Pete to wrap his arms around Mikey and start swaying to the beat.

“You dip me,” Mikey says in answer to the glint of mischief in Pete’s eyes, “and I’ll cut you.”

“Would I?” Pete’s look of outraged innocence is barely believable, but it’s familiar enough that Mikey feels himself relax.

“Would you not?” he says, and Pete sniggers and pulls Mikey close enough that they’re dancing cheek to cheek.

“You ready to go?” The words are a quiet gust of breath against Mikey’s ear, but at least no one else can hear them.

“Yeah,” he says back, equally quiet, and Pete grins like all his Christmases have come at once.

“Let’s do this then,” he says taking Mikey by the wrist. “No one’s gonna notice us leaving if we go now.”

“And if they do?” Mikey glances across the room, looking for the others, but Gerard has been cornered by one of Frank’s aunts, and Frank’s busy talking to one of the dudes from Pency, and he’s probably got a bit of time before they notice he’s gone.

Pete’s grin turns wicked. “They’ll just think you’re enjoying a last moment of freedom before you settle down to a pipe and cardigan and married life.”

Mikey blinks, vaguely overwhelmed by the idea of Frank in a 1950s’ cocktail frock, and Pete takes advantage of his distraction to steer him out of the room and towards the lobby.

They strike lucky and the hallways to the elevators are nearly deserted, only a couple of disinterested hotel guests who have nothing to do with the wedding pushing past them as they press the call button.

“You doing okay?” Pete asks, and Mikey nods.

“Just nervous, I guess,” he says, and he can’t actually imagine admitting that to anyone else.

“Don’t be.” Pete rubs his thumb over the soft skin of Mikey’s wrist. “It’s just Gerard and Frank. It’s nothing to worry about.”

“I know.” Mikey worries his lower lip between his teeth, not sure how to explain what he’s feeling. “Just…”

“Just, that makes it worse?” Pete takes advantage of the deserted elevator to put his arm around Mikey’s shoulders. “You don’t need to do this if you don’t want to, dude.”

“Seriously?” Mikey raises an eyebrow. “After the number of shops I dragged you to to find the damn thing?”

Pete giggles. “That was worth it for the look on those bitches’ faces.” He shakes his head, clearly remembering the place they went to in Glendale where the owner’s disgust at the idea of a man in a wedding dress was clearly barely kept in check by the amount of money they were willing to spend on it.

The memory makes Mikey smile too. Somehow, next to Pete the whole experience had been funny rather than intimidating, and it helps that they’d walked out of the shop without buying anything.

“And you weren't even with me when I got it in the end,” he says, and Pete shakes his head.

“Only cuz you found one on the internet.” He stands to the side and ushers Mikey out of the elevator. “That’s cheating.”

“You’re only saying that because you haven’t seen it yet,” Mikey says as he fumbles his keycard out of his pocket to start the dance of opening the door to the honeymoon suite. “You’ll change your mind when you do.”

“Yeah.” Pete’s smile turns soft. “I bet I will.”

There’s something almost like regret in his eyes now and Mikey gives in to impulse and kisses his cheek as they push into the room. They’d never have worked – they both know that – but Pete was the first one of Mikey’s conquests who’d realized that he was putting on a show, and instead of recoiling in disgust, he’d grinned at Mikey and started negotiating. He’d put on a show for Gerard as good as the next boy, he’d said, provided he got Mikey to himself as well.

Mikey owes him for that – and for his friendship since. He didn't need to accept Mikey, he didn’t need to stick around afterwards, but somehow he did, and he’s the one Mikey calls when he wants a friend who isn’t in his band, who isn’t in a relationship with him, when Mikey needs someone at a remove but who still cares about him in their own way.

He was the first person Mikey had called when he’d first gotten this mad idea, and he’s slightly nervous now as he pulls the dress from the wardrobe and holds it up for Pete to see.

“What do you think?” he asks, and Pete shakes his head, uncharacteristically silent and unreadable for a few long seconds.

“I love it,” Pete says at last, quieter than usual, his voice transparent like only he can manage. “They’ll love it.” He smiles at Mikey and walks close enough to run his fingers down the silk of the dress, almost reverent. “Now, come on. Let’s get you into it before they notice you’ve gone.”

There’s a corset first and the mechanics of getting Mikey into it are so unusual, so ridiculous, that it melts any awkwardness between them, makes Mikey’s partial nudity mundane. They’re giggling by the time it’s on, Mikey holding onto the bed as Pete pulls the laces tight and makes his breath catch.

“What’s next?” Pete asks as Mikey admires his silhouette in the mirror. Mikey’s brow wrinkles as he realizes they should have done this in a different order.

“Those,” he says, gesturing to some lace on the bed. “And stockings.”

Pete’s grin threatens to crack his face in half. “Panties?” He raises an eyebrow. “Aren’t those a bit redundant?” He picks them up, dangles them over a finger. “Or is that the attraction, Mikeyway?”

“You don’t have to help me,” Mikey says, arch, and Pete shakes his head.

“No way am I missing out on this.”

He kneels down at Mikey’s feet, lets Mikey steady himself on his shoulder as he steps into the panties, pulls them up slowly and reverently, utterly non-sexual even when he settles the thin fabric over the swell of Mikey’s cock.

“Stockings,” he says, his voice hoarse. Mikey passes them to him without comment, letting Pete push him backwards until he’s perched on the edge of the bed and Pete can pull the stockings up his legs and fasten the suspenders that hang down from the corset to the top of them.

“Ready for the dress?” he asks, and all Mikey can do is nod.

Pete pulls the dress over his head gently, doing his best not to muss up Mikey’s hair, and frowns in concentration as he does it up.

“Need to get this right,” he says, but it sounds like he’s talking to himself now, and Mikey tries to hide his smile as Pete fusses with the folds of the fabric until it falls like he wants it.

It’s a fairly simple dress, as these things go, but looking at his reflection, Mikey doesn’t regret it. The bodice pinches tight, highlighting the waist the corset’s given him, and the skirt falls in an elegant line, the fabric flaring slightly over the hips he doesn’t have. The only thing that Mikey’s not pleased with is the slight gape at the bust. Even though the dress was designed for someone with a small chest, Mikey is totally flat chested, and he doesn’t want to stuff the top – he’s trying to make a genuine gesture here, not to be convincing as a woman.

Still… he bites his lip, considering his options, wondering what would be best to do.

“Hey.” Pete’s hand is warm on his bare shoulder and when Mikey looks up, he meets his eyes in the mirror, smiling, small and grimly satisfied. “The beautiful bride.”

His tone is oddly earnest, and Mikey blushes. “There are shoes,” he tells Pete, because he can’t find the words to respond to anything else. “And I wanted you to help with my veil.”

Pete nods at that, squaring his shoulders like he’s a knight errant serving his lady, and Mikey has to turn his head because there’s no other way he can hide his expression.

“Shoes?” Pete asks after a few beats, and Mikey gestures to the wardrobe where a pair of ridiculous shoes that look like they’ve fallen out of a regency novel are waiting.

He hears Pete’s breath catch when he sees them, and doesn’t try to hides smile this time because Pete’s fascination with shoes is something he wears on his sleeve.

“Where did you get these?” he asks as he sinks to his knees in front of Mikey, holding a shoe out like Mikey’s his Cinderella.

“Why?” Mikey slides his foot into the shoe and watches as Pete laces it up, his face creased with concentration. “You gonna get a pair for Patrick?”

“Might.” There’s bravado to Pete’s tone, but his cheeks are pink and Mikey shakes his head. Pete doesn’t hide the things he really wants as well as he thinks he does – not from the people who love him. “Anyway…” Pete looks up at Mikey from under his lashes. “You gonna let me put your garter on, Mikes?”

“My garter?” Mikey says, but his stomach sinks as he says it, because he’d thought he’d remembered everything – but he’s forgotten this.

Pete catches his distress and shakes his head, but his eyes are twinkling.

“Never mind.” He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a simple lace band, decorated with small pink bows and strings of gold beads that trail between them. “I thought you might have forgotten it.” He grins. “You emailed me about nearly everything else.”

He grins at Mikey as he draws the band of lace and ribbon up his leg, settling it on his thigh just over the curve of his knee.

“I wish I could see Frank’s face when he sees this,” he says, then shakes his head in feigned panic when Mikey raises an eyebrow. “Oh, no. You’ll have more than enough on your hands. You don’t need me there as well.”

Mikey shrugs, amused, because there is no way Pete will ever accept being any less than the centre of attention.

“Maybe you should ask Patrick for a dance instead,” he says, and Pete rests his chin on Mikey’s knee to look up at him.

“Should I?”

“What do you have to lose?”

Pete shrugs, his expression twisting into something almost afraid. “My dignity?” he suggests and Mikey shakes his head.

“I don’t think so.” He rests his fingers on Pete’s cheek. “For what that’s worth.”

“Maybe.” Pete stands up, dusts his knees off, the conversation clearly at an end. “You mentioned a veil?”

It takes a few seconds to find it, and Pete is collected again by the time he sits the tiara onto Mikey’s hair, frowning as he teases it into place. He shoos Mikey away from the veil, reaching over his head to start draping it over the tiara, but he pauses halfway and he looks at Mikey, suddenly hesitant.

“Can I?” he asks, and Mikey knows exactly what he’s asking – knows why – and nods.

The kiss Pete gives him is soft and chaste, a warm press of lips against Mikey’s that speak of regret, and envy, and, under that, friendship, and his hands, curled around Mikey’s biceps, hold Mikey steady until Pete pulls away.

“Hey,” he says. He’s got crow’s feet at the corners of his eyes when he smiles now, Mikey realizes. Or maybe he never smiled much during the brief moment when their lives overlapped enough that Mikey learnt his face. “You ever think this could have been us?”

“No.” The word’s out before Mikey can stop it and Pete’s expression softens into something warmer.

“Nah. I guess not,” he says. “It was always Gee for you, wasn’t it?” He stands on tiptoes and presses another chaste kiss to the corner of Mikey’s mouth and taking a quick step back before Mikey can touch him. “You enjoy your night, Mikey.” He smiles, complicated and genuine like very few people get to see. “You deserve it.”

“Thank you,” Mikey says, and Pete pauses at the door, looks back over his shoulder.

“It was my pleasure,” he says and that smile, right there, is the reason why Mikey let that whole mess last longer than the one night stand he’d planned in the first place.

He watches as the door shuts behind Pete and he sits on the edge of the bed, feeling awkward and ungainly and wishing he could wipe the palms of his hands on his dress without ruining the silk.

He doesn’t think he’ll have long to wait – he’s fairly sure that Frank saw him leave even if Gerard had been working the room like the star he is – but the sound of the door opening happens almost sooner than he is ready for.

He stands up, staggering slightly, and wishing he’d never bothered with this, but then Frank and Gerard spill into the room and stop dead in their tracks, and yeah. Mikey remembers why he’s doing this.

“Mikey.” Frank’s eyes are wide, his mouth’s open, and he steps away from Gerard towards Mikey without seeming to realize he’s done so. “Mikes.”

He reaches out his hands, hesitant, almost afraid to touch, and he’s so perfectly Frank that Mikey takes a step forward, grabs his hands.

“Hey.” He grins, not sure if Frank can see him under the veil. “Husband.” He looks at Gerard, still standing just inside the door, his eyes wide. “Husbands.”

“Mikey,” Frank says again, and steps forward so he can skim the backs of his knuckles down the sheer fabric of the veil. “What…” He blinks, swallows. “What do you want?”

“I want you to fuck me,” Mikey says, because this is the bit he’s sure about. “And I want Gee to watch us.” He looks between their faces. “If you would both like that.”

“Yeah.” Frank barely lets him finish before he’s speaking. “Yeah.” He pauses, looks over his shoulder at Gerard and his smile turns wicked. “You interested in watching us, Gee?” He puts his hand on Mikey’s waist, pulls him close. “You want to watch our wedding night?”

“Yeah.” Gerard sounds breathless. “Yeah, I really would.”

Mikey lets his eyes flutter closed because this is everything he wants – everything he’s ever wanted, and he doesn’t know how he’s deserved this – how he’s deserved either of them – but Gerard is pulling a chair around so he can see them and Frank is pressing closer to him, and it would take a much better man than Mikey to stop this now.

Frank doesn’t wait for him to recover; he leans in and pulls the veil back and off, dropping it in a whisper of fabric that Mikey barely notices, and kisses Mikey, sweet, gentle, and thorough like he’s been waiting to do this all day. It’s breathtaking, intoxicating and Mikey presses into it, eyes still closed, kissing Frank until he can bite the noises Frank makes from his lips.

His hands are firm on the unnatural curve of Mikey’s waist, not caring that it’s fabricated by the corset and dress, just holding onto Mikey as if someone will steal him if he lets go.

“Stroke his back.”

Gerard’s voice makes Mikey shiver, but Frank complies immediately, like he was waiting to be asked, and Mikey can’t help it, he melts.

He’s wanted Gerard watching, like he’s watched from the start, like he still watches sometimes, even though he can take part now. It makes something in Mikey relax, safe and watched over and loved, like he can be himself, or better than that – that he can be the Mikey that Gerard expects him to be.

“What now?” Frank asks, and Gerard laughs, low and throaty.

“That dress is so pretty… don’t you want to see what he’s hiding under it?”

“Yeah.” Frank’s smiling, his eyes dark, and he crowds Mikey back until the backs of his knees hit the bed and he has to sit or he’ll fall.

“What do you think you’ll find?” he asks, aiming for coy, but his voice is breathless and as Frank drops to his knees at Mikey’s feet his smile is wide and wicked.

“Dunno.” Frank closes his fingers around Mikey’s ankles in a loose grip. “You always surprise me, Mikeyway. Always.”

He skims his hands up Mikey’s legs, pushing up the fabric of the skirt as he does, only pausing when he reaches the garter on Mikey’s thigh.

“Really?” he raises and eyebrow, grinning. “You spoil me, Mikey.”

He dips his head, takes the edge of the garter between his teeth and drags it down Mikey’s leg, his eyes fixed on Mikey’s the whole time. He might not make it – not with any dignity – but Mikey wants to play along with this. He straightens his leg, raising it with his foot pointed like a ballet dancer, feigning an elegance and poise that’s at odds with the tight coil of nerves and desire in his chest. It allows Frank to pull the garter free and he drops it, unheeded, to the floor and pushes Mikey’s knees apart.

“Let me,” he says, and dips his head again to start kissing his way up the inside of Mikey’s thigh. He’s using the finest hint of teeth, and it makes Mikey gasp, loud enough that Gerard looks up at him, eyebrow raised.

“S’good,” Mikey says. “He’s so good, Gee…” His voice breaks as Frank reaches the top of his thigh and bites harder, until it’s almost painful.

“You seen what he’s wearing?” Frank asks as he pulls away, and it takes Mikey a second to realize he’s talking to Gerard.

“No?” There’s the rustle of movement as Gerard moves closer, kneels behind Frank. “Jesus.” He looks up at Mikey, his eyes wide. “Were you wearing those all day?”

Mikey bites his lip, shakes his head, but it’s Frank who says “No.”

“Really?” Gerard’s lips are curved into a tiny smile. “You know that for sure?”

“Course I fucking do.” Frank’s voice is rough. “If he’d been wearing those I’d have fucked him on the altar and we’d never have got to the vows.”

“Yeah.” Gerard rests his chin on Frank’s shoulder as he looks up at Mikey, his eyes tracking over the lines and curves of his body in a way that makes Mikey shiver. “I’d have held him down for you.”

“You can do that now.” Frank leans in, kisses the mark he’s left above the top of the stocking, just under the leg of the panties. “I want to make him squirm.”

He’s good at this, so good, and Mikey flops back onto the bed, eye wide as he stares at the ceiling, trying to prepare himself.

The first touch of Frank’s mouth is so light Mikey thinks he might almost be imagining it. He’s just breathing on the fabric, warming the panties where they are clinging to the swell of Mikey’s cock.

It’s light and teasing and Mikey is going out of his mind wanting more. “Please,” he says, and reaches down to put his hands in Frank’s hair. “Please, Frankie.”

Frank rests his face against Mikey’s thigh for a second, and Mikey can feel the curve of his smile.

“Patience,” Frank says, but this time when he bends back to his task, he starts sucking Mikey lightly through the fabric, and it’s so good that Mikey could almost sob.

He keeps his hands on Frank’s head, not trying to guide him, just needing to ground himself somehow, stop himself from bucking up under the press of Frank’s lips, to stop himself from moaning like a whore.

“Please,” he says again, and looks down and meets Gerard’s eyes, wide and dark as he watches Frank take him apart.

Gerard looks at him like he doesn’t understand. He’s so far away, and it’s the last thing Mikey wants right now.

“Gee,” he says, his voice shaking as Frank runs his tongue over the head of his cock, almost too intense even through the spit-wet fabric. “Gee…”

“Okay.” Gerard bows his head. “Yeah.”

He staggers to his feet, squeezing Frank’s shoulder as he does, and climbs onto the bed next to Mikey, lying on his side next to him so he’s curled around him, warm and safe.

“How do you want this?” Frank asks, looking up at the two of them, his eyes dark, and Gerard smiles.

“You first.” He slides his arm under Mikey’s shoulders, pulling him close. “Then me.”

He sounds so predatory, so possessive, that Mikey shivers, pushes closer into his arms and Frank places a last kiss to Mikey’s cock through the panties before pushing himself to his feet.

“Sounds good,” he says, and starts to strip with methodical, economical movements, not caring where his clothes fall.

It’s only when he’s naked that he pulls the panties down Mikey’s legs, pulling them free of one leg and letting them hang around the other ankle like they don’t matter.

“You ready?” he asks, but Gerard is already passing him the lube and Mikey can only nod at him, wordless with desire.

It’s a stretch when Frank pushes into him and Mikey has to breathe into it, desperate to relax, to let this happen. But Frank moves slowly, knows his body, and Gerard kisses the noises from his lips, the side of his face, the shell of his ear, his neck, all the time whispering sweet nonsense to him, and Mikey can do this, has done it before, does it and Frank bends down and kisses him, his hair sweat damp and falling onto Mikey’s forehead.

He fucks Mikey slowly, pressing kisses to his face indiscriminately as he does, to Mikey’s face and throat, to Gerard, over and over. They’re pressed close together, and it’s warm, maybe too warm in the wedding dress, and Mikey’s not sure he’s ever felt anything this intimate. Their fingers – Gerard’s and Frank’s fingers – are tangled in his, in his hands in his hair. Pinning him to the bed and holding him there, and Mikey’s lost in it, in their hands and kisses, in the slow slide of Frank inside him.

“I love you,” he says, and it doesn’t matter who he says it to. Frank tightens his hold on Mikey, thrusting deeper and harder, like he can’t get close enough, until he comes with a noise that sounds like a sob, pushing his face into Mikey’s neck, his hair falling across Mikey’s face.

Mikey holds him, doesn’t care how hard he still is, how he’s aching to come. Frank is pliant and beautiful in his arms, and Mikey kisses his shoulder, neck, cheek – any part of him he can reach.

“I love you,” Frank says, and he grabs blindly for Mikey’s hand, kisses his wedding ring. “I love both of you.”

Gerard smiles, strokes Frank’s cheek, and Frank turns his face so he can kiss Gerard’s hand too.

“Yeah.” Gerard’s eyes are dark as he watches Frank kiss his ring as well. “We love you too.”

“Heh.” Frank nuzzles Mikey’s cheek. “You’re only saying that cuz you wanna fuck the bride next.”

It’s a joke, but it hangs heavy in the air.

“True,” Gerard says at last, his expression predatory. “I wanna fuck the bride with your come inside him, I wanna feel him come around me.” He looks up. “And then, later, I want to fuck you, Frankie.”

Frank’s still in Mikey so Mikey can feel how he responds to that, and he can’t help it – he wants to come too – he clenches around Frank, and Frank moans.

“Fuck him, then,” he says, pulling himself free of Mikey, wet and filthy. “Fuck him now and we’ll see what happens.” He leans across, stretching his body so he can kiss Gerard. “Or maybe I’ll fuck you. Maybe you’ll want that.”

Gerard shakes his head, pulls himself off the bed as he starts to strip.

Or?” he asks, his tone arch. “You should embrace the power of and, Frankie.”

Frank settles himself on the edge of the bed and grins up at Gerard, nudging Mikey with his wrist as he enjoys the show of Gerard’s skin.

“Whatever you say,” he says, his tone irreverent, and Gerard shakes his head again, naked now, his hard cock curving up towards his belly.

“Is this okay?” he asks, and Mikey nods, basking in the warmth of his regard before he kneels between Mikey’s legs.

There’s something wrong, though, and Gerard picks up on it before Mikey even says anything.

“What’s wrong?” he asks, and Mikey looks at Frank, all the way over on the edge of the bed.

“Why are you all the way over there?” he asks, and he knows he sounds plaintive but he can’t help it.

“I don’t want to get you dirty,” Frank says a hint of confusion to his tone, but Gerard grins, evil, as he pulls Mikey’s leg up so it rests on his shoulder, positions the fat head of his cock against Mikey’s slick, fucked-open hole.

“Feels like you made him dirty already,” he says, and he pushes into Mikey, a slick, stretching slide that has Mikey groaning and bucking up under him. “And he wants you.” Gerard smiles down at Mikey, his expression soft. “You should get over here, make him come for me.”

Frank makes a small noise that could be argument, could be agreement, but he slides down onto the bed next to Mikey and he reaches out, spits in his palm, grips Mikey’s cock in a loose, calloused, grip.

“Gonna come for me, baby?” he asks, and he starts to jack Mikey off painfully slowly, matching his strokes to Gerard’s until Mikey feels like he could shake apart, like they’re driving him mad between them.

“Please,” he says, twisting his fingers in the sheet under him, desperately trying to keep from reaching for his cock, for Frank’s hand. “Please.”

“Please, what?” Frank’s tone is mischievous, but he grins and kisses him as he fractionally quickens his pace, waiting until Gerard speeds up to match, so they’re locked in a feedback circle that has Mikey bucking off the bed, swearing and sweating, obscene and ruining the dress he’s wearing.

“You want me to make you come?” Frank asks in his ear. “You want to come on Gee’s cock? In your dress? You want to come for us, Mikey?”

“Yes.” Mikey only just manages to bite out the word before he’s coming, clenching and writhing around Gerard as he orgasms.

It’s enough to make Gerard’s come too, his fingers digging into Mikey’s shoulders as he comes deep inside him.

They lie in bed after, trading sleepy kisses, unrushed and unstressed for what feels like the first time in weeks.

“Should get you out of that dress,” Gerard says at last and even though the dress is a sweat soaked ruin of its former glory, Mikey feels oddly sad.

“Just a bit longer?” he says, and he sounds plaintive even to his own ears.

“Why?” Gerard sounds curious rather than interrogative, and it might be that which gives Mikey the courage to answer.

“It means it’s not our wedding day any more,” he says, and Gerard and Frank both nod like that makes sense to them too.

“I guess.” Frank sounds thoughtful. “It does make it the first day of our married lives though, so…” He shrugs, looks at Mikey, oddly hopeful. “There’s that.”

He holds his hand out then, his wedding ring glinting in what light there is left in the room, and Gerard reaches up so he can tangle his fingers with Frank’s, so Mikey can see both their rings.

It makes him smile, his heart too full of feelings for him to name. He sits up, though, because Gerard’s right – there’s no way he can sleep in this dress.

“My husbands,” he says, and kisses their joined hands.