“So, when did you know?”
“That he was the one.”
He’s in Mikey’s hotel room, getting ready for bed when the question is asked. It's not one Gerard’s heard before, and he drops the washcloth in his hands as memories surface.
“Like, when did I know that I was in love?” Gerard asks his younger brother, looking for clarification.
“Well, no. You can be in love with plenty of people before you meet the one. When did you know that Frank was the guy you’d be with forever? Ya, know, the one.” Mikey sits on the edge of the bathtub, with his chin in his hands, waiting for a response.
Gerard smiles at the question, turns around and sits himself up on the bathroom counter. “Okay, yeah, I know the exact moment you're referring to.”
“It was before we even started dating, it was actually the night we decided to date.” Gerard explains, and wow, that feels like forever ago.
“I remember you texting me that night saying you guys kissed, and I was so happy I no longer had to deal with y’all’s pining asses.” Mikey huffs out a laugh, to which Gerard rolls his eyes.
“Do you wanna hear the story or not?” But it’s true, they were annoying.
“Yes, yes, sorry.”
“So, we had spent the day getting lost in Philadelphia,” it was awful. They had decided to go on a day-trip to the city and because neither of them could navigate and were too awkward to ask anyone for help, the ended up getting lost in the city.
They spent the day walking around, Gerard's car was in some parking garage and they were miles away from it. It started with wanting to check out the Masonic Temple because the interior was cool, but then realized that it cost way too much for the tour. They were broke and about to go to college, didn't have money to waste. So, they walked around to find other cool things to see or do. And a few weird markets and sculptures later, they had no idea where the were. They had gotten caught up in all the people they saw performing on the streets, all the interesting cafes they could only buy a black coffee from to share. The vintage hat shops they got yelled at for messing around in. The three hours they didn't mean to waist in the market with the million little food stands. They ended up sharing a huge shawarma wrap and walking around, wishing they could afford all the whoopie pies and gyros in the world.
But, the excitement died down when it was 9pm and they had realized they were in a part of town they didn't recognize. They were just walking and talking, for so long until they ended up at the edge of a dirty river and the fence of an industrial plant. “It was terrifying, honestly. I acted like it was all fine, though. Wanted to be the cool dude who could save us from certain death. That didn't exactly work out, though.” He ignores Mikey’s chuckle.
After an hour of aimlessly walking around, trying to look for signs that seemed familiar, Gerard figured they were doomed. “I had a full mental-break, but Frank just calmed me down really well.”
“Is that when you knew?”
“No, actually us being in Phili doesn't have much to do with the moment I knew.” It was the same night, though.
“Then why the hell are you telling me about it?”
“Because, it was the first time someone was actually able to bring me down from a panic attack. No one’s ever been able to do that for me, so that experience was in my mind when the moment happened. It just-it kind of lead up, i guess? Like we had, in my mind, something that was life or death even though looking back it really wasn’t. But that day I got to spend all of it with Frank. We were in situations together that neither of us had ever been in before, and we never argued or got bored or tired of being with each other. It was literally a huge confirmation to me that I could live with this guy, that I could be around him for every moment of every day. Even when we were both stressed out of our minds, freaked out, we worked together and never got mad. It was the perfect test, ya know? But, anyways…” Gerard realizes he should probably talk more about the actual moment, less about the leading up.
“That makes sense, though. Why it's important,” Mikey speaks up, “I didn't know he could do that for you, that's really special. And, I can see how being lost on bloody philadelphia at night would bring two together.”
“Tell me about it,” Gerard sighs.
“No, that's your job.” Mikey argues.
“I will if you tell me about the moment.”
“Right, the moment,” he fast forwards in his brain to when it happens. “So, we got back to my place, well, mom and dad’s.”
“What happened to shutting up?”
“Anyway, we were exhausted and sweaty and gross so we took a quick shower-”
“Together?” Mikey raises an eyebrow.
Gerard rolls his eyes, “yes, together, we were too tired to wait for the other to fin-”
“Excuses, excuses, you just wanted to see his ass,” Gerard wants to punch the wink off his brother’s face.
“More like, I wanted to wash his hair and it was the only time he’d let me hold him without being embarrassed.” Their showers were more cuddle sessions than anything else, weirdly enough.
“So, he would let you feel up his naked body but not spoon in bed?” Mikey almost seems amused, which, yeah, it kind of is amusing.
“His reasoning was that there was no chance anyone would walk into the shower and see us. He was super insecure about all that then, remember? And the shower is like, the ultimate privacy.” Frank’s parents ended up being just fine with him and Gerard, though. Apparently they had already figured they had been together for years before that.
“That’s sad but also adorable,” Mikey comments, and Gerard just shrugs.
“He was so sore from walking that we sat down on the bottom of the shower and I washed like, basically his entire body as he fell asleep.” Except for the private areas, of course. But having his hands roam around Frank’s skin, slowly and warm, was so incredible. And Frank even let him press a kiss or two to his temple, and didn't mind when Gerard’s hands lingered on his waist. T
“Did the moment happen in the shower?”
“THEN STOP TELLING ME ABOUT IT.”
“It’s cute, though.”
“It's graphic, now fast forward to the moment.”
“Fine.” So Gerard does. “We went to bed, fell asleep within seconds. We weren't cuddling or anything, but basically I woke up in the middle of the night, and he was all cuddled up to me. Our faces were so close, it was all i could see. And i looked at him for a moment, my heart just, beating out of my chest. Then he opened his eyes too, and he was looking right back at me. And, when he did, he didn't even care that he was practically on top of me like he usually would. Most of the time he’d get flustered and move away. But he didn't move away, he snuggled in even closer, like you do in your blankets when you don’t wanna get out of bed. So, I was holding this guy, this, ridiculously beautiful guy at probably… three in the morning, and all I could do was stare at him. Everything seemed to fall into place then. I realized that there's no way i'm ever waking up to anyone else. Seeing his face every night, morning, whatever, when I open my eyes is all I could ever ask for. I wanted that moment forever, and I dreaded the idea of waking up without him there. I dreaded the idea of someone else being in my arms. I just needed him, and while I always kind of knew I was a bit in love with him, it all just clicked then. Every fiber of my being wanted to connect to his, and never separate.” He had been holding Frank’s waist so tightly, a hand on his thigh, too. Frank was holding onto the back of his neck, rubbing at the hair there. Something he would do in the shower, when he would just push his face into Gerard’s neck and hold on. It seemed that they were always holding on, looking back. “Looking at him, I saw my future… and it was so beautiful.” Gerard has to actually take a moment to breathe, not cry from the nostalgia. Mikey isn't even saying anything, staring so intently at him, waiting. “So,” Gerard takes a breath to hold himself together. “I said something that might have freaked him out.”
“What did you say?” Mikey asks in a whisper. As if not wanting to break the layer of tension that had build up in the small bathroom.
“I looked into his eyes, and said straight to his face...‘I’m going to marry you someday.’”
There's a moment of silence, where Gerard cringes at his past. But then Mikey speaks up, “you did not…”
“I did, and I would of regretted it if he hasn't kissed me right after.” It was the best kiss of his life, Frank had stopped rubbing that back of Gerard’s neck at the comment. Looking at him with wider eyes, making him freak out for a moment out of fear of going too far. But then the same hand was pulling on his neck, and Frank’s lips were pressed to his. It seemed to last forever, and Gerard can feel his heart race just like it did that night. He hasn't gotten tired of that feeling.
“That whole day, in itself was the realization. But waking up in the middle of the night at the same time as him, those feelings, made it so clear. So clear that he's the one for me, that he’s the only person i could ever love like i love him. People think its some huge moment, like fireworks set off in your body and you confess your love through rose petals or whatever. But, no. Realizing Frank was the one, was like coming home for the first time ever. It was like being born again.”
“Wow, if you felt like that then, I can't imagine how you’re going to feel tomorrow.” Mikey gets up from the tub, stretching.
“I can’t either, but I'm sure it'll top every feeling i've ever had, ever.” Gerard follows, rubbing his eyes and feeling his heart and stomach get excited again. Waves of nervousness and pure joy rushing through him.
“Well, better get to bed loverboy. It's already midnight, you’re getting married in the morning.” Mikey winks, and pats him on the shoulder before leaving the bathroom to fall onto his bed. Gerard lingers in the bathroom for a moment, though, running his brother’s words through his head. Something urges him to check his phone then, and sees a text from Frank on the lockscreen, making him instantly smile, per usual.
He unlocks the text to read the message, which ends up making him almost leave the room and go to Frank's.