Category Linkin Park

As You Wish by Penelope_Ink

An Offer, A Soul

Hi everyone :) So here’s something new. Hope you like this dark and twisted take on our boys. Let me know what you guys think - if this is interesting or if it sucks. It’s been fun to write so far and it couldn’t be more opposite from my other current running story if I tried!

Happy Reading!


Two drinks down, and Mike still felt like shit. He leaned forward on the bar, his dark eyes focusing on the ice cubes that were still sitting in the bottom of his scotch glass. There was a terrible song seething through the tavern from across the room as the jukebox played something from Bon Jovi or Tom Petty - Mike wasn’t sure, and he didn’t care. Whichever it was, it didn’t matter. Everything was starting to sound a bit blurry anyway as he raised his hand to call the bartender.

“I’ll take another,” he said, pushing his empty glass forward.

The bartender stood for a moment, assessing the situation. He knew who Mike was - the twenty-one year old college student who always sounded rather intelligent when he’d enter the bar, but by the time he’d leave, his I.Q. would be down in the valley of poor decisions and self-esteem issues. “Maybe that’s enough for tonight, Mike,” the bartender said, hoping his customer would take his advice for once. Marlin had been working at Ruff’s Tavern for ten years. He’d seen it all, and to all he was sympathetic, especially to people like Mike. People who he could see a bit of his younger self in.

“I can handle one more,” Mike protested, knocking his knuckles on the bar as he raised his voice a little to be heard clearly over the chatter and music around him. “Did I tell you I failed my exam today? An exam, Marlin. It was important and I fucked it up royally.”

The bartender offered a soft expression as he poured the scotch. “I’m sorry to hear that,” he said as he watched Mike rub his practically black eyes before shoving both hands into his dark hair that was long on top and shaven on the sides. Marlin could only guess that earlier in the day, Mike’s raven-colored hair was styled nicely with it slicked back and off to the side, the way the bartender had seen it many times. But tonight, the college student had shown up with it already a mess.

“I studied for it, man,” Mike whined as he took his third glass of scotch. “I studied for two weeks and BAM!” he yelled, smacking the bar. “I still managed to fuck it up, just like I always do with everything. I try and I try and it just doesn’t seem to matter.” He stopped, his bottom lip sucking into his mouth for a moment before he took a long hard swallow from his glass.

“That’s rough,” the bartender said, and he meant it. He really did. “Can you re-take it or anything?”

“I’m not sure,” Mike answered as he scratched his fingers over the small amount of scruffy facial hair he owned. A re-take. Even if he could re-take it, that would mean the best he could get on it would be a 70% and a 70% wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t good enough for Mike and it wasn’t good enough for his parents.

Mike slumped on the barstool he was balancing on as the picture of his mother and father popped into his mind. His mother, Donna, with her shoulder-length brown hair and wide eyes and frame, she would be supportive. No matter how badly Mike did on any test - or on anything in life - Donna would give him a hug and tell him he’d do better next time. But Muto Shinoda, Mike’s father, was a completely different story. While Mike’s mother was a laid-back Californian native, Muto was born and raised in Japan, where the standards were higher. The rules stricter. The get-out-of-jail-free cards non-existent.

Mike could already feel his father’s stare. The way his graying eyebrows would lower and he’d cross his arms before he’d say something like, “You have to study, Michael. You have to work hard. If you’re going to make it, you have to keep your mind and eyes on the goal.”

The goal. What is my goal? God, you’d think I’d know since I’ve been reciting it to dad ever since I was five. Graduate college with an art degree. Get my name out to the public while I build a successful and safe career at a well-established company in their art department. Fall in love with the right girl and get married. Have two kids. Maybe get a dog, but only if it stays outside so the house will remain clean.

Mike rubbed his face with both hands. Every time he thought about The Goal it was just a little more depressing. He’d never be able to achieve any of that. And he knew it.

He leaned forward, his bare elbows resting on the edge of the bar as he looked through his hands in a kind of peaking motion around the bar. It wasn’t crowded. There were tables stretched across the space and over by the jukebox there was a designated dance space. No one ever danced. About two dozen people filled the tables and the single seats along the bar. Two guys were off in the corner, trying to act very serious as they played a game of pool on the Tavern’s pathetic coin operated six foot table.

There wasn’t anyone here Mike knew and none of his friends had offered to come with him while he drowned his sorrows. Though, if Mike was being honest, he didn’t invite any of them to come with him either. I want to be alone anyway, he thought just as someone caught his eye.

Not just someone, but someone new. Someone different looking.

Mike dropped his hands to get a full view of the man who was on the other side of the bar, sitting on a stool and sipping a beer. The man was slender, with pale skin, but colorful tattoos. From where Mike was sitting, he could see what looked like blue and red flames licking up both of the man’s wrists. His head was shaven, and he had on a pair of thick, black framed glasses. From what Mike could tell, the man was alone.

He’s cute. Mike tilted his head, partly to get a little better look and partly to see if he could get some eye contact going on. Mike was heterosexual most days, but he’d entertained a guy or two throughout his still ongoing college career. Nothing serious - a blow job here and there from a cute guy. Besides, in his opinion guys were better at blow jobs; they know exactly where and how to lick, suck, kiss, and touch. Just the thought of it made Mike squirm in his chair with excitement, especially now as the slender stranger was on his way over.

“Salutations,” the man said, raising his beer bottle once he got to where Mike was sitting. He flashed a smile, and Mike felt his depressed feelings from earlier melt away.

“Hi,” Mike answered, a warm glow settling over his neck and cheeks. “Would you like to sit down?” he offered, pointing to the empty barstool next to him.

The man took a seat, sitting on the stool sideways so that he was still facing Mike. The college student did the same, keeping one hand on his glass of scotch as he gave the stranger who looked to be about his same age, a good once over. He was right, there were flame tattoos on the man’s wrists and he had others too. Mike could make out something that looked like a pirate and something that looked like koi fish, the latter disappearing up under the sleeve of the man’s black t-shirt. He had on a pair of dark blue jeans and black and white sneakers that looked brand new. In fact, the man’s entire outfit looked completely new and pressed, like he’d had his t-shirt and jeans dry-cleaned for the occasion. Even the black studded belt that looped around his small waist looked like it had just come off the wrack from one of the local shops.

“I’m Mike,” Mike finally said as he forced his eyes to scan back up to the man’s face, and what a pretty face it was. His eyes were chocolate brown and his ears, even though they stuck out a little from the side of his head, were pierced with black plugs that had silver rims. Mike guessed they were somewhere around 9/16 of an inch, which was impressive. Everything about this man was impressive.

“Nice to meet you,” the stranger said with a nod. “You were looking kind of down. Rather sad, even.”

Mike’s dizzy head jerked slightly at the comment. “It’s been a bad day,” he answered. “Are you from around here? I mean, I’ve never seen you in here before.”

The man’s eyes never left Mike’s face. “I haven’t been here long,” he answered before taking a sip from his beer, his lips wrapping around the bottle with a slight linger, and Mike’s insides moaned. “Tell me, Mike, why was your day bad?”

Mike puffed up his cheeks before letting out the air in a long, dramatic action. “I’m in college,” he started as he took another drink. “Art major, specifically. And I totally flunked an exam today.” His eyes dropped down to his own legs as he compared them to the stranger in front of him, since their knees were almost touching. Mike had a good thirty pounds on his new friend. “It’s, a, it’s not the first one I’ve fucked up, to be honest.”

“Fucking up is a point of view,” the man answered, his voice swinging from him in a soft and smooth tone, like his words were made of music.

Mike nodded in agreement. “Yeah, I guess so. Only this time it’s true. If I screw up too many more tests, I’ll fail the class. Not just that class,” he admitted, the corners of his mouth dropping low. “I’ve got a few I’m having trouble with. God, don’t I sound like a real great catch,” he said, adding a laugh as he looked up and instantly the sight of the other man’s handsome face calmed something inside of him. “So, what about you?” he asked. “I don’t think you told me your name.”

The man took a swig from his beer bottle before he answered, “My name is Chester. But I’m boring. Tell me more about these classes of yours. Why is it so important to pass them?”

Mike’s head was swimming as that name - Chester - swirled around it. He was pretty sure he’d never met a Chester before in his life. He wanted to know more. What was Chester’s last name? Was he a student? Was he single? Mike’s eyes flipped down to scan Chester’s hands - no wedding ring in sight. “Chester’s a nice name,” he stated before he gave in. “If I don’t pass my classes, I can’t get my art degree, which means I won’t be able to get the kind of job I want.”

“Which is?” Chester asked, his eyes wide and deep and Mike had no doubt that he was actually interested. For what felt like the first time in his entire life, Mike had a captive audience. It felt good. It felt empowering. And more importantly than all of that, it was quickly bringing Mike’s self-pity to an end.

“Well, I’d like to get a job in the art department of one of the bigger L.A. based companies. Advertising and promotions. I’ve got a list of about ten different ones I’ll be shooting for the minute I graduate. Maybe even before. I’ve only got one more year to go, if I don’t mess it up. If I can land one of those jobs, it would set me up to achieve. . .everything. I’d be able to buy a house and sustain a respectable lifestyle. And once that’s achieved, I can sell some of my paintings. Maybe make a name for myself.” He grinned. Mike grinned at his new friend as pride burst from his face.

Chester leaned to the left, resting his elbow on the bar before he twirled his beer bottle, took a sip, pointed it toward Mike and said, “Bullshit. Now, tell me what you really want.”

Mike’s mouth fell open. “What, what do you mean? That is what I want. Didn’t it sound like a good plan?”

Chester sat his bottle on the bar. “It sounds like a fine plan. But that’s not what you want.” He leaned forward and placed both his hands on Mike’s leg. The sudden contact made Mike stiffen as Chester stared him down. “Now,” he said, “tell me what you want. Not what your parents want, or what you’ve been told would be best. What does Mike Shinoda want?”

Mike’s heart was ready to jump right from his chest. Everything else around him - the song coming from the jukebox, the chatter of the bar, even his half-empty glass of scotch - disappeared. There was only Chester and his captivating eyes and the hands that were squeezing his legs like they were closer than newly acquainted bar patrons.

“How. . .how do you know my last name?” Mike asked, but Chester didn’t move. “Independent,” Mike said between labored breathes. “I’d like to be an independent artist. I want to help people who are just coming up. They cold hire me to design book covers or posters for their bands or albums or anything that needs an image. I don’t want to work in an office. I think it would kill me. A freelance graphic artist,” he stated with a swallow. “That’s what I want to be.”

Something lifted in that moment inside Mike. He’d never admitted that to anyone. He had never even said it out loud before.

Chester cocked his eyebrow. “Good,” he said, like Mike had just performed well. “Now, tell me what else you want, Michael. Tell me everything.”

Mike felt Chester’s hands squeeze his legs a little harder, and intensity ran through him as he said, “My parents. I want my parents to be proud of me. My dad. I want my dad to be proud of me. Not because I landed some corporate job, but because I’m a good person who’s helping to make a difference.”


“I want my art to inspire others. I want friends I can trust. I want to pass all my classes. I want Anna Hillenger to fall in love with me, because right now she doesn’t know I’m alive.”

Chester let him go as he sat back and then he swiveled on his stool to face the bar, where their drinks were sitting.

Mike did the same, though he moved much slower. His head was spinning and so was his mind. Who the hell is this guy? And what the hell just happened?

Chester cleared his throat before saying, “What if I told you that you could have all of that?” He looked over at Mike, cocking his eyebrow. “What if I told you that I could give you everything you want?”

Mike started to laugh. “Yeah, right,” he said through a smile. “That’s a great line, and you’re really cute, but there’s no way any of that will ever happen. I’m a fuck-up, Chester. Plain and simple,” he said, and a sudden blush fell over his cheeks and ears as he looked down at the bar. God, I’m pathetic.

Chester reached over, his hand gripping Mike’s arm. “Tell me,” he said, his voice coming out in that same sing-song way. “Tell me you want to see it. Tell me you want to see what your future could be.”

Mike twisted his head, his dark eyes meeting Chester’s intense stare as he swallowed. “I want to see it,” he said, even as he cursed himself for sounding like a fool.

Chester let him go, a satisfied smile crossing his face as he said, “As you wish.” He rolled his wrist and snapped his fingers in one slick motion.

Mike’s attention instantly went to his glass of scotch. His breath hitched in his throat. His drunken eyes suddenly went wide as he leaned forward and stared into the surface of the alcohol because he was there. He could see himself - a faint image that was perfectly clear. There he was acing his classes, and then graduating. And now a house where Mike lived, and there he was working from home as a freelance graphic artist. He was smiling. He was laughing. He was inspiring others with his kind heart and creative works. The image of his parents flashed across the liquid next - his parents were hugging him. Mike’s father was beaming at him. And then there was Anna. Her face was beautiful, just the way Mike knew it to truly be. Her short brown hair showed off her unique smile as she blew kisses at him.

“It can be yours, Mike,” Chester whispered from somewhere beside the college student. “This future is entirely possible. You need something, and I need something. We can help each other and all it’s going to cost you is your soul.”


The word snapped Mike from his dazed state as he blinked and looked away from the images of his heart. When he looked back at the glass of scotch a second later, they were gone. He picked the glass up, studying it for a moment as his logical mind tried to work out what had just happened.

“If you want it,” Chester said, leaning close to Mike’s ear now. “I can make it happen for you. The grades, the inspiring career, the approval of your father, the girl you want so badly you can taste her,” he said, his hot breath frosting over Mike’s ear.

“How?” Mike asked. “I mean, what. . .what are you?” He dared to look over, and he was just in time to see Chester standing up.

“Come with me,” he said, reaching his hand out.

Mike hesitated. He didn’t know it, but his body was shaking.

“Do you want everything I just showed you?” Chester asked, his arm still outstretched as he waited.

Mike nodded.

“Then come with me and I’ll give it to you.”

“But, my soul,” Mike objected weakly, his hand going over his chest.

Chester smiled. “Your soul,” he said dismissively like they were talking about paperweights or a fruit cake, “it’s a small thing to ask for, really. Here’s the deal,” he stated, his chocolate colored eyes glowing slightly. “I give you what you want. Anything you want. If you ask, I do. But when everything has been achieved, then it’s my turn. You get what you want in this life,” he said, his tongue slipping out to lick across his thin lips. “And I get to take your soul into the next.”

“So you’re what? A Grim Reaper? Or something?”

“Grim Reapers come after the souls that are ready to leave. I’m a devil,” Chester said. There was no shame in his voice. There was no caution or hesitation. He might as well have said, “I’m a dentist.”

Mike’s eyes squinted for a moment. “The Devil?” he asked. It would have been funny. He would have dismissed Chester there and then as a freak and a liar. Maybe as someone who had lost his mind. But he couldn’t, because he had seen it. Mike had seen his future, and he wanted it.

“Not The Devil,” Chester corrected. “Just a devil. One of many.” He took a step closer. “Do you want the life I showed you?” he asked as he leaned close, his lips almost touching Mike’s face. “Do you? Tell me you want it, and I’ll make it happen.”

Mike’s insides felt hot as Chester’s warm breath rolled over his skin. There was no way he was ever going to achieve his goals on his own. There just wasn’t. He’d barely gotten by in his classes, and any day he was going to fail one for good. Anna was so unreachable, she might as well be on the moon. His dad would never take the idea of being a freelance graphic artist seriously, in fact it would be worse than that. He would be disappointed in his son, and Mike knew it, which is why he looked Chester in the eyes and said, “Yes.”

“As you wish,” Chester said, his lips pressing to Mike’s cheek. “Come with me.”

Mike stood up, his legs unsure, but Chester was right there. He wrapped his arm around Mike’s waist, and seconds later they were going out the backdoor of the bar, into the alley. The sun wasn’t quite down yet, leaving the air hazy in twilight as Mike let himself be led by the hand.

“Where are we going?” he asked, his feet stumbling as he was pulled along.

“Nowhere,” Chester answered as he stopped, spun around, and pushed Mike up against the brick wall of the bar. “Tell me again,” he begged as he pressed his slender body up against Mike’s. He petted his lips down the college student’s face, placing warm kisses on his cheek, chin, nose, and neck. “Tell me, Mike, tell me you want me to help you.”

Mike’s eyes were shut. They were surrounded by trashcans and dumpsters that had spray paint on them. The stench of garbage wafted through the air, but he didn’t care. There was a slight breeze swirling through the alley, and the feel of Chester’s warm body was intoxicating. He wrapped his arms around the man in front of him - one around Chester’s neck, and the other to Chester’s waist, where Mike grabbed his slender hip. He dug his fingers into Chester’s studded belt. “I want it,” he said, his mind fading between the future Chester was offering, and the immediate physical pleasure that was happening.

Chester kissed down Mike’s neck, and onto his chest. He pressed his lips to Mike’s shirt, and then he sunk to his knees.

Mike put his hands on Chester’s head, feeling his shaven skull and his ears with the heavy plugs in them. He felt his belt and jeans being undone, and Mike allowed it. He tilted his head back, his legs going tense as the cool air hit his exposed thighs. Chester’s warm, soft lips were there, pressing to his legs just inches from Mike’s underwear and his fighting penis that so badly wanted to be released and sucked. Somewhere in Mike’s mind he decided that all that devil talk back in the bar was just a line. The only thing Chester was, was a sexy man who was about to get Mike off.

The college student’s mouth was dry, his insides jolting with waves of needed pleasure. “Do it,” he begged, never looking down. “Chester, suck me. Please.”

“As you wish.”

Mike let out a lust-filled gasp as he felt Chester’s lips curl around his still-covered penis. The fabric of his briefs were already wet as Chester’s tongue lapped at his ever-growing bulge. Mike held onto Chester’s head as he felt his underwear being tugged down, and a second later his world was nothing but sensation and absolute pleasure as his length was swallowed. Chester’s mouth was deep and hot and it consumed Mike’s organ with wet slips back and forth, in and out.

“Oh, fuck,” Mike whispered, his head so dizzy he would have collapsed if he wasn’t hanging onto the man crouched in front of him. He felt Chester release him, his skilled lips and tongue sliding up and down and around Mike’s dripping penis and then -

Mike’s eyes shot open along with his mouth, like he was suddenly shot because Chester was no longer sucking him off, but his teeth were buried deep in Mike’s inner thigh.

A mix of sharp pain and sensual pleasure zipped through Mike’s body, and then his eyes closed, and his world faded to black.


To Be Continued. . .

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