POV: 3rd person, Brian centric
Summary: Brian plans a trip to the zoo, and Bob is bitchy.
Word Count: 2,346
Disclaimer: I do not own any of this. I do not know any of this happened.
Warnings: Excessive swearing.
Author's Notes: The layout and animals in the Detroit Zoo are probably nothing like I have in this story. I have no idea. I've actually never been there. So. Apologies for inconsistencies. Also, thanks a bunch to blck_cherry who gave me to words to write this fic.
Also, the song that was playing continuously as I wrote this is Hollow Point Sniper Hyperbole by USS. I think it seems more to me like a Summer song than anyone else because I heard it and fell in love with it during last Summer. But, if you want to listen while reading, it's there for you to download.
The condensation on the glass rolls slowly down the curved side. Brian lifts his finger and wipes away the single bead of sweat.
It's hot – too hot, and the air is so thick with humidity that Brian can barely breathe. That's the one thing he hates about summer – the suffocation.
Brian looks up as he hears the tour bus door slam open, then shut. Bob's walking toward where Brian's lounging in the grass, clearly looking agitated. Brian sympathizes. Bob's wearing all black, the idiot.
“S'too fucking hot.” Bob grumbles, dropping swiftly into the lush grass at Brian's side.
“Maybe if you weren't wearing only a colour that absorbs the sun you wouldn't be so bad off,” Brian says, earning a glare from Bob. Or maybe Bob's just squinting in the sunlight; Brian can't tell.
“Whatever.” Bob lies back, folding one arm behind his head and using his other hand to pluck individual blades of grass from the ground. Brian watches him do it, watches how Bob's pale skin is starting to glisten with sweat. Brian catches himself staring and clears his throat loudly.
“Fuck, Bryar, you're almost as pale as Gerard.” Brian comments. It's true. Brian can distinctly see Bob's freckles standing out against his light flesh.
“I'm pale by default, Schechter. It's not like I'm trying to emulate a vampire” Bob chucks a blade of grass at Brian, but it only gets halfway there, despite Bob's close proximity to Brian, and flutters downward, twirling like a tiny, green ballerina.
“I should hope not. It's bad enough with just Gerard, and now that Bert won't leave Gee's side for half a second, it's even worse.” Brian shakes his head and starts to pick at the grass as well. He loves the smell of fresh grass. It reminds him of Summers at home.
“You love it. Don't deny it.” Bob says, reaching for Brian's drink, but Brian defers him, swatting at his hand lazily.
“Mine, asshole. Get your own.” He says. Bob leans back and does a weird mix of a scowl and a pout until Brian hands over his drink.
When they reach Michigan, Brian organizes a trip to the Detroit Zoo.
Everyone is super excited about it, and when Brian realizes just how excited they are, he thinks that maybe this wasn't such a great idea after all. But he's not about to tell the entirety of Taste of Chaos that he's canceling the thing just because he thinks they're going to scare a few kids.
Once they've all paid, everyone just kind of ambles off in groups. Brian finds himself gravitating unsurprisingly toward Bob. Bob's glaring enough to be daunting to everyone else, so it ends up being just Bob and Brian.
“You picked the worst day in history for an outdoor field trip.” Bob complains as he and Brian head toward the marine section. It must be pretty close. Brian can already hear seals barking in the distance.
“You didn't have to come.” Brian shrugs, but he's secretly really glad Bob did. Sometimes Brian gets so into planning and preparing that he doesn't know what to do with himself once everything's organized. Bob is generally a good person to keep your mind off things.
“I probably shouldn't have. I forgot my sun screen. Fuck. I'm gonna burn.” Bob says, and Brian laughs.
“You fair skinned motherfucker!” Bob frowns, looking displeased.
“Did you just call me fair skinned, dude? I've only ever heard my mother call me fair skinned.” Bob asks, his eyebrow raised. Brian nods.
“Only cos you are, fucker. Only cos you are.”
Brian and Bob make it past the marine animals and onto the African. They stop to admire the giraffes. Two of them are standing close together, their necks touching softly. It's peaceful and majestic and Brian would never admit it out loud, but it kind of touches him.
“Why the zoo?” Bob asks. He's looking at the giraffes, too. Brian guesses he's admiring their colouring. Bob's one to notice the subtle details on even the bleakest of patterns. He focuses. Pays attention. It's one of the things Brian loves especially about him.
“Cos it's different. I don't think Bert and a few of the other guy's have ever even been to a zoo before.” Brian answers. Bob turns to him. He's smirking, but he doesn't exactly look malicious or sarcastic. Something... softer.
“You're always thinking of other people, huh, Schechter?” Bob says.
“Not really. It's not like I didn't want to come, too.”
“Yeah, but if it had been just you who wanted to go, you wouldn't have tried for jack shit. You did it for other people.”
“That's my job, Bryar. I get payed to do it.”
“You get payed to take people to the zoo?” Bob looks at him knowingly as Brian scowls. “You know why I like animals so much?” He asks, and Brian shakes his head. “Because they don't talk back.” Bob smiles and shoves gently at Brian's shoulder. Brian rolls his eyes and fails miserably at holding his own grin back.
Across the field, the two giraffes separate, ambling slowly in another direction together. Bob leans back from the fence, watching their progress.
“C'mon, let's get something to eat.” He says.
They settle on McDonald's. It's one of the rare times that they can both get a burger and not have Frank or one of the crew bitching at them about tortured cows.
The McDonald's is having some kind of AC malfunction, so it's even hotter inside the place than outside. Bob and Brian head to a small clearing of grass that doesn't look too wet or too much in the sun (“I'm not getting a fucking sunburn just because you want to sit down, Schechter,” Says Bob, eying Brian's tan resentfully). There is, however, a big problem with the spot.
Brian figures there are hundreds of them, all vying for Bob and Brian's fries. Now, Brian's not a wimp, not by anyone's reckoning. He's been in more fist fights than he can count. But it is daunting to have hundreds of seagulls staring at you, all slowly, ever so slowly, inching forward. Brian takes comfort in the way Bob looks pretty freaked out, too. It's all okay until Bob decides to put his fries down on the grass so he can pick up his coke. Then all hell breaks loose and there are seagulls everywhere, scrambling to get at the single cardboard container of sliced potatoes.
Bob and Brian both jump away, waving their arms like mad and yelling loudly. This doesn't deter the birds. It only gains the two men many looks of disdain from the surrounding crowd. Brian shakes himself off, glaring at a feather that slips off his shirt and tugs on Bob's arm.
“C'mon, let's go. Let them have it.” Brian says. Bob turns, but he's still glaring at the seagulls.
“Misbehaved little fuckers.” He grumbles and follows Brian to where the reptiles are kept.
Only, they get lost.
Brian's pretty sure they're not even in the zoo anymore by the time they stumble out of a thicket of trees (Bob had insisted it was a short cut) and into a clearing. Except, the clearing is just a large patch of expanding grass and misshapen hills.
“Maybe if we just head that way... you know, in a straight line.” Bob says, gesturing forward.
“Looks like a long fucking walk.” Brian says skeptically, but Bob only shrugs.
“We've walked longer than that, Schechter.” And off he goes. Brian rolls his eyes and jogs after him.
The walk is long and Brian notices Bob looking more and more pissed off by the second. Brian also notices that Bob's skin is beginning to tinge a nasty, painful looking red. Brian winces in sympathy.
“This, Schechter, is why I hate Summer.” Bob grumbles, poking experimentally at his cheek and cringing.
“Nah, it's okay man, you look like a really big gnome. It's cute.” Brian teases, laughing harder as Bob raises an eyebrow.
“I am not cute.” He says, shoving at Brian, “And shut up. You wouldn't be laughing if it were you with the mother fucking sunburn. Besides, you're the one who's cute, Schechter. You're pocket-sized. You're like a fuckin elf.” Bob's the one's laughing when Brian punches him in the shoulder. Brian does not like comments about his height. He had enough of that growing up, thank you very much.
“You're just bitchy cos you're fair like a maiden.” Brian says and Bob snorts.
“Whatever. You're small like a Chihuahua.” Bob retorts, throwing an arm around Brian's shoulders. He's leaning on Brian a little bit, and it makes Brian worry.
Sure enough, Bob's huffing and puffing as they climb a hill five minutes later. He's all red in the face (and not from the sunburn) and is pretty much using Brian as a walking stick. Brian lets this go on for a few more minutes, but when there is still no end in sight (what the fuck? Brian totally doesn't remember this being here when he was a kid) he stops, accidentally making Bob stumble.
“I think you need to sit down.” Brian says, trying to tug Bob in the direction of a shady tree.
“I think you need to fuck off. I'm fine, Brian. Let's just get out of here.” Bob pants.
“No. I think you have heat exhaustion or something. You need to sit down.” Brian insists and now he actually pulls Bob under the tree. Brian's small, but he's strong, and Bob-with-heat-exhaustion is no match for him.
Once Brian has Bob settled (bitching, but settled), Brian rummages through his backpack, humming when he finds a water-bottle and hands it over to Bob.
“It's not really cold anymore, but it's the best I can do. Really, I should be calling Jeff or someone to come find us with something cold for you.” Brian tells Bob as Bob guzzles back the water, then leans back, wiping his mouth with his hand.
“You really think any of them would actually bother?” Bob asks.
“Cortez might,” Brian suggests.
“No, Cortez would get halfway here and then see some chick with a nice ass and spend the next few hours romancing said chick, then bringing her back to the bus.” Bob grumbles and Brian laughs really loud, because Bob hit the nail right on the head. Or something like that.
“Well, maybe. But Jeff would come.” Brian says, dropping down next to Bob and crossing his legs. “Anyways, you don't look as bad off as you could be, so I think you'll be fine if you just chill out for a while.” Brian ignores Bob's scowl as he pushes Bob's hair back from his forehead to check his temperature. Bob rolls his eyes and moves his head away.
“What's your diagnosis, Doctor?” Bob asks sarcastically. Brian raises his eyebrows and tries his best 'don't-fuck-with-me-when-I'm-worried-abo
“My diagnosis is, stop being a stubborn idiot and you'll be fine.” Brian says instead, and is startled when Bob laughs.
“You're fucking cute when you're worried, Schechter.” Bob says and suddenly he's in Brian's space, his blue eyes sparkling and his mouth quirked in amusement. Brian has no idea what the fuck is going on. “Fucking cute.” Bob confirms and presses his lips to Brian's. Brian freezes and tries to assess the situation. He can taste Bob, feel his warm, soft lips. He can smell the thick smell of grass and bark and pollution and the animals from the zoo. He can hear birds and distant voices, and the sound of his own heart jackhammering in his chest, and he can see Bob. Up close Brian can see the faint freckles on Bob's eyelids.
Brian doesn't know how to process this, what to do with this information, so he does the only thing he can think of.
He kisses back.
And it feels surprisingly right, like he's been waiting for this since forever. And he has, really. Since he met Bob, anyways. And when is better to act on it (or go along with Bob acting on his own 'it') than a stifling Summer day that pushes them together under the shade of a tree? And Brian decides to, for once in his life, just live in the moment and enjoy it.
Of course, once he decides that, here's a rustling in the bushes beside them and they break apart, staring at the green leaves.
(Brian has one absurd moment of 'shit, the seagulls are back,' then wonders if the sun might be getting to him, too)
Brian's just about to get up and inspect the bush when Cortez comes stumbling through with one of the merch girls. Matt catches sight of them and stops short. Brian's cheeks burn, because he knows Matt is noticing how close Bob and Brian are sitting.
There's a tense few seconds where everyone is staring at each other until Brian stands up and motions to Bob.
“Bob got us lost and then got heat exhaustion.” Brian explains and Bob scrambles to his feet, too.
“I don't! I just got tired.” He grumbles and turns to Matt, who's smirking, “Now get us the fuck out of here, Matt. We haven't seen the penguins yet.” Matt grins and nods.
“Sure. It's only about two minutes out this way. How in hell did you guys get lost? Did you not hear the people out there? Jesus.” Matt says and turns, pulling the girl along with him.
“Fuck off, Cortez.” Bob says, but when Brian catches his eye, Bob smirks and winks, bumping his shoulder against Brian's.
And, yeah, Summer is totally Brian's favourite season.