Category Linkin Park

Independence Day by Black_Rose & Devils_little_sister


Description: Going on stage every night had never been a big deal for Mike and Chester. They actually always enjoyed the thousands of admiring pairs of eyes beaming at them mesmerized. But they both knew, that this performance was going to be different. A live stream would be broadcasted all over the world. Every stumble, every messed up line, every note sung off-key, every tear, every painfully obvious glance would be witnessed by millions of fans around the globe. Live and uncut.

Trigger warning: Mentions of use of drugs and psychoactive medication (Xanax)

Disclaimer: The story is 100% fictional and only loosely based on the ITunes festival performance by Linkin Park on July 4th 2011. Mentioned songs and lyrics are not ours.

If you would like to watch the performance, we have the links for you here. The uploads are not ours and the rights might belong to Warner Bros. Records.


Chester singing ‘Rollin’ in the deep’ by Adele:


A/N: You can check out the cover art we created for this story in our profile =)

Also, we are still working on ‘Get me gone’, we just thought we all could use a little break from that hard subject matter =)

Black_Rose about Mike Shinoda

Devils_little_sister about Chester Bennington


Independence Day

Chapter one – Fireworks


You have changed the jacket you decided to wear tonight three times now and when you reach for the fourth one, you don't even look in the mirror of the small dressing room anymore.

Thoughts drifting back to the phone call you only had minutes ago, occupying your mind and clouding your mood.

You still think it was completely unfair and illogical how she reacted and the way she had to put all of her emotional weight onto you, just before a performance, when all you asked from her, was encouragement and support.

'Must be the hormones', you tell yourself, although you hate that this thought even enters your head. This is not the way you are supposed to judge about the situation, but you are simply running out of explanations, why your pregnant wife delivered her mental breakdown, thousands of miles across the ocean, crying and screaming, accusing you of absolutely ridiculous things, that weren't even on your plate at the moment.

"Anna, please. I am sorry I didn't call you earlier. Our plane was delayed, because we had terrible weather forecast. We arrived later than planned, London traffic sucked and we have been in a hurry to get to the venue in time. Now would you calm down and at least wish me luck for the show?"

"This is all you care about, right? You've played hundreds of concerts before. You will be successful with that one too. So stop whining about how stressed you are!"

"But it is different this time. They're recording it for iTunes and it will be broadcasted live. Besides we have this song of Adele we never played before and Chester is nervous about..."


Her voice exploded on the other end of the line and then she simply hung up on you.

'Well, fuck this shit. There's no time calling her back anyways now.'

When you close the beige colored jacket over your black button-down shirt, there's the head of Jim Digby appearing in the doorframe: "It's on gentlemen. Grab your coffee cups, cigarettes, water bottles, headphones or whatever it is to get you in the mood and prepare yourself. We have 25 minutes left."

His voice is only barely getting through the thick membrane surrounding your consciousness, but the one word at least perforating it was 'cigarettes'.

'Hell, yeah! I would kill for one of these now! But I don't think I have any here. Crap!'

You spin around, looking at the other guys, all of them minding their own business, focusing on personal pre-show routines. You open your mouth, but then you stop yourself, quickly closing it again.

'If I ask them, they might start annoying me with stupid questions. I usually don't smoke. Especially not before a show. So this may sound suspicious. And I can't have them bothering me with their nosy comments now.' You almost give up on the thought of a cigarette break, as it suddenly hits you:

"Uhmmm, Jim," you call for the tour manager.


"You mind giving me the keys to the van? I... forgot something in there." You can clearly see him hesitating for a brief moment and giving you a serious look.

"Well, here you go. But don't take too long, Michael. We are hard on schedule." He is tapping at his watch while handing you out the keys, to drive his point home.

"I know, I know. I'll be back immediately." You reassure him, flashing your most charming smile. Then you hurry to your bag and pull out a pink lighter safely storing it into the front pocket of your jeans.

Driven by the thought of getting to the source providing you with some delicious tobacco blessing your throat, you enter the hallway and make your way outside the backdoor to the private parking lot, asking the security guard to leave you alone for a few minutes. You open the black car's slide door and start rummaging through all of the stuff laying inside. When you grab a jacket in the right corner of the backseat and feel something small and quadratic through the fabric, your insides squirm with excitement. You don't even care whose jacket it is when you carelessly toss it back inside, the only thing mattering now the one slim, all brown grit you've pulled from the box. Locking the van and not wasting additional time, you light the cigarette and take a deep drag, filling up your lungs with sweet poison. The taste is unfamiliar though, but you explain it with your long time of abstinence. It has to be for the same reason you begin to feel light-headed already.

Leaning back on the Roundhouse's brick wall, head thrown back facing the sky, you watch the colors changing from purple to dark blue and the first stars rising between the clouds. You wonder how the fireworks will look like over Los Angeles tonight nine hours from now.

When you inhale a second time your head gets dizzy and you can't remember the nicotine ever kicking in that fast and strong. You can't help but laugh, although you don't even know, what exactly it is you find so extraordinary amusing. A third drag and you start talking to yourself aloud:

"Stupid Anna. She looks like an air balloon and that's why she is mad at me. Because I don't touch her anymore. I wonder if one day she will simply fly away, when I open the window."

And with that image of red faced angry balloon Anna in your mind, you are losing it - a hysterical conniption floating through your entire body, causing you to bend over simultaneously giggling and coughing. You can't stop until you are running out of air, forcefully kneeling down on the hard asphalt, you hit your fist against your chest a few times, the fits of laughter slowly fading away while you are heavenly panting. You don't feel you have the power to get up yet again so you simply stay on the ground, embracing your upper body, hurting from the physical effort it took to lose and gain back control over yourself.


You don't even know if the voice you just heard calling out your name was real or just coming from your imagination, so you decide to ignore it. Then you hear footsteps fast approaching towards you and a hand laying on your shoulder softly shaking and squeezing it. You turn your head to see Chester kneeling next to you, a concerned look on his face.

"Mike, are you okay?"

Instead of answering his question, you take your time to study his appearance, gazing from the curly hair, to the deep hazel eyes and the clear alabaster skin, finally lingering on those inviting lips, hanging slightly open, the pink dip of his tongue visible behind the front of his teeth.

"These plugs look good on you. They're sparkling." Is all you can come up with as you reach out with your pointing finger touching the black and silver jewelry in his earlobes.

"Dude, what happened to you? Your eyes are red and you smell like pot." Chester's laughing until you can see his expression changing, the color draining from his face as he is picking up the rest of the grit next to you on the ground.

"Mike, where did you get this from?" He is holding out the still gleaming cigarette butt in front of you his voice calm, but carrying an undeniable tense with it.

"I... found it." You don't even attempt to sound convincing and of course Chester's raised eyebrow is telling you he's not buying it.

"Jim told me you wanted to grab something from the van. Now obviously this it what you've been looking for."

"I just wanted something to smoke, man. Thankfully you or someone else brought this shit along with you. I would have been fucked otherwise." You watch Chester taking a sharp sniff on the stub and you can tell how much he's battling not taking a drag himself.

"They're are not mine. Those aren't ordinary ciggys. It looks like they are roll-your-own ones. I bet they belong to Bourdie. That is why they have such an... impact on you."

Following a sudden urge, you let yourself fall clumsy around the singer's neck, all of your weight impending to take both of you down:

"You won't tell him, right? Come on don't be a dick. Let's keep it our little secret." Your faces painfully close now, you lean over only inches away from getting skin contact with the other man, whispering into his ear: "Promise."

You can feel the vocalist arms closing around your back and how the warmth is radiating from his body. Sitting there in silence hugging each other, smelling Chester's cologne, sensing how the muscles in his back tense by your touch, you wish you could just call the show off, go back to the hotel, take him with you...like you did years ago. When everything was easy...

"Okay. I swear. Just let's go back inside again. We're running out of time. Can you help me a little with getting you up?"

"I'll try my best."

He's pulling one of your arms over his shoulder and a hand around your waist, supporting you to get up. As soon as you've managed to stay on your feet, you get pressed against the wall, Chester holding you tight on your arms, laboredly breathing.

"Thanks, buddy."

"No problem. I mean, you gained a lil weight since the last time I lifted you up, but I can handle that", he says, a sassy smirk on his lips and you can't help but answer with a playfully offended tone in your voice:

"Well, that must have been a loooong time ago. Compared to back then, I am skinny as a rake nowadays."

"I think it doesn't matter how much you weigh. Every shape compliments you."

He smiles at you and brushes off the dirt from your clothes, completely unaware of how much these words had just affected you.

"Hey Chaz, can you imagine Anna as a life-sized flying rubber ball? I wonder if she would pop when someone would prick her with a pin. You know like...poof!", another snorting laugh escapes you, Chester amusingly shaking his head in response.

"What's this all about anyways? You wanna talk about it?"

"No. Not anymore I think."

"You are sure you're alright?"

"I am getting better."

You reach to your forehead and then rub your eyes.

"How long do you think I have to deal with the res..resid..residual? God damnit!"

"I don't know exactly, but you sure will still be under the influence when our first song starts."


"And it might be better we get you some sunglasses, because you sure will experience sensitivity to light for a while."

"I see you know what you are talking about, Mr. Bennington."

"At least that's one thing I am good at," he says shrugging his shoulders a darkness fleetingly overshadowing his features.

"Hey. Why would you say something like that? You are good at many things."

"Yeah sure. Such as singing, I know. But I probably will completely fuck up this Adele song tonight anyways."

"We've talked about this before and you are going to be great. I know you will."

Your heart is stinging, witnessing the sudden mood swing in your friend's behavior, the irresistible urge to comfort him overwhelming you.

"It's not the vocal challenge alone, you know? The lyrics are more complicated for me, emotionally." He pauses and you can see him struggling to hold back the words, that are about to rise at the surface, his view dropping down to his feet. "I... don't know if I can do this."

When he's looking back at you, there are tears pricking in the corners of his eyes and you can't tell if it is the substance still pervading your brain or the frustration about your wife's phone call and the fact that you won't be home to celebrate the 4th of July tonight or how mesmerizing beautiful Chester is looking in the twilight of the parking lot's illumination or maybe all of it, that causes you to cup his face with both of your hands and pull it close to you, fireworks exploding in your head and stomach as your lips are meeting his.

Eyes closed you are waiting for him to respond, for his turn to increase the pressure against your mouth and melt deeper into the kiss...but nothing happens.

You carefully open your eyes to find him starring at you, his eyes no longer wet, but his facial expression covered in sheer panic.

"Why did you do this?" Slowly moving backwards, his voice is clearly shaking as he speaks.

"I... thought you might like it," you answer almost matter-of-factly, baffled by the unexpected rejection.

"Like what? Like how you are torturing me even more?"

His reaction confuses you, the tender feelings you just had moments before slowly changing into something else and your voice is getting louder:

"Torturing you? It was a kiss for heaven's sake, how would that be torture?"

"Are you fucking kidding me?" Chester's equally loud voice is shouting back at you. "Did you seriously, I mean seriously, forget everything what happened the last time we kissed?"

"The last time?" you slowly repeat.

"You really don't remember, don't you?"

"No...I... this was a while ago."

"How lucky you are being able to let go of the past that easily. But guess what? I can't." He trembles and his voice is breaking tearfully.

"Chester I didn't mean to..."

"Fuck you, Shinoda."

And with that he's running past you back inside the building.

"Holy shit. What happened?" Dylan, the security guy, is asking you when you enter the hallway of the venue, the bright ceiling light, dazzling you. You are quickly dismissing him, that everything's fine and you just felt a little sick, but feeling much better now, which couldn't be more far away from the truth. Before you enter the dressing room you take a deep breath. 'Get your shit together.' Then you open the door and Brad's the first one jumping right into your face.

"Where the hell have you been? Mike? What's wrong with you? Chester, what happened?"

"Braaaaaaaad", you step in front of the guitarist, putting your hands on his shoulders.

"I am FANTASTIC! I had a little panic attack, evolving into a mental meltdown, but thanks to our baby drummer here, I feel much better now." You're pointing at Rob, who's looking back at you, in shocked surprise as suddenly all eyes in the room starring right at him.

"Me? What did I do?", he's asking, with a high-pitched voice, his face blushing. But before you can answer, Jim is preemptively interrupting the conversation:

"Okay. That's it. We have 8 minutes left. Everyone gathering backstage. Now!"

"Just a second." You hurry to your bag and grab your sunglasses.

In the pre-show-huddle Chester's not taking his usual position next or opposite to you. He's standing between Joe and Brad and you can't see his face, while you are barely listing to Dave's motivation speech for tonight and Jim's last minute instructions. As the first notes of The Requiem are starting to play and Joe is entering the stage, the audience screaming and going wild already, you tell yourself that everything is going to be okay. Anna will be watching the broadcast live and see you. And after the show you could call her again, cleaning up the mess you made. And with Chester maybe things would be going to be alright even sooner. You had quarrels with him before. Although you can't remember one that ended up that badly, the adrenaline and stress during a performance usually helped to reliably extinguish all of the previous frustrations.

The audience is getting louder as the interlude of The Radiance is resounding through the hall and you feel the familiar excitement kicking in moments before getting up on stage.

'Everything will be okay.'

Then you take a look at your hands holding the microphone and you recognize that your wedding ring is missing and Chester next to you, humming a melody and singing under his breath:

"We could have it all. Rolling in the deep."



Thanks for reading! Let us know what you think of accidently stoned Mikey =)

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