Pete can see that this kid is fucked up. He really can. But that isn’t going to stop him from falling foot over ass for him.
Ten years ago, when he was a fourteen year old with horrid depression and a dream of being famous, the words "college, doctor and career" would have almost certainly earned you a laugh and punch in the face from Pete. He had no prospects of going to college or even finishing high school. All he wanted was to be in a band. Be signed. Be big. Have his name being uttered from LA to fucking Tokyo. That's all.
He could remember the way he was back then. Living for the thrill of partying and tattoos and sex and music; not caring when he'd come home high and wasted to find his father pissed and his mother crying. Smirking as he climbed through the tiny window of his basement night after god-forsaken night. Not caring about consequences or laws or rules because all that wouldn't mean a thing when he was famous.
He laughs bitterly now. Famous? Never even happened.
Sometimes he lies in bed, watching time pass him by like the cars outside his apartment window, and he wishes he had those days back. To do something worth his time. He wishes he had those hours upon hours spent practicing in his garage with his so-called-band back. Hours spent fucking his so-called-girlfriends.
He wishes. But if there's one thing Pete has learned in his 24 years of life, it's that wishes are a result of magic, and magic is not real.
The young man stands in front of the mirror on his office door, pulling his coat off, bits of ice and melted snow dripping onto the carpeting.
Sometimes Pete wonders why this place hired him. At first glance, he looks like an inexperienced young guy who probably still lives with his parents and plays Call of Duty all night.
He absently runs his finger over the thorns snaking across his upper chest and shoulders. The tattoo is barely visible and usually he is apt on covering it fully, but he only has one session today, and this client is different.
Pete likes to go by the strict shrink/client rules. Nothing personal is shared other than what is necessary to make him/her better. But that is hard with this particular patient.
All Pete wants to do was is hug this kid and tell him things will be alright.
But that's not his job.
"Dr. Wentz, your um...girlfriend is on line one. Do you want me to patch her to you or are you in a meeting?"
Pete snaps his neck around too fast and the defiant CRACK makes him whimper. He rushes to the black phone on his desk and presses speaker.
"What? No! No, don't patch her, Victoria," He spits frantically- tiredly. Ashlee calls every day around the same time.
In a movement of pure irritation, knowing that Ash would just blow up his cell, Pete runs out of his office to his assistant, Victoria Asher's, desk. Pete had only hired her because she was a friend of a friend and she was pretty desperate for a job at the time. Yes, Pete is a fucking saint, thank you.
"Tell her I'm seeing a patient!" The dark haired man's voice is hurried but soft. Vicky speaks patiently into the phone, and Pete cringes at Ashlee's high pitched voice on the other end.
"She says can she call back later?"
The first thing Pete wants to say is, "No, no she may not." What he ends up saying instead is, "Yes."
After Ashlee finally finishes her interrogation of the very distraught Victoria, Pete slumps back to his office, slamming the door and flopping onto his chair, banging his head on the mahogany desk.
Ashlee-yet another ghost of relationships past.
Absently, Pete opens up his client file and reads.
Name (as appears on certificate of birth): Patrick Martin Stumph
Name (as appears on identification): Patrick Vaughn Stump
Occupation: Professional Musician
Medical History (if applicable): Clinical Depression as of age 16.
Legal Status of Admission: Involuntary
The file meant to tell Pete anything and everything possible about his patient is quite scarce. If anything this was information that Pete could have found out through a simple Bing search. This isn't enough information to go by and the last two session with this kid had consisted of him sitting there fiddling with his knit hat. But Pete likes him. In that doctor/patient way of course.
In all honesty, musicians are Pete's least favorite type of crazy. They're either here to "seek inspiration" which loosely translates into "get drugs", or they're genuinely crazy and that's never fun. Not that dealing with mentally unsound people is a fun profession.
There is a gentle knock on Pete's door, and the he makes a sound of affirmation. The door opens very slowly as the young man enters. He is short and pleasantly plump with rosy pink cheeks. It suits him, really. He has strawberry blonde hair to his chin, very neatly groomed sideburns and a trucker hat with a monkey on it placed tightly over his head.
Pete gives the boy a gentle smile, deciding now would be a proper time to act like a professional.
Pete winds up busying himself by writing broken phrases on the corners of his notepad. Lyrics if you want to call them that. Something about Saturdays and Astoria.
He'll probably just trash it before he leaves for the day.
After what seems like ten minutes, Pete breaks the silence resting comfortably between him and the young blonde.
"At some point you're going to have to speak to me, Patrick. I can't help you if you don't." Pete's voice is ever-so-patient as he watches the teenager fidget on the black leather sofa.
Patrick Stump is clearly uncomfortable in his own body; the way he jerks about, pulling his shirt to cover his slightly exposed belly then stiffening when he sees Pete staring. But this isn't high school where you catch someone staring and they turn away quickly. This is intensive therapy. So Pete just...keeps staring.
He isn't going to force it out of him. Pete is being paid by the hour. He has no problem at all sitting here and mooching off this kid like a money leech but something about the reddening of Patrick's cheeks, the sadness in his blue eyes...something makes Pete unable to just...leech from him.
"You don't have to keep staring at me."
Hearing the boy's voice for the first time is something that probably shocks Pete more than it should have. The voice is soft but holds an authority. He must be the lead singer for whatever band he is in. Pete can tell. Patrick's voice has a gentle dominance to it. Pete tries not to feel slightly intrigued but Patrick is biting at his lip and the adverse effect occurs. Pete is only maybe slightly embarrassed.
"I'll stop staring when you start talking," Pete responds writing more broken phrases on his notepad. Two more weeks my foot is in the door.
The young boy gently lifts his hat, runs a careful hand through his hair then lowers the hat again.
"My name is Patrick Stump. I'm 19. I'm in a band," he begins then stops, looking expectantly at Pete.
Pete just nods. "Mhm. Now, tell me something that I don't already know. Why are you here? Let's start with that." He opens up his black notebook purchased especially for Patrick. Pete can tell the kid has more than a few problems so a couple post-its isn't going to work this time.
"I-" Patrick stops, seeming to think about his next words quite thoroughly. Pete writes down calculated thinker in the black book. "My manager sent me here. And my band," he answers after nearly two minutes.
Pete jots that down. Admitted by management/band mates.
"Why did they send you to me, Patrick?"
Pete watches as the boy's right hand clenches and un-clenches over and over in a pattern. One and clench and two and clench and three and clench and four..."I don't sleep at night. I can't sleep at night." Patrick's voice is barely a whisper and Pete has to strain to hear it.
Insomnia then. About sixty-three percent of musicians develop or already have this illness. It's common but certainly not healthy.
Pete scribbles down: May have Insomnia. "Is there a reason why you can't sleep? Is it nightmares? Stress? Are you restless? Feel like you have excess energy?"
"No." Patrick shakes his head vigorously somehow managing to not displace his cap. Pete thinks this is some kind of witchcraft but he refrains from mentioning it. "No, I...I'm tired at night! I'm not restless. I want to sleep. I feel like I can fall asleep at any second, but when I get in bed I never actually sleep." He stops for a moment, playing with a hole in the knee of his black jeans.
"I just sort of lay there until...I guess until I have to get back on the bus again."
"The bus?" Pete cuts in and curses himself straight after. Yet another rule disobeyed. Never interrupt a patient.
"We're on...were on tour. Until I fucked it all up," Patrick grumbles bitterly, shaking his head as if to punish himself for something he'd done. Pete just nods, as is obligatory.
When Patrick sees that Pete isn't going to speak, he averts his aqua eyes to a photo of Pete's bull dog, Hemingway, which is placed on a shelf near the door.
"It's hard. Being on the road. Jet lag when we go overseas...It's impossible to even...like adjust." He fiddles with the lining of his tight, two-toned tee. Pete scribbles: Traveling may be root of insomnia.
"Do you think that if you took a break-"
Patrick's blue eyes flicker strangely at Pete, a mix between anger and loyalty. "A break? No! My fans...no, I can't. We do this for them. The music is for them. They paid to see a show and I'm not letting..." He struggles with the words. "...this shit get in the way of it."
Pete can see that Patrick is completely, if not totally, dedicated to his music and his fan base. This says a lot, all things considered, seeing as he's nearly driving himself mad with restlessness.
"But I guess it's too late for that. The guys already cancelled all of our shows. We never had to cancel a tour before...especially not Warped...that's like..."
Pete's lips quirk at the corners. He knows about the Vans Warped Tour. He goes every year. Used to want to be on that stage performing.
After a moment of silence, Pete asks, "Patrick, can you tell me when your sleeping problems began?"
It's a simple enough question, so the teenager doesn't have to think about it twice before answering, "After the new album was released."
In the back of Pete's mind he knows there was more to it, but he doesn't press for an answer. And after what seems like an hour of dead silence, Patrick finally speaks.
"It's...I...I wrote out like...whole spirals full of lyrics and songs and metaphors and....the label didn't want to produce it. Says the music isn't what The Scene is looking for right now. But the thing is, Joe, Andy and I worked our asses off on that...And I just know the fans would've loved it but the pre-written shit the label made us record..." Pete can see the tremendous stress behind the blonde's lids when he shuts them, skin gray with little purple veins.
"It didn't please your fans?" Pete gently offers. Patrick chuckles but in a way that is not remotely humorous.
"Please them? They fucking hated that shit. I'm surprised that we sold out the tour, but it most likely sold out because of the other acts..." He stops, and then genuinely grins. "...I mean who won't pay out the dick to see Brendon Urie shake his ass, right?" Patrick says fondly. Pete assumes he and Urie are close.
Pete can barely contain his smile. The kid is funny. Sad...but very funny. Pete also isn't about to say anything about Brendon Urie's ass. That could only lead to very dark places very quickly.
"So, explain to me how exactly your label-produced album has warranted your sleeping issues," Pete asks, voice less somber and much lighter. Patrick is definitely opening up and that somehow makes Pete frown. Because if he opens up, he'll get better quicker. And he won't need to come see Pete anymore. And Pete maybe sounds like a seven year old girl with a crush right now.
"It's stressful. We've got to lie about that shit in interviews. No one wants to hear that the beloved Fall Out Boy doesn't write their own music. Or pick their own album covers or their own tour schedules. Basically we just record and perform. The only luxury is having Dirty tag along and that's more like owning a large dog. I hate it." The young man rubs his temples with his thumb and forefinger. "But I love it at the same time...I must be crazy."
"Well, you are at a shrink, Pete says before he can stop himself. A result of too much time spent around Gabe and Nate. Patrick looked up and surprisingly, has a small smile on his face. Pete smiles back because who wouldn't?
Suddenly, almost as if he'd been waiting to ask the entire time, Patrick picks up a frame from Pete's desk.
"These your brothers?" He asks, holding up the wide frame. It is a younger Pete, fresh out of college at a Bears game with his strewn lazily over the shoulder of his best friend, Gabe. Gabe has his own arm over Nate who had his over Alex and his over Ryland. Pete hasn't seen Rye or Alex in nearly two years, since they moved from Chicago, but Gabe and Nate live in the same apartment building as Pete as does Victoria.
Pete internally cursed. Rule 1: Never share personal information with a patient under any circumstances. Pete decides, fuck it, and smiles slightly as he leans a little closer to see the photo.
"My best friend, there-" He points to Gabe who has on a goofy grin and a purple hoody. "-and some other very close friends." He points at the other three who all look equally as goofy.
Pete pushed his rules aside for but a moment. Maybe sharing a little could help with Patrick's...recovery. No, bad wording. His treatment. Psh, it's not like the kid is some kind of psycho. Not like he'd sneak into Pete's house and rape him. Not that Pete would be in anyway opposed.
Patrick is grinning and the grin makes Pete's heart thump in a strange way. "You used to have red hair?" The blonde asks as he studies the half decade old photo.
Pete nods. "Yeah. It was a pretty bad idea now that I think back on it." It really had been a bad idea. His hair hasn't been the same texture since.
Patrick chuckles. "You guys look really happy," he noted, setting the photo down finally. Pete nods.
"Yes, our last real summer together before we joined society." Pete lets out a nostalgic chuckle before thinking of something Gabe had told him once: Nostalgia is the failure of true emotion.
Gabe is somewhat of a drunk Aristotle.
After about ten minutes, Pete has finished filing Patrick's newly entered data and looks up with a peaceful smile. He is very pleased to hear the boy humming to himself, a serene expression on his face.
"So, I'll write you a prescription for some Ambiatol. It has a very high approval rating so I'm sure it'll help. Um...I don't need to explain the regulations on dosage, do I?" Pete gives Patrick a wary look, and Patrick rolls his bright blue eyes. Pete notices a sparkle there in them. It certainly hadn't been there when the boy walked into Pete's office an hour earlier.
"I'm not suicidal, Dr. Wentz," he responds with a smirk, taking the yellow slip of paper. Pete has to wrestle himself internally to keep from jumping the boy right there. Because Pete hasn't gotten laid in a while and Patrick is all kinds of adorable.
"Of course. So that will be all. I wrote my cell and house number on the back of that for you. Just in case you need to talk or have questions or any
"Chill. I'm sure I'll be fine. Unless you want me to call you, Dr. Wentz."
God yes, please, you sweet, young, supple- "No, no. Strictly for emergencies. You have a good day Patrick."
The boy's face seems to only drop for a second before his eyes light up as he makes his way to the door.
"Can't wait for our next session, Dr. Wentz," Patrick's voice is unreasonably deep and may be doing something to Pete's pants. Making them tighter it seems. And the way he says Dr. Wentz...with a leer. This kid is...oh dear baby Jesus.
"Afternoon, Patrick," Pete barely mumbles as the door shuts, and he hears a small giggle from the other side as his head falls back to its home on his mahogany desk.