Short Fics





Chapter 11

“Think the guys would have called for a search party by now?” she asked, slumping down on the bench, sipping the cool beer slowly.

“Huh?” he looked at her momentarily lost. She’d switched topics abruptly and it took him a while to comprehend what she just said. She turned slowly to look up at him, shaking her head sadly.

“Oh! Nah. I’m not that important to them. They’d have called me on my cell if they were worried enough,” just as he said that, a shrill ring escaped from his pocket. Veruca let out a short laugh as he took a look at the number flashing on the screen. “Speak of the devil,” she mused and returned to the scenery in front of her. They were sitting under the dappled shade of the huge tree down the boardwalk where they’d gone after lunch in some Chinese restaurant down the street.

“Where the fuck are you?!” Mike smirked when he heard Joe’s voice over the other end.

“Having my lunch.” He simply said, taking a gulp of his beer.

“What?! Alone? But we got you lunch!” Joe grumbled.

“Hey. Who was the one who got hungry and left me to fend for myself in that place infested with fans? Dare you complain, you dick,” Mike’s voice was filled with sarcasm and the urge to laugh.

“Where are you? We’ll come get you,” he could hear Joe frowning. He turned to look at Veruca. She was still looking out into the sea, apparently deep in thought. She took occasional sips of her beer without diverting her attention. Mike contemplated over what to tell Joe.

“It’s okay, dude. You guys stay back there. I’ll be back when I’m done.” He heard himself saying into the phone and panicked for a moment. “You can have my share of lunch that you so generously got for me. I don’t really feel like a double double at the moment anyway,” he said, knowing full well what they guys had bought him They always got the same thing for him when ever they got him food. Double cheese burger, large drink and two helpings of fries. His favourite meal. But even that didn’t seem appealing to him right now. Not after the amazing banquet Veruca had ordered for them.

“What?! What are you going to do then? Where are you?” Joe sounded frantic and Mike had to laugh.

“I’m just going to hang a bit. It’s pretty cool out here...”

“Dammit! Where the fuck is here? Mike, what the hell are you up to?!” Joe was almost screaming into his phone while Mike was being so elusive.

Mike was by then reduced to fits of laughter that he was trying to suppress. Veruca turned to look at him with a look of amusement on her face. She could hear Joe’s screams from where she was and a smirk spread across her face. He grinned back.

“Is that Joe?” she asked. Mike nodded.

“HEY! Who’s that with you? Is that Veruca?” Joe asked when he heard another voice. “Dammit mutherfucker.. are you out there with Veruca?!”

“Can’t talk now, Joe. Gotta go,” he hit the end button with Joe still yelling over the other end.

“Gee, that was sweet. Hanging up on your best friend when he’s all concerned about your whereabouts. I won’t be surprised if a search team pops out of the bush looking for a missing Mike Shinoda.” Veruca said calmly when he turned to her with a grin on his face. She wondered why he didn’t tell Joe where he was and then shrugged it off. 

“Well, that should teach them not to leave me behind.” Mike finished his beer and tossed the empty bottle into the trash can next to him.

“So, what do you want to do now?” she was looking at him with her deep green eyes again. He blinked, lost for words at the moment.

“I dunno. What’s fun to do around here?” he looked around him at the summer crowd on the boardwalk. Surfers and sails dotted the sea down below and the beach was infested with sunbathers. Veruca shrugged. She’d never really bothered to find out what was fun around that area. She’d been there for about a month for the fest and she’d only gone as far as the bar two blocks away from the fest for a drink.

“We could find out,” she leaned over him and dropped her bottle into the trash. He froze and gulped when he felt her so close to him. He still couldn’t understand why he felt that way around her.

Veruca stood up and looked at the emcee. She wondered if what she just did was considered as flirting. She hoped not. That’s the last thing you’d want to do, girl. Don’t do anything stupid... whatever happens, DON’T do anything stupid. She warned herself.

Chapter 12

They walked down the street, stopping by each and every stall they came across. He watched in amusement as she paid for her ice cream. She licked the deep pink watermelon ice cream and offered some to him. He looked at her stupidly, then leaned down to take a bite of the ice cream she was offering. He felt the cold sweet flavor on his tongue and yelped when she proceeded to stuff the whole cone into his mouth.

She stood laughing as he licked the ice cream off his lips. He looked at her and his glare consequently melted into laughter.

“Here,” she handed him a piece of tissue, licking her own sticky fingers. He cursed himself as he wiped the remnants of his face and hands. DAMMIT, Mike. Get a grip of yourself. Does everything she do have to turn you on?  he chuckled as he followed her down the street.

“Hey! Let’s get our portraits done!” she said excitedly when she spotted the sidewalk artist up ahead. She grabbed his hand and led him through the crowd. He followed willingly.

She chuckled at the price of a portrait in disbelief.

“You know... I bet you can do better than that,” she told him.

“What?” he looked at her, lost.

“Draw.” She gave him one of her mischievous looks and stepped over to the artist and whispered into his ears. Mike watched the entire scene, slightly uncomfortable, not knowing what Veruca had install for him this time. He had to admit that he was enjoying himself.

“Okay. Here you go.” he looked down at the piece of charcoal she held up to him, puzzled. “You’re supposed to draw... I’ve managed to convince that old cow to let us do our own so you better cos he’s not exactly nice,” she scoffed, pushing the charcoal into his hands. He smirked and sat down on the empty stool as Veruca seated herself in front of him and proceeded to do a sketch of him.

Her head was spinning and she could hardly see. It’s the sun. It’s getting in my eye, she concluded as she squinted slightly to get a better look at the guy in front of her. He was looking intently at his paper, his hand sketching furiously. She wondered why she was behaving the way she was. Liz would have called me a slut by now and slapped me. she mused. Thank god Liz isn’t here. She looked down at her piece of work and smirked. She’d captured his eyes perfectly onto paper.

They thanked the man, placing a ten dollar bill in his hand and walked off, much to the amusement of the crowd. The rolled up sketch of themselves held in their hands.

Chapter 13

“Here. I think you should have a look at this mess I made,” she grinned, handing him her scroll. He handed his to her and unrolled it. He blinked. She’d captured his features and placed it on the paper perfectly. He felt like he was looking into a mirror, only his image was in black and white. “Oh my god.” Was all he could say.

“Yeah.. my sentiments exactly. He looks too good to be you,” she joked. His gaze shot up from the paper to her grinning face.

“Let’s see how good I look,” she unrolled the scroll in her hand, slightly uncomfortable under his gaze. She felt a smile spread across her face. He was good. He was really really good. The rough charcoal sketches shaped her face and her jet black hair, capturing her intense look. Mike had almost fell back the stool when he’d looked at his finished work back at the stall. Those eyes were creeping him out, yet he like being with her.

“Not bad,” she commented coolly. “Didn’t quite get my nose right  though. You just made me look like Britney Spears. Are you sure you don’t have some subconscious lust for her?” she pretended to examine the picture.

He balked. “What?! NO!” he replied almost immediately. They looked at each other and  burst out laughing.

“Shit! This is so amazing!!” he said looking at his portrait after he’d finally stifled his laughter. “I don’t believe it!”

“Did I forget to tell you that I have a degree in illustration too?” she asked in an innocently sweet voice.

“No shit. Where?” he looked at her.

“Back up in New York.”

“I’m keeping this,” he scrolled it back up. “You can have that portrait of Britney Spears in exchange.”

“No.” she made a grab at the scroll he was holding, missing it as he held it above his head, chuckling. “Give it back, Mike.” she pouted.

“Nu-uh” he shook his head. He was much taller than her and knew she couldn’t reach the scroll no matter how high she tried to jump. He let out a yelp when he felt her tickling his sides.

“Stop! Hey! That’s my weak spot! DON’T!” he yelled trying to get away from her.

“Not unless you give that back to me,” she threatened, not stopping, a devilish look on her face.

He finally surrendered when he couldn’t take it anymore. “Okay okay... I said OKAY!” he shoved her hands away, trying to breath laugh and talk at the same time. “Here,” he held the scroll out to her and pulled it away when she tried to take it from him.

He grabbed her by her waist and tickled her when she least suspected. She let out a shriek and tried to dodge, but he held on to her tightly.

“It’s PAYBACK time!” he growled, tickling her sides as she laughed uncontrollably, unable to speak. Onlookers stared at them, stepping out of their way. The scrolls lay on the floor near them with the rest of the stuff they’d purchased before.

“STOPPIT!” she managed to yelp. “Help!”

“No! I shall grant no mercy you little monster!” he laughed. “After all that torture you put me through!” he didn’t stop tickling as they struggled on the sidewalk. Veruca shoved him with all her might, falling onto him as he fell back, his arms still around her waist. He groaned as he felt the ground hit is back. The heat from the sunbaked pavement seeped through his shirt brought him back to reality as he stared at the girl lying on top of him, trying to breath and stifle her laugh at the same time. He lay there, out of breath and dumbfounded. Veruca looked up at him, a smile on her face.

“Shit, Mike. I swear I’d have died laughing if you didn’t stop,” she told him. Her smile slowly faded when she saw the glazed look in his eyes.

“Mike?” she called up softly. He merely stared at her, trying to catch his breath.

Veruca jumped off almost immediately when she realised the position they were in. Her mind raced for something to say, but she could think of none. Mike had stood up, brushing sand off his shirt and pants. She tucked her hair behind her ears and moved to pick up their stuff, handing a scroll back to him in silence.

“Sorry,” he finally said after a long moment of silence. They continued walking. She looked up and smiled at him. It was the only thing she could do whenever she looked at his face and into his eyes. Smile like an idiot, why don’t you? she scolded herself. He smiled back and she felt his eyes burning into hers. They were just as intense as her own.

“Don’t be,” she murmured hitting him playfully on his arm with her scroll. “C’mon. Let’s get you home, cleaned up and tucked in for a nap,” she nudged him as they made their way back to her car.

“I don’t need a nap,” he chuckled, all discomfort vanishing as he greeted her plush cream passenger seat gratefully. He closed his eyes as he heard her revved the engine. I’m just tired.

Chapter 14

Veruca stared at the road she was on, her mind occupied. She furrowed her brows as she tried to figure out what had just happened. Veruca, stop being a slut and behave. For a moment, she was worried. What the hell just happened?! I’m not supposed to be flirting with him! He’s a goddamn Linkin Park emcee! What’s that got to do with all this? Dammit, he’s just too fucking nice! But who said you’re flirting. You’re both having pure innocent fun. It’s just your own corrupted mind that’s polluting the whole situation. She rationalized in her mind. No. Whatever it is, I gotta stop. she stopped her thoughts, wondering why she was making a big fuss over something so trivial. It bothered her that she’d been over friendly with Mike. It bugged her that he’d suddenly grew distant, but concluded that it was perhaps her self that was being distant. Besides, he looks tired. She turned to look at Mike for the first time since they got into the car. She felt a little disappointment.. Mike had fallen asleep, arms folded, resting his head on the back of the seat. Veruca sighed, tearing her gaze away from the sleeping form and back onto the road.

She felt exhausted too, and closed her eyes for a moment. What’s going on?!! her mind yelled at her. She didn’t know and she didn’t want to find out at that moment. All she wanted to do was to get him back to his band members and curl  up in her own bed and continue her sleep. I should have stayed home. The more she pondered about the situation, the worse she felt. As she pulled up at the parking lot, she felt ready to burst. She shook him lightly to wake him. 

“Hey sleepyhed, wakey wakey.” She managed to smile at him as his eyes fluttered open.

Mike squinted at the sudden brightness and sat up. For a moment, he didn’t know where he was, and then he caught Veruca’s face. He groaned lightly and rubbed the sleep off his eyes with the back of his hands like a little kid.

“This is your stop, man.” She said, leaning on the steering wheel, watching him wake up. He heard her chuckle and did the same himself.

“Sorry. I must have needed that nap more than I thought.” he opened the door.

“Yeah. I told you.” Veruca said in a soft voice, feeling tired herself. The day had exhausted her more than she expected. “Well, I had fun.” she smiled up at him.

“Yeah... me too..” he said after looking at her awkwardly. “Wanna come down and say hi to the rest?” he asked remembering the rest of the band suddenly.

She shook her head. “I got to meet up with a friend,” she mumbled. Which wasn’t really a lie. Alex had called her late last night to tell her about dinner that evening.

“Oh. Alright then. See you around,” he muttered, puzzled over why they were suddenly so awkward with each other. We were doing fine just hours ago. Hanging out... horsing around... he came to a sudden realisation as he watched her drive off. What the... Just chill bro’  he comforted himself as he headed towards the tour bus, yawning. He groaned when he spotted Chester’s face pressed against the tinted glass window of the bus, a stupid grin on his face.

Chapter 15

Veruca pondered whether to go up to the guys. Watching them from afar. She’d been subconsciously avoiding them for the past couple of days, busying herself with work and Alex. She admitted that it wasn’t fair to the guys, especially Mike to avoid them like that. She slipped behind the crowd of fans, hoping that they wouldn’t  notice her. As always, nature worked against her, Joe looked up, spotted her and waved madly, making his way through the crowd before she could do anything.

“Veruca!” Joe grinned and wrapped his arms around her. “Where have you been, girl?” he seemed really happy to see her.

“Hey Joe. I’ve been busy,” she laughed, hugging him back. ‘Sorry, dude.”

“That’s okay. We all missed you,” he pouted a little. “C’mon. Say hi to the guys. Chester’s going nuts wondering what happened to you.” He pulled her along by her hand. She had to follow him.

“Hey guys!” She called out, grinning at them. Chester’s eyes lit up as he climbed over the table and hugged her, “Girl!”. Rob grinned, leaning over the table to give her a hug.

“Where have you been?” Phoenix asked when he realised she was standing over his table.

She shrugged, grinning, “Around.”

She turned to look at Mike who was sitting at the end of the table just as he looked up. His dark eyes flashed when he say her, but he did nothing. She smiled.

“Hey Mike! Look who’s here...” Chester said in a teasing voice. Mike gave him a pained look and smiled at her before turning back to the fan in front of him. The guys looked at each other, puzzled.

“What’s up with Mike?” Joe asked. Veruca kept her eyes on Mike as she listened to the rest of them.

“I dunno. He’s been like that for days. I wonder what crawled up his ass.” Chester shrugged. The crowd had thinned and they had time to spare for a chat.

“HEY MIKE! What’s up with you?” Brad called out. Mike looked up at them without a look of comprehension on his face.

“Yeah. What’s up your ass, man. You’ve been acting all weird and cranky lately.” Phoenix asked.

“Poor baby didn’t get his nap?” Joe pouted speaking in a babyish voice.

Mike’s expression was indifferent. “I’m alright guys. Just a little tired. That’s all,” he said, flashing a look at Veruca. She groaned inwardly. Don’t tell me he’s making the whole thing a big deal. Shit. He made the effort to smile for the guys, hoping it would shut them up.

“Well, are you going to hang out with us already or not?” Joe asked Veruca, tugging at her sleeve to get her attention. He didn’t tell them?!  Veruca’s brows furrowed slightly, but she smiled. “Sure.” She glanced at Mike who busied himself doodling on the table.

“I’m off at five. We can have dinner then.” She made instant plans. The guys nodded in agreement.

“I’ll come back here at six thirty, alright?” she looked at the guys. That should give her enough time to get back home for a shower and to pick out something to wear. Maybe I’ll even use make up, she mused to herself sarcastically, wondering why that idea just popped into her head... in that manner.

“Okay!” Chester nodded once. “We’re gonna hang with Veruca... we’re gonna hang with Veruca...” he sang, doing a dance. Veruca threw a last look at Mike before she left them, but he wasn’t looking at her. She felt disappointment as she walked back to meet Liz.

Chapter 16

Mike was the last to get off the bus. The rest were already in the van waiting. They’d gawked when they saw Veruca. Chester mocked a fall, holding his heart, guffawing.

“Damn, gurl, if I wasn’t married, I’d have made a move on you,” he smirked.

“You don’t look too bad yourself, Chaz. If you weren’t married I’D have made a move on you,” she teased back. He looked down at the black shirt and grey slacks he’d dug up from the bottom of his luggage and smirked. With Chester, she could flirt outrageously and not feel a thing, because they both know that nothing would happen and it was all in the name of fun.

Mike stopped decending the steps when he caught a glimpse of Veruca at the bottom of the steps, talking to Chester. He gulped, not knowing what to do. At that very moment, he’d wanted to bolt back up the bus and hide under his covers, but he forced himself to continue. She looked up at him and flashed him her smile. She looked amazing in the deep red dress she wore.


“Hi.” He kicked himself mentally. Damn, Mike. It’s not like you’ve never seen a girl in a dress before. But you’ve never seen HER in a dress before.

“So... where are you taking us for dinner?” he managed to ask finally after a long pause.

“You’ll see,” that same old flash was in her eyes again as they got into the van. Mike got into the back, thankful that he was furthest away from her.

“Mike? What’s up with you?” Brad egged, a hint of hopelessness in his voice. They’d asked him the same question about a million times but he’d always given them the same answer, which was so blatantly obvious that he was lying.

“I’m fine,” Mike grinned, his thoughts suddenly brought back to reality.

“You’re such a lousy liar, man,” Chester turned to look at him from the front seat.

“Wha..? I wasn’t lying,” Mike answered curtly, turning to look out the window, avoiding Chester’s eyes.

“There you go again!” Chester exclaimed, pointing at him excitedly.

“Shut up man. I said I was fine,”  Mike reached out to push Chester’s face away. Veruca turned to look at Mike from the passenger’s seat, silently asking him ‘what’s wrong?’. He caught the look and gave her a wan smile.

Chapter 17

Veruca couldn’t take it anymore. Mike had sat through dinner silently. He was so different from the person he was when she’d taken him out for the day. Right now, they were seated around the low table in Cube, the jazzy club with square furniture in strong bold colors and white walls and floor. She looked at her margarita and frowned. That’s it. I can’t take this weirdness anymore. She gulped the contents down and stood up, sidestepping Joe and Brad and stood in front of Mike who was staring at the dance floor.

“C’mon Mike. Let’s dance,” She pulled him up by his hands, smiling at him. Her eyes held a different light. One of inquisition and determination. He followed her reluctantly as she led him to the dance floor.

“What’s up with you Mike?” She asked over the loud music as they moved in the crowd. He looked down at her, expressionless. “Mike. If it’s about the other day. You’re just being stupid,” she blurted out. His eyes flashed.

“What?” he strained his thoughts against the loud music that was banging in his head. She rolled her eyes and dragged him out through the back door. He stood looking at here, frowning, not knowing what she was going to do next.

“Mike you’ve been acting so distant ever since that day. What happened? Don’t tell me it’s nothing cos your eyes are telling a different story.” She searched his eyes for any sign of him answering her with a truth. 

“What was it Mike? You have to tell me. I have a right to know cos it’s about me. I just know it.” she continued when he didn’t answer her.

Mike let out a sigh and looked down at his shoes. “I don’t know.” he finally mumbled. “I’m just feeling really bad about it... guilty.” he finally said after a short pause.

“Guilty for what? For having a good time with a friend?” she asked. He looked up at her to find her boring into his soul again. A sudden look of comprehension fell upon her face and she let out a small sigh. “Mike, PLEASE. Tell me what’s wrong.” she pleaded. “Was it me? Was I flirting with you? Was it something I said?” she drilled. He stood looking at her, not knowing what to say. He shook his head slowly.

“Talk to me Mike. You didn’t even tell the guys about that day. And now you’re being a grouch and a half over something you’re refusing to tell everyone else, but not hesitating in biting everyone’s head off about it. It’s not fair to them. Nor to me. You gotta at least tell ME what’s going on,” she gave him a sad look.  

“I’m sorry. I was just being stupid over nothing.” He looked downcast. He couldn’t let the words out of his mouth. he didn’t know how. He regretted not telling the guys. At least someone could have helped him out. Perhaps one of them could have figured out what he was feeling.

“Michael Kenji Shinoda. Are you going to talk or do I have to make you,” Veruca was angry and frustrated. She’d thought that it would have been a lot easier than this. He swallowed before saying anything. Fine. You want the truth? I’ll tell you. We’ll figure this out together right? he asked her in his mind.

“I like you, V. I like you a lot. But I think everything’s moving too fast. This shouldn’t be happening, you know? We shouldn’t have gotten so close. We shouldn’t have gone out for lunch that day. We shouldn’t have hung out. Nothing would have happened if we didn’t. And we wouldn’t be standing here having this goddamn conversation!” he ended vehemently. Veruca looked at him, not knowing what to make of his pseudo speech.

“What are you trying to say? What happened?” she furrowed her brows questioningly.

“I’m saying that I’m confused. Okay? I don’t know what’s going on and I for sure don’t know what the hell I’m talking about right now.” he ran both his hands through his hair in frustration.

“I’m so sorry.” She said finally, after studying his face. “I shouldn’t have been the way I was with you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” he frowned, looking up at her.

“I was just trying to be nice to someone for a change. I didn’t mean for anything else to happen.” She rested her hand on his arm lightly, then running them over her hair. “Oh my god. Mike. I wasn’t leading you on, if that’s what you think.”

“No. No!” he shut his eyes, trying to form a proper cohesive sentence. “It’s not you. It’s me...”

“Mike... if you want, we could start again. You know, forget the whole thing and start on a new page... a new slate... whatever the cliché is. If it’ll make you feel better. Let’s do that. Cos I really like you too, and I don’t want anything no matter how trivial or uncomprehendable to come between whatever possible friendship that we could have shared.”

He looked into her eyes and for once he wasn’t intimidated by them. They were soft and kind, yet deep.

“Okay,” he finally sighed. “Fine.”

“Hi.” Veruca smiled, sticking her hand out for him to shake. “I’m Veruca.”

“Mike,” his smile returned, shaking her hand.

“Nice to meet you Mike,” she laughed.

To Chapter 7 >>>


Part 2

TOP   |   Last updated 15 February 2002 19:42 (AUS EST / +1000 GMT).