Category Linkin Park

Mutual Obsession by squashie

Mike, Brad & fans

[I don't know what the hell this is, but I wrote it and you can read it if you like.]


MUTUAL OBSESSION — Mike, Brad & fans


“Nu-metal”, they call it in the magazines. These bands of grimy, intimidating dudes rapping and screaming their dark and edgy lyrics over the roar of aggressive guitars and frantic drums and dark synth. Testosterone in abundance. They’re taking up space, they’re taking their place. They don’t want to sing you a song; they want to be balls fucking deep inside your head, obliterating everything else with The New Sound.

White men and more white men, sweat and beards, baggy pants and backwards hats, wallet chains and T-shirt slogans, tats and piercings. Misogyny. Profanity. Fuck you, fuck you, here we are, fucking you, in your ear, in your face, we don’t care, we don’t care, fuck you.

And then there’s Linkin Park. Jewish, Asian, mixed-race, mixed-faith, melting pot.

And there’s Chester Bennington.

Brad and Mike watch him doing so many of the things required to slot them in with these other bands, these other dudes, and yet still, somehow, Chester is something else entirely, and they both know it. They’d known it the minute he started singing at his audition. Glances exchanged, throats cleared, a blush on Brad, Mike shifting slightly in his seat. “Yeah. He’s the one.”

He is pixie-small and bespectacled. He’s got the body modifications, but somehow, on him, they’re pretty, not hardcore. He wears the oversized clothes and the caps and the chains, but his delicate beauty can’t be disguised. He tries to lower his voice in interviews, to sound like the dude he thinks he ought to be, but when he stops trying, his voice is lilting and sweet, his laugh bubbly, his smile cute.

Sometimes, he forgets where he is, what genre he’s been shoehorned into, and he undulates his body against the mic stand, sexual and serpentine, he bites his lip, the sweat trickles down his hairless chest.

He screams, but it’s not a guttural, manly growl. It’s a tenor scream, shredding the air with emotion but without aggression. It sends tingles through Brad’s body every single time he hears it. He often catches Mike’s eye on stage at the shows and he knows that Mike is feeling what he’s feeling, even if neither of them could ever venture to put it into words.

Chester ticks enough boxes to run with this crowd, to spearhead this musical revolution, even if he’s completely distinct from the majority of those involved in it. He ventures down into the audience, small yet brave, sweat-soaked and beautiful, and the hands of hordes of straight, virile dudes in baggy shorts and band shirts reach out from the crowd to touch him, to stroke him, to caress his inked skin, his shaved head, his cherubic face with its dark doe eyes. They whoop and yell and shout the lyrics with him — fucking rock and roll man, fucking legendary, fuck yeah — and not a single one of them will admit it, but all of them, without exception, have imagined fucking him, or at the very least pressing their open mouths against his skin and tasting the magic that literally drips from every pore.

Brad is grateful for the guitar he holds in front of him. Mike is similarly grateful for his keyboard. And one night, in the post-show chaos, they tumble into a broom closet, breathless and bewildered, high on a mutual obsession, words unspoken, feelings held back to bursting, and they get each other off in the dusty darkness, mumbling the same man’s name.




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