Category Linkin Park

Bennoda - The Way I See It by Emma Shinoda

Bennoda - The Way I See It

A/N: Just a short little story I came up with, and my attempt at describing the intricate relationship Mike and Chester share. I usually don't put disclaimers in my stories, because I think it's pretty obvious that what I write is fiction. But, to avoid any confusion, I'll put one here.

Disclaimer: This story in no way reflects the actual words or thoughts of Chester. I did my best to make it seem realistic, but it is entirely composed from my imagination.

With that said, I hope you enjoy, and please let me know your thoughts!


A lot of fans have asked me if I've ever heard of Bennoda. Well, with so many people bringing it to my attention, the obvious answer is yes, I've heard quite a bit about Bennoda. I'm aware of the stories, the drawings, and, most importantly, the real-life rumors. I've never sought any of these things out, myself. The fans, my friends, even my wife have done that for me. And I'm here to give you all some answers.

If you were to ask me if I love Mike; well, I'd tell you that's the dumbest question I've ever heard. Of course I love Mike. I love that man more than all the fame and riches in the world. Now, before you all start planning the wedding, let me clarify. My love for Mike is completely different than my love for my wife. Actually, I'd say it's more similar to the way the fans love him.

That doesn't make sense, you say? Well, let's do a test. How many Linkin Park fans think Mike is extraordinarily talented? How many think he's a fantastic artist and songwriter? How about a kind, selfless person, and ridiculously good looking on top of all that? How many people admire Mike, and get chills when they hear his voice in our songs? If you've answered yes to all of these questions, you should have a fair idea of what my love for him looks like.

I look up to Mike and am inspired by him just as you are. The only difference is, I've had the very precious opportunity to know him on a much deeper level than the fans do. After I had first met him, I would take a few moments to just sit and stare at him in awe, wondering how so much talent could exist in just one man. Sound familiar?

Of course, the love I feel towards Mike goes much deeper than just awe and admiration, but that's the foundation; where the feelings are rooted. On top of that, is the magnificent friendship we've developed through the years, and the security of knowing that someone will always be there to catch me if I fall. Then - as the icing on the cake - is the way, over time, I've begun to fall in love with all of Mike's little quirks and imperfections.

The way he'll quietly sing the same lines to a new song he's heard, over and over, throughout our days of working together; not letting the lyrics go until he's exhausted his mind, by pondering every possible deeper meaning they could contain. Or the way he'll count the steps he takes from his car to our studio's entrance, until he's figured out the most efficient parking spot and claimed it for himself.

Naturally, you would also add in our matching sense of humor, love for pulling shenanigans, and both still being kids at heart; all of these things fit together like the pieces of a puzzle to coalesce the mutual love we've developed.

But, let's pause for a moment and make a distinction. I am willing to admit that I'm in love with Mike, but it stops right there; at love. There's no lust or sexual attraction involved in our relationship. There never has been, and probably never will be.

I know the fans have always had a difficult time trying to figure out exactly what our relationship consists of, and how deep it goes, or doesn't go. And, while I would love to give you a definite answer to that question, I'm afraid I can't. Simply because it's just as much a mystery to us, as it is to all of you.

I don't love Mike in the same way I love my wife. I don't love him in the same way I love my kids, my family, my friends, or even the rest of the guys in Linkin Park. My love for him is something totally unique. Something I've never felt towards anyone or anything else. I can't quite put my finger on what it is that makes him so different. All I know is that he's very dear to me. He's rooted himself in my heart, filling a spot that no one else could ever reach.

When most people think of Bennoda, they think of the notion that Mike and I are in a romantic relationship. And, while that fantasy - shared by thousands of our fans - doesn't bother me, I need to inform you that it's just that. A fantasy. If you want an accurate description of what Bennoda is, just imagine two bodies sharing the same mind. Two souls that were bound to one another long before they had ever met, destined to combine and create something beautiful. We bring out the best in each other, our talents merging together and coming out ten times brighter than if we worked separately.

So, to answer the age old question:

Is Bennoda Real?

Yes, Bennoda is real in two ways. First, Bennoda is real because it will always be alive in the hearts of our fans. There will always be stories and rumors. There will always be people under and overestimating our intimacy, in an attempt to crack the shell of our peculiar relationship. And that's okay with me.

But second, and maybe most importantly; Bennoda is real because, just as the name implies, Bennington and Shinoda really do blend into each other. They mix together like yin and yang; resulting in a unique, impeccable balance of creativity, love, and friendship. And that, at its core, is what our relationship is truly about.

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