Category Linkin Park

Condemned by Stefuh

Chapter I

Warning : I need to warn you that in this fic, Chester is dead. He's there as a ghost. Of course, this fic is AU all the way, but still, it can get pretty morbid at time. If you don't feel comfortable reading it, I would totally understand. Even if you're reading it and you want to stop in the middle, I won't be offended. I mean no disrespect to anyone with this story.

Chapter I

I looked through the window, unnoticed, as shadows passed on the street. I looked at my watch and shook my head before looking back on the street – once again, I had came too early for collecting the next soul. I hadn't meant for it to happen, again.

Last time I had being late, I had find myself distracted by some kids playing at the school where I was supposed to collect a little girl, and unbeknownst to me, I had been late to take her soul, leaving her perplex as to why she was seeing her dead body and what had happened to her.

Yes, I had fucked up on some occasions. Being a rogue Grim Reaper wasn't the easiest job and since I was fairly new at it in the New Divide, I couldn't say that those mistakes really affected me, I was still learning.

How does one become a rogue Grim Reaper, you might ask. Well, I was predestined to be one, really. They had chosen me or some shit like that, but when I finally died, I refused to follow the Grim Reaper who was supposed to lead me to my first death. I escaped him and wandered in limbo for quite some time before someone finally found me back, a guy by the name of Brad who looked really pissed that I got away. I had followed him unwillingly to his office (which really looked like a normal office, to my surprise) and that's when he had told me that he wasn't the one who had decided to make me a Grim Reaper, that had been the decision of my parents and some guy named Mark.

“So, Mike, I give you three options … either you go back in Limbo where you'll be lost forever, I guess you wouldn't want that, now, would you? I can send you back to Mark which, believe me, won't be a fun time. He's really strict and he'll probably be mad that you decided to ignore his orders.”

“What's the third option?”

“Work for me.”

I rolled my eyes. “Ah, of course.”

“You'll still be a Reaper, but... let's just say you'll have a more interesting job.”

Like being a Reaper wasn't already interesting enough. I squinted my eyes before looking the guy up and down. I would have never pegged him as an ex-Reaper who was now hiring strangers, with his fuzzy afro-like hair and his goofy smile, but still, here I was.

“What's the catch?” I asked. “I mean, I'm sorry, but I don't think I'm that lucky. After all, I did died while being electrocuted by my fridge, that's kind of unusual.”

Brad only smiled. “I can't prove to you that what you're going to do is the right thing, but if you insist to go back in Limbo...”

“Alright, alright, I'll do it, whatever. Do I get to wear a black robe and get a scythe?” I asked, grinning. That was the perks of being a Reaper, at least, I could looked really cool doing my new job.

“If you want to, most Reapers these days doesn't used them anymore, but I believe there's some left in the back room.”


“And also, Mike, before you make your decision … I need to tell you that, from time to time, I may ask you to do some unusual jobs.”

“That sounds shady.” I shook my head, of course there was a catch. “What do you mean by 'unusual' exactly.”

“Well...” He ran a hand on his beard, sighing. “I may ask you to reap other Reaper's victims.”

“What is this, a competition?” I rolled my eyes.

“No, but you see... sometimes, it's better if it's done by some … rougher hand. You look like the type who could do it. Do you have any background in self-defense?”


“I'll make you take a course with Rob, you'll see, it'll be easy.”

“So what, to take a soul I just have to collect it, and if the person's too insistent to keep it, I used my scythe?” That's what my Reaper did.

“Yes, but … you won't be only collecting human's soul. You see, you're not on Earth anymore.”

I paled. “Where am I?” I looked around at his office, wondering if I could be in Hell or something like that, but the place look too normal. I shouldn't be fool by appearance though.

“A place called New Divide. It'll get some time for you to get used to it, but don't worry.”

“What about my salary? Where will I stay?”

“This is already all sorted out. Joe will explain to you on the way out.”

I looked back to see a stocky Asian guy smiling at me like he had never been happier to see someone in his life. I looked back to Brad before getting up. “Where can I reach you if I need anything?”

“You'll find all this information at your new place. Go rest, you start your first day tomorrow.”

So much for dying such a stupid way. But I was used to it now, I had a steady paycheck which was way higher than what I have ever gotten on Earth, a job that I had came to love, and also, I couldn't say that my place wasn't sweet. Brad had made sure that my flat would suit me just fine as Joe had showed me three different options.

I loved taking defense classes with Rob, it was something I wish I had always done when I was still alive, but between work and my daily life, I had never found the time to do so. I only had a couple of sessions so far, but it was keeping my undead body in shape. Plus, I hadn't done anything shady so far, but I had a feeling it wouldn't be long before Brad asked me to do something for him.

My eyes widened when I realized I had been daydreaming again and had forgotten about my victim. I disappeared from behind my hiding corner and appeared right in the middle of the road before searching him everywhere, frowning, before checking my tablet back.

Chester Bennington


Hit by a car.

And then there was the coordination which where right where I was standing, and it was already 11h09. Could He have been wrong? No, He never was.

I scanned the road again before finally spotting the car that should have hit the young man. I ran to it and saw that it had tried to get out of the road to steer clear of Chester's way and the car had ran right through the window of some shop. If the car did hit him, the young man would have been propelled... straight into the water after the dock.

“Shit!” I said as I made my scythe and my tablet disappeared before I plunged directly into the cold water.

As a Reaper, I shouldn't have the need to breathe nor should I felt the coldness of the water – but this world was rather special – and I felt the water engulfed my body as I stifled a scream while I felt like thousand of sharp knifes pierced through me. My robe was weighting me down and I cursed myself for not taking it out before jumping. At least, I could see better than any average human and I quickly saw the body of the young man floating down. I went to him and rapidly collect his soul before swimming back to the dock. I couldn't do anything for his physical form, someone else would be taking care of it.

As I got back on the pier, I saw that the soul I had just took hadn't vanished like I had hope to. Great, another one who would get stuck in Limbo.

“What happened?” he asked as he looked around before his brown eyes finally settle on me and he laughed. “Wait, are you... Am I... No, this doesn't make any sense.”

“Nope, it does.”

He shook his head. “You meant to tell me that I'm dead, right? I mean, I remember running across the road to get to the music store and-” His eyes fell on the car and he got quiet. “Oh.”

“Look, I'm really sorry, I know this is all sensitive, but we don't have the time to talk. If you stay here too long, you'll be stuck as an afterimage, and believe me, you don't want that.”

I saw him swallow hardly before he nodded, not looking me in the eyes, and I felt like shit. “I promise someone will be there to help you on the other side, okay?”

“Right, okay.”

I extended my hand and a sharp light appeared before the soul before me disappeared in it. I sighed and let myself laid down on the dock, closing my eyes, feeling suddenly exhausted.

At least, they weren't all as hard as that.

I looked around me to be sure no one had seen what had just happened and I made myself disappeared back to my flat. Of course, humans could never see me when I was reaping a soul, but since this world wasn't all that normal and there was a lot of people using magic, I always had to be careful when I took a soul... that was something I forgot when something unnatural happened, like with Chester who didn't want to passed over.

I put my robe in the washing machine – right, a Grim Reaper who has to do laundry, that's odd, I know – before running hot water in the shower. I still had a soul to collect this afternoon and I had to be ready for 13h36.

As I stepped under the warm water, I sighed in pleasure. I couldn't say that my job was that difficult so far, it surely was less stressful than what I had thought when I first began, I screwed up a lot at first. I even reaped the wrong soul once – that wasn't pretty. But after a couple of times, I'd finally got the hang of it. I didn't think I was the right person for the job necessarily, since some bad stuffs still happened – like today – but it was better than nothing.

And liked I said before, I had a really great pay.

I just hoped the rest of the day would be eventless.


I let out a sigh of relief when I finally sat behind the stool of the bar of the restaurant. I hadn't eaten anything since this morning, and also, I desperately needed a drink. I gave my order to the tender before checking my tablet rapidly, scanning through the e-mails to see if Brad had sent me a new order, but there was nothing yet.

Joe, on the other hand, had asked me if I was free to hang with him tonight. I bit my lower lip, thinking that I would have rather much liked to go home and relax instead. My reap of this afternoon had been a mess too. At the last minute, around 5 souls was added to my list, all on the same place as the first victim I was supposed to meet, and I had to quickly took them all in before one got away. I had never had so many at the same time before, so it had been a challenge for me.

I'd have to ask Brad why I didn't get a notification before. I quickly replied to Joe that I wouldn't be able to see him tonight before closing my tablet and taking the beer that had been put in front of me.

All that mattered for now was that the day was finally over.


My eyes snapped open as I heard some shuffling in my hallway. I tensed for a moment, listening to see if I could heard something else, but the flat was silent again. I still got up from my bed, tiptoeing in the dark until I reached my hallway – the place was only illuminated by the light of the moon that came from a window in my kitchen, and I couldn't see anything clearly.

I cursed the fact that as a Grim Reaper, I didn't have enough power to stop whoever could be attacking me. It was true that I still was what most people would called a 'supernatural being' but I didn't have any cool powers that could help me get through situations like these. I quickly grabbed a baseball bat that I had found one day at one of my victim's apartment (it had brought back memories of when I was younger and I used to play with my dad in the backyard of my parent's house) and walked to the lightswitch before turning it on, bat raised to hit the other person. Right at that moment, I saw the intruder screamed and I nearly jumped out of my skin as I recognized him.

“Jesus fucking Christ, Chester, what the hell are you doing here? I mean, except from scaring me to death obviously.” Alright, I couldn't be scared to death since I was already dead, but that was a minor detail. I frowned as I saw him, I noticed he was a bit paler than he had been earlier, a little bit more translucent. “And why are you not in Heaven, or Hell?” Or wherever I send them to – it wasn't my place to tell where the soul went after their death, I was only making sure that they didn't stay on this plane of existence – just like Chester, apparently, had.

“I... I don't know, I disappeared for a couple of hours, I think? I don't remember. But then I was back where I had died and I saw you so I tried to talk to you but you couldn't understand, and I, hm, followed you all day.” He shrugged.

I frowned even deeper, not understanding how I couldn't have been able to feel him this afternoon. I quickly took in his appearance to notice that apart from the fading, nothing seemed wrong with him. Fortunately, his soul hadn't been stained by his death since he had suffered a rapid one and the body hadn't had any major wounds – I once had to collect a soul that was snapped into two and that wasn't a pretty sight.

Overall, Chester looked … quite good in fact. I cleared my throat, trying to chase those thoughts away. “Alright, I'll try to send you back, I'm sorry that I couldn't see you earlier.”

He smiled. “It's okay, man, I get that it's probably not your fault, even if I don't understand a thing about what's happening right now.”

I got my scythe out, seeing as I had to make sure Chester got back to the afterlife, and I closed my eyes to concentrate myself enough, before finally opening them and reaping Chester away …

Only nothing happened.

“You know I'm still here, right?”

“Of course, I can see you.”

Chester rolled his eyes. “Excuse me if I'm a bit sensitive over the fact that I tried to get your attention all day and it didn't work.”

I bit my lower lip. I couldn't call Brad right now, he would kill me. “So... hm... do you mind staying here, at least until morning, and after that, I'll ask someone more … powerful, what I can do?”

He looked around and nodded. “Sure. I mean it's not like I'm tired or anything but I could still try.”

I smiled at him. “There's a guest bedroom behind you. If you need anything, just tell me.”

“Thanks…” He titled his head. “What's your name?”


“Got ya. So am I considered a ghost right now or?” he asked and I could sense that he was curious about what was happening to him.

“I wouldn't say a ghost, more like an afterimage. You only become a ghost – or a poltergeist – when you've been here for some time.”

“And I'm only a poltergeist if I want to exact vengeance on something.”


He leaned against the wall and crossed his arms over his chest. “Do you think it's why I'm still here? Because I have some unfinished business?” He frowned. “And why am I able to stand on this floor and lean against this wall, shouldn't I go through them?”

“It all depends if you're thinking about it too much or not enough-” I began.

As if on cue, Chester fell through the wall and I rolled my eyes as he came back, startled. “That was scary.” he said.

I couldn't help but snorted at the irony of this – an almost-ghost, scared of the fact that he was one. I shook my head. “Anyway, unlike you, I still need to get some sleep, so I'll see you in the morning.”

“Why do you need to sleep, aren't you...?”

“Yes, I'm dead. But it's different for me, I still got a physical body. It's complicated.”

Chester chewed on his lower lip, I could tell this was a lot to take in for him in only one day. “You'll be able to ask more to my boss tomorrow.”

He smiled faintly at me before heading towards the room I had point to him. “Alright. Thanks, man, really.”

“No problem... Goodnight, Chester.”

“Goodnight, Mike.” he said before closing the door behind him and I smile as I heard him cheered about the fact that he had actually closed the door.


When I woke up again, I didn't remember Chester at first. I got up and went to the kitchen to make some coffee before getting in the shower. As I was about to take my shirt off, I suddenly saw something appeared in the mirror, behind me, and I screamed a I turned around, ready to knock down the person spying on me, when I actually remembered the young man as he was bend over, laughter spilling out of his lips as he had his hands on his stomach. When he looked back at me, I could see he had tears in his eyes from laughing too much and I just looked at him stoned cold.

“Oh, come on, this was priceless. I wanted to see if I could actually scared someone and I had my answer.” He wiped the tears of his face. “Wow, that was amazing.”

“It's not funny.”

“Of course it is.”

“Alright, could you get out of the bathroom now so I can take a shower, I don't have all day to go meet Brad, I actually have some work to do.”

“Pfft, so grumpy.” he mumbled as he exited the bathroom and I closed the door behind him even if I knew that it was pointless since he could easily passed through it.

I quickly showered and got dress before getting back to the kitchen, almost moaning as I took the first sip of my coffee. I was really glad that even if I was technically dead, I could still enjoy simple things such as coffee.

“That's really unfair, you know, I love coffee.” Chester said and I smiled.

“Well, payback's a bitch.” I said as I actually moaned while taking my second sip and he pouted.

“Alright, I'm sorry, I won't try to scare you again. Is there a way I can have a cup?”

“No, sorry.” I put the empty cup in the sink, trying to decide if I should have breakfast or not since I wasn't really hungry. Maybe I could grab something before my ten o'clock's reaping. I went back into the bathroom to brush my teeth as the young man wined next to me, telling me that it didn't think he'd miss those little things so much.

“I didn't have a lot of friends and wasn't closed to my family, so even if I'm missing them, it's not that painful but … I'd kill someone for a cup of coffee.”

“Do you realized how fucked up you just sounded?”

“I knooow. Alright, I'm lying, I really miss my mom but I don't want to think about it.”

I looked at him this time before smiling faintly at him. I hoped Brad would be able to do something for Chester before it began to be too much for him. “Let's go see what my boss can do.”


I always wondered at what hour Brad showed up at work because it seemed like he was there almost 24/7, it almost looked as if he didn't have a life outside of work. Since he wasn't officially under God's (or whoever was controlling this whole thing) command, I often wondered if he had to pulled twice as much time as any one else to be sure that everything was in order. He didn't looked up when he heard me enter as he was going through some documents and I cleared my throat.

“I think I have a problem.”

As Brad put his gaze on Chester, he smiled. “Ah, mister Bennington. I'm really sorry about the inconvenience of you staying in Limbo but I'm afraid we haven't found a solution, yet. I promise that my best people are working to help you ascend into the afterlife.” He put his gaze on me and I frowned.

“For now, you're going to have to take care of him, Michael.”

Chester and I looked at each others as we both seemed clearly unsatisfied with this answer.

“What, you mean … show him around, get him a job and ask him to come live with me?”

“Technically, it's not your flat, so I don't see what would be the problem, and it's big enough for the two of you.”


“Now, Michael, remember what I told you when I hired you?”

I nodded, remembering about the fact that he told me sometimes I'd have to do unusual jobs and I guess this could count as one of them as he clearly knew about Chester and didn't want to tell me what was going on. I try not to sigh as I turned around. “Come with me, Chester, I know where you can get some food.”

“What, really? You lied to me this morning?”

“Not really, you just need special food and I'm starving.”

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