Category Linkin Park

Expectations by mermaid_life87

Chapter One

A/N: *takes a deep breath* So Im super, super, super nervous right now. This is the first story I've posted to this site since I was probably 16/17. Those stories were terrible and, not that it needs to be said, under a totally different name. :p This first chapter is short so be warned. That was intentional for a couple reasons. Number one, this first chapter is just to sort of introduce some of the characters and give a little bit of back story. Number two, I'm not 100% sure I will keep going. Which is where you guys come in :) I'd love honest and constructive feedback. If you really think I have something even slightly entertaining with this, let me know. If not, please let me know that too. I can take it ;) It won't hurt my feelings because I'm not 100% convinced myself that this is any good o_O lol Now, on with the story.....

Mike fidgeted nervously with the collar of his flannel for what was, most likely, the hundredth time. He had paired it with a black undershirt and ripped, black jeans. He wouldn't say he looked horrible, not by any means, but he didn't think he was looking very good either. The problem was that his appearance had nothing to do with his outfit, but had everything to do with the fact he hadn't been sleeping well and it was finally starting to show.

Fuck it. This is ridiculous. I need to calm down. It's not like I'm going out with the intention of meeting anyone. I don't think I could emotionally handle even a one night stand right now.

Sighing heavily, he turned away from the full length mirror to face his roommate.

"Do we really have to go tonight?" Mike asked, not bothering to hide his lack of enthusiasm.

"You know we do." Brad answered from the black, leather couch without even looking away from the TV. He was watching one of those God awful house wife reality shows Mike loathes. I don't know what he sees in this show. It's like a guilty pleasure or something.

"Remind me why again?" Mike said, sluggishly walking over to the couch before flopping down next to his friend. It was Brad's turn to sigh.

"Ummm...because tonight is Rob's first show with Hybrid Theory? Does that ring any bells for you? You know our support means the world to him. It would be, like, bad karma or something not to go."

"You and your superstitions." Mike grumbled.

Superstitions or not, Mike knew Brad was right. Their drummer friend had done nothing but brag about this new band for months. They had been practicing and practicing, almost non-stop, and Mike marveled at their dedication. Rob really feels they have something special. Like, he really has a chance to make it big with this particular group of talent. I'm beyond happy for him and we're going to watch them play their first gig. I should be more excited but I can't help-Mike cut off his negative and selfish thoughts, reminding himself that tonight isn't about him. It isn't about him or his anxiety over who else will be in attendance.

"I just don't know why their first gig has to be at that bar." Mike whined. "The universe hates me."

Brad laughed. "You act like they picked that one purposely just to torture you. They're a new band, Mike. They have to go where they get booked. You know that. Beggars can't be choosers."

"You know, Bradford," Mike started, a hint of irritation in his voice, "you could be a little more sympathetic to my situation."

"Hey, I'm very sympathetic." Brad insisted. "Just stating facts. Trust me, I'm fully aware of how much you're hurting right now but it's not like you have to hang around the bar or anything. You can avoid the bar altogether."

Brad had a point. However, Brad wasn't taking into consideration that Mike hadn't seen or spoken to his ex-boyfriend since their break-up two weeks ago and that it had been the longest two weeks of his life. Mike didn't know his heart could hurt at the level it had been hurting. And he knew, no matter how masochistic it was, he would be drawn to the bar and the lean, tattooed man tending it. Even if it was just to sneak a peek. Just to admire from afar his spiked, blonde hair, his deep, brown eyes, the lip ring that drove Mike absolutely-

"Hello?" Brad called, snapping his fingers in front of Mike's face, pulling him from his thoughts. "Earth to Mike?"

"Sorry, Brad. I'm just thinking about tonight and trying to...mentally prepare myself, I guess."

"Damn, Mike, if I didn't know any better, I would think you were that one that got dumped. Not the one who did the dumping."

Mike grit his teeth. He knew Brad meant what he said as a joke, but it wasn't a joke Mike was finding very funny.

"You know exactly why I did what I did, Brad. I didn't have a choice."

"You keep saying that, but I beg to differ." Mike opened his mouth to protest but Brad quickly cut him off. "Stop. I've heard it all before. You led the poor guy on for a year. A full 365. You knew the whole time you weren't ready. You knew the whole time it wasn't really going anywhere. What you did to him wasn't fair, Mike. It was selfish. Maybe you should start caring a little less about what others think, no matter who they are to you, and focus on what you want for your life. Or," Brad hesitated before continuing softly, "just stay single."

The amount of truth in Brad's words was overwhelming, hitting Mike like a ton of bricks. He had been trying to escape the reality of what he'd done, had been trying to gloss over it with lame, fragile justifications, but here was Brad, laying it all out for him in no uncertain terms. Not only was the sudden honesty a shock to Mike's system, it angered him too. Out of all my friends, Brad should be the most understanding. His family has the same expectations for him. Whether for religious or cultural reasons, our families have the same non-negotiable standards.

"You make it sound so simple. So easy." When it's the exact opposite. "What the fuck would you have done, Brad?"

Brad shrugged. "Im not saying it's easy. To be honest, I don't envy how hard this must be for you. But I'd like to think that, even in your shoes, if I found someone who made me as happy as Chester made you, I would have the courage to say fuck anyone who has an issue with it."

Mike shook his head. "Easier said than done. And it doesn't matter anymore anyway. Even if I could muster up the courage now, it's too late. I'm pretty sure Chester hates me."

"Why don't you use tonight as an opportunity to find out?" Brad suggested casually with a shrug of his shoulders.

"You can't be-are you...are you seriously suggesting I talk to him?"

Brad nodded. Mike's eyes went wide with disbelief.

"Are you fucking insane?" He cried. "No way! Not a chance in hell. Where would I even start?"

"Calm down, dude." Brad soothed, struggling to hold back his laughter. "Did you forget that Chester is one of the bartenders? You could start by simply ordering a drink."

Mike snorted, "Why? So he can "accidentally" spill it on me or something? No thanks. Besides, like you said, until I'm ready to...to do what I need to do, I'm better off single."

"Have it your way. I was just trying to help."

Before he could respond, Mike's phone chimed with a text message alert. He leaned forward to grab his phone off the coffee table in front of him and opened the message.

"It's Rob. He's making sure we're still coming tonight. I'll let him know that we are."

"Great." Brad said, getting up from the couch. "I have to piss and then we can head out."

"Sounds good." Mike agreed, looking down at his phone as he typed.

Mike: Wouldn't miss it. We'll see you soon :)

Rob: Awesome! It means a lot to me for you guys to be here. I really appreciate it.

Mike smiled, briefly forgetting his worries about being in the same space as his ex again.

It means something to Rob to have Brad and I at his show. And that's important. I can't drop the ball on this one. I have to man up.

His phone chimed again.

Rob: I especially appreciate you coming, you know, given the circumstances. Are you nervous?

Mike groaned in frustration, his head hitting the back of the couch.

More proof of the universe hating me. I just want to forget about Chester and focus on what a big night this is for my friend but that's seeming less and less likely.

Quickly, Mike shot off the first response he could think of.

Mike: Not nervous about it at all. Just looking forward to seeing Hybrid Theory ;)

Desperately hoping the drummer wouldn't pick up on the obvious lie, Mike sat his phone down on his lap.

"You ready?" Brad called, a little too happy for Mike's tastes at the moment, as he walked out of the bathroom.

"As ready as I'll ever be." Mike muttered, standing up.

"Come on, Mike," Brad patted him on the back, "I really doubt this is going to be as bad as you're making it out to be. You can just avoid the bar, remember?"


Somehow, Mike knew it wasn't going to be that easy and that this night would, in fact, be just as bad as he was anticipating.

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