Category Linkin Park

Stains by Elisa


Author's note: When I began this, I intended to write a dazzling thriller, but it quickly degenerated into sappy Bennoda fic.

This story contains references to child molestation.


Mike Shinoda pulled his car up to the gate of the Benningtons’ estate, and punched in the security code to enter the property. The massive steel gates swung open silently, and Mike drove through them slowly, marveling once again that Chester needed this kind of security at his home. As he reached the apogee of the small hill that had been landscaped for extra privacy, the immense house came into view.

The Benningtons’ home, acquired two years ago when Talinda first got pregnant, is a beautiful, old estate. The large white house on the hill is the crowning glory, with its stately columns and old world charm. The driveway, which winds around the estate in order to show off a pond and a glimpse of the garden, is lined by weeping willow trees, which spill artistically over the pavement.

The trees grow thicker in back of the house, until they eventually flow into a huge forest. Soon after they had bought the property, Chester had expressed a desire to explore the forest and, being the dutiful best friend, Mike had reluntantly ventured in with him. Mike shook his head ruefully, remembering that day. Twenty acres, twenty-three mosquito bites, and a irrevocably stained hoodie later, Chester and Mike had decided together that they were city boys, through and through, and that they would never enter that damned forest again.

As Mike pulled into the parking area, hidden from view by more willow trees, slid out of his car, and approached the house, he wondered idly if Talinda and the kids would be home. They tended to get less work done if the kids were there, because Chester constantly had to interrupt to show him something adorable and amazing and oh-so-clever that one of them had done in the two days since he’d been there last.

The musician walked the brick lined pathways until he reached the house and then stopped suddenly, staring stupidly at the door, which hung open, swinging in the wind slowly. The curtain lining the French style door was torn, and one of the panes of glass broken. He peered cautiously inside, and inhaled sharply. A coffee table was knocked over, and the floral arrangement that had decorated it scattered, the glass vase shattered on the floor. The decorative blue rug was bunched up on the floor, the small wicker loveseat overturned, and a white rag lay discarded on the tile. Through the opposite doorway, leading to a small hallway, Mike could see a painting hanging crookedly, its pane broken in a spiderweb-like pattern.

Mike crouched down outside of the door, digging in his pocket frantically. Chester and Talinda had been known to have some fantastically loud and irate arguments – but they had never turned physical. What could have made their home into this disaster area? Mike’s thoughts turned toward the worst. He drew out his phone and dialed 911 swiftly then explained in a soft but panicky voice what had happened, giving the operator Chester’s address.

After hanging up, he stood and hovered anxiously outside the door for a moment. The police would be here soon…but Chester could be in very immediate danger. Mike gathered his courage and made his way into the house gingerly, being careful not to step on the broken glass that littered the floor or otherwise make a sound. As he walked through the trashed room, he noticed another broken window and two missing curtains. The rods were hanging at an angle as if the curtains had been jerked off suddenly.

The complete stillness of the house settled over him, and he shivered involuntarily, wondering once again who had done this, why had they done this, were Chester and his family alright?

As Mike made his way out of the room and into the hallway, foyer on his left and stairway on his right, he heard a small thump coming from an upstairs room, immediately followed by a familiar loud yell. Mike ran up the stairs cautiously, and listened again. A low murmur was coming from somewhere to his left. He crept in that direction, careful to check each room before he passed it. Eventually, he made it all the way down the long hallway, until he stood outside the room that Chester had turned into a painter’s studio.

The room had been beautifully decorated, all in white; white curtains hung from the door and windows, a white fluffy rug stretched across the wide expanse of floor, and a white sofa and armchair sat on dark wooden legs. An easel and stool were set up in the corner of the room, looking out the window over the grounds and garden, and a rag, stained with old paint remnants, hung from the easel.

But as Mike stood outside the doorway, and cautiously peered in, the room was all awry. The easel had been knocked over, the pure white carpet had a dash of bright blue on it from a tube of paint that that been stepped on and had burst, and one of the curtains had been ripped down and now lay in a puddle under a window. The only thing Mike noticed, however, was that instead of sitting at the stool near the easel or lounging on the sofa, Chester was instead on his knees in the middle of the floor, gagged and staring up balefully at his captor, a heavyset middle-aged man who was just stepping back from him, after securing the gag more firmly in his mouth, a gun held in one hand.

Mike rested against the wall of the hallway for a moment, then glanced back into the room. If he didn’t act soon, the man could kill Chester, but he had to wait for the exact right moment. The man didn’t look like the type to shrink from using the gun he was now frantically motioning with.

Mike rested his back against the wall, then slid down the wall silently until he was sitting, and leaned his head into the doorway again. The man was walking around Chester, who was also bound by the hands and feet, Mike now noticed. The singer’s eyes were darting all around the room, searching vainly for some means of escape, and he had suffered a cut just above his eyes that dripped blood into his eyes and onto the floor, creating dark red, blotchy stains on the snow colored carpet. The man was talking to Chester constantly, ranting, and Mike tried to listen, but he couldn’t seem to tear his attention away from his friend. Fear for the singer clutched painfully at Mike’s heart.

Mike withdrew his head from the doorway; he didn’t want to take the chance of being seen. Now that Chester’s terrified face was no longer before his eyes, the man’s words began to sink in.

“I knew…always knew you’d make somethin’ of yourself. You had them pipes back then, too.” The man’s voice lowered conspiratorially. “You used to scream so pretty for me, back when I had you bent over your daddy’s couch after you got home from school every night. I can’t wait to hear that sound again, boy.” The man chuckled evilly, and Mike’s blood ran hot as he heard a small noise of protest from Chester. He knew, now, who this man was –

- And Mike remembered, all too well, the time Chester had brokenly confessed to him that he had been molested, and the way Chester could hardly even talk about it without breaking down. He remembers the drugs that had followed as a way of coping, and how those two had eventually almost destroyed him. And he remembers the times in the early days that Mike would find the singer passed out, face down, victim of another night of binge drinking, and how when Mike would wake him, the singer would experience a few moments of blind terror, screaming out, “Don’t touch me!” and slapping at the other man’s hands until he realized it was only Mike, and the embarrassment Chester would feel afterwards -

And then Mike was on his feet and charging into the room before he knew what he was doing, tackling the man to the ground and wrestling the gun away from him, the element of surprise on his side and rage giving him strength. The gun went flying, the man fell to the ground with Mike on top of him, and the monster’s face ran red with blood as Mike’s furious fists found him again and again. Mike was vaguely aware of the guy trying to knock him off, but he was using all his body weight to stay on top of him and nothing was stopping him from beating this man to a bloody pulp.

A red hot fury had encompassed him, and he was deaf to the world. The man lost consciousness under the heavy blows, but Mike didn’t notice or care. All he could think about was everything that this monster had done to the man he loved, all the hurt and pain and misery he had caused him through the ages. Mike wanted to inflict every bit of pain he could onto the body beneath him, to exact some kind of revenge on him on Chester’s behalf.

Mike continued his mad assault until Chester, still gagged and bound, made a noise of distress, and Mike immediately climbed off of the thoroughly beaten and bloody man to sink to his knees in front of the other man.

Chester bowed his head as Mike’s shaking fingers untied the gag in his mouth and tore it out. Chester tried anxiously to speak, but as he moved his mouth frantically, no sound came out. As Mike worked at the knots tying his hands together, Chester struggled, then managed to speak.

“Mike…” he whispered, throat raspy. “Mike.”

Mike took a moment to cup his cheek in one hand, and whispered, “It’s alright,” then went back to the knots. In moments, Chester’s hands were free, and he was clutching at Mike’s coat, panicking now that he was free. Mike’s arms went around the singer, hugging him closely as Chester buried his face in the other man’s chest, his small body heaving with repressed sobs. “Mike,” he whispered, voice breaking. “Mike.”

“It’s okay,” Mike said, softly. “I’ve got you.”

For several long moments, they stayed that way, until Chester began to shift uncomfortably.

“Here,” Mike said, “I’ll get your legs.” Chester nodded and shifted onto his side, bringing his legs forward and allowing Mike to reach the curtain that bound him like a makeshift rope.

“I -” Chester’s voice was unsteady. “I tried to fight him, broke a vase -”

“Shh, I know. I saw, I called the cops.”

The bindings quickly fell away under his nimble fingers, and then Mike self-consciously shrugged his coat off, the sleeves of which were stained with the blood of Chester’s attacker.

Chester’s fingers buried in Mike’s shirt, still clutching closely at him. Mike slid his arms around him again, and they stayed that way, wrapped around each other, until a horrifying thought struck Mike. He raised his head and asked:

“Ches, where are Tali and the kids?”

Chester raised his head as well, then shook it. “They’re not here. Safe. At her mom’s. She left me.”

The sentence seems to have cost the singer what remaining strength he had left, and he collapsed fully onto Mike, relying on his friend to support him.

“C’mon, Ches,” Mike said, and pulled the exhausted man up as he stood, “You should lie down.” Chester nodded numbly, and they left the room, and the unconscious attacker, and headed down the hallway to the master bedroom, Mike supporting Chester, who moved painstakingly, with faltering steps as the blood returned to his legs.

Mike helped the older man strip down to his boxers and climb into bed. Chester was shaking badly and Mike had to pull up the bedcovers for him. As he sat next to him on the bed, grasping one of Chester’s trembling hands in his own, the events of the past half hour began to take their toll.

The emcee slowly bowed his head until he was resting his forehead against the singer’s chest. One hand still held one of Chester’s and the other arm wrapped around his lithe body. Chester followed suit, sliding his free arm around Mike, holding him close.

Mike whispered quietly, “Don’t know what I’d do if something happened to you.” The words were so quiet that Chester barely heard them, and he wasn’t sure if he was meant to or not, so he just tightened his arm and they desperately hung on to one another until they both heard the sirens signifying that the police were finally arriving at the estate.

Mike stood up and rubbed his face, removing the tear stains from his face. Chester gave him a weak smile, and Mike bent down to kiss his forehead tenderly, then straightened his shoulders and left the room, walking down the stairway to meet the police with his head held high, hands still stained with the drying blood of the man who had hurt Chester all those years ago – but who on this day, had failed.

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