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Just Sleep

Chapter 4

At 8:30 that evening, Linda Iero finishes a long gruelling shift at the hospital and arrives home with two bags of groceries and a bad mood. “Frank?” she calls grumpily, staggering through the front door with the heavy bags and nudging it closed again with her hip, “Frank, are you here? I bought your favorite pasta!”
Only darkness and silence answer her so she sighs dejectedly and goes straight to the kitchen, dumping the cold food on the counter and turning on the light. There's a fresh stain on the wall and she frowns in annoyance and sniffs it suspiciously, recoiling with an annoyed gasp when she realises it's coffee. Oh, for God's sake.
Peering into the garbage can under the sink, she finds the cute puppy mug Frank bought her last year for Mother's Day in broken pieces and a flush of sadness burns her heart, mingling with a mom's disappointment. Ever since his mysterious trip to Florida, her son has been acting like an ungrateful animal and she doesn't know why. He's constantly getting drunk, skipping school, and now breaking things too - yes, she also noticed the cracked window outside! - and all her attempts to drag him out of his filthy room for a proper meal or a helpful chat have been thrown back in her face. Where did she go wrong? What's happened to her gentle, thoughtful child to make him so moody and distant? She works twelve hour nursing shifts just to keep food on their table and Frank barely even acknowledges her existence anymore. He's obviously troubled and hurting, but why? He won't talk to her and she's running out of patience. Maybe he needs a male role model, but it's not as if his deadbeat father is going to come over and comfort his offspring, the lazy bastard.
Huffing angrily, Linda looks around at the empty room before scribbling a short note for her son and storming back out of the house. It's Friday night and she's going to stay at her sister's place. Frank can cook his own damn dinner for once.
The front door slamming shut snaps Gerard out of a dreamless sleep and he rolls onto his back, half-conscious and yawning. Rubbing grit from his eyes, he peers up at a ceiling bathed in the dark blue shadows of early night and feels a faint breeze caress his face. Outside somewhere, a car revs up and speeds away and headlights strobe across the walls, glowing white in the dimness. Gerard frowns and sits up a little, trying to remember where he is. His heavy head feels stuffed with cotton balls and his injured arm is stiff and sore, mashed against his side where he was sleeping on it. Pushing off the thick sheets swamping his body, he sits up groggily on the narrow bed and finally recognises his dark surroundings as Frank's bedroom. Well that's just... bad.
What the hell is he doing here? He must've been sleeping for hours. Oh god, what if Frank's mom knows he's here? If he gatecrashed her precious son's life again she'd probably take a knife to him!
Looking down at himself in panic, he breathes a sigh of relief to find himself fully dressed and the warm body lying beside him – beautiful Frankie – still sound asleep.
Last year when they first started dating, Gerard had waited until the adorable wide-eyed teenager he fell in love with at the local comic book store had turned eighteen before they did anything more sexual than kissing. He wasn't a creep and they were so in love back then, so perfectly tuned to each other's hearts and needs and the unique experiences that had shaped and moulded each of them into an individual person of the world. In fact things were so perfect that in a different life they may have stayed in love forever. But just two months after Frank's eighteenth birthday Gerard ruined it all by getting blind-drunk and kissing a local pimp named Bert on New Year's Eve instead of his boyfriend. He broke Frankie's loyal little heart.
Shuddering now in the quiet night, Gerard can still remember pulling away from Bert, sky-high and giggling with the asshole's sloppy drool on his lips, and finding poor Frankie standing two feet away with tears in his eyes and his hands shaking around the fresh beers he'd gone to fetch for them. After an exhausting fight, they'd split up for good and Gerard had tried his best to stay away ever since. Even after Mikey died and Frank generously offered him a shoulder to cry on, Gerard couldn't accept it. He was a fucking mess, a goddamn suicidal drunk! Frank didn't need that kind of poison in his life.
Now, easing himself off the bed, Gerard switches on the bedside lamp and quietly looks for his shoes amongst the clothes, trash and magazines littering the carpet. The orange glow illuminates Frank's sleeping form and Gerard hesitates at the sight of sweat shining on his ex's face. Biting his lip, Gerard grabs the blankets still covering Frank up to his chin and pulls them away, revealing the teenager's thick wool cardigan... and several small bloodstains blossoming on the sheets. Cringing in embarrassment, Gerard immediately checks his own injured arm, thinking some of his stitches must have come loose, but the bandages are clean and white, not even a speck of blood seeping through.
Another car zooms past outside and Frank stirs and opens his sleepy eyes to squint up at Gerard in confusion. “Hey,” the older man whispers awkwardly, standing up straighter and taking a guilty step backwards, “Look, Frankie, I'm sorry for busting in on you like this and crashing so hard. I'm on this new medication and I don't really know what I'm doing half the time and-”
“So you were just gonna leave without even waking me up?” Frank interrupts in a hurt voice, “Seriously?” When Gerard doesn't answer, the teenager sits up with a grunt of pain that he tries to disguise as a cough. Gerard looks again at the blood on the bed and then finally notices a much larger stain soaking through the shoulder of Frank's cardigan and his heart breaks. Frank follows his gaze and blushes with shame, scrambling to cover the mess with the blankets again. “Frank,” Gerard says carefully, a pit of dread growing in his stomach, “What the hell's going on with you?”
“Nothing. Youre leaving anyway aren't you? So what do you care?” Frank growls, turning away and grabbing a dusty mug of Gatorade from his nightstand, gulping it down with his eyes closed.
“Aw come on, don't be like that.”
“Like WHAT?! Do you even know what kind of shit I've been dealing with since watching you almost die, Gerard? Do you even care?!”
“Of course I do.”
“Really? Or are you only here cos Ray made you come? Or cos you're lonely and need a sympathy fuck?”
“Hey!” Gerard yells, anger ripping at his throat, “That is NOT FAIR! I said I wanted to sleep, not sleep TOGETHER, not like sex or anything. I just wanted...comfort? I don't know... a-and besides you said you wanted to! You said it was okay...” Trailing off, the older man sighs and sits back on the bed, wanting to cry when Frank immediately gets up and moves away, wiping his sweaty face with his sleeve and chucking the empty mug at a clump of dirty laundry.
“Whatever,” he whispers, glaring sadly at the person he once loved more than anything in the world, “If you wanna go now, then go. Sneak away and leave like you wanted to. It's getting late and my mom'll be home soon. I'm... I'll be okay, Gee.”
Staring in disbelief, Gerard stands up and approaches his former sweetheart, meeting Frank's stubborn gaze with his own and smugly noticing how the teenager's huge green irises flood with black as Frank's pupils dilate with unconscious affection for him. Moving closer and closer until he can feel the kid's trembling breaths against his neck, he reaches out to stroke a damp strand of hair out of Frank's eyes and feels the teenager's pale skin, warm and greasy under his fingers. The fact that Frank allows this touch without flinching away gives him enough courage to say the next few words: “Did you hurt yourself because of me?”
“What? Hurt myself? Don't be stupid!” Frank blurts defensively, but the guilt and panic in his eyes betrays him.
“Come on babe, it's summertime and you're wearing a fucking cardigan. Plus there's blood on the sheets and it's not mine so unless you're on your period...”
For about a millisecond Frank smirks at the lame joke. Then his young face crumples and he swallows hard, sinking wearily onto the messy floor and hugging his knees to his chest, curling over himself as his voice shakes: “You don't get to call me 'babe' anymore, you asshole.”
“Sorry,” Gerard whispers, choking up in spite of himself as his eyes blur and a dozen bad memories flicker through his aching head, “I'm sorry for everything, Frankie, I really am. I didn't mean to hurt you, kid.”
“But you did!” Frank sobs, “You did fucking hurt me! So please just fuck off and let's forget this ever happened, okay? I need to get my head together and I c-can't do that with you here!”
“Please, leave Gerard."
"I said get out!”
“I don't want to leave you like this. You're bleeding, baby, you're not okay!”
Groaning in frustration, Frank smashes his fists into the sides of his own head, his body trembling with stress. Then he pulls a cell phone out of his torn jeans and waves it in his ex's face. “Get out now or I'll fucking call the cops and have them drag you out!"
"What the fuck Frank?!"
"PLEASE just fucking get out! I can't handle this right now!" Frank yells, his shakes getting worse and worse as his eyes glaze over and darken with inexplicable fear, "I NEED you to go! PLEASE! Just GO!”
Shocked at the panic and desperation in his ex's voice, Gerard finally backs off and leaves the room, bolting down the stairs and stumbling through the front door into the cool night air. With nothing but misery behind him and nowhere else he wants to go, he breaks into a run as slick salty tears he wishes weren't there paint his cheeks in the moonlight.
The second Gerard is gone, Frank drops the cell phone and bursts into breathless tears, curling up helpless and shaking on the floor as he tries to calm the hurricaine of stabbing suffocating panic screaming in his guts. His head is spinning and his chest feels so tight he can't breathe more than a few rapid strangled gasps of air... Oh god what's happening? Why can't he breathe?! Within minutes he's drenched in sweat and his stomach hurts so bad he's forced to crawl to the bathroom, dizzy and frightened. Wretching and gagging, he violently throws up in the toilet before the room starts to spin and everything goes black.
When he regains consciousness he's lying on the bathroom floor still crying and he can't feel his legs. Sitting up makes him vomit again but now he's only spitting up watery Gatorade and his cramping guts are all but empty. Forcing himself to stand up on trembling legs, he claws off the sweltering grubby cardigan and stumbles panting and sobbing into the shower, turning on the water full blast and collapsing to his knees. Weeping and cursing the whole fucking world, he stays huddled under the downpour crying into the drain until his breathing finally slows down and the rushing soothing water numbs his shaking skin and washes the blood off his wounded shoulder.
When he finally manages to leave the bathroom in his dripping clothes, wiping his eyes and nose on fistfuls of damp toilet paper, he goes downstairs in search of his mother's comforting voice and arms because he doesn't know what else to do... but all he finds is a note from her in the kitchen. She's not coming home tonight.
He's alone.


((Grrr, i can't get this chapter exactly right so I figured I'll just post it now or I never will.
Thanks for reading!
Comments help me write (let's be honest, they help all of us write lol). xxx))


Thank you so much for commenting, I will indeed continue :) x

Pinchetta Pinchetta

This is so good. Keep writing <3

Jacketslut2 Jacketslut2

Thank you for commenting! You're a fab reader <3 x

Pinchetta Pinchetta

Thank you for the update <3 youre a great writer!

insanity insanity

Updated! X

Updated! X

Pinchetta Pinchetta