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Luciamad, Gerard/Jepha. Pretty Handsome Awkward, The Used

Warm summer rain, you bleed just like you puke while running a mile

It's a completely accidental Freak Bathroom Meeting, and Gerard totally blames Brian, because it's Brian's job to ensure that Gerard's Very Noble Decision to leave the other members of The Used to Bert and Bert alone for the rest of all time ever and ever amen goes smoothly. Brian, clearly, is falling down on the job. Gerard spies Jeph from the mirror. He's washing his hands, Jeph is taking care of business and he has a second where he thinks, "If I don't dry my hands, I could sneak out."

Then Jeph says, without even looking backward, "Hey Gee." It's low-pitched, not precisely unsure, just...careful. Gerard doesn't remember Jeph being the careful sort, not with anyone except Bert, and even then it was hidden, masked beneath a slick, dry humor and a penchance for mischief.

"Jeph," Gerard says, hesitant, caught out. There's the sound of a zipper being done up and Jeph comes over to the sinks, reaches in to use Gerard's, despite the presence of three others, readily available. Gerard jerks back.

Jeph raises an eyebrow. Gerard says, "Um."

"Whatever you've been hearing, I don't have the herp. Not unless I picked it up recently."

"Jeph--"

"If you had it to do over again, would you do it the same way?"

Gerard's lungs tighten, the exertion of emotion too much for his body to take, nearly too much for his mind. "No. Fuck, no."

"Didn't think so," Jeph says, flicks his hands out in Gerard's direction, and leaves the room with them still dripping.

***


The second time he ends up in a room mysteriously alone with Jeph, Gerard knows he's being colluded against by tiny tattooed assholes, at least one of whom ought to have his best interests at heart. The other--well, the other might be waging a war of terror on him. Gerard can't yet tell.

If he is, it's very friendly terror, as Jeph just smiles at him in the bathroom mirror--Gerard is taking Mikey next time, he doesn't care who laughs at him--and says, "Fancy meeting you here."

Gerard breaks under the strain of expecting the torture and says, "I never meant to hurt him, I didn't, I swear. You have to believe me."

Jeph says, "If I didn't, you'd never have seen me coming."

"Oh," Gerard says, startling when the water from Jepha's hands hits him. Again. He didn't see that coming.

***


Gerard confides in Bob, because Bob knew The Used before any of them, and unlike Brian, Gerard doesn't think Bob is in league against him. He tells him, "I think Jeph has been trying to talk to me."

Bob stays suspiciously silent. Even for Bob, the level of silence is, well, suspicious. Gerard says, "You're not denying it."

"A guy has a right to try and talk to you, Gee. What do you want me to say?"

"I broke his lead singer's heart," Gerard reminds him, like maybe Bob has forgotten those months of which Gerard has only vague recollections. Most of what he has is filled with Mikey's eyes, hooded and worried, and Bert's, impossibly wide and unfathomably hurt for someone who had been turned away, thrown aside so many times before.

"It's been four years, Gee," Bob says gently. "And Jeph always--" he shakes his head. "Bert and Quinn-- Bert's been happy for almost two now. You'd know it if you ever allowed yourself to ask about him."

Gerard can't. If he asks, he has to remember the way Bert could laugh at his jokes before he'd even gotten to the funny parts and how Bert's ideas always grew organically into his own and how he let things take him further than he ever should have in an effort to hold on. He'll remember how fucking much he misses Bert. "So, um. You don't think Jeph's plotting to kill me in a latent but all the more spectacular for it act of revenge?"

"Put down the comic books and back away slowly, Gee."

Gerard sighs. "You've got to admit, it would have been epic."

***


Gerard gets Jepha's number from Mikey and texts him. "Bob sez ur nt trying 2 kill me."

Jeph gets back to him fairly quickly. "What teh fuck wld Bob kno?"

Gerard grins and punches in, "Hi."

***


This time, Gerard's not quite so surprised. After all, he knows Jepha's going to be in the same place as him, and evidently, Jepha has a thing for bathrooms. Gerard might have to put his foot down on things he suspects that might imply later on, but for the moment, he's just glad to see him, glad to be able to throw himself at Jepha and know he'll be caught. Jepha grunts, "Jesus, what'd you do, stop taking coke or something?" but he takes Gerard's frontal attack just fine for all that, squeezes back until Gerard is a little breathless in the embrace. Jeph says, "Hey, very handsome awkward," and Gerard says, "Jeph--" but Jeph just kisses away whatever he was going to say. Gerard can feel the blood rush to lie right underneath the surface of his lips.

Jepha grazes them with his teeth, murmurs, "Pretty," and the blood doesn't break free.

Adorkable37, Frank/Gerard, Smother Me, The Used

and how my mistakes have made your heart break/Still I need you here with me

Gerard had a hard and fast rule about Frank: his romantic life was his romantic life. Same with his sex life. Frank had his and Gerard had his and that was that. Well, Gerard ideally could have had his, but the reality or otherwise of the situation was wholly unimportant to The Rule. All that mattered was that Gerard never, ever had to know with whom Frank was flirting, kissing, sucking off, fucking or so much as thinking mildly suggestive thoughts about. It was just better for everyone that way.

Mikey, who should have known this was true, seemed somewhat less than convinced. "Gee, seriously, I know you have like, a Catholic guilt thing, and all, but just ask him for a second chance."

"It's not a thing."

"Don't get me wrong, I'm certain very small men with enough tattoos to make someone think they might be compensating--"

"He is not!"

Mikey shrugged delicately. "I'm not making a statement one way or another."

"Just because Bob is...tall," Gerard settled on after a moment's deliberation, but Mikey cut him off, eyes entirely too serious for the banter passing between them. "Gee. Gee. Everyone deserves a second chance."

The problem was, "I think I'm on my eighth. Or ninth. I kinda lost track."

Mikey said softly, "I know of one or two people who have extended you more than that."

Gerard sighed and didn't bother to explain that brothers and mothers were biased.

***


The thing about trying to ignore Frank's totally-his-own-to-have-whatever-okay sex life was that Frank just wasn't very discreet. Gerard was forever accidentally walking in on him making out sloppily with say, Jon Walker. Gerard complained to Ray, "Doesn't he have a girlfriend?"

Ray shrugged. "I think they've got an arrangement. Or maybe Walker's just a dickface. How am I supposed to know these things? Besides, I thought you were swearing off caring about Frank's comings and goings."

"I just don't want to see him hurt," Gerard said. After all, that was what good friends did, protected each other from harm.

Ray said, "Mmhm," and slipped his earphones back on, the kind with noise cancellation.

Or there was the time when Gerard practically tripped over Frank in the warm up stages of something a little more awesome with Gabe and, "Seriously?" he asked Mikey. "I mean, there's like a seven foot difference there, he's going to strain something."

Mikey said, "Somehow, I think they'll make it work for themselves."

Oh, and the time he caught Frank coming out of a hotel room, his lips red and puffy and not perfect not even just a little bit at all, no sir, and Pete following dotingly in his wake. Gerard gawked, "That's Mikey's ex!"

Bob said, "Think I should give Frank something for his efforts at diversion? Another dog? He seems to like those squeaky ones."

Frank did like squeaky dogs, it was true. Also, ones that could eat him whole. But that was not the point. And Gerard was not going to wonder how Frank would smile at him if he turned up with a puppy, like some kind of animal sacrifice to the gods of love. Not even, because Gerard didn't love Frank, he was just having trouble getting over him, which was clearly related to his inability to make out with the entirety of the scene.

Gerard sighed. "If I made out with Pete, would you get me a hamster?"

"Pete's evidently taken. How 'bout you handle Adam?"

"I would," Gerard admitted disgruntledly, "but Frank beat me to it."

Bob's sudden outbreak of coughing was suspicious both in sound and timing.

***


The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back--and legs and humps and whatever else there was to break in a camel--was Tom Conrad. Gerard couldn't have said why. Tom was nice enough and his band was made up of fun guys and as far as Gerard knew, he wasn't cheating on anyone with Frank, but there was just something about the way Frank's hips disappeared in the grip of Tom's hands, the soft, panting noises Frank was making into his mouth. Gerard was pulling Frank off of Tom before he had any idea what his body was doing. Frank blinked at him for a second and then grinned. Well, he grinned in the direction of Tom and said, "Thanks, man."

Tom shrugged, "Sure, any time," and wandered off.

Gerard dropped Frank. Luckily, it wasn't a long way down. "Um. What?"

"Paying attention?" Frank asked, a decidedly stubborn gleam in his eyes. Stubborn Frank was Dangerous Frank.

Gerard took a cautious step back. "Um."

"Because I was in the beginning stages of negotiating a staged threesome with your brother," Frank threatened. "I can always--"

Gerard covered Frank's mouth with both his hands before he could finish that sentence. Frank licked. Gerard didn't even flinch. He knew Frank's fighting techniques. At least, he thought he had. "Then you were just--"

Frank blinked at him calmly, Gerard's hands still over his mouth. Gerard said, "I didn't-- I mean--" He sighed. "A whole year of my life I hardly remember a single show from but I remember every fucking time I did something to hurt you." Gerard let his hands slip.

"Funny, I remember every time you'd apologize."

"Frank--"

"You always do the worst damage when you're trying your hardest, Gee. The good news is, I don't need you to try."

Gerard looked at the ground for a moment. "So, all the-- Jon and Pete and Adam and--"

"The whole scene knows it takes a lot to win your heart, stupid."

"You already had it," Gerard explained.

"Well, okay, your dick, then."

Gerard pulled Frank back to him and kissed him so hard it hurt, teeth mashing up against lips. There was no finesse, but there would be time for that later. He said, "My Frank."

Frank said, "My Gee," happily.

"Way to state the obvious."

thepouncer, Gerard/Pete, Fiona Apple's A Mistake

And when the day is done, and I look back/And the fact is I had fun, fumbling around

Normally, Gerard wouldn't have picked up a call from a number unfamiliar to him, but it had a Chicago area code and that was enough to get him to press talk. "Hello?"

"Gee?" Pete sounded a little...high.

"Are you high?"

"What? No. No, just pumped."

"Just-- Where are you?"

"Yeah. That's the thing. Um, they said I could have one call, and I know I probably should've called my mom, but--"

"Wait. One call? Pete. Did you get arrested?" Even as he was asking the question, a squawk came from the back lounge, Frank yelling, "Holy shit, Gee, I think they arrested your boyfriend."

Gerard buried his face in his free hand. "Um."

"I was trying to save the whales, Gee. The whales."

Oh. In that case. "Really?"

"Yeah, I-- Oh, um. I have to go. Gee, get me outta here. I'll pay you back, 'kay?"

"Nah, that's all right. I like whales," Gerard told him solemnly. Pete hung up and Gerard said, "Anybody know how to wire money to a prison?"

Bob didn't even have to take a breath before asking, "What account you wanna take it out of?"

***


When the picture of Pete chained to an Exxon gas pump surfaced, Gerard laughed so hard he fell over. Then he found a Kinko's, made a color copy, blew it up and framed it. His boyfriend was awesome.

***


Pete said, "I know you're not going to let me pay you back, so I had a thought."

Gerard debated about whether to ask. Pete's thoughts were occasionally dangerous. Sadly, Gerard was at his absolute weakest right after Pete had practiced his extensive oral skills on him, and that was always, always when Pete introduced these ideas. Gerard said, "Mmm," which he felt was responsive while not being encouraging.

"I figured that the amount for the bail is roughly equivalent to three round trip tickets to see you."

Gerard had kind of lied about how expensive Pete had been to bail out to make him feel better about the whole thing. Not that Gerard wanted him to get arrested regularly, he just wanted Pete to feel good about attempting to save the whales. Pete didn't let himself feel good about the things he tried all that often. Of course, Gerard wasn't so noble that if Pete felt it was absolutely necessary to come visit him three times to make it up to him, he was going to let him know otherwise. Instead he said, "I love a boy who can do math."

Pete said, "I'm more than just my addition skills, you know."

Gerard grabbed a condom from the side of the bed and slapped it against Pete's stomach. "Oh really? Show me."

*


On the third visit, done in by his own incurable drive toward honesty, Gerard said, "I kinda, um. Owe you."

Pete looked at him, a slight expression of confusion on his face. Gerard said, "A visit. You uh--"

Pete kissed him. "You get a bail receipt, you know?"

Gerard had actually never been arrested. "Um. You do?"

Pete laughed. "I just wanted to keep seeing you."

Gerard could feel the way his grin was wildly, ridiculously out of control. He said, "Okay. I still owe you."

"Yeah, I have some thoughts on how you could make up the difference."


saline_joy, Gerard/Ryan, "Change the World (Lost Ones)" by Anberlin

desire is close at hand/her lips can only sway/there's more to life than this/don't give yourself away

The email was labeled "Die. Slowly. (Not a death threat.)" Gerard was only mildly reassured. He didn't recognize the email, but it was a simple grr831@gmail.com, the name attached G.R.R. The scary emails usually came from email addresses that were somewhat more...descriptive. Gerard had other words for it, but he'd save those for when there was someone around who would appreciate his verbage.

He took a chance and clicked it open.

Got this email from Pete, who maybe got it from Mikey? I don't know if you guys talk. I saw a YouTube of you announcing your next CD name and discovered that even being mocked by one of your teenage idols makes a person feel fairly awesome. Pretty. Odd. That.

Ryan.


Honestly, when Gerard had said that, he'd mostly just been tired and extra-snarky with it. Mikey had said something earlier in the day about Pete being excited over the album and when the question had been asked it had kind of just rolled off his tongue.

He hit reply and typed, I bring joy to the world where I can, and pretty much expected that to be the end of it.

***


It maybe would have been except for how he fell asleep lying on Mikey's chest about three weeks later and woke up to strains of something he'd never heard filtering out of Mikey's earphones. Since he was pretty much always looking for new music, Gerard asked, "Hey, wuzzat?"

Mikey said, "Just listen," and popped an earphone in the ear that Gerard didn't have pressed to Mikey's sternum. So Gerard listened. The lyrics were just plain bizarre at times, but there was a harpsichord in one song, and Gerard had a secret weakness for instruments that just weren't played any more. Sadly, nobody else in his band had this same weakness, so Gerard had to go elsewhere to get his fill.

When the list finished out, Mikey asked, "Pretty good, huh?"

Gerard asked, "Can I hear it again?"

***


Gerard emailed Ryan this time. Everyone'd think we were just copy cats. Was that a ukelele in 'Folkin Around'? I love ukeleles.

Ryan told him, You can borrow mine any time.

Gerard wasn't sure, but that sounded an awful lot like flirting.

***


A monotone that wasn't Mikey's slippery soft one said, "Maybe if you used an ampersand? Everyone loves an ampersand."

Gerard turned around and asked, not without an edge of accusation, "Are you legal?"

Ryan rolled his eyes. "I promise not to press charges, either way."

Gerard looked at the boy (man, sort. of.) in front of him, the way Ryan was doing all the things a person would do if he'd just read a Cosmo article on how to please a man. Gerard hadn't read a number of those articles, but enough to know what they said. There had been a time, Gerard could admit--a long time that maybe was still ongoing--where he'd had a hard time getting himself a date. At the same time, he thought about that first email, about the casual, oh-so-cool reference to Ryan's fanboy tendencies. He sighed. Gerard didn't sleep with groupies, not even famous ones. He'd done that for a while and all it had given him was a nasty case of the clap.

Whatever Ryan saw in him--Gerard had no idea if he'd changed posture or what--he backed up and smiled a little, the expression slightly off. "Anyway. Just. Just thought I'd say hi."

Gerard watched him disappear back into the crowd. "Hi."

***


Gerard missed Ryan's emails. For weeks he tried to figure out a way to re-initiate them without being some kind of asshole who leads someone else on just because it makes him feel good about himself. When he had finally given up, Ryan sent him an email with numerous links to YouTubes of the Ukelele Orchestra performing. Gerard wondered if this once, just this once, it might not hurt to sleep with someone who liked his talent more than him. He watched another clip and resolved to think on it some more.

***


Gerard bought a ticket to Panic's Boston show. Well, he got Pete to comp him one, but he made the trip from Jersey to Boston two days after the Madison Square show, and that was something. They were good live, Brendon particularly. He reminded Gerard of Frank, or what Frank would be if he had some measure of self-control and switched instruments every forty-five seconds.

Gerard slipped backstage afterward and found the guys just before they were boarding the bus. He said, "Um. Mind if I hitch a ride?"

The others took one look at him and then Smith touched Ryan's shoulder. "We'll be on the bus."

Ryan looked at them as they left, and Gerard thought maybe there was a touch of betrayal in the set of his shoulders. Gerard said, "You guys were pretty fantastic out there."

Ryan smiled. "You-- Uh, yeah?" Then he shook his head. "Did I know you were going to be here?"

"I was kind of an asshole last time we met in person. I wasn't sure you wouldn't tell me not to come," Gerard admitted.

Ryan chewed at his lower lip. Gerard couldn't help staring. Then he snapped himself out of it. He said, "Just--"

Ryan kept staring at him.

"I sort of want people to expect things of me."

"You think I don't?" Ryan tilted his head slightly.

Valid. "I think-- I think maybe you expect the sort of things that I can't really..." Gerard gesticulated grandly. "Influence?"

Slowly, Ryan asked, "What do you want me to expect?"

Admittedly, Gerard hadn't really thought that far ahead. "Um. Well. That I'll treat you right." That was definitely on the list.

"Spencer says I'm getting better at that," Ryan said, his body language stiff, the tone self-mocking.

Gerard closed his eyes and tried not to feel like a giant asshat. He opened them to find Ryan watching him, all but edging away. He said, "I'm just, uh," and then kissed Ryan, hoping that they could do better next time they had a conversation about this. There were times when Gerard needed to shut up to get anything done. Mikey and Frank and Ray and Bob had all told him that in their gentle and not-so-gentle ways, Gerard had just never quite seen it when he was in the thick of things. He wondered what it meant that Ryan could get him there.

Ryan kissed back, sweet and eager and a little just exactly right.

firedragon9, Gerard/Spencer/Bob, When the Day Met the Night, Panic at the Disco

So she said, 'That's okay/As long as you can make a promise not to break/my little heart and leave me all alone/in the summer'

The thing about Bob and Spencer was that they were Gerard's Great White Hope. Every time Gerard's relationships went to shit--and they invariably did--Gerard would look at the two of them and remind himself that clearly, true love existed in a viable form. After the divorce, though, Gerard started thinking that maybe it existed for Bobs, or even for Spencers, but that Gerards were, in general, just shit out of luck.

He would have voiced the opinion to someone, tried to get a second opinion, but Mikeys and Franks seemed meant for each other as well and Rays and Kristas were each others' forever.

It was possible that Gerard was the problem in Gerard's love-life. The thought sucked, so mostly Gerard did his best to avoid it. Instead he concentrated on the thought that the Bob and Spencer thing clearly could happen and that when it did, it had a tendency to bring joy to others we well--it was hard to be depressed when Bob and Spencer were around you, being awesome, no matter how depressing the fact of their awesomeness was. This also had the plus of being a paradox. Gerard loved paradoxes.

***


Having Spencer on the bus was easy, because he was used to the whole bus thing. He knew how to move out of the way just in time, or let someone know he was coming. Which was why it was odd that he'd been bumping into Gerard so often. Gerard wondered if he was maybe getting an ear infection. Those things wreaked fucking havoc with a guy's balance. There didn't seem to be any good way to bring it up, so he just kept helping Spencer get his balance and moving on. And if sometimes he maybe let Spencer lean against him for a second longer than was necessary, that was just because it had been a while since he'd had touch that didn't consist of brother hugs or being colonized by the U.S.S. Frank. Spencer had soft skin and his breath always smelled like mango orange gum and look, Gerard was only a man, okay?

Besides, Bob had seen them and hadn't acted like it was some big deal, so Gerard confided in him, "I think you should talk to Spence about seeing a doctor. I'm a little worried about his inner ear."

Bob frowned. "His inner ear?"

"You know. Makes you dizzy?"

Bob nodded slowly. "I'll talk to him."

"Good," Gerard said. "That's good."

***


When things had been good with Lyn, Gerard could call her at all hours of the night and she would be there, somehow on his schedule. Or maybe he had been on hers. It wasn't important, except for the part where Gerard had sort of forgotten how to be up all night by himself, the way his body sometimes--a lot of the time--decided he would be. He could draw for a few hours and sometimes, rarely, he could write, but sooner or later, the silence of the bus, the rhythm of the road, would be all that was left to him, and by morning he was generally willing to sacrifice a limb if it just meant some sleep, some noise that wasn't from his own head.

He didn't talk about it with the guys. They knew. A bus wasn't a very big place. Still, it was a surprise when Bob started wandering in at the early hours, just when the sheer endlessness of night was starting to prey on what was left of Gerard's sanity. Bob would make some tea and take Gerard into the back lounge. He liked to put on jazz and he would let Gerard lay over him on the couch. Gerard could sleep to the beat of music that he'd never much been interested in, to the steady up-down measure of Bob's chest.

It was too bad Bob was taken. He was nice, nice to Gerard.

***


Gerard really expected the friendly night visits to stop while Spencer was in town. Bob and him weren't in the same place all that often, not even years like this, when Spencer was in the studio rather than on the road all the time. And if Gerard understood anything, it was the awesome factor of visit-time when your significant other didn't live in the same place as you.

But that night Bob came like always, only this time trailing Spencer, who smiled at Gerard drowsily, burrowed into the side Bob wasn't on, and fell right back asleep. Gerard did his best to make Spencer more comfortable, frowning at Bob, "'D'you wake him up?"

"He woke up. Insisted on coming. I didn't think he was going to be much help, but he was very, um. Persuasive."

Spencer Smith Gerard thought, not wholly scandalized. He'd seen Spencer walk, after all. It didn't take much imagination to figure out what he could do with those hips, and Gerard had imagination in spades. "You should take him back to bed."

Bob glanced over. "He seems happy enough." He shifted a little, working all three of them into a slightly better position.

Gerard said, "Bob," very, very intent on arguing. As soon as he woke up.

***


He woke up to Spencer and Bob whispering and trading kisses over his head. Life seriously wasn't fair.

"Hey," Bob said.

Gerard really hoped he hadn't said that last aloud. "Coffee."

Spencer reached over to the stand next to the couch and grabbed a cup, wrapping Gerard's hands around it. Gerard said, "Oh."

Spencer laughed. It wasn't mocking laughter. He said, "I need to sleep on you more often, man. You're like a magic pillow." Then he stood and did this obscene stretching thing, that, okay, was maybe him reaching over his head with his hands, but the mechanics weren't the point. This was Spencer Smith. He had to be careful with his powers. Gerard mainlined the coffee and mentally chanted, Bob and Spencer, Great White Hope over and over again.

Bob said, "C'mere, Spence."

Spencer came, draping himself over Bob, languid from the stretch. Bob said, "You know, Gerard thinks maybe it's your inner ear that causes you to keep bumping into him. He's very concerned."

The coffee was starting to hit now, and Gerard's eyes widened in horror. "I didn't say--"

"That's just cause I'm far too subtle for my own good."

"Mm," Bob sounded a little unsure of that.

Gerard looked into his coffee cup. It hadn't tasted funny. Maybe he was still sleeping. His dreams weren't usually this lucid, but it could probably happen. Bob said, "Gee."

Gerard snapped his gaze to Bob. Bob repeated, "Gee, we've been trying--"

Gerard tilted his head.

Spencer sighed and slipped from Bob's lap until he was close enough to cup his fingers around Gerard's chin and kiss him, a little cool but a nice follow-up to the coffee. He pulled away and Gerard blinked at him. Spencer said, "No?"

Gerard's head felt funny. "But. But you guys are-- Bob and Spencer." Perfect. Whole without me.

Spencer looked at Bob who said, "If you gave us a try, we could maybe be something more."

Something more? Gerard was aware he was staring incredulously, but he just couldn't help it. "You're the Great White Hope," he informed them.

"Oh, then we're all fucked," Bob said easily.

"I'm pretty sure that's Mikey and Frank," Spencer told him, "but I can see how that would be weird for you."

Bob laughed and reached out to pull Gerard to him. Gerard went easily. Bob said, "You could always be part of the Great White Hope."

Gerard laughed. It wasn't the same sort of laugh as Bob's. Spencer said, "You totally could."

Gerard didn't think so, but that wasn't going to stop him from trying.

scribewraith, Gerard/Brian, Happy Birthday - Concrete Blonde

Rock me to sleep/Strong & deep

It rained on Gerard's birthday. Granted, they were in Oregon in April, so it wasn't like that was unusual or anything, but it just didn't strike Gerard as a good premonition. Also, it was causing Brian's plane to be delayed, which sucked. Mikey was keeping him company, and Frank had brought him every flavor of X-Men out on the stands at the moment, but Gerard really would have preferred his boyfriend, all things considered.

Brian still hadn't shown in time for sound check. Frank and Ray played Gerard birthday songs in lieu of anything from the actual set. Gerard really loved his band.

Bob brought him a mocha with a double shot of french vanilla flavoring right before they went on. Gerard took a sip, allowed it to slide, slow and mellow, through him and asked, "Holy shit, you really are a god in disguise aren't you? What have we mere mortals done to deserve you?"

Bob just said, "Happy birthday, Geeway."

"Mm," Gerard said, and drank his coffee. He took happiness where he could get it.

***


Brian showed three fourths of the way through the set list. Gerard looked over at Ray who nodded and jammed for a bit while Gerard ran off stage. Brian said, "I should seriously be telling you to get your ass back out there."

"Frank's holding their attention." Gerard didn't even have to look to know it was true.

Brian peered over his Gerard's shoulder and rolled his eyes. "Jesus."

"Bri," Gerard said.

Brian fastened a pin that with a Care Bear on it to Gerard's jacket. "Happy birthday."

"I'll thank you good and proper later," Gerard promised, and ran back out to do his job.

***


Promise or no, Gerard mostly let Brian take care of things afterward because, hey, Brian had been late for his birthday. Brian tried passing it off with a, "Gee, my flight was delayed," but Gerard just explained, "You're a manager. Plan these things better."

Then Brian gave up on words and dragged Gerard into the shower, still mostly clothed. It only got messier from there on out.

***


When they were both clean and dry and worn plain out, Gerard stumbled into bed, dragging Brian with him. Brian landed atop Gerard, and then shifted around until they were each in spots that worked. Brian said, "Happy birthday, Gee."

Gerard peered at the clock. "Not for a couple of hours now."

Brian reached over, fiddled with the buttons until the clock read "11:57" and said, "Happy birthday."

Gerard laughed. "See, if you can turn back time, why couldn't you be here this afternoon?"

Brian sighed. "Yeah, tell me about it."

Gerard kissed him. "No worries."

Brian kissed him back. "Yeah. Yeah." Then, "Sleep. Hard schedule for the next month."

"Then I can sleep all I want. You're here."

"Gee. I'm gonna try and be there for as much of your off time as I can manage. Right now, sleep."

Gerard felt the inevitability of his own exhaustion, but fought it off, yawning manically. Brian laughed. Gerard said, "Shut your face," and Brian just laughed some more. He rolled off Gerard, onto his side and pulled Gerard with him. The rain was still hitting gently against the windows of the hotel, arhythmic and calming. Gerard pressed his palm to Brian's chest. Brian held onto him tighter, said, "Gee. Sleep. I moved my flight for tomorrow till later. I'll be here when you wake up."

"Oh," Gerard said.

Brian kissed at his temple. "Sleep, birthday boy."

Gerard snuggled in tighter and gave up trying to ignore the advice.

nobodygirl, Gerard/Bob, Slow Show, The National

Looking for somewhere to stand and stay/I leaned on the wall and the wall leaned away

People made fun of Mikey for that whole, "Gerard's been my brother my whole life," thing, hell, Gerard made fun of him for it, but Gerard had never, ever, not even at the height of addiction, wanted a drink so badly as the night Mikey got married. Gerard was happy for him, he was. Alicia had stood by him through the breakdown and the hell of trying to find the right meds and the stress of starting to tour again after all that. She made Mikey smile, she made Mikey laugh. Gerard was happy for Mikey. He just couldn't stand the thought of being left behind.

It was stupid to be the older brother and feel that way, which only made it worse. But Mikey had always been braver than him when it came to venturing out into the places, onto the roads that were unfamiliar. And the few times Gerard had managed to do it, he'd needed, needed Mikey there with him in order to stick it out, to succeed.

Gerard wanted to go out, wanted to be somewhere where he didn't have to think, but the only places open this late were generally bars and Gerard might have been desperate, but he wasn't stupid. Instead he went to his room. He was sharing with Bob. Jamia and Krista were both in town, so really, unless the two of them had requested singles, it was pretty clear who was going to be rooming with whom.

Bob said, "You want first shower?"

Gerard looked at him in surprise. "Uh, really?" Bob was usually pretty insistent about getting showered. Gerard wondered if this was some sort of test, if he should offer the first shower to Bob.

Bob said, "Just leave some hot water, 'kay?"

They were in a hotel. And Gerard's showers were short. "I'll see what I can manage."

***


Gerard didn't even turn the water off when he was done, just wrapped a towel around his waist and told Bob, "All yours." He rummaged a bit and managed, miraculously, to turn up a clean pair of boxers and a mostly-clean t-shirt. He was going to have to find somewhere to do laundry soon, before even he was grossed out by his own level of uncleanliness.

For now, though, he burrowed in the covers and pretended like he was going to use the hotel night to get some sleep, rather than thinking about how this was Mikey's wedding night and evidently there were certain places he just couldn't go with his brother.

He heard the shower turn off, heard Bob come into the room and shrug into some lounging pants. He said, "You can turn on the TV, or whatever.

It was a few seconds before he felt the bed sag a little behind him. Bob asked, "Can't sleep?"

"Haven't been trying long," Gerard said, instead of answering the question.

"Can't be easy."

"Sleeping?" Gerard asked, aware that he was purposely being obtuse.

"Watching your baby brother grow up."

"'M proud of him," Gerard said, and it was true, he was.

"Yeah, never really occurred to me that you wouldn't be." Bob was silent then, the way he could be for as long as he needed.

Gerard, on the other hand, had to talk sooner or later. "I'm just-- It's been us for so long."

"Yeah."

"And now it's...me." Gerard hated the way the word sounded, short and insignificant. Lonely.

Softly, Bob said, "You make it sound like being part of this band doesn't matter."

Gerard opened his mouth, then shut it. He turned on the side where he could see Bob. Bob was looking away from him. Gerard tugged at him and Bob came easily, nowhere near as solid as Gerard knew he could be. Gerard said, "Just, could you--" and Bob worked to fit himself around Gerard, the two of them somehow fitting easily in the hotel double.

Bob said, "I just meant--"

"I know," Gerard told him, and even as he said the words, they felt like breath, like oxygen returning in small, steady doses. "I know. You're right."

Bob said, "I'm gonna stay here, for now."

"For now," Gerard agreed. He could ask for more later, when he worked up the proper amount of nerve.

doll_revolution, gerard/spencer, Sophomore Slump, Fall Out Boy

We're the lifers here till the bitter end/Condemned from the start/Ashamed of the way/The songs and the words own the beating of our hearts

The day after My Chem announced that the upcoming tour would be their last, Spencer showed up at Gerard's door with two coffees and handed them both to Gerard. Gerard asked, "You don't want--"

"I'll make myself one." Spencer didn't need coffee to be fancy, didn't even really want that, just wanted it hot and bitter.

Gerard took a sip of the Starbucks latte and said, unnecessarily, "I love you."

Spencer said, "When were you going to tell me?"

"Wasn't. Was gonna have Bob or Ray call. They're both handling it much more stoically that I am."

"Gee."

"Don't suppose you guys need an extra lead singer?"

"You wouldn't want us."

Gerard made a face, but he knew it was true. Spencer said, "I could use my boyfriend. If you were up for that. At least for a little bit. Then you could go home, get some drawing done. You've got like seventy projects that you've been saying you were going to do for forever now."

Gerard nodded. He didn't really feel like doing anything, but Spencer's point was valid. Spencer sighed. "Gee. It's not a bad way to go out."

"I know." He did know. Ray was just ready to settle down with his wife and his kids before they were gone without really knowing who he was. Bob's wrists needed to be wholly replaced. Frank was getting to the point of being afraid of sneezing, lest it bring on another serious respiratory infection. Mikey just wanted to be with Frank, wherever he was. And they hadn't yet released an album that was seen as sub-par, even if a few of them hadn't been quite as good as the others. It was an excellent place to stop, better than most bands could even dream of. Which didn't mean that Gerard wanted to. Gerard was pretty certain he wasn't ever going to be ready. As such, he hadn't fought the others.

"Hey." Spencer took the coffees from Gerard and set them on the nearest counter top. Gerard dug up a smile for him, because Spencer was on tour right now and Gerard didn't have to do a hell of a lot of mental work to figure out that he'd clearly taken a last minute red-eye to get there, hold Gerard on his feet.

Gerard said, "I hate you for being young and in your prime."

Spencer said, "I know. Wanna punish me with your cock?"

"Maybe later," Gerard said dispiritedly.

Spencer kissed him, gentle and slow. "Wanna crawl into bed with me and have a nervous breakdown?"

Gerard buried his fingers in Spencer's shirt and didn't say, "yes." Spencer was good at reading between the lines.

***


Mostly Gerard just cried himself messily to sleep, Spencer stroking at his back and not saying a word. When he woke up, it was the next morning, which, considering that Spencer had arrived at three the day before was probably saying something about how badly Gerard had needed to give into his body. Spencer was still there, although he was sitting up, the glasses he'd finally had to get in the last two years pushed right up to his eyes, perusing the latest "Spin".

"Morning," he said, and brushed his fingers against the back of Gerard's neck.

"Coffee's probably cold, hm?"

"I made more," Spencer said, smiling.

"When you-- Yesterday when you invited me to tour with you?"

"I meant it."

"No, I mean, I was kinda, um. Unappreciative. Which I'm not."

Spencer set the magazine aside. "I know."

"I think-- It sounds good, being with you like that."

"Okay, well, I could've hoped for more than good, but if understatement is the hobby you plan to take up in your retirement, I guess I can work with that."

Gerard laughed and punched Spencer's leg lightly. "You know what I meant."

"You wouldn't love me if I didn't give you shit."

Spencer had a point. Gerard ignored it. "You said you made me coffee?"

"Yeah, but not that I'd get it for you."

"I hate you," Gerard pouted.

"Mhm."

***


Once Spencer had gotten Gerard moving he was able to persuade him into the shower and get some breakfast into him. Gerard asked, "When's your flight?"

"Tonight."

"You guys had two nights without a show?"

Spencer didn't say anything. Gerard said, "You skipped a show?"

"Gee, you announced that your band was taking it's last tour and you hadn't said a fucking word to me. We all agreed maybe you were more important than one show."

"You didn't have--"

Spencer's head came up sharply. "Gee, pretend, for two seconds, that despite the age difference, despite the fact that it's only been about a year and we haven't seen each other for most of that, that this feels really fucking real, and that's why I'm here. That I get what's going on with you, get where you are, even now, even when you're somewhere I haven't gone yet and that's why I'm here, instead of with my guys, being loyal to my fans."

Gerard took a deep breath, another sip of coffee and said, "I don't have to pretend."

Spencer choked on whatever he'd been about to reply. He said, "Oh."

"I just don't ever want to take you from that."

"My decision."

Gerard's lips twisted. "Yeah."

"I'm glad I made it."

"Me too," Gerard said without even thinking. "Me fucking, too."

Spencer said, "Okay."

weird_one, Gerard/Matt, She's a Handsome Woman, Panic at the Disco

It's useless searching in the cupboards/When everything you have is on your back

Gerard once had this dream about Matt, only it wasn't Matt. It was, in Gerard's head he'd been Matt, but in the dream he'd been one funky-ass psychedelic chameleon. When he'd woken up, the dream had still made sense.

***


Matt'd had better offers, Gerard knew. Brian had told them, generally only after Matt had turned them down, usually to explain why they were giving Matt a raise, despite the fact that he hadn't asked for one. Gerard never really worried about why they gave Matt raises, since, in his head, Matt had invariably done something to deserve it. Like, say, being Matt. Or breathing; Matt was pretty awesome at that.

After the third or fourth time it happened, Gerard asked Matt, "You not wanna be in a band?"

Matt shrugged. "I sorta like taking care of shit."

Gerard nodded. He'd heard some people were built for that.

"Besides," Matt said, "I'd just have to come back and check on you every third week, make sure you still had both your shoes and shit."

"Ray would totally buy me a new pair," Gerard defended. Matt patted him atop his head.

***


After Mikey left the tour, Gerard avoided Matt for a while. It was a shitty thing to do, but he couldn't help himself. Matt let him get away with it for two weeks before Gerard showed up to the room he was supposed to be sharing with Frank and was met with Matt, showered and folded up neatly on one bed. Gerard said, "Oh."

Matt said, "You guys have other guitar techs."

"They're not as good," Gerard told him. He meant it. It was true, but even if it hadn't been, Gerard would have believed it.

"At this point, I'm a little past caring if you guys suck or not."

Gerard thought about that. "Liar."

Matt sighed. "You're being a dickface."

Gerard nodded. "I know. Mikey usually keeps tabs."

Matt rolled his eyes and patted at the spot next to him on the bed. Gerard came, obediently. Matt said, "He'll come back. And I can go back to doing the job I actually want to do. It'll be a banner day for everyone."

"Sometimes you say shit because you know I need to hear it."

"We all do, Gee, but in this case, I'm not blowing smoke up your ass. Mikey's just got to actually give himself time. And you need to have faith in him."

"I do."

Matt didn't say anything. Gerard leaned against him after a few moments. "Sorry."

Matt ruffled his hair. "I know."

***


Gerard woke up with his mouth pressed up to the damp-soft line of Matt's neck, Matt's breathing still even beneath his lips. Gerard whispered, "Matt."

Matt didn't stir. Experimentally, hesitantly, Gerard drew his tongue along the cord of his throat. Matt said, "Ngh au," which was maybe supposed to be "Good morning." Gerard wasn't going to quibble. He rose up over Matt and said, "I thought maybe, like, instead of a raise?" a small smile flirting at the edges of his mouth.

Matt laughed and said, "Jesus, c'mere."

imntsaying, Gerard/Jon, Silversun Pickups' Kissing Families

it's everything that is connected and beautiful/and now i know just where i stand

Gerard couldn't say what made him do it. It wasn't like he had felt some connection to other people who had never met a bottle that didn't feel good in their hands, or other musicians or anything. Mostly, it was just that Gerard thought, "His feet must be cold," and Gerard had never been all that good at not saying what was on his mind. So he sat next to Jon and said, "I think I have an extra pair of socks on my bus, if you want. Clean."

Jon tilted his head to look at Gerard. After a while he said, "The whole point is the cold."

"People lose limbs that way."

"Not if they catch it in time and soak their feet under water, let it burn a little, and then put socks on."

Gerard said, "Oh," because yeah, he remembered that, in the first few years after he'd sobered up, always wanting extremes to remind himself of why it was worth it. "Okay."

"Wanna join me?" Jon asked. He didn't sound too expectant. Gerard just reached down and began unlacing his boots.

***


They had a routine, sure, of sitting together with their feet bare, but it kind of came out of nowhere when Smith said, "I'd love to tell you that if you hurt him, I'll kill you, but trust me when I say Brendon'll get there first. And you'll never have seen him coming."

Gerard trusted him. He knew all about the tiny ones who seemed loud and unrestrained.

***


The day Jon brought his camera and took pictures of their feet, side by side and equally imperfect in wholly difference ways, Gerard asked, "Did I-- Did I miss something?"

Jon looked at Gerard. "Like?"

Gerard shook his head. "Nevermind." His bandmates had been overprotective at first, too. Still were, actually.

Jon muttered something that sounded suspiciously like, "Mixed signals," and went back to viewing the world through the safety of a lens.

***


Mikey said, "Is it like, a foot fetish?"

Gerard shoved at him. Mikey laughed but then said, "Gee, no, I--"

"It's just. Sensation. Shared sensation."

"So, like, music?"

Gerard nodded, "Sort of, yeah."

"Sex," Mikey added.

Gerard flushed, but he didn't deny it.

***


"Spencer says that Bob says that you, um--"

Gerard looked at Jon, waiting. Jon took a breath. "Subtle's not really a good way to go at things with you."

"Sometimes I pay too much attention to the details," Gerard agreed.

Jon skimmed his toe over the top of Gerard's foot, past his ankle bone, up his calf. It was cold as hell. Gerard laughed. Jon grinned. "Here, here," he said, pulling something from his other side. It was a photo, one of the ones he'd taken the week before of their feet, next to each other, fitted together. He said, "The big picture."

Gerard said, "I can see that."


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Skin by egelantier, photo by microbophile