Category Linkin Park
Shadows (The Sea Of Cheese)
A/N: I know what you're thinking: Stupidest. Title. Ever.
....haha yeah, it is :) But it's my stupid title. I swear it's fitting. This idea popped into my head a few days ago, and it's been making me laugh ever since, so I thought I'd share it with you all. For those of you who write, I'm sure you'll be able to relate to Chester's issues. I know I can.
Please note that everything in bold is what Chester's writing, I figured that was the simplest way to do this.
The sea was violent that day. But it was no match for the awesome leadership of Captain Chester - one of the most feared pirates of the area. He pulled his sword from his side belt and pointed at the dark clouds ahead. “Onward!” he shouted in his best captain’s voice.
Chester looked up from his notebook, his eyes glossed over as he looked at Mike sitting at the soundboard. “What?”
“What are you writing?” the emcee asked, trying to get a good look at the singer’s notebook, which he had cradled in his lap.
“I’m working on the song,” Chester dismissed before he put his head down and began to write.
“But Captain, we’ll never make it!”
“Nonsense, Nervous Mike, we’ll be fine,” Captain Chester said as he caressed his. . .
“No,” Chester muttered as he scribbled out the word “caressed” and started again.
….as he patted the shoulder of his first mate. “Courage now. We’ll get through this storm and make it to the banks of Feta Village where we’ll find much pillage, beautiful women, and barrels of cheese!”
“Not barrels,” Mighty Joe chimed in as he rubbed his stomach. “I’ve heard tale that Feta Village has fountains that flow with cheese. This storm has nothing on us,” he declared with a raised arm. “We haven’t had a decent meal since Gouda Island, so the sooner we get there, the better!”
“Chester?” Mike called again, his voice bringing the singer’s pen to a halt as he looked up.
“Seriously, what are you writing over there?”
Chester let out a snort as he waved his hand through the air. “You told me I had to come in today to work on this song, so that’s what I’m doing. Don’t you have to fix Brad’s levels, or something?” he asked, pointing toward the sound booth where the curly haired guitarist was sitting on a wooden stool, his guitar on his lap.
“So you’re working on Shadows?” the emcee queried. The song had gone unfinished - lyrically - despite the hours of labor he and Chester had already put into it. They had called it quits the day before, vowing to take another stab at it today. Or, Mike had vowed they would take another stab at it.
“Of course I am,” Chester laughed, pulling his legs up on the couch, his toes wiggling from inside his pink and black socks. “Now hush, Michael,” he hissed playfully. “You’re ruining my flow.”
“Mhm,” Mike muttered as he watched the singer start writing again. Chester’s glasses were sliding down on his nose as he seemed to be concentrating rather intensely.
“Mike?” Brad called from the sound booth. “Are we doing this one again or what? I think we should do one more.”
Mike spun around in his chair. He pulled his black ball cap off and set it on the soundboard before he flipped the switch so he could talk to Brad through the glass. “Yeah, in a minute, Brad. I need some water first. Take a break.”
“Why is it when you want a break it’s set in gold, but when anyone else wants a break, we have to submit it to you in writing? In triplicate,” Brad added as he stood up and set his guitar on its stand. He put his arms behind his back and stretched. “I see you have no answer,” he said as he watched Mike grab a bottle of water and then wander toward the couch where Chester was engrossed in his notebook.
“Captain, when we get to Feta Village, I’ll stick close to you,” Nervous Mike said as he fixed his swashbuckler’s belt and vest so it was perfectly straight. “Pillaging is always much more fun when we’re together.”
“Indeed,” Captain Chester agreed, adding his handsome smile - even though he’d been meaning to get that one crooked tooth fixed for years now. “We’ll make the rounds together. I do enjoy your company.” He laced his arm around Nervous Mike’s waist and -
“Chester,” Mike said as he stood over the singer.
Chester slammed his notebook shut as he looked up. “What?”
Mike shook his head, holding back a laugh. “What are you writing? You’re over here smiling like a kid looking at dirty pictures.”
Chester’s mouth dropped open as he scoffed. “I told you, I’m working on the lyrics.”
“Let me see.”
Chester pressed his notebook against his chest. “They’re not ready yet. I don’t have anything to really share.”
Mike straightened up, with one hand on his hip and the other rubbing his beard. “You’ve been writing like crazy. Maybe it would help if you read them out loud. We always read stuff out loud,” he tried to coax, but the singer shook his head.
“Later,” Chester insisted. “I’m still trying to get a good angle on it.”
Their eyes locked, like old-fashioned gunslingers from the west - it was a standoff.
“Alright,” Mike finally conceded. “But when I get done with Brad, we need to go over them. We’ve got deadlines, Chaz.”
“I know, I know,” Chester mumbled as he opened his notebook and put his head down. “Hmmm,” he hummed as he reread his last sentence and then scribbled it out - his blue pen spreading messy circles over the words.
“We’ll make the rounds together. I do enjoy your company.” Captain Chester wrapped an arm around Nervous Mike. “We do make a great team. Where would an infamous pirate like me be without your constant support and quiet guidance?”
“That I don’t know, Captain,” Nervous Mike said. “And may I say, Sir, that you are the most fetching-looking pirate on the Sea of Cheese?”
Captain Chester chuckled at the compliment. “That’s not true, but I appreciate you saying it.”
“Captain!” Rob the Rascal called from the crow’s nest, high above the three-masted ship. “We’ve got more than a storm to deal with! Look!”
Captain Chester and Nervous Mike spun around to see another ship approaching in the distance. Its black sails were peeking through the fog like. . .
Chester looked up, tapping his pen on the top of his notebook as he thought. The studio lights overhead were bright, and he closed his eyes as he tried to imagine the enemy ship and the dense fog that had hidden it from view until now. “Peeking through the fog like. . .” He whispered. “Like. . .” He looked over at the soundboard, where Mike was sitting with his head down and his eyes closed as he listened to Brad playing.
“Mike?” Chester called. “How would you finish this sentence: peeking through the fog like? It’s the like I can’t come up with.”
The emcee turned around. “What’s peeking through the fog?” he asked, his timbre showing his curiosity.
“Um,” Chester mumbled. I can’t say the pirate ship. “My heart,” he decided. “My heart is peeking through the fog like. . .”
“My heart is peeking through the fog,” Mike repeated, “like the ghost of you in the smog?”
Chester pursed his lips for a second before he nodded. “I love it,” he said, triumphantly. “Thank you,” he was sure to add before he put his head back down. He scribbled Mike’s exact words on the top of the page with the notation that he needed to use that phrase in the lyrics for Shadows later.
Its black sails were peeking through the fog like a ghost emerging from the smog. “It’s Bradford The Very Bad,” the pirate captain gasped.
“Oh no,” Mighty Joe whined. “I’ve heard that he’s very bad indeed, and just down right naughty.”
“It’s true,” Captain Chester confirmed. “But not to worry too much. Nervous Mike and I have gone up against his terribly naughty ways before, and we always win.”
“That’s right,” Nervous Mike said, pulling Chester closer, “no one can beat the two of us.”
“Well I hope you two are right,” Mighty Joe said just as Rob the Rascal yelled again from the crow’s nest that the enemy ship was just ahead.
“Right,” Captain Chester commanded as he looked at his crew. “Mighty Joe, to the cannon! Nervous Mike, come with me to the helm. . .
Chester stopped. “Mike?” he called. “Is helm the right word that means where you steer a boat?”
Mike turned in his seat. “Yeah, I think so. That sounds right. Let me look it up.” He flipped back around, typing into his MacBook Pro. “It says here: Helm: a tiller or wheel and any associated equipment for steering a ship or boat.”
“Okay, thanks,” Chester said before he looked back down at his paragraph and started again.
“If Bradford The Very Bad wants a fight, we’ll give it to him!” Captain Chester fixed his stunningly handsome - yet intimidating - black and white pirate hat before he marched up the wooden steps that led to the ship’s steering wheel. “Lorenzo The Loyal,” he ordered as he pointed to the pirate at the wheel. “Head right for them.”
“But, but Captain!” Lorenzo The Loyal pleaded, “that’s Bradford The Very Bad’s ship! He’ll pummel us! You know how naughty he is! He’s the naughtiest pirate on the Sea of Cheese!”
“It’s true,” Nervous Mike said, spinning around and catching Chester’s dashingly dark eyes. “He is very naughty. And very bad. Very, very bad! Should we try and face him in this storm?” he asked, his dark, feathery-like hair getting blown everywhere by the gale that had picked up.
Chester laid his hand on Nervous Mike’s strong shoulder. “Courage, man, we will face him and we will win.”
Nervous Mike nodded. “Of course we will. How could I doubt you, my Captain? I’ve certainly lost my good thoughts for a moment, but I’m fine now.” He leaned in, placing a soft kiss to Chester’s . . .
Chester stopped, his eyes focusing on the words he’d just written. “No, no,” he protested as he scratched over his writing with blue ink. “Silly pirates,” he whispered, taking a deep breath.
“Pirates?” Mike asked from over by the soundboard.
Chester looked up; the emcee was staring at him like he suddenly had three heads and horns. “What about pirates?” Chester asked, feigning confusion.
“You said pirates. I heard you,” Mike chuckled. “I don’t think pirates really fit in Shadows. Well,” he amended, “unless it was like, figurative. Figurative pirates would fit.”
Chester scratched his head, his fingers tracing over the short hairs on his scalp. “What the hell is a figurative pirate?”
“You know, like, you’re the pirate of my heart, or whatever,” Mike offered, flipping his hand through the air. “Or even use it as a verb. You pirated my life…or my thoughts. You pirated my thoughts to the depths they are now,” he said. “I’m writing that one down,” he decided as he spun around to face his MacBook Pro. “The pirates actually fit with your ‘peeking through the fog like a ghost in the smog’ verse you had earlier,” he said as he glanced over to the couch, but Chester had his head back down as he wrote in his notebook.
“Mike?” Brad called from the sound booth. “Are we done or what? I’m starving. Where’s Hahn with our food?”
Mike flipped the switch and leaned forward toward the mic. “Yeah, we’re done. I’ll go back over the tracks later. And I don’t know where Hahn’s at, but he’d better get here soon. My stomach’s starting to groan at me.”
“Mine too,” Chester added, never looking up from his notebook as he wrote.
“We’re going to fire our cannon at Bradford The Very Bad,” Captain Chester informed his crew. “And if need be, me and Nervous Mike will board their ship and take on Mr. Naughty and his first mate Phoenix The Furious.”
“You know, Phoenix The Furious and I used to have a thing together,” Nervous Mike admitted. “Of course, that was before I came on board with you,” he told Chester with a bright smile that could have chased away every storm cloud in the heavens.
Chester grimaced. His pen halting as he glared at his own writing. “Stop it,” he ordered his characters as he scribbled over the last few sentences and tried again.
“You know, Phoenix The Furious is known for his temper. What if he gets mad at us for shooting our cannon at them?” Nervous Mike asked as he clung to Captain Chester’s shirt, feeling the soft material between his fingertips.
“Not to worry, I’m here to protect you,” the Captain said, smacking his first mate on his tight ass. . .
Chester slammed his notebook shut and tossed it to the other side of the couch. He crossed his arms as he stared straight ahead.
“What?” Mike asked, looking between the singer and his discarded lyrics book.
“Nothing, just need a break from the writing.” Chester took his feet off the couch and leaned forward, rubbing his temples. “It just wasn’t going the way I wanted it to.”
“Maybe I can help,” Mike offered. “Read ‘em out loud and we’ll work on it together. I was actually kind of diggin’ your peeking through the fog line earlier.”
Chester looked up, his elbows resting on his knees as he watched Mike watching him. Waiting. “Naw, it’s okay,” Chester said, trying his hardest to sound nonchalant. “I’ll get back to it later. Where’s the food?”
“Brad went to call Joe and find out,” Mike said, hiking his thumb over his shoulder toward the door. “Come on, we always write lyrics together. I don’t see why we can’t tackle this one too. Maybe a set of fresh eyes on it will help.” Mike stood up, straightening out his shirt front before he took a step toward the couch.
“It’s fine, Mike, don’t worry about it,” Chester protested, but the emcee was two steps closer. Then three. Chester leaned over and grabbed his notebook. “I’m not ready for you to see it,” he said, holding the notebook close to his chest. “It’s all just gibberish, really. There’s nothing to read out loud.”
Mike stopped, his black eyes zeroing in on Chester’s tight grip on the notebook, like hanging onto it meant life or death. “You were writing paragraphs,” Mike said, an eyebrow raised. “I saw you. It wasn’t gibberish. Now come on,” he insisted as he walked over and stood right in front of Chester. “Let me see.” He grabbed at the air, but Chester pulled away and scooted around him, standing up.
“Okay, okay,” the singer said, keeping his notebook pressed to the front of his short sleeved flannel shirt. “I did write some paragraphs, but they’re not right for Shadows.”
“Oh,” Mike said, his shoulders dropping as he let out a sigh. His stomach was empty and Chester was acting weird. Weirder than usual. “Well, no need to waste good writing. Read it anyway, maybe we can use it somewhere else,” he tried to encourage.
Chester shook his head. “It’s not lyrics,” he mumbled before he turned to look at the door - they were still alone, and he couldn’t hear anyone coming. “I was writing. . .a story.”
Mike put his hands on the hips of his tan dockers. “A story?”
“Yeah. A pirate story.”
Chester nodded. “I thought I could do it. The idea seemed easy enough, but then it got complicated.”
“Complicated how? Let me see it,” Mike asked as he reached for the notebook, but Chester pulled back again.
“No, it’s not good. My pirates are all screwed up.”
“Come on, it can’t be that bad,” Mike laughed. “I’d like to see what Chester-Pirates are like.”
Chester smiled as he dropped his arms to his sides, pressing the notebook to the leg of his green shorts. “It started out okay. It’s supposed to be a pirate adventure, and they’re sailing on the Sea of Cheese.”
Mike’s face broke out into a laugh. “What?”
“Yeah,” Chester chuckled back. “And all the islands and villages around them have like, endless supplies of cheese. So they’re on their way to Feta Village but they run into this badass storm and then another pirate ship they have to fight.”
“I don’t see what’s screwed up about any of that. Well, other than the cheese part,” Mike said as he walked back to his chair and plopped down.
“The problem is my pirates. I think they’re,” Chester stopped, rubbing his head for a minute. “I think they’re gay for each other. I can’t get them to behave right. Especially the captain and his first mate.”
Mike froze - his hands on his knees. “What?”
“My pirates,” Chester whined, holding up the notebook. “I have to keep scribbling out sections because they won’t stop flirting with each other. They’re about to fight this other pirate and get through a storm and all they want to do is make out.”
Mike’s shoulders were shaking as he held in his laughter.
“I’m serious,” Chester insisted as he took a step closer to the soundboard. “I have to keep rewriting all their lines because they won’t leave each other alone!”
“So let them be gay,” Mike laughed, his eyes watering as he waved a hand toward Chester. “Pirates can get it on with each other. A little somethin’ somethin’ with the first mate in between pillages. I don’t see the problem,” he admitted before he covered his mouth and ducked his head, trying not to bust out in the thunderous, belly shaking hysterics that wanted to erupt from his gut.
“Just shut up,” Chester hissed before he walked back to the couch and sat down, crossing his arms.
“I’m sorry,” Mike apologized, tears running down his face as he wiped his eyes. “I’m not laughing at you, Chaz, I’m really not. It’s just the mental images of gay pirates sailing on cheese!”
“Oh please,” Chester snipped, “it’s not actual cheese. It’s water.” He rolled his eyes. “It’s just called that because all the islands and stuff have lots of cheese.”
Mike turned away, pounding his fist on the soundboard as he let himself laugh out loud.
“I’m going to kick your ass, Shinoda,” Chester threatened from the couch. “Leave my gay pirates alone,” he snarked, holding back his own laugh just as Brad walked in.
Chester coughed, clearing his throat. “Brad, where’s the food?”
“Ten minutes, Joe said,” Brad answered as he walked over to Mike. “What’s so funny?”
Mike shook his head, waving his hand as he tried to keep quiet.
Brad turned to Chester, who glowered back at him. “What’s your problem?” Brad asked, feeling like he had missed something really important.
“Nothing,” Chester muttered as he pulled his cell phone from his pocket and put his head down.
“Don’t mind him,” Mike said, as he swiveled around in his chair. “He’s just upset because his pirates are gay.”
“That’s it,” Chester practically screamed as he bolted up from the couch. “I need a smoke. Yell when the food gets here.” He left out the side door faster than a comet shooting through the sky.
“Gay pirates?” Brad asked as Mike stood up.
“He’s trying to write a story about pirates but he said they keep acting gay for each other,” he laughed as he scooped up Chester’s notebook and sat down on the couch.
“I don’t even want to know the back story to any of this,” Brad decided as he walked over to the mini fridge and pulled out a bottle of water. “You shouldn’t be reading that. That’s Chester’s,” he protested.
“I’m just looking. I want to see these pirates on the Sea Of Cheese,” Mike chuckled, but then he stopped. “He named them after. . .us. All of us,” he added as he scanned over the sloppy paragraphs, weaving his focus in and out of the scribbled out sentences.
“Really?” Brad asked, leaning over and trying to see something other than bad penmanship.
“You’re Bradford The Very Bad,” Mike laughed. “And you’re naughty. Very naughty,” he said, laughing so hard he had to close the notebook for a minute.
“It doesn’t say that,” Brad objected crossing his arms over his striped shirt.
“No, it does,” Mike laughed as he opened the notebook back up. “Let’s see. . .oh and Rob The Rascal. And Furious Phoenix is your first mate!”
“Oh my goodness,” Brad moaned, rubbing his neck. “Please tell me that me and Phoenix aren’t the gay ones. I don’t think I could ever date him. Pirate or no pirate.”
“Haha, no, it’s not you guys,” Mike assured him as he scanned the pages. “Oh, Mighty Joe,” he read, a little more seriousness in his voice. “That’s a cool name. Not sure why Hahn got the cool. . .”
“What?” Brad asked, scooting around so he could see more of Chester’s chaotic script.
“I’m Nervous Mike,” Mike whispered. “I’m the captain’s first mate. Chester’s the captain.”
“No surprise there. It’s just like him to make himself the captain.”
“We’re the gay ones,” Mike said, a swallow following his words as he read further. “He made my pirate and his pirate a couple.”
Brad was laughing, his thin lips pursed together as he tried to hold it in. “That’s sounds about right,” he managed to say.
“What does that mean?” Mike asked, standing up, the notebook still in his hands.
“Come on, Mike,” Brad said as he sat his water down and picked a guitar up from one of the stands. He sat down, cradling it across his lap as he strummed a few stings, quietly. “You and Chester share a lot of intimate stuff. And I don’t mean that as a dig, I just mean you know each other really well. It’s natural for the two of you to be close. . .even as pirates.”
Mike nodded, a smile drifting over his face. “Yeah, I guess so.” He looked down at the Composition notebook. Chester’s named was scrawled across the front in big red letters, along with the words: Lyrics And Other Stuff.
“I guess this is part of the other stuff,” Mike said, opening it back up.
“What are you doing?” Brad asked, looking up from his guitar.
“I want to see what happens,” Mike mumbled as he flipped to the beginning of the story and sat back down on the couch. “It’s not every day I get to be a gay pirate sailing on the Sea Of Cheese.”
Thank you for reading!