The one that got away

AU spy Frerard.
The end can also mean the beginning.

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1. The Beginning

“Fuck!”

“What’s-“

“Just drive.  Now.”

Ray didn’t turn around, didn’t even nod to acknowledge he’d heard anyone speak. He just pressed his black booted shoe to the accelerator and the van moved at high speeds through the streets. It was Mikey who reacted first, his hand expertly holding Gerard’s fists behind his back and pinning him to the side of the moving vehicle, to stop his brother from breaking anything, as he punched the van’s harsh metal.

“Let go of me, M-“

“No names.”

The voice was small, from the other side of the van but they all heard it clearly as it echoed through them. Mikey turned to look at the sweaty, crumpled face of Frank as he pulled his face from out between his knees, where he had previously been trying to stop himself blacking out, to glare at the four of them. Bob never moved from his position in the driver’s seat, his eyes fixed on the wing mirror for signs of activity on the road behind them. So far he could only see the street lamps casting ghostly shadows across the deadly quiet roads, as was to be expected. So far anyway.

“There could be bugs.”

Mikey nodded at Frank’s obvious statement. It wasn’t needed, they had all been in this game longer than Frank but in his rage, Gerard had almost forgotten. At the thought of his brother, Mikey instantly released Gerard’s hands and let him slip down the van’s side to the floor, where Gerard slumped deep breathing for a second before regaining his composure and sitting up straight, trying to avoid eye contact where possible.

“What happened?” Ray glanced into the wing mirror to the freeze frame of the three shadowy figures in the back after a moment of understood silent; they all knew what the next step was if the mission had failed.

“Gerard took out one of the guards, or I thought he had…” Frank frowned to himself before continuing.

“Then suddenly he was on his feet and…”

Frank suddenly ran at Gerard, grabbing him by the throat and moving him to his feet. Despite Frank spending shorter time in training, his speed was still impressive and Gerard had little time to react before a small, gloved hand was cutting off his air supply. Mikey didn’t even try to separate the two of them, knowing that once Frank had an idea in his head, that that was the end of it. In the back of his mind, he knew that Frank could never hurt his brother.

“You tried to save me, you fuck! You went against everything you’ve ever been taught!” Frank spat venom into the man’s perfectly composed face as he spoke; somehow the calmness made it worse.

“I wouldn’t have needed to. If I had done my job proper-“Gerard’s previously croaky voice was cut off by a sharp squeeze which muted the rest of his words.

“This isn’t the time for your self pity.” Frank released Gerard’s neck, knowing that it would take much more to get through to him than a simple bruise which would surely fade in a few weeks, a month if he really tried. But Frank knew he couldn’t afford to waste any more energy.

“Drive to the –“Mikey began but Ray silenced him to show that Mikey should stay quiet but a simple nod telling them that their driver knew exactly where he was heading.

Frank set to work emptying the contents of five backpacks, lined carefully in a hidden floor compartment, chucking civvies, and the usual protection in the form of vests and guns, in four different directions. Frank, Mikey and Bob instantly moved to remove their black attire, Bob’s eyes still never leaving the road behind them. Once Bob was wearing his dark jeans and simple jacket and shirt combo, he shifted Ray gently to one side so that Ray could change his clothing also. Frank didn’t miss the movement of Bob’s hand as it stilled too long when meeting Ray’s hand on the steering wheel. The caring movement made him remember Gerard and he caught sight of the hunched man who had once again moved slumped to the van floor, his black greasy hair covering his expression from sight, before Frank hurriedly straightened a tie around his neck. After righting his outfit, he instantly moved to his friend, thinking nothing of pulling Gerard’s shirt over his head and stripping him to his underwear.

At the feeling of the cold air on his now exposed skin, Gerard moved into action, strapping on his own bulletproof attire and securing two hand guns to his body before shoving on a band hoodie and tight leather pants which clung to him all the more due to the sweat, the only visible sign of his nerves getting the better of him. Frank tried to concentrate on buckling up Gerard’s belt rather than how the leather clung to his skinny legs, it reminded him so much of when they were teenagers and when they would –

But there was no time for sentimental memories. It would only make it so much harder when the time came to say goodbye. Mikey pressed a briefcase into Frank’s slightly sweaty palms before throwing a back pack at his brother. Bob had opted out of having luggage as had Ray but Mikey clung onto a small purple wheelie case tightly, as if he were afraid that it would soon be taken from him. The silence was deadly and unnoticed by all, Ray gripped Bob’s hand harder under the van’s dirty seat. When the sign for the airport whizzed past the window, everyone started to nervously fix up the final parts to their costumes. Gerard caught sight of his brother for the first time as Mikey slipped on a huge pair of designer shades, looking the perfect rock star with his hair messed up and his clothes even tighter than Gerard’s trousers. His clothes drew attention but not enough for anyone to wonder his identity, Gerard smiled to himself, watching Mikey pull his case closer. In any other situation he would have loved to make fun of the bright tacky purple that he knew his brother hated. But this wasn’t any other situation.

Ray suddenly stopped the van, causing all to jolt. Bob jumped the seat, pressing a silent kiss to Ray’s slightly trembling forehead before moving to the door.

“Two years. And I’ll contact you.” Bob nodded at Gerard’s voice before he was gone. The others barely even felt the night’s cold air enter before the door was slamming shut, making the van start up. Frank chose to ignore the tear he saw glistening on Ray’s cheek through the side mirror. Mikey had moved towards the mirror now to watch the roads, leaving Frank and Gerard stood quietly beside each other. But neither spoke, knowing they would have their time to grieve but it was not now.

The van stopped before the bright lights surrounding the airport could highlight anyone who might be watching of the van’s location. Mikey slung a limp arm around his brother for a brief second before it was his turn to exit the vehicle. Gerard’s words echoed in his ears as he began his slow, deliberate strut towards the building. ‘Two years. And I’ll contact you.’

Ray drove to the train station next. It was only two minutes away and time was too short, yet the silence seemed to make the journey painstakingly long. Gerard pulled his backpack on causally and slipped in a pair of headphones while Frank adjusted his cufflinks for the third time. When the van stilled for the final time that night, the two hopped out into the crisp air, Gerard only needing a swift head bob from Ray to show that the driver remembered their team leader’s words. ‘Two years. And I’ll contact you.’

Neither turned to watch the van leave. Ray knew what had to be done. If he didn’t make it … Well there was nothing that could be done about that now. Once they had reached the platform, both bodies stilled. After taking in the lack of movement around them, Frank instantly moved to his friend’s side, knowing that after his actions towards Gerard in the van, that Gerard wouldn’t make the first move. He lowered his suitcase to the ground in order to slip both his hands around Gerard’s neck, caressing him and leaving a trail of wet kisses that led to his lips. Gerard silently opened his mouth to allow Frank inside but refused to kiss back as passionately as the other was, giving in immediately to his tongue and only squeezing very gently at Frank’s hips while his own where being gripped furiously; Frank’s nails embedding themselves into his skin. Gerard secretly refused to believe this could really be the end.

They both knew why Gerard had compromised the mission. Why he had diverted from the original plan in order to plant a bullet into the guard’s hand before the trigger could be squeezed which would have ended Frank’s life indefinitely. They’d never told everyone about their love through fear that others would believe them incapable of maintaining their jobs as specially trained operatives. They would have normally considered themselves to be freelance specialists but on this occasion when the plan had fallen through, their current employer would be tracking them all down and killing them for their mistakes. Which was why two years was necessary. If not a little short perhaps? But Gerard tried to concentrate on breathing in between Frank’s needy touches as opposed to being dragged kicking and screaming into his thoughts.

“This is your train,” Frank withdrew himself, wiping meaningless tears from Gerard’s face and kissing him quickly once on the forehead, once on each cheek and once on his nose before withdrawing himself from the Gerard’s body, causing them both to moan in physical pain at parting. But it was necessary. Before the train pulled up, Frank slipped inconspicuously into the shadows, where he knew the carriage lights wouldn’t reach him. He would wait until morning for the first train of the day, ready to fade into a boring 9 to 5 city job, his clothing matching the other workers as they marched bleary eyed into work on a Monday morning. Gerard would surely find a university and sweet talk his way onto a course, his physical age would enable him to start a new life. Maybe he could take an art course … Frank tried not to think about Gerard’s future. Knowing that chances were he could never be a part of it.

 “I love you,” Frank whispered just as the train doors opened and Gerard stepped into the harsh light from the darkness of the platform. He knew that his lover couldn’t reciprocate the message as from his position he could see a few passengers slumped in their seats. But he knew that if they both were ready to compromise their jobs that they had given up everything for, that Gerard must also feel the same. Frank allowed himself one tear as he watched Gerard instantly become the moody college student, his hands pulling out a sketch pad and small tin of artist pencils (his own) before he had even reached his seat. He must have turned up his music too as one or two sleepy passengers turned in annoyance towards the newly morphed adolescent version of Gerard but none of them spoke. Frank let his lips twitch at this but he became instantly sombre when the train began to move out of the station. His feet itched to run after the train but instead he just had to watch as part of his heart was pulled away from him. Gerard’s pencil stilled on the page for a moment but he had to force himself not to look at the two shiny orbs of moonlight which revealed Frank’s location in the dark; instead staring hard at the thin pencil line, knowing it would have become an image of Frank if he hadn’t stopped himself sooner. He’d have to be more careful. And with that he was gone, leaving Frank truly alone for the first time in years, to replay Gerard’s words in his head over and over, trying to get used to them but knowing he never could.

‘Two years. And I’ll contact you.’

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