LPfiction

Category Linkin Park

Of Toasters and Divorces by Death_by_Yaoi

Untitled

A/N: Not my best fic, I'll grant you, but I won't apologize for it. It's pretty good. Review if you like or want to offer constructive criticism!





Chester Bennington was not happy. No, not happy at all. In fact, you could go so far as to say he was depressed, though he had no idea why.


Okay, well, the fact that Samantha had left him might have something to do with it. Had left him for another man, even. Another man that she’d apparently “been seeing” for the last five months of their marriage.


That’s what she’d told him right after she’d asked for a divorce, anyway. That she’d “been seeing” someone else. He hadn’t gotten that, not the first time.


“I’ve been seeing other people too,” he’d remarked, confused. “I saw Phoenix and Brad this morning, and I’m supposed to have lunch with Joe tomorrow. I don’t--”


“Chester,” and she’d looked pained then, as if she were explaining to a little kid that there wasn’t any Santa Claus, “Chester, honey, that’s not what I mean. I mean I’ve been.....well, seeing someone else. A man, to be exact.”


It had hit him then, the realization of what she was trying to say, but he wasn’t shocked. Not even hurt, really. Just disgusted. Disgusted that she hadn’t told him sooner. Disgusted that she’d told him at all. Disgusted that she could give what she’d done a nice little euphemism instead of being blunt about it. God, disgusted that she could do what she’d done and still call him honey.


He’d always hated that pet name.


“Oh,” he’d said loudly. Too loudly, considering that they’d been in a rather expensive, crowded restaurant at the time. “You mean that you’ve been cheating on me. Sleeping around. Having sex with someone else. Is that it?”


Sam’s face had heated up as people at other tables glanced their way, offended or interested. “Honey, please don’t make a scene.”


Honey.


“Please don’t call me that,” he’d countered, standing up and shrugging into his coat. “You’ve got your divorce.”


They’d tried to do it quickly and quietly, though, inevitably, the media found out about it in time to make the court case a living hell. He hadn’t given any comments, but he had spotted Sam, new sucker at her side, talking to a reporter. He could only imagine what a field day the tabloids had had with whatever she’d told them, because he refused to read the paper for weeks afterward, lest he find some mention of the event.


He didn’t want to read about it. He didn’t want to think about it. He only wanted to forget, to bury the entire ordeal under a heap of righteous anger and close it off in some dusty, unused sector of his mind.


The only problem with that, he mused ruefully, was that he wasn’t angry with Sam. Not really. He didn’t have the right to be. After all, she wasn’t the only one who’d cheated. She was just the only one who’d had the guts to be honest about it.


‘What you did doesn’t count as cheating,’ one part of his mind insisted stubbornly, but Chester shook his head, silencing the voice. It counted. He knew it did. Even if he hadn’t so much as touched another person in anything but a platonic way, he knew it counted.


In fact, if you wanted to get technical, he was the one who’d cheated the most. She’d only given in to lust and formed a relationship that might last a few months, if she was lucky. He’d gone and fallen in love, deep in love at that, with someone he could never have. And he’d lied to Sam about their sham of a marriage a helluva lot longer than she’d been willing to. How many times had he said he loved her and not meant it? Hundreds, he was sure. How many times had he woken up to her face and wished it were someone else? At least as many. How many times had he had to bite his tongue to keep from crying out another name while they were making love?


Chester’s head dropped into his hands, and he sighed. So, no anger. Guilt, yes, enough guilt to last him a lifetime. But no anger.


If he could just get out and do something, he was sure he’d feel better. Go out and party and drown his sorrows and what have you. Maybe it would ease some of the guilt to have a little fun. Not having any fun sure as hell wasn’t helping. But that idea had been killed by his friends almost as soon as it was born.


“Go out?!” Rob had exclaimed, staring at him as if he’d suddenly sprouted another head. “Are you crazy?”


“Of course you aren’t going out,” Joe had chimed in. “You have to heal first.”


“No, no, I’m all healed, I swear,” he’d tried to explain. “I just want to--”


“Don’t be stupid,” Phoenix had interrupted. “You have to stay here and recuperate. Being around too many people wouldn’t be good for you right now. You need time to lick your wounds.”


“What I need is to get piss-drunk and have wild, debauched sex.”


From across the room, he’d caught Mike trying to bite back a grin and failing utterly, and the sight both elated and depressed him at the same time. Elated because it was a beautiful smile and it lightened his burden of guilt, if only for a moment. Depressed because it was one of the reasons he had the burden to begin with. Some others being Mike’s laugh and Mike’s eyes and Mike’s kindness and the way Mike always smelled like musk and chocolate, okay, yeah, Mike in general.


He hadn’t seen it coming at all. Hadn’t expected anything of the kind to happen. In fact, when it began, he hadn’t even given it a second thought. After all, things were bound to get a little twisted when you spent more time on the road with your buddies than at home with your wife. You were bound to develop a certain closeness, a certain bond with your bandmates that you didn’t have with anyone else. It was only natural. And so, for a little while, he’d fooled himself.


But no more, and not for a long time. He’d finally acknowledged that his feelings for Mike were different than those he had for the rest of his friends. He loved them all, but it was only Mike that gave him tingles, only Mike that made his mouth go dry and his heart pound and his hands shake.


Shit. He sounded like a pre-teen schoolgirl, Chester realized, grimacing.


Fine. He’d modify. It was only Mike that could make him almost cream his pants just by looking at him a certain way.


Aaaaaaaand he’d just gone from pre-teen schoolgirl to horny teenage boy. Ah well. Close enough, he supposed. His feelings included both of those extremes: the sappy, mushy, lovey-dovey crap and the raging lust.


Too bad Mike was straight and would flee in terror if he had even an inkling of how his best friend felt about him. Sure, maybe he’d broken things off with Anna, but that didn’t mean anything. Normal people didn’t just immediately go from being engaged to a girl for that long to being gay or bi or whatever. Only Chester did that.


So. That brought his list of grievances up to six.



1.Samantha had left him for another man.


2.He had wanted to leave Samantha for another man.


3.Things with Mike were and would remain strictly friendly.


4.He felt enormous guilt at being the one to cheat first.


5.He couldn’t get rid of said guilt, but was instead forced to wallow in it by his so-called “friends”, who had no qualms about leaving him alone all night in the hotel with nothing at all to eat, dammit.


6.So in addition to being guilty, he was also lonely. And bored. And hungry.



There was a quiet crackle from nearby, and Chester lifted his head out of his hands to glare at the lump of shiny metal sitting across the table from him. Make that seven grievances. He’d forgotten the toaster.


“All I want is a hot Pop-Tart,” he gritted out, then added, “Or at least, that’s all I want from you.”


He wanted many things that the toaster couldn’t give him. Mike, for one. Not to be treated like an invalid, for another. Some form of strong alcohol. Mike. A shower. A new lip ring, when he could find one cool enough. Mike. Oh, and he wanted to know why Samantha had started cheating on him in the first place. The one thing he’d like to ask her if he ever saw her again, which didn’t look likely.


He refused to believe that he wasn’t good enough in bed. That was not up for debate. But.....he chewed at his lower lip thoughtfully.


Maybe she simply didn’t love him anymore? Maybe his lack of real affection had shown through, despite all his care? Maybe he had driven her away by constantly pretending that she was someone else? Maybe she had noticed how increasingly distant he was becoming and figured things out for herself?


Or there was always the better ass option.


“I bet that’s it,” he confided glumly to the toaster. “I bet the other guy has a better ass.”


The toaster hissed, seeming to agree, and Chester scowled. “Yeah? Well, what would you know about it? You’re just a toaster. All you do is.....toast stuff. And you’re not any good at that! I’ve already tried to make three Pop-Tarts, and they’ve all turned out either too cold or burned to a crisp. And furthermore, you don’t even have an ass!”


The toaster was quiet for a moment, then the lever clicked up. His “supper” popped out of the slot, looking awful and smelling worse. Completely charred. Again. Score: Toaster-4, Chester-0.


“Oh yeah?” He dug in his pocket until he found a scrap of paper and a stub of a pencil, then slammed both triumphantly onto the table. “Guess what this is, buddy? Just take a guess.”


Silence reigned in the kitchenette.


“Don’t know, huh? Well, I’ll tell you. This is a hit list. And do you know whose name I’m about to write on it?”


The toaster beeped.


“That’s right! YOURS!” Chester cackled malevolently, then snatched up the pencil and scribbled two words at the bottom of his list. “I’ll teach you to insult my ass, you cretinous hunk of metal!”


“Cretinous? You just made that word up, didn’t you?”


About to lunge across the table and inflict serious damage on the toaster with his bare hands, Chester froze halfway out of his seat.


He didn’t even have to turn around to see who had spoken, because he knew that voice as well as his own. What he didn’t know was what Mike was doing home so early; he was supposed to be out having fun with the rest of the guys.


Chester turned around slowly to verify what he already knew: namely, that the possible love of his life had just witnessed him acting like a complete and total lunatic. For a bare moment, he dared to dream that he was living in some alternate universe that was not intent on mortifying him; that maybe it was someone else, Joe or Brad or Rob or Phoenix or anybody instead of the man he wanted to procreate with. If that were possible for two men, which, seeing as how it wasn’t, he’d always thought adoption was an attractive option.


But nope, the alternate-universe thing could be tossed out the window, because that was definitely Mike standing in the doorway, hair spikey and tousled and grinning fit to bust. Wearing a black T-shirt that was just the right amount of tight and--oh shit--The Jeans. This particular pair of pants always got capitalized in Chester’s mind, largely because they boasted numerous strategically-placed rips through which he could glimpse smooth, tawny skin.


Slowly, he became aware that he was staring, slack-jawed and silent. Hmmm. If he were hoping to reverse that whole crazy lunatic scenario, this probably wasn’t the best way to go about it.


Say something, Bennington,’ urged the little voice in his head, the one that also tried to tell him that he hadn’t cheated. ‘Or are you just going to stand there and gape at him all night?’


‘You shut up,’ he mentally ordered. ‘He’s wearing The Jeans, okay? I’m allowed to gape.’


However, the voice did have a point. Or in this case, anyway, Chester amended hastily. He did need to say something. Preferably something harmless and witty.


“I--I thought you were going to that club with everybody else.” Okay, he’d settle for just harmless.


Mike shrugged and stepped further into the room, tossing his wallet down on the table. “I didn’t really feel like it tonight. Plus, I thought you might want some company. You know, since you’re basically under house arrest. And look! I brought booze!” He proudly displayed the box he’d been clutching in his arms. Chester hadn’t noticed it until then, probably because he’d been so busy staring....elsewhere.


“You are a brilliant man. You thought right.” Chester smiled, then paused, suspicion suddenly striking him. “By the way, how long had you been standing there?”


If possible, Mike’s grin got wider as he shoved the alcohol into the fridge. “I walked in on you complaining to the toaster about your ass.”


Chester groaned and scrubbed his hands over his eyes. “It was the hunger talking, I swear.”


“Suuuuuure.” Mike lifted the singed Pop-Tart out of the traitorous appliance and dropped it into the garbage can, shaking his head at the others that had already been disposed of. “I don’t get how you can eat those things this late.”


“Well, you know, when it’s the only thing available, you tend to be less discriminating.”


“The only thing available......” And suddenly, Mike was looking a little less amused and a lot more worried. “What do you mean? There’s got to be some food here. Room service or something. And if not, you could always order pizza or something.”


“Nope. Nothing in the cabinets. Surprisingly enough, in terms of generosity, this is one of the cheaper hotels we’ve stayed at. And you know I hate calling room service, it always makes me feel so rich and snooty. As for the pizza......” His voice trailed off, then he admitted sheepishly, “I never thought of that.”


“Damn, Chester.” Mike raked a hand through his hair, his brows knitting. “You didn’t eat anything for lunch, either. When’s the last time you ate and what did you have?”


“At breakfast. I ate a.....” He laughed, slightly hysterically. “A Pop-Tart.”


The next thing he knew, Mike was on the phone telling Information to please give him the number to the nearest pizza place that would deliver. There was a pause, then Mike hung up and immediately began punching in another number.


“Hello. No thank you, but I would like to order two large pan pizzas, one with mushrooms and olives, the other with sausage and pepperoni.”


Chester’s lips tipped up at how Mike hadn’t even needed to ask what he wanted. They’d known each other so extensively and been on the road so much that favorite pizza toppings had long since been established. Yet he doubted whether Samantha had ever known, at any point in their relationship, that he couldn’t stand peppers and thin-crust pizza made him want to yak. Maybe she had never really cared.


“Okay, so you’ve got the hotel and room number down?” Mike was asking. “Great. Yeah. If you can get it here in fifteen minutes, I’ll pay an extra twenty bucks. Alright. Bye.”


“Well, you certainly know how to motivate people.” Chester smiled, but added soberly, “You really shouldn’t have, though. It wouldn’t hurt me to wait half an hour.”


“And it won’t hurt me to shell out a little extra cash to ensure that my best friend doesn’t starve to death,” Mike countered. He pulled up a chair at the table, then, noticing the bit of paper still lying there, picked it up. “Ah, and this is the famous hit list. Let’s see who’s on it, shall we?”


“Or we could not,” Chester suggested, making a desperate grab for the slip of white.


Mike fended him off easily. “First off we have ’Samantha.’ Well, of course. That’s to be expected.”


“Miiiiiiiiiike.” Maybe whining would have an effect.


No such luck. “’Her smarmy lawyer.’ Also understandable. I wanted to punch him in the mouth for looking at me.”


“I’ll give you some of my pizza if you stop reading that.”


Mike glanced up briefly, then went back to the list. “No you won’t. You eat like a pig. And even if you did, I wouldn’t take it. Mushrooms and olives do *not* belong on a pizza. Now, let’s see. ‘Whoever invented reality TV shows.’ I’d like to help you with that one, if you don’t mind. You know, kind of a ‘You hold him and I’ll punch’ sorta deal.”


Chester gave it up as a lost cause and instead devoted himself to trying not to blush.


“‘That bastard, whatsisname.’ I assume that this would be Samantha’s new lover.” Mike’s voice was uncharacteristically hard.


“Yeah.” He said it in a small voice, staring fiercely at a few Pop-Tart crumbs on the table. He could feel dark eyes scrutinizing him intensely, but refused to look up. After a moment, Mike went back to the list.


“’The cashier at that gas station where we filled up the bus that one time.’ Okay, man, you got me on this one. Why would you want to kill some random cashier?”


“Because.” He shrugged like it was no big deal, eyes still turned downward. “She’s not random. She’s the one who told you that you had no talent when you and Joe went in to pay. Remember?”


“Well...yeah, now that you mention it, I do. I’d completely forgotten. That was *ages* ago, though, and she’s far from being the only person to say that. So how did she make it on here?”


Chester sighed. The truth would set him free. Or something along those lines. “It was the first time I ever saw you really upset,” he admitted. “When you came out of the station, I could tell from your face that something was wrong. You looked sick to your stomach, but you wouldn’t tell me what happened, you wouldn’t talk to me. I finally had to weasel it out of Joe. At first, I couldn’t believe that anyone could ever say that to you. I mean, that’s like saying Phe can’t play bass. But I knew Joe wouldn’t lie to me. And even though you tried to pretend like it didn’t bother you, I know it did. I know because later that night, when we were all in our bunks and everyone else was asleep, I heard you sniffling.”


“I had a head cold.”


“Head cold, my ass. You were crying.” Feeling more confident, Chester finally looked up, meeting Mike’s curious, slightly embarrassed gaze head on. “Ever since then, I’ve hated that girl. I don’t even know her name or what she looks like or anything and I hate her. Because she hurt you.”


“Ches.” Mike’s voice was full of gentle affection, his eyes wide with surprise at the venom in his friend’s voice. “Please, don’t hate her anymore. I don’t. I barely remember it. I’ve learned not to let stuff like that bother me. There are always going to be people out there who don’t like me, and there’s nothing I can do about that.”


“But....how?” Chester asked, genuinely puzzled. “How could anyone not like you, Mike? I don’t understand. You’re funny and intelligent and caring and generous and--and--” His mouth snapped shut abruptly as he realized he had been about to say, ‘And sexy as

hell.’ Now that would have been a lovely way for Mike to discover the truth. Feeling all the blood drain from his face, he hoped that his slip hadn’t been noticed.


“And what? What were you going to say?” The intensity was back, only about ten times stronger and a thousand times scarier.


Shit. Well, when all else fails, run like hell.


With every intention of doing just that, Chester leaped up from the table. However, before he could bolt for the realtive safety of the bedroom, there was a knock at the door. He breathed a silent prayer of thanks, shoulders slumping in relief. The food had arrived. He wouldn’t have to run, after all. Now they could just eat and joke around and forget all about that nagging, unfinished little “and.”


He was sure he set some kind of record during his dash to the door, and he definitely shocked the delivery girl when he flung it open and tried to snatch the pizzas out of her hands.


“Hey, hey, hey!” she protested indignantly, clutching the boxes tight against her chest. “You gotta pay for these, you know!”


“Oh,” Chester said blankly, and then, embarrassed, “Oh, right. Hold on a secon--oof!” Turning back to get his wallet, he’d collided with something big and warm and hard and chocolatey-smelling.


Mike.


“I forgot to get any money,” he informed his shoes sheepishly. For the second time in the last half hour, he was too scared to look his friend in the face, scared that if he did, what he was feeling would be extremely obvious. They were standing too close, he thought frantically. Far too close, and he could feel the slight control he’d somehow managed to obtain crumbling. Furthermore, given their proximity and the direction of his gaze, he was getting an excellent view of The Jeans. And thanks to those wonderful tears, some of what was under The Jeans, which was so good that it needed capitalizing too. Yes, he could see Some Of What Was Under The Jeans.


But not nearly enough.


“Don’t worry about it. My treat, remember?” Mike removed two twenties from his wallet, and Chester belatedly found the presence of mind to scoot sideways so that he could pay the delivery girl.


“Thanks.” She accepted the two bills, eyeing them speculatively. “Where are the rest of the guys?”


Mike blinked at her. “Huh?”


She grinned. “You know. Rob, Phoenix, Brad, Joe. The rest of Linkin Park. Where are they?”


“Uh oh,” Chester muttered in a stage whisper. “I think we’ve been caught, Mike.”


“Yep. Busted.” The girl shrugged, turning her palms up. “What can I say? I’m a fan.”


“That’s great.” Mike was suddenly enthusiastic. “What’s your favorite song?”


“Hmm....probably ‘Crawling.’”


“Yeah, I like that one too. But to answer your question, the rest of the guys are out partying, leaving us alone and starving.”


“You are my salvation,” Chester chimed in. “Well, you and Mike. I probably would have spent all night trying to con the toaster into giving me a decent Pop-Tart if he hadn’t showed up.”


The delivery girl laughed. “I’ll let you guys fix that starving problem, then. More stops to make, you know. But um.....before I go, could you sign this napkin for me?”


Mike nodded, fumbling on the entrance table for a pen. “Sure. What’s your name?” He asked, scrawling his own on the scrap of paper. Chester followed suit.


“Josie. Thanks again.” She tucked the newly-autographed napkin into her pocket, then winked. “You guys have fun tonight.”


And no, decided Chester, as she bounced off down the stairs, he wasn’t going to even consider all the ways that that statement could be taken. Damn cocky teenagers.


As he’d hoped, his earlier lapse was all but forgotten in the feasting that followed. The two of them set up camp on the couch, pizza boxes in front of them on the coffee table, cold booze resting on the floor, and a bad horror movie quietly playing on TV. For a long time, neither of them said a word, content to stuff their faces and snicker at the pitiful special effects.


“The protagonists in these things are always so stupid,” Chester complained happily, finally breaking their silence about half-way through the movie. “They inevitably run upstairs Even if the bad guy tells them point-blank that he’s up there.”


Mike grunted agreement. “And whenever they’re being chased, they always trip over their own feet at least five times.”


Chester nodded, reaching for another slice. He absent-mindedly groped around in the near-empty box, part of his attention on the movie, most of it on the guy sitting approximately six inches away from him on the couch. “I know. It’s because they won’t stop looking over their shoulders and just run! If they paid any mind to

what--AAGGHH!!!”


Terrified of what his fingers had just brushed against, Chester immediately dove for the nearest source of safety--namely, Mike. In less than three seconds, he’d hurled himself practically on top of a sturdy lap, thrown his arms around a bronzed neck, and buried his face in a strong chest, panting and wide-eyed with fear.


“Jesus, Ches! What’s wrong?” Mike demanded, startled. His arms encircled his friend automatically, protectively.


“T-There’s a hand in my pizza box! A severed hand! I just touched it! It was just *sitting* there! Waiting for me!”


“.............Ches.”


“How did it get there? Did Josie put it in there or something? Is this her idea of a joke?”


“Chester.”


“Or maybe this hotel is haunted! Maybe a long time ago, some dude got his hand cut off here, and now he murders everyone who stays in this room out of sheer spite! Oh God, Mike, we’re next! WE’RE GOING TO DIE!!”


“CHESTER!”


“What? Do you think running would do any good? Maybe we could outrun the ghost! We have to try something, anyway. We can’t just give up!”


“That was my hand.”


“Maybe if we.....what?”


“Yes. You accidentally reached into my box and touched my hand.”


“.......Oh.”


“Yes. ‘Oh.’ Maybe you’ve had a bit much to drink?”


There was silence for a few moments while various self-abusive thoughts ran through Chester’s mind. Then--


“I suppose I could get off you now.” Not that he wanted to. Now that his panic had faded into humiliation, he was really enjoying his position. A lot. Maybe too much, and oohh, there was one reason he should move right there.


“I suppose you could.”


If he were smart, he’d go back to his own seat.


“But I’m scared of the movie.”


Screw intelligence.


He could feel Mike chuckling, a slight stirring in his abdomen and a soft rumble in his chest. “You are not scared of this damned movie.”


“Okay, so I’m not,” he admitted. “But I am scared of the ghost with the severed hand.”


More delicious laughter. “Okay. I’ll accept that.”


Sighing in satisfaction, Chester snuggled closer. He’d rarely allowed himself the opportunity to be this close to Mike, largely because he was afraid he’d embarrass himself. But he figured that had already happened like, what, fifteen times this evening? It couldn’t get much worse. And as long as Mike wasn’t actually ordering him to move, he wasn’t going to.


More silence ensued, comfortable silence while Mike watched the movie and Chester’s thoughts retraced themselves over the evening, which had, he reflected, been improving drastically. In fact, his depression was completely gone, and had been since Mike walked in the door. But....he frowned.....there was still that question he’d been pondering earlier, the one he’d never really arrived at a satisfactory answer to. Maybe....maybe Mike could help? The thought of confessing his insecurities about his failed marriaged to someone he wanted so badly was hardly appealing, but then again, Mike was a very good listener. And this thing was really weighing on his mind.


“Um....I have a question,” he began tentatively.


Mike didn’t say anything as such, but he made a little inquisitive sound in his throat.


“It’s weird to ask this, but I can’t seem to figure it out on my own. And it’s bugging me.”


“If this is about what hot dogs are made of, I told you yesterday, I don’t know.” Mike had gone back to being amused.


“No, it’s...” Chester forced himself to laugh a little. “It’s not that.”


“Well, what is it?”


“Um....well, you know how sometimes something happens and you can’t figure out why that certain something happened? And you wonder if you did something wrong or the person who caused it did something wrong or maybe it just wasn’t meant to be? Like maybe Fate was against it from the start, or the stars weren’t in the right alignment, or--”


“Ches,” Mike interrupted, all amusement gone. “Is this about you and Sam?”


“Well.....yeah, kinda,” Chester admitted. “I mean, I’m not upset about the divorce. I’m really not. I wasn’t in love with her anymore, to tell you the truth. But it makes a guy wonder, you know? She didn’t love that guy she left me for. She admitted as much to me. So I keep thinking, ‘Why did she cheat to begin with, then? Was I not a good enough husband? What did I do wrong?’


There was a sharply indrawn breath that sounded more like a sob from somewhere above his head, and then Mike’s hand was stroking gently through his short hair.


“Makes me feel a little rejected,” Chester admitted, trying his hardest not to lean into the caress. “I mean, am I just so disgusting that she jumps at the first chance to leave me? I’m not bitter, just curious.”


“Oh, Chaz. Look at me.”


Unnerved by the strange tenderness in Mike’s voice, Chester nevertheless obeyed. Only to find himself the recipient of the sweetest, most innocent kiss he could imagine. It lasted just a few seconds, then Mike pulled back and took a firm hold on Chester’s jaw.


“Now you listen to me, Chester Bennington. I don’t understand Samantha either. I don’t know what issues she was having, and God knows I can’t begin to fathom why she cheated on you. But it was not. Your. Fault. Do you hear me? You did nothing wrong. Furthermore, you are in no way disgusting. You’re beautiful, and I love you.”


“You....you love me?” Chester asked, shocked. He was vaguely absorbing the rest of the speech, but those three words had jumped out at him.


“Yes. I do.”


“Wait, wait, wait. Let me get this straight. You love me.”


Mike blushed adorably and avoided Chester’s eyes. “Yeah.”


“You, Mike Shinoda, love me, Chester Bennington.”


“Yes, dammit, and I know you’re going to hate me for it, but it’s your own fault. God, Ches, you’d tempt a saint. Always making me laugh, always looking at me with those big puppy dog eyes, always sucking on that damn lip ring.....”


“Really?” Chester purred in his most seductive tone. “Well, then, perhaps you’d rather I suck on something else?”


Mike’s eyes widened and his mouth dropped open. Chester decided to take it as an invitation. So he pressed himself even closer, tangled his hands in soft, dark hair, and kissed Mike like he’d been wanting to for longer than he could remember.


Jesus. He’d never felt anything that good in his entire life.


And then Mike’s hips bucked up into his and he started kissing back and ooohh. Scratch that previous thought. Mike as an active participant was even better. And he tasted just like he smelled--like fine, dark Belgian chocolate.


Chester had always been a big fan of chocolate.


When they finally broke apart, both panting, Mike grinned at him. “I’m assuming this means you’re okay with the whole me loving you thing.”


Chester beamed back, sure that he looked completely idiotic but not really caring. “I don’t think it’ll be a big problem, seeing as how the feeling is very mutual.”


Mike laughed, somewhat breathlessly. “Good. Now come here. I want to kiss you again.”


Chester obediantly leaned back in, and Mike lowered his head once more. Just before their lips met, he whispered, “Oh, and Chaz? You definitely have a better ass than the other guy.”


And in the kitchen, the toaster seemed to briefly glow with something like satisfaction.

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