quarterturn: (bandom - fi & bb - masks)
quarterturn ([personal profile] quarterturn) wrote2008-12-25 05:46 pm

Like a Thorn in My Side (The Size of a Cadillac), Bob/Frank, R

Like a Thorn in My Side (The Size of a Cadillac)
Bob/Frank, R
~8400 words
Written for [livejournal.com profile] bandom_solstice. A huge, huge thanks to [livejournal.com profile] schneestern, for encouraging me the whole way and polishing everything up when it was still just a rough draft, and to [livejournal.com profile] snarkyrainbow, [livejournal.com profile] rebecca_star, [livejournal.com profile] anothersadsong, and [livejournal.com profile] lover_youshould for looking it over for me on short notice! Any remaining errors are my own.



"What I don't get," Frank says irritably, "Is how this always happens when I'm with you."

Mikey makes a small noise of dissent but doesn't actually argue.

"I go out with Gerard all the fucking time, we get coffee, we go to a show, we wander around parking lots in rough neighborhoods late at night. Nothing ever happens."

Mikey shifts uncomfortably, but still doesn't disagree.

"How is it possible that one person has built up this much bad karma? Did you murder Jesus in a past life? I mean, fuck, Mikey, I love you, but this is insane."

Mikey actually looks like he's going to protest this time, but one of the guys in masks stomps over and waves a gun in their faces. "Shut. The fuck. Up. Everyone else gets it. Why can't you keep your goddamned mouth shut?"

Frank scowls and crosses his arms, shifting his ass around on the cold, hard floor. "You guys are so fucking retarded. You know this is a post office, right? The bank is like four blocks from here."

The guy in the mask leans down a little bit and waves his gun around some more. "We know that, dickface. Banks are obvious. Who rips off a post office?"

"A bunch of retards," Frank mutters, and then there's a flurry of movement that ends with Frank's nose gushing blood and the guy in the mask getting hauled off by another guy in a mask.

"Frank," Mikey warns, and Frank waves him off with the hand that's not currently cupped around his nose, catching very little of the blood streaming from it.

"Yeah, I know. Whatever. They're still retards." With his nose squeezed in one hand, his voice is muffled and sort of snuffly sounding, so it sounds more like Yeah, I knowb. Whadevergh. They'rgh still wetaghds.

One of the masked guys comes back over - the one who'd dragged the other one away, Frank can tell because there's a little bit of scruffy blond hair peeking out from the eyeholes of his mask - and looks down at them. "Are you trying to get yourself killed?"

Frank uses the sleeve of his long t-shirt to wipe away some of the blood. It mostly just smears it around his face. "Yeah, asshole, I came to the post office with a deathwish. Hoping for a disgruntled worker, you know."

The blond just stares down at him for a second, and then something under his mask twitches. "Just keep it down. We're not fucking around here." He doesn't actually sound too sure about that, but he is the one with the gun.

After he walks away, Mikey shifts closer to Frank, hands twitching in his lap. Frank grins, ignoring the flare of pain in his face. "Sidekick withdrawal?"

Mikey huffs a little. "I'm not addicted to it."

Frank nods sagely. "Sure." He wiggles around, trying to find a comfortable position with his ass going numb. "At least if the cops don't save us, we can count on Mikeyfuckinway going apeshit on these guys when his withdrawal reaches critical mass."

--

They've been holed up in this crappy little post office for three hours, and Bob is really starting to rethink his decision to throw in with these guys. He's pretty sure Bert's drunk.

"Look, just, just find the all the credit card offers, and there's gotta be some envelopes that look like they have checks in them." Everybody but Dan is in the back room, masks off while they try to figure out exactly what they're doing here.

"And how exactly are we supposed to cash them?" Jepha asks mildly. "Yeah, there's probably a shit ton of money in checks here, but the best we could manage is matching up ones made out to people who're here, and getting them to sign them over."

He doesn't have to mention how unlikely it is that anyone currently in the post office has a large check waiting in the back room.

"Then we find the ones that have cash. Or packages with stuff in them, like, fuck, I don't know. Jewelry. Or something."

Jepha shrugs. "That might take a while."

Quinn spins his gun around on his finger and they all cringe. Nobody but Bob had their own guns before this genius plan had been dreamt up, and none of them are especially well-trained. "So? It's not like anyone's going anywhere unless we let 'em."

"You don't think people are gonna start getting suspicious when the post office stays closed all day? When no one in here's answering their phone? What happens when the mail guys start coming back at the end of their shifts?" Jepha lays it all out pretty clearly, and there's an awkward silence.

"Fuck it." Bert pulls his mask back down over his face and grabs his gun. "Let's get what we can and get the fuck out. This was a bad fucking idea."

Bob really doesn't disagree. Bert, Quinn, and Jepha head back out the main area and there's a chorus of frightened cries from the hostages. Bob pulls his own mask down and follows them out. The least he can do is make sure Bert doesn't break any more noses.

--

"I've really gotta piss," Frank announces to no one in particular. There's a rustling from some of the other hostages that indicate they're feeling the urge, too, but no one else says anything. When none of the masked men respond, Frank gets louder. "I said, I really have to take a piss!"

Mikey looks like he's torn between wanting to laugh and wanting to punch Frank in the face himself. "Frank, shut up. Hold it."

"I can't. I have a small bladder."

A couple of the masked guys look like they're considering expanding Frank's bladder with a couple of well-placed bullet holes, but the blond one puts his hand up and heads over again. "Look, seriously. Stop fucking around. We'll be outta here soon, so just. Shut up."

Frank squirms and starts to stand up. The blond puts a hand on his shoulder and pushes him back down, hard.

"Look, seriously," Frank starts, mouth twisted sarcastically, "Let me go to the bathroom or I'm gonna piss all over the floor and then you guys are gonna have to smell that shit all day."

Mikey interjects quietly, "It's pretty potent, man."

The guy's eyes narrow behind the mask, but he lets up on Frank's shoulder. "Fine. Just you though, and I'm going in with you."

Frank bounces up, grinning despite the dried blood all over his face and the slight crook in his nose. "Kinky."

"Hey, what the fuck, Bob?" One of the other guys comes over, and Frank can see now that there's some lanky dark hair falling out from under his mask. From the sound of his voice, he's pretty sure it's the one that hit him.

"What the fuck?" Apparently-Bob says, and Frank can almost hear him grinding his teeth. "You complete fucktard, we said no names."

Another one of the guys comes over in time to hear the exchange and says, "They wouldn't have known it's your real name if you hadn't said anything, genius."

Apparently-Bob goes quiet for a second, and then waves his gun in Frank's general direction. "I'm taking this guy to the bathroom. Don't kill anybody while I'm gone."

In the bathroom, Apparently-Bob leans against the door and crosses his arms, gun still clutched in one hand. "Don't try anything funny."

"What, like aiming it at you? Believe me, dude, it's potent, but it's not lethal. I'm an asshole but I don't want to get shot in a post office bathroom." Frank unzips himself and leans in toward the urinal, and for a few seconds there's absolute silence. Frank clears his throat. "Could you like, turn around? I'm having some performance anxiety here."

Bob rolls his eyes but turns slightly to the side, enough to give the illusion of privacy but not enough that Frank's out of his sight. There's the telltale sound of urine hitting its target, and Frank breathes out a contented sigh. There's a few seconds of relative silence, and then the hairs on the back of Frank's neck stand up like he's being watched. Out of the corner of his eye, he catches Bob checking out his junk. Frank snorts.

"You are kinky."

The skin around Bob's mouth and eyes goes red and he blusters a little bit. "Just fucking finish."

Frank tucks himself back into his pants and puts his hands up, fingers splayed. "I'm done, I'm done." He heads for the door, but Bob doesn't move. "Well? I thought you were in such a big hurry to get out of here."

Bob motions toward the sinks. "Dude, that's disgusting. Wash your hands."

Frank stares at him for a second and then giggles. "A robber concerned about hygiene, that's a new one." He twists the faucets and and gives his hands a cursory wash, scrubbing at the dried blood on his face as an afterthought.

"You meet a lot of robbers who aren't into washing their hands after they piss?"

Frank considers it while he dries his hands on his pants. "You're my first robber, actually. Maybe they're all about hygiene."

Bob looks thoughtful for a second, probably considering Lanky Hair's showering habits. "Nah."

This time when Frank heads for the door, Bob moves aside and lets him out first, following closely behind. "Go sit back down by your friend."

Frank stops in his tracks and Bob almost runs him over. When Frank whirls around, Bob raises his gun automatically, but Frank just whines, "Come on. That floor is fucking freezing and it hurts my ass. Plus Mikey's even skinnier, he's probably grinding his ass bones down to dust at this very moment."

Bob bites back a sigh. "It's not like there's a lot of options. Post offices don't come equipped with couches and shit."

"At least let us sit on the counters or something, or put the little old ladies in the chairs." Bob looks unconvinced. "Dude, they're somebody's mothers. Plus they probably have like, bad hips or something. Don't be an asshole."

Bob almost looks ready to agree, but the stringy-haired dude comes over and gets in Frank's face. "Sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up."

Frank tenses, instinct to punch this guy in his asshole mouth, but he really doesn't want to die in a post office. He settles for a sneer.

"We should think about putting some of the older ladies in chairs or something. If we're gonna be here much longer." Bob doesn't make it sound like a suggestion, but the guy takes a minute to nod.

"Yeah, fine, whatever. We're gonna stay out here while Je-" He cuts himself off, looking nervously at Frank for a second. "While the other guys go sort through the shit in back. Nothing out here's any good."

There's a mess of opened letters and packages strewn around the floor, and a few of the hostages are huddled around a table opening more, looking over their shoulders every few seconds. Stringy-Hair heads back over toward them and they all cower, and Frank can hear him muttering.

"So," Frank chirps, "Let's get those grandmas up."

Bob shakes his head. "No way. Go sit down. Or, fuck, I don't know, sit on a counter. I'll deal with the grandmas. But if you try anything, I seriously will shoot you." He doesn't sound very convincing, but Frank nods like he believes him.

Mikey looks up when Frank gets back, and he looks like he didn't expect Frank to come back. Frank tries not to feel offended. "Come on, let's sit on the counter."

Mikey struggles to stand up. "You sure? I kind of like my nose the way it is."

Frank pushes himself up onto the counter. "Yeah, that guy said it was fine. He's kind of ok."

Mikey looks dubious, but slides up onto the counter next to Frank. "You bonded with a bank robber in a bathroom?"

Frank wiggles his eyebrows. "Wouldn't you like to know?"

Mikey stares at him blankly for a second and then makes a face. "Ew."

--

There's a short period of time between his bathroom break and Mikey's next flurry of twitchy thumbs that Frank dozes off. It's not that watching the robbers rip open electric bills and offers for cheap siding isn't fascinating, except that it isn't, and Frank's not used to sitting still for longer than five minutes at a time unless he's going to bed.

"Tell me you're not actually falling asleep in the middle of a robbery," Mikey says flatly, tucking his fingers under his arms when Frank gives them a pointed look.

"If we're only halfway through this lame excuse for a crime, give me a gun and I'll shoot myself," Frank yawns.

Across the room, one of the older ladies Bob had relocated to the chairs drops her umbrella on the floor, and in the near-silence of the post office, the clatter it makes startles everyone. She gives a little handwave of apology and stands up, already leaning down to pick it up.

"Goddammit!" Stringy Haired dude stomps over toward her and even though her face is set stubbornly, she draws back. "Look, lady, you sit your ass in the chair and keep it there. You wanna go back to the floor?"

Frank sees Bob moving out of the corner of his eye, but Frank's already up and on his feet and he's closer. He gets in between the guy and the woman, reaching down to pick up the umbrella and hand it to her, glaring at the guy the whole time. "Chill the fuck out, dude. Try decaf next time."

Bob stops where he's at. Frank has a lot less faith in his mediation abilities than Bob seems to.

The masked guy hesitates like he wasn't really expecting anyone to question his harassment of an old lady. He recovers quickly, though. "You are really pushing it, asshole."

Frank doesn't back off. "Hey, I didn't mean to ruin your fun, I know harassing little old ladies-" The woman behind him hmmphs a little, indignant. "-can be a great pastime for impotent pricks, but I'm not a big fan."

Stringy Hair sneers at him, stepping back far enough that he can raise his gun and aim it directly at Frank's chest. "I'd be a lot less worried about little old ladies-" The woman hmmphs more emphatically this time. "-and way more worried about how much you're pissing me off."

Frank crosses his arms, smirking. "I'd probably be more worried if the safety was off, douchebag."

The guy turns the gun in his hand, looking for the switch with a muttered, "Fuck." After a few seconds of looking, he drops his arm and pulls the gun back toward himself, squinting through the eyeholes of his mask. Eventually he just sticks a finger in one of the eyeholes and pulls it down so he can see better, but he still can't seem to figure out what he's supposed to be doing.

Frank shakes his head and heads back toward Mikey, but the guy grabs his arm. "Listen, jerkoff-"

Frank swings around and shoves the guy away. "No, you listen. Rob the place or don't, but stop being such a fucking asshole."

"You-" The guy comes at him, and Frank tenses, adrenaline already spiking in anticipation of a good fight, but he gets yanked out of the way just in time to avoid a fist in his gut.

--

Frank twists out of Bob's grip as soon as they're in the storeroom, spinning around and glaring, his face bright red. "Don't fucking shove me, man."

Bob closes the door behind him and puts a hand up. "Dude, chill the fuck out. I'm trying to save you another beating, or christ, a bullet. You're really fucking good at pissing people off, you know that?"

Frank bites out, "It's a talent."

"Can you keep your mouth shut for five minutes? No, seriously, is it even possible? How the fuck do you have any friends?" Bob's empty fist is clenched tight against his thigh, and Frank takes a second to really consider how smart it is to be antagonizing him.

"Says the guy holding people at gunpoint. I bet you're real popular at parties, hulking around being a fucking grumpy asshole and stealing people's mail." Fuck smart.

Bob pauses, and his hand twitches up toward his face like he wants to rub at it, but remembers at the last second that he's wearing a mask. "Fine, point taken, I get it. Neither of us is really at our best. But seriously, why are you pushing these guys? You can't like getting beat on."

Frank shrugs and the, "Maybe I'm kinkier than you think," is half-hearted. He slumps against the wall, most of the fight draining out of him. "It pisses me off when people do shit like this. Walk in and wave guns and shit around, scare people just 'cause they can. It's fucking high school all over again. No sob story you guys might have is gonna convince me you needed to do this instead of like, getting a fucking job."

Bob leans against the door, reaching up to rub at his face despite the mask. Frank catches a glimpse of a scruffy beard when the mask rides up. "God, this thing is fucking itchy as fuck."

Frank shrugs again. "Take it off. I saw your face earlier anyway, before you came out of the back room. You guys are seriously like the worst robbers I've ever heard of."

Bob freezes, and for a second Frank thinks he's gonna say something stupid about shooting Frank right there. But he just heaves a sigh and yanks the mask off. "Fuck, that's better. I was dying in there."

He's got a pretty nice face, for a robber. He's younger than Frank would have guessed, probably just a couple years older than him. He can't keep the grin off his face as he stares.

Bob looks self-conscious, shifting on his feet. "What? I probably have hat...mask hair, whatever. Deal with it."

Frank shakes his head, shoulders turning in as he hunches forward a little, laughing. "How are you not in jail already? You have got to be the most gullible person on the planet."

Bob's eyebrows draw together and his finger twitches like he really wants to be pulling a trigger. "What?"

Frank shakes his head, laughing too hard to talk for a second. "I never saw you, dude, I just wanted to see if you'd actually take it off."

Bob looks like he's halfway between rolling with it or killing Frank on the spot. He takes a step forward, fist clenched again. "You little...shit. What the fuck is your problem?" He takes another step forward, and it looks like he's rapidly sliding toward the 'killing Frank' end of the scale. "I oughta shoot you on principle!" His voice echos around the small room and Frank knows, without a doubt, that it's audible from the main room.

"Look, look, calm down," Frank can't bite back the helpless giggle in time to make it sound serious, but Bob takes another step forward and puts himself directly in Frank's personal space, and that sobers him up pretty quickly. "I'm not gonna rat on you, come on. I've got a shit memory anyway, the best the sketch artist's gonna get out of me is 'big, blond, sort of good-looking, chronically pissed off'."

Bob opens his mouth like he wants to take issue with at least part of that, but then some extra color floods into his cheeks and he looks honestly bewildered. Frank has to tilt his head up to look at him. "Yeah, well." He looks flustered, but he doesn't make any move to stop crowding Frank up against the wall. Frank doesn't mind too much. "Well, don't pull that shit with the other guys, they'll have your balls."

Frank grins. "Who says they won't already be claimed?"

"Oh, for fuck's sake." Bob takes a step back and tucks his gun into the waistband of his pants. "You are completely incapable of taking anything seriously." He turns to face the door but doesn't leave.

Frank feels like scuffing at the floor with the toe of his shoe, and there's a distinctly unpleasant feeling in his stomach that reminds him of the times his mother used to get frustrated with him for setting things on fire. "Maybe I was being serious," he mumbles, and then before Bob can answer, he pushes his way past him and flings open the storeroom door. "I've gotta check on Mikey."

The front of the post office looks about the same as it did when Bob hauled Frank to the storeroom - little groups of hostages huddled together in the corners, discarded mail all over the floor, the rest of the masked men standing around looking incompetent.

Mikey slides off the counter as soon as he sees Frank coming, and he does an obvious visual inspection of Frank's person as soon as he gets close enough. "Shit, Frank, are you ok?"

Frank leans up against a wall and lets gravity push him down until his heels are tight up against his ass, his knobby knees poking through the frayed holes in his jeans. "Peachy fucking keen."

Mikey sits down next to him, arranging his long legs and keeping an eye on the robbers. "What happened?"

Frank wraps his arms around his knees and shakes his head. "Nothing. Read me the riot act, you know. The usual."

Mikey barely stifles a sigh, but when he replies, his tone is carefully measured. "If it'd been any of the other ones, you'd probably have a bullet hole in you."

Frank lifts one shoulder unenthusiastically, resting his cheek against his knees with his head turned toward the groups of people. Bob's back out on the floor, mask pulled back into place, and he's very obviously not looking Frank's way. "It might be the better option," he mutters.

--

Bob completely avoids the area Frank and Mikey have staked out, although it doesn't look like he's got much else going on. Occasionally he'll lean over to talk to one of the other guys, or peer out the window to check for trouble, but mostly he just keeps to himself.

Frank's not fooled. He can feel Bob's eyes wandering over to Frank every once in a while, and he keeps them there until Frank finally looks up, and then Bob looks away and acts like he's really super interested in that commemorative stamp the post office is advertising.

Frank doesn't bother acting like he's looking at anything else when Bob catches him staring.

--

Five hours in, Frank starts wondering if the cops are just as incompetent as the robbers.

"Seriously, nobody wondered why the post office was closed in the middle of the day? This town is full of retards."

Mikey picks at a nail and mumbles, "Stop saying retarded."

"Hitting a little close to home?"

"It's offensive."

"To you? I'm sorry, Mikey, really, I wasn't trying to oppress your people."

Mikey looks up, unimpressed. "You can be a real dick sometimes."

Frank widens his eyes and puts a hand over his heart, only to drop the act a few seconds later. "You're just noticing this now?"

Mikey makes a move like he's going to flip his Sidekick out of his pocket and use it as a shield in the face of Frank's increasing dickishness, like usual, but he stops halfway and huffs a sigh. "The least they could do is give everyone a smoke break. Making me sit with you while you deal with nicotine withdrawal is pretty close to cruel and unusual punishment."

He's barely got the words out of his mouth before Frank's pushing himself up the wall. The robbers must have clued in to the fact that Frank warrants at least half an eye on him at all times, because two of them are on him before he's even got his balance.

"Whoa, whoa, fellas, there's enough of me to go around," Frank grins, holding his hands up like he's warding off a herd of hysterical teenage girls.

Stringy Hair grabs him by the front of his shirt with both hands and shoves him back against the wall. Frank bursts out laughing.

"What the fuck's so funny?"

Frank has to take a deep breath, grabbing Stringy Hair's wrists and bracing himself. "Dude, I thought it was like a universal impossibility, but you're shorter than me."

Stringy Hair, is in fact, a good couple inches shorter than Frank. There's a good chance that the two of them struggling looks like a midget fight.

"I told Bob earlier that there was no story you could tell me that would make what you're doing ok, but man, I kinda get it. I bet you got shoved into a lot of lockers, huh?" Stringy Hair pulls Frank far enough away from the wall that he can slam him against it again, and the grin slides off of Frank's face. "Quit. Shoving. Me. Around."

Stringy Hair snorts under his mask. "Quit asking for it. I'm this close to just hogtying you and throwing you in a closet to rot, you little fuck."

"You guys are all a bunch of kinky fuckers!" Frank crows, and Stringy Hair comes so close to hitting him full in the face with the butt of his gun that Frank actually sucks in a breath of anticipated pain before he realizes the hit never came.

"Bert." Bob's got Bert's wrist in his grip, and he looks pissed. Frank's not sure if it's payback or an honest oversight that Bob's using names now, too. He kind of hopes it's payback.

Bert twists away and shoves Frank one last time. "Put this asshole in the storeroom, and don't fucking let him out this time. I've had enough of his shit." He stomps away, kind of ineffectually since he's all of five two and probably weighs a hundred pounds. Even the scraps of paper on the floor don't bother fluttering out of his path as he sweeps by.

Bob grabs Frank and nearly lifts him off the floor. "You've got to be fucking kidding me."

Frank stumbles along behind him as Bob strides to the storeroom, tucking his gun into the waistband of his pants so he has a free hand to open the door. "You can't tell me you've been hanging out with that dude all day and haven't wanted to punch him in the face like seven times at least."

Bob pushes Frank into the storeroom and Frank hits the wall, hands flat against the cement to save his face from making its acquaintance.

"More than seven. Way more than seven. But I have this thing called self-control, it's what keeps most people from getting their faces smashed in or their brains blown out." Bob slams the door behind him and stands guard in front of it, glaring at Frank through his mask.

Frank spins around and rests his shoulders against the wall. "You probably coulda used a little bit more of that really awesome self-control to keep yourself from agreeing to rob a post office."

Bob pulls his mask off and throws it to the side, taking the few short steps across the room until he's in Frank's face. "We need to get something straight. I don't want to see anyone get hurt here -" Frank makes a vague motion toward his bruised nose, and Bob amends, "- hurt any more, but I can't do shit if you're egging them on."

Frank has to consciously avoid trying to sidestep out from under Bob's looming form. "All I wanted was a cigarette!" Bob's glare doesn't lose any intensity. "Seriously, I was getting up to see if it was cool if I smoked." Frank puts his hands up, palms out, in the universal signal for I'm innocent, I swear. Because Bob's so close, Frank ends up with his hands almost flat against Bob's chest.

Bob leans back a little, but he doesn't move away. "Why the fuck would you come ask? You've been nothing but a pain in my ass all day, suddenly you have to double check for a smoke?"

Frank hesitates. "The uh. The fucking smoke detectors in this place, you know?" He drops one hand and scrubs the other one through his hair. "Most companies or stores or whatever have those smoke detectors that go off and send a message to the police department automatically, and cops show up even if it's a false alarm." Realization dawns on Bob's face, and Frank hurries to add, "I didn't want that asshole thinking I was trying to signal for help and shooting me for it or something."

The sides of Bob's lips quirk up, and he leans down a little. "Your secret's safe with me."

Frank's face scrunches up in confusion. "What? What secret?"

Bob stands up straight again, and his smile has definitely turned into a smirk. "I get it. You don't want to get us busted, but you don't want to lose your rep as a badass. Seriously, I get it."

Frank squares his shoulders and scowls. "Like I'd try to do you guys any favors. Remember how you're robbing the joint and I'm a hostage? Remember how your good buddy busted up my face?"

Bob puts a hand up. "It's ok, you don't have to explain. I'm kind of fond of you, too." He grins, and Frank suddenly realizes he's being had. He shoves at Bob, trying unsuccessfully to turn his face into his shoulder to hide his laughter.

"If there's any fondness it's totally Stockholm Syndrome, you asshole."

Bob shoves back, lightly, and keeps his hand on Frank's shoulder. "Seeing as how you're the one that's been terrorizing me all day, I'd say that's unlikely." His voice is suddenly so close Frank can feel the breath of it on his cheek, and when he takes his face out of his shoulder, he's nose-to-nose with Bob. It's not much more of a stretch for their lips to meet up. Frank's breath catches in his throat, and for a second all he can think is what the actual fuck. But then he tastes a weird mix of gum and stale smoke and it's enough to make him try to lick his way into Bob's mouth, and Frank doesn't think much of anything after that.

He has to reach up a little to wrap his arms around Bob's neck, but it's worth it, because then he can drag Bob down and hold him in place while he explores his teeth and the roof of his mouth and does an especially thorough investigation of his tongue. Bob lets him, flicking his tongue against Frank's every so often, hands trailing down to settle on Frank's hips. They stay like that for a while, just standing, just kissing, and then there's a loud shout from the main room. Bob jumps back like the shout was Frank's got the mouth herpes!, and Frank stumbles forward, startled out of leaning against Bob.

"Shit..." Bob grabs his mask, yanks it onto his head inside out and backwards, and reaches for the doorknob while trying to straighten it out. It's kind of hilarious, and Frank lets him fumble for a second before his morals kick in. For all he knows, it could be Mikey out there yelling. He grabs Bob by the arm and holds him still, reaching up to straighten the mask out. Bob mutters, "Thanks," and turns to leave, but Frank grabs him again.

"If anything happens to Mikey I'll kick your ass."

Bob looks like he thinks Frank could do it, or at least like maybe he'd let Frank do it, so Frank doesn't try to dart out the door when Bob opens it, and he doesn't bother trying the handle when he hears it lock. He settles back against the wall and waits, gnawing on his thumbnail and thinking about how much he wants a cigarette and how much he hates small spaces and definitely not about how he just made out with the dude holding him captive.

--

The light outside the post office is starting to go dim, and Bob realizes it's quickly approaching dinnertime. People should be home by now, people will start noticing that people aren't home by now.

"What's going on?" He leans in toward Jepha, pitching his voice low.

Jepha shrugs and motions toward Bert, who's busy swearing to himself and ransacking a bin full of packages marked "perishables". Bob narrows his eyes. "We're...ripping off cookies now?"

Jepha shrugs again. "We found like two hundred bucks in cash and a couple rings that are probably cubic zirconia or whatever. I think at this point he'll be happy if he gets some cookies out of the deal."

Bob's stomach clenches uncomfortably. "We gotta get going, Jepha. We've been here way past what's smart."

Jepha's eyes crinkle around the edges behind his mask. "I think we hit that about fifteen seconds in."

"You can get Bert out of here?"

"Yeah, Quinn's already antsy, Bert'll go if Quinn does. What're we doing about all them?" Jepha motions toward the hostages, most of whom are sitting, slumped, on the floor.

"Leave 'em, I guess. I don't think they're gonna chase us down or anything. We just walk out."

Jepha sighs and nods. "Give me fifteen minutes, and then meet me at the back door. It'll take Dan a few to go get the car." He heads toward Bert, body language passive and non-threatening, like he's approaching a rabid dog. Bob does not envy the guy the task of dealing with Bert on a regular basis. If he had to talk some angry little dude down every fifteen minutes- He catches himself and tries not to consider how temporary his similar situation is.

"Hey, uh, Bob?" Mikey comes up beside him out of nowhere, and Bob wonders how exactly they've made it five hours in this place without one of the grandmas taking them all down with her purse or something. "Is Frank ok?"

Bob nods. "Yeah, he's fine. As long as he's not claustrophobic or anything." It's supposed to be a joke, but the look on Mikey's face is pretty far from laughter. "Oh shit, he is?"

Mikey nods sullenly. Bob starts backing toward the storeroom, a hand up. "Just. It's fine, it'll be fine. Go sit down." Mikey doesn't look like he's going to do any such thing, but Mikey also looks like he could lose a fight with a declawed kitten, so Bob turns his back and fumbles the key to the storeroom out of his pocket.

His hand's on the doorknob and the lock has already clicked out of place before he realizes he's going in to say goodbye.

--

"Mikey?" Frank's pulling the door open before Bob can even get in.

Bob shakes his head. "He's good, Bert was just being...Bert."

Frank backs off, wiping his damp thumb on his pants and grinning. "So if there's no immediate bodily damage in anyone's future, I think we were..." He leans in, grabbing the top of Bob's mask and tugging it off. A few strands of blond hair fall out with it, and Bob winces.

"Speaking of immediate bodily harm..." he says, mock threateningly. Frank rolls his eyes.

"Bob, you are the biggest marshmallow I have ever met. Your intimidation tactics no longer work with me, buddy," he says loftily, dropping the mask on the floor and reaching up to capture Bob's lower lip in his teeth. Bob lets out a heavy breath, using his tongue to nudge Frank's teeth off of his lip. When it's free, he wraps his arms around Frank's back and tugs him in close. His nose brushes up against Frank's and Frank sucks in a hissed breath, squinting. "Watch the nose."

Bob makes a noise of apology and turns his head awkwardly to the side to kiss Frank so that their noses aren't touching. Frank hums happily and kisses back, using his hips to nudge Bob backward until he hits the door. Bob's kissing him like it's going out of style, and Frank's not about to let him get the upper hand. He reaches up and tangles his fingers in Bob's hair, fits his leg neatly between Bob's thighs, and rolls his hips. With the height difference he has to strain up a little bit, but the sound Bob makes when it garners some friction is worth the minor backache.

"God..." Bob break the kiss, looking down at Frank bemusedly. It's not really a look Frank's used to getting while he's employing all his best moves. "I don't. Fuck, I don't even know your name."

Frank laughs and tucks his head under Bob's chin, nipping at the skin over his Adam's apple. "Frank."

Bob tips his head back, and Frank can hear it thump softly against the door. "Short for...?"

Frank nips a little harder. "Short for ask me again and I'll have to kill you." It's coincidence that his hand slides down to Bob's waist and his fingers brush over the gun tucked there. He slips his fingers into Bob's jeans and pulls them far enough away that he can pull the gun out. Bob tenses, and with his mouth on Bob's throat, Frank can feel his heart rate speed up. "Fuck off," he mumbles into Bob's skin. "Like I would have to use my sexual wiles to get this away from you if that's what I wanted." He sets the gun on a nearby shelf and goes to back to biting Bob's neck, leaving tiny little teethmarks all over until he gets to Bob's scruffy jaw. He's not a big fan of hair in his mouth, but Bob intercepts him anyway, tipping his head down to catch Frank's mouth with his own. Bob's hands tighten on Frank's back, pulling him even closer, until Frank feels like he's practically climbing Bob's body. Not that he'd really mind.

"Frank, fuck. I, nff, god," Bob mutters, rolling his hips toward Frank's. "We have to, it's getting really fucking late, we have to leave..."

Frank pauses, but catches himself before it looks too obvious. "I kinda figured you didn't plan on staking out territory here, even if the post office is prime realty." He dispenses with the teasing and pops the button on Bob's jeans, yanking one side open so the zip slides down on its own.

Bob catches Frank's wrist, panting down at him. "I can't stick around."

Frank tugs his wrist away, rolling his eyes. "Like I said-"

"No, like. I can't stick around town. We're all probably leaving tonight, this was such a clusterfuck, if we stick around we'll probably end up in jail."

Frank determinedly returns to Bob's pants, tugging them down just enough that he can reach in and wrap his hand around Bob's dick. "I wasn't really expecting breakfast in bed, dude."

Bob looks like he wants to argue, or emote, or what the fuck ever, but Frank just squeezes, runs his thumb along the head of Bob's dick, and effectively ends the conversation. Frank's own dick is straining against his jeans, and he's never been one to have any compunctions about waiting his turn, so he uses his free hand to unzip himself, pulling his dick out of his boxers and giving it a few rough strokes.

When he glances back up, Bob's looking down at him with half-lidded eyes, mouth red and spitslick. Frank runs his tongue along the front of his teeth, catching the taste of Bob, and then lets go of his dick long enough to lick a long, slow path from his wrist to the top of his middle finger, straight up his palm. Bob watches, eyes dilating, and his dick jumps in Frank's hand. "Fucking..."

Frank raises a shoulder and puts on a mock apologetic face. "No time, sorry. You'll just have to make do with my hand." He grabs his own dick again and slides his fist down, his bottom lip falling open at the warm slickness. Bob makes a sound deep in his throat and Frank glances up slyly from under his eyelashes, letting his dick slide through his fist even slower and giving a repeat performance, licking his other hand and fisting Bob's dick.

Bob bucks up against him, groaning, and flattens his palms on the door behind him. Frank leans up to kiss his way along Bob's throat, nipping at the skin and growling. "Stop being so fucking tall."

Bob tries to laugh, but Frank twists his wrist and it ends up a choked moan. "I'm not...fuck, I'm not that tall, you're just kind of ridiculously short."

Frank twists his wrist again, sharp this time, and Bob shudders.

"You shouldn't insult the guy that's got a good grip on your dick," Frank grins against Bob's mouth, squeezing for emphasis. "Especially when you've got no leverage."

Bob tips his head down. "Is that a h-hint?"

Frank grabs Bob's hand and guides it to Frank's dick, closing his fingers over Bob's. "I'm not really subtle enough for hints."

Bob's hand curls around Frank's dick firmly, starting up a quick rhythm that makes Frank stumble forward, head dropping to rest against Bob's shoulder. For a while Frank keeps his pace deliberately slow, fingers sliding through the precum at the tip of Bob's dick and smearing it down the side, thumb flicking lightly against the underside of the head. Bob's rhythm stutters a few times, but he keeps up pretty well. It's only when Frank starts panting against his neck, tongue snaking out to lick slow stripes against the skin, that he almost stops completely. Frank murmurs nonsense in a warning tone, and Bob starts again, this time squeezing just this side of too tight, and Frank whines low in his throat and comes all over his hand. It takes all he has to keep from just slumping against Bob completely, to keep his hand tight around Bob until his dick jerks and he turns his head to press his lips to Frank's, breathing something that feels a little like, "FrankFrankFrankFrank," into his mouth.

They stay like that for a minute, just breathing against each other, hands still curled loosely around each other, and then there's a loud pound on the door. "Bob! Car's here, man, let's book."

Bob doesn't move for a second, and when he does, it's slow, putting off the inevitable. Frank impulsively presses another kiss against Bob's mouth before he stands up straight, looking around for something to clean up with. There's not a whole lot other than packaging materials in the room. He settles for a handful of packing peanuts, and frowns when they get stuck to his hand and he has to pick them off, one by one. Bob just wipes his hand on his pants and zips himself up. By the time Frank's got all the peanuts off his hand, Bob's already got his gun tucked back into his pants and his mask in hand.

There's a second where they both open their mouths to talk at the same time, pause to let the other speak, and then neither of them does. It's quiet until Bob says, "Guess I should get going." Frank can't tell if he's just stating facts or if he's looking for Frank to argue.

"I guess so," he says, and Bob nods.

"Hey, tell your friend his phone's in a sack behind the counter." Bob pauses at the door, tugging his mask back on. "He seemed pretty lost when I took it."

Frank forces a grin. "Taking his phone away probably put you at the top of his hit list, man, not gonna lie. Giving it back might put you in the running for best friend."

Bob cracks half a smile, pulling the door open. "Nah, just give it to him yourself. I'm the bad guy, remember? You're the dude that sticks up for little old ladies. Just add phone rescuer to your list of talents."

"Along with pissing people off?"

Bob ducks his head in a nod. "Along with that." There's an awkward pause and then he says, "Well, see you around, Frank."

Frank gives a little half-salute and leans back against the wall. "Try a bank next time."

Bob snorts, tugs his mask back on, and leaves.

--

The storeroom door stays cracked open slightly when Bob leaves, so Frank can see him through the slit, walking away. It takes him a minute to realize he should probably make himself look slightly less like he just got jerked off in a back room. But only slightly. He's not going to miss an opportunity to rub it in Mikey's face that he got some, even if it was in the storeroom of a post office with the guy robbing it.

By the time he gets back out to the main room, there aren't any masked men in sight, and most of the hostages are starting to murmur amongst themselves, a few of the braver ones even standing up and looking around warily, wincing when their legs pop from sitting so long.

Mikey grabs his arm and tugs him off to the side. "What's going on? They all just...left."

Frank shrugs, a little irritated Mikey hasn't immediately clued into the fact that he's looking very pleasantly post-orgasmic. "I guess we can go get dinner then."

"We can just go?" Mikey's eyes widen a little and it's the most excitement Frank's seen him show since the coffee shop on their block started advertising espresso in sixty-four ounce mugs. "You think they left our phones?"

Frank rolls his eyes but he smiles indulgently. "Yeah, there's a bag of 'em behind the counter, I think." Mikey doesn't bother asking how Frank knows. He's up and over the counter before Frank can say anything else, and it takes him approximately thirty seconds to reappear with his Sidekick in hand, thumb already scrolling through what Frank imagines are his missed calls. He's got a piece of cloth in his other hand, and Frank doesn't recognize it until Mikey hands it over.

"My phone was wrapped up in this." He sounds vaguely confused, but his Sidekick beeps and he doesn't bother following up on it.

Frank unfolds the mask, picking a stray blond hair off of it. Grinning, he tucks it into his back pocket and grabs Mikey's arm, leading him toward the crowd fleeing the post office in a mass exodus.

--

Epilogue

"Well it didn't just get up and walk away!" Frank yells, head buried somewhere between the cushions of the couch. He hears Mikey huff behind him.

"You sound like my mother."

"No, your mom sounds kind of like this: Oh, Frank, oh Frankie, yes, ohhhh yes, right there..." Frank pops up from the couch, grinning, and ducks just in time to avoid the remote Mikey throws at his head.

"Not cool."

Frank plops down on the mess he's made of the couch cushions, shoving his hair out of his face. "Seriously, where is it? If this is some lame attempt at payback for that time I hid your porn..."

Mikey points a finger at him, managing somehow to convey indignation with a completely placid face. "It doesn't really count as hiding it when you put it on my mother's coffee table."

Frank giggles. "I think she was really impressed with your eclectic tastes, Mikey."

Mikey looks around at the mess they've made of Frank's living room. "Well, I didn't take it. You probably just left it at Gerard's or something. When's the last time you saw it?"

"Uh...last week, I think. When we bought that beer for Ray's party."

"You've gone a week without needing your wallet for anything?"

Frank shrugs. "I was traumatized, ok. I deserved some time off."

"By which you mean you needed to use the robbery as an excuse to spend all day jerking off instead of going to work."

Frank makes a face that translates to possibly, but you'll never make me admit it. He really doesn't want to start thinking about what exactly he's been jerking off to. He suddenly wonders if somehow his wallet got shoved into the same spot under his mattress he's been keeping Bob's mask. Before he can go check, the doorbell rings. "Ooh, Mrs. Way is back for seconds!" he yells, jumping off the couch and dodging Mikey's lackluster slap on the way to the door.

He's still laughing when he opens the door to find Bob on his doorstep. There's a moment of cognitive dissonance when he can't quite see Bob in any setting besides the post office, and then Bob says, "Um. Hey," and Frank realizes Bob is in fact standing there and it's not some weird post-traumatic side effect.

"Heyyyy," Frank says. It takes him a minute to get back up to speed, but when he does, he leans against the door and says seriously, "This isn't a bank or a post office. The best I've got is like five bucks in quarters."

Bob shifts uncomfortably. "Yeah, about that." He pulls Frank's wallet out of his back pocket and offers it up, looking a little embarrassed. "I didn't take anything, I just." He coughs, looking down at the seriously dehydrated bushes by the stoop. "Thought I might need to get a hold of you sometime."

Frank takes his wallet, fighting to keep the grin off his face. "I think most people just ask for a guy's number if they wanna ask him out on a date."

"Yeah, well, I'm not most people," Bob mumbles. He doesn't dispute the wanting to take Frank on a date part.

"Life on the lam not quite what you were expecting?"

"There's a lot less work for ex-post office robbers than you'd think."

"Really? And I was just thinking about getting into it, it seemed like such a lucrative career."

Bob kicks at the doorframe. "So uh. I don't suppose you know of any work for an ex-post office robber who drums in his spare time?"

Frank opens the door wider and ignores Mikey gawking in the background. "I might have a few leads."

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