Fandom: My Chemical Romance
Summary: Early MCR. Frank wants the band; he wants Ray.
Disclaimer: Never happened.
Notes: Thanks to Amy and Imp for beta reading.
Boys With Bad Hair
Frank bounced on an overturned plastic crate, the very fucking picture of restraint, as My Chem rehearsed. He could have sat on the couch, but that would have meant moving ten feet back, and he was only barely stopping from throwing himself in the middle of all of them.
The music pounded with raw honesty, straight from hearts and guts. To say Frank liked it would be making the fucking understatement of the century. From the first time he'd heard them, Frank was fixated. They were nowhere near as together as Pencey, but there was something there, something that kept pulling him in. He got them their first show - he wanted some part in their beginning - and spent the entire time jumping dangerously on a chair, watching a drunk but dynamic Gerard rile up the crowd like he was meant for it.
Pencey Prep's space was as claustrophobic, dank, and grungy as a old service station. Mattress toppers covered the walls - giant mildewing egg crates - and duct tape held the too-worn and fraying carpet together at the seams. Frank didn't think in metaphor very often, but sometimes he felt like Pencey was being held together like that, too.
The guys of My Chem had taken Frank's deal so fast it was like he'd been offering them a first rate studio built on a magic cloud instead of a dingy practice space that could barely be called a practice space. But Gerard had looked around, showing teeth that were unnaturally small for the size of his grin, and Mikey's smile had been crooked and satisfied. Otter had shrugged and said, "Cool."
Frank got it - hell, Pencey spent months upon months practicing every day in Frank's basement, and they would have been as grateful in their early days as My Chem was now. Toro had taken even Frank aside and told him - with clear, direct eyes and a voice almost painfully earnest - how much it meant to them. Frank shrugged it off, No big deal, man, but he felt something warm and wonderful build inside during that conversation.
Ray motherfucking Toro. Frank could only dream of playing like him. Gerard owned the stage, but Toro played like a rock god. He didn't play like Neil, who played decent enough for Frank to riff off him and add a little melody, but more like Frank could add something at any moment and it would just work, no matter what it was.
Toro looked just like the kid in class everyone made fun of. His short hair looked like a Brillo pad, his glasses dominated his face, and his laugh - high pitched and just too dorky for words - verged on feminine. Not that Frank had room to talk, not with his own ridiculous giggle. Together they sounded like a couple of thirteen year old skater kids smoking their first joint together.
Frank shouldn't have had a crush on him. If he'd had a crush on anyone, it should have been Otter, who looked almost normal, or too-pretty-for-his-own-good Gerard. Even Mikey, hell, even skinny little Mikeyway was adorable under his glasses and his - well, Frank didn't know what was going on with the hair.
Musically, emotionally, Frank wanted the whole band. He wanted to hang with them and listen to them and some days he was so goddamned envious of they way they related that he wanted to be them. Pencey was fighting all the fucking time lately; My Chem was like a fairy tale in comparison. Not that Frank was humming Some Day My Prince Will Come while daydreaming about Ray, but he sure was having a couple of improbable fantasies.
The after-practice time he kept sharing with Ray fueled the whole thing.
It started simple: Frank suggested a chord change and Ray listened intently before trying it out. The suggestion didn't work, but Frank couldn't have cared less. The next time it did work, and as they got to know each other's styles it worked more and more. The two of them sitting close, guitars in their laps and riffing off each other, that felt good. Intimate. Overall, Frank felt like he was contributing to My Chem as a band; personally, he was thrilled to just share the time with Ray.
Soon they started talking comics, and horror movies, and classic music. Ray's idea of classic was Iron Maiden and Cream and Megadeth, while Frank loved Bad Brains and Minor Threat. They both agreed on Black Flag, although Frank was much more into them than Ray was. The rest of the band was happy to talk about all these things too, and Frank fit in with them as close as he could without being a part of them. Ray became Frank's focus more and more, however.
An old couch sat against the wall in the practice space, a rescue from someone's sidewalk. Despite the stains, cigarette burns, and ever-useful duct tape, it served as the perfect place to sit with Ray, just the two of them, after practice. They'd smoke a few cigarettes, drink a few beers, and talk about Freddy Krueger.
"I know I don't have a lot of room to talk, but your hair is really horrible." Ray sprawled on the couch, his head resting against the back, and looked at Frank intently.
Frank laughed. "Shut up, motherfucker. My dreads are awesome."
Ray shook his head and smiled - shit, that smile would kill Frank one day - and then leaned over to take one of the dreads between his fingers. "Not really." He laughed that dorky laugh of his. Frank wanted to crawl into his lap and try to lick the sound just to see what it tasted like.
"You should let yours grow," Frank said. He wasn't uncomfortable with Ray, but he was tense all over, like a cat crouching to jump from one branch of a tree to another.
Ray's face scrunched and he patted his head. "It's nothing but curls," he admitted. "Too girly."
Trying to imagine Ray's face framed by long curls was almost impossible to do. "Like Slash?"
"I- softer," Ray said, and Frank thought about that for a few seconds. Ray playing his guitar, hair moving in time, soft against Frank's cheek as they played together.
"I bet it'd be hot." Frank took a slow drag of his cigarette, playing cool while imagining it. Next to him, Ray made half-choking noise.
"Hot. You know. Sexy," Frank teased. He didn't have to look at Ray to know he was blushing.
"Shut up," Ray muttered. "I'm not- I couldn't be."
Telling Ray he was totally hot would be a lie, of course. Except how it wouldn't be, because Frank thought he was hot. Not in any kind of way he could explain, but there was definite hotness there.
"I like your voice," Frank said, like the words came off the top of his head. The fact that he had a mental list of all the things he liked about Ray wasn't something he really wanted to share, so he worked on keeping his voice even and devoid of the longing that built day by day. "And your mouth. Lips, I mean. Um."
Ray leaned forward to look at him. Frank could see him out of the corner of his eye but he refused to look back. He'd give too much away like that, sure as shit.
Stay cool, stay conversational. "Sometimes when you play guitar, I notice your hands. You know, your fingers? They're nice. And, uh, your thighs. You've got nice thighs."
"And your arms, you know," Frank continued. His words sped up, sounding so, so - desperate? enthusiastic? hopelessly, crazily infatuated? "Shoulders and arms. And your ass, when you aren't wearing those baggy pants."
Beside him, Ray's breath quickened, and Frank risked a quick glance at him.
Ray's cheeks - hell, his whole face - was bright red. It shouldn't have been attractive, not in the least little bit, but it made Frank remember how Ray looked when he was playing hard, and that was hot as hell.
"Frank," Ray said seriously. "I'm not- But. Are you-?"
Fuck. He knew Ray didn't mean it like it sounded, but it still made him uneasy. He shifted a little, trying to hide how hard he was just sitting this close, and set his jaw. "Gay?"
Ray sputtered and blushed deeper. "That's not- I wasn't-"
"Finish a sentence, then," Frank said defensively.
Ray's deep breaths gave Frank confidence and more control, which he really fucking needed at that point. Frank's heart was beating so loud in his ears that he was half-afraid Ray would hear it.
"Are you messing with me?" Ray asked softly.
Frank bit his lip and wiped his damp palms on his jeans. "Why would I do that?"
"I- You really think those things about me?"
"Yeah," Frank said, looking down at where his cigarette had burned down to the filter between his fingers. He dropped it to the floor and ground it under his shoe, hard and deliberate, something he could control. He felt like he'd just jumped off one cliff and wasn't sure he'd make it over the crevice to the next.
"I like you, too," Ray said. So fucking honest, just like that.
"Oh." Frank felt the tension waver up and down, like an unfamiliar riff of Ray's he'd struggle to learn. He swallowed hard. "Cool."
"Would it be okay if I kissed you?" The words sounded strangled, forced out of Ray's throat.
"Yes. Fuck yes," Frank whispered, emphatic and desperate right before Ray's lips clumsily met the corner of his mouth.
Frank cut him off, turning his head and kissing him eagerly, getting a thrill because Ray's mouth, that fucking too-wide, too-soft mouth he'd been watching and obsessing over was pressed against his, lips parting with a sigh, tongues meeting for the first time in a sloppy greeting.
Ray moaned. Frank couldn't be sure if it was a wow, this is awesome moan or an I am so horny for you right now moan. But then Ray tugged Frank closer and Frank just gave in and straddled his lap like he'd been wanting to do all night, all his life, if felt like, and when he leaned in to press against him, he definitely felt it. Hot through his jeans, hard as a rock, Ray's dick strained through their pants. Frank whined against his mouth and rocked against him, embarrassingly desperate.
One of Ray's hands gripped Frank's hip while the other went up under his hair to cup the back of his neck. They kissed harder, still sloppy but too eager for each other for it to matter. Frank's arms draped around Ray's shoulders and neck while Ray's cock ground up against Frank's ass. They both panted against each other's mouths, noises ranging from groans to whimpers. Frank knew he wasn't going to last long; he was already tense and straining. So embarrassingly fucking close.
"Frank-" Ray groaned, too-low and choked off. He jerked his hips, and Frank only vaguely realized he'd come in his pants before his own slammed through him, just as fast and hard as Ray's.
Frank slumped against Ray, panting fast, his lips catching the taste of sweat on Ray's neck. "Fuck," he mumbled.
Ray didn't answer except to wrap his arms around him, holding him. It felt good; they shook together, breathing quickly, and Ray's arms were something solid holding him together.
"I don't want to move." Frank's words slurred against Ray's skin.
Ray tightened his arms around him. "You don't have to." It was almost too much heat after everything, sweaty and sticky, but Frank wouldn't have moved away if somebody paid him.
Frank shifted so he was curled against Ray's side, both his legs hanging over Ray's lap. Comfortable, closer, somewhere he wouldn't have to leave for a while.
He looked up at Ray's face and felt his slow smile turn to a grin. Ray's glasses sat cocked at a weird angle on the end of his nose, fogged and ridiculous looking. Frank reached up and pulled them off carefully, then folded them and set them on the floor, pushed a little under the bottom of the couch so distracted feet wouldn't crush them. So they wouldn't get lost.
"Thanks," Ray said, soft surprise in his voice.
Other things Frank couldn't hold on to: the van had a leak in the gas tank, he kept losing his favorite key chain. Pencey was slipping away from him.
Frank pressed a kiss - gentle, undemanding - against Ray's throat. "No problem." He reached up and wiped sweat from his nose with his thumb, his hand cupping the side of Ray's face. Then he leaned up, lips just barely brushing against Ray's: not clumsy, not hurried, just gentle and slow.
After a long, leisurely kiss, Frank pulled back again and then rested his head against Ray's chest, tucked under Ray's chin.
"So," Frank said. "I like you."
Ray laughed, ran his hand down Frank's arm to his wrist, then lower to tangle their fingers together. "Yeah, I know."