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Title: Stop Time Heart
Author: allyndra
Fandom: My Chemical Romance
Pairing: Frank/Gerard
Rating: FRT
Length: about 1,200 words
Disclaimer: Entirely the product of my vivid imagination.
Summary: Parties aren't really Gerard's thing. Parties with kissing games? Even worse.
Notes: Written for no_tags for the prompt "Frank/Gerard, party kissing games." I did not make up this game, but found it on the internet (source of all knowledge). Title from Freeze Frame by the J. Geils Band.

Mikey needed new friends. Seriously, who thought kissing games were the height of party fun after they got out of junior high? Gerard felt old and lame and weird, standing there surrounded by Mikey's freshly graduated classmates. He was pretty sure a few of them were staring at him, and the rest were ignoring him completely. Mikey himself was smooshed into an armchair with Pete Wentz, looking unfazed. Gerard crossed his arms over his chest and glared at him as Gabe explained the rules of the game. Rules, because he didn’t even have the class to go with the traditional Spin the Bottle. No, Gabe had to be creative.

“It goes like this,” Gabe said, rubbing his hands together. His face looked fucking gleeful, and Gerard sort of wanted to punch it. “Everyone scatters through the house, and the person who is It tries to tag you. Once you’re tagged, you’re frozen. To get unfrozen, someone has to kiss you. It must be on the mouth, but tongue is entirely optional.” He grinned. “Hot, but optional. Simple, right?”

Except, what if no one wanted to kiss you? What if you didn’t want to kiss the person who came to unfreeze you? What if Gabe got high on power and made them all play Naked Red Rover after the Kissing Freeze Tag?

Apparently, Gerard was the only person in the room plagued by all of these doubts, because everyone else was smiling and laughing and eyeing one another suggestively. Gerard frowned at the floor and concentrated on all the ways Mikey was going to pay for dragging him along. He was up to fifteen (#7 was: Will make me coffee every day for a month, and #12 was: Will do my laundry, EVEN THE SOCKS), when Gabe clapped his hands happily and said, “All right, boys and girls. I’m It. I’ll give you until the count of ten as a head start. Have fun!” He waggled his eyebrows suggestively, and Gerard rolled his eyes. He’d get right on that.


Fuck. Gerard joined the people shoving to get out of the room before Gabe got to ten. It was a two story house, and most of the group seemed to think that thundering up the stairs was a brilliant idea. And it might have been, except Pete was at the front of the pack with his hands out on either side of him, laughing like a maniac and hindering the people behind him as best he could. Gerard wrinkled his nose and ducked down the hallway instead.

He wasn’t much of a runner, but he was a damned good skulker. There was a little alcove under the stairs, and Gerard fit himself into it, breathing as quietly as possible. He could hear feet stomping around upstairs, giggles from somewhere in the kitchen, stifled cursing from God knew where. He wished he could have a cigarette, but the smoke would probably be a dead giveaway.

Gerard waited. And waited. He was starting to think that the utter lameness of being tagged and dealing with the laughter and public kissing might actually be better than dying of boredom here. He tapped his fingertips against the wallpaper lining his little alcove. It was old and formal, and it made Gerard feel out of place in an entirely different way than Mikey’s friends had.

He had practically no warning before Gabe got him. One moment, he was wondering if Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs had been anything like this, and the next he was throwing his hands up in front of himself in useless defense as Gabe tagged him.

“Frozen,” Gabe crowed triumphantly. “Now, stay just like that until some lucky prince or princess breaks the spell.”

And then he was gone and Gerard was left standing there with his hands still up in front of his chest. “Well, fuck,” Gerard said feelingly. He could hear the game going on around him, which was reassuring. When he was ten he’d hidden under the porch for a game of hide-and-seek with Ray and Mikey, and they had forgotten to tell him when they’d stopped playing. He’d finally emerged hours later, dirty and hungry, to find them unconcernedly playing Nintendo without him.

He was so busy listening to the sounds of tag going on in other parts of the house, he almost jumped out of his skin when someone said, “Oh!” right in front of him.

“Holy fuck,” Gerard gasped. He wanted to put a hand to his heart, but he couldn’t, because he was frozen. “Shit, did you go to the same ninja school as Gabe?”

“No, but I shared a homeroom with him for two years,” the guy said. He was short, a couple of inches shorter than Gerard, even, with dark hair, bright eyes, and a mischievous smile. “Maybe Mr. Callahan was disguising our ninja training as the morning announcements. I’m Frank.” He reached up and closed his fingers around Gerard’s right hand, giving it an abbreviated little shake.

“Gerard.” He didn’t shake back. He told himself it was because he was frozen, and not because he was feeling pissy about being surprised again.

“Anyway.” Frank took a step closer and it was weird, because Gerard had never been able to picture the kiss at the corner of Mrs. Darling’s mouth in Peter Pan, but there was one sitting clearly on the curve of Frank’s lips.

Gerard cleared his throat and leaned back a tiny bit, just enough to give himself some space without breaking the rules too badly. “That’s okay,” he said quickly.

Frank stopped, uncertain. “What?”

“It’s okay, I’ll just stay frozen. You know.” He gave a miniscule shrug. “But thanks.”

“Oh.” Frank bit his lip and stepped back. “Okay, right.” He looked small, and there wasn’t a smile or a kiss on his lips now.

“It’s, um. No offense. I’m sure you’re awesome to kiss and stuff. I just don’t want to kiss someone because they’re doing me a favor, you know? That’s, like, the antithesis of the kissing mood,” Gerard babbled.

Frank cocked his head, studying Gerard. Gerard was deeply aware of his torn hoodie and messy hair, and the fact that he was holding paint-speckled hands up in front of himself. “But what if the person isn’t doing you a favor? What if they actually want to kiss you?”

Gerard curled his lips sardonically. “Right. Nobody here knows me except my brother, and we’re close and all, but no thanks.”

“But what if …” Frank was staring at the ancient pattern of the wallpaper now. “What if someone saw you earlier, and you looked awesome but kind of grumpy? And then someone looked around for you during the game on purpose? Would that still be ‘the antithesis of the kissing mood’?”

Gerard blinked at him. “Hypothetically?” Frank shrugged. “That might not be so antithetical, then.”

Frank stopped staring at the wallpaper and looked at Gerard. “Yeah?”

What the hell. “Yeah,” Gerard replied.

Frank moved toward him, stepping right up into his space until Gerard could feel his shoulders against the palms of his hands. Frank was warm, and his tee shirt was soft and old. He was lifting his face up to Gerard’s when a shout rang out through the house. “Olly, olly oxen free! Everybody unfreeze. New round!”

Frank paused, looking questioningly at Gerard. Gerard licked his lips and said, “Fuck it.” Maybe he wasn't too old and lame and weird for kissing games. And since he was unfrozen now, he leaned forward and kissed Frank, sliding his hands around to hold him close.

Gabe found them five minutes later and stopped to say, “See? I told you the optional tongue was hot.”