LPfiction

Category Linkin Park

Don't Go - The Glue by Penelope_Ink

Don't Go - The Glue

Hi guys :) Hope you’re all doing well on this eve of the weekend. Here’s a little oneshot. This is my dedication to Mr. Mike Shinoda, who has just been an amazing human lately. I appreciate him so much and the reasons are so many, I wouldn’t dare list them here. So here we go, a Mike appreciation post because he was, is, and will always be The Glue.


****


Mike Shinoda was doing his best to ignore the stench in the backseat of the cab, which reeked of moldy cheese and cigars. Linkin Park was on their first real tour, and things were just starting to really go well. He and his bandmates were starting to get recognized. The crowds were steadily warming up to them. Their videos were getting massive hits and plays and their latest single was all over the radio.


And this is why when Mike scooted into the smelly backseat of the New York cab, he didn’t complain. The last thing he wanted was for someone to call him snobby or pretentious. Prideful. “Oh, you think you’re a big rock star now and are too good for a New York cab?”


Never. Mike would never let that happen, and so he said nothing other than offering compliments about the city and the atmosphere. He smiled to the driver, told him him his destination and he kept his mouth shut about the stuffy air that was threatening to kill him. He’d rolled down his window at first, but then it started to rain.


Mike checked his watch as the cab slowed to a crawl while the sky fell on its roof and the street just outside the musician’s window. Blip, blip, blip, in that rhythmical pattern that only nature can create. At this pace Mike wasn’t sure he was going to make it back in time. Once he got to the hotel he still had to finish packing. While his bandmates stayed behind in New York, he would be headed to JFK airport to get back home to L.A. It was his parents’ wedding anniversary today, and a family and friends get together was already planned. There would be a fancy dinner with wine and appetizers. Live music and dancing and even people getting up to toast the couple and their many years of marriage was in the plans. And Mike wasn’t going to miss it. His parents had no idea he was coming home for the event when he’d texted them this morning wishing them a happy anniversary.


He smiled to himself now as he pulled his phone from the pocket of his oversized cargo pants. Today was Wednesday. Their anniversary party was tonight and tomorrow was his brother’s birthday. He’d already bought Jason a present, but it was his parents’ gift he’d failed to get over the last few weeks of Linkin Park’s grueling touring schedule. But he’d fixed that now. He’d gotten up early and had been in and out of more than a dozen shops until he’d finally found the perfect gift. He glanced beside him at the already gift wrapped box - white wrapping paper and a sparkling blue ribbon. The girl at the store had really outdone herself to make it look special.


Now I just need to get back to the hotel in time. He let out a sigh as he asked the driver how much longer it would be.


“Should be there in ten minutes,” he man answered, his voice rough with age.


Mike nodded and sat back in his seat, just as his phone jingled with a text message.


Brad: Hey, did you find a gift for your parents?


Mike smiled as he texted his bandmate back.


Mike: Yeah. In the cab now trying to get back to the hotel.


Brad: When is your flight leaving?


Mike: Couple of hours.


Brad: You know, you don’t have to go. If you don’t get back in time, you could always overnight the gift and stay here with us instead.


Mike’s face went quizzical as he reread Brad’s words.


Mike: No, I’ll make it. It’s their anniversary. I want to surprise them.


Brad: How many days are you going to be gone again?


Mike smiled. He wasn’t sure why, but Brad’s odd line of questions was making him feel like the guitarist was actually going to miss him while he was gone.


Mike: Four days. I’ll be back Saturday night to be ready for the Jersey show on Sunday.


The emcee set his phone on his lap as he looked out the window. They were moving faster now, and he could actually see the hotel with its rising skyscraper appearance, in the distance. His cell phone lit up, vibrating on his leg.


Brad: Four days is a long time. It’s going to be boring without you. And all the press and interviews over the next few days will be missing your key perspective. Just sayin’.


Mike let out a soft chuckle, his dark eyes turning a shade lighter.


Mike: You and the guys will be fine. You’re in New York!


Brad: Yeah but. . .never mind. Guess I’m just being sappy. Tell your parents Happy Anniversary for me.


Mike: I will. And I’m here. Gotta go.


Mike shoved his phone in his pocket just as the cab pulled into the circle drive of the hotel. The emcee handed the driver a hand full of bills from his wallet, thanked him for the ride, and after gathering his parents’ present he got out and shut the door behind him.


The rain had stopped, but the sky was still gray and everything was wet. Leftover rainwater dripped from the green canopy guarding the hotel entrance, and Mike was thankful he had a ball cap on as he rushed to get inside. He got three steps inside the lobby door, the cooler, clean-smelling air being a relief from his forty-five minute cab ride, when he heard someone calling his name.


He spun around to see Joe Hahn coming his way. The deejay wore a wide smile on his face, his black, spiky hair holding a pair of sunglasses as he opened his arms. Before Mike could react, Joe had him in a bear hug.


“You’re not leaving already, are you?” the deejay asked, his embrace lasting a bit long before he finally pulled back.


“Not yet,” Mike answered, shifting his parents’ present from one arm to the other. “I still have to pack and then I’ll need to get to the airport.” He glanced at his watch. “So I need to get go -”


“You know it’s bad for the heart to rush,” Joe interrupted. “In fact, maybe you shouldn’t go at all. We can’t have you endangering your health.”


Mike shook his head as he laughed. “What?”


“I, uh,” Joe stuttered for a second, rubbing the back of his neck. “I mean, you know, if you’re feeling like it’s too much pressure, you could always just, like, FaceTime them or whatever, and hang out here with us instead.”


Mike couldn’t help but smile, even as he rejected the idea. “I want to surprise them,” he said, clapping Joe on the shoulder. “I’ll be back in four days.”


“Four days?” the deejay repeated, his expression dropping like a sack of bricks. “That’s a long time for an anniversary party. Don’t they want some, you know,” he said, lowering his voice and shifting his eyes back and forth, “some alone time?”


Mike snorted, his shoulders shaking. “I’m sure they do,” he agreed. “Though, I really don’t want to think about it. Besides, it’s Jason’s birthday tomorrow and I’m going to take the kid out to celebrate. And the day after that we’re going to go out and do some family stuff and, you know, the time will go by fast.”


“Maybe for you,” Joe muttered before he let out a disappointed sigh. “Fine. If you have to go. I guess we’ll be okay without you.”


“Of course you’ll be okay,” Mike assured him, even as something happy turned in his stomach. It was nice that his two bandmates were going to miss him. It’s always nice to be missed. “I’ll see you when I get back,” Mike finally said as he patted Joe’s arm.


The deejay bid him farewell, and after another hug, Mike was headed down the hallway toward the elevator. His eyes flipped up and down from the swirly-patterned green and gold carpeting to the stark white walls that were littered with cheesy depictions of fake families enjoying the amenities the hotel offered - swimming in the pool, eating in the five star restaurant, hanging out in the game room, relaxing in the so-called comfortable hotel suites and enjoying room service. It was all so cheesy, but Mike was still appreciative that they’d gotten to stay in such a nice place. Not all the hotels so far had been so posh. So clean. So un-scandelous.


The emcee shivered as he remembered the hotel back in Chicago and the scantly clad girls that had been lurking around the lobby, disappearing with male companions throughout the night.


I’ll take the sappy family environment over that any day, he thought just as he rounded the corner to get to the elevator, but he stopped short the moment he saw his bandmate.


“Mike!” Phoenix greeted him enthusiastically with a hopeful smile, his ginger facial hair moving with his mouth. He rushed forward, slinging an arm around the emcee’s shoulders. “Tell me you decided not to go back to L.A. after all.”


“No, I’m going,” Mike told him. “I need to go back up to my room and finish packing and then I gotta get going to the airport,” he said, stealing a look at his watch and the time.


“Oh,” the bass player mumbled, releasing his bandmate from the side hug. “Well, if you have to go of course,” he said, his happy expression vanishing as he looked at the floor. “Or, you could stay here with us instead. Make the trek over to Jersey with us tomorrow.”


“I can’t,” Mike told him, even as he curled his lips together to try and repress his smile. “You know, you’re the third person who’s tried to get me to stay. What’s with you guys today?”


Phoenix gave a shrug as he shoved his hands in the pockets of his jeans. “It’s just not the same without you. You’re, a, The Glue, you know? You kinda keep us all together.”


Mike nodded with a chuckle. “Right, The Glue. Come on, you guys do just fine without me. And you’ve got Jim and the others here with you too.”


“Yeah, but it’s not the same,” Phoenix whined. “How long are you going to be gone? Just the day, right?”


“Four days,” Mike corrected as he checked his watch again. “Look I -”


“Four days!?” Phoenix threw his hands in the air before tracing them over his shaved skull. “What are we supposed to do for four days? We’ll all be dead by the time you get back. Or at the very least we will have killed Brad. . .and or Chester. Just know this, Shinoda, if you leave now you might only come back to me, Bourdie, and Hahn.”


Mike snorted as he laughed. “I’m sure you’ll all survive without me.”


“Don’t be so sure of that. Things get a little off balance when you’re not around,” Phoenix explained as he tilted his hand back and forth. “But I suppose it is a family thing you’re leaving us for.”


“Two family things,” Mike told him as he moved toward the elevator and pushed the button. “It’s Jason’s birthday tomorrow. I actually have some money this year; I can take him out and buy him dinner and, I don’t know,” he stammered with a shrug, “something fun. Maybe we’ll go bowling or go play laser tag. He’s not old enough to take to the bars or clubs yet.”


“I’m sure he’ll appreciate it, no matter you guys do,” Phoenix offered just as the elevator door opened and Mike got on.


“I really gotta go,” the emcee said, giving the bass player a wave. “I still need to pack.”


“Fine. Just go,” Phoenix said, a little dejected as the door started to close, but then he rushed forward, stopping it from shutting all the way. “No, seriously, man, have a good time,” he offered with a bright smile. “And if you DO want to come back earlier or anything, you know, that’s okay with us.”


Mike’s smile was ready to burst from his face as he nodded. “Thanks, Dave, I’ll keep that in mind.”


The bass player stepped back and as the door slid closed and the elevator chimed before it headed skyward, Mike rubbed his hand over his mouth and down his stubby goatee. Bunch of goofy guys. I’m lucky to have them. We’ve seen so many bands where the members don’t even like each other, and here’s my guys begging me not to leave them for a few days.


The elevator dinged, the door opened, and Mike stepped out just in time to see Rob heading his way. The drummer’s baggy shorts, backwards dark blue baseball cap, almost knee-high socks and snug fitting t-shirt made him look like a high schooler who was ready to go spend hours making trouble at a mall somewhere. But his soft smile was genuine as he met Mike halfway down the hallway.


“Hey,” Rob said with a nod. “I thought you were leaving?”


“I am,” the emcee answered, shifting his parents’ present to his other arm. Damn thing was getting heavy. “I need to go finish packing and then I’m headed for the airport.” He took a step forward, but Rob stepped in front of him, blocking his way.


“Do you really have to go? I mean, I thought maybe you’d decide against it. We could get some extra practice time in instead. Go over those few problem areas we keep running into on stage.” He flashed Mike a hopeful smile. Rob was the youngest of the LP band members, but he was also one of the hardest working. No one liked practice and repetition quite like Mike and Rob. It was good bait to dangle in front of the emcee, and he was hoping it might be enough.


But Mike shook his head. “Tempting,” he said, “but I really can’t stay. It’s my parents’ anniversary and my brother’s birthday is tomorrow and I want to do something special for him.”


Rob dropped his head, his large set eyes staring at the carpet as he kicked his foot at it. “Oh, well, okay. I know it’s for family. How long are you going to be gone for? Just a day or two, right?”


“Four days,” Mike answered as he tried to go forward, but again the drummer rushed to get in front of him.


“Four days? That’s going to be for, like, ever. What about the show in Jersey? You can’t miss that, Mike. Maybe you should just stay here. You can call your parents and your brother. That’s just as good. We’ll ship their gifts overnight. Jim knows how to do all that,” Rob decided as he nodded his head in agreement, as if Mike had just said all of that instead of him.


“I don’t think so,” Mike told him as he brushed by the drummer, giving him a quick pat on the arm as he did. “I’ll miss you too, Bourdie, but don’t worry, I’ll be back before you know it!” He didn’t wait for Rob to say more before he darted down the hallway. He heard his bandmate shout goodbye and when Mike glanced over his shoulder, the drummer was gone.


Mike checked his watch. He really, really needed to get going. His eyes flipped over the numbers on the hotel door rooms as he went. I need to make sure I got everything out of the bathroom and my Nikes are under that chair by the window. Hopefully I can catch the shuttle to the airport. I think Jim said one goes every half-hour so if I hurry I can still catch the next one.


He finally reached his room and as he moved his parents’ present around so he could fish the card key from his pocket, his features slumped. Every single member of his band had expressed their desire for him stay and had said goodbye. . .everyone but Chester.


Mike stopped what he was doing as he looked up and down the hallway but there was no sign of the singer. He even turned around to look at the door right across from his - which was where Chester had spent last night - but there was nothing but silence. Funny. Wonder why he didn’t say anything. He’s probably still asleep. Mike looked at his watch. Yeah, he’s still asleep. He’ll probably text me a goodbye or something or other later. Not that it matters. He doesn’t owe me anything like that.


The emcee’s gaze dropped along with his spirits. He and Chester had been rooming together the entire tour. In fact last night was the first night they hadn’t shared a room. They had all gotten to have some privacy from each other after weeks of cramped bus bunks and two and three people per small, cheaper hotel rooms. It had been nice to have some quiet time - some just Mike time. But it had been kind of odd too.


I missed him last night. Mike scratched his head through his ball cap. He can be annoying sometimes, but he can really make me laugh. I think I’ve really gotten used to that. I’m going to miss his laugh over the next few days. Maybe I should go tell him goodbye before I leave. Would that be pathetic?


Mike took a step toward Chester’s door, but then he stopped. He shook his head as he reprimanded himself. He was only going to be gone for four days. Chester was probably asleep anyway. Besides, Mike was on a time schedule here. He shoved thoughts of the singer to the side as he spun around, slid the key card over the control panel, and when the light turned green he pushed the handle down and stepped in.


The room was shaded and chilly. Mike could hear the air conditioning running and the curtains were pulled, so the only light was coming from the one bedside lamp he’d left on earlier. The emcee moved slowly, his feet failing to adhere to his need to hurry and pack. Everyone said goodbye except for Chester. He’s the only one who didn’t try to get me to stay. I wonder what that means? Maybe he’s glad I’m leaving for a few days. I’m sure he’s sick of being around me. The bus, interviews, the damn stage for goodness sakes. I’d be sick of me too.


Mike’s shoulders slumped as he passed the door to the bathroom and he stepped into the main part of the hotel room. He didn’t bother to look up as he set his parents’ gift down on the small table up against the wall before he turned and flipped the light switch on. He squinted from the rush of brightness, and then as his eyes came back into focus, he gasped. “Chester?” he asked, as he took a few steps forward. The singer was over by the chair, underneath the double window, his small bottom planted firmly in Mike’s open suitcase on the floor. “What, what are you doing?” the emcee asked, already resisting the smile that was tugging so hard at his face.


Both of Chester’s legs were outside the suitcase, his knees raised. He rubbed the side of his face. The corners of his mouth were turned down, making his lip piercing look a little sad. “I’m waiting for you,” he answered before he wrapped both his arms around his middle, cradling his black and white t-shirt that had a rip around the collar. His shoes were off, exposing his black socks that had pink toes. Mike could see part of the singer’s Hybrid Theory winged solider tattoo on the back of one of his skinny chicken legs from the angle he was at. Even though it was raining and kind of chilly outside, Chester was a fan of shorts in the summer.


“Did you need something?” Mike asked as he took a step closer, inspecting Chester’s odd position inside his suitcase.


The singer shrugged. “Do you have to go?” he asked, looking up. His brown eyes were needy, and Mike didn’t miss that. He stepped closer, and a few seconds later he was crouching in front of Chester and his suitcase.


“It’s my parents’ anniversary,” he said softly, resisting the urge to cup the singer’s exposed knee. “I’ll be back in time for the Jersey show.”


Chester averted his eyes, his gaze hitting the standard hotel television stand/dresser. “Yeah, I know,” he mumbled. He pursed his lips, putting pressure on his lip ring. “Or you could stay,” he suggested. “This is the first time we’re going to have a few days off in a row. We can go do stuff. Real stuff, not tour and work stuff.”


“But I want to surprise my parents,” Mike said, even though at the moment he was thinking of everything he was going to miss over the next four days. Interviews with Chester, which were always so fun and yet they seemed to give the image of the band heart and depth. The trip to New Jersey and meals shared with Chester. Not just Chester, Mike reminded himself as he swallowed hard. All the guys. It’s good we eat together. It’s bonding, or some crap like that. And then there was the next hotel. According to Jim it was a bit higher-end, which meant they’d definitely be sharing rooms to save the budget. If he wasn’t there to share a room with Chester, who would?


“It’s just,” Chester started, his voice sounding somewhere between small and unsure and a person of standing giving a speech in front of thousands, “you’re The Glue. It’s just wrong when you’re not here. God, that sounds selfish.”


Mike dropped his head long enough to compose himself from his widening smile. “You and the guys will get along just fine without me,” he assured the singer as he looked up and their eyes met. Man, his eyes are deep. . .like they go on forever.


“You realize that if you leave,” Chester said, sitting forward and putting his hand on Mike’s arm, “Brad and Rob will turn our days off into work. Work, Mike. Work. And me and Hahn and Phoenix will be helpless against them. And then I’ll have to go get drunk to try and cope with you not being here and I’ll make an ass of myself - probably in public,” he stated with emphasis, “and everyone will be like, ‘Go get Mike to get this stupid asshole under control’ and you won’t be here!”


Mike was laughing as Chester cracked a smile. “You laugh, but it’s true,” the singer said. “So you see, your leaving could be the downfall of the entire band. I don’t want you to live with that kind of guilt, Mike. Plus, you know,” he let out a sigh, his eyes rolling a little, “I miss the hell out of you when you’re not around. Everything just becomes very Mike-less. And that sucks.”


Mike-less. His life becomes Mike-less. I like that. The emcee reached over now, cupping his hand on Chester’s knee. The singer’s warm skin wasn’t a surprise. Chester’s internal heater always seemed to be working on overdrive, a fact he usually chalked up to living in Arizona for most of his life. “I’ll miss you too,” Mike stated simply. “But I need to go. It’s Jason’s birthday tomorrow as well and I want to take him out. You’ll be fine here. Just don’t get too drunk till I get back. Then we can go out and get hammered together.”


“Oh fine, now I have to not drink for four days too. It’s like you’re trying to kill me,” Chester said dramatically with a boyish chuckle before he let out a sigh. “I know you have to go,” he admitted with a short pause. “I basically fit in your suitcase. You could smuggle me out with you,” he suggested raising his eyebrows.


“Pretty sure that wouldn’t work,” Mike told him and that’s when he looked down to see that he was rubbing Chester’s knee. Back and forth and in little circles, his nimble fingers were smoothing over the singer’s skin. Mike jerked his hand away. “Sorry,” he apologized quickly, heat hitting his neck and face. “I, I, I’m sorry.”


“No, no, it’s nothing,” Chester assured him, his own features going a bit anxious. “It’s my fault. I shouldn’t be sitting in your suitcase,” he said with a nervous laugh. “What am I, five?” He went to get up and as he did, Mike offered his hand.


“Let me help,” the emcee said, but as he leaned forward and Chester did the same, Mike’s balance shifted and into Chester’s space he went. In a blitz of a second, their lips connected - the two men pulled away just as fast, their eyes wide as they stared at each.


“I’m sorry, Chester,” Mike was the first to say, his hands madly fumbling around as he tried to say something better. “I lost my balance, it, it was an accident.”


“No, it’s fine. It was my fault, I moved too fast,” Chester assured him as he got himself out of the suitcase, and now he was on all fours on the floor. “I should be going so you can get packed for real.” He stood himself up, and in an awkward, side-step motion, he headed for the door.


Mike moved out of the way, or tried to move, but as he moved left, Chester moved right. “Sorry,” the emcee said, stepping to the right.


Chester stepped the to left, and again they clashed. “Sorry,” Chester said this time, and then they did it again.


“I’ll stand still,” Mike offered, putting his hands up, and as Chester went to scoot by him, he stumbled over his own feet. The singer tumbled forward, and on instinct Mike reached and caught his arm. “Careful,” he said, just as Chester twisted and righted himself and in a flash, their lips met again.


Chester gasped as he fell backward, out of Mike’s arms and landed on the bed.


“Chaz, I’m sorry. Again,” Mike stated his head shaking. His mind stunned. “You were going to fall and then, I,” he said, pointing to his chest, “and then you. . .I mean, we. . .but I, I didn’t mean anything and then you. . .”


“It’s fine, Mike,” Chester said, rushing his words as he stood up. “But, uh, I’m going to go now.” He pointed toward the door and Mike froze, his hands in the air. He wasn’t going to move. If an earthquake suddenly hit or Chester collapsed on his way out, it didn’t matter. Mike Shinoda was planted. Or at least he was until Chester was safely headed toward the door.


“So, like, I’ll see you when you get back or something,” the singer said, only daring to glance over his shoulder at his bandmate for half a second.


Mike was following, but keeping a good three feet behind him. “Yeah, and when I get back we’ll, you know, do stuff.”


“Right, right. Stuff,” Chester agreed as he got to the door and hurriedly opened it. “So, yeah, I need to go.” He gave Mike one last stress-filled look before stepped out into the hallway. He stood there for a moment, his heart beating a little fast as the heavy door clicked closed behind him. He took a deep breath, the pictures in his mind shifting to what had amounted to be two accidental kisses from his bandmate.


Chester turned around and faced the door. He petted his fingers over it for a moment, listening. “Mike?” he called, and to the happiness of his heart, he heard the emcee answer back, “Yeah?”


Chester smiled. “Tell Jason I said happy birthday, okay? And Mike?”


“Yeah?”


“I’ll miss you.”


“I’ll miss you too, Chaz,” the emcee said from inside the room, his hand on the door. Leaving had never been so hard.


****


The End


Thanks for reading everyone :D Leave a review or rating if you’d like. And if you’re reading my other two fics, check out their latest chapters:


As You Wish: Bees & Blow Jobs and MINE (Folie à deux): Which To Bury Us Or The Hatchet?


I’ll be catching up on everyones updates tonight. Lots of love to all of you! *Hugs*

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