Rating:R for theme and language
Pairing:Peterick, mentions of Bob Bryar/Patrick, Andy/someone (unspecified)
Summary:The rise and fall of Fall Out Boy: The story behind the legacy of the late, great P.V. Stump.
Author Notes:So, i started writing his a few hours ago, and i didn't stop. HOLY SHIZ, this is possibly the SADDEST thing i've EVER written! I hope you enjoy it, but be careful where you read it, because i cried off and on the WHOLE time basically. As the Summary states, its about the break-up of FOB and i HOPE this NEVER HAPPENS! EVER!!! **Also, the title is from The Crow... i just love that quote!**
Disclaimer: THIS IS SET IN THE FUTURE AND I PRAY IT NEVER HAPPENS! EVER!!!!
WARNING!!!: I dont want to give away the story, but lets just say it involves ANGST to the MAX and, as the summary hints, character death... in a surprising (or not so, depending on how you look at it) way. YOU ARE WARNED!!! (but i hope it doesnt discourage you from reading it, still)
It was building up to the breaking point.
It always had been. From the first time Pete pissed him off, pissed them all off, it was like a running tap in a bathtub. It had always been just a matter of time before it all overflowed, drowning the four of them, and everything they stood for, all at once.
They’d all changed with the fame that that had amassed with their success, but it was clear Pete had changed more negatively than positively. He had always been an asshole. They all loved him because of how much of an asshole he was, yet they knew he loved them all to the point he would take a bullet for any of them.
It wasn’t like they didn’t still love him. They always would. It was different for each of them in that way. Andy had been friends with him longer than the others. He’d known Pete for almost forever and he knew that, despite his asshole moments, he was one of the most loyal friends you could ever have. He loved him for it, and hated him for it as well, because it made it hurt that much worse when he hurt them.
Joe could barely remember NOT being around Pete way more than was healthy for him. He was the one who had came to Pete with the idea of starting a band way back at the beginning. He had to love Pete to have put up with him so long. Pete had done some stupid things that nearly broke Joe’s heart plenty of times, but he was, as they all knew, a loyal friend and he couldn’t ever hate him. Even when Pete’s actions hurt like a knife to the gut, he stood by him, because he was one of the best people he’d ever known.
Patrick always loved Pete, but in a different way than the others. He remembered hating Pete for about three weeks after they first met, way back when he and Joe were little shits who thought they were cool because they were starting a band with dudes from the scene. However, it wasn’t for about ten months into their friendship he and Pete finally fell into their creative groove of PeteandPatrick. The singular unit that would eventually take them beyond anywhere any of them ever thought they could be. Despite popular belief amongst everyone who ever met them at the time, Pete wasn’t taking advantage of his little jail-bait ass those first few years. They were each other’s creative matches and they were closer then than they ever would be later in life.
They were correct, however, in thinking that there had at one time been more to PeteandPatrick, the singular unit, than creative matching. It had been during the early pre-recording of From Under Cork Tree when Patrick had realized he was in love with Pete. It hadn’t been a big to do, he had simply looked up in the studio to say something about Pete missing a cue in their rehearsal and saw him smiling at him. In that moment, it struck him ‘wow, you love this man’ and he had, surprisingly, been okay with that. He had never noticed anything before, so noticing it then had no reason to change anything.
If only Patrick had known then. Everyone knew the story. It even had its own title. The Best Buy Incident. Capitals and all. Patrick knew it as his first ever own personal hell. (For there were quite a few to come, still)
Everyone knew the story, but nobody knew the whole story.
“Patrick! Patrick, sweetie, wakeup! Pete’s calling for you.” His mom had held out the phone, a bit concerned as to why he was asleep so early in the evening. It wasn’t even nine yet.
Patrick had just gotten to sleep. The night before he’d blurted out his feelings to Pete, after weeks and weeks of keeping them secret, so he wasn’t really up to talking to him. He couldn’t shake the nauseating image of himself just kissing Pete and blurting out ‘I love you’ after Pete had smiled at him, then running away upon his brain regaining its ability to work correctly after its short vacation. He just shook his head and rolled over.
Later, he would turn on his phone on the way to the hospital and find a text from Pete, a few minutes prior to It, with a capital letter.
U cnt <3 me cuz im broken and I dnt want to break you too. I <3 u 2 much too do that to u. srry -<3 lost boy
He was the only person who ever knew about Pete’s ‘suicide letter’ in the form of a text. He would only ever be the only person to know about it.
Patrick had been twenty two when he gave Pete the ultimatum. He had to endure Pete’s hanging on him, cuddling with him, kissing him, and basically never leaving him alone for too long. It had, ultimately, been the REAL reason for his relationship with Anna to fail and nobody else knew it.
He had decided to live with Bob Bryar for the summer, and showed up one day at the studio bearing all the signs of a wonderful night. Andy and Joe had congratulated him. Pete hadn’t been happy.
Pete looked up with a glare. “You’re sleeping with him?” he asked.
Patrick smirked. “Yep. I like him, he likes me, we live together… we’re both single so why not?” he said, shrugging.
Andy nodded. “He’s hot, I’ll give him that. I mean, I’m not even into guys!” he said, ignoring Joe’s eye-rolls. “I mean, I’d do him too, I bet.” he said.
Patrick shrugged. “It’s just fun, you know? I mean, I’m twenty-two and I’ve only been with one person.” he said. “It’s almost sad.” he said.
Pete looked up from his bass, which he was focusing on extra hard. “Do you love him?” he asked, watching him intently.
Andy and Joe had frowned, but Patrick narrowed his eyes at him. “You know I don’t love him. But it doesn’t matter, does it?” he asked. “Look what happened last time I fell in love.” he said, and Andy and Joe nodded, thinking about Anna, while Pete knew what Patrick REALLY meant.
For two weeks after that, Patrick made sure he got Bob to mark him as much as possible just to show off that he was getting laid and the others weren’t.
In reality, he just wanted to hurt Pete as much as he could.
Patrick had been cornered by a crying Pete after showing up with an impressive hickey on the very front of his throat. Pete had begged for him to stop shoving it in their faces and asked what Patrick wanted from him.
Patrick shook his head. “Something I know I wont get, so I don’t bother.” he said, looking at a tearful Pete. He sighed and sat down, shaking his head. “You don’t love me, what does it matter?” he had whispered sadly, only to feel fingers sliding through his suddenly.
Pete had admitted automatically that he loved Patrick too. More than the sun. They made love on the same couch where Bob had taken Patrick plenty of times, but Patrick never told Pete that. For two weeks, they lived for secret rendezvous’ with each other, neither willing to tell yet.
Patrick told Bob, to explain for the end of the sex, and Bob had just congratulated him with no hard feelings.
At the time, Patrick was sure it was meant to be. He had visions of waking up beside Pete in bunks on busses for years to come. He had dreams about coming out on stage and telling the world, Canadian weddings, even one with adopted children sitting on Pete’s lap while Patrick watched him telling them stories. He imagined waking up with a graying, aging Pete, still on top of the music world in their late forties, still PeteandPatrick, more than just their singular unit, but as soul mates.
Patrick was actually in the middle of one of his day-dreams about growing old with Pete, five months after they started their secret relationship, when the second part of his own personal hell came to be.
Joe had walked into the room, interrupting his computer session with a bit of a worried look on his face. “Um… Patrick? Can- uh- Pete’s outside.” he said.
Patrick raised an eyebrow. “And? He is in our band. You guys shouldn’t be so shocked.” he said, confused.
Joe always had been perceptive. Andy too. Patrick and Joe had a special bond, them being the ‘babies’ of the band at one time. “Um… you should come see.” he said softly, and Patrick had gotten up, confused, but followed him.
Andy had smiled a bit forcedly as they walked in. Patrick sat down and watched with them, suddenly understanding the problem. Pete was standing outside their bus kissing a woman. Not just any woman, a celebrity. Pete had joked a lot about thinking Ashlee Simpson was hot and joked about a crush on her. It had always been jokes.
Patrick had no problems remembering the feeling of his heart shattering, but he did have trouble remembering what happened next. According to Andy and Joe, he had stood up calmly, walked to the back, and trashed the bus, but he had trouble remembering anything between seeing Pete outside with Ashlee Simpson and screaming at Pete later that night.
Pete slid into bed beside Patrick at the hotel that night and cuddled into his back, thinking he was asleep. “Other bed, Wentz.” Patrick had said coldly, voice steady. Pete had stiffened.
“What, Trick?” he had asked, nuzzling into his neck. Patrick remembered tears building and bursting to break free.
“Other bed.” Patrick had said, voice shaking gently.
Pete had just sighed and slid away. “I- I was gonna tell you-”
Patrick remembered that part well. He remembered snapping.
Patrick was to his feet in seconds. “How could you, Pete!?!?!” he cried, pacing. “I- how could you do this?!?” he had stopped to stare, pain etched in his every feature. “I- why does everyone want to cheat on me?!?” he had asked, his voice dripping heart-break.
Pete got up and hung his head. “I was going to end it, Patrick. I mean… you and me… we’re best friends, ya know? It’s not really right, is it?” he said, shrugging with a sad smile. “I- I really like her, Patrick.” he said. “I’ve never felt this way about anyone before.” he admitted.
Patrick just remembered walking out, pajamas and all, and going to sleep in the bus, sobbing into his pillows as his heart broke completely. He had only ever saw forever, while Pete had only saw for-right-now.
They had moved on. Patrick watched from the sidelines as Pete and Ashlee grew closer. Even with his bitterness, he couldn’t deny that Pete had met his match. He wanted to hate her. He had the feeling Andy and Joe, who probably understood more than they let on, wanted to hate her too. But nobody could, because Pete was happier than they had ever seen him. In his whole life, he’d never been happier.
Patrick despised her because she was Pete’s soul mate instead of him. Patrick also had to love her because she made the love of his life happy, and he hated to admit it, but he only ever wanted Pete to be happy.
He just always wished it had been him who would make Pete happy on into old age.
However, with falling in love with a bigger celebrity than himself, Pete dug a veritable niche with the paparazzi. With Pete’s growing fame, the band seemed to fade a bit. They had always had people who focused on Pete because he was naturally the ‘front person’ of the band in most instances.
But over time, it got a bit ridiculous. Andy started to grow more and more distant from them first. The more press Pete got, the more Andy withdrew with his friends at home. Patrick and Joe just KNEW Andy had something going with SOMEONE from Fuck City, because when they weren’t performing, he was always off using some form of communications with his ‘best friends’.
Joe and Patrick started to feel like they had when they were sixteen and too young to go in some places Pete and Andy had went. Joe actually made a joke about how ‘at least there are busses now, rather than the back of the van.’
Patrick knew that Joe was starting to miss the van days like he was. He had become more successful with his producing in the past year. He had scored plenty of success producing for people, as well as some other random projects he started taking on. He and Joe often sat around by themselves, while Pete was spending all his time talking to Ashlee and Andy was talking to Fuck City, trying to plan out other side projects they could embark on.
When Pete announced to them that he was marrying Ashlee, and that he was going to be a dad, they all had been stunned. As much as the media accused them of only marrying because of Ashlee being pregnant, they all knew that Pete was going to marry her one day no matter what, the baby just sped things up a bit.
Patrick thought he was okay. He knew he wasn’t ever gonna be over Pete. It was useless to hope. But he wanted him to be happy, and he knew that was never going to be him. However, when the wedding came around and he was standing there, watching Pete promise forever and always to someone else, it took everything in him to not burst into tears.
The morning before the wedding, Joe knocked on the door, waiting for Patrick to get ready. Patrick didn’t answer, so he walked in.
What he saw was what he and Andy had been worried about. Patrick was sitting at the window staring blankly out with tears streaming down his cheeks. Joe sighed and walked over to stand beside him. Patrick blinked and looked up at him, before swallowing thickly and turning back to the window.
“Patrick…” he said softly, putting a hand on his shoulder to give him strength.
Patrick just broke down, hands covering his face. “I cant do it, Joe.” he sobbed, shaking his head. “I- I cant do it.”
Joe knelt down and hugged him, letting Patrick lay his head on Joe’s shoulder. “I know, Patrick. I know.” he said. He didn’t know. But he could guess.
Patrick sniffled, looking at the early morning sun. “Can I tell you something?” he asked shakily, and Joe nodded, sitting back. He hung his head. “I- when we were together…” he swallowed and fiddled with his pants. “I had all these dreams about out lives.” he sniffled. “I- I was planning on him marrying me.” he whispered, and Joe sighed. “I- I had all these grand fantasies about coming out publicly, and going to Canada to marry.” he smiled sadly, looking at his toes in the carpet. “Adopting kids together. Growing old together.” he suddenly let out a small sob. “I- I still have dreams about waking up with him when we’re old.” he sobbed, hands covering his face. “It was supposed to be me!” he said, looking up tearfully, and Joe just nodded solemnly. “I-” he clenched his fists and gripped his pants. “It was supposed to be ME, and WE were supposed to adopted children together, and grow old together, and I was supposed to wake up with him when we’re old and gray!” he cried, shaking his head. “Why?” he whimpered, and Joe just wrapped his arms around him, holding him as he overcame his breakdown.
Despite everything, just before the wedding Patrick went to Pete to make sure he was ready. Pete was nervous and pacing, but he looked happier than Patrick had ever seen him. He knew in his heart that his love for Pete was the only reason he would be able to do this. He knew he loved Pete more than enough to suffer through watching him swear eternity to someone else. He knew he was never meant to be the one for Pete, no matter how much Pete was the one for him.
Pete looked up nervously. “I- I’m doing the right thing, right?” he asked, suddenly looking afraid. “I mean… is- she’s right, isn’t she?” he asked, biting his nails as he suddenly sat down. “I mean, I’m not marrying her because we’re having a baby, I’m not.” he said adamantly. “If I didn’t love her and want to marry her I wouldn’t do this. Plenty of people never get married when they have kids now.” he said.
Patrick smiled sadly and nodded. “I know.” he said, then sat down beside Pete. He took Pete’s hands in his and smiled sadly at them, then looked up at him. “You are doing the right thing.” he said, looking to those deep brown eyes he loved so much. He felt his heart break with each word, but it was all truth. “She is the perfect person for you.” he said, his voice cracking a bit. “You and Ashlee are meant to be together.” he said. He cleared his throat. “You and Ashlee will be happy together most likely forever.” he looked at Pete, still holding his hands. “You will be a wonderful husband and an amazing dad.” he said softly, feeling his eyes filling with tears. “I am positive that this is what you were meant to do.” he said. “It’s supposed to be her.” he said, voice sliding again.
A look of realization crossed Pete’s face as he saw a tear streak down Patrick’s cheek, and he bit his lip, looking torn. “Patrick…”
Patrick shook his head. “No, Pete. You made the right choice.” he said, smiling sadly. He just shrugged a bit. “I promise you. You didn’t mess up.” he said, voice wavering some.
Pete just cleared his own throat. “I- I have to say this, so don’t stop me.” he said, and Patrick nodded. “I swear, I did love you.” he said, and Patrick hung his head, still holding Pete’s hands. “I still do in a way, Patrick. But… you’re right. She’s it. She’s my soul-mate. You- you’re my best friend.” he said. “You always will be.” he cringed as Patrick let out a choked sound like a held in sob that escaped. He hugged Patrick, who clung to him. “I’m in love with her.” he paused and held Patrick, who was shaking. “But I always loved you first, and I’ll always love you longer. You’re my best friend. I may love her more, but you were here first.” he said, and Patrick let out a strangled sob.
“This is right. You’re doing the right thing.” Patrick cried, biting his lip as he held onto Pete hard. Pete hated with a passion that Patrick had to suffer for something that wasn’t his fault.
There was a knock at the door, signaling it was time. They parted, and Patrick smiled at Pete, who smiled nervously, but excitedly. “This is it.” Pete said softly, shivering at his own words.
Patrick just nodded, composing himself. “Lets go do this.” he said, and Pete nodded.
He leaned forward and pecked Patrick’s lips, lingering a second. “Thank you.” he whispered, and Patrick just smiled and nodded bravely, unable to speak.
Patrick just knew that everything would be okay when he made it through the wedding, standing right beside Pete as he married Ashlee, the one who deserved him.
And for a while, everything was okay. Everyone was happy. Patrick grew to love Ashlee like a sister, for she was exactly the right woman for Pete. Patrick always felt like it was worth the pain he’d went through when he watched them together, because Pete was happier than he had ever been in his whole life, and Patrick only wanted that. As a band, they were doing pretty well.
However, the more the news about the baby got out, the worse things got. Suddenly, it was worse than ever before. Soon it wasn’t ‘Fall Out Boy’ it was ‘PETE WENTZ… and those other three guys’ all the time. The band got more recognition, but it was less the band than Pete. Nobody cared about the short, fat singer. Nobody cared about the awesome guitarist who was AMAZING. Nobody cared about the perpetually nearly-naked drummer who rocked harder than the rest of them most of the time.
All anyone wanted was Pete Wentz. After a few months, all everyone wanted was to make everyone hate Pete Wentz. Patrick had been defending Pete for years against personal attacks, but that was the rare renegade music reviewer or interviewer who targeted his emo-boy looks or angst lyrics. This was the major news media now. Patrick wasn’t able to protect him well anymore at all.
Worst of all, it was making Pete different. He was changing in ways none of them understood. Where as before, his destructive behavior had been self-destructive in times like these, this time, he was becoming a full on asshole. He would say things on their behalf without consulting them. He would take stuff of theirs without permission and do stuff with it. He even made band decisions without even making them aware of the situations.
They were all at wits end with him. Patrick figured it was just stress about the baby coming soon, but it didn’t give him the right to be a dick. He even got into fights with Joe and Andy, which never happened. He and Pete got into snaps all the time because they were both hard-headed and they had their creative dynamic. But Joe and Andy usually steered clear.
Joe frowned. “Pete, this crap is getting stupid. Are you giving them MORE reason to hate you?” he asked incredulously as he looked at Pete’s elaborate plans for the newest album.
Pete just looked up. “Oh fuck you, Joseph. You play your guitar. Me and Patrick deal with the important stuff.” he said.
Andy glared. “Hey, that’s bullshit, and you know it! We’re a BAND! Not you and Patrick, and your back-ups.” he said, and Patrick raised an eyebrow.
“Pete, what the fuck?” he asked. “That’s uncalled for.” he said.
Pete rolled his eyes. “Stick to you work, Patrick. I’ll worry about this.” he said, and Patrick raised an eyebrow.
“Uh, this is OUR band, Pete. I don’t know what the hell has got into you, but this isn’t the ‘Pete Wentz’ show. It’s Fall Out Boy.” he said, hands on his hips.
Pete just shrugged. “You guys don’t have to worry, I’m serious. I’ll take care of everything. Just make music.” he said, then walked out. They all just exchanged looks of incredulity, but shook it off, going back to work.
After the baby was born, they hoped it would go back to normal. Patrick could remember when he was born. He had been at home when he got the call from Pete himself.
Patrick answered his phone, yawning. “What now, Pete?” he asked. He heard sniffling, and frowned. “Pete?” he asked.
“I- I’m a dad, Patrick.” Pete said softly, voice shaky and hoarse.
Patrick grinned. “Oh wow, really? Holy crap! I’ll be there as soon as I can!” He hung up on Pete. He did it because he had to go see the baby.
Ashlee had understood perfectly that Pete would always want Patrick to be a part of every aspect of his life, including their child having him as an uncle. Patrick had asked her if she was really okay with their kid knowing him as an uncle once. She was much smarter than people allowed for.
Ashlee sat Patrick down. “So, you guys taking care of my husband?” she asked, smiling. She was good and truly pregnant and she was beautiful. Patrick would hate her if he hadn’t grown to love her like family. After all, she was basically family.
“Yeah, we kept him from burning the bus down.” he said, chuckling. “He told me you should be having the baby soon?” he asked.
Ashlee nodded. “Not long at all.” she said, then smiled. “I’m sure the baby will love his or her uncle Patrick.” she said, smiling at him.
Patrick smiled. “Are you really okay with that?” he asked, curiously. “I mean… with everything.” he said awkwardly. He knew that she and Pete kept no secrets. She had been aware for a long time that Pete and Patrick were still together when she and Pete got together. He always worried it would make things awkward between them, but she was a very intelligent woman, despite the rumors.
She chuckled and smiled at him warmly. “Patrick, Pete would never let his child grow up without having you in their life.” she said, giving him a knowing look. She sighed. “Look… I want to talk to you about something.” she said, and Patrick froze, worried. She just smiled sadly at him. “I- I can tell, Patrick.” she said, and his heart sunk.
“Um… you can tell what?” he asked.
She smiled with a look on her face like she was the on in pain. “I know you love him, Patrick.” she said. “I’ve always known you never stopped loving him.” she said.
Patrick just sighed, feeling like he was kicked in the stomach. “I’m sorry.” he said.
She shook her head. “No.” she said. “I’m not sorry.” she said, and he nodded. “Listen, Patrick. You have nothing to be sorry for. If anyone had a reason to be sorry, it would be me, and I’m not.” she said honestly. “I know if I hadn’t ever come around, you two would have probably been together forever, and for your pain, I truly am sorry.” she said. “I know it hurt you for a long time.” she said. She smiled. “But I know that you want him to be happy, and I know that he and I are right.” she said. She smiled at her belly. “I know our baby was meant to be.” she said, and Patrick nodded. “I just… I’m not jealous, I have no reason to be. I’m not angry, I know you cant help that you love him.” she smiled sadly. “Something tells me that if you could stop, you would have long ago.” she said, and he nodded sadly. She just smiled. “I want you to be in this baby’s life.” she said seriously. “You deserve that much just for being my friend even though you should by all rights hate me.” she said. “And you loved him when nobody else cared.” she said. “Even if only as his best friend.” she said.
Patrick smiled. “Thank you, Ashlee.” he said, then smiled and rubbed her stomach. “I cant help that I love him.” he confirmed. “But I am man enough to know that despite what I still feel, I wasn’t supposed to be the one.” he said, smiling. “I’m happy you came, because I could have never made him happy like this. I couldn’t give him this.” he said, rubbing her belly. “You’re the best thing to ever happen to my best friend and for that I can’t thank you enough.” he smiled. “And most of all, thank you for understanding.” he said, swallowing.
She just smiled. “Friends understand.” she said, and Patrick smiled.
When Patrick met his ‘nephew’ he couldn’t help be jealous. At the immediate time, he was just amazed at the baby in Pete’s arms. He never really pictured Pete as a dad, even when he helped them setting up for the baby at their house. He’d never been able to picture Pete with a child, but watching him holding his son, Patrick knew at once that it was what Pete deserved in life. He knew having a family would be what REALLY saved Pete Wentz, not Fall Out Boy, in the end.
However, later, after he left and thought about it, he could never shake the jealousy and pain. Joe, once again, was there for him when he hated himself for feeling a slightest moment’s ill will towards them.
Joe smiled when Patrick walked in. “Hey, whats he like?!? Does he look like Pete? God, I hope he got lucky and looks like his mom.” he gushed, beaming.
Patrick smiled sadly as he sat down. “He looks like a baby, right now. Kinda hard to tell.” he admitted, shrugging.
Joe just sighed as he saw the look. “Oh, Patrick.” he said, sitting down beside him.
Patrick shook his head. “No. I- it was a momentary, fleeting feeling.” he said, biting his lip hard. “I love Ashlee and I am soooo in love with that baby.” he said, beaming. “God, I’ve always loved babies.” he admitted, smiling. “He definitely has the Wentz Charm already and he’s a day old!” he said, smiling happily, even if there were sad tremors in his lip.
Joe frowned. “Patrick.” he said, and Patrick sighed.
“Just the usual, Joe.” he said, shrugging. “The inescapable ‘should have been me’ because I dreamed about adopting children with him before he ever met her.” he said, shrugging. “Stupid stuff, you know?” he said. “It doesn’t matter.” he said. “They’re all happy.” he said, smiling genuinely. Joe just nodded and hugged him, letting him tell him all about baby Bronx.
Everyone hoped after the baby was born, Pete would go back to himself.
It didn’t happen. They were touring the new album, and usually, it was a cause of much revelry, but Pete spent all his off-stage time hiding from the ‘Pete-haters’ and talking to Ashlee. He whined constantly about missing his son and his wife. Everyone understood, but it was getting old.
Joe missed his fiancée, but he didn’t whine about it. Andy missed… whichever one he was with. (Joe and Patrick could never figure out who, but they KNEW one of the guys in Fuck City was Andy’s secret lover, they just couldn’t figure out which one, but Patrick was betting on Mixon.) Patrick missed his girlfriend, but not like the others did.
He didn’t love her. He knew that. He liked her. He enjoyed time with her. He cared about her, certainly. But he knew he didn’t and probably would never love her. It broke his heart to think he may never know real love ever again.
Everyone was worried. Within a year, Pete didn’t want to tour anymore. He hated going out. Joe and Andy missed their loved ones whey they were out, but they didn’t complain. Patrick loved it. He missed the fun days.
Joe and Andy were laying in the grass with Patrick, watching the clouds and sunset while Pete walked around somewhere, talking to Ashlee. Joe sighed. “Remember when we did this on Warped?” he asked, smiling over at Patrick, who beamed. “And you had that crush on Gerard Way.” he teased, and Patrick flushed.
“Hey, he turned out straight, dude. Don’t remind me of that, because every time I think about it, I think about how now he’s thirty two and has a daughter.” he said, then snickered. “And I’m sure his wife could totally kill me and nobody would EVER find out.” he said, smiling.
Andy smiled. “Man, I still can’t believe both of the Way’s turned out straight sometimes.” he said. “That summer, I saw more of Mikey Way that I EVER needed to.” he said, and they all chuckled, thinking back.
Pete smiled. “Joe, remember the first time you ever kissed a boy?” he asked. “Way back in the van days. God, we were what? Seventeen?” he asked, and Joe nodded, chuckling.
“And that’s how Joe found out he’s straight!” he said, grinning at his use of third person on himself.
Andy sighed. “Man, I miss those days now.” he said.
Patrick nodded. “I never thought back then we’d ever make it out of Chicago, and now, half the time I wish we were teenagers in a shitty van playing opening slots for shitty bands again.” he admitted.
Joe bit his lip. “Guys… am- am I the only one who feels it?” he asked, then turned a bit towards them. “You know… IT.” he said, looking worried.
Patrick and Andy were both silent. Andy just nodded weakly and Patrick felt his eyes tearing. “I never thought I’d ever feel It.” he said, shaking his head.
Andy spoke up after a moment. “How long, do you think?” he asked.
Joe shrugged. “No telling. I mean… I don’t know.” he said.
Patrick sighed. “Do you think we’ll ever-” he took a deep breath. “Do you think it’ll be the big It for all of us?” he asked.
Andy shook his head. “Never for me. I mean never. I don’t live with the ‘go out strong’ motto. I’ll die behind a kit, I don’t care if I’m a hundred.” he said.
Joe sighed. “I don’t really want to get married.” he admitted. “I mean… I want to because Marie wants to and I love her… but I just… I feel like that’s kinda the beginning of the end of my career. I’m not ready to do all that. I’m barely twenty-five.” he said. “Hell, I thought we’d last forever.” he said, smiling sadly. “I was so sure we’d be Fall Out Boy until we’re old guys really falling out on stage.” he said, and they all laughed.
Patrick sighed. “I have some stuff. Like… solo stuff.” he said. “But… I don’t know if I can do it.” he said. He shook his head. “I don’t know what I’ll do.” he admitted. “You guys will both probably get new bands really fast… but I don’t think I can.” he admitted. “It’s been a two person dynamic so long, I don’t know if I can make my own words and music.” he said.
Andy squirmed. “We could always… go on.” he bit his lip. “Without Pete.” he added softly.
Joe shook his head sadly. “It’s not Fall Out Boy without Pete.” he said.
Patrick bit his lip. “I said it one time and I kinda regret giving myself the idea… but I don’t think I want to make music or get on a damn stage without Pete.” he said, and Joe just sighed sadly.
“We’re too young for this.” Joe said, and Patrick and Andy both nodded solemnly.
When the end came, it came as no surprise.
They had met up to talk about another tour with management only a month after Patrick, Joe, and Andy’s discussion, and Pete looked up from his phone with a grave ‘I’ve decided’ look on his face. “I- I’m not doing it anymore.” he said, voice hollow. He looked like it pained him to say every letter, and the other three all just let their heads drop, feeling like they had finally met their doom.
“What do you mean?!?” he frantic man asked.
Pete cleared his throat. “I- I think I’m quitting the band.” he said softly, looking up at the others as a tear slipped down his cheek.
Joe nodded solemnly. “We’ve known it or a while, man.” he said, and Andy nodded.
“I’ve kinda already been asking around about another band or two.” he admitted, and Pete just chuckled dryly, nodding as he understood. Andy was never going to leave the scene, unless it was in a body-bag.
Patrick was the only one who had suspected, but refused to accept it. He couldn’t speak. He just put his head in his hands. They all watched him, and felt themselves growing cold as his shoulders started shaking. They knew he would be the one who didn’t want to let go.
Pete looked up, clearing his throat. “Joe… what’re you gonna do?” he asked?
He looked at Andy. “Um, we kinda been thinking about those bands together.” he admitted, and Andy nodded.
The all looked back at Patrick, who realized he was being watched. Pete cleared his throat. “Trick?” he asked softly.
Patrick just looked up, tears on his cheeks. He opened his mouth, but couldn’t think of anything to say. He just shrugged and shook his head, face breaking as he hid in his hands again.
Pete just nodded. “You guys… you wanna just go on without me?” he asked.
Joe sighed. “It’s not Fall Out Boy without you, Pete.” he said, shrugging.
They all just went silent while the management people freaked out on them.
They didn’t make the final decision for three weeks. They were all allowed time to make sure they really wanted to do it, before coming together to announce.
Patrick couldn’t handle it. The others had backup plans, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t think of anything. He had been in Fall Out Boy for nearly ten years. He couldn’t remember any goal besides Fall Out Boy ultimately. Sure, he could produce, but he was a musician. He’d contemplated solo, but he wasn’t good with being the focus. He wanted his band with him.
To be honest, he wanted HIS band. He didn’t want another band. He didn’t think he could handle losing the best thing in his life.
Patrick showed up at Pete and Ashley’s house one afternoon. Ashley opened the door, and smiled. “Hey, Patrick! Come to visit Bronx?” she asked, and he smiled sadly.
“Um… I kinda need to see Pete.” he said, and she dropped her smiled, nodding solemnly.
“I kinda figured.” she said, and he nodded.
He walked out back to find Pete alone by the pool, writing. He walked over and sat down beside him, catching his attention. Pete just nodded and smiled softly. “Hey, Trick.” he said softly.
Patrick bit his lip. “We cant do this.” he said, straight to the point.
Pete sighed. “We’re gonna. Patrick.” he said, and Patrick shook his head.
“Why?” he demanded, looking at him full on. “Why are you doing this?” he asked.
Pete sighed. “I don’t like being away from my wife and son.” he said. “I LIKE being a father. I want to be here to see him grow up, not hear about it from across the globe.” he said. “I’m over music now. I’ve got enough saved to keep us for plenty of time. It’s not like I NEED it, and we’ll still get plenty on royalties.” he said.
Patrick gritted his teeth. “What’s wrong with you?!” he asked, standing up, eyes wide and filled with tears. “What happened to my Pete? MY best friend?” he asked, tears on his face. “When I was sixteen you told me ‘you and Me, Patrick. We’re gonna make it, and when we get there, we’re gonna rock’,” he took a deep breath. “We BARELY brushed the top! We’re SO close to like… achieving EVERYTHING and you’re gonna bail?!?” he demanded. “I mean… I understand missing them, but Pete… its Fall Out Boy! We built this!” he yelled, eyes wild and passionate. “What are we supposed to do?!?” he asked. “I’m twenty six! I’m too fucking young to have a VH1 Where Are The Now already!” he said.
Pete sighed. “Patrick, Joe and Andy are going on, you can stay with them-”
Patrick shook his head, and let out a strangle sob. “I need you!” he cried. “You’re my best friend! I told you when you fucking attempted suicide, I don’t want to get on a fucking stage without you.” he sobbed, shaking. “I can’t do it without you! You give me my words, Pete.” he said, shaking his head. “It’s PeteandPatrick! Always has been, always WILL be!” he cried, vehemently. “Why are you doing this to me?!?” he sobbed, shaking and squirming.
Pete just looked up, a tear on his cheek. “Patrick, I- I don’t want it anymore-”
“FUCK THAT!” Patrick cried, attracting Ashlee, who opened the door and stood there in concern. “You’re Pete mother fucking Wentz!” he cried. “You fucking LIVE for music!” he cried. “MY Pete wouldn’t have ever let this happen.” he screamed, angry and distraught. “My Pete would march back in that meeting next week and go ‘fuck you! We’re going on tour, bitches!’ and probably flip them the bird and get in trouble, but STILL do it!” he rambled, and Pete smiled sadly while Ashlee gaped from the doorway, hand over her mouth. “Why?” he asked, sniffling and wiping his face.
Pete stood up and hugged him. “I’ll always be your best friend.” he said, and Patrick relaxed. “But I don’t live for music anymore. I live for my wife and son, Patrick.” he said regretfully, then sighed when Patrick tensed and pulled away. “I wont give up watching my son grow and learn just to do something I’ve already done.” he said. “This is my new adventure.” he said, shrugging. “I’m sorry.” he said.
Patrick just shook his head, looking horrified. “I- I just- I cant-” he started hyperventilating as he realized that, Yes. Fall Out Boy was over. “Fuck!” he cried and ran from him. He ran past Ashlee, who tried to stop him. He ran out of the house, and disappeared.
Pete, Patrick, Joe, and Andy all came together for the final decision to announce. Joe, Andy, and Patrick all still wanted to go on, but only if Pete stayed.
Pete didn’t stay.
Two months after they announced that Fall Out Boy was over, and six hours since the last person spoke to Patrick, Pete looked up from his breakfast (and feeding Bronx) to see Ashlee answer the house phone, turn white, and drop the phone to the floor and crumple, sobbing. He rushed to her side and grabbed the phone and lifted it to his ear.
“What the hell? Hello?!?” he asked.
A voice cleared. “Hey Pete.” a hoarse voice said.
Pete frowned. “Joe? What’s wrong?” he asked.
Joe let out a sound that Pete thought was a broken sob. “Pete… I have bad news.” he said, and Pete felt his heart drop. “Andy- Andy was on the phone with Patrick last night… you know how Elisa left him last month… and- and he was acting weird…”
Pete frowned. “Is something wrong with him?” he asked.
Joe let out another broken sound. “Patrick… Patrick’s dead, Pete.” he said and Pete felt time stop. His blood froze in his veins. “H- he called Andy to talk about the good- times. He was talking about good memories and stuff…” Joe let out a sound again. “He just said something about… missing it all too much and Andy started to get worried, so he asked Patrick if everything was alright…”Joe took a shaky breath. “And he just said ‘everything’s gonna be fine soon’ and hung up.” he let out another sob. “T-that’s the last- he-”
Pete was still trying to comprehend. “P- Patrick?” he whimpered, then shook his head. “No, you- you’re kidding right?” he asked, laughing wildly. “No, it’s a sick joke, Joe?… Joe?!?” he wrenched out.
“No, Pete…. We all got a text… he forwarded it to everyone on his phone. I was calling to see if you were okay after reading it, and… Ashlee… well, you know.” he said. “So, After he hung up Andy called Patrick’s mom, then went to his house… he was back in Chicago, and when Andy got there…. The door was unlocked, the house was clean… He was laying-” Joe was struggling. “Laying on his bed with From Under Cork Tree p-playing.” he sobbed. “He was g-gone when Andy got there. H-he overdosed on something that killed him peacefully.” he sobbed, now not trying to hide it. “H-he hadn’t been sick, he wasn’t positioned like he was choking… he was just laying there as peacefully as if he was sleeping… dressed his black suit with his fedora on his head… glasses perfectly straight…. Guitar beside him and- and M-Microphone- microphone in his hand-”
Pete at that moment dropped the phone and was sick on the carpet. He dropped to his knees shaking and sobbing and screaming. Ashlee was holding him as he cried, but nothing could help him. Nothing could ever help any of them. He composed himself enough to go get his phone off the charger and turn it on.
He saw a dozen missed texts and calls, but only one he had to see. He needed to see it. The last thing he’d ever hear from his best friend. Just the thought turned his stomach.
From: P.V. Stump
To: P. Wentz, J. Trohman, A. Hurley, Pat Stumph, D. Stumph, B. Urie, B. Beck- list cont. 45 numb.
Body: First off, dear friends, I am sorry. Mom and Dad, please forgive me. I love you both, and Kevin, so much. I hate to hurt you all and I hope you can forgive me. I have so much to say, and I cant think of anything to say except this: I lived Fall Out Boy. I planned to die at an old age on stage with my guitar and my mic. I wasn’t made to outlive my band by much, so this shouldn’t come as a shock to my band mates. To them, I have messages for each. Joe: I’m so sorry. You had just asked me to be your best man, and for this I apologize. I would have loved to see your wedding. I hope you and Marie are happy together forever. Never stop shredding Tromania. Andy: You were like my mentor when we first started out. Even before you joined the band, you treated me like an equal, even at sixteen. I hope you remember me like that forever. Eager and happy. And Pete: This isn’t your fault. Most importantly know this isn’t your fault. I understand why you ended it for us. You love your wife and son and want to be there to see him grow and to grow old with Ashlee. I can’t blame you for that. So don’t blame yourself for me doing what I had to. Understand that I could never have lived happily this way. I need music in my life, and without you on stage with me, I could have never performed again. You gave me my words, and for that you will always be my best friend. Promise me you wont forget me and promise you’ll show Bronx videos of us performing so he’ll know what his uncle Patrick was like and tell him every day that I love him. And I want you to know one last time that I love you. I know I wasn’t meant to be yours. You were made for Ashlee and I never resented her for that, or you for that matter. But you were my one and only, Pete. I was probably in love with you at sixteen and didn’t understand yet. But I loved you, Peter, more than life itself and I still do, wherever I am. It hurt every second of every day I had to live without you, and at least you know now I don’t hurt anymore, but again, none of it was your fault. I cant help who I love. My last conscious words are going to be ‘I love you, Pete Wentz’, as sappy as that sounds. Please, don’t resent me for not getting over you. Since you ended it, you have been first and foremost, the best friend I ever had and I love you most for that. I’m so sorry to leave you, because I know you love me. You told me the day you married Ashlee that I should always remember you loved me first and loved me longest, even if its not the same kind of love. I hope you still love me after I go. I’m so sorry, but please understand I could never be happy without Fall Out Boy, and our time was over. To everyone of my friends, please don’t hate me. I love you all. I have happy memories of you all. Please know that as I lay dying, I wont think of a single sad thought, just of the happy memories I have with each and every one of you. I hope you’ll all see me again someday somewhere and have a hell of a lot of stories for me.
Love always- the late, great Patrick Vaughn Stump.
Everyone who read the text immediately called Pete, only to be told he was unavailable, but yes, it was true, and yes, Patrick was gone.
Everyone immediately saved the text as the last words of Patrick Stump: One of the best friends any of them ever knew.