Title: The One Where They're All... Ducks?
Fandom: Bandom: My Chemical Romance, Panic at the Disco, Fall Out Boy,
Pairing: Well, they're all ducks. But Frank/Gerard, Pete/Mikey. Possible future pairings if I ever come back to this.
Rating: Bad language. PG.
Word Count: 2,761.
Notes: I'd very much like if you could blame this entirely on the pain meds, but you really, really can't. They're ducks. Please note I don't actually think that Spencer and Bob are fat. I imagine that if hypothetically you were in a band mentioned within then you might want to click the back button. Edit: Please also note that I don't actually think that they're ducks, either.
Summary: Gerard's feathers brushed Frank's beak. "Quack," Gerard said, for want of something better to say.
Gerard swam backwards sometimes, just because he could.
He would be careering down the middle of the lake, backwards, and he would be shouting out to the other ducks, Sometimes it's okay to want to swim backwards. Sometimes it just has to be about what makes you feel good. Just remember it isn't wrong to want to swim backwards!
Ray used to think he was messing around. When he realised Gerard was genuine in his desire for all the ducks to embrace their inner swimming orientation, he stopped rolling his eyes and just started swimming closer to Gerard and Mikey, in their slipstream. Sometimes he swam backwards too, but he preferred seeing where he was going rather than where he was coming from. And he wasn't as good as Gerard at figuring out reversing, and had crashed into Gerard bottom-first on more than one occasion. It left him feeling uncomfortable, but Gerard had taken him under his wing and just said it's okay to swim forwards too, you know.
Mikey sometimes swam sideways, just because.
Across the water, Pete watched Gerard lead his ducks towards the island; Mikey paddling sideways and Ray curled under Gerard's wing and Frank swimming around Bob in circles as Gerard led them loudly and proudly across the lake.
Frank was a fucking untidy duck. His feathers were untidy and his movements were untidy and he didn't seem to care that he was clambering over the other ducks to nudge Gerard in the back or to launch himself on to Bob from the nearest high object. Bob never seemed to object that he'd just been dunked by a gleefully war-quacking Frank; he just shook him off into the water and rolled his eyes. Frank didn't get bored easily.
Two days later Bob spotted Pete enthusiastically lecturing a group of hen ducks about how it was okay to swim backwards, you know, if you wanted to. He was demonstrating by paddling backwards and then backwards again in front of the rushes. Patrick was treading water behind him, quacking mournfully, shaking his head as Pete got the lady ducks to swim backwards with him.
Later on, Bob spotted Pete and a hen duck coming out from behind the bushes at the side of the lake, smoothing down their feathers. Pete was looking pleased with himself. The hen duck was looking dazed.
Bob hadn't always hung out with Gerard and the others. He used to live at the other side of the lake, on the edges of another group of ducks who tended to keep Bob around to look after them. He usually swam somewhere around the edges, making sure that they didn't leave Bert behind somewhere. Bert was a little, scruffy duck who always looked like he'd gone ten rounds with a Canada Goose.
Gerard – who tended to be able to spot likeminded ducks from ten quacks away – had taken to Bert straight away and for one long summer, Bob and the others had had to watch as Gerard stopped eating the wholemeal rolls and the stone ground bread, had had to watch as he'd stopped dredging the lake for fish and worms and bits of grass – they'd had to watch as he hung around the edge of the lake begging for Mighty White with Bert.
They'd all been warned not to live off the white bread – full of chemicals and bleached flour - but they all knew what it felt like to eat it. It wasn't like Mikey and Frank and the others were Straight Edge ducks – not like Pete and his band of ducks, who steered clear of the feeding areas completely and chose to live off only what they could dredge from the lake itself. No, they all partook of the odd bit of white bread, spending lazy afternoons swimming around in circles and staring up at the clouds, giggling and pointing out the ones that looked like swans or fish or rabbits. Occasionally, the moved onto the harder stuff, the brands that could barely boast a natural ingredient, and they spent the best part of the day on their sides, too spaced out even to lazily kick themselves in circles.
They all did it for fun sometimes, but Gerard started doing it more and more often, looked more and more serious about it, did it religiously and almost desperately. The others tried to keep up with him, just to make sure he was okay, but they all knew Gerard's white bread habit was getting worse. Frank would look at him worriedly and Ray tried to push the wholemeal bread in his direction. Mikey nudged him upright and would let Gerard fall asleep against his feathers, in the fading light of the summer afternoons. Mikey would make sure that Gerard was sleeping directly in the warm haze of the setting sun so that at least he didn't have to see Gerard shiver. Afterwards, when it was dark and Mikey was cold, Bob would lift up a wing and let Mikey creep under, huddling in against his side till he stopped shivering.
Gerard stopped cleaning himself and it was Mikey who carefully picked at Gerard's feathers as Gerard slurred his words and stared at them with huge, dark, hazy eyes. Bob – because he was Bob, and amazing – circled them carefully, keeping the other ducks away. Ray worked extra hard, bringing them wholemeal bread and tiny fish that he thought Gerard might like. He'd lay them carefully under Gerard's beak and nudge at his neck.
Frank would swim around Mikey, helping him with the difficult cleaning bits. He'd take over Gerard duty at night, shooing Mikey into the collective warmth of Bob and Ray's sides. Frank had always liked being close to Gerard. When he'd first started hanging out with Gerard and Mikey and Ray (they were so cool, Frank was totally a fanduck), Frank had been seeing a hen duck from across the lake. With youthful exuberance they'd splashed their way across the water, racing around the rushes and spending their evenings under the duck hut by the side of the lake, coming out hours later looking dishevelled and slightly dazed.
His relationship had fizzled out once he'd become a permanent fixture with Gerard, Mikey and Ray though. Gerard and Frank had accidentally worked out a way of getting more bread from the duck feeders and the sheer joy they got from performing in front of toddlers and small children with bags of stale bread far outweighed three hours under the duck hut with a hen. So Gerard and Frank perfected their stage gay, nuzzling at each other's ducky necks, webbed feet intertwining, quacking together and bouncing.
"Oh, how sweet," they always said, and they'd always throw the bread at Frank and Gerard's feet.
It was totally and utterly the highlight of Frank's day.
Pete eyed their success and tried it out with Patrick at the other side of the lake. Patrick, however, tended to quack mournfully and Pete tended to get overexcited and step on Patrick's head. It wasn't an unqualified success, but Bob had seen Pete and Patrick fall asleep on more than one occasion with Pete's head tucked under Patrick's wing, so it was generally assumed that Pete's exuberance didn't send Patrick into fits of despair.
After Gerard gave up the bread completely, he wouldn't even come near the edge of the lake. It's a temptation, he told them primly.
Mikey rolled his eyes and then pressed himself tightly to Gerard's side. Gerard let him under his wing, and pressed back equally hard. Ray looked a little misty-eyed for a duck, and Bob excused himself soon after to "go and look in the rushes for, um, something he had forgotten". He came back looking a little red-eyed, but he was practicing his best looming face and even Frank didn't dare call him on it.
Frank – who was valiantly trying not to bemoan the loss of the stage gay – nudged his beak into the curve of Gerard's neck. "Proud of you, dude," he said quietly.
Gerard's feathers brushed Frank's beak. "Quack," Gerard said, for want of something better to say.
Having the ducklings around was kind of a refreshing change. There were four of them now. Brendon swam twice as much as the rest of them, zig-zagging around them like he had an inexhaustible supply of energy. Spencer was big-boned and had a bitch face that totally scared Frank, although Gerard was the only duck that was allowed to call him on it – and only when they were alone. Ryan was sleek and skinny and composed and deliberately bored. He went up to Pete out of the blue and put his head against Pete's wing – Pete hadn't been able to leave them alone since. Pete introduced them to Jon, who was calm and collected and kind of a dork. Spencer and Ryan had looked bemused for a while (Ryan would have given in eventually, even if Jon had been a big ho-duck, because Pete liked him and Ryan liked what Pete liked, only he liked it better, so Jon was pretty much an in right from the start. Oh, and Spencer liked what Ryan liked, so there was never any question). Brendon just liked ducks and he liked ducks who liked him. Plus Jon had a nice quack and liked to sing, so Brendon loved him.
The ducklings were hanging out by the duck house at the edge of the lake, looking hopefully at the children with their bags of bread.
A little girl in pigtails and a flowery dress said, "Oh, look daddy, look at the fat duck!"
Spencer didn't react particularly well to this and before the other ducks knew what was happening, he had splashed his way out of the lake, saying "I will cut you, you know, I will follow you to your house and peck you in the neck-" and he was hopping up and down and following them out of the feeding area on his big webbed feat, saying "I will follow you home and fucking hurt you-"
Brendon hated people being angry and the little girl was tugging on her daddy's sleeve, saying worriedly, "Daddy, the duck's after me, the fat duck's after me!" Spencer was yelling "I'm not fat, I'm big boned, you little-" and Brendon cut in front of him, bouncing nervously up and down and telling Spencer she was only a kid and to calm down. But the little girl was scared by the hopping and started to cry and her dad turned around and kicked – actually kicked - Brendon.
At which point, all hell broke loose because Ryan was fiercely protective and Jon had totally got Brendon's back and Spencer was about ready to go all carnivorous on their asses, and that was just the ducklings. Frank and Gerard had seen what was going on and were racing as fast as their webbed feet would carry them across the grass, Frank with a war cry and Gerard yelling after him, "but Frank, the only way forward is through non-violent protest!" But then the dad kicked out at Frank, and Gerard quacked so loudly and with such vitriol that Mikey – who could recognise Gerard above all the other ducks on the lake – suddenly appeared from over on the other beach, Pete following him out from behind a rock. Pete was incensed that anyone would dare to attack his ducklings, and Mikey was angry because it was Gerard, and Brendon was quacking in a high voice and the little girl was crying and her dad started yelling something about the ducks being fucking mental and how he was getting the warden.
Spencer – whose bitch face was directed elsewhere on this particular occasion, so Frank wasn't so put off by it – was hopping from foot to foot and yelling yeah, go get him, we'll show him, see what we can do to him-
Yeah, Frank was yelling, jumping on Gerard's back and getting mud all over Gerard's scruffy feathers. Brendon was looking all big-duck-eyed at Jon, who was nosing gently at Brendon's side, trying to ascertain if Brendon was more scared than hurt. Brendon quacked, sadly, and rested his head on Jon's back.
It was Brian who took charge after that, as usual.
They congregated on the island, with Brian stood on the big rock and flapping his wings to get some quiet. "Right," he yelled, and Pete clambered over Patrick and stepped on his head accidentally. Patrick quacked mournfully and Pete nosed at his neck in apology.
"Right," Brian says again, purposefully ignoring Pete. "I want some normal duck behaviour. I want Ray and Krista swimming out on the lake-" he eyed the ducks hard. Some of them ducked their heads. "-and I want the rest of you indulging in perfectly normal behaviour, do you understand me? Spencer is staying out of the fucking way – Bob can keep you company-"
"Hang on," said Gerard, loudly, "What about me and Frank?"
"You'll be staying in the reeds," Brian told him. Exasperatedly.
"How come we have to conform to the heteronormative standards of behaviour?" Gerard went on, loudly. Frank beamed happily beside him, quacking from foot to foot.
Brian looked like he might throttle Gerard, just for fun. "What exactly would you have me do, Gee?" he asked, heavily.
"Frank," Gerard said, perfectly seriously, "You wouldn't mind being my life partner, right?"
"Thought he already was," Spencer said, sulkily, under his breath. "Can't believe they're sticking me with the only other Fat Duck on the lake."
Bob poked him with his wing.
"Of course," Frank told Gerard, brightly, ignoring Spencer and doing some sort of complicated bounce right into Gerard's side.
"Good," Gerard says, and there was definitely something burning, dark and heavy, deep down in his gaze as he lifted his wing so Frank could hop underneath and press himself to Gerard's side. "Now can we swim on the lake, Brian?"
"No swimming backwards," Brian told him with a sigh.
Gerard pouted. "It's alright to swim backwards, Brian," he told Brian, after a moment. Frank was pressed right up against him, burrowing in under his wing and nudging at Gerard's neck with his beak. Gerard's gaze was starting to look a little glazed, "We can't all conform to the same directional impulses. What sort of lake would that be?"
"An easy one to manage?" Brian says, heavily, and he was probably wishing he was on any lake but this one.
Frank touched his beak to Gerard's. "Come on, let's fly the rainbow flag for ducks everywhere."
"Right on," Gerard says, his webbed foot covering Frank's.
Mikey – who had been conducting a carefully constructed affair with Pete for the best part of the summer – buried his face in Pete's feathers. "Oh God," he managed, trying not to laugh.
Pete huffed a breath against Mikey's neck. "How do you fancy non-conforming with me in the bushes for the rest of the afternoon, Mikeyduck?"
"Dude," Mikey said, rolling his eyes. "Mikeyduck?"
"Shut up," Pete said, brushing his wing down Mikey's back, "I like it."
Spencer narrowed his eyes and trudged sulkily after Bob to where the Fat Ducks go to hide from public view. "I'm big boned," he told himself in an undertone.
"Right on," Bob told him, without expression.
Spencer pecked bitchily at Bob's shoulder. "I could totally be a ninja duck, you know."
Ducklings, Bob thought, were kind of sweet.
Later on, the Warden was stood by the side of the lake, watching Frank and Gerard swim up and down the lake with some bemusement. They were nuzzling each other's necks and looking starry-eyed at one another, quacking in unison – and what was that? Were they swimming backwards? The Warden shook his head. The little girl and her dad looked even more confused than the Warden. "Well, sir," the Warden said, tiredly, "it looks like the duck 'revolution' seems to be over. We can all sleep easy in our beds. I imagine your daughter is safe to feed the ducks again."
The little girl eyed the rushes with some trepidation. Spencer was standing on Bob's head so he was above the height of the grass, and he was staring right at her. Her eyes widened.
Spencer and Bob ducked down behind the reeds.
"Oh, and one last thing," the Warden said. "Please don't ever call my ducks fat again. They're big-boned."
"Told you," Spencer says, with some satisfaction, coming up from under the water with a fish. He offered half of it to Bob. "Told you."