cold_clarity: (jawline)
[personal profile] cold_clarity
The Best You Can Do
PG-13 for language, primarily. Oh, and the obvious incest.
Gerard gives Mikey a drawing lesson.
Unbeta'd oneshot. If you catch any mistakes, bring on the flogging.
A/N: Written for [ profile] toucanpie , who correctly guessed my [ profile] no_tags story and requested moar Waycest, happy Waycest, and the prompts: 1. hiding out from the rain,  2. leather, or  3. post-video-shoot vignette.  Like a champ, I succeeded in writing only the Waycest and absolutely nothing else. /o\ My profuse apologies, you have them.
And as usual, none of this is real, I'm making no profit, I own nothing, you know the drill.

“Actually,” Gerard is saying, “most people can draw better than they know. It’s just that they forget to actually look at stuff.  Almost everyone draws what they think they're seeing.”

Mikey rolls his eyes. He’s heard this argument before.

Actually,” he mimics, “I think you’re full of shit.”

“No, I’m serious.” Gerard looks so desperately sincere it's almost funny.

"I know you are." Mikey flicks his misshapen napkin-doodle-figure across the table at Gerard. “But I’ll just…let this speak for itself.”

“Fuck that.” Gerard gets up. “First of all, you have to practice by working from life.” He glances at Frank, slouched on the bus’s couch. “Hey, Frank! We’re drawing you.”

He grabs another napkin.

“‘We’?” Mikey repeats, at the same time as Frank says Make sure I look hot without so much as glancing up from his Sidekick.

Providing no answer, Gerard shuffles around the edge of the table until he's behind Mikey's chair. He produces a Sharpie from his pocket and presses it into Mikey’s hand. Folds his palm over Mikey’s knuckles.

“Here, look,” he murmurs, guiding with a gentle pressure. “It’s all about shape and value.” Together, they draw a broad stroke—fast and confident. “See? Don’t think Frank. Just shapes. Lines.”

Another stroke: a swift, swooping motion—and suddenly Mikey can see the curve of Frank’s hoodie against the paper. Gerard glances up and his hair tickles Mikey’s cheek.Their hands move in tandem; squiggles and angles and sloping curves bloom in the wake of their fingers. Gerard breathes deep and slow—concentrating. Mikey can feel the rise and fall of his chest against the back of his shoulders. Can feel the cool rush of Gerard’s exhalations against his skin.

Gerard shifts a little, fingers tightening on Mikey’s hand. Pulling him. Drawing lines in a new direction. And Mikey feels clumsy and disjointed, his arm a dead weight under Gerard’s touch.

“There!” Gerard announces.

Sure enough, there’s Frank slouched figure, rendered in dramatic shadow. Gerard pulls away, an abrupt absence of warmth. Mikey sits up straighter, fighting the urge to shiver. He turns the marker over between his fingers.

“Gerard,” he tries to sound wry, “I don’t think you really proved a point.”

“I totally did. You drew it. Look!”

He grabs the Sharpie and ducks down, adding something. When he straightens up, he twists the napkin so Mikey can see. There, at the bottom left corner, in scrawling letters, Mikey reads Michael James “The Great” Way written out and punctuated with a completely insipid cartoon heart. He tosses the Sharpie cap at Gerard.

“You’re an idiot.” He wrinkles his nose. “And your breath smells like coffee.”

Gerard grins and leans down again, blowing a puff coffee-and-cigarette-scented air right in Mikey’s face. Mikey recoils with nowhere to go. Trapped between Gerard and the chair.


He shoves at Gerard’s shoulder because seriously, what are they, five?

Gerard just grins again, still leaning close. “You love it.”

Mikey can’t think of an appropriate retort, so he shoves at Gerard once more—only this time Gerard catches his wrist and tugs him in. Their mouths touch, chapped lips against chapped lips in a completely half-assed moment of confusion.

It ends before Mikey can gasp or lean in or jerk back. Gerard is gone, spinning away and waltzing down the bus, shout-singing the chorus to I’m So Excited until Frank yells at him to shut the fuck up. Mikey just sits, reeling a little. Resisting the urge to touch his mouth. He looks at Frank, who hasn’t moved at all. Hasn’t given any indication that he even noticed

Mikey closes his eyes and exhales. He hears the door to the bunk area open, and then click shut. Everything’s quiet, except for the sound of Frank tapping at his Sidekick again.

When he opens his eyes, his gaze drifts back to the napkin. He thumbs over the “signature” at the bottom. Reaching for the Sharpie, he adds an ’s after the heart, and then scribbles, in cramped lettering:  Gerard Arthur “The Greatest” Way, even though his breath is gross. Folding the napkin, he gets to his feet and strides back to the bunks.

Gerard’s curtain hangs half open, and Mikey can see his brother’s feet tapping against the foot of the bed frame.

“Hey.” He shoves the curtain back.

“Hey.” Gerard pulls his earbuds out.

“I have a present for you.” He tosses the napkin onto Gerard’s chest.

Gerard picks it up. Reads the addition and smiles.

“You’re gonna make me blush, Mikes.”


He stuffs his hands in his pockets and rocks back onto his heels. Studies a spot just above Gerard’s head, where his hair makes red lines against his pillow. The silence draws out.

“You okay?” Gerard asks, eventually.

Mikey shrugs. “Yeah.”

“So you’re just going to stand there?”

“Maybe.” There’s a tension building along his spine. Muscles knitting themselves into knots down the column in his back. Drawing him up too tight.

Gerard sits up a little, propping himself up with his elbows. The napkin still bunched in his hand.


Mikey looks at him now, drawing in a breath like he’s bracing himself for something. Only nothing happens. Gerard just shifts over, closer to the wall. Making room.


Mikey crawls into the bunk even though, realistically, there isn’t enough room for both of them. They end up with legs tangled, shoulders bumping, and no place to put their hands. In spite of the pressure in his chest, the viscous thickness clotting low between his lungs and his diaphragm, Mikey laughs.

“This is probably not your best idea.”

Gerard swats him—or tries to. He can’t, really, from the angle he’s at. His knuckles just glance off of Mikey’s shoulder.

“Kiss my ass.”

He tucks the napkin into the collar of Mikey’s shirt. It itches, but Mikey doesn’t move it.

“Thanks though,” Gerard continues. “And I’m sorry.”

Mikey closes his eyes. He breathes out and imagines his body deflating. “It’s fine.”

“No, really, I’m—”

“I said it’s fine.”

He feels Gerard move again. The mattress lifts and then dips. When Mikey looks, he sees Gerard leaning over him, one hand braced on either side of his shoulders. His hair swings down, brushing against Mikey’s face for the second time.

“I mean it,” Gerard murmurs, and then leans in.

The kiss lasts, this time, and Mikey can feel his heartbeat pick up. Can feel his blood pumping hot through the branching pathways of his veins and arteries—a bright-light pattern unfurling under his skin. His palms itch. He wants to yank Gerard’s hair, to grab hold of his hips—but he doesn’t move. Just catches Gerard’s bottom lip between his teeth while the weight in his chest reminds him that this is the best he’s going to get.

When they break apart, the taste of stale coffee lingers in his mouth. He tells himself to grin.

“Okay,” he says. The crumpled napkin scratches against his skin. “I forgive you.”
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