Author: Shazzy x_fangs_up_x
Warnings: Bit of swearing, Nothing too bad
Pairing: Bob Bryar/Frank Iero
Summary: Bob remembers the first time he ever met Frank. When he looks back on it, the scene replays with amazing clarity, as if it were a movie Bob had watched one too many times.
Disclaimer: If this were real, I don't think there would be a My Chemical Romance to write about. In other words, not real.
A/N: So, this is based on the movie Drop Dead Fred but I
Bob remembers the first time he ever met Frank. When he looks back on it, the scene replays with amazing clarity, as if it were a movie Bob had watched one too many times.
Bob was five years old. It was a warm summer day, and the sun fell down in sprinkles between the branches of the trees in the back yard. His quiet, shy nature meant that he had a lack of friends, so he sat alone, and bored half to death. His elbows were propped up on his knees, and his head was resting in the palms of his hands, golden hair falling over his forehead.
There was a 'Pop!', or maybe he just imagined that, but it seemed like there had been a 'Pop!' Then, all of a sudden, there was this man crouching in front of Bob and grinning at him in a way that should have been scary, but was oddly comforting to the young boy.
"Who are you?" Bob whispered, afraid that the moment he muttered a word that the man would disappear with another 'Pop!'.
The man stood up straight. He was short, not a lot taller than Bob. Dressed in dark jeans, torn here and there, with a white shirt, a red tie and a bullet proof vest. His eyes were painted red with black crosses. His hair was shaved short and dyed blonde, except for a black strip running down the middle of his head that hung over his forehead. A silver loop gleamed in his bottom left lip.
"I'm Drop Dead Frank, but you can call me Frank. Or Frankie. Or anything really, whatever floats your sailboat kid," he replied with a smirk and a wink.
Bob stared, almost in awe, at Frank for a few long moments before daring to speak again.
"Why are you here?" he asked, in a low, near solemn, voice.
"To be your friend, duh shit Sherlock," Frank rolled his eyes and cuffed Bob lightly across the back of the head.
Bob was suddenly filled with a feeling so strong it was almost overwhelming. Bob didn't know it at the time, but he had just fallen in love.
With a childish grin that stretched across his face, he replied in an excited voice: "Awesome!" and lurched forward to hug Frank's waist. Frank slid a cigarette between his lips, and patted Bob's head.
"Nice ta meet ya kid."
Bob's parents were strict and realistic. So when Bob started getting up to all kinds of trouble, and saying it was 'Frank's fault' his parents began to think he had problems. They took to locking him in his room, a lot.
Not that Bob minded, for Frank would just push open his window, slip out it onto to the branch of the old oak tree in the backyard, lift Bob, and clamber down into the backyard. Then, they would either sneak around the front and explore the neighbourhood, or clamber over the fence into the Way's garden and Bob would play with Gerard.
Gerard was as socially awkward as Bob, so the two bonded through that. Gerard was a strange kid, with dark hair, mystical hazel eyes and a curiosity for all things dark, even at the young age of six.
Bob had tried to introduce Gerard to Frank, only to be met with a strange glance and a raised eyebrow.
"Who's that, your imaginary friend?"
Frank had grinned at Bob, and when Bob looked at him in confusion, he told him: "I'm your friend and your's alone, no one else can see me."
On this particular afternoon, in late July, Bob's parents had locked him once again in his room for switching the sugar with the salt, and Bob didn't even try to explain that it was once again Frank who was in the wrong, but instead headed upstairs without a word.
Frank lifts Bob and sets him on his lap, hugging the boy close.
"Sorry for getting you in trouble again."
"That's ok, my parents are just stupid!" Bob nuzzles his head into Frank's neck and Frank snorts at the childish tone of his voice.
"Hey, y'know what?" Frank asks, brushing Bob's hair out of his face gently so he can look into bright blue eyes, eager with curiosity.
"We've been friends for over a year now."
"Really? Wow, that's like forever!" Bob gasps, a year seemed like a very long time to someone as young as him. He curls into Frank again, suddenly shy.
"Hey Frank?" There's a light blush on Bob's cheeks as he blinks up at Frank.
"I'm really glad you decided to be my friend. I mean...there's better kids than me and..I'm just happy you picked me," Bob buries his head into Frank's shoulder and wraps his little arms around Frank's neck.
Frank smiles and ruffles Bob's hair.
"There's no better kid than you, Bob, I wouldn't want anyone else. Now, should we go see what young Gerard is up to this evening?"
"Yeah," Bob grins, already off Frank's lap and heading for the window.
Bob is seven when his mother takes Frank away from him. He's had a bad week. First, he had been grounded for shaving his mother's eyebrows off with his father's razor, and then she caught him sneaking out to play with Gerard. But it's when she catches him on Friday evening that she really loses her temper. Frank had suggested that they play frizbee with the good china in the big glass cabinet at the end of the hall. Bob trusted Frank more than anybody in the world, so he goes along with it. In less than ten minutes the hall is littered with pieces of broken china.
Then, Bob hears his mother's car pull into the driveway. He looks fearfully at Frank.
"I'm not afraid of the megabitch!" Frank smirks cockily, as the sounds of heels on the pavement echo in through the window. "Well...maybe a little."
"Run!" Bob grabs Frank's hand and leads him into the living room. "You need somewhere to hide!" Bob looks around, shaking slightly from fear, before he spots his little plastic drum. It's broken so that the top peels back.
"Here Frank!" He rushes over and lifts the drum, peeling the top back so Frank can jump inside, which he does. A second later he hears a scream.
"BOB BRYAR!" His mother storms into the room, obviously furious. Bob clutches the drum tight to his chest. His mother glares, drawn on eyebrows slanting. She takes a step towards him, and Bob whimpers, clinging a little tighter to the plastic drum in his arms. She stops, looks at the drum, then Bob.
"Is that him?"
Bob looks up at her, fiercely shaking his head, but the desperate look in his eyes is answer enough for her. She pries him away from the drum and carries it out to the kitchen.
"NO!" Bob screams, so loud his voice nearly breaks. "NOOOOOOOO! DON'T! DON'T TAKE HIM AWAY FROM ME!"
He tries tugging on his mother's skirt, or hitting at her weakly, but she simply brushes him off.
"Don't," he says, softly. Broken. His eyes are full of tears and his heart is in pieces. "Please, no."
She ignores him, wrapping duct tape around the drum to keep it closed. Then, she turns to Bob and tells him sternly: "You are not to touch this, if you do I will throw him in the fire and he will burn to death, understand?"
Bob leers at her, and whispers three words dripping in venom.
"I hate you."
His mother hits him, he runs. He bangs into his father in the hall and hugs his waist desperately, attempting to tell him what happened but only succeeding in a mass of mumbled nonsense.
His parents fight. His father leaves after that. He never sees Frank again.
It's only when Bob is thirteen, that he realises that he's gay.
It's only when he's fifthteen, and he looks back on his childhood, that he realises he was, still is, in love with Frank.
Bob is twenty-five when he gets a phonecall, informing him his mother is dead. He drops the cigarette he was smoking. He never manages to get the burn mark out of the carpet. He feels more shocked than upset. He feels numb.
A few days later he returns to his childhood home. As he stares up at the house, which seems to look down it's nose at him, he wants to laugh. This place brings back more bad memories than good.
Gerard meets him on the pavement, slinging an arm around Bob's shoulders and smiling weakly at him. They'd been friends through their teenage years, but lost contact when Gerard went to art college.
"Bob, dude, I'm so sorry!"
Bob looks at him, and he has to blink back tears.
"Is it horrible that I'm not?"
Gerard pulls him into a hug.
"Jeeze, Gee. I'm so fucked up. You know, I didn't even cry when I found out." Bob murmurs into the material of Gerard's shirt. It smells like oil paints and cigarettes.
"Not at all dude, your mom was horrible to you. I guess it's kinda ok to feel...disconnected?"
Bob smiles, it's kind of shaky, but it's real.
"I missed you," he tells Gerard, truthfully.
"Yeah, ditto," Bob can hear the scincerety in his voice.
As Bob slides his key into the lock of the door he doesn't know what to expect. In his mind, he pictures an empty house, with grey walls and grey floors and everything packed away into boxes. When he pushes the door open, he's kind of suprised to find everything's the exact same as it always was.
He heads straight for the stairs, he has no interest in anything other than his old room. As he steps into his old bedroom, it's like stepping through a portal of time. He's suddenly a teenager again, surrounded by posters of rockstars he admires, and full of dreams.
He looks around, feeling like he's hypnotized in a strange sort of way. Transfixed by his past. After he's done a lap around his room, he sits down on his bed. The springs squeak loudly in protest. Bob looks at a small package on the bed. There's a note on the top with his name signed on it. Curiosity gets the better of him and Bob rips the brown paper off of the package. His heart skips a beat when a little plastic drum falls onto his lap.
He'd forgotten all about Frank.
Well, forgotten was not the right word. More like, he had packed the memory of Frank into a box, sealed it tight, and pushed it into the back of his mind with the cobwebs. There's a small card taped to the drum.
I'm so sorry I took him away from you.
Love, Mom. xoxo
The ink looks like it had stained the card for years, and Bob wonders when his mother wrote it. For the first time since he heard about his mother's death, he feels the tug of grief at his gut.
Bob leaves the house and goes back to his apartment. The only thing he takes with him is the drum and the card attatched to it.
Bob opens his eyes, and there's Frank. Just as he remebered him. Bob reaches out a hand, slowly, cautiously.
Just as he touches Frank's cheek, Frank shatters into a million pieces.
Bob jumps awake, the image of his dream vivid in his mind. He turns to his bedside table. His digital alarm clock flashes 3:15 in red. Bob rubs his knuckles into his eyelids, then turns his attention to the drum, which is also sitting beside his clock. He can almost hear it banging out a tune.
Bump. Bump. Bump.
Bob reaches out and lifts it. He hasn't taken the duct tape off it yet, so he does that now, with shaking hands.
He didn't really expect anything to happen, but he's upset none the less.
When he lies back down, he feels a hand on his ribs. Then someone's tickling him. Bob laughs, thrashing fiercly, torn between fear and giggles. He manages to roll over and comes face to grinning face with Frank.
"Hey there sweetcakes."
In his chest, the broken parts of Bob's heart jump back together.
"Frank?" the name comes out weak, his voice disbelieving. He sounds broken. He sounds just like he did the day he lost Frank.
"Bob," Frank answers, pulling Bob into a hug. Bob is now quite a bit taller than Frank, but he still curls into the smaller man's chest. Just like he always did.
"I...missed you," Bob murmurs, nuzzling into Frank's neck. He feels like he's five years old all over again. "Thought..." he pauses to sniff, burying his head deeper in Frank's neck. "Thought I'd never see you again. Thought you'd find someone new."
Frank feels his heart tearing at the pain in Bob's voice.
"I told you sugar, I wouldn't want anyone else but you." Frank places a kiss to the top of Bob's head. "Now, sleep. We'll talk in the morning."
Bob wakes up in the morning to an empty bed. His chest tightens in panic. Was Frank only a dream? He sits up and looks to the bedside table, there lies the drum with the tape ripped off it.
Bob gets out of bed, dragging a hand through his hair as he wanders out into his apartment. He finds Frank standing at the window in the living room, smoking and looking at the people on the street below. It scares Bob at how relieved he is that Frank's still here.
"You're still here," it sounds stupid when he says it out loud, Bob thinks. It sounds too loud in the silence.
Frank doesn't turn around.
"'Course I am, didn't think I'd just up and leave you, did you? I'm not into one night stands, Bob." Frank laughs, before finally turning to face Bob. He lets his eyes trail down over Bob's boxer and t-shirt clad body, then back up to meet those blue eyes in an amused stare.
"Oh, good morning! That is a nice sight to wake up to!"
Bob rolls his eyes.
"You shouldn't smoke," he tells Frank, slyly pulling the cigarette from betweens his fingers. "It's a filthy habit." Bob tells him, sliding said cigarette between his own lips.
"Since when do you smoke?"
Bob considers this while taking a long drag of the cigarette, then blowing a cloud of smoke in Frank's face.
"Since I was fifthteen, I think?"
Frank takes the cigarette back.
"You shouldn't, it's a filthy habit," he smirks mockingly, taking one last drag of the cigarette before flicking it out the window. "Wonder if that'll hit a pigeon?"
Bob grins and wraps his arms around Frank's waist, resting his head on Frank's shoulder.
"I missed you so fucking much, it's not funny."
"Yeah?" Frank smiles, leaning back into Bob. "I missed you too sweetcakes."
"This is gonna sound crazy but.." Bob pauses. Hesitates. Then says, fuck it, and just comes out with it. "I think I love you."
"Really?" Frank asks, voice light but hopeful.
"Really," Bob answers, pressing a kiss to Frank's cheek. "I just wish you were real."
Those words hit Frank hard.
Bob spends the next week locked in his apartment with Frank. He's terrified if he leaves then Frank will leave. He's scared that if he sleeps, he'll wake up and Frank will have been a dream.
"Frank?" Bob asks one night. He's on the couch with Frank curled up in his lap, and they're watching Friends repeats.
"Mmmm?" Frank turns to look up at Bob through hooded eyes. He yawns, and then looks at Bob expectantly.
"Promise you'll never leave me again."
"Mmmkay, I promise." Frank leans up to kiss Bob's lips softly, before he returns his head to Bob's chest.
Bob wakes up three days later. Frank's gone.
The glued together pieces of Bob's heart fall apart again.
It's a fortnight until Bob sees Frank again. At first he thinks he's hallucinating. Then he thinks he's mistaken.
But he can't be. What's the chances of a man, Frank's size, wearing Frank's clothes, with Frank's hair and with those fucking little x's over his eyes, standing in the pouring rain across from Bob's apartment when Bob comes out to get his mail.
The man bends down to stroke a cat, the neighbour's cat (Ray's, Bob thinks). When he stands up again, his eyes meet Bob's across the street. The cat claws at man's leg, looking for more attention. Which means the man is very much real.
Bob fights with himself. The logical side of his brain loses, and he ends up padding across the puddle covered road to the stranger. He stops in front of him. The man regards Bob, Bob regards the man.
"You promised you'd never leave," Bob says eventually.
"I was with you all the time, here," Frank, the real Frank, Bob's Frank, places his hand over Bob's heart. "You wished I was real. Your love made me real."
Frank smiles up at Bob. A real, beaming, smile that makes the corners of his eyes crinkle.
Bob pulls him into his arms and mutters with his lips pressed against Frank's forehead: "Let's go home."
For the last time Bob's heart is complete, and he knows it's going to stay like that.