The afternoon flies by. Mikey spends study hall copying Frank's homework, and when he gets home, he feels surprisingly good. The day is mediocre, almost forgettable, until Mikey steps into the living room, and Gerard opens his mouth.

"You know for my birthday present, you're distracting the family with your date?"

"Yeah." Mikey says.

"I found you a date."

"Oh?" Mikey would have done that himself, but Gerard's saved him time. How nice.

"Yeah. He's coming over tomorrow." Gerard said. He's sprawled onto the couch, flipping through television shows. He doesn't even look up at Mikey.

"A boy." Mikey muses.

"Yeah, a boy. I got Pete Wentz? Frank said you seemed to like him. He'll be here at two."

Wait.

What?

"You... You know Pete Wentz? Like, eyeliner, black hair..."

"Frank said he wore a yellow shirt today." Gerard says, and it should be creepy that he knows this, but all Mikey can think about fuckity fucking Frank, I can't believe him...

"What did Frank tell you?" Mikey asks. God forbid Gee finds out about his minuscule crush on the dumb emo-

"Just that you like him." Unbelievable, Mikey thinks, but Gerard shrugs like this is nothing.

Mikey runs a hand through his hair. "Yeah, well, I don't."

"Oh, okay. Well, he's still coming over tomorrow."

"Can't you cancel?"

"No. You still need a date."

"I'll get my own. I don't like Pete. I barely know him."

"Fine. He sounds like a bit of a fuckboi."

"Pete is not a fuckboi." Mikey says, before he can stop himself. Gee slowly turns his head to grin at Mikey, his grin saying, I knew it, you do like him. Mikey knows what this face means because he made it a thousand times to Gee, back when he wouldn't shut up about Frank.

Karma is a bitch. Mikey just stares at Gerard, feeling his face go red. He wants to defend himself, but it's too late now.

"How long have you liked him?" Gee asks. The television remains ignored.

"I've known him since middle school." Mikey replies.

"Question dodger. What makes him so special, anyways?"

Mikey shrugs, and turns around to go upstairs. If Pete's coming over, Mikey has a lot of planning to do. Starting with how he's going to explain this situation to Pete.

~~~~~~~

"Hey, Mikey." Pete smiles at him from their porch, a backpack slung over his shoulder, and a sunny smile despite the dark eyeliner around his eyes. It's two pm, and Mikey literally got dressed five minutes ago. "Uh, your older brother invited me here. He said you wanted to talk to me?"

"Yeah, come in." Mikey says. Pete practically skips into the house, and Mikey doesn't know if Pete's enthusiasm is endearing or a bit strange. "Uh, want to go to the dining table? I have orange juice."

"Okay." Pete takes off his backpack and carries it in his hand, walking over to the table. "Where's Gerard?"

"Out with Frank. He left half an hour ago." Mikey pours juice into a glass and hands it to Pete, who mumbles a thank you. He waits until Pete sits down, before clearing his throat and starting the speech that he rewrote 4 times. "I should, like... probably explain."

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