A Game of Dress Up by Arsenic
Summary: Ten stories written by request for Frank's 2008 bday.
Categories: Bandslash Characters: Frank Iero
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 8954 Read: 6559 Published: 18/01/09 Updated: 18/01/09
Chapter 1 by Arsenic
liketheroad: Frank/Mikey/Jon, pirates

The day after Gerard had dubbed Mikey a gay French pirate, Frank got all jittery and weird, like he did when he had something to say but didn't know how to say it. This was an odd situation for Frank to be in, because he usually just said whatever the fuck he was thinking and got it over with, but this time was different. The worst part was, he knew he got jittery and weird--it annoyed the hell out of him probably as much as the guys. Sometimes, if they were somewhere where a ball and a hoop were available, Ray would play him at basketball until some of the nervous energy wore off. Bob usually just gave in to temptation and sat on him. Gerard he tried to avoid because Gerard would feed off the manic energy, which wasn't good for anyone. Mikey, though, would just let Frank be, let the energy waste itself up until Frank could either talk or didn't really need to anymore. Which sucked, in this case, because Mikey was the one person to whom he most certainly could not say what he needed to say.

By the third week, when he still hadn't gotten the words out of his mouth, Mikey found him and said, "You're avoiding me and you're not talking."

"Am not," Frank said, which, as replies went, wanted for something.

Mikey rolled his eyes. "Really? That's what you've got?"

"Short notice," Frank said defensively.

"Gerard wants to solar panel the bus. Have us run on the sun. He has pointed out that this term rhymes to me. Twice."

"Well that is ecologically sort of--" Frank stalled out at the look Mikey was giving him.

Something softened in Mikey at Frank's silent capitulation, though and he said, "Whatever the hell it is, just close your eyes and say it. I'll pretend I didn't hear afterward, if you want."

Fank started, "I'm not sure you'll be able--"

"You have no idea, some of the crap I've scrubbed from my brain. I grew up with Gerard, remember?"

This was, actually, a fairly valid point. Frank closed his eyes, screwed up his face, breathed in and out for several moments on end and then blurted, "Ikindahaveadamselbeingkidnappedbypiratesfantasy."

When he opened his eyes, Mikey just looked confused. Eventually he admitted, "I have no idea what you just said to me."

Frank sighed. "Pirates. I have a--" He put his head down. "Fantasy, like." He gestured at his groin. "Damsel in distress, pirates. It's not, like, so weird."

Mikey said slowly. "Um. I guess I don't understand why that's a big deal."

Frank's eyes flew to Mikey's face. "Gee, he-- In the interview, about your striped shirt and he was 'Mikeyway's gay--"

"--French pirate phase," Mikey finished, and now he was looking, well, not disgusted, which was something. Mikey blinked. "Wait, so, I'd be the pirate?"

"Mikey--"

"Because that's--" Mikey's eyes went a little unfocused. "Huh."

"Mikey--" Frank started again, a little more desperate this time.

Mikey stated, "I lied."

"What?"

"I lied. I'm not going to pretend I didn't hear that."

"But--"

"I'm not going to pretend at all," Mikey stated, and stepped with one long stride, close enough to capture his damsel's mouth, which was, admittedly, hanging right open, waiting to be plundered.

*


It wasn't just pirates and damsels. It started that way, started as something special they would do when they had the energy. Sex without the trappings was pretty damn good between them, so Frank didn't really need anything extra, it was just a bonus. After the first few times, though, Frank said, "How 'bout teacher and student?"

Mikey said, "You're such a cliche."

"You come up with something better."

Mikey smiled lazily, just a quirk of the lips. "I didn't say I minded."

Occasionally, Mikey would come up with something he wanted to try, but mostly he left it to Frank to request the scenarios, fill in the details. And as far as they might have gone away from the pirate thing, from pillage and plunder to daily misadventures, they always, always came back to it. There was something in Mikey's monotone rendering of pirate speak that went straight to Frank's cock. (Mikey had once abused this knowledge in an interview. It was the one and only time the damsel ended up topping the pirate afterward.)

They were so used to each other's comfort with playing out scenes that neither of them was quite sure what to do when the Jon thing happened.

*


The Jon Thing was one of Pete's matchmaking schemes gone horribly awry. This happened on occasion, they were all very nearly used to it: as used as people could be to natural disasters, at least. Jon was supposed to be for Bob. And, Frank had to admit, it made sense. They were both low maintenance, one-time tech, Chicago loving, dudes. Pete couldn't have been expected to know that their utter alikeness made them friendly, but largely uninterested in one another. That wasn't the horribly awry part. Had it been left to Bob and Jon, things actually would have been fine.

As it turned out, though, Bob had a band. A band with Frank and Mikey in it. And Mikey, well, Frank was sad to admit it, but Mikeyway was a one-way ticket to trouble. It was amazing, really, that the universe hadn't exploded the first time he and Pete kissed. He was Frank's trouble, though, so when he got terribly, awkwardly quiet and started doing things like writing songs with only a bass line and nothing else, Frank said, "Just spit it out."

Mikey pretended not to know what he was talking about, but Frank was a Very Smart Cookie. Many people, including his mother and his third grade teacher, had assured him of that. (The first time, Frank had actually asked as to what kind of cookie, but after his mom explained the saying, he'd been good to go.) He put his hands on his hips and said, "Tell me or I'll kiss your brother every single show we play next week."

"You can have him," Mikey said defiantly.

Frank blinked because, uh, that wasn't something they really joked about. They discussed it, because yeah, Frank and Gerard sometimes kissed during shows, and Frank needed to know where Mikey was in that as much as Mikey needed to know he had a say in it, but they didn't joke about it. After a second Mikey said, "I didn't mean that."

"No shit," Frank all-but-gasped.

"Just. JonWalkerwouldmakeareallyhotship'scaptain."

It took Frank a bit, but he untangled the communication. "Oh. Like. Like, to protect my virtue?"

Mikey hesitated, then nodded fervently. "And, like, I'm a pirate, so instead I could totally threaten your life if he didn't--"

"--let you have a show," Frank breathed. Then, "You're a genius." He knew this, but sometimes he was forcefully reminded.

Softly, Mikey asked, "You're not mad?"

Frank scrambled to give Mikey a long, sloppy kiss. "I'm not the only one in this relationship who gets to have hot fantasies, Mikeyway."

"Would you still feel that way if I said that the pirate totally wants to, uh, force the captain to submit to his whims?"

The imagery nearly blinded Frank. "Nnh," he said succinctly, and went back to kissing.

*


They spent months before seeing Jon again trying to decide how to tell him, which all went by the wayside when Jon grinned at them like they were the best sight ever and gave them easy, Jon-soft hugs, and asked, '"What mischief have the two of you been up to?"

Frank said, "Considering how you'd look in a captain's uniform."

Mikey smacked Frank and then spared a smack for his own forehead. Frank didn't even say "ow." He'd totally deserved that.

"I can say confidently that I'm pretty hot in one. Or, well, I was when I was a kid and my dad put me in sailing lessons every summer on the lake and 'graduation' was always done in those uniforms. I've gained a few pounds and all, but I bet I could still pull it off. Why, what'd you need?" he asked, like Frank's opening volley was the first thing he heard in conversation every day.

Mikey said, mostly to Frank, "Either he's been brain-damaged by close proximity to the rest of his band, or he's the most perfect boy in the world."

"It's the latter. You can ask my band."

"Really?" Frank challenged.

"Well, if you gave them truth serum and something to file off the sarcasm." Jon's eyes were warm and sure, his posture easy.

Mikey asked, "How do you feel about role-playing?" and Frank saw the lick of interest that wove its way up Jon's body.

Frank said, quietly, "Most perfect boy in the world it is."

imntsaying: Frank/Jepha/Jon, candy stripers

It was Gerard's idea to throw Bob the vicars and tarts party for his birthday. Lindsay really did have to take some blame, because she was the one who had bought Gerard the Bridget Jones' DVDs for his birthday--Frank didn't care if Gerard had put it on his list, there were times when the people who loved Gerard had to know better. Ray had tried explaining that he didn't think Bob would really care much for either vicars or tarts, but Gerard had been convinced of his own genius and even Mikey had given up after about a week of Gerard's inexhaustible enthusiasm. Finally, he'd thrown his hands up and said, "Fine, but I get to be the Playboy Bunny. All of you fuckers can find your own costumes."

Gerard had pouted about that for a bit, but after realizing he'd gotten his way, just decided, "I can be the red devil tart. You know, with the horns."

"Or a vicar," Ray had said, reasonably and clearly without any hope of his suggestion being listened to.

Gerard said, "But I already did the priest thing," and wandered off.

Ray looked at Frank who said, "I just play the fucking guitar, man."

Ray said, "I know better, Iero."

*


Gerard had made Brian do the invites, since Brian knew who all their friends were and wouldn't not invite someone just because his lead singer hated Gerard with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. Hence, Frank wasn't surprised to see Jepha there. It was in Chicago, Pete, Patrick, Andy and Joe were pretty inevitable, and even Jon Walker wasn't all that unusual, but it was a little weird to see Jon and Jepha hanging out. Frank had no idea how the two of them would have met. Panic usually toured with more Panic-like bands, so far as Frank could tell. He didn't pay all that much attention, but Mikey did, or at least, Mikey listened to Pete, which was the equivalent.

Frank went over to say hi to Jepha, because he just didn't get to see him often enough. Walker had been chill enough on the few occasions when Frank had run into him. As soon as he was within arm's length, Jepha reached out and pulled him into a hug. "Nice to see you, motherfucker."

"You kiss your mother with that mouth?"

"No, I reserve the kissing for yours," Jepha said with a smirk. "You've met Jon?"

"Couple of times," Frank said, holding out a hand.

Jon smiled. "Good to see you again."

"What the hell are you dressed as, Iero? A candy striper?"

"Got it in one," Frank said easily.

"This is a vicars and tarts party, right? I mean, Brian didn't accidentally invite me to the March of Dimes seasonal ball, or anything?"

Frank flipped him off. "I practically grew up in hospitals. Trust me, if there's a bigger tart in the world than candy stripers, I've yet to find it. Kinky little buggers."

Jepha laughed. "All right, you win."

"Besides, Mikey had already claimed the bunny costume."

"Mm," Jepha said appreciatively. "I noticed."

Frank smacked Jepha's shoulder, but turned his attention to Jon. "What the hell is up with your costume?"

Jon had a piece of black cylindrical plastic sticking up from the top of his head in a bit of arch and was dressed in all red. He looked down with a smile. "I'm a cherry. Y'know, cherry tart."

Frank grinned. That was pretty clever. Jon said, "I wanted to be peach, but Ryan said Brendon had to be the peach and I had to be the cherry and Ryan tends to get his way in the end so, uh, I went and found a red shirt."

"Ryan and Spencer?"

"Strawberries and cream," Jon said with a straight face.

"Ryan's kind of a kinky little shit, huh?" Jepha asked, sounding more impressed than he probably meant to.


"That's for members of my band to know, and you not to find out," Jon said primly, before taking a considerable swig of the beer he was holding.

Frank tore his eyes away from Jon's throat, back to Jepha. Jepha gave him a knowing look. Frank ignored it. "So, vicar?"

Jepha shrugged in his costume, which covered nearly every available inch of skin. "Thought I'd shock and appall. It was this or the naughty nurse thing, and honestly, it's been done. Although, if I'd known we were doing a hospital them I'm sure I could have worked it."

Frank laughed. "Nah, this leaves more to the imagination."

"Frankie's very imaginative," Jepha said, both fond and droll, looking past Frank to Jon.

"Oh?" Jon asked lightly. "What are you imagining right now, Frank?"

Frank looked between the two of them, the clues dropping into place. He brushed a little past Jon to get behind him, hang on his shoulders and whisper--his eyes on Jepha the whole time--"I'm imagining you undressing him button by button, piece by piece, so that each inch of skin, each line of ink is uncovered on its own, bared to your tongue. By the time you reach his elbows he'll be fucking begging you to speed up, but I've already sucked your cock so there's no hurry, not for you, and he begs so, so nicely."

Jon's breath was catching on every inhale, shuddering out at each exhale. Frank asked, "Wanna hear the rest?"

Jon whimpered a bit, and Frank took that as encouragement. "You don't rush, you let him beg, all the way to his knees, all the way to his toes, slow, slow, slow. He's so hard it hurts, but he knows better than to come, knows what happens to bad little boys who don't wait for permission. You tell me to suck him, even though my jaw's a little sore, because you're pretty thick, but I want to, I want to crawl over him, take him in my mouth, listen to him scream while I can feel you watching both of us. You pull me off by my hair just as he starts screaming his pleas, and I look at you, petulant. I do petulant very well," Frank murmured.

Jepha, who couldn't hear a thing, Frank was sure, over the music, was watching the two of them, his eyes wide, pupils blown. Frank continued, "You ignore this, though, and roll a condom onto me, just as you have yourself, and I think you're going to fuck me, maybe, while I fuck him. It's a pretty exciting thought. But you lie down and have him fuck himself on your cock, make him ride you for long, endless moments before saying, 'Frank, there's enough room for both of us.'"

Jon made a strangled noise and stiffened. Frank smiled. "I haven't even gotten to the part where he takes it, yet."

Breathlessly, Jon said, "My imagination's pretty good, too."

"Then you can just finish the scenario," Frank said. "Room 310."

He sauntered off then, not looking to see if they would follow. Candry stripers always got their way.

dragonfly66: Frank/Mikey/Brian, ghost, the old school kind

"That doesn't count. Tell him that doesn't count," Frank appealed to Brian. Brian could usually be made to see sense. In this case, that Mikey cutting a couple of holes in a sheet, putting it over his head and calling it a costume was not going to cut it.

Mikey, under his sheet, turned flatly questioning eyes to Brian.

"Why do you feel it doesn't count, Frank?" Brian asked in his best faux-councilor voice.

"I hate you," Frank said sincerely.

Brian gave him a wounded look, which meant that he was wholly unimpressed by Frank's posturing. Mikey said, "I like ghosts."

"You're not a ghost," Frank said, flailing a bit. "You're a man under a sheet!"

"Nobody will recognize me," Mikey said.

Frank couldn't really argue with that, but, "A disguise is not the same thing as a costume."

"You been hitting the OED again?" Brian asked. "Because we talked about this, Frank--"

"Oh, blow me," Frank said, but the ire in it was somewhat dampened by the fact that he was laughing.

"Ghosts are more complex than zombies," Mikey said.

"Fine," Frank said, "whatever. Be a sheet man for trick-or-treating. See if I care."

"I think I will," Mikey told him, then settled on the floor beneath his sheet, hands peeking out to operate his Sidekick. Not that Frank would have admitted it, but it was probably the cutest fucking thing he'd ever seen.

*


It wasn't usual that they were home for Halloween, so when the opportunity had arisen, Frank said, "I want to go trick-or-treating for my birthday."

Brian and Mikey had shared a glance before Brian said, "Okay."

Frank looked at them suspiciously. "Just like that?"

"It is your birthday," Brian pointed out mildly.

"I get to dress two of the dogs," Mikey said.

"Mikey--"

"Two," Mikey persisted.

Frank sighed. "One."

"Deal," Mikey said. Frank imagined that was all he had wanted to begin with. Frank sucked at negotiating with Mikey.

"Guys, just, make sure the costumes make it hard if not impossible to recognize you," Brian said.

"You too, Schechter. The girlies totally want some of you." Frank made kissy faces.

Brian took him up on it, kissing him and setting him totally off-balance, so that he had to clutch at Brian not to fall over. Brian laughed. "Dipstick."

"Yeah," Frank agreed easily and went in for more kissing.

*


Frank went as a stegosaurus, which was much cooler than a not-ghost, even if he had nearly ended the lives of roughly three children with his tail apparatus. The children had lived, and Frank's costume rocked. All was well. Additionally, given Frank and Brian's size, everyone seemed to think that Mikey was just an unusually tall high schooler. Frank would have been insulted, but he was having too much fun.

"Oh, Dots," Mikey said happily, rooting through Brian's loot in between houses. "I get the red ones."

"You can have them all," Brian said, and Frank could hear him making a face, even if he couldn't see it underneath his Smokey the Bear mask. Brian was weird, but that was okay, Frank liked him that way.

"Frank likes the green ones," Mikey said, and Frank knew that later, Mikey would organize all the candy by everyone's favorites, making painfully sure that he felt it was all even and portioning off a significant amount to give to the local battered women's or homeless shelter. He bumped into Mikey on purpose and smiled when Mikey stumbled into Brian, who caught him and righted him.

"Jerk," Brian said.

Frank did his best dinosaur growl.

rufus: Frank/Jepha/Ryan/Jon, scarecrow, cowardly lion

"Yeah," Spencer laughed, "I'm pretty much gonna have to get a picture of this."

"Blow me," Ryan said without heat.

"Fuck yeah, we need a picture," Jepha said. "Where the hell's my tin can?"

"You left it with Bert," Frank said, "so, good luck getting it back."

Jepha waved a silver-painted hand. "I can handle Bert McCracken." He wandered off in the last direction they'd seen him.

Frank sighed and straightened his wig so that the pigtails fell evenly on either side of his head. He said to Spencer, "This might be a while."

"I can wait," Spencer said calmly. "It's not every day Pete throws a costume ball for his daughter's tenth birthday and the entire cast of The Wizard of Oz appears in the form of guitar and bass players."

Jon shook his head, or, well, his mane. "Spencer's right. Documentation is all important."

"Guess it's a good thing I bullied Jepha into Tin Man, then," Frank said, smoothing his skirt. "He really wanted to be Galinda."

Ryan said, "Oh, silver," and for a second all of them stared at him until Frank realized Ryan was looking at his shoes.

Defensively, Frank started, "In the book they're--"

"--silver, yeah, but nobody ever remembers that," Ryan said, his smile making the straw-yellow makeup and black paint of his nose crease. It was hotter than it should have been. Frank was a total perv. Then again, so was Jepha, so it worked out for them.

Jepha returned triumphant--if a bit winded. He asked Frank, "How did my band get invited to this party anyway?"

"I'm pretty sure it's because we're married," Frank told him with no pity whatsoever.

"Really? Who'd you get to forge my signature?"

"Gerard. He's an artistic genius."

"You sure he didn't sign his own name?" Jepha didn't sound so sure.

"I'll sic Toto on you, see if I won't," Frank warned.

"Uh, guys?" Spencer interrupted. "Picture?"

"Oh, right," Jepha said, and moved to where it would be easiest for the four of them to stand all together.

Tucked in between Jepha and Ryan, Frank's hand brushed the rough straw coming out of Ryan's sleeves, the oddly soft skin below it. Ryan caught his breath. Frank made himself smile for the camera.

*


Later, when the four of them somehow found themselves in an elevator together, Jon said, "So, just to make it clear, I don't usually whore out my boyfriend."

Jepha snorted with laughter. Jon looked offended and Ryan's eyes were narrowing alarmingly. Frank said, "Uh, you should maybe take off the lion mask before you say things like 'whore out my boyfriend.'"

"Oh," Jon said, pulling it over his head. "Yeah, fair enough."

Underneath the mask, Jon was disheveled and a little flushed and it was obvious to Frank that Jepha wanted to go down on his knees in the elevator. Frank said, "Down, boy."

Jepha flipped him off but also dragged his eyes from Jon, so Frank considered it a victory. Jon smiled. "So. We're in agreement?"

"How big's your room?" Frank asked.

"Pete booked me a suite," Ryan said, the fond eyeroll audible in his tone.

"Your place it is," Jepha said.

*


Ryan said, "I'm showering first. This shit itches." He made a gesture at his face.

Frank pulled the wig from his head, kicked off the uncomfortable shoes and said, "Lemme help you with that."

"Hey. Mine itches too," Jepha whined. Only it was never quite a whine with Jepha; more like a challenge.

It was Jon's turn to laugh at Jepha and give him a shove in the direction of the bathroom. "Relax, your turn will come."

"I'm impatient," Jepha told him. "Ask Frank."

Frank laughed a little. Jepha, in fact, had the patience of Job when it came to his guys. Everything else--well, he liked to be made to be patient. Frank reached in and turned on the tap, giving it a minute before he ran his hand under the faucet. He told Jon, "Underside of the left earlobe," and ushered a newly and conveniently naked Ryan into the shower, just as Jon took his advice and set to making Jepha squirm.

Frank scrambled out of his clothes. If he was being honest, he really wasn't all that patient either.

fuschia: Frank/Brian, plastic costume handcuffs

The handcuffs started as a joke. And really, what else did toy plastic handcuffs usually start as, unless you were a kid playing cops & robbers? Frank wasn't a kid, and last time he had checked, neither was Brian, so he was fairly sure that the cuffs were just a bit of good, clean fun. Well, as clean as anything ever got with both Brian and Frank involved, which was maybe hygienic, but not clean. Still, just a joke.

Brian had shown up with them one night after Frank had managed to annoy the ever loving shit out of the sound techs by flailing in ways that ended up damaging some of the equipment. He'd handcuffed Frank to the railing while they were outside having a smoke and said, "Stay." Then he'd left Frank until it nearly started raining. Frank could have broken free, the things were plastic. But something in the way Brian had said the word made Frank stay, made him still. He'd fought it at first, but after a bit he hadn't really wanted to.

When Brian came back, the first drops falling on Frank's face, he said, "Frank, what the hell? It's about to rain."

Frank blinked at him a few times and said, "Oh. Yeah. Smells nice."

*


Brian must have caught on, because while he played the things off like a joke every time--faux punishment, Frank being in the doghouse--what they really meant was an hour, maybe two, where Frank didn't have to think about where he needed to be or what he needed to do. All he had to, his whole task, was to stay. Frank would have thought he would have found it impossible; it had always been very nearly so in the hospital. As it turned out, though, it was easy, easy to just listen and let everything go. Brian always managed to find places where Frank wouldn't be bothered, and he was careful not to leave Frank too long, not to forget about him, not to use the knowledge of the ways that Frank would submit in a harmful manner.

Sometimes Brian would ask a question or two, like, "Would it help if it were something more sturdy?" to which Frank had shaken his head--he liked knowing he could get away should the need arise. When Brian asked, "This-- Is this okay?" Frank nodded, and didn't look at Brian, not until Brian put his hand to Frank's chin and made him. Whatever he'd seen in Frank's face made him nod.

He left Frank longer that time, Frank was pretty sure. And when he came back, he took his time pulling Frank out of the quiet, the stillness. As he was surfacing Frank wondered who did this for Brian, but the thought floated away when Brian smiled and said, "You with me?"

"Where else would I be, fucker?" Frank asked, and if his words came a little slow, well, Brian didn't mention it.

*


One time Frank fell asleep standing up. Brian found him on the cement floor behind the arena, wrist still in the plastic cuff. Upon being woken, Frank murmured, "Arm hurts."

Brian massaged the soreness from his arm and said, "Next time, you're sitting down first."

Frank said, "Whatever you say," and smiled and kissed at Brian's jaw before he thought about what he was doing. When Brian looked down at Frank, he was fidgeting, which he always did, always except after these sessions, at least for a few hours.

Brian asked, "Um. Frank?"

Frank waved his hands wildly enough that Brian had to step away a bit in order to avoid being smacked. Then, just as suddenly, Frank lowered his arms to his side. "Sorry. Kind of out of it."

Brian said, "Well, that explains the stage gay," his voice not quite sardonic enough.

Frank said, "I didn't--" but Brian caught his eye at that moment and he couldn't finish, could say "mean it." Frank was a great liar, a fantastic, brilliant, unconventional liar. He just, problematically, had ethics about lying.

Brian said, "Show now. Food later?"

"Your treat," Frank said, and bounded off for the stage, grateful for the excuse to get away, to roam, to move.

"Whatever," Brian called. "I know what your paycheck looks like."

*


Frank was pumped after the show, on a post-playing high with a buzz of nervous energy to boot. Brian didn't say anything aside from cutting him off after one soda. When they headed back to the hotel, however, Brian grabbed one of Frank's wrists, circling it with his hand and said, "Sh." It wasn't a sharp command, could even have been mistaken for a request. Frank didn't make that mistake. He quieted.

Brian squeezed his fingers a little bit, not so much it hurt, but close. He said, "Yeah?"

Frank whispered, "Yeah."

complications_g: Frank/Spencer, ninja

"That's it," Spencer said. It didn't really sound scary, not the way Ryan had warned Frank about. Maybe it would have if Spencer could have seen Frank, but Frank was hiding in the luggage hold of Panic's bus, waiting for them to get a look of the decals he had lovingly applied to it over night. It was one of his better moves in the prank war that had existed between Brendon and himself since the beginning of the fest. Brendon was clever, but he didn't have quite the age and experience that Frank had amassed. As such, Frank was the clear winner so far.

Ryan had warned Frank--or, well, Pete had told Mikey that Ryan had said that it was fine so long as nobody pissed Spencer off, but whatever. Frank couldn't take men who grew stupid facial hair just because seriously. He knew, he was one of them.

So, yes, clearly Spencer had hit some sort of line, nobody said, "That's it," for any other reason unless having a Eureka! moment, and Spencer didn't seem to be having one of those, but he just didn't sound all that fearsome and Frank was a ninja. No pansy-ass drum player was going to best him. They sat down to perform, for fuck's sake.

Frank waited until Spencer headed in a direction probably meant to lead him to Ryan and slipped safely and silently from their bus to his.

*


By the end of the first week after Spencer had declared himself involved, Frank had had to play an entire show without his favorite guitar, found an actual honest-to-fuck spider in his bunk--and, more horrifyingly, had to ask Bob to get it out for him--and discovered artfully manipulated pictures of himself fellating a horse on the internet. Frank didn't usually know how to stop when he was ahead, or anything, but there were times when he clued in.

He was not, however, one to admit defeat. Never that. Instead he approached Spencer like a man and asked, "Spencer Smith, will you do me the honor of marrying me?"

Spencer Smith cocked one hip, clearly unimpressed. "We're in Texas, Iero. I'm pretty sure they don't do that down here."

Frank would have liked to say that Spencer's blase attitude toward his clear remittance didn't turn him on, but Frank was always honest with himself, if nobody else. "This could be our betrothal. We'll be in Canadia soon."

"Three weeks," Spencer said, not yet falling to Frank's numerous and undeniable charms.

"A lengthy betrothal, I recognize, but--"

Spencer walked off. Just up and pivoted and walked off in the middle of Frank's wooing speech. Frank pressed his palm to his jeans, over his cock. There was nothing he liked more than a game of cat and mouse.

*


Ironically or no, Frank was pretty sure Brendon was his in. Ryan wouldn't give him the time of day when it came to talking about Spencer, and Jon was on the Empires bus a little too often to be much help. Brendon, however, looked like the kind of guy who could be easily seduced and won over by a six pack of red bull and a Costco-size bag of peanut M&Ms.

Indeed, upon seeing said bag, Brendon asked suspiciously, "Where did you get these?" as though M&Ms were actually contraband and the warden might come and interrogate them about their smuggling activities. Frank said, "Ray has a Costco card."

"Huh. Maybe we should do that," Brendon said, before diving into the bag.

"I need to know Spencer Smith's greatest weakness."

Brendon rolled his eyes. "Everyone knows that, stupid."

Oh, right. Ross. "Uh. His second greatest weakness."

"Shoes, which, hate to tell you, but almost everyone knows."

"Twenty-third?"

"Confidential."

Frank affected a look of extreme betrayal. "Five pounds of M&Ms, Brendon Urie."

"I'll give you his thirty-third."

Frank thought about it for a moment. "It's a deal," he said and waited until they had shaken on it to trust a word Brendon spilled.

*


"What's the meaning of this?" Spencer asked, holding his Sidekick directly in front of Frank's face. Too close, actually, for Frank to see it. He moved it away a bit so that he could see the invite he'd sent to his Gourmet Chef party.

"Uh. I want you to come to my party?" Frank tried.

"You're holding a Gourmet Chef party in Minnesota."

"Minnesotans have to eat too, Spencer Smith."

"And you want me to come."

Frank just batted his eyelashes.

Spencer said, "Fine, whatever. I get your free gift."

"It shall be my dowry."

Spencer actually cracked a smile at that. Frank took the moment of rare evidence of humor to say, "How'd you get on my bus? Was it Gee? I think it was Gee."

"I have ninja skills," Spencer told him, face once more straight.

"Bob?"

"Ninja."

"Mikey? Sometimes he's bitchier than he looks, which is funny, because he can make himself--"

"Ninja."

"Holy shit. Ray?"

Spencer was laughing when he said, "Ninja," no more than two syllables of laughter strung together.

libgirl: Mikey/Pete/Frank, magician/gypsy/hobbit

"What are you going as?" Mikey asked for the sixth year in a row, peering into the dark recesses of the Goodwill store.

"I don't know," Frank told him for the sixth year in a row. It was a tradition, and Frank knew what came of fucking with tradition. Nothing good.

Six years earlier had been when Frank had said, "You know what we should do?"

"We?" Mikey had asked. Wisely, because Mikey knew that "we" could mean different things, anywhere from "I" to "us and our fans."

"You and me and Pete."

"What should we do?" Mikey asked, cautiously. Mikey knew Frank all too well. It made Frank happy.

"Throw a charity ball for my birthday. A masked ball."

Mikey didn't say anything, which Frank knew meant that he was actually considering. Frank went ahead while he still had Mikey's attention. "Think about it. Pete is always trying to plan birthday parties for me, they're always disasters, and nobody walks away unscathed. This way Pete gets to throw a party, everyone gets to dress up and we raise money for, you know, kids in Uganda or the environment, whatever we choose that year."

After a long moment, Mikey asked, "You really want your birthday to turn into a publicity clusterfuck?"

"My birthday lasts twenty-four hours. I think I can take four of them to dress up like whatever I want and help some other people out. Yeah, I think-- I think that sounds good."

"Is this an inappropriate time for me to comment on how hot you are?"

"Way to objectify me," Frank said.

"Whatever, take off your clothes."

*


Every year they went thrift store shopping. Frank thought it was kind of hypocritical to wear an expensive costume to a charity affair and Mikey just really liked thrift stores. They would always call Pete in the middle and try to make him give up what he was wearing. It never worked. Pete was a mastermind of subterfuge.

Every year they went in with no idea of what they wanted to be and no matter how long it took or how many stores they had to go to, they always found costumes that made them happy. When they had, Pete would try and get that information from them. But Mikey could keep secrets better than most trained government operatives and Frank just liked annoying Pete, so Pete never had any luck either.

One year Mikey explained solemnly to Pete, "It's like a wedding. The groom can't see the bride before the wedding."

Pete thought about that and said, "But he can see the dress."

"Kinda starting to wish you had bought us a ring, huh?" Frank asked.

"Don't tempt me," Pete said.

*


"You look like a Vegas pimp. Either that, or Ryan Ross. Oh, wait--"

Mikey said, "Be nice," and adjusted his top hat. In truth, Mikey looked hella hot, but Frank couldn't let a combination of top hat, face paint and flashy clothes underneath a black cloak go uncommented upon. It wasn't in his genetic makeup.

"Or?"

"Or I'll find an Orc and set him on you."

Frank glanced in the mirror at his homespun look and the fake rubber feet that he'd consented to buying through an actual costume shop. He'd said, "If I can't take advantage of my height by being the most perfect hobbit ever, what can I do, really?" In response to Mikey, he pulled himself up to his full height. "Orcs don't scare me."

"Even Bob-shaped Orcs?"

"Especially not Bob-shaped Orcs," Frank declared.

"Orcs come in Bob-shape?" a third voice asked and Mikey spun around, already moving toward Pete. Frank followed on his heels. When they'd gotten all the hugging and kissing and scowling at each other not to fuck their costumes up out of the way, Pete said, "No, really, I want a Bob-Orc."

"Why, when you can have a Frank-hobbit?" Mikey asked.

"Valid," Pete admitted.

Frank took the first good look at Pete he'd really had, at the darkly colorful clothing, the rucksack, the bling. "Way to totally exoticise someone else's culture."

Pete said, "Well, I was going to go in traditional Hawaiian gear, but Joe made a persuasive, if tangential argument that that wasn't actually a costume."

"You listened to Joe?" Mikey said, shaking his head in disappointment. "Pete, we've discussed what marijuana does to your brain."

"It's possible I was also high at the time, but whatever, I pinkie swore."

"Oh, well then," Frank said.

"Shuddup," Pete said. "I like my costume."

"It is kind of hot," Mikey said, clearly deep in thought.

Frank said, "Not before the party."

"But--" Mikey and Pete both started.

Frank held his hands up. "Not before the party."

Pete wrinkled his nose. "You're getting old."

Frank thought about going for blood for a few seconds. Then he just said, "Its my eleventy-hundredth birthday."

sunktheglow: Frank/Spencer/Pete, zombies

"That's disgusting," Frank said with utter glee, poking at where Spencer's eyeball had fallen out. Or at least, where the makeup made it look like that.

Spencer snatched his hand away. "No touching. Jesus, between you and Pete--"

"I didn't touch!" Pete said in self-defense.

"You tried." Spencer was having none of it.

"Your heart is outside your ribcage," Pete said, like that excused his behavior. In fairness, Frank kind of thought it did, but he knew that argument wasn't going to fly with Spencer.

Indeed, it didn't. "Do you want me to be in your music video or not?" Spencer asked.

Pete pulled his hands behind his back, perfectly behaved.

"That's what I thought."

Frank asked, "Why don't I get to be a zombie?"

"For the same reason I don't," Pete muttered, clearly disgruntled. "We've gone over this."

"Short zombies are scary," Frank argued, getting ready to launch into a passionate defense of the vertically-challenged undead when Pete said, "Besides, we really needed gremlins."

"And you look totally repulsive," Spencer added.

"Really?" Frank asked, suspicious.

"I don't even want to have sex with you. At all," Spencer confirmed.

As Spencer was pretty much ready to have sex at the drop of a hat and regardless of how any of them smelled, this was, in fact, quite an endorsement. Frank perked up.

"At least you got to dress up," Pete said morosely.

Spencer patted Pete's head. Sweetly, Frank said, "We have the bunny costume at home, honey."

Pete said, "Blow me," but he was laughing.

*


It had taken four hours to get Spencer and Frank in makeup and it took another solid hour to get them out after a good ten filming. Spencer said, "Remind me not to open my mouth the next time I'm fucking Pete."

Frank snickered. Spencer was totally easy during sex. Spencer flicked Frank hard with his pointer finger, but Frank was man enough to take it and just stick his tongue out. Spencer laughed, which was worth it. Spencer had a great laugh.

"Telling jokes without me?" Pete asked a bit plaintively as he walked over to them.

Frank just smiled. "How do the takes look?"

"Fucking awesome. Terrifying." Pete grinned.

"I know when I want to be scared shitless, I just go and flip on MTV. You, Frank?" Spencer asked.

"What else?"

"Assholes," Pete said easily. Then, to Spencer, "How's Frank looking now?"

Frank knew that he looked less than his best, scrubbed down but still greasy and sweaty and tired from the filming. Spencer said, "Like there's a backseat of my car with his name on it."

"Perv," Pete said, enthusiastically.

"Pot," Spencer said, clearly unbothered.

"Do I get to be the kettle?" Frank asked.

"Whatever you want, dearest," Spencer told him dryly.

*


Spencer actually went down on Frank in the car, Pete driving, but very adamant that Frank didn't get to be quiet. Which was fine, Frank wasn't really a quiet guy.

Pete parked in his garage and they got out of the car, shedding clothes pretty much the minute they passed over the threshold into the house. Pete said, "Told you being in my vid was a good idea."

Frank pushed him further into the house, toward the shower. "Mm, you're a regular genius, Pete Wentz."

"Aw, you're just saying that."

"Yeah," Frank admitted. Spencer laughed and turned on lights for them as they went.

"This is my house, you know? I could kick you out." They had reached the bathroom, where Pete flipped on the taps.

"I'll believe it when I see it, Wentz," Frank said, prodding Pete into the shower and reaching out behind him to tug Spencer in as well. Spencer came easily, wrapping himself around Frank.

Pete said, "Stop stealing the Spencer."

Frank said, "Make me."

Spencer said, "I'm so glad I found myself two older, more mature men."

Frank and Pete both coughed from breathing water up their noses.

bluelittlepig: Frank/Jon, Greek togas

Frank read the invitation to Spencer and Ryan's 25/6th birthday--respectively--and hit six on his speed-dial. When Jon picked up Frank asked, "A toga party?"

"It's really for Spencer," Jon said.

"He has a secret toga fetish?"

"Yeah," Jon said. "He plans to jump everyone as they walk in the door, while Ryan watches."

"Now I know you're lying. Ryan's a possessive little fuck." Not that Frank wasn't, or anything, but Ryan was more fun to mock.

Jon made a noise of agreement. "Nah, it's just. You and me. Ryan? We all got to try the college thing and figure out that it wasn't for us. Spence and Brendon never--"

"Yeah, but, the band--"

"Right. I mean, I don't think Brendon even thinks about it."

"Spencer does?" Frank asked.

"Not... He doesn't say or anything. But Ryan said we were having a toga party to give Spencer a taste of college and well. Toga party it is."

"I could get behind seeing you in a toga."

"Really? You're normally so picky," Jon quipped.

Frank said, "You wait, you just wait, Jon Walker."

*


Frank shopped long and hard before deciding on and making his toga out of Batman sheets. It had been between that, and sheets with construction vehicles on them, but in the end he'd had to go with a classic. He knew he had made the right choice upon walking into the party and being greeted by Brendon, whose toga sported the Disney princesses. They shared a nod of understanding before hugging the shit out of each other.

Frank asked, "Jon has baseballs on his, doesn't he?"

"The best part is, he actually owned the sheets to begin with."

Frank knew. He'd slept on them.

*


When Frank found Jon, he was hiding a beer in the depths of his toga. Jon fished it out and presented it to Frank who said, "I love you."

"Mm," Jon said. "Evidently Batman turns me on."

"Right. Baseball for me. Who knew?"

Jon laughed. Spencer, who was clearly moving right on past buzzed, came and draped himself over Jon. "Jonny Walker."

"Spence Smith."

"You know why this party is awesome?"

"Tell me," Jon said.

"Because it's like all our usual parties, except Ryan is more naked."

"And everyone knows naked Ryan is a party all by itself," Frank said, lifting the beer in a toast before taking a long sip. Spencer was giggling.

Jon said, "You should go find Ryan, Spence. Tell him you appreciate his manbits."

"I should," Spencer said solemnly. He pushed himself off of Jon and only wavered for a second. Jon and Frank watched him go.

Frank said, "DJ's good."

"Yeah, Pete recommended him."

"Decent quality booze."

"I throw a good party, Iero."

"You're not naked enough for this to be my kind of party."

Jon rolled his eyes. "Does that line actually get you anywhere?"

"Haven't tried it out on anybody else of late," Frank admitted.

Jon's, "Good," was clearly meant to be light, joking. It wasn't.

*


When Ryan and Spencer had been driven home and delivered to bed, Frank let Jon take him home and have his way with him. He was almost asleep when Jon said, "Thanks for coming," his voice soft and drowsy.

"More fun than I ever had at college," Frank said.

"Yeah." Jon laughed a little. "I may have given Spencer a somewhat rosy view."

"I don't think he's leaving your band any time soon."

"Not unless Ryan gets it in his head he needs a Bachelor's."

"Ross doesn't seem to be itching to go anywhere."

"No," Jon said softly.

"Me neither, really," Frank admitted. He would miss his band when he was with Jon, miss his guitar, but he still never really wanted to be anywhere else.

Jon nipped at his jaw. "Well, that makes three of us."

elucrah: Frank/Ryan/Spencer/Jon, Hey, you're so happy I barely recognise you

The first time Frank ever saw Ryan Ross was in a crappy picture taken from the wrong direction on a sunny day in LA. Pete had said, "Joe shot it, so, uh, but here, here's my new band." He'd been talking to Mikey. Frank had peered between the two of them, curious despite himself.

He took one look at the kids and said, "You perv."

Pete had shrugged. "Their lyricist is scratching his way out of his own damn skin. They're going to be incredible."

"Which one's the lyricist?" Mikey had asked, but Frank had already known, even before Pete had pointed and said, "Ryan Ross." Bad lighting or no, Ross had the look of someone who was trapped, no recourse but to destroy parts of himself in the attempt to gain freedom. Frank had looked away. Pete was probably right--they were going to be something.

*


Sometimes Pete would send Mikey publicity photos or candids of the Panic's performances. Mikey said, dryly, "Sometimes I think he loves them almost as much as his pets."

Looking at Ryan, with his face hidden by paint, his eyes by hair, Frank wasn't sure the comparison was so far off.

*


Pete stopped sending pictures for a long time, at least of Panic. There were other things--the trip to Russia, Hemmy's journey to adulthood--but not Panic. Frank figured either Pete's manic love had tapered out, or they had all been horribly disfigured in a tragic clown accident. What Frank hadn't expected--couldn't have--was that actually, they had been busy hatching from their cocoons. Frank wasn't really into the whole metaphor thing, not unless they were someone else's metaphors, but there really wasn't any other way to look at the picture of Panic Pete sent with the message: "wtch out wrld!!!!!!!!!"

"Wow, punctuation," Bob said, sounding fairly impressed.

"Maybe they're secretly all his children," Ray posited. "With different women. A harem."

"You think Pete had a harem at the age of six?" Gerard asked, sounding as though this was a consideration.

Frank would have gotten in on the fun, except he was busy looking at the picture. It had taken him a moment to believe that this was the same band. The drummer wasn't so honed down anymore, the singer had evidently been horribly disfigured in a tragic hair cut accident, the bassist had something other than a white t-shirt on and Ryan--okay, Ryan had evidently been in the same accident as Brendon, but Frank barely even noticed because there were so many other differences. He wasn't smiling, not in the picture, but he looked as though he were about to. His body was more relaxed than Frank had ever seen it, and his color was...there. He was no longer a shadow of himself. Frank closed his eyes and looked again, but no, Ryan still was not-Ryan. Or maybe this had always been Ryan and he'd been hiding himself.

"Earth to Frank," Ray said.

Frank flipped him off. "What?"

"Talk Gerard out of making us wear those vests."

"Why me? Why not Mikey?"

"He doesn't need logic," Mikey said, like this was obvious, "he needs Frank reasoning."

Frank sighed, and went to work.

*


At times, given all the pictures and all the things Pete had told them about Panic since it's birth, Frank forgot that he'd never actually met them. He remembered when he ended up actually meeting them at the TRL wrap event. Frank hadn't really wanted to go, but Gerard had begged Frank not to make him go alone. Frank, reasonably, had said, "Ray lives as close as I do." (Frank was mean, but he didn't push these things on Mikey.)

"Okay, well, I'll tell you what," Gerard had said, "you convince Ray to go with me."

Predictably, Frank had ended up accompanying Gerard. As industry functions went, it was pretty much as bad as Frank expected it to be and he was ten full nanoseconds from running out the door and abandoning Gerard to the tender mercies of Pink when a boy--man--Frank had only ever seen in pictures sidled up to him and said, "Pete said to say hello. Also, to mock you for not finding a way out of this. He said to tell you you were welcome to do the same to us."

Ryan was in long striped pants and a paisley shirt that in no way matched. He was smiling slightly. Frank said, "Aren't you guys on tour? I mean, that's a pretty good excuse."

"Just finished." Ryan grimaced. "You can blame Brendon. He was all, 'my childhood, guys!'"

Frank grinned. From what he's seen, he can believe it.

Ryan said, "Which is bullshit, because Brendon's parents never let him watch MTV. It's just that Justin Timberlake was billed as showing. Brendon's had a crush for roughly forever. Tom almost flew out, except then Jon told him to stop being an immature douche."

Frank took all of this in slowly. "Tom."

Ryan looked over at him. "Pete doesn't discuss our love lives?"

Frank frowned. "Does he discuss ours?"

"No, but you aren't his favorite pet band." Ryan didn't sound too put off by the information that that's what they were, like he was confident of his relationship with Pete.

Frank couldn't help it, couldn't stop the question from coming. "What happened to you?"

"I was dropped on my head as a child," Ryan said, without pause.

"No," Frank shook his head. "Really. What-- When did you... You used to be all moody and scared and--"

"Emo?"

Frank shrugged. Whatever, he was in My Chemical Romance. Ryan laughed softly. "We're going cheesecake hopping tonight, starting at Carnegie's. You in?"

"I don't really eat cheesecake."

"Then we'll order you something else."

Frank wasn't sure why, other than curiosity, but he said, "Sure, yeah."

*


He figured it out at the third cheesecake stop. Jon casually ordered one with blueberries on top and Ryan said, "Blueberries, Jon Walker," clearly pleased.

Spencer said, "I get first bite," and Ryan rolled his eyes, "Whatever." Frank thought, oh. The interaction wasn't that different from anything that had gone on before, but something about it told Frank everything he needed to know.

Brendon said, "Hey, they have crepes here. Frank, share a crepe with me, pleasepleaseple--"

Frank shut Brendon up with a hand over his mouth and a smile.

*


When Frank started to get off the elevator on his floor, Jon just pulled him back in. Jon was little, but solid, and while Frank could probably have taken him, Jon had the advantage of surprise and quickly closing electronic doors on his side.

Brendon had met up with a few of the other artists in the lobby and was still down there, hanging out. Spencer said, "You can say no, if you're not into this." His voice was even.

Frank said, "For the record, I usually require both dinner and dessert before being easy."

"Usually?" Jon said, a hint of amusement in the question.

"They're my rules. I get to make exceptions," Frank told him, trying his best to look nonchalant.

"Good," Ryan said, his voice as monotone as ever, but it contained a note that wiggled down Frank's spine and through to his cock.

Frank asked, "Do you usually--"

"Brendon has his Justin thing," Ryan said. "We have...ours."

"Oh," Frank said, super intelligently.

The elevator chirped and Spencer said, "This is us."

They lead the way to the room.
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