LPfiction

Category Linkin Park

Slip by Emma Shinoda

Slip

A/N:


Hello and long time no see LPF peeps. It's only been *checks notes* about three years since I've been active here, but my love for this place always pulls me back. If you'd like a boring life update, it's in my profile. Otherwise, on with the story. My writing skills are a little rusty, so I thought I'd shake it off with something short and sweet.


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"Thank you! You guys are awesome!"


Mike hollers at the crowd, the final chords of the encore still lingering in the air.


"It's such an honor," he continues, "playing in front of the Linkin Park fan base every night. But it's even better that I get to share the stage with my five brothers."


He beams with pride as he talks, but your attention has shifted from his chatter. You take in the crowd, eating up his words with such intimate fondness. The rest of your band mates look so proud, smiling and soaking in the affection. Even the crew behind the curtains are grinning uncontrollably. It's a true Kodak moment.


Despite this, you can't muster a genuine smile. You know it must look forced and awkward, but you're helpless to change it. It's that word that's tripping you up. Brothers.


You don't know anymore, if what you feel for Mike is familial, or something else entirely. But either way, the word doesn't sit right with you.


Once Mike wraps up his speech you step forward, slinging your arm around his shoulders while waving to the crowd one last time. In that moment you feel peaceful, yet troubled beyond reason. You shy away from the embrace immediately, looking the other way when you feel his sideways glance on you.


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It's been two days since you last touched Mike. There's confused tension in the air, as you're sure everyone has noticed.


You and Mike are sharing a hotel room tonight, and you're doing everything possible to avoid a serious conversation.


Returning to the room from your fourth trip for ice, the click of the door shutting behind you resonates loudly enough to push you to the brink of insanity. Mike is no longer watching tv like when you left. He's sitting on his bed; legs crossed, chin in his hand, staring at the blank screen. Your breath hitches. You know something significant is coming.


"Chester?"


"Yeah?" You mumble, setting down the ice and taking a seat at the opposite end of the room.


"Why?"


There's no need for elaboration - you both know exactly what he means.


"I'm sorry. I'm not trying to be cold, I'm just worn out."


He considers this a moment. Neither of you buys the excuse, but he accepts it with a nod, switching the tv back on.


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Later that night, Mike announces he's going to take a shower. You grunt in response, not taking your eyes off your phone. You're almost finished with the text you're composing when a shirt goes flying across the room. You glance up in time to see it land in an open suitcase. You also catch a brief glimpse of tan skin before Mike shuts the bathroom door behind him.


A shudder runs down your spine, for reasons you can't rationalize. Tossing the phone aside, you flop down on the bed and begin to convince yourself that you're being ridiculous. Nothing has changed. You're lonely on a long tour and your imagination is blowing small things out of proportion.


This conclusion is satisfying enough that you allow yourself to relax for the first time in days, sinking into the mattress and slipping your eyes closed. But of course, it doesn't last long.


The shower turns on, and you hear a satisfied moan from Mike as the hot water hits his back. You jolt upright, alarm bells going off inside your head. Scrambling to your feet, you holler to Mike that you're going for ice, barely getting the words out before the door shuts behind you. You're halfway down the hall before you realize you've forgotten the ice bucket.


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The sudden eruption of laughter is enough to rattle your brain, but you don't mind. The band is crowded into the bus, headed to Detroit, or Chicago, or some other city where you'll be performing tomorrow. You're all gathered around a table, playing cards and polishing off your third bottle of tequila. Everything is beginning to feel normal again.


When Brad almost falls off his chair reaching for the dice, the room bursts into another fit of spastic laughter, which you're more than pleased to partake in. The high pitched giggle that escapes Mike only when he's drunk just fuels your joy.


One by one the others retreat to their bunks to pass out, until it's just you and Mike; dealing cards, rolling dice, and making the rules up as you go.


About a half hour later, you sink into the couch in a fit of elated exhaustion. Mike plops down next to you and immediately cuddles up, resting his head on your shoulder. Your muscles tense for a brief moment before relaxing into the contact. You reach an arm around Mike's waist, and a contented sigh passes through his parted lips in response.


"I really love you Ches, I hope you know that."


"I love you too, Mikey." You smile, pressing a featherlight kiss to the top of his head.


You're not sure what type of love either of you is expressing, but in this moment it really doesn't matter.


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This is it. The music has faded and the fans are cheering. You've just finished the final show of the tour. Now it's your turn to address the crowd.


"Well, this was it guys, the last show! It sucks that it's over, but we'll be back soon and better than ever!" The crowd screams at your words. "Thank you for your unending support, guys. Linkin Park has the best fucking fans in the world!"


Another roar, this time deafening. Mike appears next to you, and despite all the noise you still catch his throaty chuckle. He waves to the crowd, a beaming smile plastered on his face. His arm around you feels like home.


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You're forced into a momentary squint. After spending eight hours on an airplane, the sunlight pouring down on you is a bit jarring. Taking a few quick steps, you duck into the airport, where you're able to open your eyes fully.


The whole building looks depressing, though that could just be the fact that it reminds you that you're home. Sure, it will be fantastic to see your family and sleep in your own bed again. But the trade off - not seeing Mike every day as you've become so accustomed to - is more than a little unnerving.


Your suitcase is already waiting when you arrive at the baggage claim. You frown, wondering why the airport only runs on time when you're hoping it will be late.


You can feel Mike's eyes on you. "Are you gonna stare at that bag all day? Come on!" He chides you.


You grab it and roll your eyes, feeling a small grin work its way onto your face.


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Your luggage has been packed into your respective cars, and now you and Mike stand in the parking lot like lovesick teenagers not wanting to say goodbye.


This moment has always been a bit tough, but Mike seems to sense your extra hesitation today.


"Let's hang out again soon, yeah? Catch a movie, maybe talk some new music."


"Yeah," you smile, "Sounds good."


He holds out his arms, offering an embrace which you gladly receive. You nuzzle his neck, inhaling his scent.


Hopefully it will hold you over until the next time.

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