Peter Sellers (cubiclefever) wrote in since_childhood,
Peter Sellers

Vanity is Thicker than Water

- Title: Vanity is Thicker than Water*
- Author: Whitley (me) - cubiclefever
- Pairing: Gerard/Frank
- Rating: PG-13 (Sorry, I still can't write sex)
- POV: Let me know who you think it is.
- Summary: But now there's only fragments of that, splintered throughout the muddled memory of a fragile being that was once so dependent upon you.
- Disclaimer: Fake!
- Author Notes: To pookiechick for letting me use one of her ideas as a title and being my beta, and noheadlines and to all of you who liked my other stories (Sex is the New Black, You'll be Okay, but this Sweater Won't, What a Wonderful Caricature of Intimacy). Sorry, I just sorta whored my other fics.

Vanity is Thicker than Water
His hands tremble, the vibrations spider up from his fingers to the cards in his hand. I watch, shamefully, as he competes with an imaginary adversary. The hospital gown has been replaced by a wrinkled t-shirt with the words “homophobia is gay” scrawled across it and a pair of elastic band sweat pants- the doctor said jeans are out of the question because of the self-injury risk.

His bottom lip disappears inside his mouth for a moment, only to return pinkened from the blood the suction has coaxed to his lips. Did he bite your lips like that, Gerard?

His gaze on the cards is so thick; I'm surprised I can see his eyes through the fog (or maybe that's just the too-bright light.) Those eyes glow with something else now, but I bet it's more intense than when they ever looked at you.

He doesn't know I'm here. He sees nothing past that King of Hearts he holds so tightly in his hand. His wet lips curve into a rare smile as he theatrically smacks the cards against a glaring metal table (you'd love these overdramatics.) He's won. In the world he's created for himself, he'll never lose to you again.

Because that's all it was, wasn't it Gerard? A game. To you at least. Your favorite game, because there was no way for you to lose. It was a gamble, right? You played that game with him, and if he won- it didn't matter because he never did (not once)... if you won it was sex. Each night your name escaped his lips, echoing off the walls of a room, his heart broke a little more. The whispered “i love yous” into pillowcases that you never heard (they keep the best secrets, you know.)

“It's all he does,” the doctor interrupts my thoughts. “He takes the suite of Hearts out of every deck we give him.”

It's the only heart he has that isn't broken, I think. I choke back the words, as well as any remnants of the events he replayed to me after you left him, used up in whatever room was convenient for you at the time.

I'm savoring every moment of this putrid scene, choking it down, because you should be here, not me. Those cards should be in your hand right now, you should face the defeat you so greatly deserve. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins, you know.

I observe. I observe his sallow looking skin under the light, washing out his tattoos. The way his body is screaming for a (your) touch. The bits of blood crusted around his lip ring, because biting that is the only way he knows he's real. The only way he can feel. His manic smile and nonsensical movements that can't help but suggest insanity. Oh, come on, Gerard, you know you were always a sucker for those kind-of crazy ones.

Do you know the lights here never shut completely off? The cold spotlight is always on him, drowning him in murderous truth. Do you know he plays in his sleep? (When he sleeps.) It's you then... in the nightmares. He sleeps to dreams of losing against you and wakes to wins that will never get him further than the next floor of the psych ward. Another hour in the observation room to be watched by anyone except the one person he wants to look at him (just once.) But it's not like he notices our stares anyway.

There is no face to help him, no words to ease his pain. You've got him in a bad way where the cause is the curse, in disguise of one word mumbled in the bright, fitful sleep, that same word echoing in the white, empty rooms, that word tattooed in the heart he wears safety pinned to his wrinkled sleeve: “Gerard.”

Sound like somebody you know? Not me. Just someone I thought I knew. Someone he thought he knew. But now there's only fragments of that, splintered throughout the muddled memory of a fragile being that was once so dependent upon you. Then again, have you ever taken care of something so precious? Or when have you ever taken care of anything?

For now, I'll do nothing but observe. Observe and report. And maybe somehow you'll find the courage to step through these doors, to look through this window, to enter that room. But maybe that's just a little too close to home, because you and I both know these walls scream your name louder and bolder than they've ever screamed any other. It's obvious by the way the paint mourns the name “Frank Iero” that I'm not the only one who realizes he doesn't belong here.

This scene will haunt you, to say the least. Not just nightmares of a broken man who loved (loves) you insanely; but it will remain in every white wall you ever encounter, every spotlight that ever shines on you, and any echo of your name you'll ever hear again.

*Original phrase created from the mind of Christina (aka pookiechick)
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