Frank hasn't stopped pacing practically all day, even drawing glares from his father (who assumes it's nerves about meeting the deadline. If he only knew). And now, waiting in their bedroom after the maids have all bustled off, it's even worse. Gerard watches from the desk, shaking his head.
There's a knock on their door and Gerard gets up to answer it so fast he almost hurts himself. He pulls open the door and Mikey's standing there, in a robe (the kind where it's obvious she's not wearing anything underneath), looking nervous. "I'm here," she whispers.
"You are," he replies stupidly. "Um. Come in?" It feels dark, somehow, an innocent young maiden being lured in the bedroom by two men. But Frank can't even look at her--some villainous seducer he is.
She steps into the room and looks up at Gerard, lip caught between her teeth, unsure. "Are you going to stay?" she asks him finally.
"I." He flushes. "No. No, I couldn't." Having to watch his own sister being spoiled is hardly something he wants to deal with. But Frank still has his arms folded tight over his chest, staring over at the wall. "I'll just. Frank. I'll leave you two...to it."
Part of Mikey wants to ask him to stay. She knows it's not right to, but as much as she wants to be brave it's frightening, to think of doing this alone. She knows Frank, but not well enough to--do this.
Gerard is halfway out the door when Frank squeaks, "Don't." He turns, and Frank is staring at him with giant eyes. "Don't go, Gee, I. I can't do this."
Gerard stops and turns around. "Mikey? Is that alright with you?" He'll do it for Frank's sake, but Frank isn't related to him and it's different. He doesn't want to see it, not at all, but he's not going to abandon Frank in this either.
Mikey licks her lips nervously, and does she really want Gerard to see her in such an intimate moment? The answer is, of course, yes, because Gerard is her whole world and she could never feel awkward around him. She nods. "Of course."
Gerard turns around all the way, steps back into the room with them and Mikey turns away from him as she unties her robe and lets it fall to her feet in one motion, naked in the middle of the room.
Frank swallows hard. It's the first time he's seen a naked woman, and though he'd always considered himself entirely uninterested, he finds his cheeks flushing as he gazes at Mikey's delicate angles, small breasts, the almost boyishly slim cut of her hips.
She doesn't know how he wants to do this, but she can feel his eyes on her and it's some comfort, to know that he won't be entirely uninterested. She doesn't know why, but she finds herself looking back at Gerard for what to do next.
Gerard swallows as well, because. It's his baby sister, but it's also pale smooth skin and legs that suddenly seem as long as Frank's entire body. Speaking of Frank, why is he standing there, doing nothing with Gerard's beautiful baby sister ready to offer herself to him? "Frank, go on. Kiss her."
Frank's eyes widen at the direction from Gerard, not what he was expecting at all when he asked Gerard to stay but at this point he can't lie and say he minds. "Alright," he says, and motions for Mikey to come closer, so he can lean up and press his lips to hers.
Mikey kisses him cautiously, a little stooped over. Frank's hands waver around by her sides, and then by her shoulders, until Gerard finally sighs his frustration. "Mikey, is it alright if. If Frank touches your chest?" Mikey pauses for only a second before humming her agreement against Frank's lips. "Then for heaven's sake, Frank, touch her."
Frank is cautious, hands brushing up her sides and higher, over her nipples and his eyes widen when she inhales sharply at that, as though he wasn't expecting the reaction.
Mikey doesn't close up again after Frank starts to really touch her, she presses her half-open lips against his while he palms over her breasts shyly and a little shaky.
Gerard swallows hard, just watching the two of them, but they're not going to go further without more direction. "Mikey, you should--his shirt?" If he can at least get them both naked it's progress.
Mikey's fingers are clumsy on the buttons of Frank's shirt, and it takes what seems like hours to get the first three undone. Her breath is coming faster and faster, because this. It's happening. A man is touching her, and he's going to take her, and. And her brother is watching. More than watching--directing.
He's telling her what she should do. What Frank should do to her. She doesn't know if he's going to keep doing it the entire time but she can't lie. She doesn't want him to stop it.
She finally gets Frank's shirt open, and she rests her hands against his bare chest, just to feel it. It's nice. Gerard's belly is twisting in a way that owes to both jealousy and lust, and it's making him very uncomfortable. He wants to leave, not have to actually watch, but he finds himself folding his arms and saying, "Frank, get rid of your clothes."
Frank scrambles to obey before he even consciously realizes he's doing it, unsure of why he's taking Gerard's direction but glad to have it. He moves back enough to slip off his shirt, undoes his pants, slides them down and kicks them to the side, standing before Mikey as naked as she is.
And they just stand there, Mikey's eyes glued between Frank's hips (she is certainly her brother's sister) and Frank gaping in much the same fashion until Gerard steps it. "Mikey, lie down. Frank, go on. You. You managed with me. You can with her." He's not sure how anyone loses their maidenhood, since most people don't have helpful brothers in the room to push them along.
Mikey takes a deep breath and settles onto the bed, on her back looking up at Frank. Frank just stands there for a long moment and looks down at her before finally crawling onto the bed too, legs between hers.
"Kiss her, Frank." Gerard can't bring himself to sit on the edge of the bed--that would just be horribly disturbing--but he moves so he's leaning against the wall, in perfect view. Frank obeys, leaning down to catch her lips, and Gerard can see when Frank's chest brushes Mikey's nipples and makes her gasp into the kiss again.
They look. Gerard can't even think about how good they look like this, as Mikey gains more confidence with the kiss, more sure and she pulls Frank down against her without any prompting this time. Frank goes easily, glad to be directed, but he knows it's different, what they do, because she's not Gerard (she's not a man) and he doesn't know where to go from there.
But Gerard knows. Mikey does too, but she's fairly well distracted now. Mikey had to be "instructed" in her wifely duties, and Gerard, playing the daughter, was included as well. This is what makes it real, he knows, and he inhales deeply before murmuring. "You have to be inside her."
Frank's breath catches and he stares down at Mikey with wide eyes. "Oh. I. Inside." He isn't sure if there's something he should do first, and he's not sure if he's asking Mikey or Gerard when he says, "Is that okay?"
Mikey looks back up at him, eyes just as wide as his, and she nods almost imperceptibly at the same time Gerard says, "Make sure she's." He can't believe he's saying this about his little sister, who's naked and right there. "Touch her. See if she's ready for you."
Frank is utterly embarrassed to have to ask this but he doesn't know, everyone just assumed he would hear how to do this from somewhere and no one ever told him. And this is the first time he's even seen a woman naked, much less touched one. "How, um. What's ready?"
Gerard makes a slightly strangled noise and he can't, so he just says, "Mikey, show him." Mikey turns scarlet, but she reaches down and takes Frank's hand, guiding it between her thighs so he can feel how wet she is for him.
Frank chokes out a disbelieving noise but he brushes his fingers against her again, curious, eyes widening when she arches a little, body shuddering. Neither of them told him what ready was, but he thinks she is, if this is any indication at all. "Do you want me to--now?"
She definitely nods this time, eyes squeezed shut against the sensation of him touching her, so ready to feel it. Feel him. Frank glances over at Gerard, and when he nods as well, climbs forward a little and tries to line himself up properly.
He tries to be as careful as he can as he pushes in, knowing she's probably never done this before either. He doesn't want to hurt her. But god, it's good, he can't even think about how good it feels.
Mikey makes a soft noise, because it hurts but. It's really happening, she's losing her maidenhood and under the bit of burning, there's a thread of good. Gerard knows he shouldn't be watching this. They obviously don't need him anymore, he should give them their privacy but. He can't look away from the place where their hips are being wedded together.
Frank doesn't stop until he's inside her all the way, and then he does, stilling entirely, just watching the look on her face. And Gerard is watching them--he doesn't have to look over, he can feel it.
Gerard's breathing has gone heavy, and Mikey whimpers. She can't help it, she needs more than this--she wriggles under Frank, trying to make him do something.
Even just that little bit of movement electrifies Frank, and it's then that he gets it. What he's supposed to do, how this is really done. It's not so different from what he and Gerard do, rocking against each other, and he nudges forward just a little.
And it's good. Gerard can tell, the spots of color at the height of Mikey's cheeks and how the tips of her ears are red behind her mussed hair, the way Frank is biting his lip, stomach tense from effort. Mikey arches up a little, and before he even considers it, Gerard is saying, "You can go harder, Frank, she can take it."
Frank and Mikey both make a sound at that, almost in unison, and Frank gasps out before he can even help it, "Have you two done. I mean. Anything like this?" Mikey shakes her head, they haven't done anything like this, they've never even kissed in a way that could be more than platonic, but here Gerard is and she doesn't know how he knows she can take it, but it's true.
"No." Gerard answers even though Mikey already has. "I just know my baby sister. That's all." His baby sister and his husband, moving together, has him ready and aching, but he could never give into such a foul urge.
But Mikey knows him every bit as well as he knows her. "You can," she says, looking him straight in the eye even as she's clinging to Frank, moving with him. "Do it."
Frank doesn't know what's going on, doesn't know why Gerard's eyes are closed so tightly while he whispers, "Mikey, no, don't say that." He's working his hips into her, and it's different from what he did with Gerard--he hesitates to say better, though this feels amazing, but Gerard is Gerard.
"No," Mikey says firmly, pushing back against Frank. "If you can direct us you can do this. I want you to." Frank doesn't know what they're talking about, he's utterly confused, but it's something between the two of them and he knows not to interfere.
Mikey wants him to, and Gerard has never refused her anything. He's still afraid, just lets the side of his hand skate over the straining front of his trousers, making a little half-sigh noise.
She's still looking at him, watching like he's been watching her, and she makes an exasperated noise. Gerard can't meet her eyes but he knows she wants him to just do it, and not worry about how wrong it is. They're already--Gerard being here alone is enough for that.
Gerard won't look at her when he does it. He won't. He tries to pretend he can't hear the sound of flesh sliding together as he undoes his pants and traces his fingertips over his cock, pretending that his groan is the only one he hears.
He can't help it, though. He looks up only once and then he can't tear his eyes away, can't help groaning shakily , watching the way they focus on each other, the way that Frank is learning how to do what Mikey likes in this.
And Mikey is learning what she likes, how to tilt her hips so that Frank is reaching the right places, that if Frank presses a kiss to her nipple as he thrusts into her she'll shudder all over.
Neither of them are going to last like this, and Mikey comes, eyes wide, her whole body tensing, almost caught off-guard by the sudden intensity of it. But she holds Frank where he is, doesn't let him pull out, not yet.
And the way Mikey moves around him when she comes, Frank doesn't know if he'll ever feel something like it again, and he comes too, just as surprised as she was. "Did." Frank looks down at Mikey, then over at Gerard, who still has his hand halfway into his trousers. "Did it work? Are. Are we going to have a baby?"
Mikey half-laughs. "I don't know yet. It takes time to happen? I hope so." She looks over at Gerard, eyes still full of heat and she knows it's wrong that she wants him to not stop on their account but it doesn't matter.
Gerard takes in a shuddering breath and feels stupid, wishing they could have gone on longer, not left him like this. But though his stomach aches, he pulls his hand away from his cock and smiles shakily. "We'll. We'll find out soon, Frank."
Frank nods, hoping that it worked, that they really are (that it's that simple, it seems simple) but--"Do you want me to help with that?" he asks Gerard, looking down pointedly at his pants. He doesn't want to make Mikey leave, but if she doesn't mind Gerard being here while she's doing this, he thinks it might go both ways.
"I." Gerard stares hopelessly between Frank and Mikey, because he wants Frank to touch him so badly, but Frank has just been deflowering his sister and. And it's strange. But he wants. "If Mikey doesn't mind."
Mikey shakes her head. "It's fine. I don't mind." The whole situation is strange, but it works, somehow, and Frank pulls out and moves forward, toward Gerard. "What do you want me to do?"
"I don't." Gerard is still staring at Mikey, how she's flushed and her thighs are still spread and she looks well and truly deflowered. "Anything."
They've never tried it, only talked about it once or twice, and only after Frank heard that people did that from eavesdropping on gossip, but Frank wants to try it and as soon as he gets to Gerard he gets on his knees, half-grinning. "Do you want me to try that one thing?"
Gerard has to bite his tongue to keep from moaning when Frank goes to his knees, remembering what they had talked about. "If. If you want to, Frankie." Gerard wants to, definitely wants to. Mikey rolls over onto her stomach to watch, curious.
Frank pushes Gerard's pants down to his knees and leans forward, not entirely sure what to do but trying to remember, licking tentatively at Gerard at first and hoping it's a good thing to do.
Gerard whines, high in the back of his throat, and his thighs flex as he struggles not to thrust his hips up. The little flicks of Frank's tongue are going to tear him apart.
Frank tries to remember what else--it wasn't mentioned in explicit detail but he remembers faintly, and he dips forward further, frowning thoughtfully before sucking the head of Gerard's cock into his mouth. Mikey stares, fascinated.
"God, Frank." Gerard has to touch him, just has to, and he reaches down to cup Frank's cheek. It's wet, and so warm and nice, and Mikey is watching, seeing the slick way Frank's lips stretch.
He looks good like that, she can't help but think, not moving closer but wanting to. Frank looks up, meets Gerard's eyes while he's doing this and Gerard can't help but moan at that.
Frank takes more of Gerard's cock in, because Gerard certainly seems to like it, and he can feel the weight of Mikey's gaze on both of them, and he finds that he wants more than anything for them to like this, like him.
Gerard has to force himself to hold still, not to move, even as he makes an embarrassingly strangled noise at the sheer feeling of good from it.
Frank sucks when he tries to breathe in through his mouth, and Gerard shudders under his mouth and hands. He tries again, sucking more deliberately. It's a strange taste, salty and a little gamey with a touch of bitter, but he doesn't dislike it.
He thinks he probably should, but nothing about him and Gerard is normal, so it doesn't matter, and he slides down further, trying to go as far as he can before he has to pull back, lips sliding wetly.
Gerard moans under his breath, and Mikey finds that when she shifts and her nipples rub against Frank's sheets (softer than her own, but still a little rough), a warm pulse goes through her, not unlike it felt when Frank was touching her
She shudders a little and tries not to let her hand slip down to touch herself (like Frank did, earlier, but more sure, more familiar) because she's watching her brother and his husband, it's not right.
Gerard knows he shouldn't look at her, not while Frank is doing this, but his eyes drift to her anyway, and he notices the flush immediately. "Mikey, are you alright?" He has to ask carefully, because he wouldn't want to assume, or to embarrass her.
"Fine," she says, breath coming shorter. "I think you're focusing on the wrong person, brother." She wants to watch them together, not have Gerard watch her, because isn't that the proper thing to do? (though none of this is proper, none at all)
"I have to watch out for my baby sister," he replies, punctuated with a groan when Frank's tongue catches behind the head of cock. Frank wants to know what Mikey is doing, but he wouldn't trade this view, the too-close of Gerard's thighs and belly, for the world.
"Mhmm." She's intending for Gerard to look away, embarrassed, when she does what she does next, slips her hand down her body to brush fingers lightly over herself, but he doesn't look away.
She isn't really sure what to do--what Frank did to her felt wonderful, but it's different from this angle. She isn't as ready as she was then, and the dryness of her fingers burns a little when she experimentally prods a little too hard.
She frowns and tries it again, different, trying to figure out what works and what doesn't, and she can feel Gerard's eyes on her as she does it. He's trying not to look but he can't not, even when he should be focusing on Frank, not on his baby sister.
But Frank wouldn't mind, if he knew Gerard's little sister was cautiously fingering herself behind him, he just licks at Gerard, getting a little more confident and a little overenthusiastic.
Gerard doesn't mind at all, eyes finally slipping shut as Frank pushes down again, a little sloppy but he's not one to judge, and he's so, so close. He doesn't know what to do like this. "Frank. Frank, I'm going to. Do you stop or keep going or what?" It comes out all in a rush, half-worried, half-confused because he honestly doesn't know.
Frank pulls off, bringing up his hand to keep stroking Gerard gently, not wanting to leave him totally cold. "I don't know. I. Am I supposed to keep going? I'm not sure."
"I, unh." And Gerard doesn't even get the chance to say one way or another or warn Frank properly because he comes, right then.
Mikey chokes, half out of laughter, half because the surprised burst of giggles makes her hand press in a really excellent way. Frank sits there looking up at Gerard, stunned with Gerard's release smearing his cheeks and mouth and even some in his hair.
"I'm sorry," Gerard squeaks, staring down at Frank and all he can think is I just did that. "Um. I can. Um." Frank just blinks up at him, no idea what to say at first.
"I." Frank swallows hard. "Is that. I don't think that's supposed to happen." Mikey is still giggling on the bed, because they're truly ridiculous and...well, she had been scared, and she still is, but she thinks she'll be happy to have their baby for them.
"Please don't be mad at me," Gerard says helplessly, staring down at him. "I wasn't trying to. It just happened." And then he pauses, glares over at the bed. "Mikey."
“It's." Mikey wheezes, and her belly is still all warm and comfortable from the touching, and her brother and his husband are wonderful and strange. "You." She can't go any further, curling in on herself and laughing.
"Mikey, stop laughing at me," Gerard says, half-whining. "It's not my fault I'm terrible at this." And finally Frank has to start laughing too, just because of how ridiculous the whole situation is.
Gerard scowls, but Frank pats his knee. "It's okay, Gee." He giggles to himself and stands up to lean in and kiss Gerard, still messy. "None of us are very good."
Gerard kisses back but he's still sort of staring because he did that on Frank's face and Frank doesn't even seem to be that mad at him for it. "Maybe I want to be good," he says finally.
Frank shrugs, unconcerned, and draws his finger through some of the cooled mess on his cheek and peers at it thoughtfully. "We'll figure it out." He reaches forward and smears the bit of release right on Gerard's nose, knowing full well how disgusting it is and wanting to anyway.
"Ew," Mikey says, giggling again, and Gerard pulls a face, wipes it off his nose and, just to freak Frank out (because it's weird) sticks it in his mouth like he would a sauce at dinner when he thinks no one is watching him eat.
Frank is a little freaked, but also...also a little intrigued. "What does it taste like?" He asks, before realizing that he has practically a faceful and sticks his tongue out, swiping it around his mouth, searching.
Gerard shrugs. "Weird. I don't know how I would describe it?" And then stares, because Frank is licking it off his face and that really shouldn't be hot, but is.
Frank makes a little thoughtful sound and nods. "It's not terrible." Mikey finds herself wanting to take a turn, lick her brother's release off of Frank's cheek, but she knows that is certainly crossing the careful lines, so she just does her best not to giggle and rests her face on her hands. "Now we just have to wait."
"Do you know how long?" Frank asks, to no one in particular, because he knows if one of them knows then most likely both of them do. "Before we'll know for sure?"
"It will be a little while," Gerard says. "But. Hopefully not too long." In case they have to try it again, in case it didn't work, and what if it doesn't? He isn't sure he could handle this again.
"Good." Frank looks relieved, wants to make sure that this plan will work. Nothing is going to happen to Gerard or Mikey. He has to make sure of that.
Mikey can see how worried Gerard is underneath it, and she rolls over onto her back, sprawling her long limbs. "I think it worked." She rubs a little at the flat of her tummy thoughtfully. "I think we're having a baby."
Frank grins, not sure why he's so excited by the thought but he's going to be a father. Even if he can't actually have his children with Gerard, this is still his child. And then he has a thought and wants to be sick on the spot. "What if it's not a boy?" he asks, swallowing. "They'd want a heir."
"Oh." Gerard and Mikey exchange looks. Gerard bites his lip, but Mikey half-shrugs. "We can always have another."
"Are you sure you'd be okay with that?" Gerard frowns, looking at her. "Another baby?"
"I think so. I mean, I don't know? I've never had one before." Mikey looks down at herself, trying to imagine her belly thick and round and can't quite do it, then over at Gerard. "But, I'm not opposed to it."
Gerard has a sneaking suspicion she'll have a different opinion when she starts to have to deal with the effects of it, but doesn't argue. He smiles. "Thank you. So much."
She smiles back, and Frank beams at both of them. "Maybe we should have more than one anyway," he says thoughtfully, crawling aback onto the bed with Mikey, stretching out next to her. "I like babies."
"You might not like them so much when they're yours," she says, smiling. "But maybe."
The time had passed achingly slowly. A week, then two, then three, and their deadline is almost upon them and still no sign of anything unusual from Mikey. Right now, Gerard wishes that Frank and Mikey had...done that every night, just so that their odds would be higher. He is seriously considering packing his things when there's a knock on his door. He opens it, to find Mikey looking somehow both pale and flushed. "I. Gerard. I was ill."
Gerard freezes. "You think it's. That kind of ill?" He's holding his breath, waiting for the answer, because if it's true then he doesn't have to leave at all, they can just all three leave and everything will be okay.
Mikey chews at her lip. "I. I think so. I felt fine, but now. I think it's. I think it's happening." She peers over his shoulder. "Where's Frank?"
"I'll go get him. He's taking a nap," Gerard says, sort of sheepishly. She caught them at a good time, at least, because any sooner and she would have walked in on, well.
Mikey catches Gerard's tone, and flushes prettily. She does her best to act normal around Frank, but. Sometimes it's difficult, because it isn't normal, he took her maidenhood and, if she's right, filled her belly.
Gerard looks off to the side and scurries off to shake Frank awake. Frank always takes a while, but as soon as he hears "Mikey thinks it's happening. Come on, we need to go." he wakes up almost immediately.
Frank hurries to Mikey's side, and doesn't give a thought to usual propriety when he presses a hand to her belly, as though he could feel anything this early on (maybe). "You. Are you sure, Mikey?"
Mikey nods, taking a deep breath. "I. Yes." She has a feeling that she is, one that she can't even describe properly, but she knows. And then when she was sick, it only made her more sure.
Frank's entire face lights up, and he throws his arms around her, hugging her tight. "Oh god. Mikey. It's real."
She hugs back tight with one arm and pulls Gerard into the hug with the other, so it's the three of them. "It is."
"We have to tell my father," Frank mumbles against the squash of Gerard's chest. "So we can make arrangements to leave before. Before anything."
“Before it starts being obvious," Gerard fills in, and clutches them both tighter. "You should go tell him." He wants to stay and talk to Mikey while Frank is gone, make sure she's alright with all of this still.
Frank nods and kisses Gerard's cheek, then hesitates a moment before kissing Mikey's as well before heading off to his father's chambers. Mikey can feel we need to talk coming off of Gerard in waves, and she folds her arms. "Alright, go ahead."
"Is all of this still alright with you?" Gerard has to take a moment to work up the courage to ask the rest. "If. Frank and probably aren't going to stop doing, you know. Things. While we're there. I don't want you to be uncomfortable."
"It's fine." Mikey smiles, and it's only a little bit forced. "I knew that when I agreed. I don't mind, you're married. You should do things."
Gerard can tell, though, when she's faking smiles. He knows her, she can't hide that from him. "You. I'm not stupid, Mikey. If you have any issues with it, any at all, I want you to tell me."
"It's nothing, Gee, promise." She runs a hand over her hair under her snood and shrugs a little. "I just. It's a little scary." She'll let Gerard think she means the pregnancy, when really she's afraid of what will happen when it's just her and Frank and Gee for months.
"Alright." Gerard will just have to trust that that's it. He doesn't blame her, he would be scared too, if he was the one having the child. He's scared anyway, because if it doesn't work he knows she won't be the only one in trouble.
"Don't worry, brother." She kisses his cheek, almost to the corner of his mouth and smiles, pushing any worries or uncomfortable flutters away for now. "You're going to have a baby."
He smiles too and hugs her tight to him again. "Thank you for doing this, Mikey. I wouldn't know what to do without you."
She squeezes him back, resting her head on his shoulder and smiling into his shirt. "You'd be so lost, you're very lucky to have me, you know."
"I am. I really am." Gerard feels embarrassingly emotional about this, almost teary-eyed because he's so glad everything is going to work out. It has to.
"It's all going to be fine," she murmurs against his shoulder, as though she can feel Gerard's thoughts. "You get to stay with Frank. We all get to stay."
It's then that Frank comes back in, awkward to have interrupted this but he's out of breath he moved so fast and they turn around at the first sounds of him, panting breaths and the door closing behind him. "Everything's going to work out," he manages, grinning. "They're getting someone to take us out there this afternoon. And no one thought it was strange to have you be coming with us, Mikey."
"That's because they know how much she means to me," Gerard says with a little waver in his voice. Mikey shakes her head and pinches his arm.
"We should pack," she says, smiling. "Find you some nice dresses." Frank knows now, she can poke fun at him having to wear dresses every day and it's not strange anymore.
Gerard makes a face. "We'll have to pack some nice big dresses for you," he points out, poking her tummy. "You're not going to fit anything you have now, you know."
"I would probably fit into some of your dresses," she says thoughtfully, looking at him. "You're bigger than me."
Gerard screws up his face. "Yes, but I'm broader. You're still going to be all sticky, just with--" he makes a gesture at her belly "--all that. I'm sure Frank's mother can help us find something."
"She'll be looking for things that would fit you," Mikey points out, sighing. "Oh well. I suppose I'll have time to fix it if I need to."
"I can sew too," Gerard points out. "We'll manage. And you should be fine for a while, we don't have to worry just yet."
"True. So--" Really, they need to leave as soon as they can. "We should go pack, then." She can play the part of waiting on Gerard until they get there, and then Gerard is waiting on her.
"Oh, Gerard." Frank reaches over and squeezes his hand. "Um. At dinner. They're going to want to announce it and congratulate you and everything. Just so you're warned."
Gerard pinks and nods. "As long as they don't all touch my stomach to check, that's alright with me. I mean. They wouldn't do that, would they?"
"My aunt might," Frank makes a face. "But they wouldn't be able to tell now anyway, would they?" Because Mikey is laced up just like normal and there's no sign of anything amiss.
"Probably not," Mikey supplies, ruffling fingers through Gerard's hair. "It'll be fine. Don't worry about it."
Gerard sighs. "It's just strange." Mikey pats his shoulder, because surely she's in a stranger position than he is, and he looks over at Frank. "So your whole family, then? That should be lovely."
“It could be worse," Frank says, sighing. "Apparently when I was born the entire court was in attendance. We have permission to stay out of the public eye or this wouldn't work at all."
Mikey and Gerard both exhale their relief. "What did you tell them?" Mikey asks. "I mean. I know that a royal birth is always quite the attraction."
“I told them that you had to be away because you're prone to fainting when around large crowds when you're stressed and I was worried for the health of the baby," Frank admits, grinning sheepishly.
Mikey giggles and Gerard blushes, but smiles. "Nice thinking. Should I have a fainting spell at dinner to back up your story?" He's only mostly joking.
Frank considers it. "It might be fun," he offers, after a moment. "Just to scare a few of them."
Gerard's smile turns a little wicked. "It would certainly stop any suspicions." He's warming up to the idea--he's always had a taste for drama, and a swoon in front of Frank's entire family would be quite the exit.
"It would. No one would be gossiping about it at all, then, except about how delicate you are." Frank can tell Gerard is going to go along with it and he's going to enjoy it, for sure.
"A delicate flower," Mikey chimes in, grinning. "And you can be ever so manly and dab her brow, Frank."
“I can. And act all worried," Frank says, still grinning. "My poor delicate wife."
"It's a good thing you're taking her to get some hearty country air," Mikey says with a solemn expression. "She could use it."
"Maybe when she comes back from it she'll be able to be around crowds again," Frank says, sighing dramatically. "I do hope so."
Gerard wrinkles his nose, trying to hide how amused he is and how pleased that Mikey and Frank get along. This whole thing would be dreadful if they didn't. "She's still standing right here, you two."
"Is she," Mikey says, not looking over like she's forgotten Gerard is even there. "How strange."
Gerard pinches her hip and Mikey squawks and bats at his hand, making a face right back. "Careful, I'm in a delicate condition, Gerard."
Gerard grins. "Not too delicate yet, I hope," and reaches over to tickle her. She squeaks and tries to hide behind Frank, but he goes after her as well, giggling. She squirms in on herself but Gerard knows all the good spots to tickle her and she can't squirm away too much, just laughs.
They all end up laughing and breathless, but there's a dinner to attend, packing to do, and they'll have all the time in the world for fun when they're safely out of sight. Nine months of it, even, and Gerard finds himself looking forward to it, being away where he doesn't have to pretend and speak in a high voice every day. Where he doesn't have to worry about maids whispering about him.
And he can spend all his time with his favorite people without worrying about being given away. He's sure it will be nice for all of them to have a break from the court life, especially while Mikey is coping with the baby.
It's probably not going to be as easy for her as she thinks it will be, he knows that. He remembers, in a dim, distant sort of way, his mother while she was pregnant with Mikey, and how unhappy she ended up being sometimes, how hard it was to get around. But he hopes that since she'll have Frank and himself all to herself, they can help her however they can. He knows that Frank is already fascinated, has whispered "baby" against Gerard's chest as they fall asleep every night, and he's certainly looking forward to it too.
They don't take long to pack, stuffing clothes into their bags so that they'll be ready before dinner. Frank finishes first, of course, and spends the rest of the time complaining at Gerard about how slow he is at it.
But he's got dresses, which have to go into trunks and can't be crushed like Frank's shirts can (although he knows Frank's mother would have a fit if she saw) and besides, he has to pack a nice variety since he'll be giving some to Mikey.
The call for dinner comes just as Gerard is wedging the last dress into his trunk, and he has to sit on the trunk to latch it. "Alright," he says, taking a deep breath. "I hope your family can restrain itself a little. Should we go?"
Frank takes his arm, as is expected, and the pair of them make their way down to the hall. Mikey is already seated near the end of the table--she's only just above the status of a lady-in-waiting--and she smiles that we have a secret smile at Gerard and Frank when they pass to take their seats on Frank's father's right.
Gerard smiles back in the same way and settles down into the chair. Frank's father is looking over at them with an expression so cheery it's really almost creepy, and Gerard wants to trade places with Mikey right about now.
Of course, Gerard has to keep smiling, while Frank's father claps his son on the back yet again, and then rises. "My friends, we have joyous news this eve. My son--" he grabs Frank's shoulder, and the brightness in Frank's eyes lets Gerard know he's holding tight. "--has told me that his lady wife is with child."
Frank tries to contain his wince, and just pastes on a smile as the crowd murmurs its approval, chattering excitedly among themselves about it. It is a big deal, but Frank really wishes he could sit down already and that everyone would stop staring at Gerard.
But neither of his wishes are going to come true, because his father gesticulates wildly for a moment before Frank realizes he wants Gerard to stand up too. Frank offers his hand, and hears a few of his older cousins "awww" politely. And his father is looking expectantly at him.
Gerard stands up too, awkwardly, hand in Frank's, and the crowd's chattering grows even more. Everyone's eyes are on them and Gerard looks helplessly at Frank out of the corner of his eye, is it over yet? and Frank whispers into his ear, "It shouldn't be too long."
"Frank." His father prods him, voice a little lowered. "Say something."
Frank stares at all the eyes staring back at him and swallows hard. He has no idea what to say.
"Um, yes," he begins, and his father sighs. "My wife is pregnant with our child. We will be staying at one of my father's places in the country for the birth, though, because of her delicate health."
There's a soft murmuring amongst some of the guests, and Gerard decides this is probably his chance--and perhaps he can even get Frank and Mikey out of having to attend the dinner--and sways slightly, eyelids fluttering.
Frank pretends to act startled, but he actually is startled when, just like that, Gerard drops. He is impressed and he grabs Gerard around the waist to pull him back up, pasting on the most worried expression he can manage.
There's a shocked outcry and Gerard would smile if he wasn't so good at keeping his face slack. Mikey is on her feet in a moment, striding to the head of the table, pulling out a handkerchief and handing it to Frank with a quiet "milord."
Frank nods, trying to keep himself from cracking up, and dabs at Gerard's forehead, still holding him. "If--" he might as well try it. "If you could excuse us from the dinner, she doesn't deal well with crowds with this kind of stress upon her."
"Of course," Frank's father waves over some servants who watch while Frank carefully helps a bleary Gerard back to his feet. "You must watch out for her, Frank, that's my heir she's carrying."
Frank doesn't like it when his father refers to it like that at all, but he can get out of the dinner and he barely manages to contain his grin. "Come on," he says to Gerard, loud enough for others to hear. "We should go back to our room."
Gerard nods weakly and lets Frank wrap his arm around his waist and pretends to hobble out, Mikey following and fanning him with another handkerchief. Once they're back at their room and the servants leave, Frank practically falls over giggling.
"You are amazing," he manages, practically wheezing with laughter. "Amazing." Gerard is grinning too, glad to have pulled off his act so fantastically and they don't even have to deal with the rest of the attention at dinner.
"That was great, Gee." Mikey kisses the tip of his nose and giggles too. "You're such a delicate lady, I hardly know what to do."
"I am," Gerard says, joining in the laughter. "I don't either, but be careful, I might faint on you again if I get too worked up."
"Oh heavens," Mikey throws her hand against her forehead. "Be careful, my poor sister, you wouldn't dare harm the heir now would you?"
"Oh no. I wouldn't dream of endangering the heir." Gerard is still annoyed that it's not even called a child, it's the heir, of course, that's what it will no doubt be called all the time, more often than its name.
Frank made a grumpy face, feeling much the same as Gerard. "I wonder if Father will even remember the baby's name." He folds his arms across his chest. "If it's a boy, he'll just be the heir, and if it's a girl." He sighs. "If it's a girl, no one will even bother."
Mikey makes a face, but she knows it's true. "Well. We'll bother," she says, quiet, but it's not the same and she knows it. "But you're right."
"We're what matters," Gerard insists, face set and arms folded. "We're her family. Or his. And we'll love it no matter what."
"Besides, my dad is weird anyway," Frank points out. "So I wouldn't worry what he's going to think. Are you packed, Mikey?"
Mikey nods. "Mhmm, the footman already took my trunks down to the carriage. I'm ready whenever you are."
Frank nods, half-smiling. "I don't want to spend any more time hearing about the heir than I have to. We could just leave now."
Gerard beams. "Let's. It will be a few days ride, we might as well start out now."
They make their way down to the carriage, Mikey having to help Gerard carry his bag because it's so overloaded. But finally they're all settled in, and though they can't be fully relaxed with the driver of the carriage still there, it's better than it has been.