Category Linkin Park

Life In Technicolor by starscream

they are turning my head out to see what i'm all about

beta'd by shinobi; rating is for future chapters if they should be posted; 'life in technicolor' by coldplay, chapter title lyrics from 'lovers in japan' also by coldplay

Life In Technicolor

You're Mike Shinoda. You're twenty-two years old. You've just graduated Art Center. Your best friend is Chester Bennington. Your parents left a trust before they passed away.

When you woke up this morning these were all things you were sure of but now, sitting in this plain steel-walled room in this plain steel chair in front of this plain steel table with Chester huddled against you on your lap, you're beginning to wonder if you've been taking everything for granted so far.

You realize you're feeling light-headed not only because you were fished out of a mosh-pit not twenty minutes ago and had your head slammed into a number of people, walls, and flying fists in your attempt to escape, but because Chester's arms are crushing him so tightly to you, clenched so furiously around your neck that he's beginning to cut off circulation.

He's trembling so hard that you begin to shiver with him.

"Ches," you murmur into his ear, lips chapped so you wet them, bringing on another wave of anxious trembling on his part when they brush against his flesh. "Please," you whisper into the hot coil of his ear, your hands rubbing up and down his back, his shoulders, his shivering, small frame. "Can you relax for me, hey?"

Your heart hurts when he lifts his head to look at you.

His eyes are bloodshot, so wide and dilated that they look out of place. His lower lip is quivering, the metal hoop through the lower reflecting awkward patterns of light off the one bulb hanging over the table. His nose is running so you lift your hand and brush the sleeve of your sweatshirt under the reddened flesh and pull him back in against your chest, squeezing tight.

"I'm sorry," you say quietly, wondering if the camera wedged up in the corner of the ceiling is broadcasting this to someone, and if so, who.

What you are doing in this room is beyond you.

When Chester surprised you with concert tickets as a graduation present you nearly choked on your own excitement, not to mention his as you leapt into his arms and refused to stop hugging until he promised to let you pay him back, which took some time considering he was all too glad to have you in his arms. He'd been your best friend for as long as you could remember. Your memories with him overpowered nearly everything else. You could barely remember your parents' faces because you'd spent more time with Chester than you ever could remember having spent with them when they were alive. You knew that they had been kind and that they had loved you. But so did Chester. And he taught you not to be sad. Taught you to be free-spirited, to be open-minded, to be grateful for the life you had that you parents did not.

Chester was a lot like you in some ways. You considered him an orphan of sorts, much like yourself, although his foster parents had been kind to him. He’d been pulled out of his home in Arizona when his third grade teacher saw blood on the back of his pants. She took him to the nurse and that’s all the details you ever really got out of him. You could put two and two together and weren’t upset that he didn’t want to share the specifics with you. Sometimes when you’d stay over at his apartment you’d lie awake with him in his bed and occasionally he’d murmur that he couldn’t really feel it anymore. That you made “all the bad go away.” You never had to tell him he could talk about it if he wanted. He knew, and you knew he would if he was ready. Nights like that you’d pull him against your chest and kiss his forehead, prompting a smile and a fierce hug, before you’d turn out the light.

His foster parents lived in Los Angeles and he still visited them sometimes even though he was supporting himself, now. Twenty-three years old and part owner of a tattoo parlor. He always said he loved you more than he loved tattoos, which you considered to be a hell of a lot, and that always put a smile on your face.

For the weeks leading up to your graduation and the concert you'd been a bundle of nerves and glee rather than a wreck of stress and obligation. School hadn't always come easily for you but you were an art major and art had at the very least been fun for you. Each hour spent on your final assignments had been fierce dedication, spotted with frantic calls to Chester nearly every hour that you weren't with him, and fast pedaling on your bike to meet him during his breaks. Your face was almost as permanent a fixture at the tattoo parlor as the innumerable designs that littered the walls and books. When the bell over the door chimed and his co-workers looked up to see your face they knew it meant a smoke break for Chester.

Some people called you peanut butter and jelly; Chester was the peanut butter, you were the jelly.

Some people shared smirks whenever you threw your arms around each other but you hardly noticed, hardly thought it mattered. Chester was everything to you. You needed him, and he needed you.

He surprised you when you were running out of your last meeting for the day; you'd just dropped off your final assignment and felt the weight lifted from your shoulders, felt giddy with excitement for going to see Chester at work, when he caught you around the waist as you dashed out of the building and pulled you into a hug. He put your bike in the back seat of his car and drove you to his place while the pair of you talked a mile a minute over the blaring radio about the show that night and how excited you were. Chester dragged you into his apartment, told you to hop in the shower, and was waiting in front of his wardrobe when you came back out.

"Now," he'd said, "We're going to do this right tonight."

When he looked you up and down, taking in your wet form with his boxers on your hips and a towel clutched against your chest, you gulped.

"What do you mean by right?" You'd asked nervously.

Two hours later when you were back in the passenger seat of his car it finally clicked.

"I can't believe I let you do this to me," you'd complained, checking your reflection in the mirror of the visor. Your eyes were lined in kohl like some grungy, desperate, attention-seeking teenager; your cheeks flushed from being forced into and back out of nearly a hundred different ensembles, and the final choice, well, it made you uncomfortable to say the least.

Chester just tutted and flicked his cigarette ash out the window as he continued down the road.

"I don't know how many times I need to say it to get it through that pretty little head of yours Mike; you look fucking amazing. And you better appreciate the effort I went to so you could look so damn good. You may even get laid tonight," he chided and threw his head back with a deep laugh as he came to a stop at a red light.

You looked down at your lap and sighed. He'd let you wear only one thing you owned; a pair of Air Force Ones he bought you for your eighteenth birthday that you'd handled with enough care to still look new four years later. You wore his jeans, though. Black, dirty, and damn near falling apart jeans that hung low on your hips and fit a bit too tight for your liking, but certainly looked great on Chester. You wore his v-neck white t-shirt that read something profane across your lower back and clung to your chest almost like a second skin, emphasized too many ripples of the muscles of your figure, and in the cold air conditioning of his car clearly outlined your erect nipples.

You huffed and swatted his fingers away as he reached over to flick them and turned to grab your hooded sweatshirt out of his back seat.

"You abuse me," you whined as you went to yank the sweatshirt over your head.

"No, don’t!" He squealed, batting your hands away from your head. "You'll mess up your hair!"

Somehow you'd almost forgotten the thirty minutes he'd spent styling the mohawk he'd finally convinced you to grow. You had a habit of slicking it back, mainly because it took all of two seconds in the morning.

He rummaged around in the center console of his car and pulled out a pack of strawberry flavored gum. He waved it in front of your face, teasing you.

"Sit still and be a good boy and you can have a piece," he said and you sat on your hands, staring straight ahead, lips set in a firm line. After a moment he gave in and dropped the pack on your lap. You pulled out three pieces and shoved them in your mouth, moaning at the taste as you chewed furiously to soften the treat, and discreetly stuffed the pack in your back pocket. Chester laughed again.

"You and your strawberry fetish," he mused, his laughter still filling the car.

An hour later you were in the thick of the pit in some dirty club in the heart of Los Angeles.

You had friends other than Chester, sure, but none of them knew you like he did. None of them could find these obscure bands that even you'd never heard of but were singing the choruses to all their songs by the end of the night.

Chester was pressed tightly against you from behind, strangers crushing you from all other sides. He knew your issue with germs, with people, with enclosed spaces; but amazingly none of it was problematic when Chester was there. The creepy crawlies were a blur, the sweaty bodies nothing to bother you, the dank, coffin-sized club a wide open meadow with him by your side. You forgot you'd been uncomfortable in your new outfit the moment the queue had been let inside and off the street. It was too dark for anyone to see much of anything, the bodies packed too tightly for anyone to make out your figure. The only one who stood much of a chance was Chester because his full length was pressed against you, his warm fingers threaded through your belt loops, his chin resting on your shoulder as he gabbed away in your ear while the crowd waited for the band to take the stage.

It wasn't long after the first few songs that Chester's fingernails dug into the soft flesh of your stomach, scrambling beneath the thin, sweat-soaked cotton of the t-shirt he'd loaned you. Being smashed in from all angles by other bodies it was difficult for you to get your arms threaded with his, to try and turn in the heaving pit of people to see his face, to strain your ear to register his voice over the deafening roar of guitars and drums.

"Someone's trying to pull me out!" He shouted and surged forward with impressive strength, shoving you hard against the people in front of you. They hardly noticed and didn't seem bothered as Chester forced the pair of you onto the barricade, caged you in with your hips and stomach pressed tightly against the metal. You thrashed against the sea of people until you could get at least one arm around him, pulling him up against the barricade with you.

It was harder than you thought and you saw him struggle to hit, kick, or just shove away whoever was still trying to get a hold of him.

"Chester please," you shouted in his ear, using all your strength to keep him pressed against your side. The thought of losing him in the crowd was overwhelming. If Chester wasn't by your side you didn't think you could handle the people, the noise, and the club. You grew frantic as he turned in your arms and shoved hard at someone in a dark jacket behind him.

When the strong hands wrapped around his flamed wrists you screamed and forced your other arm around Chester's stomach, pulling him back into you as he kicked and the people around you continued to jump in time with the music. In all the times Chester and you had gone to clubs, clubs filthier than this one, clubs further into the pits of L.A., you'd never run into any trouble, and you were terrified to think of the kind of people who might start a fight like this.

Chester turned back to you, your arms clenched tightly around his ribs, his around your waist, and you saw the anguish on his face as he kicked his boots out.

But they caught his legs and you were both pulled by people toward the back of the pit, toward the darkest part of the club. You refused to let go of Chester. Whatever this was, whoever they were, these people grabbing at him and pulling you along, you would go as well.

With you and Chester shouting and fighting against them, three men, dressed much like anyone else in the club although seemingly too built and aged for their style of dress, shoved the pair of you out a door that read "Fire Escape - Alarm Will Sound." But no alarm sounded and, kicking and screaming, you were herded into a blacked out SUV. Nobody was taking tickets at the front, nobody was smoking out back; nobody was to be seen for blocks as the SUV took off from the club.

Now with Chester trembling in your lap, face pressed deep into your neck, arms still wrapped like a vice around you, you are still no closer to knowing what you are doing here.

You shiver, not out of fear, when his lips brush your neck as he lifts his head again. Amazingly, he releases his hold of you, only to bring his shaking fingers up to your face where they brush at your cheeks, the sensitive flesh beneath your eyes. His smile is sad and it only increases your fear. It's as if he knows something terrible is coming, as if he knows specifically.

"Your make-up is running," he whispers and you see the black smudges on his fingertips.

You smile sheepishly and take one of his hands into yours, rubbing at the eyeliner with your long sleeve. When you've done all you can to clean his fingers you pull your sleeve back and lace your fingers with his. Chester's hand is small in yours. You've always marveled at how he's of a slighter, more fragile build than you, but can stand up to just about everything you can't. It doesn't change that fact that he's in your lap now, trembling, body quaking with fear. It does make you uneasy that there's something Chester is afraid of other than spiders, other than when you're not together. But you hold him protectively, determined despite your own horrifying worries to give him what comfort you can. You aren't even thinking about why you're here right now. You're just wondering what you can do to make him feel better.

His face hovering in front of yours, his breath hitting your lips, his body hot against yours, none of this is out of the ordinary or unfamiliar. You have always been close. But somehow when you're feeling like you're in a nightmare or a bad action movie, wondering when this will all be explained and if it will end badly, there's more to it. Chester's quivering pierced lip has always demanded your kiss and you've always given it willingly because it felt right. Friends kissed. Friends touched. Friends felt butterflies in their stomachs when the other was so close. Chester's fingers have always pet affectionately at the soft hair at the nape of your neck. Yours have always clutched him to you tightly, have always exhibited your possessive need to show others that he is your best friend, that he means more to you and you mean more to him, that you matter more than they ever could.

So when a lock clicks, resonating off the steel walls of the room and the blood drains from Chester's face, you know he's mirroring your expression. You know, even though you suddenly feel numb, that the pair of you are clutching tight enough to leave bruises. Chester's breath isn't hitting your face anymore. He isn't trembling. He's freezing in your arms, now.

"Hey Mike," the man says as he enters the room, followed closely by two others.

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