Frerard One-Shots

The band My Chemical Romance one-shots compilation of the ship Frerard. Variation through the series.

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2. Cancer

AU where one-half of a soulmate has the last words they ever exchange, while the other has the first they'll ever say to each other. 
        I knew her time was running up but I couldn't do anything about it. I knew it was the end and she did too. At least I got to find her before her time ended. We couldn't live together forever but we had a good run. Now with merely days left, I'm holding onto them for everything they're worth. I stare at her tattooed wrist and sigh a smile excuse me darling That was the first thing I said when we met. I was at a concert with several of my friends and we were trying to get to the front. I myself am pretty good at maneuvering through crowds so my brother Mikey, his best friend Pete, and my best friend Ray put me as the leader. 
        "Let's go, Gerard, get us to the front," my brother called to me. 
        A smile spreads on my face. "Just hang on tight and don't look back," I call out and grab Mikey's hand and Ray's. Pete holds onto Mikey and I start leading through the crowd. People usually get pissed when others sneak in front but with me, I'm too charming for people to be angry once they see my face. I just put on a warm smile, apologize sincerely and they just drop it like it's nothing. 
        I slide between two clusters of people, one a group of guys wearing a lot of red and blue and the other group of people mixed gender wearing black and leather with heavy makeup. 
        I step around the group of laughing people when one of the girls bumped back into me. "Excuse me, dear," I say. 
        The girl with scarlet hair jolts and whips around at me, her eyes a soft hazel and wide as could be. "What did you say?" She says, speaking over the loud music. 
        I thought I spoke clearly enough but evidently not. "Excuse me, darling," I say. 
        Her eyes light up with a smile struck across her face. "It's you!" she says ecstatic. Before I can ask her anything, she holds up her wrist with her phrase excuse me darling
        I smile myself and laugh out happy. I found my soul mate. "Oh my god!" I cry out. absentmindedly letting go of the others. "My name is Gerard Way." 
        "Gerard," she says with a smile. "I like that name. I'm Elizabeth McCallum." 
        That was the day I met my soulmate. We stayed together for the remainder of the show. I introduced her to my brother,  Pete, and Ray. She introduced me to we sister Alexia, her best friend Megan and her cousins Dominic and Drew. 
        Beth McCallum was undoubtedly my soulmate. There couldn't have been more of a perfect match. We met at a Misfits concert and have the same taste in music. I write Doom Patrol comics and she is a huge fan of my work. We love horror movies and we actually go to the same bar. She is everything I could love but there was one stupid problem neither of us could control. One more thing about Beth McCallum: she has untreatable leukemia. Her doctor gave her 4 years to live when she was diagnosed. Her friends and family took it into their own hands to make her last year as a 20-year-old be her best and they've done everything they could to fit her entire life in merely 4 years. They've traveled the world and did crazy things. She got to go diving in Australia and she spent a month in China. They have done all sorts of things. The one thing they couldn't promise her was netting her soulmate in time. 
        Beth ever so badly wanted to see the Misfits live. She's been to countless concerts already but never the Misfits so her cousins managed to get them some tickets and that's when I met her. Unfortunately, by the time I did, the first 12 months dwindled away and she didn't even tell me for a half a year because she was so ashamed and I remember that painful conversation. 
        "I love you so much, Beth," I tell her. I lie on her lap, using it as a pillow and she massages her fingers through my hair. 
        She smiles brightly down at me and she looks so happy. "I love you too, Gerard." 
        I sit up at look at her. "You are everything I could love and I'm so happy with you. I know this can't be a mistake, you're undoubtedly my soulmate. Our tattoos couldn't have matched a better pair." Her eyes sparkle at my words. I'm so happy with you and I just want to be with you all the time and forever. You make me so happy and I'm so in love with you."
        "You're so sweet, Gerard," she smiles. She leans forward and kisses me. 
        "I never want to be without you ever. Do you feel the same way?"
        "Of course I do, I love you so much!" she beams.
        "Then let's get married!" Her smile fades away and she scoots back, turning her head away. My chest tightens up. "What's wrong?"
        "I um, it's nothing," she answers. 
        "You don't want to marry me?" 
        "No, no it's not that," she says. There are tears in her eyes and my stomach twists up. "It's just..."
        "Your family doesn't like me?"
        "No, they love you, Gerard. They're so thankfully we found each other in time."
        "Wait, what do you mean 'in time? How would be run out?" I asked looking at her. Beth closes her eyes and buries her face in her hands crying softly. "What's wrong? What's going on, Beth?" I ask. She shakes her head and it only strengthens my fears. "Please, tell me."
        "I can't get married," she weeps. "I'm sorry, Gerard. I'm dying." At first, I don't understand but slowly it hits me as much as I don't want it to. It's got to be an exaggeration. People exclaim they're dying all the time when they obviously won't. This is just one of those times. But her words start adding up on why she on 3 occasions with me had fainted and why her older sister lives with her even though Alexia's boyfriend has offered her to move in with him before. And why there are frequent occurrences where we couldn't be together for the day because she was at the doctors. "I'm so sorry, Gerard. I love you."
        "How...how much time do you have left?" I ask scared to hear the answer. 
        "2 and a half years," she whispers. My heart sinks. I was afraid to hear her say months or even worse days, but only 2 and a half years isn't a lot. She'll die at 24 and I'll be 26. Our entire future shattered and all the pain inside me emptied out in the form of tears streaming down my face. 
        I knew I could never have a life with her, we couldn't get married by then and she was already so drained I doubt she would be able to. I could see it in her eyes. She was dying and running out of time. It breaks my heart to think about the life I could never have. I spent my childhood thinking about how I would meet my soulmate and thinking about our future together only to realize her life would be shorter than she deserved. I'd get to meet her but we'd never marry, never live together and never have kids. I understand why she was so happy to hear me say those words to a better extent. She already lost hope of ever finding me. But we found each other in time and we had 3 years to spend with each other. 3 years I would hold onto and cherish forever.
        I hold onto her hand tightly. Her sister was coming over tonight after work. I knew it was the end very shortly and Beth did too. "Gerard," she whispered faintly. 
        "What is it, darling?" I've gotten in the habit of calling her that.
        "Could you get me a drink of water." 
        "Yes, anything." I get up and walk over to the kitchen to get her some. "Here you go," I say, putting it to her lips for her to sip. I remove the glass and lean down to kiss her but she turns away. 
        "You don't want to kiss me anymore. My lips are chapped and faded."
        "Darling, it doesn't bother me, I love you."
        "I will not kiss you because the hardest part of this is leaving you." Her eyes are watering and I look at her softly. "Can we go out somewhere?" She says
        "What do you mean?" I ask.
        "I don't want to stay here, let's go do something. Can we go to the store or the park? It's a beautiful day."
        "I don't know," I say. "I don't think it's a good idea." 
        "Please, Gerard. I don't want to stay here anymore." She looks up at me with pleading eyes. 
        I smile. "Alright, let's go." We go down and put our jackets on. My fingers interlace with hers and we walk out. 
        The crisp air feels nice and the sun shines down with a gentle heat. It really is a lovely day. The two of us walk with a slow, leisurely pace around the park. There are joggers and couples pushing their kids on the swings and kids throwing a Frisbee for their dog and little kids learning how to ride their bikes and young couples lying on a blanket in the shade. They are all are happy. The toddlers on the swing have no care in the world about love yet and the kids on the bikes are only learning what the tattoo on their wrist means. The older kids and teens are still waiting to find them, unsure of they have the beginning or end part on their wrist but nevertheless, memorizing the phrase so if a stranger ever happened to say it, they wouldn't miss it. The young lovers have found each other and they don't have a limited amount of time together. They have their whole life ahead of them. And the older couples who had time and the life in them to marry, have children together. Seeing their kids giggle happy and take their first steps. Their kids half of them and half of their soulmate. What could be more perfect?
        "Gerard?" Beth whispers.
        "What is it, darling?" 
        "Could we go to the comic book store across the street?" 
        "Of course," I say taking her hand as we walked over. Beth always loved surrounding herself in comics and I can't blame her. It's such a calming and welcoming feeling being surrounded by so many stories and people's writing and artwork. We walk over and start browsing through the different stories. I always smile to see the new issues of Doom Patrol out. 
        Beth starts flipping through a Spider-Man issue and paces around while reading the first page. "I'll be over here if you need me," I tell her.
        She looks up and smiles. "Sounds good, Gerard." 
        I walk over to the other side and start browsing through the different series, one's I haven't read yet. 
        I reach for a random comic and I catch a glimpse of my tattoo. you're my happiness you always have been I find that both beautiful and heartbreaking. None of us know if we have the first phrase or the last phrase. I always expected it to be the last because if we never met them until we say our tattoo, then how I have already always been their happiness? A stranger couldn't really say that unless it was staged for some reason but I didn't want to believe it. I've come up with the reality of Beth looking up to me and saying it and slowly drifting off. It would be special but also destroy my heart, whatever's left of it. I love her so much and I'll never be able to spend the rest of my life with her. I know she still has time, a week left but it's still time I plan to spend with her and until I hear her say those words, I know it's not over yet. 
        There's a loud clatter in the next aisle which startles me and I drop the comic I was holding. I pick it up and thankfully none of the pages ruined. I put it back and peer through the shelf's to see an entire rack knocked over and on the ground in a huge mess. A guy runs over to the scene. 
        I walk over to the other side and see in the middle of the mess Beth lying on the ground. "Elizabeth!" I cry, running over to her. I kneel at her side and turn her over. Her eyes are close and I can't feel her breathing. "Someone call an ambulance!" A woman behind me takes out her phone and dials. I look at the guy who ran over. "What happened?" I ask him.
        He looks in shock. "She.. she was just standing there and I was trying to get around her so I said excuse me and she apologized but she," he stops.
        "She what?" I ask still holding her tightly. She can't die, she hasn't said my tattoo. 
        "She seemed a bit dazed. I asked if she was okay and then she said" he pauses.
        "What?" I ask. The woman behind me is talking to the receptionist on the line. 
        The guy rolls up his sleeve to his jacket and shows me his tattoo on his wrist. I need a drink because I'm just a little light headed The guy looks up at me. "She said this, word for word and then instantly collapsed." 
        "No, that's not true," I say. "I'm her boyfriend, we met at a concert and I bumped into her and I said her tattoo." I gingerly roll up her sleeve and show him her wrist excuse me darling I look at the guy. "You're wrong, it's a mistake."
        The guy looks at her wrist. "That's exactly what I said to her when I was going around." He looks down at her sad. Sirens are in the distance growing nearer. "She just said mine and I said hers. She's my soulmate. What's her name?"
        "Her name...her name is Beth Way and you're mistaken. You've got to be!" Paramedics come over to her and they check her. I get up and cover my mouth with my hands. She can't be gone, she didn't say my tattoo. She had a week left anyways. This happens a lot where she faints and they've been becoming more frequent since she's running out of time. But she's not gone yet, she hasn't said my tattoo and until she does, she's still got time.
        One of the paramedics stand up and looks at me solemnly. I give my head a shake and her eyes are grim. "I'm sorry, sir. She's gone." 
        "No.. she can't be," I whisper. She didn't say my tattoo, she can't be unless she really all along isn't my soulmate. The guy next to me looks in shock as he realized within a minute he just met and lost his soulmate, the same woman I thought was mine all along. They carry Beth out and I run out of the store not sure of what to do. Do I call Alexia and tell her Beth is gone? Do I tell her that I'm actually not her soulmate but some guy at the comic bookstore is? No, that man doesn't know who I am and I didn't give Beth's real last name to him. It's still McCallum but if she wasn't sick, we would have married already. He doesn't matter. He doesn't know Beth and he couldn't ever love her the way I loved her. How could I not be her soulmate? We met at a concert for our favorite band and our favorite song by them is Astro Zombies. She reads Doom Patrol and loves horror movies. We never run out of things to talk about. She has to be my soulmate. Maybe she did say my tattoo except I didn't hear her. It's the last thing she said to me, not the last thing I hear her say. That guy doesn't know what he's talking about. Beth is the love of my life. 
        Hot tears spill down my cheeks and I backhand myself as I try to wipe them away. She can't be gone, she's mine. But slowly I realize, deep down I know. I'll have to call her family and tell them she's gone but I won't tell them about the guy at the comic book store. Her last words were my tattoo, she said it and I will leave their lives as if I never knew them. Is that wrong of me? No, they're good people and I've gotten close with all of them. They've become a part of my family but just, I can't stay with them knowing Beth is gone and as much as I suppress it, deep down I know we never were soulmates. If that guy was hers, then who is mine? Are they still out there? It doesn't matter, I could never love someone the way I loved Beth, I don't care about these stupid tattoos, they don't work. I happened to say the same line the first time I bumped into her. I remember the night of the concert. I didn't first call her darling. I first called her dear but when she didn't hear me, I changed it and I said darling to sound more charming. She really never was my soulmate after all. I wasted the last 3 years of my life. I invested so much time and fell so hard in love with someone who I wasn't destined to be with and moments before I lost her, the hard reality hits me she, in fact, was never mine.
        I stop walking or jogging or whatever the hell kind of gait I had was. I stop moving and lean against the side of a brick building. I need to catch my breath but I can't. I fumble to take out my phone and I click on Alexia's contact photo. It's a picture of her and Beth hugging and smiling so happy. It's dialing and as it keeps ringing everything starts building up. She going to pick up and I'm then going to have to say it out loud and confirm it's real. 
        On the fourth ring, Alexia picks up. "Hi, Gerard," she says. I still haven't stop sobbing and she hears my heavy breathing. "Oh no, no!" she says. "Oh god, Gerard please tell me she's not... that she's not.."
        "Alexia, she's gone. I'm so sorry," I bring myself to say. It's silent on the end. "She begged me to take her to the comic book store and-and.." I choke out my words. I can't say the truth. As far as they all know Beth and I are soulmates because we loved each other like a true pairing. And in their hearts, they will remember me as the person that loved their daughter, sister, and cousin they way she should be loved. If I tell them about the guy, then it will seem like they wasted their time with me. "She looked at me and said my tattoo when she just suddenly collapsed and oh god, Alexia! She's really gone!" I sob. There are people staring at the hysterical mess I am but those who pick up on the bits and pieces give me sympathetic glances. I start running down the boardwalk over the sidewalk aligned with the store and parallel with the streets with busy cars speeding by. 
        I hear her sniffles on the other line. "Oh my god, oh my god," Alexia keeps repeating. With my other hand, I frantically wipe away the tears again and clutch my shoulder. Breathing becomes difficult as I feel the actual tearing of my heart. Tattoo proving or not, I really did love her so much and she's gone now. I can't bare this anymore. I can't feel anything and my heads spinning with adrenaline. "Gerard? Where are you?" Alexia asks with a shaking voice. 
        "I don't know," I cry. "I'm by the city shops in town. I don't know where I'm going I just... I just.." I can't finish because I break down. My knees are shaking and tempting to give out. That would cause me to fall flat on the ground and cause more unwanted attention to the public. I can't focus on anything; the world is spinning around me. I maneuver through the crowd of people weaving in and out and tripping over my old convers, which have both become untied but I don't care right now. 
        "Gerard, go back to the house and we'll meet there," she says on the other line trying to catch her breath.
        "Alexia I-SHIT!" I stumble off the sidewalk, dropping my phone, and topple backward in the middle of the street. A car horn blares and the driver slams on the breaks causing the tires to squeal but they don't have enough time to stop. It's going to slam into me.
        "Gerard? What's going on?!" Alexia's voice echoes from the phone speaker from the ground. I close my eyes, accepting my fate and wait for impact when I'm yanked out of the way and pulled back on the sidewalk. I skid my hands and smack my head down on the ground. The car driver speeds past where I was less than a second ago and runs over my cell phone. The call ends and she probably thinks I'm dead. Well, she at least now knows what I intended on telling her and I don't have to face her or the rest of Beth's family and live with the guilt. 
        My hands are scraped up by the asphalt and my knees really hurt from the impact of falling back. The second problem hits me is I'm still alive. That car should have struck me but some dumb ass had to save my pathetic life. I turn around at the guy who lies on the ground next to me looking dazed in shock. "I would have preferred if you left me where I was," I mutter to them. 
        They cock their head to the side and stare at me wide-eyed, a bit unsure of what to say exactly and a flicker of a smile and covered with a sorry expression. I can't really blame them. I'm sure they expected numerous forms of gratitude and I give them disrespect. I glance down as see my blood smeared down when I realize the pounding in my head and my vision pulses in and out. Did I get hit? I fall back and groan out.
        There's a damp towel on my head and I sit up but my entire body aches. "I see you're awake now," the same guy who pulled me out of traffic said as he walks over to me.
        "Where the hell am I?" I ask. I'm lying on a couch in an unfamiliar apartment.
        "Relax, you're at my place. You're head was bleeding after I pulled you back so I brought you here to stitch you up," he says.
        My heart sinks. "You stitched me up?" I ask. "I have a serious phobia of needles."
        "It's okay, I'm actually a qualified doctor and I promise you'll be okay. Don't worry." He sits down next to me. 
        "You don't look like a doctor," I blurt out. I don't know if that's a rude thing to say, especially for a stranger that saved my life and healed me. But this guy you expect to be in some death metal band. His jet black has to be dyed and it reaches his shoulders. He has ripped blue jeans and beat up vans with ratty laces. He's got an old band t-shirt that's so worn out, I can't make out the logo. His lip piercing also adds to this picture but he has tattoos all over his arms and on the skin that peek out from the rips in his jeans. He has them on his arms, hands, legs, fingers and neck. So many tattoos. He looks nothing like a doctor but he sure as hell is aesthetic. 
        He smiles a boyish smile and looks up at me. "I get that a lot but I have saved and helped a lot of people, including yours."
        "Why did you bring me here?" I ask. "And why did you bother to save me in the first place?"
        "For the same reason, I became a doctor. I want to help people and save them. When I operate on young people who have been in terrible accidents, I can't always save them because the damage is far too much to save them from. I saw you today and you looked quite distressed, to say the least. You were really out of it and you fell off the curb and into traffic. I saw what happens to the patients I get seconds before the accident." He pauses and looks at me. "I don't get to save everyone but I do what I can. I saw that I was possibly able to prevent the whole accident so I pulled you out of the way."
        "Shouldn't that have been enough?" I ask. "Why did you bring me to your place?" 
        He shrugs. "I don't know, I wanted to get to know you?" he says. He holds out his hand. "I'm Frank Iero by the way." I take it and he firmly shakes it. "And you are..?"
        "Oh, I'm Gerard Way," I answer. He smiles brightly and nods. 
        "So, could you tell me why you would prefer if I left you yo be hit by a car?" he asks. I sigh and looks away from him. "Oh come on. I saved you life, shouldn't I at least get to know why you regret me doing so?"
        "I don't know you so I don't need to waste your time with my stupid upside down life," I tell him. 
        "Well, you're not going anywhere so you might at well kill time by telling me and besides, I will always remain a stranger if you don't open up a bit. Please?" His eyes are a green hazel and they're fantastic. I can't really hold out on him so I cave. 
        "3 years ago, I was at a concert, it was The Misfits," I begin when Frank's eyes lit up. "You know the Misfits?" 
        "I've been to a few of their concerts, they're pretty good. Wouldn't say they're my all time favorite but definitely love the band. Continue?"
        He's a stranger and I doubt I'll run into the guy again. There's no harm in telling a stranger the truth. "I met her three years ago at a Misfits concert and it's loud and when I bumped into her, I happen to say her tattoo." 
        Frank's eyes go dark. "You said her tattoo when you first met?" I nod. "You found your soulmate?" 
        I don't know why he's flustered. "Man, we had everything in common and she was the love of my life except she was sick and dying. And I was at a comic bookstore with her when she collapsed and died." The tears are coming again. God, I miss her so much. "But she never said my tattoo. The guy next to her said hers and then she replied with his then she just collapsed to the floor and she's gone." My temple throbs from my crying fit again. I touch my forehead and feel the stitches as my heart drops. There really was needlework done to my head. I start hyperventilating, pawing at the stitches. 
        "Shh, shh, Gerard, it's okay," Frank says. He crawls over to my and grabs my hands, holding them tightly in his. I break down and start crying. "It's okay, I've got you."
        "I really did love her so much and I thought she was mine. Today I lost the love of my life and realized she wasn't meant to be with me ever. I wasted the last three years of my life loving someone so much to lose them and have it mean nothing." 
        "It doesn't all mean nothing," Frank coos. 
        "Ugh, yes it does," I scoff and rub my eyes. Frank hugs me tightly and I hear his heart beating in his chest. 
        "Gerard, do you love your parents?" he asks.
        "Yes.." I answer, not seeing how this has to do with anything. 
        "Do you have any siblings or best friends that come to mind? Do you love them?" I nod slowly. "They aren't your soulmates but you still love them and care about them just as much as they care about you. You don't have to be soulmates to love someone. And I know you don't love them romantically but you did love them. I know it hurts but you can learn to love again." 
        His words uplift my spirits and they stop the tears. Of course, I'm still sad but he's helped me. He runs his thumbs over my cheeks and dries my tears. "Thank you, Frank. You're very kind to me," I say, giving him another really good hug. "Thank you for saving my life and stitching my head and your hospitality. I do appreciate it but I better be going."
        "Are you sure, Gerard?" he asks.
        "Yeah," I lie. I didn't want to go. Frank has made me feel better that tomorrow won't be as bad but I still can't say. I want to but I can't. "I can't thank you enough."
        "Here," Frank says. He gets up and goes over to the coffee table scribbling on a blue sticky note. Her drops the pen down and hands it to me. "I know we barely know each other but I was serious about wanting to change that. If you need to talk or rant, I'll always be able to listen, okay Gerard?"
        A smile appears on my face, a genuine one. He's so kind to me. "Thank you, Frank." He walks me out and closes the door when I leave. I need to head home and probably drowned out my thoughts in a long shower. 
 
        I can't fall asleep. I turn over and turn on my new phone. 3:22. Not a lot of people have my new phone number. The only people who I've talked to are Mikey, Ray, and Pete once because Mikey was over and his phone died. Mikey is asleep I know. I've been texting him all day and he told me he was going to bed and we'd continue in the morning. Ray has to work so he better be asleep or he'll have one hell of a bad day tomorrow. Frank pops into my mind. I haven't stopped thinking of him these last two weeks since he met. He saved my life and what's the first thing I say to him? I don't even remember, something about I wish he didn't. I doubt he remembers what I said either but it was very clear I was ungrateful. I wish I had the audacity to thank him. He didn't have to do anything but he did and I was ungrateful. 
        Frank is a special person, there's something about him. He's so fascinating and has an aesthetic rock look yet he's a doctor. His philosophies are so fantastic just like his eyes. Opening my contacts, my thumb hovers over Frank's name. I really want to talk to him but it's too early or late or whatever. I turn my phone off only to turn it back on again. I repeat this process a few times. I need to talk to him but not now but I need to talk to him right now. I end up clicking his name in my messaging app. Okay, I've completed the first difficult task of getting myself to open his contact but now the real challenge of what to say hits me. 
                To start off with, he doesn't have my number and it's been two weeks so he has probably forgotten I have it. Have I waited too long to talk to him? If I don't now, I'll actually go insane. Okay, so I'll have to specify it's me somewhere in the message. I probably should make this phone message not like a really long one though. And he's not going to respond for a while but I'd rather hear his voice on the phone than text me. I start typing. "Hi, Frankie. Ik you're sleeping but could you pls call me when you're awake?? ~Gerard" Is that good enough? I reread everything twice to make sure there are no typos that would mess up the whole thing. Should I do.. well too late to argue because I sent it. Sending... Sending.... Delivered. I turn off my phone and place my face in the pillow. I really hope I don't wake him up. Give it anywhere between 4 and 6 hours and he'll reply to me. Or I'll have to wait until the evening because he's a doctor and has to work. Or he completely ignores me and that's the end of that. 
        The Star Wars theme song starts softly playing on my phone and I instantly know it's my ringtone. I flip my phone up and see the screen showing Frank's name. What the... I slide it to answer. "Hello?" I answer.
        "Hi, Gee," Frank says on the other end. 
        "Gee?" I question. 
        "Oh, yeah. I don't know why but I've kind of been referring to you to myself as Gee. That okay?"
        "Yeah, of course."  I've always loved having nicknames but you can't really nickname 'Gerard' which was a little disappointing. However, Frank just gave me one and put a smile on my face. "I'm sorry I woke you up," I say. 
        "Oh no, you didn't, don't worry. I was awake when you texted me," he says. That I didn't expect. Normal people of my age who have jobs and a life are already asleep before midnight on a Tuesday. "I have a habit of not going to bed sometimes," he admits. "What's up, Gee?"
        Well, I didn't expect to have to actually talk to him for several hours so I'm drawing a blank right now. "I- I don't know. I'm sorry."
        "You don't have to be sorry, it's okay," he says. "What are you doing awake?"
        "I can't fall asleep," I whisper. I start crying for some reason. "I miss her and I'm so distraught. I just don't want to be alone right now."
        "You love her and you're in pain. It's hard because you never got to say goodbye only to find out she belonged to someone else. Never getting the closure you waited for the last 3 years but now that's she's gone, you've realized something, whether you know it or not."
        "And what's that?" I tremble because I'm falling apart at his words. 
        "I think learning how to live without them is a lot harder than their departure. Always trying to fill the void, the emptiness in your heart after they're gone. But with time, you can learn to love again Gee." 
        "I don't want to love anyone else. Tattoo or not, Beth was my soulmate and I don't want to replace her."
        "Do you ever think about the person you really were meant to be with?" he asks. "I know you miss her and it pains you to know she wasn't yours but if she could make you feel so happy, do you wonder what you actual soulmate could bring you?"
        I think about it for a minute. She has made me happy and I wasn't even paired with her. "I don't think I could ever be happy again," I say. 
        "Well, what about your other soulmate?" he asks. "Imagine what they're like just waiting to meet you and fall in love with you. All the happiness they could bring you sharing the rest of your life together and raising kids together. Don't you want that?"
        "I did, but I wanted it with Beth. It's too late anyways."
        "Oh, don't think like that. I know you're in pain right now but time heals anything. We're all destined to meet them at some point. You still have plenty of time left, how old are you, Gee?"
        "I'm 26, how old are you Frank?"
        "See, you still have time. I'm 22."
        "22 and already a doctor?" I ask astounded. 
        I hear his gentle laugh on the other end. "Well, I'm still in school understand that but I have helped people. My birthday is in October and there was something weird with my grade so I started earlier and I finished very fast. I got to skip 7th grade, I finished high school in 3 years because I was accepted into med school, which I also got to in 3 years," he admits. "I'm 'gifted' as they say and everything just comes naturally to me. Having a photographic memory also helps. I don't have any siblings so my parents could afford to give me a tutor to push me further. It's not like I'm athletic or have many hobbies so I always had time to study. I have two more years before I'm officially done." I listen to him amazed at how smart he is. "You probably don't care though."
        "No, no. I find it intriguing."
        "What do you do for a living?" 
        "I'm a comic book writer. I write a series called Doom Patrol."
        "I've never heard of it but I'll definitely look into it some time. I think that's awesome!"
        "Yeah, nothing as brilliant as you though. You have to be extremely skilled and have a brilliant mind for that kind of job."
        "Well, you have to know how to draw and stuff so that takes talent. And yours is different from mine. I go to school to learn this practice. Somebody teaches me how to perform surgery but you, no one can teach someone how to create a universe that's never been thought of before. A person must find that practice within themselves. With time, anyone can learn to be a good doctor but only the creative artists can be good comic book writers," he says.
        "I've never thought of it that way."
        "There's always a new way to look at things, you just gotta find a different perspective because if you look at it from the same angle, it'll never change."
        "And how do you look at the world?" I ask.
        "I look at the world as if it's an adventure and I live in the moment for everything it's worth. The future is too bright to dwell in the past. Life goes by too fast so I run faster to live in the now. Today is a gift, that's why it's called the present. I don't want to just exist going through the motions. I want to live and I want to feel alive. There are so many possibilities out there the outcomes are endless. If we always do what we've always done, then we'll always get what we always got and if we don't like what we have, we have to change it. If we do something we've never done, we'll get something we've never got. I want to make a difference in the world and in someone's life. I guess that's why I saved you. My life is helping people after it's too late so I decided to help someone before the tragedy for a change. I think the worst you could do is live your life and have the world be the same exact place before it was."
        "That's beautiful," I whisper because that's the only words that come to my head. How do you respond to someone after they say something like that? 
        I can almost feel Frank on the other line smiling. "I know you're in pain, Gerard but be willing to take a chance because you never know how perfect something can turn out to be. I bet you went to the Astro Zombies concert because you like their music, not in hopes to meet someone, except maybe the members."
        "I know Frank, but it's still hard."
        "Gerard? Would you still love her if you knew when you met she wasn't your soulmate? Would you still be willing to fall in love with her knowing how it ended?"
        "I don't know," I mumble.
        "Do you think if we didn't have these tattoos, you wouldn't have bothered to met each other?"
        "What do you mean?"
        "Well, the only reason she took interest in you is that you happen to say her tattoo, which I'm sure she memorized so she'd instantly know if she found them. If she didn't have that clue, would she have taken interest in you at all?" I don't think so. It was dark and we couldn't really see each other's faces clearly until we were out. I said excuse me, trying to get around her. She probably would have just moved out of the way and if she were to say something, she would have probably just apologized and then that would be that. "I take your silence is a no?"
        "Probably," I admit.
        "And if you two didn't meet, then I doubt we'd be talking right now."
        "How so?"
        "Well, the only reason we're talking is that I gave you my phone number when you were at my apartment. You were there because you hit your head when I pulled you back. But would you have fallen off the walkway if you weren't so distraught? Probably not and therefore we never would have met. Everything happens for a reason."
        "You never cease to amaze me with your words, Frank," I say, letting out a long yawn. 
        "I'm glad," he replies. "I think you should get some rest, Gee. We've got tomorrow to talk."
        "I'm okay," I say a bit unconvincing as I yawn again, a little disappointed because I could talk to Frank forever.
        There's a pause while he thinks for a minute. "I think you need your rest. Don't worry, we'll talk again tomorrow. But right now, you should get some sleep. Goodnight, Gerard Way." 
        "Goodnight, Frank Iero," I say. I lower the phone and press end call. Before the screen fades off, I see we've been talking for almost an hour and it's already 4:30. As soon as my heavy eyes shut, I'm asleep.
        Several long hours later, I wake up and for the first time since Beth died, I don't feel hopelessly empty. I check my phone for the time and it's 2 in the afternoon and I have a missed call from my brother. I sit up as I call him back rubbing my eyes as the phone rings. He picks up. "Hey, Mikes. Sorry, I missed you earlier, I just woke up."
        "That's okay, Gerard. I just wanted to check on you. How are you feeling?"
        "I think I'm doing better," I answer. Mikey and Ray also know Beth wasn't my soulmate, as well as Frank now. 
        "That's good," he says. "I'm going to come by in a little bit and while you wait, get ready to go out to lunch, okay?"
        "I'd like that, see you soon Mikes." I quickly shower and put on clean clothes. I haven't made myself feel human in so long. I'm clean and wearing fresh clothes, my hair is actually straightened and not greasy. For some reason, I slept really well last night, more than twice the usual amount I get since Beth. I don't feel like shit and soon I'm going to eat so I won't be skipping meals like I have been. Things have a purpose and I genuinely don't feel as miserable. Do I miss Beth still? Undoubtedly but I don't feel the need to stop living because she has and quite frankly, I don't know why. 
        Mikey comes and we go out to an Italian restaurant. "Have you talked to Beth's family since?" Mikey asks me. We're sharing a pizza. 
        "No, which is maybe not the best since, you know, the last thing Alexia heard was my sentence cut off from me screaming and the car horn blaring and tires screeching. The phone clattering to the ground also is probably something she picked up and then all of a sudden the call is not ended but disconnected because it got run over."
        "It's been weeks, Gerard. I wouldn't hold it past them if they think you're dead."
        "I'm not ever going to talk to them again, it would be unbearable so it's not all bad they think I'm dead." Mikey lets out a long sigh. "I didn't say it was a kind thing to do but that's the way it is and the way I'm leaving it."
        "I know," he says. "Hey, Gerard, have you ever wondered who your real soulmate is?" he asks. 
        "I've been getting asked that a lot," I say. 
        He raises an eyebrow. "Who else asked?"
        "Frank."
        "Who's Frank?"
        "He's the guy who saved me, remember?"
        "Oh, right. You've been talking to him?"
        "The guy saved my life, I wanted to know why and I found him to be interesting so yeah," I say. Mikey nods along and gives a smile. "You should be proud, I've made another friend." Mikey always teases me how I'm not very social. All through school, Ray was my only friend and he stuck by my side for the whole thing. We even got accepted into the same college. I pursued art and he pursued music. Of course, Mikey and I have always been close but he's my brother. Pete and I get along to, he's a fun guy and really nice. I only know him because he's Mikey's best friend. It's really been just Ray, Mikey, and on the occasion Pete too. I haven't associated with anyone else until I met Beth and her family but that's expected when you find your soulmate, at least, when you think you find them. Now there's Frank but I haven't really used my social skills to be his friends. It was more, you saved my life so I'm not going to be a dick and ignore your type of thing. Of course, I'm not doing it for the sake of expressing gratitude. I genuinely want to talk to him and get to know him more. 
        After dinner, I decided to give Frank another call. I almost miss him. But the phone rings and he never answers, however, I do get to hear his voicemail. "Hi, this is Frank. You should know that since you called me but if you don't know a Frank, sorry, man. You dialed the wrong number. I'm a little busy at the moment, which is why I didn't answer your call, which is also kind of obvious, but I'll find the time to get back to you. Leave a message if you want but if you don't, I'll still know you called because technology is rad like that." I don't leave a message and just end the call. 
        It's after midnight when Star Wars plays and I see Frank is calling. I answer it. "Hi, Frank."
        "Hey, sorry Gerard. I know it's late but work and school and stuff. Anyways, I'm here now. And I know last night I said I'd call tomorrow. I said that at 4:30 am and technically because it's after midnight, it still is the tomorrow I promised to call you back."
         I laugh into the phone at his interesting explanation. "That's okay. How are you?"
        "I'm pretty chill. How are you?"
        "Getting better I'd say but still not good."
        "Well, let me make it my personal mission to improve your well-being before we hang up. And we'll talk every night until you go to sleep, each time feeling a little better."
        "I don't really know what to say," I whisper.
        "That's okay, you're a writer, I'm sure you'll think of something clever."
 
        Frank holds his promise. He does lift my spirits with his kind words on brilliant inspiration and philosophies. I hold onto everything he tells me and every time I press the end call, I feel a little bit better and I sleep soundly. I wake up and I don't feel like wasting away anymore. Instead, I get up and start the day the lies ahead of me. Frank told me he has a personal challenge of improving a stranger's day. Because he's a doctor, he makes a lot of money and his parents are paying for his school and apartment since he's still 22 so he's making a lot more money than he's spending. So since he doesn't need to spend it on himself, he spends it on others. He buys food to donate and when he goes to the coffee shop, he pays for the person behind him and tips all his servers at restaurants 150% because he can. He says. "I'm good at what I do and I make more money than I know what to do with so I give it to someone that probably has better uses for it than I ever will." He is so generous and kind. I almost aspire to live like him yet he says he wants to be like me. I don't see how he could want to be like me but I don't question him. Frank sees the world in a unique way and I'd be a fool to doubt anything he says. It feels like we still just met and only had a few phone conversations but I know it's not true. I realize how much time has gone by when Ray came to visit me. 
        "Hey, Raymond. What's up?" I say, letting him into my house.
        "Hi, Gerard," he says stepping in and taking off his shoes. "You look well.
        "Yeah, I've been doing good. I actually last night completed another issue of Doom Patrol and one of my friends, he knows I'm big into comics so he recommended a new series called Danger Days. It's so amazing and I think it's my favorite because I'm obsessed with the Killjoys and I just got the next issue so I've been reading that and it's inspired to start outlining the next Doom Patrol. Things are going great."
        Ray smiles warmly. "I'm really happy for you, Gerard. I really really am glad things are getting better for you." Ray hugs me tightly and I hug him back. He looks at me but there's something about the look like he wants to say something but knows he shouldn't.
        "What is it?" I ask. 
        "Hmm?" he mutters. 
        "Ray, I've known you for like 80% of my life. I can read you like a book. What is it?" I ask. He doesn't say anything. "Is there a reason behind you coming to see me today?" I ask. His eyes flicker when I say 'today' and that's when it dawns on me. "Oh my God."
        "Gerard, I came here to make sure you don't destroy yourself. You're doing really good and I'm happy for you. I'm so happy and relieved you're finally doing better, please don't go back."
        "How could I be so stupid?" I brush my hair out of my face and my eyes sting. How could I have forgotten or not realized that exactly one year ago Beth died? "What's wrong with me?" 
        "Nothing, Gerard. Look at me," Ray says grabbing my wrists. "There is nothing wrong with you. You need to understand that." I can barely pay attention to him anymore. How could I forget? Does this mean I don't need her anymore, she means nothing to me?
        Ray stays with me for the rest of the day. He has to after I started destroying my house, he needed to make sure I don't hurt myself and I end up crying myself to sleep passed out on the couch. Ray's been here so much he's able to let himself out. It barely feels like I got much rest because the Star Wars theme song plays and without thinking, I immediately slide to answer it. "H-Hello..?" I mumble into the line.
        "Hmm, you don't sound too good. Did I wake you?" Frank asks. 
        "No," I lie.
        "I have a feeling you're lying. I'm sorry, go back to sleep."
        "Please don't leave me, Frank," I tremble and feel another wave of sadness hit me.
        "Gerard? What's wrong?" he asks, his voice gentle and soft. He's very concerned right now. "I won't leave you, I promise."
        "I need you," I whimper. "I need you here right now. I need you here right now! I-I'm sorry about the distance and all but I-I'll make it up to you I swear. It's hard to see clearly because I'm so lost right now and I just need you." If Frank hung up on me after all that, I wouldn't be surprised because my demands were unreasonable. Anyone would have told me off or said no but I'm not talking to just anyone. I'm talking to Frank Iero.
        "Okay, where do you want to go? You want me to go to your place or would you rather meet somewhere?" he asks. 
        "Really, you're listening to me?" I ask.
        "Yes, of course," he says. "So where do you want to meet?"
        "Um," I didn't think this through. I don't think a lot of things through with Frank. I don't give myself time to think about anything, I just do whatever comes to my head and feels right. Coming to my house wouldn't be the best because I'm an immature fucker and I trashed the place in the tantrum I threw when Ray was over. I also don't have my coffee table anymore since it's made of glass and I decided to throw myself on it. That was a bloody mess for poor Ray to deal with. I'm going to have to repay him tomorrow for sticking up for me against myself. "How cold is it outside?" 
        'Um, it's pretty warm out for it being night. mid 60's. You want to meet somewhere like a park?"
        "Yeah, I was thinking of Rosemont? You know?"
        "Definitely, how long will it take you to get there?" he asks. 
        "I don't know, it's about an 8 minutes walk."
        I hear him get up and start rummaging around. "Then I'm on my way now but you take your time, okay?"
        "How far away are you?" I ask.
        "Eh, that doesn't really matter. Call me when you get there. See you soon, Gerard." 
        "See you, Frankie," I say, ending the call. I go and grab my skeleton jacket and I slip on my converse. I got a new pair last month because I was tired of my grungy ones making me look like a slob. I've also lost some weight too. It's not like I was fat or anything before but I've started going running and I stopped letting myself go to waste for my slob food has been replaced with healthier entries. And since I've been a lot more productive, I've been accomplishing my work quicker, making things more affordable. I've been so depressed knowing Beth was dying and there was nothing I could do to save her, it had been draining me more than I realized it had and after she was gone, I truly hit rock bottom. Thankfully Frank saved my life but he's done it in more ways than one. He's saving me from my own self-destruction. 
        I start my walk to the park and as predicted, I make there in 8 minutes. I take out my phone and dial Frank's number to tell him I'm here but he doesn't pick up. I sit down on a bench and smile as I listen to his voice mail. When it finishes, I end the call and wait. It's quite dark out now and I can actually see a few twinkling stars above. It's almost silent I realize how alone I really am and I start crying again. Why am I so sensitive and always crying? I curl my knees up to my chest and bury my head in my lap. It's the dead of night and I'm alone. It's dark and silent, excluding the stars that shine and the wind that blows through the leaves of the trees. And the random car that drives by but it fades away. I'm so alone. I hear the engine turn off and a car door slam. I peek around and see someone walk into the park when suddenly Star Wars starts playing. 
        The person looks over at me and I see them putting the phone to their ear but slowly lowering it and then ending the call. Frank runs over to me and sits next to me on the bench. "I'm sorry it took a while. It's a 15-minute drive for me. What's wrong, Gee?" I break down just sobbing uncontrollably. Frank wraps his arms around me and hugs me tightly. "It's okay, I've got you."
        "It was a year ago," I sob. 
        "I know," he whispers. 
        "How could you know she died a year ago?"
        "Well, I remember the day we met and I figured it happened to be the same day she... I didn't want to bring it up unless you did first."
        "I'm so alone," I mutter. 
        "That's not true. You have your best friend Ray. He's a good guy and he's got your back. You got your brother, Michael. He takes care of you and loves you. You're not alone. You also have me and I will always be here for you." I  lean on his shoulder and the tears drip onto his jacket while his fingers run through my hair. 
        "It just.. I forgot today was the day. Does that mean I'm forgetting her?"
        "Not at all, Gerard. I know it still hurts but it will get better."
        "Ugh," I sigh. "That's what everyone says."
        "The reason everyone says it is because it's true. In the end, everything makes sense. You will one day understand why she never said your tattoo and you will understand why you had to fall in love with her as hard as you did. One day it will make sense and you will be free from suffering again and I know you can't see such a day ever existing but it will come. You can't picture it but one day, you will no longer be reaching for the things you need to leave behind in the past. Right now, you're standing on the edge of happiness. One day, your life will be nothing less than perfect and you will see every heartache was worth it." He starts rubbing my back as more tears come because goddammit Frank. You're making this all worse by making me feel better. "In the end, everything will work out and it will get better. And if it's not better yet, that's because it's not yet the end. And at that end, you will be contently hearing your true soulmate, the real love of your life peacefully say your tattoo." 
        I told Frank my tattoo many phone conversations ago. He was really quite on the other end to the point where I thought he hung up but he was still there and he was tripping over his words to reply to hearing my tattoo. He finally ended up saying. "I can see it and that's beautiful." I realize I never got a chance to ask him what he is. "Fr-frank?" I whisper.
        "Yes, Gee?"
        "What's your tattoo say?" I feel him go rigid at my words. "What's wrong?"
        "I uh, I hope you don't take it as a personal offense. It's just what I tell everyone. I don't tell people my tattoo, I'm sorry."
        I look up at him confused. It's a common thing to ask people. I don't understand why he wouldn't ever tell someone. "I'm not offended, but I am curious why though."
        "Well, I feel it changes someone's fate and I don't want people to know whether it's me or not. People always immediately point it out like 'Oh you're my soulmate, we have to be together!' but they are forcing love. My friends also think if I was their soulmate, I would have told them but I won't tell anyone period."
        "Even if you did find them, you wouldn't tell them?"
        "Nope, because then their perspective would change of me. If I were to tell them, they wouldn't see me the same way. If I say something, it would turn into an arranged marriage type of love. I don't want to tell myself I have to love them. I want to fall in love with them and I want to learn why we were meant to be instead of questioning them to trying to figure everything out all at once. It's not pure and it's not, I don't know. I want it to be as real as it should be naturally. If they really are my soulmate, I would want it to be perfect and such. I don't know if I have the first or the last part but I have a 50-50 chance of obtaining my goal and I like to think the odds are in my favor." 
        "Do you plan on staying with them?" I ask. 
        "Yes," he answers.
        "How do you plan on doing that if you won't ever tell them you guys are soulmates? People aren't willing to fall in love with someone unless they have a tattoo to say they're meant to be."
        Frank lets out a smiling laugh. "The same way you and Ray are friends with each other. You found something to talk about and got close. It's the same thing, I just know not to lose the person from my life."
        "But they won't fall in love with you unless they know there's a reason to. People aren't as special are you are, Frank."
        "You can't control who you fall in love with. Love is, it's very mysterious. People think it's a scavenger hunt but it's a surprise party. People search for love but it really happens when it's not expected. It just happens. And I would tell them eventually but it would be after we have fallen in love and they are ready to know."
        "Have you met your soulmate yet, Frank?" I ask. He doesn't say anything. "Frank?"
        "That's another question I don't tell people. But I will say I'm not dating anyone currently." 
        I nod along and rest my head on his shoulder. He doesn't flinch but instead holds onto me. His touch is very comforting. "Frank, my mind won't shut up. Please distract me."
        "Of course, Gee." Frank starts talking to me, I don't know what about but the sounds of his voice soothes me and removes the pain from my head. I should probably say goodbye because I know I'm about to fall asleep but there's an 8-minute walk home that I'll have to myself for everything to start creeping up inside me again. And I would really just rather be here with Frank. I may have been talking to him for a year but this is the second time I've seen him. We've never planned to meet up in person or see each other. Just talk from midnight until I was tired. He always made sure I was the one to end the call so he never left me and he always made sure I was okay. Despite the countless times I told him not to worry about me, he always does because he said I am someone to worry about where he doesn't need to be. Do I blame him? No. I'm a broken person with depression and I'm someone people should worry about. Frank comes from a good family and he makes a lot of money himself yet he only spends pennies compared to what he actually makes. He's so kind and generous to others and he always makes sure to help people. And I know whoever his soulmate is, he will make them so happy because he's changed my life for the better. I mean, Mikey and I are brother and Ray and me, we have a lot in common. Beth and I had everything in common. Frank, we don't have everything, we're a little different but also a little the same. It gives us the perfect kind of conversation where we don't have the same conversations Ray and Beth had with me but he's able to show me new things. Beth loved the same comics I did so we were able to talk about them but Frank, he only likes a few comics I do but the thing is he likes comics so I'm able to talk about new things and he's able to recommend other stories, like the Dangers Days and he actually started reading Doom Patrol like he promised he would and he likes it. I love horror movies and Frank doesn't mind them but he hasn't seen a lot. I can tell him some really good movies and he's able to tell me other movies. I've always been a D.C. person but Frank likes Marvel. I never saw any of them but he's told me to watch them and gave me the order of which to watch them in and I've got to say. D.C. may have spectacular comics but Marvel is the ruler of the movies. We may not have everything in common but I think this is something that's amazing too.
        "I'm sorry, Gee," Frank says lifting me up."
        "Huh?" I mumble. "Wha-?"
        "It's late and you're tired, I'll drive you home. Where do you live?" Frank asks. He stands up and takes my hands as he pulls me to my feet. I stand up and realize how short he actually is. "Let's go to my car, come on, Gee." He walks me over to the car and he buckles me up. "Gee? Where?" I mumble incoherently and Frank sighs. I curl up in the seat and fall asleep as Frank drives off.
        The sun streams down on my face and I open my eyes. Where did my curtains go? I raise my arms up and stretch out. Wait a minute. Hold the phone. This is not my room. Where the hell am I? I sit up and I'm wearing the same clothes from yesterday. I flip off the covers and leave the room. It's all vaguely familiar when I walk into the living room. This is where I woke up a year ago when Frank stitched my head. This is Frank's apartment. I run my fingers through my bed hair and yawn out. "Gee?"
        I turn around and see Frank holding a Star Trek mug of steaming coffee in his hands. "Hi, Frankie," I say. He's changed and is wearing black slacks with a matching black button up with the sleeves rolled up and a vibrant red tie. "I'm not used to seeing you look so formal. His hair isn't down like it usually is but it's combed neatly and swept to the side. He doesn't have a lip ring in. "What happened to the ripped skinny jeans and band shirts?" 
        He cracks a charming smile. "I can't wear that stuff to work," he says. 
        "Do they mind that you have all your tattoos?" I ask because he has a wicked scorpion on his neck but most places have issues with that. 
        "Well, when you're as good as I am at what I do, they don't seem to mind. And they saw my scoring and my abilities on paper and everyone really wanted to meet me so I just showed up to be a smart ass as I usually dress, that time I had a Mohawk and my undercut was dyed red. It was great. They didn't believe it was me for the longest time but I scored perfect so they were like, well, he's good at what he does so I guess he can work here."
        "You broke the stereotype," I say smiling.
        "Yes, I did. Gee, do you want some coffee?" 
        "That would be good," I say. Frank's aware of my love for coffee. He walks me to the kitchen and pours me a glass. "Thanks," I say while taking a sip. Wow, he made this how I make mine. 
        Frank hops on the counter, sitting in the corner sipping his coffee and holding it with both hands. He looked both very handsome but also adorable. "Hey, I'm sorry I didn't take you home. I felt bad trying to wake you and I didn't really know so I brought you here instead."
        "That's okay. it's better than leaving me at the park."
        "Oh, that would be horrible. I'd never do that to you or anyone for a matter of fact." Frank swings his legs side to side. "Gee, what happened to your arms?" he asks staring at the bandages wrapped around my forearm. 
        I bite my lip and glance down at the bandages. "Did you change them?" I ask, noticing they looked professionally done fresh.
        "Well, they weren't wrapped correctly and the blood seeped through them. I had to. What happened? Why are you cut up?" I look down at the floor sipping my coffee. "Gee?"
        "Why do you care about me?" I mutter, which is a mistake. I look up at Frank and he looks hurt. His eyes start watering and he bites his lip and he looks so sad. 
        "Gerard, I really do care about you. I don't like you hurt or thinking otherwise. What happened?"
        "I fell on my coffee table and it was made of glass." He lets out a small gasp. "I um, I was angry and I threw myself on it. I don't know."
        Frank hops off the counter and runs over to me. He hugs me tightly, wrapping his arms around me. I set the mug down and I hug him back. "It'll be okay, Gerard. I promise you, everything will be okay. Don't for a second let anyone tell you otherwise. That includes you." He steps back and smiles, moving a stray strand of my hair out of my face. "I can take you home."
        As much as I want to stay, I'm sure that's his cue to leave. "That would be good, I need to change and stuff. You probably need to go to work."
        "I have an hour before I'm called in," he says. We finish our coffee and Frank offers to make me breakfast but I'm surprising not in the mood to eat. I haven't in awhile but I'm fine right now. Frank drives me home and I wave goodbye as he drives off. 
        I unlock my door and step into my disaster apartment. Well, time to clean up I guess. By the time I finish organizing my place, it's 7 o'clock and I should probably eat something. Finishing off some leftover Chinese food in my fridge, I'm feeling quite inspired to draw. Not necessarily for my comics but a good old fashion sketch. Flipping open my sketch book to a fresh page, I place my pencil down, drawing curves around. By the time I'm finished, I can't help but smile as I'm looking at a really good sketch of Frank. I take out my high-quality color pencils and start shading in the drawing. It's him sitting on his counter sipping his coffee with both hands. Although I had to change his mug to Star Wars instead. He's got his tattoos covering his hands and I drew him wearing the black with red tie but also he's got his vans on. I love drawing this him and this is one of my best pieces of work I've done. I glance at my phone. 1:12. Frank should be calling me any minute. He usually would have called around 12:45 ish but he hasn't. Maybe he got off of work late. I try calling him but his phone goes straight to voicemail. I listen to his voice but I hang up before I leave a message. I send him a quick text. "Call me when you get off work ~Gee" I lie back on my bed with one of the Danger Day comic books. Alright, Party Poison. Where are you and Fun Ghoul going next?
        Star Wars playing and I snap away, still holding the Danger Days. "Hello?"
        "Hi, Gerard," Mikey says on the other line. "Are you okay? Ray told me you cut yourself on the table the other day."
        "Yeah, I'm fine," I say.
        "If you're not doing anything, do you want to go see the new Star Wars movie?"
        "Hell yeah, I would." After we finish, we go out to lunch and hang out the rest of the day. Around 10 pm, Mikey heads home and I'm left here. I check my phone and see Frank hasn't responded to me at all. That's really weird and I'm somewhat nervous. We've had a streak of talking on the phone for a practically a year and now I haven't heard him since he dropped me off. The seconds tick away. Frank never called and he didn't answer when I called him. I fall asleep without talking to him for the second night but not before I sent him another text. "Please contact me when you get a min, I'm worried"
        One week, seven days. That's 168 hours and 10080 minutes. I have not heard from Frank in seven days. Slowly I'm losing my sanity and slowly that void he has filled to me after I lost Beth is emptying again. I've left him 3 text messages all to which he has not responded to and I have called him 7 times in which he has not picked up but his phone went straight to voicemail. What's happened to him? Why hasn't he responded to me? He can't be ignoring me, his phone doesn't ring, it has to be off. But why? I can't sleep anymore and forget about trying to eat something. I'm so nervous I'll probably throw up. I keep turning my phone on and off to see if he's replied but he hasn't and I keep checking my call log but it's only me calling him this week and him not answering. I call him again and no surprise it goes straight to voicemail. I listen to it again but this time I leave a voicemail. "Frank? Oh god, please call me back. I'm so worried about you and I know I have no valid reason to be freaking out right now but I really need some confirmation you're not dead. Yes, it's a bit extreme but it's been a week and I haven't heard from you. Please, I really need to talk to you or see you or something. I don't know but I need you to be okay and I need to see you again or I'm going to lose it." I plop my phone down and bury my face in my pillow, letting my tears soak up. It's 3 am right now and while the world is fast asleep, I'm wide awake crying because I might have just lost someone I really care about for the second time. 
        My doorbell rings and I bolt up. What the? It's really early morning and I went to bed late so this isn't really fun. I throw myself off the bed and stumble down the hall. My eyes are swollen from crying so much and everything is too bright. I open the door and see Frank standing there. He has stitches on his cheek and his whole face is purple and swollen and scraped up badly. He has a brace on his knee and a cast over his wrist. "FRANK!" I cry out, covering my mouth and more tears start coming. "I-Oh, what happened?" I put my arms around him gently and hug him and then bringing him inside. "Frank?"
        "I..I tried texting you this morning and I called but you didn't answer and I was worried you did something stupid so I came and.." Frank breaks down and this is the first time I'm seeing him cry. I don't like it, it's making me cry more. 
        "What happened?" I ask.
        "After I drove you home, I was going to work and I got in an accident." The noise I make is not human. "I've been out in the hospital which is why I didn't call you."
        "It's okay," I say, even though it's not. I hug him tightly. Was he in a car accident? He could have died and I would have lost him. I never want to let go of him, I just want to hold him forever in my arms. I look at Frank and cup his face in my hands. His eyes are bloodshot but the iris is still a fantastic shade of green. I run my fingers through his hair and hold him gently. His cheeks are so swollen and purple and his lips are puffy. Would he be able to wear his lip ring or does he have to wait until the swelling goes down?
        "Gee?" he whispers and I stop staring at his swollen lips and I glance back at him. He looks in so much pain and so tired and scared and hurting. His eyes flutter close. "Gee," he whispers my name again. He leans forward, tilting his head down and resting his forehead against mine. I close my eyes and hold him in my hands. I never want to let him go. Frank shifts his head and I turn to the side ever so slightly. Tilting my head up, my lips graze against his. I don't think; I just do what feels right. That's what I always do with Frank. My lips part slightly and I kiss him gently. As swollen as his lips are, they are soft against mine. I brush his hair out of his face and deepen the kiss.
        Frank slides forward and he wraps his legs around my waist as I hoist him up holding onto him carefully, my hands resting on his thighs and his arms over my shoulders. I don't break the kiss as I carry him down the hall and to my room. I place him gently down on the mattress. Frank turns his head away from me and takes a breath. He looks up at me as I lean over him, straddling his waist. He looks so beautiful, regardless of his bruises and swollen features. Beauty is not seen with the eyes but felt with the heart and Frank has an amazing heart and fantastic eyes that see the world with so much wonder. 
        Frank's shirt starts riding up and I see all the tattoos covering his skin and the artwork on his body. Frank takes his shirt off for me to see. His chest is severely bruised probably from the airbags and his left shoulder has stitches maybe from his window shattering. Nevertheless, he's beautiful. I lean down and kiss Frank. He parts his lips and my tongue slides in exploring his mouth as my hands start roaming his chest. My body presses against his and I feel his heart beating against my chest in sync with my own heartbeat. After Frank slips off my shirt, out skin touches and I feel almost a spark inside me. I press my lips against him, deepening the kiss and receiving a soft moan from Frank. He runs his fingers through my hair, relaxing me as my nervous fingers fumble with his belt.
 
        What have I done? Deep inside me, I feel guilt and remorse but I also in my heart feel so happy and in love. How did I allow myself to get in this mess? There are so many feelings eating me alive. I vowed to never love anyone after I lose Beth and here I am a year later knowing she was never mine, to begin with, and my real soulmate is out there somewhere yet yesterday, I slept with Frank. Not only did I sleep with him but I enjoyed every moment of it. What am I doing with myself? How could I allow this to happen? Why did I even kiss him or would want to kiss him and why did he allow me to kiss him? But I liked kissing Frank a lot. I think I love him. How could I love another person who isn't meant to be with me? I'm probably the only human in the history of humanity to fall in love with 2 people who weren't my soulmates. I'm sure there were some cases where others have happened to say the same thing and gotten confused with the tattoos and such but to willingly love someone who you know they aren't yours?
        I really wish Frank is my soulmate. I feel like I want him more than I ever wanted Beth. As much as I loved her, her sickness was slowly eating me away. Knowing she was dying was killing me inside. I was slowly dying but Frank, he's brought me back to life. I love him so much and I love kissing him and talking to him. A sickening feeling comes inside me at the thought of Frank being with someone else, someone who he does belong with because I don't think I could live knowing Frank is happier with anyone else. I have accepted Beth and I wasn't meant to be. I loved her but she's gone and there's nothing I can do about it. But to go through the loss again with someone I think I love even more. I feel so sick and so nervous. I want to be his but he didn't say my tattoo when he saved me and I don't even remember what the ungrateful comment I made to him was. It was something about he should have let me get hit by the car. I was ungrateful and now I love him. 
        At midnight, Frank calls me and I clear my throat before answering it. "Hey, Frank," I say.
        "Hi, Gee. How are you?" I can a feel him beaming on the other end of the phone hearing my voice.
        "I'm good," I say. "You?"
        "I'm doing good myself."
        I need to tell him otherwise I'll regret it. I need him to know tattoo or not how I feel. "Frank? I need to tell you something."
        "Yes, Gee?"
        I take a breath. "I think I'm in love with you," I barely speak above a whisper but I know Frank heard me. "I know you're going to call me crazy and this can't work out but I think I love you. You are so beautiful and you have the most enchanting eyes and disarming laugh, a brilliantly contagious smile. I love everything about you and I want to be with you. I know this is wrong and I know that it can't happen but it's been killing me inside as well as making me so incredibly happy, happier than I ever thought was possible for me to be again.  I love you, Frank Iero." There's a silence on the phone and I feel the tears streaming down my face as the anticipation of what he will say takes over me. "Fr-Frank?"
        "I-I love you too, Gerard Way," he whispers. "You're so perfect, and you make me feel amazing, and loved and wanted, and I-I'm just sitting here wondering how I was lucky enough to even meet you in the first place, let alone hear you say you love me. There are so many things, or rather feelings I want to express but I can't find the words to express them, but despite how much you think you don't ever know what to say, you somehow always know. After all, you are the writer. You always say how amazing I am, but sometimes I just wonder if you ever notice how amazing you are. Because if you think I'm this special, then take a look at yourself because you created me. You gave me life."
        "Oh, for the longest time, I was blinded by self-loath to see any good in my life. But you are the one that stayed with me and you are the one that held me together when I was falling apart faster than I could catch myself. Call me crazy but someday I want to be about to wake up every day with you in my arms and being able to hold you and kiss you and call you mine and hear you say back. You are the one that showed me the good in the world and made me realize there is good in myself. I may have given you life but you gave me a reason to continue to live." Frank is softly crying on the other end of the phone. "Come over. I need you here right now. I need to hold you and kiss you. Fuck the stupid tattoos. I love you, Frank. Please, come over." 
        "Okay, I'll be over shortly. I love you, Gee." He hangs up and I turn off my phone clutching it tightly. He loves me back. There's a giddy smile plastered on my face that I can't get rid of but I don't want to. I never thought I could be happy again. I'm so incredibly happy, tears trickle down the side of my head. In 20 minutes, my doorbell rings and I can't run to the door fast enough. As soon as I open it, Frank's lips crash against mine and I embrace him, kissing him back. Kicking the door shut with my foot, I slam my back against it and holds Frank closely to me and deepen the kiss. Frank pulls away, cupping my face and crying. "I love you so so much, Gee." He says with tears streaming down his face. 
        "Shh, don't cry, love. Why are you sad?" I ask. I feel like I know the answer though. Frank fidgets with the sleeve on his arm that isn't broken. His tattoo... "No," I take his hand away. "It doesn't matter about it. I love you and I'm not letting you go."
        "Gerard," he whispers. 
        "Please, I can't lose you. You're too important to me. If you do happen to find them, please don't leave me for them. I swear to you, soulmate or not, no one could ever comprehend to love you as much as I already do and my love for you grows every day. Please, it doesn't matter to me. I need you Frankie and I love you." I cup his face and kiss him again. 
        Frank pulls away and smiles. "I love you too, Gee," he says then glances back down at his sleeve. "I never showed anyone my tattoo before I think I need to show you it now. I have to if we're going to do this. You need to know." He starts rolling up his sleeve and I can feel my heart pounding in my ears. As curious I am to know, I really don't want to know because I'm scared. Scared if I'm ever with him and a stranger bumps into him and I hear them say it. He rolls his sleeve up and shows me his arm. Among his many tattoos, my eyes fixate on the words at his wrist. 
        I would have preferred if you left me where I was
        I look at Frank and he's smiling brightly. "That's what you said to me when I pulled you away from the car and you know what? I expected a thank you but if it meant you we're going to be my soulmate, I'm glad you were a bit cynical. 
        "What?" I mutter in shock. "What does this mean?" I don't know why I ask because I know what it means. As much as I thought Beth was my soulmate, she wasn't. Yes, I loved her but she wasn't my soulmate. We had so much in common and we were compatible but that's not what I needed. I didn't need the exact version of me. I needed someone who made me feel alive and someone who was able to show me the world in a different way and in a way I could for Frank. I'll never understand how I gave a new purpose to his life for the better the same way he'll never understand how he's saved me more than once but that doesn't matter. What matters is we do understand each other and we will love each other forever and always.
        "I told you. You were meant to fall in love with Beth as hard as you did because if it hurt any less, you never would have fallen in the street and I wouldn't have needed to save you. We would have walked right past each other but that's not what happened. You're my soulmate, Gee." 
        I don't know what else to say but I'm not in a phone conversation with him where I have to find words to say so I don't say anything. I don't think about it, I just do what feels right because when I'm with Frank, that's just what I do. I pull him against me and kiss him for everything he is worth.

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