It took him a while to notice, because Frank had given up on respecting personal space somewhere around the third basement show, and Ray was kind of used to the odd knee or elbow or stray strand of dyed hair getting in his face.
But this was different. Frank was burrowing into his side, head on his shoulder, as the credits for Stargate Atlantis rolled.
"Frank?" Ray said, "have you been smoking up?"
“No!” Frank looked offended, or at least, the top of his head did. "There's spiders in this episode, I'm just being prepared."
And it wasn't like Ray minded, so he switched his drink to the other hand and hummed along with the strings.
The next night Frank was right there again, head on his shoulder, but Mikey flopped down on the other side of him, and flopped his legs right into Ray's lap.
"Is there something wrong with the other sofa? Ray asked, confused.
“You can see the tv better from here," Mikey explained.
"it's true," Frank piped up, nodding his head. Ray spat some of Franks hair out of his face.
"I can't switch the tv on now though" he pointed out.
"I got it, " Mikey dug around for the remote, and pressed play, and Ray forgot the weirdness as they launched into a discussion of just how much the third season of heroes sucked.
Gerard hugged him the next morning in the little kitchenette, as the Ohio cornfields rolled by
"Coffee, amazing," he said, taking the pot and topping his cup up, then hugging Ray. And well, yes, Gerard was free with his affection, and it was pretty good coffee, he supposed.
After-show hugs were, of course, just what they did, especially after a show like the one that night, where it felt less like playing the guitar and more like funnelling everything the crowd felt out through his fingers and strings, and he was in the middle of a gross, sweaty ecstatic four way tangle of arms as the lights went down.
But, Ray thought as Mikey wormed an arm round him the next day as they were discussing set lists, something was going on.
"Mikey?" he asked. Mikey's expression didn't change at all.
"My hands are cold," he said.
"You were just sitting next to Dewees?" Ray made it a question.
“He can keep his fucking cold hands to himself," Dewees put in.
"You guys are all being really," Ray waved the hand that wasn't trapped under Mikey's, "huggy"
Jarrod looked a bit stricken, like no one had told him it might be part of his contract to hug the lead guitarist.
Gerard beamed at him.
"We just want you to know we appreciate you," he said, and Frank nodded quickly.
"Because we totally do," he said "after that article last week, you know!"
It took Ray a moment to remember, they did so much press, and then he realised what they meant.
"Wait," he said, trying to remember the quote. "The one that said my precision and attention to detail caused problems with the punk outlook of the rest of you?"
It had been a long, weird interview cut to pieces and twisted round.
"Yes! " Gerard said. "They wouldn't like, print a retraction or anything but we wanted to show you we don't think that."
"But I know that," ray said, confused "of course I do. And anyone who thinks I'm a perfectionist hasnt seen you draw, or them way Frank sets his gear up, or read Mikeys comics."
"So, you're not in need of validation?" Gerard asked
"Gee had plans for the next live show, and costumes and everything," Frank continued. "He called Brian and was talking guitar solos."
"Costumes are fun," he said, "but you don't need to worry, I'm fine."
"Good," Gerard said, and shoved Frank aside so he could sit down, kind of half on his lap and half on Ray's own. "Don’t think you're getting out of hugs though, just in case."
Ray lifted his arm up so Gerard could snuggle under it.
"I guess I'll cope," he said.