Category Linkin Park

Until It Breaks by LannaLlamas

A/N: So, I originally said I was gonna give up writing, but TrashFoot and I have been non-stop babbling about our brain-eating OTPs and this little fic was born from it.


Brad's life wasn't terribly complicated, but it was terribly dull. Eat, sleep, tour, repeat. The days turn to weeks. The weeks turn to months. The bus began to feel like home, even if it was a dump most of the time. The hotel rooms became a guilty pleasure as the state lines blurred together, and he lost track of wherever they were. One day they were in California, the next Nevada. Then suddenly they were in Florida or Georgia, ready to leave for their overseas sect of the tour from either Atlanta Airport or Miami.

The boredom was the worst part of the tour. They didn't play shows every night, but they sure as hell were always on the move. What made it worse, though, was the abrasion between the band members. Sure, they all got along, but there was an unspoken competition going around, too. Mike and Rob had become too close. Their little words would pollute the night's air before they descended into a mouthful of moans. Brad swore they were doing it to remind him of how pathetic he could be. How he would just have sex instead of finding love. And that made him bitter. They had something that he didn't.

It's two in the morning, now. There's snow outside the hotel window, and Brad tries to remember what state this was. Montana? He didn't know, nor did he want to. This wouldn't last long, anyway. By tomorrow, the names of the city would be forgotten to them all. His thoughts are entranced by the soft knock on his room's door. He had half a mind to think it was Joe and Dave trying to pull another prank on him. Yawning with a roar, he stands from the cheap mattress and greets whoever was up at this ungodly hour.

Standing behind the door was Chester. Brad and he had... a complicated relationship built on no-more than sex. They were both lonely and frustrated. What better than to relieve each other, was their motto the first time they shared a bed together. Now, though, he wasn't so sure. The sex was good. Better, if anything, but something clings subconsciously in Brad's head. Something he can't name, something he can't describe, so he doesn't waste the time. Instead, he just smiles whenever his so-called friend with benefits comes around. He does the same now, as he stands at the door.

"Why're you awake?" Brad asks before letting him in. He didn't need to ask why he was here. His motives had already been burnt into his skin. Or rather, clawed into his skin. Chester had a tendency to be a little more than rough at times. His nails dig streaks of marks against the marble of Brad's skin last time they had their encounter.

"Bad dreams," He says while walking inside. The stale air elopes around him, "I knew you were awake," The Jean jacket draped across his shoulders is discarded and then thrown onto one of the love seats the hotel provides, "I just... need to clear my head."

"I just showered, Ches, we... we can't do it tonight and—"

"I don't wanna do that," He says for the first time. Instead, he comes and sits on the foot of the bed, "I'm too stressed to do that."

"Must be bad," Brad sits next to the singer, leaving a few inches between them to stir away from any sexual innuendo that may sneak in, "What's wrong?" He tries to ask, but before the words can become cohesive, Chester starts to sob.

The tears are hot and leave red marks down his cheek. Rivers of pain flooding down his dermis. Brad wonders for a moment why he has to be the shoulder to cry on. Not that he has a problem with it. No, he'd do anything for Chester. All he had to do was ask. But Brad wasn't the comforting sort. He can give a hug and an ear to rant to, but providing advice for these situations? That was not his specialty, but he at least tries to be the better man here. His bony arms stretch and fold over Chester's body. His ribs shake and quiver as he spits out another sob. Brad pulls him in, letting his shaven head collapse against his chest. The sheets wrinkle around them, even as Brad tries to yank them off the corners to give to Chester.

"What's wrong with me?" Chester whispers through clenched teeth. Brad had many things to say about 'what was wrong,' with him. The drugs, the yelling, the constant need for sex. But Brad doesn't say anything. He squeezes the anorexic body against his own, breathing a sympathetic aura onto him.

"Nothing," Brad finally says. Maybe he wanted to believe it, too. The sobs quiet down and turn to silent sniffles and few and far between hiccups. He continues to caress his singer's head into his chest, rocking them both back and forth in a slow manner. The air bubbles with sickly humidity, letting the sob-filled wind rock back and forth between the walls, "Nothing at all."

Chester moves his head, cocking it upwards to stare at Brad's chocolate eyes, "You're such a bad liar," He says, but at least he smiles. With a gentle hand, he pushes himself off of Brad and sits up back in his adjacent seat, "I need... to... ask you something."

The guitarist becomes aware of his own heart thumping virulently in his chest. His ribs and added muscles clench with a twist of anxiety. That feeling in his subconscious comes by again. It takes hold of him, leaving with a sense of dread and fear, "What?" He asks with a shaky breath.

"How long do you think I have before I OD on heroin or become a washed-up celebrity?"

Brad can't tell if that was a joke of a serious question, so he stares dumbfounded for a moment. His eyes get lost in the hearth-colored irises that Chester possesses before he can even think of an answer. Like a friend, he should say it'll never happen. But with the way things have been turning out. The drugs in the bathrooms, the angry sex in the tour bus when everyone leaves, the way his anger had started to get the best of him. It seemed a feasible reality.

"I dunno," Brad shrugs his shoulders lazily, without care, "Not soon," He adds before muttering the word 'hopefully,' just underneath his breath.

Chester falls into the sheets, wrapping the comforter around his shoulders. He balls his fist tight around a corner of the sheet and uses it to dab his slow-drying tears. This causes the skin of his cheek to rub raw, leaving even angrier red rashes against his marbled skin. Minutes pass by, leaving them with an hour of quiet stares. Dark suitcases stain Chester's eyes, a mix of sleepless nights and the minutes he spent crying. Brad had succumbed and lay next to his friend in the bed, their faces only inches from touching, but neither of them makes a move.

"I need a smoke," Chester breathes, "My head hurts."

"You need sleep," Brad tries to contest, "Just... lay with me," His hands trace the line of his jaw. Chester can't help but smile as his fingertips tickle his skin, "Please."

"I need nicotine—"

"Just chew a cigarette," his voice low as he continues to run his fingers down the porcelain-colored skin, "I won't mind—"

He doesn't listen, though. The bed shifts as Chester sits up and heads for the balcony door. Brad waits for a moment, listens in close as he hears the lighter flick from outside. Then he follows. His heart—or maybe his dick—suades him to join his sexual partner. The cold hits him full force, but the thump in his chest keeps his mind from registering it. Chester leans against the fencing, chewing on the butt of a cigarette as it pumps smoke into the frigid air. Brad goes and sits down on the cemented flooring, his back facing the door, his head staring in Chester's direction.

"Y'know," Chester says. His breath is visible against the cold. Brad cocks a brow unknowingly. The snow settled in the parking lot made time feel at a standstill. It was as if only Chester and he existed at this moment, "You love me, don't you?"

The beat his heart drums picks up in pace. The word he had been looking for; love. Was that what he had been feeling all this time? He wasn't sure what to do; he wasn't sure what to say. The wind comes and caresses his bones, the earth's way of comforting him in such a situation, he thinks.

"What makes you... What..." Words sputter, his eyes dance between Chester's cocky smile and the fleeting snow clouds that silently whisper words of encouragement into his ear.

He opens his mouth to repeat something, to refute Chester's claim. It's cut short, though, as his lips are engulfed by Chester's own. The last breath of smoke mingles inside their two mouths as a kiss silences them. The wind blows past them once again, consolatory to them both. Chester nips at the corner of his interest's lips before disappearing back into the hotel room. He leaves Brad standing breathless in the cold. Left him with even more questions unanswered.

It takes a moment to recollect himself. He heads inside to find the room empty and stale. Chester's cologne lingers for only a second before being diluted by the air conditioning. Unsatisfied with the events, Brad's only option is to sleep. He mutters a pray begging this to be some sort of dream. He can't cope with these feelings. Not with the drowsiness that plagued him now.

In the morning, while waiting for the other band members to rise, he and Chester meet again. He's wearing the same set of clothes from last night, the stench of sweat emits from him as Brad approaches. For a moment, he's convinced it was a dream. Chester doesn't even give a hint towards what had happened last night. Instead, he mutters a good morning before taking a sip of lukewarm coffee.

"I had the weirdest dream," Brad finally speaks up.

Chester visibly rolls his eyes before forcing a kiss, even sloppier than last night's, on the guitarist's lips, "Brad," He breaks away, leaving a savory taste of coffee beans and sugar on his lips, "You're an idiot sometimes," This makes him knit his eyebrows together, "But I love you, regardless."

The rest of the band enters the foyer, and then the band was back on the tour bus. Nothing changed. Rob and Mike cling together in the back, and Joe tries to set up a LAN Halo game, Dave is busy trying to ignore all the commotion while stirring up trouble all the same. The only thing different, though, was Brad and Chester's smiles as they walked hand in hand to the bus.

And now it seemed this tour schedule might've just gotten a bit less boring for Brad's sake.

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