Jul. 29th, 2011 11:47 pm
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[personal profile] cold_clarity
Heart Murmurs
written for [livejournal.com profile] turps33 's kissing meme. prompt: Mikey/Pete, reunited

It’s not like Pete tagged Mikey in that tweet because he expected something to come of it. They live in the same fucking city for shit's sake. It’s no marvel that they’re in the same city, ever—even if, in this case, the city they’re in happens to be on the other side of the country.

But whatever. It's whatever.

That's what Pete tells himself as he pushes through the door of the Starbucks, out of the blustering chill of a winter afternoon, to find Mikey already there, already at a table, nursing a coffee, his cheeks still pink from the sting of winter. For a moment, Pete can’t move—can barely breathe for the sudden onset of paralytic fear (fear of what?—a different question altogether). And so he stares. Watches Mikey tap his foot (an idle motion) to whatever fucking elevator jazz bullshit they’ve got droning out over the invisible sound system—all while something tightens up, vicious and splintering, right behind Pete’s sternum—

Fuck. Fuckfuckfuck.

Mikey looks up before Pete can stumble back out the door, walk right back into the grey fold of the New York City winter (before he can start coming up with excuses--I wasn’t feeling well, Headed home early, I’m an idiot, I fell asleep) and his stomach bottoms out all while a quiet voice berates him for never having outgrown the tenth grade. He waves. A jerky, clumsy gesture, maybe, but it receives a wave in return—

and in response, electric sparks flickerflashsnap through Pete’s chest again, and god he’s still not quite used to Mikey without glasses (still can't quite reconcile here and now with that summer when...)

—he’s walking to the table all of a sudden and Mikey stands, abruptly, and somehow they’re crowding each other without having meant to. A stumble back and a rushed Sorry, sorry interrupted by No—No, I—

(No, I what? Do go on.)

But Mikey’s stuffing his hands into his pockets like he’s suddenly not sure why he stood up in the first place and there’s a beat of awkward silence before Pete barks out a laugh (even though absolutely nothing is funny, not now, not at all). It does something, though. Cracks the tension, maybe. Mikey invites him to sit, asks how he is while they settle in. Says it’s been awhile like that’s not the understatement of the decade.

Pete pulls off his coat. “Yeah, it has.” Settles into the free seat. “I’m not bad—You?”

“Same. Our record dropped.”

Like Pete missed that, somehow.

“I heard. Gay desert cowboys, right?”

“Something like that.”

“Someone really needs to rein Gerard in.”

“You’re welcome to try.”

Mikey’s smiling, now—or at least smiling as much as Mikey ever smiles. A subtle upturn of his mouth, the corners of his eyes creasing oh-so-slightly, his eyes themselves all the more visible, now, his brow somehow sharper without the once-familiar black frames in front of it.

Pete looks away.

There’s an awkward lull that follows and the acidic sting of panic bubbles up in his gut while he casts around for something to say, something to share, to prove—

“What about your stuff?”

Mikey’s voice startles him.

“Sorry—what?” Pete looks at him.

“Your new thing. How’s it going?”

“Oh. Not bad. Still working out the kinks—you know.”


There’s something hanging on the end of that yeah—a hint towards a different subject. And it’s funny how time changes people, how Pete studies Mikey’s face and discerns absolutely nothing (and tries to remember if he could discern anything, ever, when it came to Mikey, if that boy he knew once had ever been so easily read or easily understood, or if it had always been like this and if that means nothing has changed at all).

Mikey meets his eyes. “Send me a demo sometime? I’d like to hear it.”

“Yeah—I. Sure. Yeah.”

Mikey presses his palms around his mug of coffee, that odd not-quite-smile returning to his face. Pete exhales and tells himself to relax. Reaches for another topic; something mundane. You’ve gotten used to LA? and Do you ever miss Jersey?—and he knows the answers to both, but he asks anyway.

He smiles when Mikey says fuck yes he misses Jersey. When he says that LA is nice (No, really, the weather is great—not that I have to tell you…), but it’s not really ‘home’.

And somehow they pass through an hour, two hours, and the tight-coiled tension in Pete’s gut starts to unwind.

“Hey—um. I should go, though,” Mikey says, pulling his phone out of his pocket. Checking the time. “We’re heading out in a few hours.”

“Yeah, no. Me too.” Pete gets to his feet.

They walk to the door together, shrugging into jackets and bracing themselves for the cold. Outside, it’s getting dark, and the castoff light of a streetlamp catches on Mikey’s bleachbright hair, making it look almost white against the ashen fall of twilight.

Pete stuffs his hands into his pockets. “Where’re you headed?”

Mikey nods north. “Midtown. You?”



“Long story.”

Mikey shakes his head. “Okay.”

“Well—” Pete looks off to the passing flow of traffic in the street. “I guess I’ll catch you soon?”

“Yeah. Just text me or something.”

“Sure. Um. Later.”


Pete starts to turn, starts to walk away, moving against the unforgiving chill of the wind when—

“Hey.” Mikey catches the elbow of his coat. Pulls Pete’s hand free of its pocket.

He twists around—and once again, they’re standing too close. Crowding. Mikey’s hand brushing his. Breath misting between them, a thin and transient screen.

“Yeah?” There’s a weird, erratic flutter beating against the inside of Pete’s chest.

“I’m glad you didn’t quit, you know.”


“With the music thing. I’m glad you’re still doing it.”

“I—yeah. Me too.”

Mikey’s fingertips are warm—weirdly so, in contrast with the cold. Pete’s ears are stinging.

A beat.


And neither one of them backs away.

Fuck this.

He twines his fingers through Mikey’s. Pulls him in. The kiss is haphazard—almost a miss—and Mikey sucks in a breath against Pete’s mouth. The wind picks up, whistling in Pete’s ears. Mikey grips Pete’s hand. Presses closer. Pete feels teeth and bites back. Licks at the line of Mikey’s lower lip, chasing the taste of him.

And then it’s over.

Mikey pulls back, breathing heavy. The skin below his lower lip is pinkish, even in the washed out glow of the streetlamp. His fingers still interwoven with Pete’s and—oh. Pete wonders when his heart started beating so fast.

“Um,” Mikey says. “I really have to—”

“I know. Me too.”

Mikey squeezes his hand, gentle and quick, and extricates himself. Pete stands quiet and still, watching him go, the long stripe of blond hair twisting this way and that in the pull of the winter wind.

Date: 2011-07-30 04:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weekendgothgirl.livejournal.com
Oh wow!

<3333 I've missed your writing!

Date: 2011-07-30 08:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rheakurokawa.livejournal.com
Mikeywaaaaaaay ;_; (i dunno why i'm acting like he's dead or something, but this brings so many memories oh). and pete. and pete and mikey. and yearsafter!fic. gorgeous stuff. the pace, the awkwardness, the feelings/thoughts that are never there, somewhere in the past, never completely erased, the weighing of past against present and everything. love this.

Date: 2011-07-30 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rheakurokawa.livejournal.com
i'm old getting older myself and these thoughts and cognitive patterns and rearrangements and judging and all aspects of the personal narrative are very familiar so i know exactly what you're saying. there's also a lot of literature on the subject of the construction of the self which deals with this exact process (Anthony Giddens comes to mind, also Paul Ricoeur) so it's also kinda "scientifically certified" haha

but, that all aside, i am drawn to this process depicted in fiction and/or visual arts a lot (generally into the whole thinking/cognitive bla bla), this whole process of evolving essentially. it's an element i enjoy exploring in my own writing a lot too

i love your fics and my heart will always have a bit in that golden age, so i will always go back to it. it means a lot to me to be able to read good stuff every now and then. i actually was thinking about this lately, that because of phd, jobs and so on i don't have the time to enjoy fandom as i used to and while it probably is a normal development in the life of an adult (or at least what society would consider to be normal and/or adult) i often feel that i lack a LOT without fandom. and since lj's been more or less dead (with hacking, with people moving on and so on) i very rarely get to read and/or enjoy something creative like this and i miss it, so, whenever i get the chance, i try to leave some word of gratitude behind. this has truly warmed my heart this morning and i'm happy to have been able to read it. :) <3<3

Date: 2011-07-30 08:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rheakurokawa.livejournal.com
i was talking about movies mostly (as in visual art with a narrative aspect - folding in time) but also in painting Kahlo is an example. Sculpture/installation-wise Tracey Emin or Louise Bourgeois come to mind too. the literature i was talking about is mostly theory & philosophy and/or psychology/sociology about the construction of the narrative self

but yes, yes time is the basis of it. i know what you mean. i feel completely different than the me i was last year, not to mention the teen-me, that seems like a completely foreign character, but without whom i wouldn't be here and who i am today

you're definitely not alone in thinking of this as some integral aspect of your life. and, of course, I'm always here to talk and ramble and reminisce, should you ever feel the inclination.

Date: 2011-07-30 09:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] violin-road.livejournal.com
;______; OH GOD BOYS

Date: 2011-07-30 04:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rheakurokawa.livejournal.com
i'm sorry to barge in, but i saw your icon and can't stop laughing

Date: 2011-07-30 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cypress-smile.livejournal.com
Love thissssssss <333


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