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It's Bob who has to tell Gerard that he is in no way, shape or form allowed to have a hamster on the bus. When it becomes clear that neither Frank nor Ray is willing to take that bullet, she mutters, "Fucking pussies," around her cigarette and contemplates, for a lovely, joyous moment, putting it out in Ray's hair. Then the moment passes and she admits, if only to herself, she'd kind of miss that shit if it were to burn.


The conversation doesn't go well. Bob explains, gently--well, gently for her--that Gerard is welcome to have his cage on the bus, or his cage at home with a real live hamster in it, but not the real live hamster and the bus.

Gerard, naturally, looks at her like she's speaking Egyptian and asks, "Why? They're small. It'll totally fit."

"They're also kind of smelly," she says, because it's the truth and Bob's not exactly a neat freak or anything, but the bus smells enough as it is.

"So are me and Mikey," Gerard says reasonably.

Bob blinks and realizes that it's going to be longer than she expected before she has the tiniest grasp of how Gerard Way's brain works. "Right, but you're our lead singer and Mikey plays the bass, so we have to keep you."

Gerard thinks about this. He comes back with, "But a hamster is cuddlier than we are."

Bob is actually not entirely sure that's the truth. Oh, not that she thinks Gerard is lying. He's just unaware of his own creature habits, clearly. She tries another tactic. "Frank has eleven quatrillion dogs. Why don't you talk to him about having one of the small ones tour with us?"

Obviously, though, this has been a misstep, because Gerard looks horrified. "He can't do that." Gerard's hands are in fists, but Bob can see the flailing building up, and sure enough, it breaks free on, "All the other dogs would think he had picked a favorite!"

Bob likes dogs. In fact, Bob really likes dogs. "I don't think that's going to occur to them."

"It will occur to Frank," Gerard says.

Bob opens her mouth to argue before remembering that, as she so recently informed him herself, Frank is a pussy, and Gerard is likely right. She tries, as a last ditch effort, "How about Bunny?" Cats aren't so bad on buses.

At that, he looks at her like maybe she bumped her head on something, and yeah, Bob can't really see Mikey being any less sensitive to his pets' mental health than Frank. She takes a deep breath, both for patience and sanity. She repeats, "Gerard. You can't have a hamster on the bus."

Gerard's eyes get a certain set look in them before he stomps off and Bob knows they're not done. Oh no. They are far from done.


Gerard send Mikey into the fray. Mikey goes, looking miserable, and Bob actually has valid sympathy for him, but before Mikey can even get his mouth open, Bob says, "No."

"Just because of the smelly thing?" Mikey asks.

Bob says, "This isn't even your fight."

Mikey rolls his eyes. "My job in this band--other than occasionally playing the bass--is to win fights for my brother. It's not much of a job, but it's mine and I'll thank you very much to fuck the fuck off about it."

Mikey has a point so Bob says, "Sure. He still can't have the hamster."

"Because, honestly, I'll clean the damn cage."

"I call bullshit."

"Well, I'll cajole Frank into cleaning it with a clever carrot and stick programming, but it's getting clean all the same, what's the difference?"

Bob sighs. "Have any of you actually ever owned a hamster?"

"Um. No?"

"Yeah, okay, then you don't know that the fuckers find ways to escape from anything, anywhere at which time they are either never seen again--breaking Gerard's heart and causing me the urge to go on a rodenticide spree--or they get into the pipes and can't get out and die in there and start to really, really smell. Neither eventuality is one I care to deal with."

Mikey considers her for a long moment. "You were totally scarred in childhood, huh?"

"Multiple times." Bob has no shame in admitting it. Nobody escapes elementary school unmarred.


Bob is wary. "Okay?"

"Okay, I'll talk with him," Mikey says, and wanders off. Bob makes a mental note to always get Mikeyway on her side first before approaching Gerard.


Gerard finds Bob when she's engaged in an epic struggle to reclaim a Doc Marten that she's had for at least a decade now. She knows she's doomed to fail, which is not putting her in a great mood, but Gerard's eyes are soft and wide and sincere when he says, "You could have just told me you were afraid of rodents."

Bob opens her mouth to ask, "The fuck?" and then closes it. She takes a second to decide that, yeah, she can work with this. There are worse things than Gerard thinking she's afraid of furry creatures she could crush with her shoes--even the defunct ones in her hand. "Uh. Yeah. Well, y'know."

Gerard nods earnestly. "I'm totally creeped out by moths. And june bugs. And they're both totally harmless."

He's looking at her like he expects her to share something. She says, "They're just, uh. We had a rat infestation when I was a kid." This last part is actually true. It was fucking disgusting. Bob and her mom had to stay with her grandmother for a bit, and overall, the experience had left her with a definite distaste for rats. She just hadn't spread the emotion around to any of their relatives.

Gerard makes a face. "Ew."

"Yeah, so, like. It's a thing." She really hopes there aren't details Mikey made up that she doesn't know.

"I understand. I totally understand. No hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, rats, mice, ferrets or chinchillas."

Since that pretty much sums it up, Bob says, "Just not on the bus. If you want it at home, that's fine."

"I want you to be able to come over, though," Gerard tells her.

"I think I can handle being in the same apartment with one," she says, doing her best for brave, rather than dry.

"I'll think about it," Gerard says.

"You do that," Bob nods, waving a little as Gerard goes off Gerard. She turns her attention back to the boot. She hasn't yet decided if she's going to need it to beat Mikeyway to death or not. After she buys him coffee by way of thanks, obviously. Obviously.

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Skin by egelantier, photo by microbophile