mrsronweasley: (MCR - smokin' in the boys' room)
mrsronweasley ([personal profile] mrsronweasley) wrote2011-01-17 06:34 pm
Entry tags:

no_tags REVEALED!

YAY.

Shocking no one, I wrote Life As a Symptom, the Frank/Gerard office AU.

Oh, man, I struggled this year. I guess my mojo's just not fully back, because I started two separate attempts in a totally different setting (well, both attempts were in the same setting, just different POVs.) And I LIKED that setting, but it seemed to be building up to something I couldn't write in a week, a part of a much longer and more involved story. And it felt like the setting was over-taking the characters, so I got rid of it entirely.

(I had those attempts saved as "no tags" and "other no tags", so when I started the third (the current fic) I didn't call it ANYTHING. AT ALL. It was called "I think it" up until I posted it. BECAUSE WHAT IF THAT DIDN'T PAN OUT, EITHER. DDDD:)

So, like, I started writing the third attempt, and that's when it CLICKED. I basically wound up giving Gerard my writer's block, and somehow that worked for me. SORRY, GERARD. (I also gave him my first job. Again - SORRY, GERARD.) BUT I also gave him a Frank, so he shouldn't really be complaining at this point.

IDK, it's definitely not the greatest and not my favorite thing I've written, but it WAS fun, and I wrote a whole FIC, and I feel pretty good about that. (Also, this really proves that I have become incapable of writing ANYTHING under 10,000 words at this point. This is kind of a problem. D:) The part I struggled with the most is not making it read like wedding fic set into a different world. Iiiiiit's basically the same set-up, when you think about it. They just had less sex in this one, and there was no wedding. But there was a Gabe. *hands*

But I'm thrilled that people seem to have enjoyed it! This is very exciting! I really felt, for a while, that I was sending a dud out into the world. So, thank you for making me feel better. :D

So, in the interest of full disclosure, here are the two discarded drafts for your dubious pleasure. Hint: this would have given me away EVEN MORE THAN THE FINAL PRODUCT.

The office setting here is: academia. *jazz hands*

Draft 1:

Frank barely had his foot in the door when an almighty crash almost sent him and his precious cup of coffee sprawling on the linoleum floor from shock.

“Aww, fuck.”

The voice was muffled, but unmistakably that of Frank’s boss. He sighed and straightened out the strap of his bag over his shoulder before walking over to his desk, setting the coffee down before he lost it completely, and finally braving the back room where the copier and the water cooler resided.

“Grant?”

“Oh – hey, Frank, sorry about – shit, would you look at that?”

Frank wished he didn’t have to. The toner was everywhere - from Grant’s hands, to his suit, to the floor to, of course, the copier itself.

Frank sighed. “Seriously, how many times did we talk about nobody besides me being allowed near heavy machinery?”

Grant sighed back. “I’m sorry, Frank, I really am. I have the goddamn ridiculous bigwigs meeting this morning, and I had to make copies of the school policy, and it didn’t look right, so I just wanted to –“

“Never ever shake the toner yourself, seriously,” Frank said, stalking over to where his boss stood, splotched with toner like he was a panda. A bald, Dean-shaped, Scottish panda. “Sorry,” he added when Grant looked at him like he finally remembered who was actually boss. “You can call Kristan before your meeting and get new clothes, right?”

Grant nodded and straightened his tie. “My favorite fucking tie,” he moaned, looking down at where it got smudged to shit. Frank could really sympathize. He’d ruined more than one shirt before learning the hard way to wait for the repair guys to come and fix the problem. He also learned how to get toner off clothes without too much damage, but Grant didn’t seem to be in the mood for it.

“All right, I’ll go and call this in.”

“Thank you, Frank,” Grant sighed, shuffling out of the room.

Frank set the toner gingerly on top of the copier and put up a sign (on yellow paper, in bright red sharpie) that read “CRIME SCENE. DO NOT TOUCH. If you need to make copies, leave your requests with Frank. Thank you.”

Then he got ready for yet another day.

*

“Heads up!”

Frank looked up from his stack of transcripts and ducked immediately. A Starbucks paper bag arced in the air and landed pretty neatly on his desk, just barely missing his head and also the pile of transcript.

“Dewees, what the –“

“We were in the neighborhood, thought we’d stop by,” Pedicone grinned and snapped his gum. “You’re always bitching about how you can never, ever get away for your afternoon tea, or whatever, so we brought you bagels.”

“And coffee!” Dewees added, raising a paper cup in his hand. “Out of the sheer goodness of our hearts.”

“You’re forgiven,” Frank amended immediately, making grabby hands for the coffee. “Wait, did you say bagels?”

The bag contained two bagels – one plain, one sesame – and Frank inhaled the stale aroma of an afternoon bagel gratefully. “This is the best thing ever. I totally didn’t get to have lunch today,” he informed them, sticking his nose further inside the bag.

“What was that, Princess?” Dewees asked.

“Yeah, we couldn’t hear you with your face all in the pastries there –”

“I said I didn’t get to –“

“Uh, Frank?”

Frank nearly dropped the goddamn bag right out of his hands. “Hi! Ge- Gerard. What can I do? For, uh, for you?”

He set the bag down on his desk and focused on Gerard, who’d appeared in front of him like a ninja, ignoring the horrible and embarrassing faces both of his roommates were making at him. Assholes.

“I was just wondering if you knew how long the copier was going to take?” Gerard asked in his usual deer-caught-in-the-new-professor’s-headlights way. He wasn’t even that new, it was his second semester at the school, but Frank could tell the university intimidated the crap out of him. Dean Morrison intimidated the crap out of him, the other faculty intimidated the crap out of him. Hell, there were days when Frank thought he intimidated the crap out of Gerard Way, and that was why Frank went out of his way to be extra nice to him whenever he could.

Well, that, and new English Professor Gerard Way was fucking gorgeous. Not even in comparison to the rest of the faculty being largely composed of middle-aged, vaguely portly and/or uptight ladies and gentlemen that Frank had no interest in whatsoever. He was just a seriously good-looking dude who also happened to be genuinely nice, if largely inept at things like printers and copiers and logical reasoning.

“They said they’d be here by one?” Frank managed to tell him, after unsticking his tongue from the back of his throat. “But, you know how it is with those guys. They’re probably boozing it up over in the psych building or whatever, right now, so – I’m not entirely sure. Why?”

“Oh, I just wanted to – I had this thing I wanted to copy for my lecture at two today, and –“

“What is it?”

“Oh!” Gerard’s eyes suddenly lit up and he handed Frank a piece of paper. Frank looked down at it, then back up at Gerard, not even bothering to ask.

"It's a reinterpretation of Hansel and Gretel as seen through the beast inside the witch!" Gerard explained all in a rush.

Frank just looked at him, waiting for more, but it didn't come. "…as rendered by?"

"Oh, me," Gerard shrugged, and then bit his lip because seriously, this was a big ol' mess. Frank decided to not even ask if there was a beast inside the witch in the version Gerard had read, but did give it another look.

“It’s – interesting,” he said, nodding. “Wait, you draw?”

Gerard beamed at him, scratching behind his shirt collar. “Yeah. It was a toss-up for me, in college, art or English. I did both, but – I don’t know, art was more personal, so I kept it personal, you know?”

Frank really, really enjoyed the way the word “personal” sounded when Gerard said it, then realized he was staring at Gerard’s mouth, and looked back down on the weird-ass picture in his hands. “Well, I can – give it a shot? I can call you when the guys come in to fix it?”

Gerard’s smile was brighter than the glow of Frank’s computer beside him. “That would be wonderful, Frank, thank you!”

Frank smiled back, picking up his pen and pretending like he was going to be doing work any minute now. Talking for Gerard for long periods of time somehow set his teeth on edge, made him nervous. Gerard picked up the cue and nodded at him, still smiling.

“I’ll be in my office, but, like, if I’m not there, you can just – email me? Or, like. I don’t know, just –“

“I’ll find you, yep,” Frank agreed, and then hollered after Gerard before the door hit him on the way out. “How many copies?”

“Fifty! Please!” Then the door really did shut, and Frank banged his head down on the stack of paper in front of him.

“You’re such a loser, baby,” Dewees cooed.

“But can you blame him, honey-bunches?” Pedicone added as Frank moaned quietly to himself. “That Professor Way sure is dreamy.”

*

Dave the repair guy strode in at five to one and walked right past Frank to the back, while Frank winced to himself and tried to hide. It wasn’t his fault the Dean broke the toner; again. He’d told him, but hey, until Frank stopped being a lowly admin, he was just going to have to live with the knocks.


Draft 2:

Walking into the copy room made Gerard unaccountably nervous, which was stupid. He knew it was stupid, and God knew, Mikey told him it was stupid all the time.

“It’s a copier, Gee, it’s not actually going to spit staples at you if you press the wrong button. It’s not possessed.”

“You don’t actually know that, though,” Gerard answered pointedly. But it wasn’t really the copier that made him nervous.

It was Frank. Granted, Frank didn’t, like, live in the copy room. In fact, he didn’t even work in the copy room, but he was the department admin, and his desk was set up in a way that put him unavoidably in Gerard’s path whenever he needed to make copies for class.

Which was a lot.

Which was fine, except for how Gerard managed to develop the most adolescent of crushes on Frank within his first week of working for the university, and he always wound up making a total idiot of himself whenever Gerard was anywhere in his proximity. He’d get all sweaty and nervous and either mumble an incoherent “hello,” or just pretend to be engrossed in his book so he wouldn’t have to make eye contact at all, or else, he’d suddenly and without provocation engage Frank in inane conversation that he would pay somebody actual money to extricate himself from. It just never went well for him.

But, the thing was, Frank was just always so fucking nice. And really good-looking. He was hot like a college admin shouldn’t have been allowed: he was a total punk, the kind of guy that Gerard’s been having a crush on since he hit puberty. Tattooed, with hair that could turn into a Mohawk at the slightest use of serious product, and apparently, he was also in a band. Gerard loved hot guys in bands.

“And he’s just so fucking nice, Mikey,” he whined now, flopping down onto the swively chair at Mikey’s desk.

“Get out of my chair,” Mikey told him without looking, then unbent from the filing cabinet. Once Gerard sighed and perched on top of his desk, instead, he added, “Also, how old are you?”

“Thirty,” Gerard mumbled around his thumb.

“Gee, you’re thirty years old. Either ask him out already or get over it.” Mikey’s voice was stern as hell, but when Gerard turned his pleading gaze on him, he watched him back almost kindly. Maybe it was just the scratched-up glasses. “Seriously, Gee. Is it that bad?” Mikey asked after a pause. “You’re not, you know, an awkward teenager anymore. You’ve been in relationships, you’re – you’re a catch, okay?”

“Aww,” Gerard said automatically, kicking Mikey in the knee. “Professor Way.”

“Fuck you, Professor Way,” Mikey mumbled, turning his attention to his computer screen. “Go teach a class or blow your admin or something, I’ve got notes to write up.”

Gerard only wished. “You sure you won’t go down there with me?” he asked, listlessly hopping off the desk and picking up the drawing, after stepping and almost sliding on it, first. Mikey just gave him a look. “Fine, fine, fine,” Gerard sighed, straightening up and brushing the hair out of his eyes. “But if the copier blows up again, I’m blaming you.”

“I’ll deny everything,” Mikey said and Gerard sagged down. Mikey could always get away with the shit that Gerard never could.

*

AND NOW TO LEAVE THE FEEDBACK THAT I OWE. It is a LOT.

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