LPfiction

Category Linkin Park

Get me gone by Black_Rose & Devils_little_sister

Chapter one - Live from the Genesis

Description: Creating a new album has never been easy. But working on their most recent one is stretching the two front men of Linkin Park to their limits.

When things are starting to fall apart and conflicts about artistic freedom, personal fulfilment and repressed feelings are smoldering to the point of no return, an insane plan emerges...


Trigger warning: Mention of psychological manipulation (gaslighting), emotional abuse, suicide (mentioned as topic, but no character death), suicidal thoughts, July 20th 2017, depression, anxiety disorder, OCD, addiction.


Disclaimer: The story is 100% fictional, even though a few scenes might be really close to events that happened in real life. Mentioned songs and lyrics are not ours.


Black_Rose about Mike Shinoda

Devils_little_sister about Chester Bennington


Edit 1: Thank you so much halvlang for mentioning the achronality in our current chapter. We fixed that right away.


Edit 2: Make sure to visit our profile to see the cover art work for our story!

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Get me gone



Chapter one – Live from the Genesis



"Okay. So what do you think?"


Mike swirled around in his chair the mixing desk now behind him, facing Chester on the couch, his eyebrows raised full of curiosity. The vocalist gave him a quick glare, then looked back on his painted finger nails, his entangled hands opening and closing nervously.


Seconds of silent passed, before he let out a deep sigh, his shoulders dropping down. 

"I really like the melody, but the lyrics are...I think we could change it a bit here and there. To be honest, I don't feel the story behind the song yet."


Mike crossed his arms, while he listened to everything with a straight face and answered:

"You know...I don't think we should change anything. Me and Brad have been working on the lyrics for about two weeks now. And we twisted and rewrote the words a several times and the current version is by far the best we could come up with."


"So why do you ask me for my opinion then?" Chester asked through gritted teeth.


"Because I want everyone in the band to be satisfied with the result. We are a democracy. All six of us have the right to vote before we finish a song. That's the rules."


"It is easy to always play by the rules, when you are the one that always has the final say."

Chester stood up from the couch and started wandering around the studio, grabbing his jacket, messenger bag and coffee cup and headed to the door.


 "I think I am gonna leave for today. You don't need me here anyways. You never do. Have a nice day."


Mike jumped from his chair and vigorously pulled Chester back inside on his arm.


"Stop. No. This is not the way we are handling this. Let's talk this out."


"But don't you see, Mike? I don't wanna talk about it. Not anymore. We are always disagreeing. And at the end I am the one giving in, because I don't want you to think I am in your way. Although I know, that many of my suggestions you rejected might have been better than yours, it is always you making the last decisions. Always. But I don't wanna feel like I am not good enough for writing my own lyrics or making my own music. I don't wanna be treated like an employee getting paid 100.000 dollars an hour for sitting around and rubber-stamp all you do. I have enough of this!"




Mike’s POV


I was starring at the studio door Chester just left through, the sound it made when he slammed it shut still resonating in my ears. Taking a deep breath, I let myself fall back into my chair, leaning over the mixing desk and burying my face in my hands. 


This wasn't the first time we were fighting about the song writing process of the new album. 

Although we haven't even started with anything significant yet, the frustration has been a real test of my nerves already.


Ever since the day Chester had broken his leg, we had to deal with his hourly changing mood swings, that could scale from overly enthusiastic, silly bouncing off the walls behavior to sudden outbursts of temper, insulting and accusing me or the other guys of being responsible for his misery, often ending in crying fits and extended apology speeches to everyone.

You could never tell, what he would be like or what was going to happen as soon as he was entering the studio, leaving alone all of the business meetings, where he sometimes managed to embarrass all of the attendants by telling inappropriate jokes or snapping at a bunch of strangers, which in my eyes was simply intolerable.


Over the years we have learned how to handle his unpredictable demeanor and it somehow naturally had become my task to play an important role in taking care and perform damage control, whenever he was about to discredit the band's image in a way - be it accidentally or intentionally.


I became pretty good at balancing out his skittish personality and developed an excellent sense of how to compromise without giving up on my opinion, but without him feeling overlooked either. 


Being completely honest, it wasn't particularly hard to pull his strings, for he was actually always striving for harmony nevertheless and I had to admit that the fact he still had a very hard crush on me was sure helping a lot as well. 


I couldn't help the smile flashing over my face by that thought or the tingling sensation briefly running through my insides. Although we ended things years ago, I could clearly tell, that he never was fully able to let go of his feelings for me.


Back then, whenever there was a disagreement or argument between us I almost always was able to fix it by showing him an extra amount of appreciation on whatever it was I knew he was feeling insecure about.


Often it already helped to compliment him on the outfit he picked out for an interview or show or to reassure him how great his voice sounded during a sound check. Other times he was begging for physical contact, so I was hugging and touching him more often during a performance. And sometimes, when he was really frustrated, I ended up French kissing him against the wall in a dark corner of the venue’s backstage area or making out and dry humping him on the floor of my hotel room. My breathing got heavier as I was vividly recalling the memory of how his hand used to feel around my dick and mine on his, while we were getting each other off...


"Fuck, no! Not now! Focus!" I scolded myself, forcing down the rising arousal between my legs.


Fucking Chester wouldn't solve the problem now anyways. Besides he probably wouldn't even let me screw him anymore, because he had become more and more distant recently.

At least I had nothing to reproach myself for, because I have been extremely patient with him for being the pain in the ass he used to be. I've tried everything I could to cater to his complaints - sweet talking, ignoring and even threatening him. I have been excluding him from many things, to make sure he could figure out how to come to terms with and rehab his injury.


What else was I supposed to do?


Label's management was already breathing down our necks, because we didn't deliver enough useful material in due time. Of course they wouldn't simply terminate the contract for they knew Linkin Park was after all the pick of the bunch, when it came to record sales, merchandise and sold-out concert tickets, but we had to fulfil conditions. 

The Hunting Party was the first one of our studio albums not hitting number one in the US Charts. And although it didn't destroy my self-confidence, I had to admit to myself, that this fact still felt like a major personal defeat. This was one of the reasons I needed the new album to be better at all costs. And everyone of the guys was ready to give their best, except for Chester.


I realized we've been hitting a wall in the lyric writing process with him early on and of course I already had a plan how to steer the ship in another direction. I didn't tell anyone but Brad, that I reached out to some external professional songwriters and vocal coaches to help us work on a neutral basis, hoping Chester would contain himself and his emotional outbursts when we got to involve people coming from outside the band - almost like a couple’s counseling, when the partners needed help from a third party to set their arguments in perspective. But I also knew, that as soon as I would bring the idea up to Chester, he was going to entirely freak out. And the conceivable consequence of it was what has been causing me sleepless nights and panic attacks for weeks.


What if he's been serious?

What if he would actually leave this time?


"There's no other choice."


I reached into the pocket of my jeans and pulled out my phone, dialing the number of the only person I knew who could support me now. I was clearing my throat, the line getting connected after the fourth ringing.


"Hello?"


"Hi, T. It's Mike. Are you free to talk? Chester's not with you, right? Okay, good. Listen we might have a serious problem and I need you to help me out."




Chester’s POV


The elderly, Pakistan Uber driver was obnoxiously talkative, so I kept my eyes rigidly pinned on the screen of my smartphone, occasionally responding with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. I’d never been a huge social media person. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat. Followers, viewers, friends. All that didn’t mean anything to me. Social Media… more anti-social media. Just another clear evidence how depraved this whole world had become. But maybe I was wrong on that. Maybe I was just angry and tired and over all frustrated. I knew these gloomy emotions very well and the dark place they would lead me to.


Social media had been on the agenda of one of the last business meetings. Once more I’d gotten admonished to be more active; more visible and like always I’d just nodded and smiled, promising my bandmates, the management and the public relations team to mend my ways.


As I scrolled down my Instagram feed without even looking, I felt the aversion for the superficiality of social media. Insignificant, smiling faces. Humongous lies. Nothing else.


My heart skipped a beat, when the biggest lie of all caught my eye, as I refreshed my feed. m_shinoda had just spit out a new post. His silky hair creased by big headphones, as he was standing in the recording room. It was an old photo taken a couple of weeks ago, but he’d posted it as if it had just been snapped today. He wanted to show the world how great the work on the new record was proceeding. We had spent hours in the studio today with absolutely nothing on our hands now, but another argument, more hurt feelings and irreparable mutilation to our relationship. All together another wasted day, but the world would never get to know that.


I couldn’t get my eyes to look away from the photo. Parenthetically reading the caption, I remembered, when Brad had taken the picture and that it was supposed to look like a quick snapshot, when it actually had taken Mike fifteen minutes of preparation in front of the mirror and half a can of hairspray to get his fucking perfect, raven mane in that specific shape, so it wouldn’t look to compressed under the headphones, but still naturally voluminous.


What had happened to the awkwardly insecure nerd with the thick glasses, he once was? Life? No, success! Over the last years the person I used to know had faded away. Slowly at first; faster with the increase of popularity and income. The shy, sweet man with the warm chocolate eyes was gone now; erased, replaced by a tyrant, whose throne of lies had only room for one. The only thing that hadn’t changed was his beauty. It even had increased in the same degree his ego had.


I hated myself for giving in to my sentimental emotions, but from time to time, I couldn’t help it. Working with him had never been easy. His deep voice, the full lips, his hands. All that would always distract me. Knowing how these lips tasted and how these hands felt on my body hadn’t help at all, when we’d added a physical component to our friendship. But all that had been over for years now. Life had left us with no other choice.


While the lights of the city were flying by, I again felt that certain discomfort. Creeping up my legs and down my arms, I knew, that it was caused by the frustration at work. I never thought, that I would come to a point where I hated my job. What I’d always loved about my career, was that making music brought me joy, more than anything else. Lately it was nothing but hard, unsatisfying work. But maybe that was my own fault. Most of the time, I was angry. Angry at Mike; at the other guys for always taking his side, for telling me what to do and how to behave, as if I was a child or – even worse – a grown man out of his mind.


Completely lost in my thoughts, I didn’t notice that the car approached the gated apartment complex I was staying in with my wife and sometimes my kids, whenever my job brought me to Los Angeles. The management had rented the apartment for me. Commuting from Phoenix more than five times a week was terribly inconvenient. Probably that was not the only reason.

In previous meetings the management had suggested, I should move to LA permanently. Things would just be so much easier with all band members living close to each other again. I didn’t like that prospect at all, other than my wife. Talinda had always been fascinated by the city of angels and had tried to convince me over the past years to move back to California, but I was just a boy from Phoenix. Compared to LA my hometown was quiet and cozy. I’d made up my mind, that I didn’t want to relocate, but in the meetings I told the management that I was currently searching for a family home outside the city, just to keep them satisfied.


“Here we are”, the driver said in a friendly voice, as I reached into the pocket of my pants to give him a tip.


“Thank you!” His quick response. As I opened the door, he took a breath. “Staring on that smart phone all the time is not good for your eyes and your back, my son.”


His words had been kind, nevertheless I felt a wave of anger rolling over me. I had to bite my tongue to not tell him, to mind his own fucking business. Instead I smiled kindly and closed the door behind me.


*


The sound of the huge TV in the living room was almost on maximum level, because Talinda was blow-drying her hair and she didn't want to miss anything from her favorite Reality Show.

She enjoyed being all alone in their new apartment. With the kids not even here in California, but staying at home with their grandparents during this spring break season, she could fully take advantage of her free time and turning it into an all spa day experience.


All she has been doing today, was getting up after Chester left for work this morning, having a small breakfast, work out and gossiping on the phone with her friends, making plans to meet up for typical LA activities during the next few days. She loved being in Los Angeles so much. 


The city's spirit was always lifting her mood, because it made her feel like that wife of a rock star she was and not like the anonymous, nameless mother of three she used to be in their Arizona neighborhood.


Shopping at exclusive designer outlets on Rodeo Drive, dining in five star restaurants, getting her hair done by the most expensive hairdressers in town was what actually was bringing her the most joy in life and all she had to do in return was looking pretty and keeping her husband happy.


Although this wasn't an easy task sometimes, especially recently, because his mood swings were kicking in more frequently and more intensively than usual, so she needed to add some additional pages from her mind game catalogue to her actions to make him feel worthy and loved, despite everything.


This fact alone, encouraged her to feel like she deserved all of the glittering gifts her life style had to offer, rewarding all of her efforts.


She was just sitting down on the couch, taking another quick sip from the glass of sparkling wine, she opened this morning and only didn't miss the incoming call, because she casually glanced to the coffee table in front of her, the smartphone sat on and recognized its display's regular blinking.


Turning off her hairdryer she answered the call, without looking at the number or name, her eyes still resting at the TV screen.


T: "Hello?"


M: "Hi, T. It's Mike. Are you free to talk? Chester's not with you, right?"


T: "No. He's not. Why..."


M: "Okay, good. Listen we might have a serious problem and I need you to help me out."


T: "Did something happen? I thought you guys were supposed to be in the studio all day." She could hear Mike audibility groaning.


M: "Yeah. Well, we were. But we had a little disagreement and he...he simply left." Now Talinda was highly alarmed, she muted the TV and sat up straight on her couch. 


T: "What does this mean?"


M: "To put it in a nutshell, he has been accusing me of not giving him enough freedom and participation in the album making process. Which is of course not as dramatic as he made it look like. But you know how much he tends to take things personal lately." Mike's loud laughter floated through the line and although Talinda knew that this wasn't a sign of delight, but simply a way to hide his obvious anger, she couldn't help but to join in.


T: "Yes. He's maybe a little peppery these days." She giggled but also could feel an uncomfortable heat creeping down her spine and her face getting warm. Hearing how much trouble Chester was causing Mike made her feel utterly embarrassed for her husband.


M: "Right? And there is absolutely NO reason for that. All I wanna do is just to help him out and make the work for all of us in the band as joyful and effective as possible."


T: "I know you are always doing your best to find a way to deal with him on reasonable and respectful terms. I am so sorry, that he's been so much out of his mind."


M: "Sure. But the thing is this: I believe that this time it wasn't simply a temporary emotional outburst. I think it might be far worse."


T: "How worse?"


M: "I am afraid if we don't do anything to stop him, he will quit the band for good."


T: "Quit?" she squealed in a dramatic high-pitched voice and almost knocked down the half empty champagne flute in front of her. 


T: "Are you sure? I mean..."


M: "Unfortunately, I have all reasons to believe that he's been serious. He didn't say it literally, but I know him good enough to tell that he probably made up his mind about it already. I don't think I have to give you much of a specific description about the consequences this decision would entail." Talinda swallowed hard, got up from the couch and started to nervously run around the living room.


T: "This, this is...oh my god. Mike, I promise you that this is not going to happen. Just...tell me what you want me to do. I do anything I can to make him change his mind."


M: "I want you to talk to him. Make it perfectly clear of what quitting the band would actually mean. What it will to do your marriage and the kids and his extended family.

Remind him that the financial success won't come as easy when he's going to only make solo projects for a living. He experienced this before with Dead by Sunrise. Underline his responsibility for the other guys in the band, the employees at the label and all of his professional and also private relationships.

You could also express your concern about that this may cause you to lose Anna as a friend.

But be careful with not pressuring him too much. Don't adduce all of the points at once. Test the waters first to see, what it is that bothers him the most. If he's specifically complaining about me, show support. Agree with him what a terrible person I am. It often does the trick when he's feeling guilty. We need him to be in a state of insecurity. You know what I mean?"


She sat back on the couch again and crossed her legs. 


T: "I guess, yes."


M: "I really need you to be convincing or we are all screwed."


T: "Yes, excatly! Listen, I gotta go. Bye!"


*


Chester opened the door, his hands shaking, as he turned the key around. The driver’s comment had made him angrier than he first thought. He was fed up with people telling him what to do or how to behave. Everybody seemed to know what was best for him. The constant patronization was a permanent pain in the neck that made him feel belittled.


As he entered the pre-furnished three-bedroom apartment that still had the smell of bleach and other cleaning solutions, like only a new home could have, he heard the voice of his wife. She was talking on the phone, lowering her voice, as she noticed, that she was not longer by herself.


“T, I’m home.” Chester said, looking casually through a stack of letters, that was laying on the small table next to the door.


Moments passed and when he still didn’t get a response he walked into the kitchen. Talinda was sitting on the couch in the attached living room, wearing a bathrobe, her legs crossed and her hair still a little damp. She must have taken a shower.


“Yes, exactly.” Talinda looked up, her brown eyes restlessly moving between her husband and the door. “Listen, I gotta go. Bye.” She hung up the phone, that was turned on speaker mode, without giving the person on the other end of the line a chance to respond and placed it on the coffee table. The black screen reflected the movements flickering on the muted television.


“What was that about?”, Chester asked, his eyebrows raised in confusion.


“Nothing. How was your day, babe?” The woman stood up, greeting her husband with a casual kiss on the cheek, her eyes still agitated, as if the deep brown irises were hiding a secret.

Chester felt like something was off, but he couldn’t quite lay his finger on it. “Nothing? Who were you talking to?”


“Seriously, babe, no one.” She smiled. “It was just a spam call. Where do you wanna go eat?”

He couldn’t fight the feeling that his wife was lying to him, as he took off his jacket and placed it on the couch.


“Bad habits, die hard, don’t they?”, she said clearing her throat indignantly, because of her husband’s manner of throwing his close, wherever he took them off. She gave him a harsh look but sweetened it with a light smile, to show him that she was just teasing him. After picking up the black denim jacket, she went to the hall, to store it neatly in the corridor wardrobe, next to her brand new buckskin coat.


As she left the room Chester was still irritated about the phone call he walked in on and the woman’s strange behavior resulting from it. His eyes spotted Talinda’s smart phone. It would have been easy to find out, who she was talking to. A few quick hand movements and he would have known. Her phone was password protected, but he knew the code. It was the date they met; a combination of digits, that nobody else could know, except for Ryan, who introduced them to each other back in 2005. Talinda was almost paranoid about protecting her family’s privacy after an incident with an insane stalker a couple years ago. Between her and her husband, though, were no secrecies. Usually. And because Chester had never had a reason to check his wife’s phone, he hadn’t crossed that line yet. He presumed, that she wouldn’t even care. There were no secrets in their relationship and after more then ten years they knew the best and the worst of each other. Many people looked through their significant other’s phones. It was an act of curiosity that came naturally with modern time’s technology.


Chester set down on the couch his eyes locked to his wife’s phone, that laid unprotected in front of him.


“Do you want to try that one Sushi place, Anna recommended?” Startled by Talinda’s high voice resounding from the hallway, he reconsidered his thoughts about violating her privacy. No wonder everyone was treating him like a child, for the ridiculous demeanor he had developed lately. Spying on the one person he trusted with his life – the only friend he seemed to had left – was pathetic and immature.


“Sure, babe.”


But on the other hand, her behavior was suspicious. And with one fast movement, like a frog catching a delicious fly, Chester picked up the phone, not more than six figures away from finding out what he so desperately wanted to know. He typed in the date that he knew by heart, but the small device denied him access. His fingers automatically repeated the number combination, but the phone still remained locked. He was confused and as he heard his wife walking back into the living room, he quickly placed her phone back on the table.


“Okay, then let me get dressed. I bet, you’re hungry. I am starving.” She came closer to gently brush her manicured fingers over Chester’s short hair. A gesture that was absolutely typical for her. Although he tried really hard to hold back the words, they just rolled out of his mouth.


“Did you change the password on your phone?”


Only for a second she seemed caught, before her frown changed into a cold, angry beam. “Did you try to check my phone, Chester?”


“Well, looks like I have good reason to do so.” His voice got louder with every syllable he spat out.


“No, you don’t! I warn you! Don’t. Ever. Do. This. Again.”


“Who was on the phone, Talinda?” Chester was yelling know. His wife had a secret and it must have had something to do with him. Otherwise she would’ve just told him.


“I told you, it was a spam call! I get tones of those.” She remained calm, her voice firm and severe, while her eyes were looked to his, with a spark of anger shimmering back at Chester.


“Then go ahead and show me the number! Let’s give that spammer a call back!” He reached for the phone, but his wife was faster. She picked up the device to press it protectively against her chest.


“No! You’re embarrassing yourself!”


“I am embarrassing myself?! You’re clearly hiding something from me!” Aggressively bawling, he moved closer to her focusing her face with a wild stare.


“Chester! The neighbors might hear you!”


“Fuck them! And fuck you!” He was breathing heavily as he started to cry.


Her eyes widened in dismay, but she again remained calm. She knew his husband’s temper and had dealt with a lot of terrible outbursts in the last couple of weeks. Going toe-to-toe with him, when he was in that dark place, wouldn’t solve the problem. The only arrow in her quiver was to calm him as quick as possible by distracting him, before he would completely lose it.

“Babe, what is that all about? You are completely overreacting. I bet you haven’t eaten since breakfast.” He stayed silent and Talinda knew her efforts were working.


“Was it a tough day in the studio again? Did you get in another argument with him?”


As she mentioned Mike, Chester looked away, a deep shadow darkening his eyes. She was right. It had been a hard day. A long, frustrating, physically and emotionally draining day.


“Babe, screw him!” Her voice was soft. Very careful, as if she was trying to pet a wild animal, she lifted her hand slowly to caress his head again before brushing her fingers down his neck. “He’s nothing but a pathetic, narcissistic asshole.” The reluctance of talking about Mike in that manner, made itself felt as a tight knot of guilt in her guts. Mike was simply amazing and Talinda knew, that her husband would have been nothing without his overly talented, hardworking friend. The two of them had always been as different as day and night. Whenever Chester was about to lose track, Mike would push him in the right direction. In deed, Talinda was beyond grateful, but right know the only thing, that could calm her husband down, was a common enemy. And since she knew how bitter things had been between the two vocalists lately, she could use that easily for her case.


“No, he is brilliant.” Chester’s tired voice was a clear sign, that he was giving in. Talinda had pulled his strings the way she wanted to. Time to finish off her plan with some sweet-talking.

“He might be, but that doesn’t mean he is a good person. Other than you. You are brilliant and kind-hearted.”


“I am nothing.”


“You know, that that’s not true, babe.” Her warm smile was carried by her personal triumph. Depressed Chester was a lot easier to handle then angry Chester. Everybody who knew him was aware of that.


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TBC

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