gemmi999: lips and hair (Default)
gemmi999 ([personal profile] gemmi999) wrote2009-07-07 07:02 am

Coda: After the Music

I really want to write this into a longer piece, but I have a couple other stories that I'm writing to, currently. This won't make sense if you haven't read After the Music.

NOTE: Unbetaed, because that's just how I roll this early in the morning. Also, this is about the current Panic news that's going around. Don't read if you don't know what I'm talking about.




Brent got the text message in the middle of his bio-psychology course, right when his professor was discussing exactly how endorphins worked and what different medications did to brain chemistry. The cell vibrated against his thigh and Brent didn't even hesitate before grabbing the phone and flicking it open, discreetly, underneath his half-desk thing. call me bout the ! flashed across the screen and Brent mentally groaned.

He'd been hearing more and more about Panic's problems over the past couple months, Brendon especially seemed to love texting Brent whenever there was a problem with the music. Bob mostly laughed about it, no doubt because he was getting similar text messages from My Chem. And now? With Pete getting involved?

Brent put the cell away and forced himself to focus back in on the professor's lecture. He needed to pass this course with a decent grade, it was 7 credits and if he fucked it up his GPA would be screwed to all hell. He'd deal with whatever drama Panic had going later. It couldn't be that important, anyways.

~~


Mikey served amazingly wonderful coffee, strong enough to put hair on Brent's chest but free enough that Brent didn't have to worry about having cash. Brent seriously hated places that didn't take credit cards--they were all part of some government conspiracy to make him carry cash on a regular basis. They probably joined ranks with his parents to make the "always carry at least twenty" guilt trips more effective. That Mikey worked at Java the Hut and didn't make Brent pay was the only thing that Brent had going for him in the cash carrying communist society that was most of Chicago's east side.

Going to Java the Hut had been touch-and-go for a while, Brent avoided the place because he was scared he would run into Mikey; Mikey had just shrugged (seriously, shrugged, like he was MikeyfuckinWay or something) and mumbled that he didn't mind seeing familiar faces. Brendon was the one who finally forced the issue, when he and Brent had finally gotten up the balls to actually hang out. He'd wanted to meet the infamous Mikey and Brent hadn't been able to think of a good enough reason to stall. So the two of them had trooped over to Java the Hut and ordered ridiculously glorious mocha's. And forgotten that neither of them carried cash.

Mikey had comp'd their drinks and thanked Brendon for dragging Brent's sorry ass down to the coffee shop. Just like that! Mikey didn't know it then, but he'd made a friend for life. Caffeine and chocolate for free? And random stories about how Brent might have been a douche and the stupid idiotic things the two of them had gotten up to? Brendon had Mikey's number program in his cell before the Brent could even blink, and Brent had standing orders from Brendon to go back to Java the Hut and bug Mikey for him, like vicariously.

Brent played along with it--at least he got the coffee for free.

So after his Bio-psych class got out, Brent wandered over to Java the Hut and ordered something sugary and delicious. Mikey wasn't working so he actually had to pay for the drink, but the girl behind the counter recognized him and gave him a 20% discount. It paid to have friends in coffee places, Brent figured.

When the drink was ready and Brent had a chance to take a couple of courage sips, Brent settled down in one of the many comfortable couches that lined the walls. He pulled his cell out and thought idly about not returning the text message. Thought idly about all the months he'd gone without any contact, and then again of all the months of hard work it had taken to get this comfortable with his former band mates, his former band. Thought about the trips he'd taken to Pink Berry with Brendon, and the pennies he had littering his glove compartment, flat and imprinted with different designs from the Museum of Science and Industry.

He'd fought his way back, treasured the friendships that ended up stronger then before, reforged and strengthened with time and trust and just a little bit of Bob Bryar's magic touch. Brent wanted to get the text messages, wanted the rambling phone calls and random pics and the emails that weren't chatty but still existed. He'd finally come in from the cold and didn't want to experience that frostbite again.

Slowly, Brent dialed Pete's number (speed dial 6--and when the fuck had Pete gotten his own speed dial number?) and waited anxiously for the phone to finish ringing.

"'Sup?" Pete finally answered.

"Just got out of class," Brent answered the unasked question, explained why it took so long to get back to Pete about something that was potentially so important.

"Good class?" Pete wondered, and Brent smiled.

"Yeah, it's kind of a bitch though, bio-psychology." Brent didn't say anything for a few minutes, let the silence build around their conversation, building up tension because seriously? Pete had to start talking sometime.

And when he finally did, it wasn't at all what Brent had expected. "Jon and Ryan are leaving Panic. Just wanted to, ya know, give you a head's up." Pete mumbled this last part, slurred his words together and Brent had to strain to even understand them. But when he finally did?

"Oh." There wasn't anything else to say.