Title: Shattered Pieces
Band(s): Fall Out Boy, The Young Veins, Panic! At the Disco (mentions of TAI, THS, GCH, HM, CS, The Cab, and MCR)
Pairing: Pete/Patrick, secondary Brendon/Ryan
Word Count: 22, 385
Fanmixer(s): kittygrenade and _slashygoodness
Warning: contains mentions of suicidal thoughts, several bloody scenes
Plot: Pete Wentz has recently been admitted to Mornington Sanitarium after a suicide attempt (or going to Best Buy as he likes to call it). Apathetic to the world around him, Pete doesn’t know what to make of this new situation. He just knows that he has to be here in order to combat the dark emotional fog that surrounds him. He needs to find a way to be himself again, but first he has to feel. The world that Pete is suddenly in is filled with patients who think they’re vampires or angels, who haven’t talked in years and have survived horrors, who like setting things on fire and public nudity.
In addition to the patients, there’s the crazier staff especially orderly Brendon, who has a crush on the oblivious Doctor Ryan Ross. And then there is Patrick, Pete’s roommate and Mornington’s longest residing patient. Pete cannot help but be intrigued by Patrick, who has suffered a trauma that led to him having Dissociative Identity Disorder. So Pete and Patrick have to navigate Patrick’s alters and Pete’s depression and the general insanity of living at Mornington as they stumbled from friendship into best friendship into not love but very deep like for sure.
“And if you want to go down in history then I’m your prince. Because they’ve got me in a bad way, I’ve never seen a heart I couldn’t break.” –‘The Music or the Misery’
It had been about three weeks since Patrick had decided to give integration another shot. He remembered the first two times he tried the process. Those times had not ended well with Patrick either retreating into himself or one of his personalities assuming control for about a month.
However, he had a secret weapon this time that he didn’t have the last times.
He had Pete.
Now while one would doubt that having Pete as a secret weapon would be a good thing, or even a sane thing, it was working out for Patrick.
Since he was already bat-shit insane (it said so on his permanent record) and everything that went with it, then he was totally allowed to make insane decisions. Frankly, he should be allowed to give in to his insanity once in awhile.
Patrick had always likened the integration process in his head to figuring out a particularly tricky melody with four instruments that should have no business being in the room together at the same time. He just figured that he could’ve messed around on the instruments enough, tweaked the melody to his tastes, and worked until his fingers bled and calluses formed. Then he would finally be able to have the perfect melody. It was going to be hard and long. Patrick knew that some days he was going to end up frustrated and screaming. But dammit, he was going to get a song together. This was going to be the best motherfucking song that he had ever written at the end of the process.
Pete was who Patrick counted on to drag him away from the maddening melody and impossible instruments, to talk about random nonsense, and speak in disjointed lyrics when he was tired. He needed Pete to be there, cool and solid next to him snoring as Patrick drifted off to sleep.
Patrick needed Pete’s laugh and smile and manic energy to keep him afloat. He needed something to hold onto as he drifted into the sea of his own on craziness.
So if Patrick wanted Pete to be his rock during the integration process, then Pete was going to be his motherfucking rock during the goddamn integration process. The rest of the world can just go to hell: good, bad, or insane decisions be damned…
And he knew that there was something more brewing under the surface then co-dependence. Oh yes, Patrick knew that there was something scary and new about his feelings for Pete, that there was something real underneath all his fear, all his insanity, and all that surrounded him constantly.
Had they met under other circumstances, Patrick was almost certain that these feelings would rear their head.
Patrick curled up closer to Pete and peered at his face.
It looked so totally peaceful under the sliver of moonlight offered through the bars on the window of their room. Patrick eyes slowly roamed Pete’s face, feeling like he was violating some of Pete’s space but not really caring at the same time.
Pete was absolutely beautiful when he was almost sane.
He was stabilizing under the medication, flourishing with therapy, and almost completely lost the dead look in his eyes. Soon, Patrick knew, Pete would be gone.
Patrick would lose his rock.
But, when Pete left (there was no question to Patrick; he had been here long enough to know the signs), Patrick knew that he wasn’t going to retreat into himself.
He wanted to get out.
He wanted to go anywhere but here. Mornington had been a safe place for so long, but Patrick needed to cut loose. He can’t spend the rest of his life in an insane asylum.
He can’t cut off his life at the age of fifteen. It wasn’t fair to his family’s memory. He had to get out there and live again.
Patrick’s thoughts drifted back to Pete, lying next to him. Sheets were pooled around his pajama-clad waist. The strawberry-blonde teen swallowed thickly as his eyes drifted down the thin, taut torso; staring at the sprinkling of inky black hair that drifted into Pete’s waistband.
Quickly, Patrick shook his head to focus himself.
He was scared to fall asleep and face the nightmares again.
Pete made a noise in his sleep and moved closer to Patrick, throwing an arm around his waist.
Patrick’s stomach was churning in nervous anticipation but moved closer to Pete. His arms hesitantly wound their way around Pete’s body. He rested his forehead against Pete’s and breathed deeply.
Allowing himself to relax, Patrick drifted off into a land of nightmares and bloodshed and a dark, musty closet to hide in.
However, he knew that when he woke up, Pete was going to be there to chase away the nightmares.
And Patrick could swear that in those last fleeting, fleeing moments of consciousness; he heard three voices, all different but so very familiar, agree with him.
“You’re someone who knows someone who knows someone I once knew. And I just want to apart of this.” –‘Hum Hallelujah’
Pete slowly sucked air into his teeth as he stared at the cards in his hand. He glanced back at his opponent, who only looked at him with cool amusement. He went back to staring at the cards.
“Got any fours?” he asked finally. His dark eyes were sharp and serious.
His opponent checked her hand. Her long blonde hair fell into her face. She looked up with a sweet smile, the kind that reminded Pete of better days where he could find magic everywhere and adventures were always around the corner.
“Go fish,” said Greta, who thought she was an angel, with a beatific smile on her pretty, pale face.
“Damn,” muttered Pete as he picked up another card from the pile.
“I’m going to pretend that I did not hear that,” said Greta in her soft, dulcet tones. She raised a hand, covered in a white fishnet fingerless glove, to brush her hair back.
Pete liked Greta. She was zen-calm in the middle of chaos. She genuinely seemed to like everyone and she told it like it was. Even though she thought she was an angel; she wasn’t one of those bible-thumping Jesus-freaks, just a deeply loving and caring person.
(Word on the ward was that her boyfriend had killed himself in front of her because he realized that he was gay and his parents flipped. Greta was trying to stop him, but he was too far gone for help. Then she suffered a break from reality, believing that she was an angel who had to repent for his death by helping others. Pete wasn’t sure how true it was, but there always was an air of sadness about her.)
If Pete had to picture an angel now, he would only picture Greta with her sweet smile and her antique white dresses and her amazing luck at Go Fish.
“Can I ask you a question, Greta?”
“Sure, Pete. Do you have any threes?”
Pete grumbled as he pulled out the cards and handed them to her. He glanced at his cards, trying to summon the courage to ask her the question.
“How do you know that you’re in love?”
Greta paused and looked at him, “Are you really sure that I’m the best person to ask, Pete?”
“I’m really kind of scared to ask for relationship advice from any of these people,” he gestured to the scene going on a few feet from them where Bill the Vampire was pissed off by Siska (yet again) and decided that he wanted some of his roommates blood. The nurses and orderlies were trying to pull them apart. Bill was promising Siska that he would strike that night as Siska cackled and yelled ‘Bring it on Batboy! Bring it the fuck on!’
“Plus I’m fairly certain that the Alex-es have never been with another person in that way,” continued Pete, “And Cassadee mildly frightens me.”
“She takes some getting used to,” agreed Greta on her roommate, “So why not ask your doctor? You have Ryan right?”
“Do I really need to dig out Brendon and Ryan with their secret and oblivious pining for each other?”
“True,” said Greta with a nod.
They sat in a companionable silence for several minutes, merely playing cards.
“So can you help me? And do you have any twos?”
“I’ll try my best Pete,” said Greta slowly as she handed over the cards, “Can you ask the question again?”
“How do you know that you love someone?”
“Well,” began Greta, “From what I understand of my Father’s idea of romantic love between two humans is that you feel content around them. I believe that there is something comparing love to flying through the clouds.”
Pete nodded for a moment.
“Is this about Patrick?” asked Greta putting down her cards and placing a thin hand on top of Pete’s.
The dark haired man nodded almost shy and nervous to admit. Greta gave him one of her sweet, angel-like smiles.
“Pete, my Father loves all his children. He made love so that they could find someone to make them as happy as he is. Now I’m not saying love isn’t rough sometimes, but if you really care about the other person then you need to work for it. It’s the greatest gift that my Father has given humanity. It has power that transcends anything else. Now why are you asking me what love is when you know that is what you are feeling?”
Pete placed his hand down and swallowed thickly, “I’m scared. I have had all these relationships with all this heinous drama and manipulation that never really left anyone happy at the end. I had the endless string of one-night stands where I could barely remember who I was in the morning, let alone who I slept with the night before.”
“And?” prompted Greta gently.
“And Patrick’s doing that integration thing,” mumbled Pete, “What if when he’s whole he doesn’t want me anymore?”
Greta let out a small burst of laughter at that. The sound was sweet and clear and light on Pete’s ears. It reminded him a little bit of a bird’s song. Greta stood, pretense of a card game forgotten, and moved to give Pete a hug.
Pete breathed the scent of her watermelon shampoo and lavender soap. Her long blonde hair tickled his face gently.
“Oh Pete,” whispered Great sweetly as if explaining things to a particularly slow child, “Why do you think Patrick is trying integration again? He wants to get better because he knows you are getting better. We all come here because there is something in us that is waiting to be found. For whatever reason, Patrick has found that inspiration in you.”
Pete stared at her, “Say it to me in plain English, Greta. Please don’t toy with my heart right now. I’m still a very fragile person as long as I am in here.”
Greta laughed again, “Patrick wants to get better because he has feelings for you as well, Pete. I would even go as far as to say that he loved you. But I don’t think that the poor boy had realized that yet. All of us can see it, you two are just being silly.”
Pete jumped up and grinned; hugging Greta tightly.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” said Pete excitedly before stating in a dumbfounded tone, “He may love me back.”
“I think he almost definitely loves you back, Pete.”
Pete laughed pulling away from the hug.
“I need to find him.”
“Find who?” asked Brendon walking over, fixing his glasses and looking at a bite mark on his arm, “Does it look like Bill broke the skin? I really don’t want him stalking me and saying quotes from classic Dracula.”
“He does that?” asked Pete.
“He did to the last orderly he bit,” said Greta.
“Don’t say anything,” said Brendon, “Because I really, really don’t want to know. So who do you need to find, Pete?”
“I think he’s in the room, fiddling with his guitar. He says that it calms him down after the more intense sessions.”
Pete nodded, biting his lip. He spared a glance at Brendon, who was muttering about how much he hated vampires under his breath, before asking.
“How’s the treatment going?”
Brendon looked up from inspecting the bite mark on his arm and met Pete’s gaze dead on. A small smile overtook his face before he said.
“Ryan says that Patrick is doing wonderfully, not that the process isn’t hard. But it appears that the third time is the charm after all.”
Pete nodded, “I’m going to the room.”
“Alright you guys be out here in twenty minutes so you can get your pills.”
Pete nodded before going into the room. He thought about the softness of Brendon’s smile and the assured tone of Greta’s voice.
He wondered how obvious they were being without knowing it.
“It was never about the songs, it was competition. Make the biggest scene, make the biggest…” –‘The Music or the Misery’
Integration felt weird. It was like there was sudden overcrowding in his own head. There were all these different things combining and mixing and getting thrown. Sometimes he would feel feelings not entirely his own or have a thought that would throw him completely.
Patrick knew that all his personalities were parts of him: all jumbled and mixed up and separated. That once he got them sorted out and pulled together, and then he would be whole again.
He hated confronting that he was a shattered person when he felt so whole.
Plus, one of his personalities had given him a craving for pudding, like a really bad one. All Patrick really wanted at that moment was a freakin’ cup of pudding. He wondered briefly if this is how pregnant women feel.
He slowly let his thoughts drift as he focused on the guitar. He concentrated on the feel of the neck of the guitar in his hand, of how the strings felt pressed against his fingertips. He really listened to the sound of the notes, warm and soft and almost like an old friend at this point and how they interacted with one another.
Music made sense. People didn’t.
Patrick could always count on music in his life. More than people, more than life, more than true…music was his eternal salvation and his descent into damnation. But there was something so utterly freeing about it.
He wasn’t the kid whose psyche got fractured because he witnessed his family get slaughter.
He wasn’t the kid who had to hear their screams in his nightmares and see their blood when he closed his eyelids.
He wasn’t the kid who was falling in love with the one guy that was probably attainable, yet so totally out of his league, guy there ever was.
He shook the thoughts from his head as he concentrated on the music.
F-chord into G.
Go sharp on that measure, then work his way back to C.
Concentrate on the beat, find your rhythm Patrick.
Use the music to heal your head, whispered one of the personalities. This personality was the one that was closest to being integrated fully with himself. The voice sounded young and true.
Use the rhythm to get your heart back into beating right whenever you’re around him, Patrick, commanded another personality. This one sounded like it was scared to leave him alone, a protector, an old security blanket that Patrick had to donate to Goodwill. Patrick was eager to get rid of this one, he knew it was Hatter.
He knew Hatter caused problems for him.
There was a knock on the door.
Patrick looked up and saw Pete in the doorway, nervous and shy and looking younger than himself.
“Patrick, can we talk?
Its okay to fall in love with him, Patrick, murmured the last voice. This one sounded like it was singing. It was slow and reminded Patrick of how he felt when he wasn’t on the right mixture of medication: slow and dopey and left him feeling like maple syrup. The last voice, the last altar, gave him a little boost of confidence, of strength.
Patrick glanced up and smiled at Pete.
“The road outside my house is paved with good intentions. Hire a construction crew, ‘cause its hell on the engine.” –‘Hum Hallelujah’
For once in his life, the words were stuck in Pete’s throat. All the nervous energy, the blood buzzing in his veins, his heart pounding a steady beat in his ear was distracting him from the moment at hand. Emotions have never been clearer. The fog, which despite being kept to a minimal annoyance was still there, was dissipating before his eyes.
And Pete tried to remember who he was before coming here: kind of a slutty, scene guy who was almost perpetually horny and could find no relief. The guy who didn’t fall into relationships, just sex that may or may not have dinner and a movie attached.
Pete stared at Patrick with his too sweet, tentative smile and bright, broken eyes sitting on a bed wearing shorts, a baggy sweater, and argyle knee socks. Patrick’s hands were wrapped tightly around the guitar’s neck.
The only thought that Pete had was that he wanted Patrick to be in his life every day.
That if this feeling is love…or something so close that Pete could almost drown in it, then he wanted it. Not only wanted it, he craved it.
And maybe Patrick would want to share that with him too.
He trusted Greta’s advice. It was kind of hard not to trust the girl who thought that she was an angel after all.
“Are you okay Pete?” asked Patrick, voice cutting through Pete’s reverie.
“Yeah,” said Pete roughly, a slow grin spreading across his face, “I’m great, Trickster. But I was hoping that I could talk to you about something.”
“Oh sure,” answered Patrick with wide, innocent eyes as he placed the guitar down. Pete sat down on one of their shared beds (they alternated at this point; there really wasn’t any personal space issues between them anymore). Pete licked his dry, cracked lips and wiped his palms on his jeans.
This felt like something out of an 80’s teen movie, except it was more existential and deep because they were in an insane asylum. But Pete was really hoping for the 80’s teen movie ending, where nothing is wrapped up in a pretty bow with unicorns shooting rainbows out of their asses, but the characters end up more comfortable with themselves, more okay with the world.
Pete wanted okay in his life again.
“This is kind of weird for me to be doing,” admitted Pete nervously, “I don’t think I have ever properly done this before.”
“What? Did something happen in therapy Pete?”
“No, it’s been something that I’ve been considering by myself for awhile. Nothing bad, but we need to share some thoughts and ideas that are our own y’know?”
“Pete? You forget who you are talking to.”
“Oh I know exactly who I am talking to. And I hope that he sticks around after I say what I have to say.”
“Yeah?” whispered Patrick softly.
“Patrick M. Stumph, I’m in very deep like with you.”
Pete’s not going to say that he loves Patrick. No one would confess their love like that except in the movies. And this is most definitely not a movie, or a cheesy romance novel, or a television show where the hero and heroine get together after the first thirty minutes.
However, Pete did do something that was reminiscent of cheesy romantic moments in all sort of media. After his confession, he leaned over and pressed his lips against Patrick (praying that it was still Patrick).
And to his surprise, Patrick started kissing back.
Pete closed his eyes to savor the moment.
Patrick tasted like the bitter taste of his medication mixed with his minty toothpaste and too-sweet maple syrup that he got with his French toast sticks this morning. He smelled like soap, sweat, and something that was uniquely Patrick. Pete allowed the feeling of the moment to wash over him, sink into his skin.
Slowly, reluctantly really, they parted.
Pete was scared to open his eyes, not sure if Patrick was still there or not.
“Which came first, the music or the misery? We’re high fashion, we’re last chances. Which came first, the music or the misery? We’re high fashion, we’re last chances.” –‘The Music or the Misery’
“Patrick M. Stumph, I’m in very deep like with you,” confessed Pete before kissing him.
Patrick is surprised and shocked and has a pleasant thrum of energy running through his body. His body is on pins and needles, prickling and alive and energized. His heart is beating an awesome beat that thumps in his head. It’s a funny sensation, a wonderful surprise.
And a welcome one at that.
Relatively quickly, Patrick is kissing Pete back.
He can feel his personalities; these edges of separate consciousness that are trying to become one with him trying to take control.
Oh hell no.
This moment is his.
Not Vaughn’s, not Hatter’s, not Benzedrine’s.
This is Patrick’s moment and he’ll be damned if this is taken away from him.
He’s fighting tooth and nail to hold on. Sending signals that this is something that they are not going to take from him, and those fuzzy edges of his mind that are their own begin to back out.
With them at bay, Patrick turned his concentration back onto Pete.
Pete’s lips are dry and chapped under his own. Patrick can taste Pete’s depression medication, the fruit that he ate for breakfast, a tingle of second hand cigarette smoke from hanging out with Siska and Johnson during the smoke times, and the barest hint of bubblegum. Pete’s grimy scent is slowly overtaking Patrick’s senses.
The only thought that runs through Patrick head is that he needs to keep holding on, that this is real.
That Pete really actually likes him in that way.
And suddenly, air is needed and Patrick realizes that he forgot to breathe during the kiss.
Pete’s eyes are still closed after they separated, as if scared to open them and see one Patrick’s altars there.
“Pete? I’m here.”
Pete opens his eyes and smiles. It is the grin that Patrick had seen at the concert all those years ago.
It is manic and like the sun and full of laughter and promises of the future.
Patrick smiles back and falls a little more in love.
Then, Brendon pops his head in, “Guys? Time for your meds.”
Slowly, they stand and, as they follow Brendon to the rec room, Patrick cannot help but lean in to whisper in Pete’s ear,
“I’m in deep like with you too.”
Pete’s smile is bright enough to rival the sun.
And if they hold hands under the table at lunch and dinner, well then no one said anything.
“You are the dreamer and we are the dream. I could write it better than you ever felt it.” –‘Hum Hallelujah’
Pete stared at Ryan.
“You can go home in two days, Pete. You’re better.”
Pete nodded and tried to smile.
“You don’t want to go,” said Ryan slowly.
“No,” said Pete, “I guess I’m just a little shocked.”
“You’ve made great strides. You can go back to your normal therapist. As long as you stay on your meds and don’t feel the urge to say fuck you to corporate America again, then I would say that you’re golden.”
Ryan unfolded his long limbs and walked over. He took a seat next to Pete on the couch before asking.
“You don’t want to leave Patrick?”
Pete’s blush was all that Ryan needed as an answer.
“Pete, just because you won’t be around every minute of the day doesn’t mean that he’s going to forget about you. Think of it, as going on a vacation and Patrick will be released some day and join you. If his progress remains as good as it is.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” mumbled Pete, “This is a good thing.”
“It is,” assured Ryan softly.
Pete stood and left the room. He swallowed thickly, trying not to go down a train of thoughts that would lead to ugly emotions swelling inside of him. He slowly walked the familiar path back to the room where Patrick was reading on one of the beds.
It had been the best four days of Pete’s life: secret kisses during the day, entwining their hands under the table, reverent touches and tentative exploration of the other’s body at night. It felt good.
Now Pete had to go home.
And that thought didn’t feel quite as good.
Pete Wentz had never been one to mince words. So when he entered their shared room, he looked at Patrick for several moments before blurting out.
“I’m getting discharged in two days.”
Patrick sat up, tilted his head, and only said.
“You didn’t expect to stay here forever?”
“Not really but…”
“You wanted us to get out together?”
“Then go to Canada and get married,” said Pete seriously as he threw himself down next to Patrick.
Patrick’s lips quirked upward in a small grin as he tossed the book to the side lazily. He turned to face Pete on the bed.
“Pete,” began Patrick slowly, “You’re better. It’s a good thing. I’m happy for you. Besides it just gives me more incentive to try harder.”
Patrick rolled his eyes with a ‘you cannot be this stupid’ look on his face.
“Pete, I really really like you. And I like being with you like this. It’s all new to me in such a great way. Seriously, I would be singing Sinatra and stuff about eternal love and other shit like that if I could get away with singing from the rooftops. But…if you’re out there, then it gives me a chance to miss you. And when I get out, and dammit I am going to get out, then we can keep going. That is…if you haven’t met anyone else in interim.”
“Trick,” whispered Pete slowly, “Never ever say that. Of course you’re getting out. And I don’t care if it takes years and years, I promise that I’ll wait for you. Widows walk and everything.”
“And you can call here like all the time,” said Patrick with a grin, “Maybe they’ll even give me a cell phone to keep you from clogging the phone lines.”
Pete smiled back weakly.
Patrick kissed him: slow and deep like he was drinking every part of Pete in.
“We’re going to be fine. Or at least we’re going to try to be. Everything’s going to work out in the end. Just have a little faith Pete.”
“Can we just lay here a little while? Until dinner?” murmured Pete. Patrick nodded and tossed his book to the empty bed.
Slowly the pair twined their bodies together. Pete rested his head on Patrick’s shoulder and Patrick’s chin was nestled on top of Pete’s hair; the late afternoon sunlight bore down on them warmer than any blanket. They exchanged cautious and secret kisses almost like taking sips of too rich wine.
And Pete acknowledged one thing.
They were going to be okay.
Because whatever this deep like or love or something like either was, this was something that Pete was going to fight to keep. Six and a half months of friendship and six days of something more when he would get out were going to be his lifeline until Patrick had gotten out too.
And that was how it was going to be.
“When you wake up the world will come around. When you wake up the world will come around.” –‘Lullabye’
Excerpt from The Journal Of Psychiatric Medicine article by Doctor G.R. Ross
Patrick, a couple weeks after Pete left, told me all of this of a six day romance and a deep friendship that I think is never going to end.
I wasn’t really that surprised that it happened and was going to continue once Patrick was released. Pete and Patrick are very passionate people, though they express their passion in opposite ways.
And I believed that it would continue.
Back to the bumblebees. They don’t care if they can fly or not; they just do.
And maybe that’s Pete and Patrick: two contradictions that can make up a whole…because they were both shattered. When they finally decided to put themselves back together, they found that the other person held the missing piece.
Again, that could’ve been me being totally full of shit.
I didn’t believe in grand romances and passionate affairs that’s something for the movies and fairytales. I do believe that love could be built over time and with care and patience. And that’s all Patrick and Pete had in Mornington: time and care to find themselves and each other.
More to the point, I wrote this article as a celebration.
Patrick was cleared to be released this morning.
The chameleon finally changed the color of its skin. He’s scared and nervous, but, more than anything else, happy. Almost five years spent inside these walls and I would’ve been happy to leave as well. There were a lot of tears during the integration process and sleepless nights and frightened moments and just a lot of other really unpleasant stuff.
I knew that Patrick and Brendon were going to be roommates while Patrick and Pete gave normal dating a try. And I was eager to see how this would play out (because it was going to be better than any shitty romantic comedy playing).
However, he fought and prevailed just as I knew he would. Patrick’s a fighter, but even the toughest fighters need the most incentive. And I supposed that Pete was enough.
So now the story is over, well the chapter is anyway, for these two.
They just have to live and be okay.
Just like everyone else.
Now if you excuse me, I have to go and take my own advice. There’s a certain orderly that I want to ask out on a date.