LPfiction

Category Linkin Park

Fugue by Umi

Chapters 1 - 20

Everything has been too much recently. So Mike just walks away. - a collection of drabbles and double drabbles in non-chronological order about Mike suffering an episode of dissociative amnesia and its impact on his healing process.


Genres: Drama, Angst, Gen (w/ a hint of Bennoda but no romo)


Rated R for the occasional pools of blood and recurring suicide (attempt) references


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Thanksgiving 2017



It's 2am and the kids, Anna, his parents, they're fast asleep inside the cabin while Mike sits outside.

Smoking. Drinking wine. Freezing.


It's 3am. The bottle is empty, his lungs refuse another smoke. But he's still restless.


It's 3:30. He's leaving, the lantern above the cabin door but a faint glow in the distance behind him.


4am. There's a ringing noise in his ears and he feels like he's walking behind himself. Like his self is slipping through his fingers. It's nice.


The sun comes up. He meets another hiker who asks for his name. He doesn't know the answer.


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February 11th 2018 [Double Drabble]



A panic attack and the weight of 41 years of memory rushing back into his mind like water through a broken dam – not exactly the kind of birthday present he wanted. Or expected. But then again, when he woke up that morning, he didn't even know it was his birthday.


So there's that.


He knows he should call someone, anyone, to let his loved ones know he's okay.


But his shift won't be over for at least another three hours and he promised Christian – the guy he met six weeks ago, who lets him sleep on his couch (yay for not being homeless anymore!) – to take care of dinner.



Part of him would like to just keep this new life.



But he's aware that at some point someone will recognize him. If that girl in the LP shirt earlier that day hadn't been too busy on her phone to even look at him while she ordered her French Vanilla Cappucchino...



So it's three days later when Anna receives a DM on Twitter.


It's a selfie he took with Christian's phone. "Guess who just snapped out of amnesia. I'm kind of stuck in Vancouver. Come pick me up?"


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Early March 2018



Mike has a therapist now. And he works hard to spend as much time as possible with friends and family while trying to get the messy remains of his professional life back in order.


But there's something in his eyes, in the way he sometimes stares into space and briefly loses touch with his surroundings, that makes Anna uneasy. She's afraid he might leave again – this time consciously.


"Where to, though? I can't just stop being me anyway." he replies softly and shrugs, when she asks him.


"I miss you."


"... Sorry."



And that's all he has to say.


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New Year's Eve 2017/18



"Hey, uhm, sorry, do you have some spare change? I'd like to get myself a coffee."


It's coincidence that he just read a blog post by a former homeless person that morning, who said the worst part of their life on the streets was feeling invisible. So he stops and looks at the guy who just approached him.


He looks a bit shaggy with his black disheveled hair and beard, but sober (not that it should make a difference).


Christian smiles and shrugs. "I'm actually about to get one myself. Want to join me?"


Mike considers the offer. Then nods.


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November 24th 2017 [Double Drabble]



"Where are you headed?"


"I don't know. Next bigger city? Whatever is on your route."


"Well, jump in then."



A few hours later he gets nudged awake.


"We're there."

Mike tiredly rubs his eyes and smiles. "Thanks for the ride. I wish I could pay you, but..."

His new acquaintance musters him thoughtfully before smiling, too, albeit a little embarrassed. "Look, I'm... I'm not one of those people, I will not, uh, force you to anything... but since you're asking..."

Mike blinks.

The guy shrugs, awkwardly running his hand over his neck and avoiding to look at him. "I've been pretty lonely lately... and you're cute and look like you might be up for, well... this kinda thing..."

"What kinda-" And then the coin finally drops and Mike feels heat rushing to his cheeks and ears. "Oh!"

"You really don't have to, but you asked, so..."



When Mike climbs out of the truck and waves an awkward goodbye at his new... friend? twenty minutes later, he still doesn't know if he actually wanted what he did, but he didn't really mind it, either. Also the $20 bill the guy gently put into his hand afterwards might come in handy later.


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Late January 2018



When Brad walks into their studio at Warner's, two months after Mike disappeared, half of the equipment is gone.


"Slipknot need the Goldmund Amps and Muse asked for the Mapex. We figured you guys wouldn't need the stuff anytime soon, and it's not yours anyway, so..."



They hadn't felt the need to remind them that nothing in here was actually theirs in 17 years.


But with both their frontmen gone, album sales dropping and no upcoming tours in sight...



Brad reaches for the acoustic guitar, but it's snatched right out of his hands with an apologetic "Sorry, Cher needs this".


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Spring 2018



Mike doesn't like to talk about Vancouver.

Dave assumes it's because he was homeless there for a while, and because not knowing who he was was scary and he doesn't like to think about it too much.


It's only at a party a few weeks later that Mike admits to thinking about it a lot, actually.

He just wants to keep his memories to himself, to have something that is just his and no one else's.


"I remember my name and my life now. But who I am? Still no clue." And with that he empties his glass and leaves.


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Early December 2017



It's kind of a funny feeling, not knowing who you are and not really giving a crap, too.


"What's your name?"

"What do you think my name could be?"

"I dunno... maybe you're a Benjamin?"

"Wow, you're the first one to get it right on first try."

"Really?"


Benjamin – also known as Elijah, Theo, Noah, Alex, and, unbeknownst to himself, actually kind of popular under the name Mike – nods and smiles. He's good at smiling. Or so he figures from the way people smile back.


"So... how much?"

"I only do handjobs and those are 30."

"Cool. Deal."


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March 20th 2018



A guy just wanted to mourn a dead friend on said friend's birthday, but things got out of hand when he forgot – or just didn't care – that he had a tendency to want to die himself when he drank. Oops?



Quite a few months later Mike feels like mourning a dead friend on his birthday, too.


So he spends the day tweeting positive stuff and after dark locks himself in his studio with a bottle of rum.

He wears a comfy onesie though, doesn't have a belt handy, so his escape is limited to googling apartments in Vancouver.


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Late March 2018



Mike meets up with a couple of fans for a project of his.

They're wonderful.

Understanding. Respectful. Full of love.


He still comes home with ringing ears, brain and skin crawling with anxiety, and lungs almost too tight to breathe.

And he doesn't even notice he's humming to himself – no melody, just one low, steady tone – until Otis asks him why.



"I would like us to take a break... if that's okay with you" he says to Anna later that night.


She nods but there are tears in her eyes, and it makes him hate himself a little.


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Christmas 2017



"30 for a handjob? And how much for the other stuff?"

"I don't do other stuff."

"I give you 50 to return the favor. And another 50 for a kiss."


Mike – or Nick, as this customer calls him – frowns.


"C'mon. 130 bucks. We jack each other off and kiss. You can decide how much tongue."

"..."

"130 plus my scarf. You look like you could need one."



Nick does need one. He also needs a thicker sweater, gloves, food.



For some reason he tears up when they kiss - a memory maybe.

He decides he's okay with tongue.


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2001 [Triple Drabble]



They're drunk and high and on the road.

And kissing. Touching. Gasping. Moaning.


It only happens once.


They laugh and joke about it afterwards, and nothing changes.


Mike loves Anna more than he even thought possible.

He knew he wanted to spend his life with her the moment he met her.


She knows he's bi.

And that it doesn't change a thing; she's still his everything and he's not more likely to cheat on her, leave her, just because he's capable of being attracted to men, too.

And he doesn't want to be that kind of person either - the one who proves the ugly myth of the unfaithful, untrustworthy bisexual. So he forbids himself to even think about his attraction to other people, especially men.


It doesn't matter.



So why does he cry and struggle not to sniffle too loudly, leave out sob, in his bunk in the middle of the night when he allows himself to remember how it felt?

Kissing one of his best friends.

The smell of his sweat and cologne. And cold smoke. Whiskey. Pot.

Touching him. Being touched, held, by someone as tall as him, as strong, if not stronger.

Stubble tickling his fingers as he caressed his cheek, jawline.



It was Mike's first kiss with another man. Only kiss.


Probably last kiss, too.



He could tell Anna. Be open with her. But he's too afraid she won't trust him anymore if he does.

What they have is perfect and it needs to stay that way.


He needs to stay that way.


He's a good guy and he knows how to keep himself out of trouble; out of unwanted spotlight, too.

He's not hiding, he just likes his privacy.


Everything's fine, he just needs to forget this kiss.

This part of himself.



He's fine.


__________________________________________________________________________________



Early April 2018



It's more of an ugly snerk than a laugh that escapes Mike when the young man he just met introduces himself as Charlie.



The sex is good.

Mike did his research and what he lacks in experience, Charlie easily makes up with his own.


Mike wonders if he'll ever be able to kiss, to fuck a guy without tearing up, but maybe it's just because Charlie is as tall as him, well-shaved, lean but also athletic.

Probably the stupid lip ring, too.


Apparently the early2000s are back in fashion.


Mike, that idiot, laughs. Well, snerks.



And tips the guy well.


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Still Early April 2018 [Double Drabble]



"How did you do it? How come no one recognized you? Saw you?


Mike smiles and leans a little closer to the mic. "I was homeless. Which means I basically had invisibility superpowers."



He briefed his friends at KROQ before they went on air, told them exactly what kind of questions he was willing to answer and what would make him shut up for good.

And, as per usual, they respect his decision, now building the interview around it.

They know how to honor a good exclusive story and try to make sure it won't be the last.


So the rest of the interview is about homelessness, shelters not receiving enough support, and cities funding police raids under bridges, spikes on the ground and park benches impossible to lie on.


A small voice in the back of Mike's head wonders what would happen if he brought up sex work, too. The laws around it. How they hurt the wrong people and keep them unsafe.

He hushes that voice.


Not today.


The interview ends with him announcing dates for a few upcoming solo shows and laughing at a dumb joke.



Later that night he texts Christian and invites him to L.A.


__________________________________________________________________________________



Mid-March 2018 [Double Drabble]



"I think the worst part isn't even that he's gone. The worst part is how he left. I try to tell myself it was an illness that took him, because that's what it was. But... that's not how it feels like. It feels too violent.


Like murder.


Someone who didn't deserve to die was brutally murdered.


He could be so cruel to himself. And such a hypocrite, too! For him, everyone deserved kindness and patience and a second chance, as many chances as necessary to get better or at least hang on. Except himself.


And it made me feel so... angry... and helpless. But he didn't want me to always fuss over him, and I wanted to see him smile, but I... I couldn't function if I took his demons too serious. Sometimes I just. Just had to... ignore them. But what if... what if that was... what if that's the reason he thought he couldn't... shouldn't talk to me? Why he didn't even give me a chance to try to... to... to be there... for-" And that's where Mike's voice breaks.



His therapist offers him tissues.

And the compassionate silence she knows he's most comfortable with in such moments.


__________________________________________________________________________________



November 21st 2017



Mike is packing.


He's about to spend Thanksgiving with his family in a cabin in the Canadian woods, like every year.

Surrounded by people who love him.


It's the right thing to do.



Only he's kind of tired of always trying to do the right thing.



Being there for others has always involved conscious effort on his side, but now it's even become exhausting to just be there for himself.


He'd sell his soul for a break...


But that's not the kind of person he is.



So he smiles, when Anna says she's looking forward to the trip, and nods.


__________________________________________________________________________________



April 2018



"Your studio is as big as my whole fucking apartment! That's ridiculous!"


"It is", Mike mumbles with a tired smile.


"Also: 8 bathrooms? Seriously?"


Mike shakes his head. "Look, I told you, I... I know, ok?"


Christian sighs. "Well, then do something about it. Stop being such an emo about your "golden cage". If your money can't buy you your own happiness, then use it to buy someone else some. Be the sugar daddy you always wanted to be." He grins. "You could start by inviting me to DisneyLand, for example."


"You're awful."


"You missed me."


"... Yeah. I did."


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April 2018 / the pit - Part 1/2 [Double Drabble]



A handful of people recognize Mike in DisneyLand, and his smile when he signs their stuff and poses for selfies with them is warm and brilliant and entirely what they want to see and not at all who he feels he is anymore.


And it hurts.



A band Christian stans on youtube has a gig in a small downtown club later that night, and Mike takes him to see them.


The bandmembers are in their 20s, maybe early 30s and their equipment barely fits on the tiny stage. They're dressed in black, as is most of the crowd, and their music reminds Mike of Family Values and Ozzfest and it doesn't take long for him to feel himself starting to tear up a little and dissociate.


Everyone around him is jumping, screaming, singing along, and it's not unlike drifting in the ocean during a hurrican. Uncomfortably close to how his mind is feeling a lot of the time, too.


Christian is shouting at him to be careful, there's a pit forming behind them.


But Mike just grins.


And turns around and dives right into that terrifying and welcoming mass of sweaty bodies colliding, shoving, swirling, and it swallows him whole.


__________________________________________________________________________________



early February 2018 [Double Drabble]



It starts out as an inside-joke, Christian calling him guy because neither of them can be bothered to decide on a name for him.


And before he knows it, it is his name.

Guy.


Same with his living situation – it was supposed to be a one-time thing, Guy staying at Christian's place for New Year's Eve, taking a shower, washing his clothes, sleeping on the couch instead of under a bridge.


But one night turns into two, three, ten, because they always have something to talk about and Guy's cooking easily beats the ready-to-eat stuff and take-out Christian usually lives on, and suddenly they're roommates.


And one night, while sharing a bottle or two of wine and watching an old Western, Guy wonders how it would feel if they kissed. He's not sure if it's because he's attracted to Christian – tall, cleanly shaven, soft brown skin, long dark hair he usually wears in a bun, curious eyes and an infectious smile – or because he's longing for that kind of intimacy in general.


Either way, he keeps his thoughts to himself.


He's just a guest, after all.



And what used to feel like freedom soon tastes like loneliness.


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April 2018 / the pit - Part 2/2 [Double Drabble]



It's two hours later and the stage is dark and empty, and the rest of the club brightly lit to help the crowd find their way back to the real world.


Mike is soaked in sweat that is not just his own, his ears are ringing, his shirt loose where strangers' hands have gripped it, and he knows he must smell awful. His throat feels raw, bruises are blossoming in various places under his skin, he's dizzy and his body feels so light, he almost expects to float away any second.


He won't, though. Because Christian is holding onto him, riding the same post-concert high he is, and pressing him against the wall next to the back entrance of the club.


It's the first time Mike kisses a guy without tearing up.

He left his angst behind in the pit, at least for tonight.

This kiss doesn't taste like missed opportunities, a dead friend or not knowing who he is anymore.


It's sweat and beer and feeling alive instead. Most of all want, though.



It's the following night and they kiss goodbye in Mike's car before Christian gets out and disappears into the airport. They won't see each other again.





- tbc -


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Up until now this fic has been an "AO3 exclusive", but I kinda want all of my LP fic on here, too ;P


I don't want to spam, though, so I think I'll update it here in chunks of 20 chapters/drabbles* at a time.



[*drabble = exactly 100 words. this is a hill I'm willing to die on, jsyk]

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