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21 September 2008 @ 02:13 am
no need for more than a kiss and a promise (Frank/Gerard/Mikey, NC-17, 4/5)  
Part Three



The weeks seem to pass more and more quickly, the three of them lazing around in the sunshine and Frank experimenting in the kitchens. Gerard manages to convince Mikey and Frank that constant nudity could be more distracting than enjoyable, but she seldom wears more than her camisole and petticoat, the slowly increasing curve of her belly easily accessible to kisses and nuzzling.

Frank and Gerard both do it, and in the mornings when they all wake up curled around each other, Mikey is never sure whose hands are cupping her belly at first, because both of them do it. It's peaceful, though they keep each other entertained well. Only, Mikey is starting to grow too tired to keep up with how much Frank and Gerard are at each other.

In the beginning, she was more than willing to lie back and spread her thighs whenever either of them so much as nudged her, but her energy is definitely going, and though she feels guilty pushing their hopeful hands away, she just isn't interested half so often. The only solution, she knows, is for Frank and Gerard figure out something equivalent that the pair of them can do on their own, without her help.

They do... she doesn't even know what to call it, something now, just rubbing against each other, but she knows there has to be something else, something more like what they're looking for from her. She brings it up to Gerard first.

He's sitting on the steps outside when she comes over, using a hand on his shoulder to carefully lower herself--she isn't big, not really, but she tends to lose her balance more easily. She rests her head against his shoulder and goes straight to the point. "Is there a way for you to be inside Frankie?"

Gerard chokes out a startled noise. "I don't know?" He's never thought about it before in any real way, he isn't sure. "Well, in. In his mouth, but that's not the same. Maybe there is?" He knows that Frank isn't the same as Mikey, obviously, but maybe. Maybe there's a way to make things work. "I would have to. Um. Figure it out?"

"Mmm." Mikey nuzzles against his neck a little and reaches down to rest his hand against her belly--he gives nice rubs that make her feel more tired but less cranky, and she knows that the baby is always a way to his heart. "You should. I'm getting tired."

"I know you are," he says, smiling gently. "Where is he?" He wants to figure this out, because Mikey is tired and it's not fair to her, to make her carry their child and always be the one they go to for such things.

“I don't know." She sighs and shifts her weight a little, wincing because her ankles are killing her. "You can go look for him. I think I'm going to go back to bed. You'll come visit me when you find him, right?"

"Of course." Gerard drops a fond kiss onto the top of her head. "If we do try to figure things out, do you want to watch us?"

"Definitely," she smiles. "Just come back to our room, alright? If you take too long to figure it out, I can nap in between the exciting parts."

Gerard smiles and nods, setting off to find Frank, who is, as he predicted, messing around in the kitchen again.

"Gerard!" Frank is, as always, thrilled to see him and covered to his elbows in flour, with a smear that looks like egg on his cheek. "I've been experimenting!"

"I can see that," Gerard says, grinning. "What are you trying to make?" He's wanting to do some experimenting of his own, of course, though he hopes that doesn't involve cooking.

"Well." Frank wipes at his nose, getting flour spread over the bottom of his face. "I was just going to make another loaf of bread to go with that currant jam the maid brought for us last week. But then I got distracted by all the pots and next thing I knew, I was trying for omelets. I know I've seen them made, I just can't remember precisely how."

Gerard stares down into the mess in the bowl. "That. That doesn't look like any omelet I've ever seen, Frankie," he says, trying not to laugh. "Anyway, I was trying to find you. I thought you might be in here."

"It will, though," Frank insists, "just wait. What did you need me for? Do Mikey's feet hurt again?"

"No no," Gerard says, not sure exactly how to bring it up. "But she talked to me anyway. She's getting too tired to do a lot of things, you know."

"I know," Frank nods seriously. "She didn't even want to walk down by the creek to go wading yesterday. She loves wading, and it's good for her feet, I think."

"It's not about that, exactly," Gerard says, hesitating, and finally just decides to say it. "Mikey wanted to see if we, um. She's getting too tired for a lot of things. And wanted to know if there was a way for me to, um." He can't say it, it's too embarrassing, "beinsideyou."

Frank maybe gasps, inhales a good amount of flour, and sneezes loudly. "I. Oh. Do you--is there--" Is there really a way? But he frowns. "Have we been pushing her too hard? I mean. Is she alright?"

"She's fine, I think," Gerard says reassuringly. "Just tired and she can't keep up with how often we're going to her as is, I think."

Frank nods, still a little concerned, but it makes sense. "Especially since we both go to her. And. She can't take that all." He makes a face, hating that they're tiring Mikey out even more than she already is. "We'll have to figure something out."

"Do you want to?" Gerard asks, biting his lip. "I mean. There has to be some way, we just have to take some time and figure out how."

Frank giggles the extra high-pitched one that's startled out of him. "Of course I want to. I mean. It's you. I." He's maybe been a little jealous of Mikey, not in any serious way. He just wants to know what it feels like.

Gerard grins and adds, "And by the way, Mikey still wants to watch. She's in the bed right now but she wanted me to come find you so she could." He's nervous, because he honestly doesn't know how, but between him and Mikey he can figure something out.

Frank grins back, stomach flipping in anticipation. "We wouldn't want to do it without her. She's smarter than us." He offers Gerard his hand, after wiping most of the flour off on his trousers.

Gerard takes Frank's hand and leads him back to the bedroom where Mikey is waiting, propped up on pillows. She grins as they walk in. "Good, you found him," she says, looking at Gerard. "Where was he?"

Gerard grins. "Can't you tell?" They'd taken a quick detour to let Frank wash himself off, but there's still a bit of flour in his head. Frank sticks his tongue out at him.

"I was making omelets for you two," Frank says with a grin that quickly falters. "But it wasn't working very well."

Gerard just sighs. "So how do you want to figure this out?"

Mikey rolls her shoulders and rests her hand on her belly--she's almost able to have it on top without any fingers hanging off. "Why don't you two get undressed and come over here?"

They can work with that. Frank gets naked first, of course, because he can get himself undressed so quickly Gerard only has to blink sometimes, and by the time he's got his pants kicked to the side, Frank is already crawling naked onto the bed.

Frank takes advantage of Gerard's delay to crawl up to Mikey, kiss her softly and press his hand on top of hers. "I'm sorry to wear you out," he murmurs, more than a little ashamed that apparently neither of them can control themselves when she's so obviously in need of care.

Mikey just smiles at him, though. "I don't mind," she says, and pulls him closer to her. By the time Gerard climbs onto the bed, she's already scanning Frank, trying to figure out how this sort of thing would be done.

She can't exactly see anything that appears ready to have Gerard's cock slid into it (besides his mouth, of course) but it's not readily apparent on her body either. She prods at his chest with a smile. "Lie down, we have to explore."

Frank does, stretching himself out, and she strokes light fingers along his hipbones and then down, exploring, fingers trailing until her eyes widen just a little. She isn't sure if that would work, having something there, but she reaches to Gerard to guide his hand and show him.

Gerard's eyes widen too, and Frank squirms, because it's uncomfortable and no, he doesn't think he wants anything there. "That. It's weird, Gee, I don't like it."

Gerard draws back his hand instantly. "I'm sorry," he says, going red. "We're trying to figure out how to do this, though, and I know there's a way. I just don't know how." He hesitates. "What would make it better?"

"I don't." Frank makes a face. "It's just. Your fingers are all dry and. And it feels rough. I'm not wet like Mikey is."

Mikey's eyes widen. "We could. We could find something to use so it would be like you would be," she says, biting her lip. "Because I don't think you're going to be naturally. What would work..." She isn't sure, looking to Gerard in case he can think of something.

Gerard shrugs, but mimics her, biting his lip as he thinks. "Something slippery, I don't think water is going to work. It has to be kind of...kind of gooey, like you are."

"I'm not gooey," Mikey grumps at him, but he has a point. Water isn't going to work. "I have." That could work, she knows it could. "Those oils I have, maybe?"

"It's a nice gooey," Gerard insists, but his eyes light up at her suggestion. "That would work, I think. Frank, you know where they are?" He's not about to let Mikey get up and go find them.

Frank thinks for a moment and nods, swinging his legs off the side of the bed and then hauling himself up, going to look through the bottles in the cabinet by the room's mirror. Mikey and Gerard could hear him humming as he searched and then, "Got it!"

He returns with a little bottle of the scented oils Mikey likes, and presents it to Gerard. "So. Um." He looks at it and down to Gerard's cock. "Are you sure you'll. I mean."

"It is, um." Mikey isn't sure, but she's pretty sure she's safe in her assumption. "It is probably tighter," she says thoughtfully, looking down at Gerard too. "Maybe, hm."

Gerard flushes a little because, well, it's not exactly his fault is it? But Frank is staring at his cock with a bit of horror, which isn't an expression he ever wants to see. "Sorry," he mutters, shifting a little, any interest his body was taking in the situation quickly disappearing and turning to embarrassment.

Mikey sighs, frustrated. "Well. What if." She isn't even sure if it will work. "Frank, come here, and hand me the oil." Frank looks at her, confused, but he does it, shifting closer to her.

She takes the oil, and then Gerard's hand. Carefully, she pours some over his fingers and nudges him back towards Frank. "Try again." Gerard nods, and obediently feels back down to where he was and tries to slip two fingers in, like he'd done with Mikey. Frank squawks, pulling away. "It's. It's too much, Gee, I can't."

Mikey frowns, biting her lip. "Try just one," she says after a moment, looking down at Frank. "And give yourself a chance to get used to it, okay, Frankie?" She's starting to suspect he's just freaking out about the concept rather than how it actually feels.

Frank nods, though there are tears in the corners of his eyes. Gerard pauses and reaches up with his other hand to rub at Frank's collarbone. "Shh. It's fine, I promise." Frank nods again, a little more definitely, and Gerard is painstakingly careful when he lets just a fingertip fit inside.

Frank doesn't say anything this time, just takes a deep breath and lets it happen, and Gerard slides his finger carefully the rest of the way in. "Is that--" He looks up at Frank, watching his face carefully. "Is that bad?"

Frank shakes his head. "Doesn't. It's just weird. But it doesn't really hurt."

"Good." He smiles and looks back to Mikey, still half-sprawled authoritative at the head of the bed, before Frank. "Can I. Do you think I could try with another?"

"Try..." Mikey hesitates, because she knows how much better it is when Gerard actually does something with his fingers, rather than just sticking them in. "Try curling them a little? Like you do with me."

Gerard nods and turns his focus back to Frank, working his finger, curling it at the tip to try to mimic the way that he touched Mikey. It isn't quite the same--Frank's body obviously is nowhere near as willing to welcome him as Mikey's is--but he works his way around it, adapting.

It takes a moment and Gerard is about ready to give up, tell Mikey that Frank just won't respond the same way at all and that he shouldn't bother, but then he moves in a certain way and Frank groans, sudden, eyes wide. "What. What was. Do that again," he orders.

Gerard bites his lip to hold in a grin--not yet, not until he manages--and curls his finger towards himself again, a little higher into Frank, watching to see if he'll get the same reaction.

He doesn't. He gets a better one, and Frank arches up, eyes squeezed shut, trying to bite back the desperate whimper he makes. "God," he manages breathlessly. "I don't know why that does that but if you stop I am going to hurt you."

Gerard lets his grin out to shine, and carefully slides a second finger in along with the first, crooking both. "I won't stop, promise."

"Better not," Frank hisses, hand clenched into the sheets because Gerard is doing that with both fingers now, and it feels even better than with just one.

Mikey makes a soft sound to herself, loving the way that her boys look all spread out in front of her, and drops a hand to rub thoughtfully at the inside of her thigh. Gerard looks over his shoulder at her with a sloppy grin, then back to Frank. "Do you want another?"

“Another is good," Frank says, sounding shaky. "Another is really good." He's surprised at how much he wants more, god, even this isn't enough. He doesn't know if he can take it, but he wants to take it, not just Gerard's fingers but him.

Gerard works the third finger in, and Frank is tight and close and god, he wants to be inside for real. But he would never want to hurt him, so he just curls his fingers carefully, trying to get Frank back to those desperate sounds.

Those sounds come easily, and Frank pushes himself down onto Gerard's fingers with an embarrassingly needy noise. "You should." He can't quite bring himself to ask outright, so he just settles for "More?"

Gerard swallows hard, staring at how Frank is moving down, taking him deeper in. "I." He flicks his eyes up to Frank's face, just so there's no misunderstandings while he's captivated by his fingers disappearing into Frank's body. "Another finger?"

"Or you could." Frank swallows hard. "You could do it for real. I could take it." He doesn't know that for sure but he's going to make himself be able to take it.

Gerard feels heat rush to his face and...other places, and he looks back a little desperately at Mikey. She grins, holding out the bottle of oil to him, and squeezes his fingers encouragingly when he takes it.

"He's good," she murmurs to Frank, grinning wider, and Gerard flushes, looks down at the oil. She makes the best gesture to explain what she's thinking she can, no no, on you, and rub it in a little probably so you don't get it everywhere and Gerard does, tipping the bottle into his palm and then reaching down.

He groans when he takes himself in hand, spreads the oil as best he can, and the slickness reminds him of being inside Mikey. He moves forward and taps the inside of Frank's knee gently. "I. Can you go wider?"

Frank nods and spreads his legs wider hesitantly, and Gerard slides his fingers out carefully before finally asking, "Are you sure this is good?" He's ready, he thinks Frank probably is too, but he doesn't want to hurt Frank, not at all.

Frank nods again. He's a little frightened, doesn't want to be hurt and doesn't want to let Gerard down, but he tells himself that Mikey has done it for both of them more times than he could have imagined. If she'd do it for them, why should it matter if the parts were different? He'll do it for Gerard.

Gerard takes a moment to steady himself and then pushes in, slow, so if Frank wants him to stop (if Frank wants him to stop he might kind of die, but he's going to stop) he can. "Still alright?" he asks, reaching out a hand to pet at Frank's hair.

Frank blinks a little desperately, because it hurts and he doesn't want to cry, but he doesn't want Gerard to stop, not after all of this. "I." He hiccups a breath. "Keep going."

Gerard hesitates for a moment, because it looks like Frank might cry, and that's a horrifying thought, but Frank is telling him to keep going, so he's going to keep going. He slides in the rest of the way, as carefully as he can, breathing ragged because he can't even handle how good it feels.

Frank whimpers, mostly out of pain, but Gerard is finally all the way inside him, and he has a chance to catch his breath. Now that Gerard's in, it feels a little less like he's being torn apart and more...not good, but like it could be good.

Gerard doesn't move at first, until Mikey gives him a look and says, right into his ear, "trust me, move," and he does, just barely nudging forward at first.

Frank makes another noise, more quizzical than anything else. He shifts a little, trying to see if he can find a way to make Gerard...fit better.

Gerard shifts back further this time, thrusts forward a little more definitely, hoping to be able to do whatever he did with his fingers like this, too.

He doesn't quite manage, but Frank does inhale sharply and wriggle down a little against Gerard, because this is better, making his stomach clench. Mikey watches them, stroking lightly over herself, just a tease for now.

She has to smile, because it looks like they're starting to get it, figure out what to do, and she's the one who says "You should do it harder," watching the way Frank flushes when she does.

Gerard isn't too sure about that--he wants to, but he doesn't know if Frank can manage it, even if he'd maybe like to--and he looks down at Frank. "Can I?"

"Do it," Frank says, looking straight up at him. "I want to know what it's like. Like you do," he says, glancing over at Mikey. "Pretend I'm her."

Gerard bites his lip and nods, before thrusting in quick and not quite so hard as with Mikey--not until he's sure Frank won't hurt himself trying to take it.

Frank groans, though, pressing back against him, trying to force himself to keep his eyes open so he can watch Gerard, but it's hard, trying to do it.

And if Frank likes it, Gerard goes again, harder this time, trying to adjust the angle of his hips so he can try to recreate what he did with his curled fingers.

It takes him a moment, but then he gets it, and Frank chokes out another noise, louder, clinging to him desperately. This is what he's been looking for, the times he's found himself being jealous of Mikey.

Gerard groans in response to Frank, and he keeps going. Reassured of Frank's enjoyment, he lets himself stop worrying and get into a rhythm, losing himself in how amazing Frank feels around him--different from Mikey, different in a good way.

He has a brief flash of a thought of trying this himself, but it's lost in the overwhelming feeling of this, the choked little noises Frank makes as he moves.

Mikey bites her lip while she watches them, Gerard working deep into Frank, touching herself lazily. Gerard moans and his head drops forward, hair brushing Frank's face.

She wishes they had any idea of how good they look, together like this. They're amazing together, and she can't help but slide her hand down to touch herself, watching them.

Frank arches up against Gerard desperately, trying to help him keep on that place that makes everything so good, and Gerard knows that he isn't going to last much longer, not with Frank's hips sweaty and hot beneath his hands.

Gerard comes first, he can't help it, it's too good and he can't hold on anymore, thrusting deep once more before he comes, choking out a harsh noise. "Sorry," he manages, "do you. I can--" and he wraps a hand around Frank's cock, tight.

Frank's chest already seized up from the feel of it, why didn't Mikey ever tell him how amazing it was? He comes as soon as Gerard gets a hand on him, and giggles, breathless. "Um, thanks. I. I'm good."

Gerard grins, relieved that Frank isn't mad at him, or hurting too much to not giggle. "Thank you, Mikey," he says finally, looking over at her. "Since we wouldn't have figured it out without you."

"Mmmhmmm," is all Mikey manages before squeezing her eyes shut with a soft "huh" and coming around her own fingers. She takes a minute to breathe, then opens her eyes slowly to half-lidded and smiles. "You're welcome."

Gerard would suggest that they thank her properly, but well, the whole reason they tried this in the first place was because she was tired. He finally pulls out of Frank, settling down beside him and pulling him tight to him.

Frank snuggles against Gerard's chest, sweaty and happy. "I liked that," he mumbles, smiling. "I liked it a lot. We should do it again."

"We should," Gerard says, still a bit breathless. "Maybe you could do it to me instead next time, though."

Even though Frank still aches a little bit, his stomach does a flip. "I could? I mean. I could."

“I want you to." Gerard lets his fingers skate down Frank's back, smiling sleepily. "It looked like it was nice so I want to."

Frank makes a soft happy sound, almost purring, arching slowly into Gerard's touch. "It was nice. I. Was it nice for you too?"

"God yes," Gerard says, grinning. "It was amazing, you have no idea." He looks up, then, reaches out a hand to Mikey. "Mikey, come on. There's room for you too over here." He's really just in the mood to snuggle with all of them.

Mikey smiles and shifts closer, making a soft sound of effort--she's tired, and lazy from the touching, and moving her extra weight is more difficult on the plush of the bed--before cuddling close to her boys. "You looked so nice."

"Which one of us?" Frank asks, yawning a bit. He wraps an arm around her as best as he can, awkward from the position they're in.

"Both of you." She presses a little more against them--it's not like either of them will complain about her being closer--and reaches out to toy with Frank's hair. "Together."

"Glad you liked the show," Gerard says blurrily, not bothering to open his eyes anymore. "And I hope you're not too attached to your oil stuff 'cause I think we're going to go through a lot of it."

Mikey laughs and lets go of Frank's hair to grope around until she finds part of Gerard that she can pinch. "I'm alright with losing it to such a worthy pursuit, I think."

"Ow." Gerard makes a face but he doesn't really mind all that much. "I hope so. I wouldn't want to take it all away from you just so you can see how good we look."

Mikey shuts her eyes and sighs, snuggling up against the closest boy, not really sure or caring which it is. "It's a noble sacrifice. I can always buy more."

"True," Gerard says thoughtfully. "But you're not really supposed to do a whole lot of traveling around these days, you know."

"I'll send one of you to buy it for me," she says, dismissive. "I suppose if it comes to that, I really only need one of you here to entertain me."

Frank's eyebrows go up. "But both of us is so much more fun, Mikey. I'm hurt." He isn't, really, but it's fun to play at it.

"Well, of course I'd prefer both." Her hand wanders again and she tweaks one of Frank's nipples with a soft laugh. "But if I wanted my oils, you'd get them for me, wouldn't you, Frankie?"

“Of course," Frank says automatically. "I can get you anything you need, you know that." He makes a soft little noise, biting his lip.

Mikey grins. "Good. I like to know that." Even though he probably won't be quite as devoted to her once she has the baby, it's nice to hear at least for a while.

"Now," Gerard says, yawning, "we should go to sleep." He's tired, and he suspects Frank is too at this point.

Frank grumbles a little, but he's exhausted and soreness is setting in, and he has Mikey and Gerard warm and pliant around him. There's nothing else he could possibly want.

*

When Mikey wanders out of bed sometime in the afternoon, Gerard can't help a small intake of breath. He knows that he's watched as days and weeks passed, and her belly slowly but surely expanded, but each time she comes into the room, petticoat slung low and camisole pulled tight and high over the swell of her, he's struck again by how amazing it all is. She smiles, and stretches, her legs set a little more widely than they used to be. "Gee, you want to come help me get dressed?" He wrinkles his nose, confused. Mikey hasn't gone properly dressed since they were first together, there's no reason to here.

"Why?" he asks, and she smiles. "I was thinking we could go down to the market?" Gerard frowns. It--he's not sure if it's a good idea, since people are supposed to think he's the pregnant one, not Mikey. They're far enough away that most people wouldn't recognize them, but what if one did?

"Don't be that way," Mikey says, reading his expression and making a face at him. "No one knows us here, it will be fun."

Gerard isn't so sure about that, but he tries a change in tactics anyway. "You shouldn't be walking that far, Mikey, won't you get tired?" She gets tired quickly these days, needing to sit down and fold her hands over the top of her belly while she rests.

"I'll be fine. I need to get out and move a little," Mikey says, stretching. "I've been just lying around for days now." She knows they've been trying to take good care of her, but there's only so much sleeping and sitting she can take before she just wants to try and sneak out to see if they'll notice. (They would)

They pay terribly close attention to her, which would be fine if they let her have some fun once in a while. Gerard wrinkles his nose, although he knows it's a losing battle. If Mikey really wants it, he's not going to tell her no. "Are you sure? Long and dusty, and what if someone recognizes Frank? They'd tell his father in a heartbeat."

"But think about it." Mikey stretches again, arching her back. "They know who Frank is. But do they know which one of us is supposed to be his wife?" Gerard isn't nearly as well-known as his husband, and Mikey is still thinking this has a shot at working. And she really needs to get out once in a while.

"Besides," Mikey smiles. "If you don't wear a dress, we can just claim you're a visiting friend and no one will think twice about me being pregnant." They don't look enough alike that a brief encounter with a villager would clearly mark them as siblings.

Gerard sighs, finally giving in. "Fine. We can go, but if we get recognized, we are leaving as soon as we can, alright? And this is a bad idea."

Mikey claps her hands and starts to head back to their room--she isn't quite waddling yet, but there's definitely a change in her stride. "Come on, we have to find something to fit."

"Have you adjusted anything to fit you?" Gerard asks, following her. He isn't looking forward to having to squeeze himself back into the kind of dresses he was usually expected to wear in the court, but appearances are appearances.

"Sort of?" She sticks her tongue out at the trunk full of dresses that no longer fit her. "I did some on one of your old ones, but I'm not sure how well it turned out."

"I hope it turned out decently, at least," Gerard says, frowning a little. "I wouldn't want you going around in things that didn't fit right. Are you sure you're up to making the trip?"

"I'm fine, Gee, stop being a mother hen." She retrieves the dress from the chair she'd draped it over and holds it up for inspection--the skirt has been slit to the bodice with an extra petticoat sewn underneath, allowing her belly to poke through where it would have been too much to fit under the fabric.

She hopes that she sewed it properly, that it'll work. It has to. Gerard is there, but he's seen her naked often enough that she doesn't feel strange at all just undoing the clothes she's wearing and letting them fall to the floor.

Gerard doesn't care how many times he sees Mikey naked, he still makes a soft appreciative sound. And, really, now it's different every time because of the smooth stretch of her belly. He helps her into the dress, much more handsy than any maid would be.

Mikey raises an eyebrow at him, but she's smiling. "Someone is happy to dress me today." The dress fits better than she was hoping, and though it looks strange, it's only because she's still not quite accustomed to the size of her belly.

Gerard smiles and runs his hand quickly over the back laces, making sure they're all secure, then gives her bottom an affectionate pat. "I haven't in a while, and you're." He turns her around so he can look over the dress--it looks nice on her, and if the underskirt draws the eye to her belly, well. He isn't going to complain. "You're just lovely."

"I am not," Mikey says, wrinkling her nose. "I'm getting so big it's hard to walk properly. That's not very lovely." But she can see the way he looks at her, the way his eyes are drawn there, and she doesn't protest any further than that.

"I think it is." He smiles and pulls her in so he can kiss her forehead, feel her warm against him. "You just. I can't describe it, it's just wonderful. And I'd think you were lovely even if you couldn't walk at all."

"I know you would," Mikey says, smiling. "Because you're just strange like that." She curls close to him, not wanting to move away when she can have gentle touches and her brother's reassuring warmth.

He reaches around to stroke her back, and eventually he won't be able to get his arms around like this, when their stomachs are pressed together. "I am not. Frank thinks so too. He would love to be able to just bring you breakfast in bed every morning, you know he would."

“He would." Mikey thinks about it, arms wrapped around him, fingers holding onto the cloth of his shirt. "But we would get crumbs in the bed and then you two would try to do something there and--it wouldn't work very well." She grins.

"We could clean up the crumbs first. Change the sheets. It would be fine," he has to lean forward to nuzzle her nose, but he smiles. "You know we'll find a way around whatever comes up."

She has to admit that he's got a point. "You two always do," she says, smiling fondly. "You're very resourceful."

"Of course. And we'll always take care of you." He makes a little face. "Not that you can't take care of yourself. But we want to."

"I know you do. You wanted to wait on me hand and foot the day we got here back when I was barely showing. Both of you did." She sticks out her tongue at him.

“Well, would you have expected anything else from us? We're excited." He slides one hand from her back to press warm on the side of her belly. "You're doing something neither of us can, you know."

“How exciting," Mikey says, a bit dry. "I'm not sure you'd be as excited about it if it was happening to you." On second thought, he probably would, would probably look down at his belly and smile at it and try to sing to it. She's glad he's going to be raising the kid.

Gerard just hums to himself, doesn't bother arguing with her. "Well, since you're all dressed up and pretty, shall we go find Frank?" He makes a face. "Unless you feel too big to be seen in public." He understands why she would feel self-conscious, but is at a loss as to how he can convince her that she's never looked lovelier.

Mikey shakes her head. "I want to get out a little. I'm tired of just sitting around all the time, you know. I can get past looking gigantic." She yawns and stretches a bit and then reaches for his hand. "Let's go find him."

He squeezes her hand and leads her down to the kitchens, where they're most likely to find their third member. Surprisingly, Frank isn't there. Gerard frowns. "Where has he gotten to?"

"I don't know." Mikey frowns too, trying to think of where else he could be. "Should we check outside?"

Outside, Gerard squints against the sunlight, because he knows Mikey probably won't be able to spot Frank from a distance with her weak eyes. When he can't see or hear any sign of him, he frowns. "Frankie?"

There's no answer. Mikey's frown deepens and she turns to Gerard. "Where else would he be?" She's trying not to let herself get too worried, just yet.

"I don't know." It's odd--Frank never likes to get outside of earshot of them, fearful that Mikey would call for him and he wouldn't hear. But now... "Where else is there? Maybe he's farther out on the grounds?"

"Maybe." Now Mikey is a bit worried, all-too conscious of how close Frank has stayed lately and how strange it is that he's not around. "I hope he's not too far. I want to be with you when you find him."

"Come on." He wraps his arm around her waist to hopefully support her a little more, and they walk further out, towards the creek Frank is so fond of. He's not there either, and there's nothing that makes it look like he might have been. "Where did he go, honestly."

"No idea." She makes a frustrated noise, looking around. Frank is never gone like this and the one day that they actually need to find him (well, need so that they can go to the market, it's not a pressing need or anything) he's not around.

They head back towards the house, and Gerard squeezes Mikey closer, bumping his head gently against hers. "We'll find him. Do you want to rest?"

"I want to help you find him," Mikey insists, still frowning. "I don't need to rest just yet. Let me help you." She doesn't want to be helpless in this.

Gerard nods and sighs--of course Frank would just vanish without a word as soon as they wanted to find him. "What about. I could check with the groundskeeper, ask if he's seen anything?"

"That sounds good." Mikey sighs too, not sure if she can keep up being this active. She doesn't want to wear herself out before she even starts the trip to the market, and at this rate she's going to.

Gerard bites his lip, because he knows Mikey doesn't like him treating her like she's made of glass but... "You look tired, Mikes. Maybe you should wait here while I go down."

Mikey would protest if she couldn't already feel her muscles protesting from the amount of walking she's done. "Fine," she says, taking a deep breath and settling down into the nearest chair. "But if you find him, come get me."

"I will." He bends to kiss her temple and squeeze her shoulder. "I'll be right back." Part of him doesn't want to leave her in here by herself, but...he'll just smack Frank upside the head when he finds him. The path down to the groundskeeper's cottage is steep and rocky, and Gerard is glad Mikey didn't try to come along. He knocks on the door, hoping that he isn't in for more than he expected--he's never spoken to the man before.

He hears the hiss before the door opens and jumps back a bit, looking down and staring wide-eyed as he notices the snakes curling around each other under the porch. Gerard would wonder if Frank could really be in a place like this, but he knows that Frank has definitely associated with strange people.

The man who opens the door is tall, and tan, and smiling in an extremely off-putting way. "And how can I help you?" You pretty little morsel seems implied, and Gerard just sort of gapes up at him because. He was expecting a small and probably crotchety old man. Not this.

He's attractive, in a strange, sharp kind of way, but simultaneously frightening. It's the eyes, Gerard is convinced, because it feels like the man is looking straight through him. "Have you." It takes a few tries to finally force the words out. "Frank. Have you seen Frank?"

"What, our fair prince?" He gestures expansively, which Gerard takes a few moments to realize is an invitation in. "Come in, come in, I have him right here in my clutches."

Clutches? Gerard almost doesn't want to walk in the door, not if he's going to be in this man's clutches too. "I. Alright." He wants to hit himself for being stupid when he finally does see Frank, sitting at the table, drink in hand, not looking kidnapped or worried in the slightest.

In fact, he seems perfectly comfortable and not at all terrified by the groundskeeper. Until he sees Gerard, and his eyes go wide. "Is something wrong? Oh god, is Mikey alright?"

"Mikey's fine," Gerard says, frowning slightly. "We were looking for you. Why didn't you tell us you were over here?" He was worried, he and Mikey both were, and here Frank is, looking entirely unconcerned. Well, was.

"I was just." He looks down into the drink in his hands. "I thought I'd come visit Gabe, you two were--I just haven't really had a chance to talk to him since we'd gotten here."

Gerard blinks. "We were--" oh. "Were we making you uncomfortable? Frank, I'm sorry. You should have said something, I didn't know."

"No, it's not." Frank makes a frustrated sound and looks somewhere above Gerard's shoulder. "Could you not do that?" Gerard is horribly confused until he hears footsteps behind him and Gabe laughing. Frank waits until the sound fades and sighs. "Sorry. He's not. He's nice and he does a good job."

"He kind of scares me," Gerard admits, not daring to make it above a whisper. Frank just laughs.

"He scared me at first too," he admits. "You just have to get used to him. He likes doing the creepy act a little too much. Gets him laughs, at least."

Gerard nods, but. As long as he knows Gabe the Groundskeeper isn't going to murder him in his bed--at least, as far as Frank insists--there are more issues to worry about. "Why did you leave, Frankie?"

Frank looks down at his drink again. "I just." He sighs, not wanting to look up and meet Gerard's eyes. "You two are brother and sister. You're always going to be really close, and sometimes. Sometimes I think I'm kind of extra there?"

"But." Gerard knows that he can't really argue with that, because it's true that he and Mikey have known each other their whole lives, are always going to be close. But that doesn't mean Frank doesn't fit. "We love you, Frankie. You're my husband. And. It's your baby. Mikey's all big and lovely and cranky because of you."

"Thank you, that really helps," Frank sighs. "To know that she's all cranky because of me. It's not like you have to worry about that. She doesn't hate you for making you huge, because I'm the one who got her pregnant." He seems to have missed the rest of what Gerard said entirely.

"I love when she's cranky, that thing she does with her lips?" Gerard says mildly. "And you've seen how she looks when she doesn't think we're paying attention, just. Just touches it? She's in love with that baby, Frank. She loves you."

"No, she loves the baby," Frank grumps. "Like you just said." At this point, he's just sulking, but he feels pretty justified in it. He hasn't had a chance to sulk about it in a long time and it does bug him.

Gerard sighs, because Frank is obviously determined not to be happy. "She loves you. She." He would rather not share things Mikey had told him, curled close while Frank slept on her other side, but it's obvious Frank needs to hear it. "She was scared about this, having the baby. Because she was falling in love with you, and didn't know what to do."

"What?" Frank looks up, startled. "Did. Are you just saying that?" When Gerard shakes his head, murmurs, "she told me," Frank's eyes go wide. "She knows I wouldn't--" but. But he can't stay with both of them like this once they go back home. They're going to have to separate.

"She knows that--." Gerard swallows hard. "What she knows is that you can't. And that I'll have you and the baby while she has nothing."

Frank bites his lip and tries not to let the thought bother him as much as it is. "It shouldn't be like that. I don't want it to be like that. There has to be something we can do, right?" He looks up at Gerard, hopeful.

"I don't either," Gerard says. "But. We can try to think of something, but I just don't know." He shakes his head. "So, maybe we should head back, so we can still go to market like Mikey wanted to."

"Was that why you wanted to find me." Frank smiles a little. "Do you." He hesitates. "Do you think she's up for it? It's a bit far away and I don't want her to strain herself."

"That's what I said," Gerard makes a small face in commiseration. "But she wants to go. And she's been resting since we were walking all through the grounds looking for you." It's a bit of an exaggeration, but he also is a little annoyed that Frank decided to go hide out with the creepy groundskeeper instead of talking to them, tiring Mikey out in the first place.

Frank knows that Gerard is trying to guilt-trip him, knows it and it works anyway. "I'm sorry," he says, staring down at his feet again. "We should. Yeah, I'll go. Gabe!" he calls. "I'm going, I'll talk to you later, alright? In a couple of days maybe?"

"Sounds lovely," Gabe responds from far too close to not have been eavesdropping on their conversation. "Bring your pretty friends, I like them!" Gerard makes a soft horrified sound but Frank laughs.

Gerard looks over to him with wide eyes, trying not to squeak or do anything else embarrassing, but he's sure Gabe heard most, if not all of that conversation, including the part about how Gerard was sort of afraid of him.

"Let's go." Frank moves past Gerard, guiding him back to the front door. Gerard is pretty sure he hears Gabe laughing from somewhere inside the house, and when the door closes he sighs. "You have strange friends."

"Not that strange," Frank said, shrugging. "I mean. It could be worse. He isn't actually scary. He's just. He's just a strange guy." He knows Gabe, knows he's entirely harmless. He just wishes Gerard thought so too.

"He's not what I expected," Gerard concedes, because Frank is obviously fond of the man, and Gerard really doesn't know him well enough to pass a serious judgment.

"What were you expecting?" Frank has to ask. "A big burly man with too much beard?" And--yeah, that is closer to what Gerard is thinking.

Gerard looks away when he nods. "Well. Pretty much, yeah." When they get back to the house, Gerard immediately sees that Mikey has fallen asleep in her chair, bangs falling in front of her eyes and her hands curled protectively around her stomach. He elbows Frank and smiles.

Frank smiles, looking at how peaceful Mikey looks like that, fingers curled around her belly, and he almost doesn't want to wake her. "Are you sure we should go today? I don't want to, you know."

"I know," Gerard breathes back, because she needs all the rest she can get, in his opinion. "We can wait, maybe? She'll be cranky if we don't go." His grin tilts a little, wicked. "Well, she'll be cranky anyway."

"She'll be crankier if we go without her," Frank points out, watching the way she's breathing slow and peaceful. "How long can we wait before we have to worry about being caught out after dark?

Gerard peers critically out the window. It's already getting late into the afternoon, and the village is a fairly long walk--and Mikey will need to go even slower. "I don't know, I think it may be too late already."

Frank sighs, biting his lip. "She's not going to be happy about that. Did she really want to go?" He goes over to the window too, to take a look for himself. It really is getting late into the afternoon.

Gerard nods with a small frown. "I think she did. She's been feeling cooped up, I think she really wants to get off the property for a while."

"A walk wouldn't cut it, huh." Frank looks back at her, still peacefully sleeping. "What about tomorrow?"

"Maybe." Gerard sighs, brushing his hair away from his face. "She really wanted to go. She's going to be so disappointed." He knows that neither of them can stand disappointing her.

"I would say we could go faster if one of us carries her but I don't think either of us can anymore." Frank would in a heartbeat if he thought he could manage it.

Gerard snorts softly. "Uh, no. Definitely not." She's heavier, but more than that, the change in her shape would make carrying her terribly ungainly--no piggyback rides, which is the way he knows best to carry her.

So neither of them are sure how to carry her at all, and if she doesn't wake up soon they'll all three be stuck in the house. "Well," Frank says finally. "We could stay in a room in the town, maybe, and then come back in the morning."

"I. We could." Gerard thinks for a moment, then starts to smile. "We should. That's perfect, Frankie, it would be a great outing."

"You get to be the one to wake her up, though," Frank says, knowing full well how not-fond of being awoken she is.

Gerard swats him, but since he came up with the idea, he supposes Frank's won the privilege to avoid some wrath. He walks over to the chair and kneels, resting his hand gently on Mikey's arm. "Mikey?"

"Mrrghnh?" Mikey doesn't open her eyes or make any move to move at all, really. "Whuh?"

Gerard laughs softly under his breath, and now that she's partially awake and not prone to slapping him in the face for it, he reaches over to rub at her belly--surefire way to get her attention. "Wake up, Mikes, come on."

"Mrrh dowanna mcomfy nwarm n..." Mikey sounds a little more aware of her surroundings, but not much. "...Gee?"

"Mhmm," Gee leans closer, kissing the base of her neck softly. "We're going into town, like you wanted, remember?"

"We are?" Mikey yawns, and finally opens her eyes. "Oh. Did you find Frank?"

"Sure did," Gee nods back over his shoulder, and Frank waves a little weakly, still embarrassed that he caused so much trouble to their plans.

"Did you hit him with something for me?" she asks, still half-yawning, not even noticing Frank is there. "Cause I sort of wanted to."

Gerard looks back at Frank with a little smirk, and Frank moves forward. "You can if you want to, I'll hold still and everything."

Mikey makes a funny choking sound. "I. Oh god. I'm sorry Frank, I didn't even know you were there." She turns bright red.

"It's fine," he comes to kneel on her other side, opposite Gerard. "I deserve it, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have just disappeared like that."

"I still shouldn't have said that," she says, still obviously embarrassed to have said that while Frank was right there.

He takes her hand in his and brings it to his mouth for a light kiss. "I don't mind. I'm. I'm supposed to be here for you."

"Where did you go?" she asks quietly, eyes on her hand and the way Frank is kissing it.

"I was talking to Gabe. The groundskeeper. I haven't talked to him since we were children, and he was the odd gangly boy who was always watching the house." Frank smiles a little, runs his thumb over the back of her hand.

"What's he like?" Mikey yawns again, just a little, smiling as Frank strokes her hand. "I've never seen him around anywhere."

"Still odd," Frank says. "Still gangly. He's a good man, if a little off. I think he gets lonely out here alone."

"I should go out and meet him sometime," she says thoughtfully, not noticing the way Gerard looks nervous as soon as she says it.

"He'd like that," Frank grins and kisses her hand again. "But. Hit away. I don't mind."

"I'm not going to hit you," Mikey informs him solemnly. "That's why I asked Gee to do it."

Frank turns to Gerard with wide eyes, and Gerard sighs. "Mikey, do you want me to hit him now?"

"I'm thinking about it," Mikey says, pausing for a moment. "Maybe?"

Gerard reaches out and swats Frank's shoulder. "How was that?"

"That works," she says, grinning. "I don't think you have to hit him too hard. It's the thought that counts."

"Happy to be of service," Gerard inclines his head teasingly to her and Frank smiles, a bit shy after all the revelations of the afternoon.

She leans forward and pecks Gerard on the lips just lightly, like a thank-you. "I'm glad to hear it."

Gerard takes her kiss and grins, nose crinkling up. "Do you still want to go to town?"

"Of course," she answers automatically, trying to stand up and having to stop a moment to manage it.

"Hey, careful." Gerard and Frank both scramble comically to their feet to grasp her arms and give her some support.

Mikey stands up clumsily with the both of them, smiling apologetically. "Just not very steady yet," she explains, shrugging. "Since I just woke up."

Gerard smiles back and presses a little closer against her, one hand still on her arm and the other curving to cup her belly. "Not to mention some other balance trouble, hmm?"

"I'm fine," Mikey says, trying to convince the two of them--and probably herself, too. "It's not because of that. I can still get around just fine."

"Sure." Frank leans up to kiss her cheek and press his nose to her jawline. "Whatever you say, Mikes."

“It's true," Mikey grumps. "I can still get around just fine. You just don't think I can."

Gerard and Frank exchange a look, trying to be stealthy about it and failing miserably. "It's fine," Gerard tries to pacify her. "You're doing really well."

"Good." She is settling on no less than being able to move around perfectly well.

She starts towards the door, but catches the window on the way and makes a soft unhappy sound. "I didn't know it was so late. We." And she can still move fine, but she knows it's a decent walk. "We don't have time, do we?"

"We don't have time to make it all the way down and back," Frank says, shrugging. "No."

Mikey makes a face. "Why did you even wake me?"

"We could." Frank hesitates. "We could go down and then stay in a room there for the night and then come back in the morning."

He seems unsure of his idea, but Mikey looks thrilled. "Oh Frank, that's wonderful! I'd love that." She's so ready to get out of the house, just for a little while, and spending the night in town would be just the kind of adventure she's been looking for.

Frank looks to Gerard, who grins. Success. They've been working at taking care of Mikey long enough that he's glad to have found something she wants to do that doesn't involve being stationary.

Now that his plan has been approved, Frank is bouncy and excited. "Want me to pack you an overnight bag, Mikes?"

"I could do it," Mikey says, but she starts to reevaluate how much energy she really has. "Well. You can do it."

Frank restrains himself from clapping him hands and disappears back to the bedroom. Gerard is still holding Mikey's elbow, and he releases it to wrap his arm around her shoulders and pull her snug against his side. "Are you sure you're up to the walk?"

"I'm not an invalid, Gee," Mikey says, sighing. "I'm just pregnant. I'll be fine." Even though part of her knows that she's going to end up needing to rest a few times.

"I never said you were," Gerard says quietly. "I just don't want you to strain yourself."

"I won't strain myself." Mikey leans against him a bit, eyes closed. "I'll be fine. Don't worry about me."

"I will," Gerard says, squeezing her gently. "But I'll trust you if you say you can do it."

"I can do it. I know I haven't been doing a lot of moving around lately... but I can do it."

"Good." Gerard turns his head and kisses her hair. "I'm sure we'll have a lovely time. Just be sure to let us know when you need to rest."

"I will," Mikey promises, smiling at him. "I promise I won't collapse on you or anything."

"That would be sad," Gerard says solemnly, and turns her a little in his arms so he can feel the firm curve of her belly and grins. "Frank really wants to make it up to you."

"Does he?" Mikey can't help but grin back. "How is he planning on doing that?" Not that she'd have any... suggestions, of course.

"I couldn't say." Gerard shrugs as much as he can without releasing his grip on her. "But I'm sure he has some excellent ideas."

"Hmm." Mikey leans into him further. "Any ideas?" She's tired out easily, but now that Gee and Frank have figured out what to do with each other, she's almost starting to miss that kind of attention.

Gerard rests his head against hers, loving how she uses him for support. "Probably something that would cause the innkeeper to die of shock."

"My favorite kind of thing," Mikey informs him. "Unless that means pranks on the innkeeper, because that's not something any of us want. Well, except for Frank."

Gerard giggles. "I think Frank will be sensitive to our feelings. I'm sure all of his plans will be thoroughly lewd and not involving the innkeeper personally."

Mikey raises an eyebrow, looking faintly disturbed. "I didn't want to think about that," she manages.

"Does it turn your poor delicate stomach?" Gerard asks, trying to look innocent.

"It does." Mikey is trying hard to keep a straight face. "Thinking about such things could be... very unhealthy for me, you know."

"Indeed. We wouldn't want to hurt baby with Frank's disturbing proclivities." Gerard nods solemnly.

"We really should talk to him about those," Mikey says, just as solemn, and it's only then that Frank comes up.

"About what?"

"Nothing," Gerard says, at the same time Mikey answers, "Your distressing carnal tastes."

"I have distressing carnal tastes?" Frank's eyebrows go up. "Who am I going for besides you two?"

"The innkeeper, apparently," Mikey says, flat as always, with a very intense frown. "You really must control yourself, Frank."

"I should," Frank agrees, before he even processes it. "That's terrible of me. Wait. Wait, what?"

Gerard giggles and has to bury his face in Mikey's neck. She remains stoic, admirably. "Your lewd plans for the innkeeper are quite honestly inappropriate, Frank."

"I didn't know I had any." Frank is still giving them a weird look. "Dare I ask what my plans are?"

"How should I know?" Mikey purses her lips. "They aren't my lewd plans."

"Well, I don't know what they are," Frank grumps. "You sound like you do, so you could tell me."

"Come on, you two," Gerard says, taking a deep breath and finally controlling his laughter. "We should head out if we want to get there before dark."

"Fine," they both say in unison, and then break out into a fit of giggles.

"Your face," Mikey manages, practically wheezing.

Frank pouts as well as he can through laughter. "Just because you're a demanding and confusing lady, Mikey Way."

"I really am," Mikey says, sighing. "I don't know how you two put up with me."

"We love you," Gerard says, and it's light, but his smile is deep and warm.

Mikey resists any sap comments, because as soon as he says it she smiles too, and really, she never minds the sappiness.

Frank drops the bag that he'd brought in in order to come and hug them both tight--it's tough, because his arms are only so long and Gerard is broad and Mikey is, well--making a little happy "mm" sound.

"We should get going, though," Mikey says finally, not wanting to let either of them go, but the later they leave, the more darkness they have to walk through.

"Alright, fine, end our hug time," Frank says, but he kisses her cheek again and goes to retrieve the bag. "I have a change for me and Gerard, and a dress for you, and some--" he turns pink, because no matter how long they're together, some things still make him go fluttery "--unmentionables."

"Unmentionables?" Mikey grins. "You mean you borrowed more of my oils?" She's definitely going to have to stock up. And get them ones that don't smell quite as strong.

He nods, biting his lip. Gerard laughs. "Let's go. You carry the bag, and I'll take care of our lady, alright?"

Frank nods, and hefts the bag over one shoulder, taking one last look out the window before they set off.




Part Five
 
 
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