- The Carpenters, Make Believe It's Your First Time
Bob was a patient guy. He saw no reason not to be. For the most part, Bob had always managed to get exactly what he wanted if he was just willing to wait long enough. Well, wait and be a tad proactive--My Chem hadn't just fallen into his lap while he was sitting on his ass in Chicago.
Of course, most of what Bob had previously wanted or needed in life hadn't been so defined as his more recent longings. It used to be that Bob was more than happy to let things just fall into place, to find that he actually wanted something he never even knew he wanted before he acquired it.
He knew he wanted Gerard.
He always had, but he had expected that it would go away. His crushes up until this point all had.
It was just unfortunate that he worked with Gerard. Lived with Gerard. Breathed and ate and slept around Gerard.
As it turned out, Gerard Way was hard to get over.
That would have been fine. Gerard was pretty easy--Bob was fairly certain Gerard would have indulged him if he'd just asked.
But so far as Bob could tell, Gerard was also ass over heels in love with Ray fucking Toro and his state of easy came in the pursuit of forgetting that. Bob would be a lot of things, but a momentary substitute for Ray wasn't one of them.
No, either Gerard was going to have to get over his grand passion for My Chem's straight-and-then-some guitarist, or Bob was going to have to rid himself of his three-year-running crush on Gerard.
It was one of the two.
Neither was looking likely to happen.
Bob maintained that he would have held out, gripped close and fast to his beliefs and standards in this instance, except for the night Gerard showed back up at the hotel with a cut lip. Gerard looked at him and said, "Freak water glass incident."
Gerard was a crap liar. Half the time Bob figured his big push for honesty was just a cover for the fact that if he could be kept from lying, it was really best for all involved.
Bob caught Gerard's chin in one hand and looked at the lip. It would be fine.
Gerard said, "Could you not mention this to Mikey?"
"He's got his own set of eyes, Gerard." Ones that worked at full capacity now, even.
"But sometimes if he doesn't have to confront something, he'll choose not to. He's stressed out enough."
All true. Bob nodded, acceding to the request. Which didn't mean he was letting the topic go. "You don't usually pick assholes." At least not violent ones.
Gerard just shrugged.
Bob, frustrated to the point of wanting to shake Gerard, dug deeper. "Ray pick up a groupie tonight?"
Gerard glared. Bob knew that, as far as Gerard was concerned, there was a code around the Ray thing. Largely, Gerard didn't talk about it and nobody else did, either.
Tragically for Gerard, Bob was done giving a shit about his code. He glared back.
"That's Ray's business," Gerard said.
It was, but that didn't change the fact that Gerard was standing before him, battered and hidden inside himself and performing harder than he ever did on stage. "You're making it yours."
"And you're making this yours, for no particular reason."
Bob said, "Well, this is my band."
Gerard opened his mouth and Bob was all too aware that if Gerard said something unforgivable Bob would still forgive him, so he said, "Don't."
Gerard flushed slightly, and Bob knew he had called that correctly. He sighed. "Gee."
Gerard always folded under kindness. Now was no different. "I didn't actually know he was gonna hit me. He had sharp edges and I just-- Didn't want to get confused. To care."
Bob thought through the implications of that statement, of the way Gerard must have put a little bit of himself into every single one of those hook-ups, left a little bit of himself behind in each alleyway, bathroom, hotel room. "Maybe you need to care more than you have been. Find something to care about."
Something that wasn't Ray.
Gerard looked at him, hopelessness burning so bright from him Bob could feel the heat. "C'mon," he said and waited to make sure Gerard actually followed him.
The problem with Gerard was that he tended to go away and think about things better left un-thought about. Luckily, he was also phenomenally unsubtle when thinking, so it didn't take Bob long to catch onto the fact that Gerard had begun staring at him.
He said, "Knock it off, Way," and for a while Gerard did until he remembered that he needed to think, which obviously necessitated a lot of visual fixation.
In the end Bob did the only thing likely to bring an end to the situation, if not actually solve anything. He said, "Penny for your thoughts."
Stubbornly, Gerard told him, "They're worth more than that."
Bob just settled into wait. He could out-wait anyone in the band, up to and including Ray, who sometimes managed to hold out for entire months.
Gerard was a cakewalk, comparatively.
Bob thought about other things while Gerard was trying not to give in--the drum in his kit that he was pretty sure needed a new head, the mash-up he'd been trying to find that kept eluding him, whether he should change the voicemail message on his Sidekick now that they were on tour again. He had just decided "yes" on that last when Gerard asked, "Would you prefer it was you?"
Bob wondered if he'd missed something while navel-gazing. "Prefer what was me?"
"The people I sleep with. Would you prefer it was you?"
"No," Bob said honestly. Not like that, that wasn't what he would have preferred at all.
Gerard frowned. "You seemed. . . Not jealous, exactly. Possessive, a little. Like nobody else had the right to hurt me."
Bob listened to Gerard's tone. Gerard's tone often said a million things that his words never even approached. He answered, "Nobody has the right to hurt you, period."
"I know. I know that. I just meant it seemed personal the other night."
"It was personal. You're Gerard."
Bob broke code again. "You're in love with Ray."
Gerard flinched. Slowly, he said, "Sometimes I think I've forgotten how to be anything else. And none of them know how to remind me."
He walked off then.
Bob thought, well, fuck.
"Is it that you know where I've been?" Gerard asked, and his eyes weren't ashamed, but they weren't proud, either.
"Where you've been?" Bob raised an eyebrow.
"The other people I've slept with," Gerard clarified.
"I missed the first part of this conversation." He hadn't, but Gerard could sometimes start in the middle of things.
"I just thought maybe that was why you would touch but not take."
"And I thought we had covered the part where you're in love with Ray. I don't really need to be a substitute cock for you, Gerard. As you nearly reminded me the other night, I'm already the substitute drum player."
"I don't believe that."
Bob let him off the hook. "I know."
"I really, really don't."
"Yeah, Gee. I really, really know." Bob rubbed at his wrist, tight from playing. He needed to put some heat on it, put his brace back on. "But the thing is, you sleep with those people because you keep hoping they'll make you notice something else, make you look away from Ray and I'm a lot of things, but stupid enough to believe that isn't on the list."
"None of them are you guys."
"You couldn't have decided Frank was the guy to get you over this?"
"Jamia would take a contract out on my life."
Yeah, she probably would. And Bob liked Jamia; he didn't really want Frank cheating on her. Still, it would have been more convenient than Gerard fixating where he clearly was. Why the hell did Mikey have to be Gerard's brother?
Bob figured he might as well have asked why Ray had to be so fucking heterosexual.
Sometimes Bob's bandmates failed him in deep and unforgivable ways.
He generally forgave them this.
"Look," Gerard sat down next to Bob, stole the wrist he was patiently trying to work the worst of the pain from, "if you don't want to take, maybe you could just touch, a bit? See how that works out for us."
"It's not as if we don't touch."
"You don't touch me like you touch the others. You don't. Not like Frank and Mikey. Not like Ray."
"My relationship with them is different." Bob hated that he always had to be the one to state the obvious.
Gerard pressed deep at one of the tighter spots and Bob felt his eyes sting. Gerard loosened his grip, "Sorry."
"No, do that again. Work it out."
Gerard pressed and the pain was intense enough to cause black spots to appear behind Bob's eyes. Bob thought about telling Gerard the metaphor. He would have appreciated that sort of thing. The pain sharpened and Bob bit the inside of his cheek. It dispersed then, leaving the arm warm and sore, but considerably better off than it had been.
Gerard said, "You should put your brace on."
"In a bit. Heat first."
"Yeah, okay." Gerard ran his lips over the spot he'd hurt, a quick brush.
Bob leaned in and kissed him.
Gerard looked at him, unsure, maybe a bit worried.
Bob said, "Thanks for the massage."
Gerard said, "Uh, sure."
"Let's hope this doesn't end the way I think it does." Bob went to go plug in the heating pad.
When Gerard came to Bob's room after the show and asked, "How's the arm?" Bob made himself say, "Functional," rather than, "What, there was nobody you wanted to fuck tonight?"
Bob knew when his inner monologue was fairly counterproductive.
"I could, you know, work out the kinks for you. Like I did."
Bob let him in the room. He was well aware that it was irresponsible decision making that he was enacting--not just for himself, but Gerard as well.
He could still feel Gerard's fingers from last time.
He was only human.
Bob sat on the bed, his back propped against the headboard. Gerard sat facing him and held his hands out. Bob gave him his arm.
Gerard started out lighter than he had last time. "We were sort of lackluster tonight."
They had been. It happened, though. They couldn't be on all the time. Still, "Feeling all right?"
"I think my mind is elsewhere."
Bob didn't ask. Gerard wanted to tell him. He didn't have to ask. What he did have to do was respect himself in the morning.
"Mikey told me once, in my post-art school phase when I was generally a bit useless, that my problem was that I became fixated with ideas. It wasn't that my ideas were bad, he said, a lot of the time they were brilliant, but brilliance wasn't always a guarantee of viability and once I had decided the idea was worthwhile I just wouldn't give up.
"The thing is, that inability to give up is why My Chem exists, so I can't really regret it. But it's also why I've been pining over fucking Toro for longer than most people stay married. And in general, historically, Mikey's been right about me, you know?"
Bob said, "At the moment, the only problem with you is that you think this can be-- You think I can be different than all those other bodies you fucked hoping to drive him out of you because you know things about this body."
"No. No. I think this can be different because I will be me to you, me just me, just Gerard, not even Gerard Way. And you'll be Bob to me and you'll let all that other shit slide, allow all those other people, even Ray, not matter."
"Will I really?" Bob kept his eyes bland, the way he did when they were interviewing, when he was uninterested in giving any of himself away.
Gerard looked nervous. "Let it slide?"
Slowly, Gerard nodded. "Let's-- Let's pretend, okay, let's just pretend for tonight, behind that door," Gerard gestured to the door of Bob's hotel room, as pervasive and anonymous as any of the million hotel room doors Bob had seen in his life, "that this is. . .our first time."
"It is our first time," Bob pointed out. Or it would be, if Bob were stupid enough to say yes. Which he was probably going to be.
"No, I mean, ever. Our first time ever."
Bob stared at Gerard.
"Come on," Gerard said softly. "Please."
Magic fucking word.
Bob pulled his wrist back to his chest, bringing Gerard with it and kissed him. "My first time was pretty awkward."
"Good reason to do it over again," Gerard said, and kissed him back.
Gerard kissed like he sang, all of himself on his tongue, pouring off his lips. Bob brought his free hand up to the nape of Gerard's neck, holding him where he was despite the clear fact that Gerard had no plans to go anywhere.
Occasionally, Bob liked to be sure of things--the important ones, anyway.
Gerard's hands scrabbled at the hem of Bob's shirt. Bob asked, "Were you this fast your first time?"
"I was sixteen and pretty sure she'd either get bored and give up on me or I'd come before we got to the main attraction. So, yes."
Bob laughed, and let Gerard drag the shirt over his head. Gerard leaned over to suck at Bob's collarbone, lick along its line, nip lightly at the skin of Bob's shoulder. Bob freed his hands and pushed them past the waistline of Gerard's jeans, inside his briefs to cup at his ass.
Gerard made a sound that shuddered up the muscle of Bob's shoulder, into his neck. Bob laughed. "Like that, huh?"
Gerard panted a bit. "If you don't stop touching my ass, this really is gonna be like my first time."
"You always this easy?"
"Hey, pretending I don't know."
Bob used his grip to tug Gerard slightly up, kiss him hard and wet and fast. "Get rid of your shirt."
Gerard didn't waste any time. Bob rolled them over so that Gerard was underneath him, so that he could coil slightly and lick a neat line around the edge of Gerard's nipples.
Gerard arched up into Bob, helpless and excruciatingly beautiful in his responsiveness.
Bob said, "Pants."
Gerard reached around him even as Bob continued in his fun, adding a mild amount of teeth to the proceedings. It took Gerard a really long time to figure out the button on his jeans. Just when Bob thought the zipper might be a lost cause, Gerard managed. The briefs peeled right off with the jeans, which was convenient. Also the fact that Gerard had padded across the hall barefoot.
Bob was possibly more predictable than he liked to think.
He wasn't going to worry about it right then, not with Gerard's cock newly on offer. He rose up a bit and bent over it, pausing a moment just to breathe. Gerard whined, "Bob."
Bob laughed and gave the head a quick, hard suck. Gerard made pretty noises in the back of his throat. Bob thought, lead singer and allowed himself a slow, even descent.
Gerard's hands threaded into Bob's hair. Bob hadn't really thought of this when he'd grown it out, but it was a nice side effect, perhaps even overcame all of Frank's mockery about his emo hair. As if Frank had any right to talk.
Gerard's fingers pressed warm and insistent into Bob's scalp, but Bob had waited a long time for this, and pretense or no, he was taking things at the pace he wanted to. Bob was not one to take chance for granted when it came along. That was just stupid.
It occurred to Bob somewhere along the way that he hadn't really planned on getting lucky this evening and he drew off to say, "I gotta find some--"
"Back pocket," Gerard mumbled, breath and desperation combining to make sound.
"Prepared little virgin, aren't you?"
"Less talking, more cocksucking," Gerard suggested.
Bob reached over with one hand and rooted through Gerard's pockets. When he found what he was looking for, he went back down on Gerard, lubed two of his fingers up and pushed them in, smooth and not-so-gentle. Gerard groaned, ceased breathing after the necessary exhalation of noise.
Bob pulled off of him. "Gerard."
Gerard drew a breath in.
"Mm," Bob said, and twisted.
"Bob, Bob." Gerard's voice didn't normally register that high.
Bob managed to get his pants off with only one hand available. He was a lot smoother than he'd been the first time he'd actually done this. That time it had taken three hands, the third not having been his own.
He gave the condom to Gerard and said, "You've got two hands."
Said two hands weren't working the best but Gerard managed to bend himself just the right way without ever losing Bob's fingers and do what needed to be done. Bob took his fingers back, pressed Gerard to the bed, draped his knees over Bob's shoulders with a gratuitous caress along the entire length of his legs, and slid in.
Gerard went eerily silent for a long moment before a sob broke from him, quiet and desperate and utterly real. Bob said, "Shh, just enjoy."
Gerard said something that sounded like, "Yes."
Bob rode him and it wasn't as slow as he would have liked it to be, couldn't be that slow, because Gerard wasn't the only one having flashbacks in this room. Bob curled his hand around Gerard's cock, firmer than the first time he'd done this with a guy, when he hadn't realized that the same rules applied, hadn't realized he could go pretty far without going too far.
Gerard came on the second stoke. The immediacy of it washed over Bob and he closed his eyes, tried to hold on, tried to think sturdying thoughts, but Gerard was making pleased, overwhelmed noises and he followed Bob into the spaces in his head, into his privacy, into him.
The sheer intensity of it was too much for Bob to escape, overcame his ability to hold back.
He wasn't sure if Gerard actually said, "Yes," again, or if that was him.
They were stuck together when they woke up, which they sort of deserved for being too damn lazy to get out of bed and wipe each other off. That evidently wasn't going to keep Gerard from whining, "owow," when Bob attempted to separate them.
There was a metaphor in that--Bob knew, because he'd been trained by the Way brothers to see them--but Gerard was the metaphor guy in this bed, and so Bob was going to leave it to him to puzzle it out.
When Bob was wholly free he left Gerard, in case he wanted to sleep some more and went to go soak in the shower for a long, long time until the heat and the water and the steam took him slightly out of himself, away from this moment that had so much potential and so very little promise.
Gerard asked, "Room for me in there?"
Bob started, opened his eyes.
Gerard looked slightly abashed. "Sorry, didn't mean to scare you."
Gerard stepped in, pulling the curtain all the way closed. He grinned at Bob. "Morning."
"It is," Bob agreed.
Gerard laughed. Bob was pretty sure Gerard didn’t get giddy like this every time he was laid, else the mood would have been more familiar. Bob pulled him under the spray and lathered up his hair, caressing a bit at the back of his neck. Gerard made a pleased noise.
Bob rinsed his hair and the got to washing his own. When he opened his eyes after the last of the shampoo was gone, Gerard was watching him, eyes dark and determined.
Bob unwrapped the hotel soap and reached out to run it over the ridge of Gerard's right shoulder. Gerard caught his hand, held it where it was.
Bob said, "Gee?"
"We were stuck together," Gerard said.
"Yeah," Bob said, and laughed a little at the predictability of that statement.
Gerard shoved him, lightly, not enough to actually move him. "Don't laugh at me."
Bob kissed him and didn't make any promises.