I thought I loved you. It was just how you looked in the light. A teenage vow in a parking lot... "Till tonight do us part."
Mikey's smile was like lightning. Quick. Bright. Explosive. It set him on fire, first time he ever laid eyes on the ductile little bassist, with those adorkable glasses and a wool knit beanie. Who did he think he was kidding?
He was fucking adorable.
Pete couldn't help watching when his band took the stage, and that brother of his took up the mic, singing and dancing, strutting and swaying. Halfway through the show, the show snatching little diva kissed his lead guitarist, full on the mouth to raucous screams from the whole crowd.
Pete didn't even notice until later, his eyes were so riveted on the lean little bassist hiding behind his long bangs and long-necked bass. His fingers were fluttering over the frets, arm thick as a sapling, ghosting through the air as it hovered over the face of his Fender.
And so he was smitten.
It took four days to pluck up what little courage he had to approach the lithe bassist. Standing before Mikey, mouth open, his words deserted him, leaving him a frozen popsicle of forgetful goo in front of the cutest, most inquisitive hazel eyes he'd ever seen.
"Uhhh..." he mouthed like a drowned fish.
His lightning flash smile stole across his face quick, rough hand outstretched, an Anthrax sweatband wrapped around his wrist.
He took the warm hand, reveling in how well it fit into his own. He swallowed the lump in his throat, and croaked his own name lamely.
There was that lightning flash again.
White beaches, blue waters, blazing sun and a tropical beach towel. He stretched luxuriously out, back arched. A warm hand, belonging to a dorky bassist was resting just above his bared navel. He harked in the back of his throat.
Pete swore viciously. He jerked up, awake, head cracking into the bunk above his own. He swore again, more viciously.
"Pete, open up!"
Rubbing his throbbing temple, he slid from his bunk, landed catlike on the carpet and padded to the door of the bus in nothing but his boxers and a thin cotton t-shirt. He grasped the handle, twisting the lock, pushing the door open.
"Hey, ho," Mikey looked sheepish. And fucking adorable. He wore a jacket over loose, undone jeans and an old t-shirt. Pete wondered if it was his own.
"Can we crash here for the night?" Mikey implored, jerking his chin over his shoulder. Pete looked up, squinting past Mikey. The Fro-man and the big blond drummer were standing there, bleary-eyed and barefoot.
"What about your own bus?" Pete frowned, shifting all his weight to one leg.
"Gee and Frankie are fucking," Mikey said nonchalantly, "And it gets awkward."
His eyebrows shot into his hairline. He coughed. He hmphed. He turned blood red. He cleared his throat.
He stood back, and gestured them in. The drummer and the Fro-man took the two front seats, leaving the two bassists with a very clear lack of feasible sleeping space.
"Can I sleep in your bunk?"
Pete nearly choked on his own tongue.
"Yeah, of course."
The road was always paved with good intentions.
Mikey's brother wasn't happy when he found out. He didn't much like the Fall Out Boy bassist. Thought he was a piece of shit, apparently.
Pete didn't care if he was liked. He only started caring when the brother cracked his adorable little bassist across the face, drawing first blood from his thin cheeks. And then he cared.
Mikey fell headfirst into the bus and into Pete's arms. And into Pete's cardiovascular canals, furrowing in deep like an infection. He cuddled him to his chest, resting his chin in the silky locks on Mikey's scalp, massaging his cheeks with the rough pads of his thumbs when Mikey was almost bawling over that idiot, insensitive brother.
Pete thought it was awfully hypocritical for the brother to be fucking his own lead guitarist and then to deny his brother the same chance for love. But for once, he wisely kept his trap shut and wrapped his body around Mikey's.
There was no need for words just then.
They got married on the Fourth of July.
Or "married" as it were. They played shows for a couple thousand kids a piece, ditched the signings early and went shopping for fireworks. Two hours later, with no money left, one gallon of spiced rum and six roman candles between them, they camped out on top of Atreyu's bus and watched the sunset.
"I love you," he heard him whisper.
A lump like a turnip caught in Pete's trachea. He swallowed, hard. His eyes stung.
"I love you, too."
And he pressed a kiss to Mikey's temple, feeling the pulse beneath the skin of his ruddy, chapped lips. And so it was.
Two hours after that, across a chain link fence from a playground, the moon hung hazily in the sky, obscured by gunpowder smoke and brilliant bursts of white, green, purple and red fire filled the sky.
They were drunk. The rum was gone.
Pete held a burned roman candle in his hand, forward like a sword. He wielded it. He used it as a marker, scrawling on the rough pavement of the parking lot in uneven script;
I LUV MIKEY
Mikey laughed, drunken, stumbling towards him, throwing warm, sweaty arms around his neck, breathing damply into his neck, teeth grazing his skin, hair plastered to his skull. "I love you more," he gasped.
Pete was panting, half with laughter, half drunken love. "Marry me, Mikey Way," he panted, mouth feeling too full of spit, arms and fingers clutching at Mikey's t-shirt and tanned arms, "Marry me."
"Yes," Mikey groaned back, drunkenly, in love, smitten beyond wildest reaches, "Yes. Yes."
Heads still pressed together, Pete grabbed one of Mikey's hands in his own, pulling it down. He examined it. He himself wore a thick silver band on one hand. It bore an ugly sort of blue stone.
He pulled it off his own finger with precision, rolling it between his fingers. He looked at Mikey, still breathing the thick, drunk heat. He slid it onto Mikey's ring finger, speaking slurrily, staring into Mikey's eyes directly.
"Till this night do us part."
With the fluorescent lights of the parking lot bouncing off his hair, cicadas buzzing, mosquitoes flitting about and the humidity stifling and making his skin glow, Pete thought he'd never looked more beautiful.
He kissed him deeply, swallowing all doubts like thick blue turpentine.
It was Mikey's idea to spend a day at the water park. Pete didn't tell him he could barely swim until he nearly drowned in the wave pool. Mikey fished him out like a drowned cat.
"Why didn't you tell me you couldn't swim?"
"I knew you'd save me."
It was the sappiest love ever, sticky with sugar and cherry lip gloss. Mikey socked him in the arm playfully, and Pete gave his best Beelzebub grin and they spent the day on the slides, which all dumped out into a three foot reservoir.
The sun bled gold and orange, spilling it across the horizon, viscous paints, too thick and pristine to be fake. They were two perfect circles entwined together, watching the sun sink low as they stank of chlorine and Coppertone SPF 45, hair plastered down to their heads.
"Please don't ever leave me."
Mikey's whisper might not have been meant to reach Pete's ears, but of course it did. He held Mikey closer. He ignored the glacier slowly cascading through his insides, turning all his guts to ice.
He suddenly felt insanely happy Mikey didn't have X-ray vision.
He'd see his traitorous, murderous guts.
It was always a stupid song. Pete never minded it, never paid any attention at all. But Mikey used to hum it all the time.
Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelu...
Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelu...
Pete didn't notice the humming right up until the end, about a week before the Fall Out Boy manager said the words "We're breaking off of Warped early. We've got you a European leg opening up for Green Day. We gotta take this."
Pete knew the dream was over. He wasn't a dreamer. He never had been. Mikey was the dreamer, and they were the dream.
It hurt his insides to think about it like that.
He left without leaving a note, without saying goodbye, without so much as a text message. The bus pulled off in the middle of the night, when all the other Fall Out Boys were asleep. Except Pete.
He lay awake, thumbing the spot on his finger where he once wore a ring. He swallowed hard, rolling over and closing his stinging eyes.
He began to hum.
Thanks so much for reading. Hope you enjoyed. Like I said, it's a companion to my other story "Bang the Doldrums". Sorry if it was confusing. Thanks again!