Gerard Way/Frank Iero. AU. Xenokink. NC-17. ~4500 words.
Frank only comes out when he’s alone.
Gerard’s only had three beers, half a joint, but his skin’s buzzing worse than the streetlight throwing his spastic shadow past the narrow mouth of the alleyway. It’s late, the kind of late most people call early. He’s got classes in a few hours, a meeting with his advisor at lunch, the half-finished canvas sitting abandoned on an easel crammed into the corner of his room due tomorrow, then more classes and an internship and a career and paying off a mountain of debt and he really shouldn’t have stopped at beer number three.
He shouldn’t be strolling through dark Jersey alleys at ass o’clock in the morning, either. But Frank only comes out when he’s alone.
Tapping the second-to-last cigarette free of the crumpled pack, Gerard lights up and steps into the alley. Deeper shadows swallow his. Stains on the pockmarked bricks, rust oozing through crumbling mortar, catch his eye, draw it down to all the dark places clinging to the edge of flickering light. That’s where Frank always is. Never all the way in, lost in the darkness, but in that last cool sliver before the light gives up and the black takes over. That’s what Frank is, gathered together in vague human form, given fangs and claws and a voice like the rasp of steel on steel.
About a dozen paces in, the streetlight gives up the ghost for good, almost taking Gerard’s heart out along with it. He stops short, breathing hard, eyes wide and blind. “Frank?” comes out a rusty croak. Plunging him into the dark without warning is exactly something Frank would do. “Frank, come on.”
There’s no hissing laugh in reply, no rasp of claws to prompt the shiver that ripples down his spine. He takes a slow, deep drag, watching the cherry flare. The glow of the city barely penetrates the black, the buildings high and close, hunched together like they need one another to stay upright, as crooked and broken as the asphalt threatening to trip him as he starts walking again. He shrugs a shoulder, takes another drag. He wets his lips and stares at the dark instead of watching where he’s going. He says, “It’s not really scary when I know you’re there.”
The cool whisper on the back of his neck doesn’t believe him. He flinches and swears and lets out a shaky laugh. “You’re a fucking asshole, Frank.”
Frank doesn’t say anything. It’s too warm for the denim jacket Gerard’s been wearing all night but he hitches it closer around his neck anyway. There’s the scratch of something in the dark, maybe a stray cat nosing through the overflowing dumpsters, probably not. He imagines the look on Frank’s face if he stopped right now, went looking for whatever was making that noise like the first night he stumbled over Frank in the dark, the way his yellow eyes slit open, a bright, wicked glow, all his teeth on display in a slanted smile. The way he’d set his claws one by one to Gerard’s throat, cold hard edges not digging in but the promise there, lurking in Frank’s eyes the same as Frank lurks in the shadows. Like all Gerard has to do is ask.
“Fucker,” Gerard says to the nothing all around him. He’s almost through the alley. “Stop playing with me.”
Before he steps out onto the empty sidewalk, he hesitates, half-swallowed by the dark. He waits for a slice of it to peel off, for claws to slide around his arms, his chest, drag him back into the black and wrap him tight in Frank’s chill. To keep him there like Frank’s threatened, rasped with his mouth pressed to close, Since you like it so much, Gee.
Frank’s not going to do it. Frank’s never going to do it, but sometimes he looks like he wants to, and that fills Gerard with the kind of fear he knows he shouldn’t crave.
Gerard counts to sixty in his head, slow and measured. When Frank stays hidden, he sighs and steps into the light.
By the time Gerard trudges around the back of the house to the damp cement stairs leading to his basement, he’s exhausted. He jiggles the key in the lock and sets his shoulder to the door, giving it the hard shove it needs to unstick from the warped jamb. Every shadow he passed on his way home gave him a shot of twisted hope and a chaser of bitter disappointment. Frank’s never missed a chance to fuck with him. Gerard’s been serving him up chances on silver fucking platters for weeks and Frank knows it, but he still hasn’t passed one by.
Inside is darker than the alleyway. Gerard kicks the door shut, not bothering to lock it behind him, and gropes along the wall until he makes it to the bedroom. There’s a lamp left burning on his desk, the weak twenty-watt bulb hardly doing anything more than throwing some shadows around. He toes off his boots, drops his jacket and falls on the bed, hanging over the side to dig around in the debris on the floor and unearth half a forty of cheap tequila. A week ago he couldn’t get the canvas in the corner out of his head. It burned through him like the booze he knocks back straight from the bottle, hot and fierce, a need he couldn’t deny. Now it sits in the corner like a hangover, ugly, sick, nagging.
“I didn’t fucking mean it,” he says to the ripple at the very edges of his vision. It refuses to resolve into the familiar lines of Frank’s gorgeous face. “I’m not trying to change you. I just.” He knocks back another mouthful, searing the words in his throat. He just wanted more. He wanted to see.
Grunting, he rolls over and fumbles for the remote, turning on the television to let whatever DVD is already in there play. It throws more shadows around the room, and Gerard watches those instead of the screen. He imagines the scratch of razor-sharp claws on his ankle where his foot’s hanging off the bed. He imagines them pushing through his hair, baring his ear to Frank’s hissing whispers, his throat to Frank’s teeth. He groans and swallows dryly, wets his throat with tequila and palms the front of his jeans and thinks about putting on a show, hauling his dick out to dig his own fingernails into delicate skin so Frank’ll know how much he wants this.
“You didn’t have to fucking go,” Gerard says, anger showing through in the rough squeeze he gives his cock, his hips bucking up into his hand. Just the thought of Frank watching this has him so hard he’s leaking. And he’s pissed off that he can’t see Frank’s face, Frank’s real face, not the stupid sketch he played around with for class, when he knows Frank’s here. Frank has to be here. Frank might melt from firm and solid beneath him to formless shadow, cool wisps trailing over bare skin like goodnight kisses, but he never really leaves. Frank said he needed him. Frank fucking promised.
Gerard drops the bottle and yanks at the zip on his hoodie, hauling it and the threadbare shirt underneath off over his head. Shoving a hand in his hair to keep it out of his face, to let Frank see how fucking serious he is about this shit, he starts rubbing at his dick through his jeans again. The sensation’s muted and not enough, but that’s his apology, the bait to get Frank to come slinking out of the shadows. So much warm skin on display, unmarked and pale, but more hidden, the hottest part of him cupped in his hand. Pretty soon the bed will dip between Gerard’s spread legs, claws will pluck at his jeans, catch and tear so Frank can nuzzle in close, teeth bared in a warning for Gerard to lift his knees, spread them wider, let Frank taste his skin, mark it, make him tremble with how much he wants Frank to really bite him, how afraid he is that Frank’s going to do it.
“Please,” Gerard says, staring wide-eyed at the flickering shadows, desperate for a flash of yellow, “fucker, come on, you fucking promised. I’m not gonna wait all night.” To prove it, he pops the button on his fly, shoves his hand in so fast the zip grates halfway open. His fingers touch slick precome first, and he rubs that in, reaches deeper to stroke and squeeze himself wetter knowing Frank can smell it. “Come on, come on,” he says, rolling his hips harder, fucking his fist, his fingers too soft and warm but getting him there anyway, so close to coming he couldn’t stop now if he wanted. He wrenches his jeans wider with his wrist, sharp metal teeth catching skin shocking a high moan out of him, arching him up off the bed. It’s not Frank, not even close to Frank, but it’s good, the best he’s had since Frank turned on him with a vicious snarl, claws melting to smoky tendrils that covered Gerard’s face, completely blinding him to the world before they pushed past him like a breeze, vanishing into shadow, Frank gone like he’d never been.
The memory of Frank turning on him like that, burying him in shadows, is enough to shove him over the edge even as he chokes out that he’s sorry. He’s so fucking sorry. He wants to feel that again, Frank formless and heavy on top of him, covering his skin, suffocating him in shadow. He needs to have Frank solidify under his hands like he’s moulding Frank out of clay, the slope of his back, his hips, the long, sharp curve of claws like razor-edged needles, the slant of cheek and jaw, the wet chill of Frank’s mouth opening under his fingers.
He works his dick through each pulse, his own come spilling too warm over the back of his hand, his mouth slack waiting for Frank’s biting kisses. Kisses that he doesn’t get, not even when the high’s leaving him cold and more alone than ever, sprawled out on his messy sheets with his hand down his pants. Yanking it free, he rolls over, shoves his face into his damp pillow and says, “Frank,” says, “Frank, I’m sorry, I’m fucking sorry, please,” until the alcohol and the exhaustion and the guilt finally drags him down into a darkness that isn’t the one he wants.
Gerard wakes with a scream in his throat. He can’t move and he can’t see and he can’t fucking breathe. For a second, he thinks, Dead, fucking finally, and then he thinks, Frank, and his heart gives a hard kick. The pressure against his mouth turns sharp, pricking. He sucks in a ragged breath and pushes against the weight on his back. A raspy chuckle freezes him halfway up on his elbows.
“You wanted me here so bad, now you’re trying to get rid of me again?” Frank noses in close to his ear, breathing deep, scenting, his voice low and grating. “Jesus, man, make up your mind.”
“Oh fuck,” Gerard says, slurred as Frank hums and pricks delicately at his lips with the tip of one claw. “Fuck, Frank, I’m sorry. I’m so fucking sorry, don’t go.”
“You’re so fucking drunk, too.” Frank slithers down so he’s lying full-length on top of Gerard, pinning him. “Stinks like jizz in here.”
Claws push gently through Gerard’s tangled hair. A few strands get caught, sliced, ghosting down to tickle his nose. He turns his head to feel the tips scratch at his scalp and sucks in a shuddery breath at the shiver that starts up way down at the base of his spine. It snakes out like the tendrils of smoke Frank sometimes touches him with, curls through his belly to his dick, arousal thrumming like a drug in his veins. “You were here,” he says tightly, rocking against his open zipper digging into his balls. “You fucking watched.”
Frank makes that humming noise again, raspy-thick low in his chest. His hips shift, pressing Gerard’s harder into the mattress. There’s no heat snug against Gerard’s ass, nothing for him to grind on, but he shoves back anyway and Frank groans like he’s got a dick between his legs instead of the smooth, blank nothing that drives Gerard crazy. He wants to roll over and rub his naked cock against it, turn Frank’s matte-black skin slick and glistening, push between Frank’s thighs and fuck him like that. Frank’s not shy about how smooth his body is, featureless, only a vague suggestion of the human form. His arms don’t feel right when Gerard grabs onto one, pure muscle like a snake, not tendons and ligaments and bones. Frank laughed the first time Gerard pushed his legs wide and licked between them, laughed and laughed until his voice caught. And then he moaned, writhed, draped his legs over Gerard’s shoulders and begged him to lick harder, suck more, right there, right there, like it didn’t matter if the crack of his ass was smooth and blank, nowhere for Gerard to push into him, he wanted Gerard to fucking try.
“Shit,” Gerard hisses, grinding against the rumpled, untucked sheets, against Frank’s weight. “Shit, fuck, let me up. Frank, let me up, I want you to touch me.”
Rolling partway onto his side, Frank shoves a knee behind Gerard’s, opens him up to push a hand between his legs. His jeans are still between them, hardly any protection at all from Frank’s claws but enough of a barrier to what he wants. He wriggles and bucks and curses and Frank laughs at him, a contented purr rough as grating stone. Frank’s teeth scrape the nape of his neck, needle-sharp points framing the peak of his spine, a warning to stay down. Fear blossoms metallic in the back of his throat. He bucks harder, trying to get the space to kick the rest of his clothes off.
“Fuck,” Frank snarls, tearing his mouth away. He slaps a hand to the back of Gerard’s neck and shoves down, climbing up to his knees. It hurts where the edges of his claws dig in, stinging sharp like a paper cut. Gerard’s not bleeding yet, but if he isn’t careful, he will be. It wouldn’t be the first time Frank’s drawn blood. Frank’s not careful with him. Not cruel, but not careful.
Frank’s grip tightens, triggering a whine that Gerard holds in his chest like he’s taken the sweetest hit. “Stay down.”
The only thing that keeps Gerard on his belly is the push of cold claws down the back of his jeans. He swallows another noise at the rough tear of denim, the drag of it down his legs, the bare brush of Frank’s unnatural skin against his. He kicks to get them off faster, keeping his head down like Frank told him but struggling up on his knees.
Frank laughs again, guttural and pleased. “Aw, baby, you’re so easy.”
“I fucking missed you,” Gerard says, pushing his forehead hard into the pillow. He tangles a hand in his hair again, pulling it away from the back of his neck and arching his spine in a long, smooth curve. “I said I was sorry. You didn’t have to be a dick.”
“Yeah, except for how you liked it.” Frank sets his claws to the nape of Gerard’s neck again, tips barely touching skin as he draws them slowly all the way down his back, over his ass, the backs of his thighs. He groans at the press of Frank’s palm on his sac, claws held at a deliberate distance. “You got off on the waiting. Thinking about what I’d do.”
Not as fucking hard as Gerard’s getting off on having him right here, pressed close, and Gerard plans on telling him exactly that, word for word, so Frank never leaves again, but Frank’s pressing a chill wet kiss to the crease of his thigh. He sharpens the curve of his spine, spreads his knees wider, pushes his ass back against Frank’s face asking for his tongue. He’s shivering, sweat-damp, eager. Frank loves him when he’s strung out on anticipation.
But Frank loves him strung out on other things, too. Sex-drunk, overloaded with sensation. Frank loves him when his breath catches, when he goes still and quiet because Frank’s tracing a clawtip along seam of his balls down to his dick hanging thick and wet between his legs. Frank loves him when he’s trembling because it feels like a needle pressed to thin, delicate foreskin, to the flare at the crown, to his fucking slit. “So warm,” Frank hisses, because it is, Gerard’s still leaking, precome squeezing out of him on every thud his heart gives, staining Frank’s claws. Air whistles between his teeth as Frank’s other hand comes up to hold his cock steady, as Frank crooks the claw at Gerard’s slit, digging in so, so gently.
Frank flexes his claws and asks, “Scared I’m gonna do it?” Their sharp edges are hardly even touching Gerard’s dick, more like a loose cage around it, but they’re cold and hard and it’s like they’re leaching heat from him without ever really absorbing it. Like no matter how much warmth Gerard gives him, Frank’s always going to be this way. Like Gerard could give him everything, and Gerard’s the one who’ll change.
More scared you’re not, Gerard thinks, but he’s not talking about the claws, or how Frank could hurt him and bleed him and make him so afraid he’s shrinking from the shadows instead of reaching for them so greedy and desperate. He says, “Kiss me,” because he wants Frank’s weird blank taste in his mouth, because he wants to see Frank’s face, because he wants Frank’s weight on him again.
“Fuck yeah,” Frank says. He scratches skin as he drags his hands away, hot red lines of fire framing Gerard’s groin, searing out along his thighs. “Roll over.”
The second Frank lifts up, Gerard flips over, already reaching for him. He’s grinning, his teeth glinting in the dark, his eyes glowing bright than the scrap of light thrown off by the lamp on the desk. Goosebumps break out all along Gerard’s arms as he gets them around Frank, dragging him in to lick the smile off his face. Frank lets out that grating purr again, opening his mouth, letting Gerard lick inside it, chase after his tongue as he pushes both hands up Gerard’s legs, makes sure they’re spread so he can settle between them. He laughs into the kiss when Gerard’s knees come up to grip his sides, laughs and frames Gerard’s face with his claws to take over, catching Gerard’s tongue between sharp teeth. Gerard groans and digs his blunt fingernails hard into Frank’s shoulders, really trying to gouge in to make him bite harder, or suck on it, or do anything other than keep him caught like a tease.
Releasing him to draw back, Frank grins down at him. “You did miss me.”
“Asshole,” Gerard gasps, rutting hard against Frank’s belly. He tilts his head back in another blatant invitation, like walking through a dark alley at four in the morning, and this time Frank takes it. Frank kisses and bites and when Gerard can’t stop moaning for him, slides his claws over Gerard’s mouth, pushes one inside to pin his tongue. It tastes the same as Frank’s everything tastes, cold and blank and unforgiving. It tastes nothing at all like something that should spark even more heat in Gerard’s belly, or the way he twists under Frank and sucks at the razor-sharp point. He grabs onto Frank’s hips, his ass, sucking harder when Frank starts to fuck against him, a sinuous, boneless roll that’s weird and alien, pure muscle bearing down on him.
He shakes free of Frank’s claws and says, “More, fuck, come on. Frank. Frank, more,” pushing up into the hand Frank wraps around his throat. Twisting so claws scrape, cut, slice in.
“I can’t fuck you,” Frank hisses, still moving like he could. He’s staring at Gerard’s throat, at the warmth Gerard can feel seeping over his claws. “I can’t fucking fuck you, so stop fucking asking.”
Gerard’s throat works, no air getting in, no words coming out. He tries shaking his head, because no, no, that’s not what he means. He claws at Frank’s back, relishing the cool rush of Frank’s hissed curse against his face. His mouth finds the curve of Frank’s shoulder, then his teeth do, and he bites down with enough force to split human skin, his jaw locked so Frank’s startled buck doesn’t shake him off. Then he digs in harder, and harder, Frank’s flesh still smooth and unbroken beneath his teeth, and harder again, trying to make Frank understand. Frank could slice him open and crawl inside. Frank could melt to shadows and mist again, creep down his throat, seep through his pores. He wants to get inside Frank as easily as Frank could sink into him. He wants all of Frank’s cold nothingness for his own the same as Frank craves his warmth, the frantic beat of his heart.
“Gee,” Frank gasps, shuddering, eyes squeezed shut and mouth falling slack as Gerard licks up his throat, bites down on the softer place just beneath his jaw. His claws flex on Gerard’s throat and slip away to knead at the pillow beside his head, slicing through cheap cotton and lumpy stuffing. “Gerard. Fuck. What–”
Gerard rakes his nails down Frank’s sides, groaning loudly around the flesh caught in his mouth when Frank hisses and shakes and bucks like he’s about to come. His eyes flash as Gerard heaves up, knocking Frank off him to roll on top, groping for his wrists. Claws prick the backs of his hands as he holds Frank down and bites again, grinding his teeth together, desperate to get at whatever’s hidden beneath the tight stretch of Frank’s skin. Maybe it’s nothing at all, blank and hollow like Frank tastes, or maybe it’s those shadows Frank becomes when he melts away, wispy and freezing cold. Maybe if Gerard could break through, they’d come spilling out, wrap around him and sink inside, slink through his blood to his heart, cradle it in gentle claws the way Frank holds him when he’s got nothing left.
Letting go, Gerard shoves up. His hair’s stuck to his face, obscuring his vision, but all he needs to see is the glow of Frank’s eyes, the way they’re slitted and narrow, the slack fall of Frank’s mouth. “Let me in,” he says, and digs his nails into Frank’s chest so hard his fingers ache. “Let me in, Frank, you fucking shit. Fucker, let me in.”
Frank gasps and arches and his eyes snap wide. The solid barrier of his skin wavers like he’s going to melt away, like he’s going to fucking leave again. Gerard snarls at him and grabs his jaw, kisses him so hard Gerard tastes blood, his own blood, from a stinging cut opened up on his lip. He licks at Frank’s teeth, his tongue, claws frantically at Frank’s perfect, unmarked chest, nails tearing.
“Stop,” Frank snaps, “Gee, you’re gonna,” and he grabs onto Gerard’s wrist, the hard edges of claws giving way to cool smoke, twining up his arm to flick at the shallow wounds on his throat, his lip, push inside his open, panting mouth. He chokes on nothing, Frank’s nothing, and feels his fingers sink into shadow seconds before the heat roiling in his belly snaps taut. He comes staring down at his hand half-buried in Frank’s chest, malleable pressure surrounding it, shifting and pulsing, alive. He comes with Frank inside him, soothing the burn at the back of his throat, letting him let go, ride it.
When the pleasure holding him too far above Frank lets him go, he crumples against Frank’s chest, cradling his hand between them, his fingers frozen and stiff and his heartbeat thundering in his ears. He squeezes his eyes shut and focuses on the emptiness inside Frank, tries to slow his heart to match that nothing.
Frank wraps him close, familiar rasp unsteady when he says, “You were really afraid I’d leave.”
So much worse than Frank’s chill against overheated skin is the one curdling in Gerard’s stomach. “Don’t be–”
“No, no,” Frank says, holding tighter. “I mean it. I thought we were playing.” He shrugs a shoulder. “I liked it.”
“Because you really are a dick,” Gerard mutters. He still can’t really move his fingers. They’re probably okay.
Frank says, “I liked you wanting me that bad,” and Gerard can’t see his face but he can hear the smile that’s on it, small and mischevious. “I wasn’t–”
“You were pissed.” Maybe Gerard doesn’t know as much about Frank, and what the fuck Frank really is, as he should, but he knows that. “It’s just a stupid painting for a stupid class and you were so angry.”
Claws scratch lightly at Gerard’s sweaty shoulder. It takes Frank a long while to say, “Maybe.”
“And you didn’t even fucking tell me why.”
“But hey, you figured it out.”
Gerard grunts, “Asshole,” again and clings tighter, even though he’s starting to shiver for real now. Frank’s hands smooth down his back, his hips, endless and restless even though Frank’s so quiet beneath him. Through the sleep tugging at him, Gerard can feel dawn pressing close to the walls. Soon he’s got to get up and live his life. Another whole day before he can be back here, the only place he wants to be.
“Hey,” Frank says, and slips out from under him.
Gerard rolls to the edge of the bed. Warmth rushes in where Frank used to be. “Where’re you going?” he mumbles, reaching out long after Frank’s already gone.
“Absolutely nowhere,” Franks says. There’s a rustling noise in the corner, the soft sound of Frank’s bare feet padding on thin carpet. The bed dips again and Gerard struggles to open his eyes. “Here.”
Fumbling for Frank’s arm, Gerard curls his fingers around it, following it up to Frank’s hand to find the long wooden handle of a paintbrush he holds. Gerard finally gets his eyes open, blinking up at Frank’s face. The light in the room’s gotten brighter, greyish. Frank looks like a slice of forgotten midnight.
“Finish it,” Frank says, pressing the paintbrush harder into Gerard’s grip as his own starts to melt away. “Show me what I could be.”
“Frank,” Gerard starts, but Frank hisses quietly, darting in to kiss him. Gerard rises up to meet him, pushing for more even as Frank’s lips slowly turn to cool smoke against his.
When Gerard opens his eyes again, Frank’s gone. He looks down at the paintbrush in his hand, thumb tracing the grooves left behind from Frank’s claws, then at the canvas in the corner. Frank’s face is there, staring back at him in warm flesh tones, rich brown eyes Gerard’s never seen, framed by a sweep of dark hair. The Frank he knows is hidden in too-deep shadows, a suggestion in the sharp lines of Frank’s face, unfinished, raw.
Picking up the bottle of spilled tequila, Gerard burns the nothing-taste out of his mouth, and he paints.