Category Linkin Park

Don't Leave Me Behind by Idbeallofthedragons


Set Post-Chester's passing.

Disclaimer: I own nothing but the story...sadly. :(


“Does this part seem too long to you?”

Brad leaned closer to look at the part of the song Mike was pointing at in his notepad. “I think it’s fine, but maybe this part over here…” he pointed to another part, “it could be shorter. Maybe this line right here…this one sounds a bit similar to this other one, so you could maybe merge them together and make just one. And this part right here…I’m thinking you could swap this line with this other one…to give it more of an organic progression into the chorus,” Brad suggested, gesturing with his hand.

“Ugh! That’s it, Bradford!” Mike squeezed Brad’s shoulder and patted him gently on the back. “Thank you so much. It was giving me a headache.”

“That’s what I’m here for,” Brad said with a tiny shrug and a smile. “Hey Mike?”


“This is amazing.”

“What is?” Mike asked a bit distracted as he wrote Brad’s suggestions down.

“This little thingy you’re doing, of course. What else? It’s huge,” Brad added when Mike looked up at him. “I’m not actually surprised, because, like I’ve said thousands of times before… I’m largely familiar with your ingenuity and talent, and I know what you’re capable of…” Brad trailed off and shrugged again, somewhat uncomfortable under Mike’s gaze now that it was so focused on him as he spoke. “I don’t know. I just…had to put that out there.”

“Thank you,” Mike smiled, touched by Brad’s perpetual readiness to praise his aptitudes. “I don’t think it’s all that amazing, though. It’s just my way of coping. Get busy. Besides, if I don’t start writing now…” he sighed “…it’ll just get harder to pick up later.”

“It’s still amazing,” Brad brushed Mike’s modesty off then smiled a wry smile. “Beats lying on the couch in my pajamas all day.”

Mike gave Brad a reassuring glance. “If that’s your way of coping it’s okay, Brad. You don’t have to do anything right now if you don’t feel like it.”

Brad sat there in silence for a moment, watching as Mike continued to write things down on his notepad. “I’m scared, Mike,” he said out of the blue, “of what comes after.”

Mike stopped to stare at Brad with a frown. The guitarist wasn’t usually this blunt about his feelings. “What do you mean?”

Brad wrapped his arms around his middle in a self-comforting gesture, avoiding Mike’s eyes as he spoke. “You. Us.”

“I’m not sure I follow.”

He knew, but he wanted Brad to elaborate. Maybe get him to open up about Chester’s passing. Always the most private of all of them and the one to most likely hide his grief behind a smile and a joke, Brad hadn’t exactly opened up to them yet.

“You have everything it takes to make a new path for yourself and be successful at it—I know you’ll be,” Brad said while picking at a loose string in his shorts, looking distressingly lost all of a sudden. “And I—I don’t...I don’t know what to make of anything anymore.”

“Brad. This is just something I need to do for me,” Mike explained, setting down the note pad on the couch and turning his body to face Brad, who was still eluding his gaze. “You and I and the guys aren’t through, but we need time before we can start figuring things out.” Mike placed a comforting hand on Brad’s knee, making the younger man look at him. “Chester’s death shook our lives to the very core and having all the answers right now is simply not possible. Being uncertain and conflicted is natural. But if there’s one thing I can assure you…it’s that I’m not gonna abandon you, Brad.”

Shaking his head, Brad sighed. “Why do you even feel like you have to say that? You shouldn’t feel responsible for us…for me. And I shouldn’t feel like I’m being left behind,” Brad added in a dejected tone.

Mike stood up from the couch and moved so he now stood in front of Brad.

“Get up.”

Brad looked up at him with hesitance evident in his dark eyes.

“C’mon, get up,” he repeated.

“I’m sorry. That was—I was joking,” Brad hurried out and unwrapping thin arms from around his middle, he slowly stood up. “If there’s nothing else you need help with, then I should probably go. Last thing I want is to get in your way.” He attempted to go for the door, but Mike grabbed his arm, keeping him in place.

“Look at me.”

Mike’s voice was firm, so Brad did as asked, but when no words were said in about an entire minute, he started to fidget. “What, Mike? You’re making me nervous.”

“Ever since we were kids, we’ve been in each other’s lives,” Mike spoke at last, “and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Brad visibly relaxed at that. He continued in a softer tone, hoping to soothe any of Brad’s remaining worries. “This is just something I need to do on my own, but you’re still a part of it, because you’re my best friend and I love you. You’ll always be part of everything I do. Hell, you were in my mind when I wrote a lot of these lyrics, as were the rest of the guys. And even if I continue with this solo project later on, there’s always going to be enough of me left to do something with you and the guys…whether it’s Linkin Park or something else.”

“I know,” Brad sighed and looked down, his hands idly picking at the sleeve of his hoodie. “I just feel like I need you too much and that makes me feel like shit because I know it’s selfish. You have your own grief to work on. You shouldn’t have to pull me out of mine as well.”

“You’re not being selfish. Don’t say that,” Mike soothed. “I will gladly help you through your grief, Brad, in any way I can. True, we need to deal with our own shit, but helping each other and picking each other up when the other one is down is also part of the process.” He smiled at Brad, searching for his gaze. “We’re all in this together, aren’t we?”

Brad nodded and sniffed, meeting Mike’s gaze shortly and chuckled. “You have all the right words.”

Mike smiled. “I’m glad they helped.”

Brad’s eyes became watery then and his voice trembled as he spoke next. “I just miss him so much. I miss the way it all was—”

The guitarist’s voice broke and Mike put his hand on one shaky shoulder, squeezing gently, as a way of telling Brad it was okay to let it all out.

“I keep dreaming about him being alive, you know?” Brad continued. “And I get so happy thinking it was all just one huge nightmare or just a terrible joke…” he sniffed. “And when I wake up, there’s a fraction of a second when I believe it…but when the confusion goes away and I realize it was only a dream…that it actually happened…that we’ll never see him again…” Brad sighed and shook his head. “I don’t know. It’s like…living it over and over again.”

“Trust me when I say that I know exactly what you’re saying.” Mike smiled sadly. “You’re gonna be okay,” he said, squeezing Brad’s shoulder again. “You’ll get through this.”

Brad sniffed and shook his head. “I’m not half as strong as you, Mike. I don’t think I can face this.”

“You are strong. You are facing it right now.” Mike began to rub Brad’s arm up and down in what he hoped was a comforting gesture. “To be completely honest with you…all of this I’m doing…it feels more like a way of escaping it. I’m looking to keep my mind busy while you’re sitting all day on your couch in your pajamas, letting yourself feel it. You’re not looking to run from it, Brad, even if it hurts like a motherfucker.” Brad chuckled at that, bringing a satisfied grin to Mike’s face. “There’s the Brad I know.” He reached to dry the tears on Brad’s soft cheeks with his thumb and cupped the man’s face with both hands to look at him deep in the eyes. “We will get through this together, all five of us.”

Brad nodded, still teary eyed. “We will.”

Out of the blue, Mike felt the uncontrollable urge to kiss Brad, so he wrapped one arm around the younger man’s slight waist and pulled him closer against his chest with almost excessive gentleness. Brad eyed Mike with curiosity as his fingertips barely ghosted over the guitarist’ cheek.

Being an artist taught him to appreciate subtle beauty over the ‘right in your face’ kind of beauty, and Brad was indeed that. He didn’t look to stand out—which some could argue wasn’t the case when he sported that attention-grabbing afro and beard, but in Mike’s opinion, it only helped to hide Brad’s beautiful facial features. His soft masculinity made him seem delicate in a way: slight built, smooth creamy complexion, practically hairless in every other place besides his beard, head, crotch, and those almost deliberately well-defined, dark eyebrows of course; all topped by his naturally feminine manners and his mellow voice. He’d never get tired of watching Brad.

“Wow. For a second there I thought you were about to kiss me.” Brad’s voice brought him back from his trance. “I was down for it. That’s what all this crying was about. To get into your pants,” he joked, drying his still damp lashes with the sleeves of his hoodie. “Guess I was wrong. You were just going to creepily stare at me for a full minute.”

“Shut up,” Mike chuckled and kissed Brad on the lips, silencing him. It was a tender, innocent kiss, with no tongue and no urgency of any kind. Neither pushed for more and they took their time caressing each other’s lips and enjoying the closeness.

When they broke apart, Brad leaned against Mike’s chest and wrapped his arms around his shoulders, seeking more contact.

“Please, Mike,” Brad pleaded, burying his face in the crook of Mike’s neck. “I need you.”

Smiling with affection, Mike complied with the request and tightened his hold around Brad’s waist, pulling him closer. “I’m here. I’m here.”

“Don’t leave me behind.”

It was a mere whisper, but Mike heard it all the same and it broke his heart.

“I would never,” he promised, clutching Brad’s hoodie and bringing him impossibly close.

“Mike,” Brad whispered as he pulled away a bit to look at him dead in the eyes. “Please.”

It took him a moment to get it, but when he finally understood Brad’s request, he smiled. “Okay.” With that okay, the slighter man wrapped him in a hug and turned their bodies around so that the couch was now behind Mike. And then he pushed.

“Shit, Brad! A little warning would’ve been nice,” Mike laughed as he fell on his ass.

Without a word, Brad dropped down on his knees and positioned himself between Mike’s—eager hands reaching for Mike’s belt as soon as his knees hit the floor.

“Someone’s in a hurry,” Mike teased as he reached over to caress Brad’s soft curls.

Those dark eyes, darker with lust, flicked up to look at him. “You want me to stop?”

“None of that,” Mike was quick to say and caressing his way down Brad’s face, he lifted the younger man’s chin up and leaned closer to capture those full lips in a bruising kiss. Brad welcomed the kiss with passion and tilted his head back a bit to give Mike better access while his hands continued to work on Mike’s pants to free the man’s straining cock.

The kiss broke when Brad wrapped his bony fingers around Mike’s erection and Mike had to lean back to let out a loud groan. Brad gave him a pleased grin before he dipped lower to wrap his warm mouth around the blunt head. Mike’s fingers threaded through Brad’s dark curls. Unconsciously, he tightened his grip on them when Brad sunk lower to take more of him into his mouth.

“Fuck, that feels good, Brad. You’re so good with your mouth.”

Brad looked up at him then. His already high cheekbones accentuating as he hollowed his cheeks to suck him off. It was one of the most sinful sights Mike had ever witnessed. And to think Brad was such an innocent man in everyday life.

“You look so good like that,” Mike praised in a desire-heavy voice. His pleasure building up as that delicious mouth worked him closer to the edge. He wanted more. Needed it.

“Brad, stop.” Fingers let go of Brad’s curls and they wrapped around Brad’s arms to pull the man up. The dirty sound of his dick sliding out of Brad’s hot mouth almost had him coming.

Licking his lips in an ironically shy fashion, given what he’d just being doing, Brad asked. “Changed your mind?”

“No, no,” Mike reassured, caressing Brad’s neck. “Just don’t wanna come before time.”

Still as eager as minutes before, Brad nodded. He stood up to unbutton his shorts and pulled both his shorts and boxers down his skinny legs in one go, then stepped out of them, keeping his socks and sneakers on.

Mike smirked as he admired the younger man’s half-naked form. Those long, pale legs and that elegant cock sitting on a nest of soft dark curls all bare to his hungry eyes. He wanted Brad bad.

Lifting his butt off the couch, Mike pulled his pants down to his mid thighs and beckoned Brad over. “C’mere.”

Brad complied and straddled the older man’s lap. Without further warning, he reached down to grab Mike’s thick member and sat down on him in one single move. The tight embrace surrounding him was almost too much for him to handle. He groaned and held Brad’s hips to keep him still for a moment. When he pulled back to study Brad’s face, it was contorted in pain.

“Get up,” Mike commanded. “You’re not loose enough or lubed up. You’re gonna hurt yourself.”

“No.” Brad shook his head and wrapped his arms around Mike’s neck. “I’m fine. I promise. It’s not even all the way in. It’ll stop hurting in a second.”

“Well, you might be fine, but you’re kinda strangling my dick right now,” Mike argued in a strained voice and the wide-eyed, concerned look Brad gave him nearly had him bursting out laughing.

“Shit, I’m sorry,” Brad got up as if burned, but Mike prevented him from getting off of him completely.

“It’s okay. It’s okay,” he laughed, drawing soothing circles on Brad’s hips with his thumbs. “Just take it easy.”

Brad nodded and let Mike control the pace. Hands tightened their hold on him as he lifted himself off from Mike’s cock.

Mike held two fingers up to Brad’s mouth. “Open up.”

With a tiny smirk and his eyes fixed on Mike’s, Brad complied. Mike pushed the digits past those plump lips and into the wet, warm cavity where Brad’s tongue lapped at them, getting them generously slick with saliva, before Mike pulled them out with a wet, sinful pop.

“Okay, relax down there, for me okay?”

Nodding, Brad waited for further instructions while holding his weight on his thin thighs and keeping himself steady with his hands on Mike’s shoulders.

Keeping his eyes on Brad’s face, Mike circled the opening and rubbed the pad of his fingers over it, making it twitch. Brad’s eyes closed and his pink tongue stuck out briefly to lick at his lips.

“Use two. I’m already a bit loose.”

Mike pushed the tip of his fingers inside the tight hole. Brad’s eyebrows knitted together at the intrusion, so he withdrew one. “Yeah, let’s just start with one.”

Brad shook his head and moved closer, resting his forehead against Mike’s. “C’mon. Do it.”

Sighing, Mike complied. “Okay, but if you’re hurting tomorrow…”

“I won’t.”

“Stubborn bitch,” Mike chided with mirth.

Brad grinned. “It gets me places.”

“Yeah, it’s gonna get you to a world of butt pain tomorrow,” Mike laughed.

“Let’s not exaggerate,” Brad bit back. “It’s gonna be a minor ache at best. Also, totally worth it.”

“I want you to tell me the same tomorrow,” Mike said and began to push both his fingers inside. Brad moaned and let his head rest against Mike’s shoulder; his hands clutching at Mike’s shirt.


Brad nodded so Mike continued to push the digits in to the second knuckle then slowly withdrew them, scissoring them open as they came out. Brad gasped and lifted his head, tilting it back when Mike pushed the fingers in again and he brushed over that bundle of nerves deep inside the younger man. He then started thrusting them in and out; rubbing Brad’s prostate with each thrust, making the guitarist open his mouth to moan loudly.

With lust filled eyes, Mike appreciated the beauty of the man in front of him as he lost himself in the pleasure being fingered open brought him. As he did so, his breathing became thicker and his cock twitched with want. Pulling his fingers out slowly, he instructed in a lower tone. “Okay, now drop down slowly.”

Brad did as told, sinking down so slow his thighs began to hurt, but even then Mike held him in place when he considered he should stop to adjust.

It took a few minutes, but soon, Brad was completely seated on Mike’s lap; the man’s cock buried deep inside him.

Letting his head fall back, Brad panted. “Shit. I haven’t felt this full in a while.”

Taking advantage of the expanse of milky flesh presented to him, Mike stuck his tongue out and lapped at Brad’s neck, sucking and kissing the pale column.

“Mike,” Brad gasped at the action, burying his fingers in Mike’s silky soft hair. “Please…”

“You can move now.”

The younger man nodded and began to rock his hips back and forth. Mike moaned at the insane pleasure Brad’s tight walls around his cock brought forth. He tightened his grip around the man’s tiny waist and Brad did the same to his cock. Both moaned loudly as a result.

“Shit, that was hot. Do it again.”

Brad grinned and eagerly complied, tightening his walls around Mike’s stiff flesh once more.

“Fuck, Brad,” he panted. “You’re so damn hot.”

“So are you,” Brad panted against the rapper’s lips as he leaned in to beg for a kiss.

Mike returned it with fervor, plunging his tongue inside to explore and conquer. Brad’s hands pulled at his hair and Mike ran his hands up Brad’s back, nails scratching the smooth skin as he did so. There would surely be marks left tomorrow.

Mike thrust up and moved his hands south once again to wrap them around Brad’s hips, urging the younger man to quicken his pace a bit, thrusting up at the same time as he pulled Brad to his crotch.

Tilting his head back, Brad let out a loud moan when Mike’s cock brushed over his prostate. “There! Right there, Mike. Fuck!” He panted and wrapped his around his own erection to stroke himself.

Mike quickened his pace as pleasure began to pool deep in his gut, thrusting up deeper and harder. “There? You like that?”

“Mike, I’m gonna come,” Brad gasped, holding onto Mike’s shoulder when the man’s brutal thrusts threatened to send him to the floor.

“Come for me, Babe,” Mike gruffed, replacing Brad’s lose grip on his cock and began to pump the younger man up and down. It took merely seconds for Brad to come on Mike’s hand.

“Mike!” Brad yelped and shuddered with the force of his orgasm; his velvety walls tightening around Mike’s cock and milking him dry.

“Oh, Brad! Fuck!” Mike howled, coming deep inside the panting man on his lap. He was soon panting as well. “That was so good. So good,” he sighed, reaching up to caress the back of Brad’s neck, which was sweaty and warm. His other hand wrapped around the man’s back, holding him close.

“That was really good,” Brad agreed, resting limply against Mike’s chest as he tried to get his breathing under control. “I missed it.”

This wasn’t their first time doing this. Back in the early days, they used to do this often. For some reason, they’d always gravitated toward one another for sexual relief during their early day’s tours.

“I missed you,” Brad whispered against his ear. It was something he always said whenever they got physical with each other and it made Mike feel like crap. It was undeniable that when Chester had come along, Brad had taken more of a backseat in Mike’s frame of attention, but Brad always eased his consciousness by telling him it was more than enough. That he shouldn’t worry. Like he was happy with the scraps his received.

It was clear Brad needed way more than mere scraps now.

Mike placed both hands on Brad’s sides and marveled at how small the man was. The tip of his fingers touching the man’s spine at the back and his thumbs almost met each other at the front, over Brad’s visible ribs.

“You’re eating enough, right?” He asked with concern.

“Yeah, why?” Brad asked back, suspicion in his tone.

“You feel a bit thinner.”

“I could say the same about you,” Brad said with a raised eyebrow. “But don’t you think it’s like…normal? You know, given our circumstances?”

“Yeah, I guess, as long as it doesn’t get out of hand,” Mike shrugged then put on a stern face. “But if I notice your ribs sticking out just a tad bit more, I’m going to make you eat a huge sandwich every day under strict supervision, you got that, Delson?”

“I know you like to keep everything around you under control, but my eating habits aren’t included,” Brad grinned as he cupped Mike’s face in his hands to give him a peck on his lips. “I appreciate the concern, though.”

“Wanna bet?” Mike countered back while caressing Brad’s back with the pad of his fingers, hoping to soothe the red scratch marks he’d probably left there during their lovemaking.

“No,” Brad replied with a sweet smile. “But I promise you my ribs won’t be sticking out more.”

Planting one more peck on Mike’s lips, Brad pulled away. Mike let him, watching with a lazy smile as the guitarist pulled his bottom garments back on, and took the opportunity to do the same.

When Brad grimaced suddenly, looking uncomfortable, Mike sat up. “Did I hurt you? Are you in pain?”

Chuckling, Brad shook his head. “No. I’m just sticky all over.” Mike sat back, relieved. “I should probably go clean up in the bathroom. Be right back. I’ll bring you back some paper towels.”

“Make it a wet rag.”

Brad nodded and left the recording room. Once Brad came back with the wet cloth, and they were both fully dressed and clean, Mike grabbed one bony wrist and pulled Brad back on his lap, this time sitting him sideways. Brad raised his eyebrows in question, but otherwise didn’t object to Mike’s embrace.

“Not that I don’t enjoy this, because I do,” Brad added quickly, “but you need to finish your song and I’m just being a distraction,” he said and attempted to stand up, but Mike’s arms around him prevented him from doing so.

“I like you distracting me,” Mike said with a shrug and pecked Brad on the cheek. “And I needed a break anyway.”

Brad grinned and settled himself more comfortably on Mike’s lap, placing a hand over Mike’s beating heart. “Well, then I’m happy to contribute in any way I can, even if it’s just to prevent you from overworking yourself.”

He frowned. “What are you talking about? You helped me plenty. Without you I wouldn’t have sorted out the mental chaos I had with that song.” Mike grinned then. “You truly are my work wife. I produce a bunch of lyrics that make no sense and then you come over to clean up and organize my nonsense and make it make sense.”

Brad eyed him with narrowed eyes. “That’s a tad bit sexist.”

“And then you chastise me when I say something wrong. See? Work wife,” Mike said matter of fact.

Brad grinned. “You may have a point in that last part. Oh! Before I forget, there was one word I thought you could change for a shorter synonym,” Brad said, picking up Mike’s forgotten notepad from the couch and searching through it. “Which one was it?”

As Brad concentrated on finding said word, Mike smiled fondly at the younger man as he observed him then squeezed Brad’s knee to get his attention. “You have no idea how much your support means to me. This wouldn’t mean a thing without your .”

Setting the notepad down, Brad looked at him again. “You know you’ll always have my support. I’ll be cheering for you from the benches, with pompons and all, when these songs come out and become a huge hit.”

Mike smirked at that. “You have way too much faith in me.”

“No need for that fake modesty around me, Mike Shinoda. We both know how good you are,” Brad quipped with a sassy smile.

“Okay. Okay.” Mike chuckled. “Still, thanks.”

Brad’s sassy smile widened. “No problem, Mike Shinoda.” He then turned his attention back on the notepad.

All of a sudden, Mike closed his eyes and hummed in pleasure. “Hmmm.”

Brad turned curious eyes on him. “What?”

“I’m picturing you in a cheerleader outfit now,” he said, opening his eyes and giving Brad a delighted smile. “With a little skirt and knee high socks…and maybe those pigtails you wore that day here at the studio to compliment the look. You could also bring back your nail polish phase.”

Crossing his arms across his chest, Brad narrowed his eyes again as he gazed at Mike. “You have a vivid imagination…and a weird fixation with turning me into a girl. Don’t think because I stay out of social media I didn’t see that photo shopped picture of me.”

Mike laughed. “I’m just teasing you. I like you just as you are, Mr. Delson, with your comfy hoodie and messy curls… and those very sexy shorts,” he finished, running a lazy hand up and down Brad’s lightly haired leg.

Brad gave him a skeptical look. “Right…I could do that for you, though,” he added with a casual shrug.

Those words elicited a jolt of anticipation inside Mike’s gut and he was unable to hide the hopeful expression from his face. “Really?”

Smirking, Brad shook his head. “Just teasing me, huh?”

“Well…” Mike sighed, leaning back on the couch and spreading his arms out the back as he spoke. “I could use some cheerleading, you know…to help motivate me into finishing all this amazing work I’m pulling off.”

“I like it when you get cocky,” Brad admitted with a grin, nudging Mike’s shoulder. “Let me think about that, okay?”

Mike smiled sweetly, dropping the smug act. “Of course.”

“Okay,” Brad clapped his hands, meaning business, “now, you get back to work while I go get us some coffee,” he said and stood up. “I’ll be right back.”

Mike sighed as Brad walked out of the room, already missing the warmth of the other man on his lap. He picked up his notepad and tried to focus on the lyrics. After a few minutes of nothing, he set the notepad back down and groaned. It would be a bitch trying to focus on anything other than the image of Brad in a cheerleader outfit.

Not that he minded much.

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