He could feel the breath on his neck, only centimeters closer and he'd feel those moist lips, but as always it was replaced with a screaming of fans and the pouring instruments vibrating through the soles of his feet. Patrick Stump straightened up his neck and stamped his foot hard to the beat, watching briefly on the corner of his eye as his bassist Pete Wentz skipped across stage, red hair bobbing.
There wasn't much to be said about them or the band. A little young suburban band they were touring the states on not enough money to even stay at a hotel, residing to their van which had seen better days before the four of them had taken over. Joe Trohman was spinning like a tornado and Andy smashing to the beat as Patrick shouted the words that seemed to captivate the clubful. Teens who had snuck out, fake ID's, scene kids, punksters, fangirls and boys screaming at once, hands begging to touch even a show lace. He'd never expected at age 18 to have his own fans, worshipping each word that he spoke even if it was like a curse.
But no more than him lapping up the energy was Pete. He was acting himself more than ever. He worked the fans to the max, screaming into his microphone and shouting over their hysterical screams.
He smiled at him, blushing as Pete caught him looking. Stumbling on a verse, slipping on a chord. Pete gave a little silent laugh and skipped off somewhere behind him. As long as Pete didn't cloud his line of vision he could continue.
He closed his eyes and got lost in the music. Nothing could compare to the energizing feel that fueled his senses. It was exhausting, enough for sweat to soak his forehead and body, but he wouldn't have it either way.
The heat was almost unbearable under his truckers cap that just covered his eyes from the crowd that made him so nervous. His hands felt sweaty and sore on the guitar, but this was the price he wanted to pay. It was everything he'd wanted. To be with the band that meant the world to him.
When the amps finally stopped flowing with music he finally let out a loud sigh to himself and smiled shyly at the crowd surround him. They were like an out of control wave, wanting, begging for more, but they had all put everything into that performance and walked off stage feeling high and excited. Joe and Andy slipped off leaving Patrick with a pat on the back and cheers, trembling with nerves and excitement from the concert. He tried to slow down his breathing and settle into the after life.
He wiped his brow and grabbed a bottle of cool water. A quick shower and then him and the band would wonder dangerously into the swarm of adoring fans. More horrible nerves.
His body still wasn't used to this much interaction with people. It could be almost too much.
"Heey" Patrick heard a horse deep voice say next to him.
He jumped into the wall as Pete appeared next to him smiling that daunting smile. The smile that made him feel warm inside.
"Fuck Pete, don't do that" he said, rubbing his shoulder.
Pete laughed and pressed up closer against Patrick, making sure he was stuck hard against the wall.
"You did an amazing job tonight" Pete whispered, fingers twirling in an escaped strand of the boy's hair.
"You always say that" Patrick said blushing, eyes darting around the room, ears alert "Someone could walk in here right now".
They had both made a pact to keep their relationship underground. Not even Joe and Andy knew or suspected a thing. They believed it was better that way. Patrick with his teenage love could have been anyone, at least thats what the fans believed. Pete could have any girl he wanted, especially with his flirting handsome ways, so thats what the fans thought. Except all was false. They had each other in a secret that would sure shatter the band if it was uncovered and Pete more than ever would not let anyone make a laughing stock over his boyfriend. He just wouldn't allow it.
The dreaded sweating had returned to Patrick's hands with the queazy stomach and dry mouth. This was all still so new to him, but he liked Pete, a lot. More than he knew he ever should.
It's just a stupid 17 year old crush he had once told himself. He'd felt like some stupid fangirl when the band had first started. Pete had just been something different, something that had made him feel different and strange. He'd make him blush, make him stumble over his own feet, but make him feel so special for his voice. He'd dream sweet dreams about Pete while hiding under his sheet covers sometimes watching Pete sleep in the van. It was wrong. He didn't tell anyone, not even his parents. He couldn't, he was embarrassed. He'd never felt love, never thought he could love a guy. And then one night at a club he quickly kissed Pete on the cheek. He hadn't expected more. He hadn't expected Pete to react. He'd seen boys that were much more lookers than him kiss Pete, but made it was the alcohol in Pete's system but the guy kissed him back on the lips. Pretty much after that nothing much was discussed. They just kinda became an item. It had been a bit weird. He had been under the legal age and even though it was nothing more than gentle kisses on the cheek or lips it had still felt wrong, but now it seemed right.
"So?" Pete whispered sneering "I wouldn't mind walking in on us" he gentlely brushed his lips against the corner of Patrick's mouth.
Patrick mentally kicked himself as he felt his knees almost give way. He hated when Pete teased him. It confused and frustrated him, especially when he did it in serious situations.
"Anyway I'm tired" Pete said, his lover just realizing the exhaustion in his eyes "I'll go meet some fans and then head back to the van. Don't be to long okay? I don't want to keep having these dreams".
Pete had nightmares. Lots of them. Horrible, terrifying, traumatizing. He always wanted someone there to hug, to tell him that nothing would hurt him. That someone was usually Patrick. He even said Patrick just touched his hand could take away the nightmares that hurt him.
"I won't" Patrick said quietly gently squeezing Pete's hand in comfort.
Pete smiled and walked off to the crowd. Somedays he'd never shower. Just meet the fans as he was. He always smelt good, never sweaty unlike himself.
In a rush the boy washed himself, settled for a clean pair of casually clothes and found himself walking into a crowd of hysterical fans. Papers and cameras shoved at him, pens scribbling signatures, camera flashes with exposed grins. "I love yous" and "You are my inspiration" were said. Gifts given with excited tears. The atmosphere tired him enough to even break into sweat. His smiles and hugs were shy, his voice awkward and stuttering. That was not an ideal rock star.
After a load of love and praising Patrick wondered hopelessly back to their van. Hopefully that show they would have made enough money to stay at a cheap hotel at least and with Winter approaching they needed the money more than ever.
A cold Autumn chill pricked the air and even the hoodie, jacket and scarf wasn't doing him justice as he walked to the van parked quietly next to the hall. A light frost had settled in for the night, warning everyone that wilder weather would return. The windows of the van were fogged up making him crave warmth.
He slid open the side door greeted by warm and a quite beat of music that Pete was listening to. He was huddled in the second row of seats, wrapped in a warm blanket lip syncing to himself. It had to be a Cure song. The Perfect Boy.
Pete smiled as Patrick climbed in shivering, the warmth so slowly thawing out his joints.
Without warning Pete grabbed Patrick and squashed him against him, surrounding him in warm blankets, his arms wrapped around Patrick's slim body. The caught-off-guard boy melted into his boyfriend's hold and relaxed against him.
"I miss moments like this. We never get them".
Patrick snuggled into Pete, the familiar smell destroying what nerves he still had. Right now, this simple moment was just perfect. Just him and Pete.
"Where are Andy and Joe?" Patrick asked.
"Rick, can't we have one time together when you aren't asking when they are returning or paranoid they might find us?"
He couldn't help it. He just didn't want a soul to know.
"And just relax" Pete breathed slowly, his voice still sounding sore.
His voice was replaced with a gentle massaging of lips down Patrick's neck. Pete's cool fingers were lightly pulling away the warm scarf yet his skin still remained warm.
"I wanted to kiss you so bad on stage tonight. You've cursed me good".
The boy smiled closing his eyes at the bliss of Pete's kisses. It made him shy to know how much he wanted to be kissed to even be touched, but he knew Pete would never rush him or force him. He was perfect that way.
Pete's lips were soon on Patrick's, tongues beginning to explore each other. Patrick only wished he could bottle the taste. Pete's cold hands were cupping Patrick's burning blushed skin, very gently biting down on the boy's bottom lip who let out a moan.
"The things you do to me Patrick I swear…"
Patrick felt like his face would melt off. He could have never imagined someone talking like that about him. He wasn't special, he was just a singer.
Pete kissed Patrick's forehead and held him close. The warmth was now toasty, but Patrick did not kick off the blanket.
"You know a girl proposed to me tonight" Pete said giving a little laugh "Had the vows set out and even the ring, but I don't think Burger Rings count".
Patrick gave a little laugh and looked up at him. He was so perfect. It was no wonder everyone wanted him and sometimes it scared him that Pete would grow tired of him, that maybe Pete would find someone much more attractive and giving. He couldn't lose Pete, not now.
"But I had to turn her down" Pete said hugging his boyfriend tighter "She was nice and pretty, but no she's not Patrick".
The boy glowed with happiness and snuggled up to Pete, closing his eyes tightly. The music seemed to blend into the background of Pete's fingers gently running through his hair as he quickly disposed of his hat. He smiled to himself as every so often Pete would mumble about something he didn't understand. All he knew was he felt beyond safe with Pete, as if nobody could reach or touch him. But that was Pete. He stuck up for his friends even if it led him to a fight. The fights that made Patrick almost cry. He hated to see that guy hurt and injured. He wished himself he was so brave and tough, but no he was an average shy boy who could be mistake for being 16 without trying.
"No one will ever replace you. I love you forever. As long as I walk this Earth".
Patrick clung onto Pete tighter, wishing he could find the right words to say, but like always he had nothing. Nothing seemed right, it all seemed too stupid. All he did was hold on tightly to his boyfriend even until his mind carried them both off into a dreamless sleep.
That time of year was here. The time of year that should bring people closer together, that was a time of buying and giving gifts, that was also a time of festive season. The city was covered in a layer of snow up to peoples ankles and fires were lit to bring rooms to a toasty mood. Yeah it was a pretty fun time of the year. Christmas, for what the original meaning was forgotten and sprayed with materialism. The streets glowed with streetlights amongst the cold dull snow and people trudged from shop to shop getting last minute gifts. One of them being Patrick who walked out of the mall, looking for his parked car, clinging onto plastic bags of Christmas gifts for his friends. People were rushing around like ants before a rain, trying to catch the bargins before it was too late. Windows and shops were decorated with "Best wishes for the season" and "Merry Christmas" signs, sprayed with spray paint and stenciled holly and Santa Claus. Some shops cared to stay to the traditional with religious images and music.
A bitter chill bit into Patrick's face making his cheeks and his nose flame red. He was snuggled up in a fluffy scarf, a huge black petticoat covering layers of warm clothes and big snow boots and a wooly hat. Somewhere buried beneath a thin layer of snow was his blue car, icing by the second. he eventually found it, scrapping snow off the window like everyone else nearby was resorting to. He couldn't help vent is frustration as he slammed close the car door and drove off in a huff, chains on the tires clinging to he ground dangerously. He'd hit a dilemma. He'd managed to score presents for each of his friends and family, well that was all apart from Pete. He had no idea what on earth he could give Pete. The guy that had recently being unsettling his stomach and twisting his mind. He did not in anyway approve. So what could he get him? Well, nothing seemed to good enough. This is why he hated this time of year.
He drove calmly, singing along to the millions of Christmas songs streaming on the radio stations, what he;d be hearing for the past week. Another year had been and came. It was quiet unsettling. He was planning a quiet Christmas by himself and lets not forget his dog Penny, but he actually hadn't made any plans which probably he would end up regretting with the friends he had. They were all exchanging presents at Gabe's house so it was a relief, however he couldn't help feel lonely as he pulled up to his winter spoiled house.
He let out a breath and stared at the bags of gifts. He hoped they all liked them. With dead effort he carried the bags inside and began to sort them out. Wrapping paper and bows littered the ground. Blue ink stained his pale skin as he scribbled wishes into cards. When they were done he packed them up and left them in the spare room. Penny bounded in, slipping swiftly under the Christmas tree and leapt playfully at him. Tinsel had being tied like a collar around her neck.
Patrick lifted her up and hugged her tightly as she snuggled against him. She was the only girl he needed and seemed content with anything.
He jumped in fright as the doorbell ran and fumbled to try and cling onto a spazzing dog who thrashed in his grasp, barking hysterically.
"Dammit Penny" he shouted as the dog fell on the ground after slashing his arm with sharp claws.
Patrick wearily opened the door and gave a smile as Gabe and Pete stood their, arms playfully linked. The cuteness was all in their height difference and maybe in the cheesy grin Pete was giving.
"Well hello sir" Pete said shoving Patrick to the side and dragging Gabe behind "After we didn't get any replies from you we decide to investigate".
He didn't want to bring up the fact his mobile lay somewhere in his room completely flat, filled up with messages from a panicking Pete and forced Gabe. He'd let his friend go on a rampage or he'd burst. His friend eyed up the few decorations Patrick had scattered on the walls and the little Christmas tree in the corner.
"Want something to drink?" Patrick asked.
Time is a funny thing. One minute can drag on and on it seems a never ending train that won’t stop. Sometimes time can happen so quickly your mind can’t keep up with any of it. In all cases no matter what time is a valuable thing. You can never replace it. Yet, however the case may be, time is always there one way or another, testing us and making us wish we had more. Time is like a bomb, beating along with our hearts, except we can’t cut the fuse or escape. It’s tied to us and with every tickling second it’s closer to being up.
The Unforgotten Past:
A normal Saturday night was in full swing in the big city, bearing groups of troublesome teens and sweet couples. Smothered music by walls escaped from nightclubs. Loud footsteps stumbled up the street in enjoyment or intoxicated. Alcohol bottles rolled into the guttering with forgotten litter. Headlights of cars bounced off buildings as they raced down the streets while people slipped into dark alleys. Street cats meowed in song at the big moon, guarded by shadows as dogs preferred to dig in the thrash for a meal.
The night’s normal hustle and bustle seemed too many miles away to affect Patrick’s vibrant mood as he slipped out of the bar, arm out stretched behind of him to be grasped by his girlfriend Krystal. Special, secret smiles sealed their lips as they left the chaotic scene of the club in a rush, cruising down the sidewalk at their own collected pace, hand in hand. Even the drunken wreaks that lay passed out of the sidewalk or curbings could not throw the couple off the moment they were sharing together.
“No…” Patrick whispered to her “I’m not going anyway” he cried out as he tried to bend closer to her.