LPfiction

Category Linkin Park

2. Secrets by lpfan503

Part One: MTM -- Link

A/N: Hey you guys! I hope you are still interested in my prequel-sequel. Let me explain what I mean by that… Confession is meant to be read first, and Secrets is meant to be read second, even though the timeline is prior to Confession, with the idea that you have the knowledge of what happens later already in your head. So if you haven’t read Confession please start here:


Confession: http://lpfiction.com/story.php?id=16585


Thank you for all of your wonderful reviews on the ending of Confession, many of them made me cry. You guys are seriously the best. Shout out to Penelope_Ink for the dream idea in this chapter. <3


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Link


[May 28, 2007]


The last thing Mike did before laying down was unlock the door that connected to Chester’s room.


He knew the vocalist would be wandering in, fresh from his shower, any minute now. It had become one of their favorite parts of being on tour, hanging out post-show until the wee hours as the adrenaline wore off, talking about anything and everything, eating take out and channel surfing, occasionally getting some song writing done as well. Mike’s hair was still damp from the shower and he was arranging a towel behind his head so as not to get his pillow wet when Chester pushed the door open, rolling his eyes at the routine he’d seen repeatedly.


“You’re so fucking particular,” he teased, sitting down on his side of the bed in his matching black and gray plaid flannel pajama pants and long sleeved shirt. “There’s like, four pillows on this bed. You can sleep on a different one if that one gets wet,” he pointed out.


Mike shrugged as he made himself more comfortable on the now protected pillow. “Knowing you, you’ll take those extra pillows with you back to your room. I’ve never understood why you need to many pillows to sleep,” he teased back. “I think you must need something to cuddle.”


“You know me too well,” Chester agreed as he peeled back the bedspread covering the sheets. “What I don’t understand is why it always has to be so fucking cold in your room.” He slid under the sheets and bedspread and grinned at Mike. “You’re part polar bear, aren’t you?”


“I don’t think polar bears actually like the cold, Ches.” He was perfectly comfortable in the room with the air blasting as high as it could go. “Nobody forced you in here.” The smile across his features took the sting from his words, and Chester knew the emcee was just giving him a hard time.


“Whatever, Shinoda,” he said, burrowing into the mattress and stuffing a pillow behind his back. “Anything good on?”


Mike glanced over at the television that he had on mute. “I hadn’t looked, really.” As he reached for the remote his glasses slipped down his nose a bit, and he pushed them up as he settled back onto the towel covered pillow. “You already call Tal?”


He’d already talked with Anna before he’d showered, which was by design. It was part of their nightly routine while he was on tour. Just thinking about her sweet, sexy voice on the line was enough to get his blood warming again. She’s so awesome, always dropping everything or waking up no matter what time zone I’m in so we can catch up. I know her days must get really lonely while I’m out on tour. I really miss her.


“Yeah, she’s having a rough time. Tyler’s teething and not sleeping well. She sounds exhausted.” Frowning, Chester paused and looked at Mike. “Is it terrible for me to say I’m glad we’re out on tour and missing that?”


A small corner of Mike’s mind was envious. He and Anna had been talking about starting a family, but so much had been going on the past several years with Fort Minor and the new Linkin Park album that it just didn’t seem like the timing was right. Added to that, Chester’s horrible divorce from Sam and all of the support Mike had given Chester during those months… and the time and opportunity passed as Linkin Park went back out on tour. He had watched Chester welcome his fourth child into the world mere months after he married Talinda, and Mike longed for a baby in his arms, his own son. Carefully, he said, “No, I don’t think it’s terrible to want to be able to sleep… but don’t you miss him?”


“Of course I do!” Chester was quick to say, pulling the blankets tighter around his face and yawning, wide and deep. “It sucks to be away from your kids. I just meant I was grateful to not have to be the one dealing with all the crying. God, I sound like a terrible parent.”


“That’s not what I meant,” Mike rushed to say. “I just… well, you know Anna and I have been talking about kids. I guess I was just thinking about how hard it will be, once we do have some, to go out on tour. I don’t know how you do it,” he said with admiration in his voice. “I know it must be hard.”


Chester nodded, peering up at Mike though his glasses. “When are you guys thinking of having a baby?” His eyes seemed smaller than usual behind the lenses, some undefined emotion lurking within them.


Mike sighed and looked up at the ceiling, tracing out patterns in the texturing with his eyes. “I don’t know. Anna’s been a bit reluctant with our tour schedule and all. I kind of don’t blame her. I hate to think of leaving her all alone, with all of that responsibility. I want to be there, you know? I don’t want to miss things, first smiles and steps and teeth and all that…” Mike’s voice drifted off as he thought about what it would be like to be a dad, suddenly realizing that he was pointing out all the things Chester was missing by being out on tour.


“Yeah… I’ve missed a lot with Tyler… and Dra, and Jaime. Isaiah, too.” Chester was still looking at Mike, studying his profile. “I wonder if they will even like me when they grow up. They barely know me,” he finished quietly.


Mike wondered how their conversation had turned so serious so quickly. He was accustomed to Chester being hard on himself, but usually when they were together after a show it was all smiles and laughter. Something about tonight felt different. He shifted onto his side and looked over at Chester, the forlorn look on the vocalist’s features tugging at his heart. Mike recognized it as the beginning of the hateful self-talk spiral Chester tended to descend into when discussing his personal life. “You’re a great dad, Ches. I’ve seen you with them. All that stuff I said, I wasn’t really thinking.” He reached over for Chester’s hand and folded it into his own, squeezing his fingers. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.”


Chester squeezed his fingers back for a moment, then pulled his hand away to reach for his glasses. The movement made Mike frown. He’d been expecting to comfort the vocalist a little more than that, and now he felt even worse about what he’d said. “Ches? I’m sorry.”


The glasses were placed on the bedside table and Chester turned back to Mike, reaching for and lacing their fingers together before pulling them under the blanket, next to his chest. “It’s ok… I know you weren’t trying to bother me with what you said. I just always feel like I’m missing everything with Jamie and Dra, and now I’ve got another kid with another woman and I’m always gone… there’s just not enough of me to go around.” He paused and closed his eyes wearily. “I want them to know me but sometimes it’s just easier to not be there. It’s easier to not deal with the disappointment on their faces when I leave. Sometimes I wish I could just disappear and not have to deal with any of it.”


It was darker in Chester’s head tonight than it had been for a while, more than he had realized, and Mike’s heart ached. I really thought when everything was over and done with Sam and he’d moved on with Talinda this would get better. I really thought she was most of the problem. He tugged on their interlocked hands, pulling them together, Chester under the blankets, Mike on top, and Mike slung his free arm around the blanket covered huddle that was his friend. “Come here, Ches. It scares me when you start thinking this way… I know how your head starts talking to you, and I want you to know how much it would kill me if you disappeared. And the guys. And your kids, and Talinda… we’ve talked about this a lot, actually… and I’m so glad you’re sharing with me and not keeping it inside.” He squeezed Chester close again in a hug and went to roll back onto his side of the bed, but the vocalist clutched his hand harder, keeping Mike next to him.


“I’m fine… I’m fine,” he murmured, his eyes still closed. “Just beating myself up over shit I can’t change.”


“Stop being so hard on yourself. You’re amazing,” Mike whispered, the words of encouragement rolling off his tongue naturally as they always did. It was Mike’s role in their friendship, had been for years. He always worked to lift Chester up, to help him see his worth and how special he was to the world when he was in these dark places. Truthfully, Mike was terrified to let Chester out of his sight when he started in on the self-deprecating talk, for it usually led to destructive actions that they were all trying too hard to get Chester to break free from for good- drinking, drugs, various forms of self harm he could come up with wherever he was… the alarm bells in Mike’s head were telling him to let Chester stay the night in his room. It felt like the kind of night his friend would be likely to end up at the hotel bar, drinking himself blind before morning while the other five members of the band slept peacefully. Mike was committed to keeping Chester sober, no matter what it took. “I’ll put on a movie and you just relax,” he suggested soothingly, his voice low and calm.


Chester cracked his eyes open a bit and looked at Mike, their faces just inches apart. For some reason he couldn’t identify, Mike’s breath caught in his chest as they looked at each other, as he read the self-hatred in Chester’s eyes, as Chester’s warm breath fanned over his face. Just as Mike blinked the moment passed, and he heard Chester saying, “if I lay here too long I’ll fall asleep in your bed, Mikey.”


With effort, Mike rolled onto his other side and reached for the remote, his voice still coming out calm as he said, “don’t worry about it, Ches. I’m here if you need to talk.” He blinked as the television came to life, feeling a little disoriented as he heard Chester sigh next to him. Randomly selecting a movie, he looked over as he made himself comfortable. “I’m here,” he repeated, and watched Chester’s eyes slide closed, their hands still linked under the blankets.


**********


It’s warm out here. But not too warm. It’s actually kind of nice.


Mike looked around in awe of his surroundings. This is amazing. I’ve never seen anything like this before. He was standing in the middle of a clearing, somewhere he knew in the back of his mind that he’d never been, but it felt familiar anyway. Gazing around, he took in the sight of the delicate pink flowers among the lush green leaves, the way the sunlight sparkled through the air, the sound of rushing water as a waterfall poured from high above where he was standing. As he looked around he smiled when he saw the rest of the band, standing at the edge of the clearing, and he reached a hand toward them, beckoning them closer. Just as the glint of sunlight off his cufflink caught his eye, Brad said something to him, but he couldn’t hear it, and he frowned, scanning the group of his friends again. Where was Chester? Why wasn’t Chester there with them?


Another quick scan of the area, and Mike knew it was true. Chester wasn’t there. He felt his heart seize inside his chest. Where had he gone? When would he be coming back? Did this have anything to do with what he’d said earlier about kids? And if it did, how did they end up in this tropical heaven when he knew they were in the Netherlands?


Suddenly Mike’s unconscious mind realized he was dreaming. The dream started to fade as he became more aware of his physical body, felt himself waking up in his bed. As he went to stretch his arms, he became acutely aware that he was not alone. Opening his eyes, he felt the shock ripple through him as he looked directly into Chester’s face, soft and peaceful in sleep, his body tight against Mike’s side, warm little puffs of air hitting Mike’s skin as he breathed deeply and steadily.


What happened to his shirt? How had he ended up under the blankets?


He sucked in a breath as he realized Chester’s leg was entwined between his own, his arm slung over Mike’s bare chest. He remembered waking up in the middle of the night, freezing cold on top of the blankets with Chester asleep beside him. Remembered pulling off his t-shirt that he could never sleep in and peeling the blanket back on his side of the bed, too tired to move to the little sofa in the suite. Remembered the warmth that engulfed him immediately when he slid under the blankets next to his friend before falling back asleep almost instantly. What he didn’t remember was how Chester had come to be snuggled against his side like he belonged there. Even if it was startling, the heat and weight of Chester’s body wasn’t exactly unwelcome, he thought. Tour life was lonely, and-


Mike stopped his train of thought before it continued down that path. With his fingertip, he carefully, softly ran his finger down Chester’s nose, gazing sleepily at his dark lashes against his pale cheek, the smoothness of his forehead unburdened with worries, his soft pink lips and the tiny scar underneath, and he smiled lightly before he felt Chester’s body tense slightly in a small stretch... then his eyes fluttered open.


Their sleepy eyes met, their faces close, and Mike felt his stomach stir at the proximity of Chester’s leg to his dick. There was a slight sparkle in Chester’s eyes as he looked at Mike, the corners of his lips tipping up invitingly.


What is wrong with me?!


“Hey,” Chester breathed out softly, his expression tender as he kept his eyes locked on Mike’s.


It felt as though Mike couldn’t breathe, couldn’t even think, as he lay there with Chester wrapped around him, waiting for him to speak. His mind was completely blank, and right as he started to panic, unable to think of what to say in regard to the situation in which they had awoken, Chester untangled their legs and playfully slapped Mike’s stomach.


“Let’s go eat! I’m starving!”


Mike watched as he bounced up from the bed, his entire demeanor different from the night before, full of energy and smiles as he made his way into his own room.


“Come on, get up! I’m getting dressed, you’ve got five minutes, Shinoda!” he yelled over his shoulder, through the door in which he’d just passed.


Mike sat up in the bed, trying to make sense of what had just happened and realizing as he fumbled for his glasses that he must have also taken those off in the middle of the night. There was a low ache in the pit of his stomach he couldn’t identify. It didn’t feel the way he felt when he woke up hungry. It was the way he felt when they’d been on tour too long, when he’d not been able to catch Anna for a little phone sex and relief. That’s it, I’m just horny, just missing my wife. It’s got nothing to do with Chester. It was nice to have someone to sleep next to… but that’s all. And it won’t happen again. He couldn’t get away from me fast enough once he realized where he was.


As he raked his fingers through his hair and stumbled out of bed toward the bathroom to take care of business, Mike caught a flash of his dream again, the glimmer of a gold cufflink flashing through his mind. He shook his head and laughed at himself. Dreams are so weird. Why would I ever wear cufflinks out to look at a waterfall in some tropical location? Cufflinks are for award shows… and weddings...


He was brushing his teeth and looking into the mirror at his mussed black hair before he remembered that he also hadn’t been wearing his wedding band in the dream. Glancing down at his left hand, he felt reassured to see the platinum and diamond band was still securely around his ring finger. Before he could even analyze what the dream could have possibly meant, Chester popped into his vision in the mirror, talking about bacon, and the rest of the images from the night before faded from Mike’s mind as he turned to follow his friend down to breakfast.


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posted March 10, 2018


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