Bob is cooler than a frozen cucumber. He is Zen. Rock gardens and those weird midget trees are an L.A. riot compared to Bob's calm.
"HA. You're dead, motherfucker! How many kills is that? Ninety-nine! I've killed you ninety-fuckin-nine times, Bob, how fucking awesome is that! I RULE."
It is a bus day. If Bob were in any other band, even The Used, even the Rolling fuckin' Stones, then Bus Day would mean a quiet eight or nine hours, with most everyone napping or reading or practicing. Peace. But. Bob is in My Chemical Romance, and so is Frank, and Frank does not grasp what it means to be given the gift of a bus day. Mostly because Frank does not grasp the meaning of the word "peace." Everyone else in the band does, even Gerard can put the Bowie-esque drama on hold for a few hours and just chill out, but Frank has apparently decided that chilling out is overrated. Instead, Frank has chugged all of the energy drinks in the fridge, plus all of the Coke, and Bob hasn't been given the two seconds it would take to wonder how Frank is holding all of that liquid inside of his tiny self because Frank is being a goddamn caffeinated nightmare.
"Winner winner vegan dinner, what the fuuuuuuuck. I don't think you've killed me once. Not even once and I've murdered your ass more times than years you've been alive!"
Bob was the only one awake when Frank became the coked-out Roadrunner that he's been for three hours, which meant that he was the only available victim of Frank's energy crisis. Well, really, he's the victim of Frank, period. Ever since he joined the tour, Frank's been singling him out, jumping on him, jumping on his drums, pestering him around the bus, trailing him around venues like a lost puppy. Climbing on him during interviews. Stealing the cigarettes from between Bob's lips, and then skipping away giggling when Bob runs after him, cursing. Jumping into his bunk in the morning, every morning. Frank's like a younger brother that loves nothing more than pushing Bob's buttons, which is somewhat awkward to think considering that Bob's attracted to the little twerp. Somehow. The daily button-pushing is endearing, although Bob is never going to let on to that because he only just landed the best gig ever and he'll be damned if he's going to fuck that up.
Thus far today, he's managed to keep Frank somewhat under control by agreeing to a marathon of violent video games, but Bob knows it's only a matter of time before the ennui gets to him and Frank starts pinging off of the walls. Literally. He's not sure how much longer Call of Duty will hold up.
"Yep," is all he has to say to Frank's ongoing verbal abuse.
"I'll go easy on you this time, Bryar, since you fucking suck at this game," Frank mocks, grinning, and sets up the next game on the queue screen. "Hell, I'll even knock the sensitivity down a couple notches. Or, like, stand in place for a minute. You know. So maybe you can get one kill in."
Frank can't resist the thrill of an easy victory, though, because Bob's Nazi is dead again within a matter of minutes. To Bob's amusement, Frank actually stands up on the couch to dance and gloat.
"ONE HUNDRED! FUCK YEAH! IN YOUR FACE, DRUMMER BOY!"
"Drummer boy?" Bob repeats, fighting a smile as Frank does some bizarre variation on the Macarena while bouncing.
"That's what you are, you play drums and you have a dick, therefore drummer boy." He plops abruptly back down onto the cushion. The couch gives an alarming creak. "I'm bored," he announces, and throws his controller onto the carpet. "Let's do something else."
Bob sets his controller down in a civilized manner on top of the armrest. "I was afraid you were gonna say that."
Frank beams. "So what do you wanna do? I was thinking, like, sprints. Or a dance marathon. Or we could wrestle so I could kick your ass at something else."
"Scrabble," Bob replies, standing up and stretching his arms over his head. "We can play Scrabble. Or Cherry Land."
"Board games, Bob? What are you, eighty? You can play board games when you start drinking prune juice for fun and nod off during the four o' clock news." Frank jumps up suddenly, like he's been stabbed with a hot poker, and grins at Bob in the way he does when he decides to put hot sauce into Gerard's coffee, or hide all of Ray's porn.
Bob blinks. "Stop looking at me like that."
"Like what?" Frank says innocently.
Deep breath. "Like you're gonna jump out the window and try running on the freeway."
Frank rolls his eyes. "That would kill me, Bob, and what would this band be without me?"
"Blissfully quiet on bus days. And also taller."
Frank gives him a wounded look. "Just for that, I'm not going to tell you my brilliant idea."
Bob shrugs, and moves to grab a water bottle out of the fridge. As soon as his back is turned, he regrets it, because suddenly Frank is on top of him, his bony knees ramming him hard in the kidneys and his elbows colliding sharply with his collarbones. He manages to grab hold of the edge of the counter before he tumbles all the way over, and winces. "Fucker, that hurt."
"And you deserve it." Frank takes advantage of the newfound stability of the counter by attempting to climb Bob like a tree, succeeding in getting himself on top of Bob's shoulders. "Now who's taller, you height elitist bastard?"
"You are a kindergartner." Deep breath. Deeeeeep breath. Bob is cooler than a frozen cucumber. He is Zen. Rock gardens and those weird midget trees are an L.A. riot compared to Bob's calm. "Frank, get off of me."
Frank crosses his ankles and hunkers down. "Nuh-uh. Take back what you said first."
"I'm only giving you one warning, Iero, and then I'm no longer responsible for any damage done to you or anything on this bus."
"Ooh, sounds like fun, but I think I'll stay here. Nice view. I can see all the way over the sink."
Bob whirls around, fast enough to make Frank gasp and clutch at his hair, and grabs Frank around the waist before throwing himself forward. With a yelp, Frank pitches over his shoulders and slams down onto the couch, the momentum flipping him over the edge and onto the floor. Bob stumbles, and falls, throwing his arms out to catch himself before he lands on top of Frank and crushes him.
Frank's laughing. He's cracking the fuck up. "Bob, you're a ninja, how did you fucking do that?"
"You're a nightmare, you know that? I'm keeping the Red Bull in a safe from now on."
"I'm twenty-four years old, you can't ground me from energy drinks. It's criminal."
Bob sits up to retort, and suddenly, he's forgotten what he wanted to say, because somehow, between falling and not crushing Frank, he's ended up straddling the son of a bitch. And now he's sitting on him. Sitting. On. Him. Fuck his life.
And Frank has noticed. Frank, if it's possible, is laughing even harder. "Oh God," he wheezes, throwing his arms up over his face. "Bob. Dude. I didn't know - didn't know you wanted me - " The rest of it's lost in a fit of giggles.
Bob is going to play this off. He is Zen, he is Fuji waterfalls, he is totally not blushing and acting like an embarrassed high school freshman. Nope. He is a fucking Jedi Knight. "Shut up, asshole. Stop moving so I can get up."
"And what if I don't want you to get up?" Frank's stopped laughing. He's smirking still, but he's not laughing. Bob's not sure how that passed by him.
"Then we're gonna be stuck on the floor until we get to Dallas," he replies, because he's going to ignore the sexual innuendo behind that remark. Yep. Isn't there. Jedi Knight.
Frank rolls his eyes. "The floor's not important, numbnuts. What. If. I. Don't. Want. You. To. Get. Up?"
"Then you're a little weirdo that wants to become one with the carpet?" Zen.
"Oh my God, get with the program, Robert." Frank throws his arms around Bob's neck and drags him down so their noses are almost touching. "How much do I annoy you?"
"Today or in general?" This whole Zen thing may not pan out for much longer.
The smirk is back. "On any given day, how annoying am I?"
"You bug the shit out of me, Iero."
"Uh-huh. And what did you call me earlier?"
Bob is flailing in his head, trying to grab hold of whatever calm and collected-ness he can muster. "A kindergartner."
"And how do kindergartners show affection?" Frank's grinning now.
"By bugging the shit out of people."
"Exactly." Frank looks triumphant, like he's finally accomplished something he's been working at for awhile. Which, apparently, he has. "There's a method to my madness, Bob, and you must be dumber than I thought if you didn't figure that out until right now."
And now Frank's kissing him. Which is weird. Good weird. Unexpected, but Bob's sure as hell not complaining. Frank tastes like Red Bull and something sweet, like a shooter minus the alcohol. It's over in a matter of one shaky intake of breath, but Bob's still kind of reeling after Frank pushes him off. The Zen is totally gone.
"Okay, now I want you to get up," Frank says, urgently, and it takes Bob a second to figure out what that means.
"I drank a lot of Red Bull," he explains hurriedly, as he's wriggling out from underneath Bob. "And Coke. And my bladder is only so big. So, um, hold that thought?" He climbs to his feet and sprints off toward the back of the bus, leaving Bob cross-legged on the floor.
He starts laughing. He can't help it. His life is so fucking cool.