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Gerard was looking out the van window at the convenience store across from the gas pump where they were filling up. "Think if I offered sexual favors I could get a large coffee for my efforts?"

Frank considered. "Possibly. I say we just steal, though. The two of us go in there, you threaten them with Matt's drumsticks, I load up on cigarettes, coffee, Hostess cupcakes and HoHo's and we have Mikey gun it out of here as soon as we get free."

Gerard looked as though he felt the plan had some holes. "Matt's drumsticks?"

"I left my throwing stars and katanas at home, so unless you have ninja weapons--"

"Mikey's kind of a slow driver."

"Yeah, but Ray'll forget to get in the bus on time, you know he will, and Matt never goes along with our best plans."

Gerard nodded pensively. "Good points, all."

"Look, it's either this, or starving to death," Frank said reasonably.

"I don't know how that argument is going to go over in court if we take the cigarettes."

"We're musicians," Frank argued.

"It has suddenly become glaringly apparent why you didn't pursue a career in law."

"That wasn't apparent when I suggested holding up the convenience store?"

"Starvation will do funny things to men."

"Yeah, you know, it occurs to me, if we're going to use the starvation plea, maybe we should get something with actual nutrients in it, too, like some peanuts, or, oh, I know! Crackers and cheese!"

Gerard nodded solemnly. "Now that we have a plan, all that's left is to wrest the sticks from Matt and convince Mikey to gun it."

"We could even explain to the jury that the cigarettes were a way of suppressing our own appetites, so that we wouldn't know we were starving to death," Frank continued, pretty much just running on his own steam at this point.

Ray came back from the bathroom and announced, "If everybody can hold it to the next stop, I totally would."

The driver asked, "Everybody got everything they need?"

Frank sighed. "Yeah, we're good."

Gerard nipped at his lower lip, "Next store, all right?"

"It's your job to distract me until then," Frank told him.

Gerard sighed the sigh of the overly put upon, and got straight to work.

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Skin by egelantier, photo by microbophile