author turps33 and sperrywink
Pairing: Mikey Way/Frank Iero/Pete Wentz
Word Count 14789
Disclaimers: Don't know them, no harm intended.
Notes: Mikey POV. Beta'd by northernveil and tenshinochouwa. All mistakes and inadequacies that remain are ours.
Summary: It's hot, it's fast, it's a decision taken on chance. Mikey knows who he wants, what he wants, but will the other two agree?.
Usually, it's easy to live alongside Frank. He's sparking energy as opposed to Mikey's constructed calm; but that's okay. They fit together in ways made smooth by years of friendship and surviving events that would have brought lesser people to their knees. Mikey loves Frank like a best friend, a brother, that little bit more -- the 'if only' that he's always kept hidden.
For the last few weeks Frank hasn't been easy to live with at all. On the surface he's fine, playing at full tilt and throwing everything into his performances onstage. Then onto the bus where he'll talk to Gerard and bother Bob and share toasted cheese sandwiches with Ray. So-called normalcy, except it's not Frank at all. His smiles are too bright and his laughter too sharp, and when Mikey looks up Frank's always watching. Aborted glances as Mikey eats or texts or does anything -- especially if it's with Pete.
Those times Frank looks torn between pure misery and annoyance. Mikey's become used to catching Frank's eye and seeing his expression close down before he slips away. It's like Frank's there but not at all. It's frustrating, because Mikey misses Frank -- the real Frank who didn't pull away and pretend things are fine when they're so obviously not. It's why Mikey's spent hours thinking about the whole situation, lost in his own thoughts as the world revolves around him.
It's worse than when Frank and Jamia first broke up. Frank was a real asshole then, snarling at everyone except for Mikey, only relaxing when he could play his guitar as loudly and furiously as he wanted. Mikey could take that because Frank leaned on him and, maybe not opened up, but at least allowed Mikey to be a support, if not the others. It's selfish of him, but Mikey can stand Frank shutting the others out, as long as it doesn't extend to him.
In the end, Mikey thinks he understands, and maybe has a solution. The problem is, putting it into action will be the biggest gamble of his life.
"I swear, you'd better move or I'll break your neck." Bob sits perfectly still, the ripped remains of his magazine in either hand, Frank utterly unrepentant as he sits on Bob's lap.
"I warned you," Frank says, innocent to the last, like his warning wasn't a yelled warcry seconds before he dove toward Bob.
"If you don't get off me now I'm going to throw you physically off the bus." The ripped pages flutter to the floor and Bob's eerily calm. It's that that gets Mikey moving. That and the frantic silent plea Gerard sends his way, because the situation's at the point where it could easily get out of control. The heat and constant traveling are putting everyone on edge.
"Come on, I heard rumors of cold sodas." Mikey stands and peels his damp t-shirt from his back before grabbing hold of Frank, pulling him from Bob's lap. Thankfully, Frank allows himself to be hauled upright, and after a brief hesitation -- and growl from Bob -- they make for the door.
Stepping outside is like stepping into an oven. The air is thick with heat and the scents of tour; cold sodas are an excellent idea, especially when they've walked the length of three buses and Frank finally begins to relax.
"So I told her, tuna's still meat, and anyway, who the hell eats tuna burgers anyway? Especially when they look like something barfed up by a cat." Frank shakes his head and looks up at Mikey, but unlike the looks of previous weeks, this one is open and Mikey can't help smiling back.
"We should get one for Bob, a peace offering from you."
Frank grins even wider. "We could leave it in his bunk."
"Under his pillow?"
"Of course, where else would you leave a gifted tuna burger?" Frank holds up his hand, slapping Mikey's in a high-five. "We could get one now. He'd find it when he goes to sleep."
"Excellent idea," Mikey says, loving the way Frank keeps smiling, like this is the best plan in the world. "Sodas first though, and then -- oh hey. Hi Pete."
Pete grins when he sees Mikey, and does a cursory glance around before launching himself forward and planting a wet kiss against Mikey's mouth. "I've missed you."
"I only left you an hour ago."
"It was forever ago, Mikey Way." Pete curls his arm around Mikey, holding him close. "What's up?"
Pete's warm, smelling of sweat and coffee; Mikey holds on, tucking his fingertips into the tiny back pocket of Pete's pants. "We're going to get a tuna burger for Bob." Frank's expression is now frozen and shuttered.
Pete wrinkles his nose. "Those things are kinda gross, like a cat puked them up."
Mikey smiles. "Exactly."
"Sounds fun," Pete says, sounding delighted. "Can I come watch?"
"Sure," Mikey says, even as Frank begins stepping away.
"I forgot, I have a thing." He looks from Mikey to Pete. "I'll see you later."
"Frank, wait." Mikey squeezes Pete's hand. "Stay." Frank looks unsure and Mikey knows he wants to leave, it's what he always does when Pete's around. It's why Mikey adds a quiet, "Please."
"I suppose I could wait a while," Frank says, obviously reluctant. If Mikey was any kind of friend he'd give him an out, but Mikey's watched Frank and Pete. He knows it's time for bold actions.
"Good." Mikey pulls his hand out of Pete's pocket. "I'm going to go get some sodas, stay here."
"We could come with," Pete says, and while Frank remains silent, he doesn't look happy at the idea of being left with Pete.
Mikey shakes his head. "I keep my sources secret."
"We all know you make nice with that cute drum tech," Frank says fondly.
"Yeah, one look and he gets what he wants." Pete wiggles his fingers toward Mikey then looks at Frank. "It would be sickening it wasn't so cute."
Frank laughs, and as Mikey walks away he can't help feeling satisfied. He knows this is going to work.
It doesn't take long to get the sodas. Mikey's holding them against his chest with his arm, and he's enjoying the cold against his skin, a vivid contrast to the heat that's on the verge of being too much.
When he gets back to where he left Frank and Pete, neither of them are talking; they're just sitting on the grass, both looking relieved when Mikey finally appears. Throwing them each a can, he sits so he's facing them both, then cracks open his soda, preparing to wait.
Pete, of course cracks first. He starts by jiggling his leg and looking from Mikey to Frank and back again. He opens his mouth a couple times, as if to say something, but then closes it with a snap. Finally he says, "Thanks for the soda, Mikey."
Mikey ducks his head to hide his smile. "No problem."
Frank, not wanting to look like a jerk, kicks Mikey's side and nods at his soda. Mikey gets it, but makes a face at Frank anyway. He wants dialogue. Frank rolls his eyes. "Yeah, thanks."
Pete, loosened up by the conversation, starts babbling about some gross, filthy, awesome act he'd had Dirty perform. Mikey keeps one eye on Pete's gleeful face, and one on Frank's struggling one. He knows Frank would normally find the story hilarious, and although he understands why Frank fights it so hard simply because it is Pete telling it, he wishes that wasn't the case.
Finally, Frank laughs, and looks like he surprises himself by doing so. Pete's face gets even more gleeful-- he loves an appreciative audience and Frank is a special one -- and he turns towards Frank, playing up to him. Mikey knows he's talked about Frank a lot, he is his best friend after all, it's why Frank has become this mythical creature to Pete. All shimmery and golden, but also, unattainable as a friend.
Mikey knows how Pete feels. Frank is affectionate and while he is Mikey's best friend; he keeps his heart carefully guarded, particularly after his spectacular blowout with Jamia. He's been remote with almost everyone for ages; not Mikey, but almost everyone, except on stage. Figuring out how to approach this new Frank when Mikey wants more from him -- hell, he wants everything from Frank, just like he wants everything from Pete -- has been a trial.
So Pete is playing up to Frank, and Frank is reluctantly falling for it, with occasional glances at Mikey to see how he is reacting. Mikey, feeling good about where this is going, crawls over and leans his head on Frank's shoulder as Pete demonstrates some epic throwing up Dirty did after eating a metric ton (all right, a teaspoon) of wasabi paste.
Frank puts his arm around Mikey; he can never resist it when Mikey cuddles, thankfully, since Mikey doesn't do it that often, and rubs Mikey's side, rucking up his shirt a little.
Pete's story winds down and he looks at Mikey with a question in his eyes.
The thing is, Mikey knows more than people give him credit for. He's quiet, sure, but that doesn't mean he's not paying attention. He grew up with Gerard after all, and that meant he didn't have to talk; it was just easier to let Gerard take all the attention. Mikey didn't mind, it just means he's learned to talk when he wants, the rest of the time he looks and observes.
It's like how he knows that Pete worries about letting people get close, because the closer they get the more likely they are to see the screw-up he thinks he is. The same way he knows that Frank misses being in a relationship and all that means, and that he's been watching and trying so hard to hide his jealousy when he sees Mikey and Pete.
Mikey knows that; he sees their secrets and keeps them, but he also knows that they'll be good together, all three of them. Which is why he's acting now.
He doesn't pull away from Frank's touch, just sits still, leaning against Frank but watching Pete all the while. He sees the doubts that hit and the way Pete starts to smile, his barrier against the world.
Mikey says, "Don't," and he reaches out and grabs Pete's hand, knowing he's about to run. He tugs gently, until Pete finally comes to sit on Mikey's other side. Which is fantastic, and Mikey runs his hand over Frank's wrist and entwines their fingers, and there's this unsure feeling in the air, like no one knows what's happening except Mikey, but that's fine, because Mikey has full control and he's prepared to be patient, waiting for however long it takes.
He squeezes Pete's hand and turns to look at Frank and says, "Tell Pete about the time you put soap in Ray's coffee." and Frank just nods at first as he tells the story, but as he gets into it, how Ray's face went red and he blew bubbles at first, he starts to laugh, and soon Pete is laughing too.
One of the important things Gerard has taught Mikey is not to be afraid to reach for the impossible. He can reach for the stars now, believe he can have the best, all the more so if they come in the form of Frank and Pete. They might be unsure and tremble in the face of what Mikey wants for the three of them, but Mikey is positive they will be a great thing together.
Frank's intensity exploding with Pete's wildness, all balanced by Mikey's quiet confidence. Mikey thinks he is getting the best of the deal, but he isn't fool enough to think that Frank and Pete would work without him.
By the time Frank has finished his story, Mikey can see Pete has gained some of his bravado back and can see the writing on the wall. Pete thinks it will all backfire, but he'll put himself out there to get the hits over and done with. Mikey knows he is planning on doing something extreme, so taking the initiative, Mikey reels Pete in and kisses him, fast and hard, leaving them both breathless.
Pete stills under Mikey's attention, and Mikey knows he has a small window of opportunity while Pete processes. Turning to Frank and hovering right over his lips, Mikey says, "Pete tastes good."
Frank has a heartbreakingly unsure look on his face, so Mikey doesn't make him decide, just brushes his lips against Frank's in a smooth, easy slide and rests there.
As Frank holds unnaturally still, Mikey silently begs him to respond. Please. Please. They stare at each other, Frank's eyes impossibly dark in the bright sunlight. Mikey holds his breath to extend the moment, and his heart trips when Frank's mouth brushes back on a soft sigh. Frank's eyes flutter shut and Frank's hand squeezes his.
They break apart and Mikey looks over at Pete. Pete's eyes have darkened and he is breathing heavily. But he hasn't run away. Mikey knows this is another moment not to rush.
Pete's eyes finally flicker and he huskily asks, "How does Frank taste?"
He's still holding onto Pete's hand, Frank's fingers wrapped around his other hand, and Mikey knows it's time to close the connection between them all. He says softly, "Why don't you find out?"
Pete looks at Frank, temptation obvious in the way he swallows hard and makes an abortive move forward, but then he stops, holding himself back, and Mikey's spent half the summer with Pete, he knows how afraid he is of hurting the ones he loves, which means he needs a final reassurance that this is okay. Bringing their joined hands to his mouth, Mikey kisses Pete's knuckles, a featherlight touch more intimate than the deepest kiss.
"Do it, for me," Mikey says, and it's taking advantage, he knows that, but Mikey wouldn't do it if he wasn't sure that this is something they all want and need.
Pete nods then and his fingers tighten as he moves toward Frank -- Frank who's been sitting still all this time.
"Is this okay?" Pete's question is soft, and Frank nods, uncertainty still there, but combined with a want that has him lifting his chin to meet Pete's kiss.
It's hesitant at first, a kiss between two acquaintances, but then it deepens, Frank closing his eyes and Pete pressing his free hand against the small of Frank's back, holding him close.
Mikey can't help taking in the details, the way a bead of sweat slides down Frank's face, a quick flash of Pete's tongue against Frank's bottom lip, and with the wrong people it could be awkward being so close, but what it is is right.
When they pull back neither speak, but they're holding tight to Mikey's hands, and he wants to yell his triumph. Instead he smiles slightly and says, "We'll have to go get ready to perform soon."
It's not unexpected when Pete tries to pull away, seeing dismissal where none was intended, but even if Mikey's slight it doesn't mean he's not strong. He holds on and says, "Come and watch us."
Pete hesitates a moment, then says, "Okay."
They all scramble up, finally breaking apart and releasing each other's hands. Both of Mikey's hands are sweaty from being gripped so tightly, and he wipes them on his jeans. Meanwhile, Pete vainly tries to wipe the grass stains from his knees, and Frank picks up the soda cans to toss out along the way.
As they walk to the stage, after disposing of the cans, Frank keeps looking at Mikey and Pete in a thoughtful way, as if he has suddenly seen them in a new light. All the anger and frustration seems to have left him, he is walking loose and easy, much looser than he has for weeks now. It's great to see Frank back to his old self, he's been wound so tight for so much of the tour that it has been like sharing a bus with the Mr Hyde version of Frank. It's going to be a killer show tonight, Mikey can feel it crackling between them.
Mikey knows he has a smug smile on his face, but he can't help it. Everything is going according to plan and it is just as fantastic as he thought it would be. Even Pete has caught the energy and is bouncing as he walks, barking out laughter every now and then.
Pete says, "You think you're so smart."
Mikey remains silent. The facts can speak for themselves. Frank, on the other hand, snorts. "Never get in the way of what Mikey wants. The second he says he wants something, he has half the band and all of his family scrambling to get it for him. Sure Gerard started the band, but he only wanted it after Mikey talked it up for so long. Pays to be the baby of the family."
"You're younger than me."
"I'm still not the baby."
Mikey wants to protest more, but what Frank said was the truth and he knows it. He does try to not take shameless advantage of it, though. Except when it is something he really wants. Then all bets are off. Suddenly full of doubt, Mikey asks, "Is that why you're here?"
Frank snorts again. "When have I ever fallen for that? I said half the band. I'm onto you and Ray is too concerned with the purity of his guitar riffs to always let you have your way." Biting his lip, Frank kicks some gravel across the parking lot. "I'm here because you're the best friend I've ever had, and it's still not enough."
Mikey links hands with Pete again. Pete tries to tug away, but Mikey holds on tight. "You forgot to say that you're also here because Pete will let you fly reckless better than I can."
Kicking some more gravel, Frank hesitates. He peeks over at Pete, and apparently seeing what Mikey is feeling, stops. Mikey and Pete stop too. Looking right at Pete, Frank says, "Maybe there's some truth to that." He then darts forward and wrapping a hand around the back of Pete's head, kisses Pete hard and ardently. Pete, although he seems surprised, kisses back. Happy again, Mikey brushes a kiss to Frank's forehead, and then does the same to Pete. He doesn't break their kiss up though, right now this is enough. They really do have to get to the stage.
It's Frank that finally pulls back. He touches his fingers to his mouth, his eyes glittering as he looks from Mikey to Pete. "We need to go."
None of them move. This new understanding is so fragile that Mikey's afraid it'll collapse around him as soon as he lets Pete out of sight. Which is a problem, because no matter how much time they spend together, they're still from different bands.
"You don't play until later, right?" Mikey turns to Pete, knowing the answer but still needing to ask. "Come and watch us play."
It's a demand more than a suggestion, but Mikey's willing to push, because he knows Pete, and has no doubt as soon as he's alone his thoughts will spin and tangle him into knots. Mikey has to prevent that happening, and the easiest way to do that is to keep Pete close.
"I suppose I could force myself to watch another show," Pete says, and he smiles as he tugs at Mikey's hand. "Come on."
It's a race to get to the stage. When they arrive the techs look irritable and Ray looks murderous and Mikey can't help feeling guilty when Gerard turns to him, so obviously relieved.
"You were supposed to distract Frank, not disappear on us," Gerard says. He's caught between himself and his stage persona, his walk already more clipped, his movements more pronounced, but the hug he gives Mikey is all big brother, Gerard holding on tight, his hair in Mikey's face. Of course the smacking kiss to Mikey's mouth is all stage-Gerard, but Mikey's used to that and shrugs as he looks to Frank and Pete who're standing watching, both of them grinning like fools.
"What did I say?" Frank says. "He's got him twisted around his little finger."
Which, yeah, they have a point. Still, Mikey enjoys hearing them laugh, because by this point he's usually fighting nerves, the ones that make him always hang back, safe beside Bob's drums. He'd think it was ironic that the two people he wants so badly love the limelight so much, but the fact is, Mikey's grown up loving Gerard, and he can't help being pulled to those who shine brightly under the spotlight, even as Mikey stays hidden in the shade.
"You're going to stay?" Mikey asks, looking at Pete.
Pete nods, his laughter fading. "I'm staying."
"Good," Frank says softly, and Mikey agrees. He wants to kiss Pete and say thank you, he wants to grab Frank and hold on, what he does is follow the others as they walk on stage, his heart thundering as the audience roars.
Mikey is right and the show is on that night. Frank stalks Gerard around the stage, his eyes dark and fierce. Gerard, of course, is unable to resist playing up to it. Normally, Mikey would watch them in bemused tolerance from his safe place by Bob’s drums, but even he is feeling the energy and every time Frank vacates his side of the stage to taunt Gerard, Mikey moves forward, bouncing in place, feeling the energy of the crowd wash over him.
All too soon the concert is over, Frank has cornered Gerard and slobbered over him for the last time today, Ray has rocked out the last riff, and Bob has pounded his last beat, and this is one of the times Mikey is sad to have to say goodbye. He wants to bask in the moment for as long as he can. Frank is all electric, vibrating excitement in front of him, and he can see Pete off to the side, bopping his head along to the music, smiling wide.
They run off the stage, handing their instruments off to the waiting techs; Frank barely free of his guitar strap before he is leaping at Pete. Catching him with a braying laugh, Pete looks at Mikey with an incredulous and surprised look on his face. Mikey knows that Pete doesn’t understand that Frank throws himself into things as much as Pete does, just in a different way. Pete expects to be rejected once it’s discovered he's an asshole; Frank expects to be rejected once it’s discovered he’s a clinging freak. Mikey’s not stupid enough to let go of either of them, though, he just has to convince them of that. Mikey quirks his eyebrow at Pete and nods meaningfully at Frank.
Pete breaks eye contact with him and looks down at where Frank is dangling from his neck. He licks his lip in indecision for a moment, but then kisses Frank lewdly and wetly. Mikey can almost hear Frank cackling in joy. He’s always more, just more, after a performance. Gerard coughs, and Mikey realizes the rest of his band is watching the display with varying degrees of concern.
Gerard says, “I thought you and Pete were-." He then waves his hands, flinging sweat everywhere, and causing Mikey to wrinkle his nose.
Mikey shrugs. “We are. We just are with Frank now.”
“Huh,” Ray says. “Hopefully, he’ll mope around less then.”
Mikey blinks and looks at Ray. Ray is looking placidly back, rubbing his towel down his arms, and Mikey ducks his head to hide his blush. He’s impervious to Gerard, Frank, and even Pete’s wild enthusiasm, but Ray’s quiet acceptance almost unnerves him. Ray is a hard nut to crack, usually; he’d do anything for the others, and Mikey hasn’t been sure he’d see this development as a good thing for Frank. Knowing that Ray trusts Frank in Mikey’s hands is humbling.
Gerard is nodding also, but still has a worried little wrinkle between his eyebrows. “It’s going to be hard, Mikes.”
With increasing confidence, Mikey says, “We’ll make it work.”
It's something that he believes totally, because Gerard's right, it will be hard but Mikey's used to fighting for the important things, and right now, that's Pete and Frank.
Gerard still seems unsure, but he nods slightly and turns to Pete. "If you hurt them. Hurt him..."
"I won't," Pete says, and if Mikey gave up secrets he'd say it was Pete that's most at risk right now, is the one who stands to lose the most. But they're not Mikey's secrets to share and he looks at Pete then moves close to Gerard and pulls him into a tight hug, holding on despite the grime and stink and sweat.
"I'll be fine, promise," Mikey says, words against Gerard's cheek because despite the un-needed caution, he knows Gerard's worries are formed from love. He steps back then, reclaiming his place between Frank and Pete.
Unlike Gerard and Ray, Bob has remained silent since walking off stage. He's tapping his drum sticks against his thigh, his grip loose and relaxed as he watches them all. He looks at Mikey, at Pete, then at Frank.
"Just so you know. No threesome sex on the bus."
Frank laughs then, and his thoughts are plain to see, plans of nakedness and deliberate noises designed to drive Bob insane.
Bob obviously sees it too, his eyes narrowing as he points his sticks at Frank. "I mean it, the first flash of skin..."
"You've seen me naked before," Frank protests, and it's true. Because sometimes Frank and modesty don't mix at all, especially on early mornings when he needs to get to the bathroom, like, right now!
"You weren't sleeping with Mikey then," Bob says.
"And I'm not sleeping with him now -- not yet anyway." Frank grins wide, ignoring Gerard's horrified protest and waving hands. "And you didn't say anything about Mikey sexin' up Pete on the bus."
"That's because he's not an exhibitionist like you."
"Have you forgotten last week?" Ray says then. "When we came on the bus and he was on the floor. With the. And Pete was. And was about to..."
"Oh my god! Shut up!" Gerard points at Ray. "My brother doesn't have sex, especially where I might see it." He turns to Mikey then. "Mikey, you know I'm here for you, but I don't want details. Ever."
Which is fine by Mikey because this is seriously becoming one of the most embarrassing moments of Mikey's life, worse even than the time mom bribed Gerard to give the talk about the birds and the bees -- Mikey still can't see a banana without thinking of Gerard's bright red face and the way he snapped the banana in half while demonstrating condom technique.
"I'm just going to..." Mikey says, and he grabs for Pete and Frank, pulling them behind him before he has to hear another word.
They run until they are breathless and laughing too hard to go any further. Given all Frank’s smoking, it isn’t that far, but it is far enough that the voices of the others fade away to nothing. Letting Frank catch his breath, Mikey pulls Pete close and into a kiss. He’s been so busy hooking the other two up, he’s beginning to feel left out of all the action.
Pete comes easily and willingly, sucking gently on Mikey’s bottom lip. Frank catcalls them, but it is in a muted voice so as not to attract attention. Pete grins against his mouth, and finally breaks the kiss on a laugh when Frank says, “Get down with your love machine selves.”
Mikey mock-scowls at Frank, but Frank just sidles right up to him and says, “Where’s my kiss, Mikeyway?” Unable to resist that face or that tone, even though he knows Frank is playing him, Mikey tugs Frank into a kiss too.
It’s only their second kiss, and it is just as electric as the first one. Pete’s kisses have become familiar with the way they twist his gut, but the way Frank’s kisses makes his stomach bottom out and swoop up is all new. It’s delicious and Mikey moans. He feels Frank’s mouth distort into a grin, but then Frank is sucking on his tongue and all thought is lost, until he feels Pete pressing up against his back and running his hands up under his shirt. Then the world sharpens and contracts to the points of contact between his body and theirs, and Mikey can’t contain his shudders or stop his hands from clenching around Frank’s shoulders and dragging him in closer.
Pete presses in closer too, his cock nestling into Mikey’s ass, his hands drifting down from Mikey's stomach to cup him through his jeans. Both Mikey and Frank moan at that and Mikey can feel Pete pressing a smile into his back. Pete’s hand turns and cups Frank, and Frank surges forward, consuming Mikey’s mouth.
Mikey comes back to the moment when Pete steps away. He tears his mouth away from Frank’s-- Frank makes a small sound of displeasure -- and looks at Pete. Pete’s never looked hotter. His pupils are blown, his hands are clenched, and he's the one breathing hard now as if he's the smoker. Pete says, “I'm playing soon.”
Frank answers, “We’ll come watch you. It’ll be awesome.”
Pete looks from one to the other, his body slowly relaxing. With a grin he says, “Can you do it without making out? I don’t know if I’ll be able to concentrate with that going on sidestage.”
Frank licks Mikey’s face in a big, long swipe, and says, “We can totally control ourselves.”
"We can," Mikey agrees, and the thing is, he has years of practice at hiding his emotions. It's easy to affect nonchalance as he rests his hand against the damp fabric of Frank's t-shirt, the material rucking under Mikey's fingers as he pulls them across and down until he can touch skin.
Mikey slides his fingertips over the lines of Frank's ink, tracing them by memory alone, because all he's looking at is Pete. The way he's following the trail of Mikey's fingers, the way he shifts in place and gulps, pushing his sweaty bangs out his eyes with an impatient jerk of his hand.
"Mikey," Frank says, his voice pitched low.
Mikey stills his hand, his fingers slightly splayed so that two brush beneath the band of Frank's pants. There's a gap between waistband and skin and it would be easy to move further and Mikey's tempted to throw caution to the wind, but he knows that all actions have consequences. As much as he loves the way Pete is leaning in, the way Frank is breathing hard, Mikey stays frozen in place.
"Yeah," Frank says, and he smiles slightly, something small and understanding before his smile widens as he looks at Pete. "We'll totally behave."
Pete frowns and indicates his groin. "How am I supposed to go on stage like this?"
Mikey shrugs. "Basses are good to hide behind."
"Too good sometimes," Frank says.
Mikey's more than capable of bypassing a point if needed, and he looks at Pete. "He needs to hide, that thing will put someone's eye out."
"Probably Patrick's," Pete agrees. "Though his glasses would deflect."
"Only if you hit them dead on-- a touch to the side and it's game over. No more eye."
Pete cups his hands over his groin, his grin fading into affected sadness. "I don't want Patrick to be blind."
Frank shakes his head. "It'll only be one eye, not unless you have a double dick."
"Pity," Frank says. "But I guess we'll make do. At least, that is if you want ..."
He trails off then, as if he's assumed too much and Mikey bunches his fingers in Frank's t-shirt, pulling him close so their stomachs touch. "I do want and Pete wants too. So we're going to go watch him play then find somewhere private, so I can show you exactly what I want."
Frank nods and Mikey hopes that this time, Frank fully believes.
Late again, they rush to the stage for the second time that day. The rest of Fall Out Boy is there waiting with frowns on their faces. Patrick says, "Pete! What the fuck?"
Pete breaks away from Mikey and Frank and rushes to Patrick. He throws an arm around him and rests his head on his shoulder. "Just settling some things with my boys. Sorry I'm late, Patrick-my-boy. Forgive me?"
Patrick looks between Mikey and Frank, who are holding hands, and Pete, and his frown deepens. The stage manager calls for them to go on stage, and Pete pulls Patrick on stage along with Joe and Andy. Biting his lip, Mikey puts his worries about Patrick's frown aside so he can enjoy the show.
Mikey can't take his eyes off Pete for the entire show. Or most of the show. Whenever Pete snuggles up to Patrick, Mikey's eyes shift to him and he sees something fierce in Patrick's eyes that causes him concern. His boys had accepted it so easily, he hadn't given a thought to how the Fall Out Boy guys would react and he realizes now how foolish that was of him. Pete is practically mind-melded with Patrick-- if Patrick doesn't approve, they are doomed.
And while Mikey had gotten along with Patrick before, they had never really bonded. Patrick likes Bob and talks guitars with Ray, but awkward silences fall whenever Mikey and Patrick are left alone. And Frankie had been in such a bad mood for so long, he'd never presented a good picture to Patrick either. Mikey can all too well imagine how much Patrick would dislike the idea of them with Pete.
Lost in thought, Mikey is surprised when a ball of Pete rushes into his arms and shouts in his ear. "We rocked!"
Mikey can't contain his small smile and doesn't even try too hard. Over Pete's shoulder he says to the other guys, "Yeah, you did." Patrick does not look mollified.
Frank, always less aware of emotional undercurrents, or always less caring about them, pulls Pete into his own hug. Pete, always defiant in the face of emotional undercurrents, pulls him into a kiss.
Patrick's face is turning purple. He is looking at Mikey like he should be protesting, so Mikey shrugs at him. He doesn't know what to say, how to explain it to him. He hadn't had to use words to explain it to his guys.
In a stern voice, Patrick says, "Pete!" Pete breaks away from Frank and looks over at Patrick. "What the fuck is going on?"
Pete, riding his defiance, says, "Threesome, Patrick!"
It doesn't seem possible but Patrick turns even more purple. "You need to come with me. Now."
Pete starts to talk, but Patrick just pulls his arm and stalks off. Andy and Joe, who had remained silent, suddenly seem to come to life. Joe shrugs and follows Patrick and Pete, but Andy stays with a considering look on his face. He says, "Polyamory is hard, but the rewards are well worth the trouble. Good luck." Mikey blinks at him, and Andy ambles after the rest of his guys.
"I could get him back, Patrick's kinda small," Frank says. He's bristling as he stares after Pete, and while the idea of Frank flying in like some kind of avenging hero and carrying Pete away is amusing, Mikey shakes his head in a no.
"Patrick can fight dirty when he has to." Mikey watches Pete and Patrick as they walk away, their heads close together, but before they disappear behind a bus, Pete looks up and smiles, as if he's known Mikey's been watching all this time.
Frank scowls and takes a step forward. "I can still take him."
"I know," Mikey says, and he grabs a handful of Frank's shirt. "But you won't, Patrick's his best friend, they need to talk."
They're not the only ones; Patrick's reaction has been a reality check in an afternoon where none of them have slowed down. Things have happened fast; too fast, Mikey's beginning to suspect. The fact is, if Pete were Mikey's best friend he would have reacted the same way.
The problem is, of course, Pete's not. Mikey's best friend is Frank.
"We should talk, too." Mikey's still holding onto Frank's shirt, and he starts to tug him in the direction of their bus. But Frank doesn't move, just stays in place, the material of his shirt stretching until Mikey has to stop. "Frank?"
"Is that code for making out? Because Gerard's on the bus and..." Frank stops talking then, grinning hard as he looks at Mikey. "Mikeyway, you're a genius, making out and traumatizing Gerard."
It's a tempting idea, especially when Frank's beaming at Mikey, his grin bright like the sun. But Mikey still has to say no.
"It's code for we should talk."
"You're not bringing out the chick flick moment are you?" Frank asks, suspicion apparent in every word.
"Maybe to the Leia-Luke level," Mikey admits.
"When they find out they're brother and sister?" Frank raises an eyebrow and his eyes are sparkling despite his lack of smile. "Because, kid. I have to tell you. If you think I'm role playing as Gerard, you're out of luck."
"What? No!" Mikey punches Frank in the shoulder, hard, because really. How is this his life?
"You're so easy." Making no attempt to hide his laughter, Frank rubs at his shoulder and then indicates the way to their bus with a significant look. "Talking of which."
"But there'll be kissing after."
"I promise." Mikey holds up his hand, two fingers held together and the rest curled down.
"As if you were ever a boy scout."
"I went once," Mikey says, leveling a look at Frank, because he knows this.
"You were kicked out for telling the other kids a ravenous demonic werewolf would eat them. It doesn't count."
"They wanted us to camp in the woods." Mikey shudders and points at Frank. "And no more distractions. Serious talk now. Are you really okay with this? Because this morning you hated Pete."
"It's a bit late to ask that now." Frank bites at his bottom lip then, looks at the floor, toward their bus, but Mikey can be patient and he crosses his arms and waits, until finally, Frank says. "I never hated him, the problem was, he had you."
Mikey chews his lip and considers the whole situation, for the first time really thinking about all the dynamics. "If you're just with Pete for me, he's going to know. It's going to backfire. I don't want to do that to him."
"You really want the both of us, don't you?"
Mikey blushes and scuffs his foot across the ground. He can't articulate the fluttery feeling he gets when he thinks about both Pete and Frank. It isn't just that they would be sexy together, it is that he truly believes the three of them could have something special. "Yeah."
Frank looks off into the distance. "This afternoon has really opened my eyes. I might have just been going through the motions with Pete at the start, but it's more than that now. I see the vulnerability that attracts you. I wouldn't do anything to damage that. Damage him."
Mikey catches Frank's gaze, and Frank gives an infinitesimal nod. Something loosens in Mikey's chest. Frank, for all that he's been a self-centered asshole since being dumped by Jamia, is generally a really astute and caring person. Of course he would catch onto both Pete's fragility and Mikey's attraction to it once he looked outside of himself.
Frank claps his hands and Mikey jumps. Grinning, Frank says, "Is it time for sexy, fun times now? There's still time to traumatize Gerard."
Mikey grins back and laughs. It's so good to have the old Frank back. Actually, it's good to have the new, improved Frank. He grabs Frank's hand and starts walking towards the trailer, swinging their arms. "We can totally traumatize Gerard now."
Frank laughs, carefree and happy, and Mikey smiles harder.
As they reach the trailer, the door slams open and Gerard comes tumbling out, all messy hair and flailing hands. They can hear Bob yell from inside, "Get me a mocha frappuccino!"
Frank mock-pouts and says, "Starbucks run?"
Gerard nods and looks between the two of them. "You want to come?"
Mikey is torn. Kissing Frank is still novel and appealing, but coffee is his first love. Frank snorts next to him and says, "Go, go get coffee, you damn addict, you." But he squeezes Mikey's hand before he lets go, and Mikey knows they are all right.
The nearest Starbucks is a five-minute walk. They don't talk at first, just amble along in companionable silence, stopping to sign a few autographs for the group of girls who were brave enough to approach. When the girls drop back, giggling and waving, taking a last picture with their phones, Gerard and Mikey start walking once more.
It's when they've left the tour grounds that Gerard starts laughing, and Mikey looks at him, raising an eyebrow in question.
"I was thinking about mom," Gerard says eventually, and he's still smiling wide as he looks at Mikey. "How she'll react when she finds out her baby boy is in a threesome with two other guys."
"She likes Frank," Mikey says, which is true, Frank's been part of their family for years. "She'll like Pete too."
"And if she doesn't?" Gerard asks, and this time there's no laughter in his words at all.
"She will," Mikey says, and there's an unsettled feeling in his stomach when he thinks of Pete not fitting into his family, because Pete is part of Mikey now, an important part. "And if she doesn't, I'll tell her she's wrong."
Gerard nods and pushes his hair out of his face. "Good, you need to be prepared to fight for him."
"Wait, you're protecting Pete now?" It's not what Mikey expected, but he's glad, because Pete needs people willing to fight in his corner. Still, he can't resist teasing, says. "What happened to brotherly loyalty?"
"If they hurt you they're in for a world of pain," Gerard says immediately, fiercely. "But I like Pete and love Frank, so you know."
Which is the thing, Mikey does know. He knows that Gerard will be there for him always, and that extends to the people Mikey loves too. It's a reassuring thought and Mikey can't resist pulling Gerard in for a lightning-fast hug, pressing his face against the tangle of Gerard's hair and then stepping back before the distant fans can bring up their phones.
"So, a world of hurt," Mikey says, his mouth curling into a smile. "I take it you have a plan."
Gerard does have a plan, something elaborate that he has to have been plotting for days, which makes Mikey think that maybe he's not the only one who keeps watch and takes note of what he sees.
"I decided to use poison for Pete, slow-acting, just enough to put him off his game for a while."
"Wise," Mikey says. "You don't want the rest of Fall Out Boy to get wind of what you're doing. Patrick is a mean fucker at times."
"Exactly!" Gerard throws up his hands. "A war between the bands wouldn't be cool, but I have to protect your honor, so poison seemed the best option. Frankie was more difficult. I mean we have to live with him. I thought about kidnapping his dogs but it's not like they'd have done anything to you, so I decided on crushed Viagra in his food, a constant hard-on would teach him."
"Inventive, but he'd just stick it places he shouldn't. Do you really want your cereal mixed with Frank's cock?"
Gerard doesn't reply, just screws up his face in thought and Mikey knows exactly what he's picturing. "Oh my god! You're such a pervert."
"I'm not the one sleeping with two men," Gerard says, and his grin is back full force. "Not that I think that's perverted."
"Good," Mikey says, and he lowers his voice when he sees they're nearly at Starbucks. "Because I might have to ask for advice later, like, double penetration, a good idea or not?"
"I hate you," Gerard says, his cheeks turning red. "I told you, no details."
He flees into the coffee shop then, and all Mikey can do is lean against the wall and laugh.