Title: Your Very Own Catholic Schoolboy (Included)
Rating: R-ish? PG-13? Naughty words, but nothing really naughty otherwise.
Summary: The one where Frank ties Bob's tie.
Disclaimer: This isn't real. This never happened. I do not know these people. If you found this by googling your name -- for the love of all that is unholy, please don't read it. (I'm sorry, Ray, I was being creative.)
Author Notes: Probably set in the gayer girlfriend-free version of pseudo-canon? Timeline rather fudged and out of sorts, since it's not long after Bob joined, yet they're in their These Are My Favorite Colors get-ups and on a tour bus of some sort. My thanks to the generous jackiesjunkie for looking it over for me, and to swear_jar for encouraging me to post it where people could actually see it.
Bob doesn't really know how to tie a tie. Or actually, now that he thinks about it, even why he needs this formal dress knowledge only now that he's in a rock band. It seems almost counterintuitive. Rock band is generally more about well-worn jeans, and…well... possibly make-up, depending on the band. (The way Gerard keeps eyeing him with some sort of pencil --which Bob is pretty sure isn't for drawing on paper-- should probably be worrying him about now.)
But Bob knew what he was signing on for with this particular band. Even the make-up thing. He'll be quiet and take it, because, really -- he doesn't fucking care. He loves this band, and that pretty much includes Gerard's Visual Statement. Even when Bob has no clue about that stuff. (It's fine. He doesn't need to, really.) It's about the beat and the drums and being a part of this band. Artistic vision and all. He's putting up with cameras, for fuck's sake. Costumes and everything else don't really bother him. Gerard has ideas, and it's all part of something they're building with the music. Yeah, some of the ideas are fucking insane, but that doesn't really bother Bob either. They're generally kind of awesome, too, even when he has to dip his hands in fake blood for pictures. (If he ever wants to get in a five hour conversation with Gerard, he can mention how it reminds him of living in a comic books sometimes. Bob hasn't done that. Yet.)
Of course, none of that acceptance and being-on-board for his band means he isn't standing silently in the back lounge of a bus, with an untied red tie hanging sadly around his neck, wondering what to do with his best impassive face staring back at him in a very tiny dingy mirror somehow stuck crookedly to the wall by…someone who deeply needed there to be more mirrors on the bus. (Every other large available mirrored surface has been taken over by Way brothers and their frighteningly vast array of products at the moment.)
Maybe he can leave it untied and somehow spin it as his personal expression and his own vision. Gerard would probably buy it, and nod encouragingly. (Probably right before trying to write something on him or draw his own artistic vision all over Bob's face using eyeliner and other things Bob can't name.)
But Bob is more practical and blunt than that, in the end, expressing himself to the next member of the (his) band who happens to pass by. (Holding a flat iron in this case, because god knows that's the only thing the guy in question looks after and puts away properly other than his bass.) "I don't know how to tie a fucking tie, Mikeyway."
"And I do?" The only inflection in Mikey's voice is the tiniest one at the end which sort of turns it into the mildest rhetorical question Bob has ever heard, as Mikey stares at him deadpan, his hair apparently the way it is supposed to look, while wearing a perfectly tied red tie. Bob almost can't tell if Mikey's fucking with him on purpose.
Mikey's sort of hard to read, but then again, Bob's pretty good at it. He's known Mikey since before Mikey was His Band, when they were in a van traveling through countries where they didn't speak the language. He's pretty sure Mikey's not just fucking with him. If anyone in the known universe could either tie a tie and not realize they were doing it, or have one somehow magically beamed onto their being without noticing it, it would be Mikey Way.
So, Bob just points at the clothing article in question around Mikey's neck, as a helpful visual aid.
"Oh. We have our very own Catholic schoolboy to do that." One hand waving in a vague gesture. Again, the lack of inflection makes dealing with Mikey and his meanings entertaining. Bob half-expects them to actually have said schoolboy demanded on the rider, except that's crazy even for this band. (And also, his band aren't assholes. Or they wouldn't be his band.)
"Frank," Mikey clarifies. "FRANK!" Mikey calls, as he wanders back towards the front of the bus, somehow taking Bob's tie with him, slithering it right off his neck in one surprisingly smooth motion, miraculously without injuring Bob.
Bob follows his tie through the narrow bus, joining the rest of the guys in finishing their visual prep.
Frank is staring in concentration at the sliver of available mirror off to the side and behind Gerard.
Frank is wearing two ties at the moment, and Bob does not think this is his personal interpretation of the black-white-red theme they have going. One tie being a very loose one that he's finishing off with a tuck and a tug holding his focus. His face is utterly serious and full of quiet steady thought, and sometimes Bob forgets Frank's face can even naturally do that any time other than when he's looking at his guitar. It's hard not to stare.
Frank slips the tie from his neck at the same time Gerard reaches out blindly behind him with one hand to take it from him, in sync, like they do this all the time. (Okay, and not entirely blindly, because Gerard's eyes are focused on the mirror, too, and presumably he could see Frank's reflection, should he manage to tear his gaze away from his own face.)
Gerard looks very artistic, and is apparently done, mostly, since he carefully slips on the tie Frank helped him with.
Mikey languidly slaps Bob's tie into Frank's hand, which Frank isn't expecting, it seems, since he takes a second to blink at the red fabric in his hand. Mikey just leaves Frank to be puzzled, continuing on without pausing in his grand tradition of wandering off, this time intent on his sidekick which has magically appeared out of nowhere. (How a person manages to wander vaguely off in a meandering fashion in such a narrow contained space as a tour bus is another miracle of the Way brothers that Bob merely appreciates with awe and bemusement, without trying to understand.)
Frank has already slipped the tie over his neck and started to tie it before stopping short and dropping his hands. "What the hell, Mikey? One tie per neck, per appearance. I am not here to prepare your entire fucking wardrobe in advance." He sounds cheerful, instead of actually venomous, because he's Frank. "Or I'm abandoning you and you're going to be stuck wearing your fucking neckerchief all the time."
"It's Bob's, dumbass." Mikey's completely uninterested voice drifts past.
"Bob does not own a neckerchief." Frank declares this like it's a high compliment indeed. Sometimes Frank is deliberately obtuse, just to rile people. (Okay, most of the time. Then the little fucker giggles and still manages to be charming. Bob pretty much just appreciates that without trying to comprehend it, too.)
"The tie." Mikey does not rile. Frank, who has to be aware of this, probably still tries it with him for symmetry, or because Frank can never fucking stop it. "Don't try to diss my awesome bandana. You will fail." It would have been a rise to Frank's mild challenge, if the drawl wasn't just as disinterested and even farther away. Mikey is awesome at saying 'Goodbye, Frank. I am not playing with you right now.' without actually saying it. And making it actually stick.
Bob has not quite mastered this yet. (In a way that does not involve swatting Frank like he's an errant camera.)
"Oh. Hi, Bob!" Frank has had his eyes on Bob for the entire time he wasn't fake-glaring at Mikey, so the greeting is unnecessary. "None of you fuckers ever learned to tie a damn tie," Frank mutters to himself in a way that clearly has nothing to do with actually muttering to himself.
"Mikey says you're our pet tie-monkey. So, if you could help a brother out, that would be great." Bob tries not to crack into a grin and give everything away as he reaches out to pat Frank's head, without fucking up his hair which is also probably meant to look that way.
"You are the one with professional training, Frank." Gerard backs Bob up solemnly. Well, as solemnly as he can with one corner of his mouth quirking up dementedly and a black stripe painted across his eyes.
Bob sort of loves his band, and it's the quiet dumb moments when there are no fucking cameras and interviewers that he can truly appreciate it. (Onstage is a different thing. 'Appreciation' doesn't touch the pure fucking elation and rightness he feels pounding away behind his kit onstage again after so long. Even when it exhausts him as he gets used to it again. Even when he has to fight down the gleeful urge to shove certain people off his kit. Because he doesn't want to injure his band, given the fact that they already injure themselves enough.)
Frank sticks out his tongue and crosses his eyes at Gerard's reflection in the mirror. Bob is staying out of it now. His tie is in it, but that can't be helped.
Frank is only making a face at himself in the mirror now, running his fingers over the untied tie hanging around his neck, forming what might be chords. "Yeah. School of hard knocks. I've got a fucking Masters in tie-tying and locker-stuffing." He says it the same way he's said everything, without venom or anger. All a joke. Frank jokes about a lot of things. Even bruises and blood. Maybe especially those. (Bob really doesn't like to think of Frank as a kid, and the bastards who had decided he fit perfectly inside of lockers. Where were nuns with snapping rulers when you needed them?)
Gerard had been jumping in place in that way he does when he warms up to face people (it's a photo-shoot/interview and not a show, but he still gets his game face on) while watching them with a vague smile, but he stops long enough to step closer to Frank, even though he hasn't lost the smile. Bob's pretty sure Gerard has no idea he just did that.
Bob cocks his eyebrow at Frank through the mirror that holds both of their gazes, still standing behind him. "We could totally hunt down your fellow alumni and kick their asses." We because Frank would want in on that shit, even if it's really Bob offering to right past wrongs that can't be righted. With his fist. The offer isn't real, which should make it empty and meaningless. But maybe it isn't. "It might cut into our touring time, though."
"What with the landing our asses in prison for assault and all, yeah." Frank's voice sounds more like real laughter now. But Bob can't see the reflection of Frank's expression anymore to catch his grin, because Frank looks down, hair hanging over his face, tugging Bob's tie this way and that over his neck idly. "And you know what Gee says about prison."
Gerard shrugs, his grin turning scary, and not at all directed at them. "Eh. Drag's not that bad."
"Push-ups are good exercise," Bob adds, as their amused huffs of laughter fill any empty space.
Frank still isn't really so much tying Bob's tie as wearing it as a sad boa, so Bob reaches out for it, ending up with a hand on Frank's warm shoulder. He can probably find someone else wandering around who could tie it for him, if he leaves the bus. "I can do it, you've served your tie time for today."
"It's not a problem." The negative shake of Frank's head doesn't slough Bob's hand off. Muscles shift underneath Bob's palm as Frank starts tying his tie with the lazy flop of one side over the other.
Bob tries not to stare at his face in the mirror, looking for the return of Frank's intriguing concentration. But Frank stops anyway, and all Bob sees is his grin.
That's…that's a really evil grin. And it's focused right on Bob.
Great. This never bodes well.
Bob tries not to let his own mouth answer that grin with one of his own. (It's more fun for Frank when you don't encourage the bastard sometimes. Just like sometimes it's fun to see what he's going to say or do if you play along and wait for it.) Bob doesn't have to worry about fighting any urge for long, because Frank slips from under his hand with the quick slide of crisp linen shirt and takes off through the bus like a shot, heading towards the back.
Where is the little fucker going and why? These are very important questions when living with Frank.
Bob's pretty sure he's supposed to follow him, given the demented laughter trailing back towards him. Frank may be greatly overestimating Bob's desire to get his tie back.
(But unfortunately, he isn't overestimating his -- clearly insane and detrimental to his mental and physical health -- desire to follow Frank.)
When Bob reaches the back lounge, Frank catches him with his own damn tie, looping it around his neck. Thankfully, neither of them trip, fall, choke, or die. (And Frank also doesn't yank Bob's neck or hurt him, which keeps Bob from having to yank some part of Frank.)
Bob knows when it's better not to fight, and stands still as soon as Frank slips the tie around his shoulders. Caught. Frank actually stills, too, which is surprising and makes their jaunt through the bus even more pointless than Bob would have thought. "That was constructive, Frank."
Frank nods like Bob is not at all being sarcastic. "It really was."
The tie is casually thrown around Bob's neck, exactly like it had been when Bob had been staring at it in confusion. Except now there's a Frank attached, standing right in front of him, one hand on either end. (Wherever Mikey has wandered to, it isn't the back lounge, since they're alone. Gerard has the sense not to follow them into mischief. Sometimes.)
Bob tells himself, again (because he is steady and dedicated even when it comes to this) that he is not looking forward to seeing Frank's rare Serious Face up close. His eyes right there. Focused on his tie as Frank starts to tie it, the fabric tugging and running softly over Bob's shirt. He also tells himself he can't quite feel Frank's breath puffing over his skin. That part might be true, because there's more than a foot between them. Barely.
Bob doesn't know how he looks in the dress clothes, which he's still fighting the urge to tug on and adjust, but he knows how Frank looks. Frank in a still clean white button-down and tie and black slacks, looking crisp but still wild with his hair and the tattoo rising above it all on his throat, the matching armband around his bicep, all contrasting the polish and uniform-ness.
And Bob has to stop his mind from catching on Mikey's earlier words, and thinking of Frank as a Catholic schoolboy. Right now. Because Bob does not want to be that guy. That guy probably belongs in prison.
Not that 'guy who lusts after his own bandmates' gets in any less trouble.
Fingers deft and calloused from living for the music brush over Bob's throat. Coincidentally, in soft rustling movements of his tie. Frank touches him all the time. He touches everyone all the time. (Bob's also pretty okay with that aspect of the guys, because they all fucking do that.) Bob had previously thought he'd gotten used to seeing it and letting himself feel it just one way, the friendly way, from Frank. But he can't really blame the too-warm constriction in his throat on his buttoned-up collar right now, or the heat in his face on the uncomfortable clothes and the closed bus.
He tries to keep his expression as impassive as before, to ignore it. Frank is his great fucking friend, and his fucking band, first and foremost, and Bob owes him proper behavior and hormonal control to keep that running smoothly. (People probably get crushes on Frank all the time --he's fucking Frank, with the tattoos and the smile, the friendly chaos that wraps you up like you belong, and the passion and the fucking backbends on stage-- but Bob figures it's polite to keep it hidden so Frank doesn't have to deal with it. It will make things far less awkward and uncomfortable until it goes away.)
Frank's expression pretty much slips right past 'serious' into 'frustrated', as he tugs and undoes whatever the hell he just did. Bob's watching-- look, Frank is right there and there isn't anywhere else to look but at his face. And his tongue caught softly between his teeth. Bob's really glad Frank choosing to speak makes him stop doing that. "Can't do it from this angle," Frank mutters, and yeah, they're breathing all over each other at this point.
It's now that Bob's brain chooses to remember that Frank had been tying ties around his own neck, and then just handing them off. Like he couldn't get in the rhythm and remember exactly what he was doing from the other side of it.
So, now, Bob's solution to this dilemma would be to hand the tie back over to Frank and let him tie it around his own neck.
Bob and Frank are pretty different people, even with the shared passions and common interests and how well they get along. Their approaches to things can vary more wildly than Frank's writhing on stage.
This is confirmed for Bob when Frank lets go of his tie…and steps behind him.
Okay, that works, too.
Except for how it doesn't. Frank presses right up against his back, and Bob can feel Frank's chin digging into his shoulder as Frank peers over it, probably up on his toes. Just long enough to feel the heat and dig of Frank on top of him.
Before Frank is actually on top of him, climbing up with a strange frantic and rough grace that Bob will also never understand. He's learned to go with it though, moving to support Frank without thought as the smaller --insane-- man climbs on his back, arms catching him under wiry thighs that are clamped around Bob's midsection.
At least he's not climbing all the way up onto Bob's shoulders.
Bob had learned pretty early on that questioning Frank's actions didn't have much of a point. You either put up with it, because you felt like it, or swatted him away when you'd reached your limit. Bob's still pretty mellow for the day, so he just sighs and shifts Frank's weight a little, to steady them further once Frank has apparently finished mounting him. (Frank being warm and laughing and all over him may have something to do with him putting up with it, too. But Bob tries not to give into the pointless reasons. They don't lead anywhere.)
Bob can't see much of Frank anymore, but he can hear his voice and feel…well, all of him, everywhere, but also the little pat to the top of Bob's head that accompanies the enthusiastic declaration.
"Uh-huh," Bob drawls, very carefully. "This is easier?" Frank's movements had tugged Bob's tucked-in shirt all over the place, and probably Frank's too.
Frank's always surprisingly steady, but somehow Bob doesn't think Frank piggy-backing him is the simplest way to get a view from behind to tie Bob's tie.
Short nails scrape softly around his collar as Frank gets a different grip on the tie still mostly hanging on his neck.
"Mmm." The tiny hum of something like affirmation vibrates softly against Bob's scalp as Frank leans his face into him, and he can't possibly see the tie that way. Frank's head tucks more beside his, probably actually looking around him and down now, as hands brush over him to catch and pull and tuck the tie.
Despite the slight slow awkwardness to it, and the way Frank's body is tensed tightly against his from holding himself steady and balancing, it actually seems to be working better for Frank. Bob's doing his best to support him and take the work of that off of Frank.
From this angle, Bob can't see if Frank has that look of concentration on his face again. Okay, and with Frank wrapped around him and still softly running his fingers over Bob's neck and down his collar and shirt, Bob's willing to admit he's pretty bummed about that. He'd wanted to see it up close, quiet and focused.
"If you watch what I'm doing, you could probably learn how to do it yourself." Red fabric flutters up against Bob face as Frank pulls an end through. Even though he can't see Frank, he can feel him right there, his head over Bob's shoulder, his face almost aligned with Bob's, brushing his cheek. Bob's pretty sure his mouth is right there, moving damply against Bob's skin.
But. Yeah. Oh. He should probably pay attention, since Frank probably only intends to do this once.
Right as Bob tries to look down without fucking up the awkward and mildly clumsy movements Frank is managing, and their steady hold, he sees one hand with black-polished fingernails drop the tie. To clamp right over Bob's eyes so he can't see anything.
"Or not," Bob murmurs in reaction, as he processes what this means. For the first time, he sees past his own attempts to control his breathing to notice that Frank's chest pressed so close up against him, leaning on him? Is rising and falling pretty deeply with Frank's unsteady breath.
"Yeah. Or not. I'm good with doing it for you." Hearing Frank's voice come out slightly more unsure than joking isn't quite as rare as seeing his face quiet and serious. But it doesn't happen for just anything.
"Okay. Yeah, that works." Bob's…pretty much trying not to swallow his tongue at the feel of Frank's hips. And the way they'd sort of arched with his words. Bob's pretty sure that hadn't been intentional on Frank's part. And yeah, every part of Frank is pressed right against him, especially right in the small of Bob's back.
Frank slips his hand away, returning to loosely finishing off the knot on Bob's tie. With Frank on top of him, Bob can feel the slight tremor that probably has nothing to do with Frank's balance, judging by the twitch of fingertips over Bob's jaw. Bob leans into the touch, almost automatically, and Frank doesn't stop.
Bob wonders if Frank's face is serious now. What expression he could find there if they kiss. That last part comes to mind with another, closer, drag of Frank's mouth against Bob's cheek. Frank isn't speaking anymore, so there isn't any practical reason for that. It’s just a deep inhalation of breath, pressed against Bob.
And Bob's not steadying Frank when his hands tighten over Frank's legs.
"I'm pretty much done with the tie."
You wouldn't really know that from the way Frank's hands stay softly placed over Bob's throat.
The knot in the tie is loose and lopsided, even from Bob's restricted view.
"I can finish better if I'm facing you."
Sometimes being around Frank doesn't require you to talk all that much. Bob has some possibly important things to say, but he can wait until he's looking at Frank for that.
Frank finally climbs off him, but he doesn't really move away. Or take his hands off of Bob. He sounds pretty quiet and serious, but…not. There's still that shaky undercurrent of joy that is Frank at his happiest.
Bob is more curious than ever to see his face, as they shift.
(He will kill anyone with a camera who interrupts them before that happens.)