Frank knew that the journey would be worth it.
"You call this shit music?"
"Well, yeah," Gerard said in a tone that was almost uncertain.
"Pfftt," the other replied shoving a new CD into the portable player and handing Gerard's disc back to him. He adjusted the adapter cables that snaked into the mouth of the old tape player and turned the volume up.
It was just nearing dawn and the sky was beginning to turn a cool shade of royal blue. They were a few hours out of Cheyenne, headed east to play another show on their little tour.
"How is it not music?" Gerard demanded, tucking a Mikey-made Iron Maiden Mix CD back into his worn out case.
It was customary in their filthy white van for the 'captain' and 'co-captain' to select the musical entertainment to serenade them on their journey along the ribbon of asphalt highway between each state. Tonight was no exception as Gerard rode shotgun to their friend, and unofficial tour manager Jon in the driver's chair.
"It's just not," Jon said, rocking his head to the beat of the new song a little, causing his mess of red hair to fall into his eyes.
"Yes it is," Gerard said matter-of-factly, pouting as he sat back against the dirty faux fur seat cover.
He could hear Jon chuckling under his breath but knew it was pointless to argue with Jon, especially over music. Gerard and Jon had grown up together and as much of an asshole as Jon could be he was still one of his closest friends. One of the few friends that had been through the hell of high school with him. One of the only friends who had ever crashed in his bed when they were both too drunk to drive Jon to his own house. And if he'd learned anything about Jon in the tenure of their friendship it was never to argue with Jon about music. You would somehow lose regardless of who was right or wrong.
"Hey!" Gerard exclaimed suddenly, sitting up and pointing at the front console of the van, toward the CD player. "This song!!! This is a real song?"
Jon looked at Gerard as if he'd suddenly sprouted horns or a third eyeball. "Uh. Yes it's 'real.' It's Simon and Garfunkel."
Gerard's face was bright with excitement. "No no.. I thought.. I thought it was just a jingle. Y'know, for a commercial. The one for the Brooklyn Zoo! They use this song! "
"It's a great song," Jon said carefully, unsure if he was amused or bewildered by Gerard's excitement over the song.
"Be right back," Gerard grinned, pulling his seat belt off. He climbed between the front seats, hitting his knee on the arm of Jon's seat, possibly smashing an unopened box of gas station donuts and definitely kicking Mikey in the side as he crawled back to the second seat of the van.
"Frankie," Gerard whispered wiggling onto the seat next to Frank's sleeping form.
Frank groaned and turned his head into his jacket that was balled behind his head as a makeshift pillow since the younger Way had 'borrowed' his actual pillow.
"Frankie, wake up'" Gerard hissed again excitedly, shaking the younger man gently.
"What the fuck do you want?" Frank mumbled, his words slurred from slumber.
"Guess what!?" he said, bouncing a little on the seat.
An angry "shh" came from somewhere else in the van and Gerard dropped down closer to Frank, practically lying on top of him. His face moved close to Frank's, talking in a low voice against his ear. "Guess what?"
Frank opened his sleepy eyes and tried to make them look unhappy about the interruption to his dreams, even though he wasn't uncomfortable with Gerard's typical closeness. "Tell me," he said deadpan. "So I can go back to sleep."
Gerard nodded his face still bright, and childlike. "That song. The one from the Brooklyn Zoo ads. It's a real song. Simon and Garfunkel."
Frank studied Gerard's face for a second, waiting for him to continue. When he realized he wasn't going to, he spoke. "That's it? You woke me up for that?"
Gerard's face fell a little. "Well. Yeah. I mean, it's the ad and it's like a real song. And. I thought it was cool. And I thought- I thought you would want to know."
Frank sighed and rolled his eyes. "Can I go back to sleep now?"
Gerard frowned and started to slide off the seat, dejectedly. "Sorry," he mumbled.
"Hey," Frank said catching Gerard's wrist and smiling. "Thank you. For wanting to share it with me."
Gerard's face lit up again and he whispered 'goodnight' before disappearing back toward the front seats.
Frank smiled listening to Gerard's failed attempt to be quiet. He snuggled down under the blanket, missing the warmth of Gerard against him already.
Some nights he wasn't sure he could get used to this lifestyle, even though it was the one he'd dreamed of since he was a kid. But he knew, without a doubt that he could get used to Gerard, to being woken up just to share in Gerard's excitement over something as simple as a song. He knew for sure that the journey would be well worth it.
He drifted back to sleep to the quiet buzz of another Simon and Garfunkel song and Gerard and Jon's quiet talking in the front of the van.