The World's Not Waiting (For Joe Trohman to Stop Being a Pussy and Start Going For What He Wants) [12/?]Summary:
AU Timeline - Teenage angst and Crayola Rainbows. Or, Joe saw him first.Author: rosiedoesBetas: xdearlin
R at absolute max.Pairing:
c.4,800 this chapter.Author's notes:
This fic is written in a slightly AU timeline, where Andy joins the band straight away. One or two formerly key players may also be conspicuous by their absence...
Sincere apologies for the three month
delay between chapters. I have been working insanely hard on a few other fics (one of which is already at 20k words) and there have been up to seven versions of this chapter written – one of which was 6k words. But we're moving on, finally, so I hope this is worth the wait.
Additionally, I've been listening to a lot of non-FOB stuff lately which has really clicked for me with this fic, so I might start using other band's lyrics to head up the chapters. Hope it's not too jarring.
There will be a fan mix of all tracks referenced throughout the fic, once it is completed.Disclaimer:
Get me a Dolorean and I'll make it real; until then, sadly not true. Previous Chapters:Part One: Paperbacks and SexualityPart Two: My Heart is On My SleevePart Three: Your Secret's OutPart Four: No Less DefeatedPart Five: Place Your Hand BetweenPart Six: My Badge, My WitnessPart Seven: Knocking Boots in the BackPart Eight: The Battle's Only Halfway DonePart Nine: Kiss Safe Thoughts GoodbyePart Ten: Snitches and TalkersPart Eleven: My Reputation's on The LineThe World's Not Waiting (For Joe Trohman to Stop Being a Pussy and Start Going For What He Wants)Part Twelve: Things I'll Never Finish
"I always said you’d find me in over my head."
Once Patrick was home, a lot started to change. Firstly, his curfew was lifted (although there was an understanding that she'd really rather he was home before 1am, please) and secondly, they didn't spend every moment when they were at Patrick's house hidden away in the basement or his bedroom. A few times, they actually all sat down for a family meal with Patricia and Kevin and one night she even came down to the basement to bring them something to eat, and sat down and listened to the two of them playing some of their songs together.
It was a little bit embarrassing, but the main thing was that she was being cool about them. Patrick seemed to have been instructed to leave his bedroom door ajar when they were in there together, but at least Joe wasn't banned from the house or anything. In fact, he was actually invited to spend Christmas with them seeing as his family didn't celebrate. It had been awkward, sure, what with both of Patrick's siblings and their partners there, plus his dad and stepmom and his mom's 'friend'.
Everyone had wanted to ask him a million questions about things he really didn't know yet – like where he was going to college and what he wanted to do after school (and Kevin had choked, trying to conceal a laugh when he'd said he'd really like to be a musician, so Patrick had thrown a piece of bread at him and it had descended into a bitching argument which had been really embarrassing for both Joe and Kevin's girlfriend, Amelia – especially when Patricia had threatened to send them both home because if Patrick and Kevin couldn't behave like adults they weren't going to be treated like adults. At which point Patrick's father had swallowed a chunk of potato with a slight cough and asked, "He's staying over
?" – which had resulted in a strop from Patrick because apparently he wasn't a baby, even if Joe had to admit that sometimes he acted like one).
But all in all, things had settled down a lot. The only people who knew at Patrick's school were his two best friends there, Simon and Leon, but no one else really needed to know – and those who did know were at least trying
to be okay about it. So there was nothing to worry about, really. The only thing left to cast a shadow over their relationship was the prospect of college.
Joe couldn't pretend it wasn't making him nervous. Every revision lesson in school reminded him that every day that passed was one day closer to being sent away from home, away from the band, and more importantly, away from Patrick; and it kind of made him feel sick. His entire life was, here, in the North Suburbs of Chicago, and when he'd applied for college he'd been too carried away by the idea of adventures and getting away
from all that. He hadn't even applied to North Park or DePaul, which he could have driven to every day and remained living at home. He hadn't had any real reason to want to stay in Chicago when he'd applied.
He knew that he wasn't the only one worrying; Patrick kept nearly
bringing it up, and then backing away from the conversation before they could really get into the details. The fact that Pete had dropped out with one semester to go, announcing that he was going to focus on music instead, really only mounted pressure on both of them. It was okay for Pete, he never did what his parents expected of him and he had Arma to back him up; they were already releasing CDs and they'd toured a lot. But his primary excuse had been Fall Out Boy. If he was giving up college and they were leaving to go
to college in a few months, Pete had given up his education for nothing. It was his own fault, sure, but Joe could still remember the look he and Patrick had exchanged when Pete told them his plan. They both knew this was going to be a problem.
"I'm starting to think that, y'know: maybe Pete's right," Patrick sighed one Saturday afternoon, sitting on the steps of the little bandstand on the green between the rail station at Hubbard Woods and the village shopping street on Green Bay Road. It was a nice day, for March – sunny and relatively mild, and they'd decided to sit there instead of in the coffee shop across the road for the sake of privacy.
Patrick tipped his paper cup in Joe's direction, offering him some of his shake while Joe read the rejection letter in his hands for the fourth time. "Want?"
"Huh?" Joe muttered, jerking his head back a little as the cup bumped his cheek. "Oh. Thanks." He took the drink and sipped it before handing it back and subtly tucking an arm around Patrick's waist. "I don't even know any more, dude... I don't understand how Luke can get in, but I can't."
"Well, yeah, it's not like I know the guy as well as I know you – "
"I totally hope you don't."
" – but I mean, he doesn't seem too much of an academic, particularly."
"He's not. But I guess I'm kind of... laidback about deadlines for homework and stuff, but like... I don't feel that it's a reason to not get into that college if he can."
Patrick sighed and leaned on his shoulder for a moment, sitting up a little straighter as he caught sight of an older man getting out of his car a few yards away. "I'm sorry, dude..." he said gently, pressing their knees together instead. "But it's not the only one you applied to, right?"
"Colorado State? No, it's not even my first choice, but like... Luke got in
, dude. It totally sucks."
"Well, I'm still sure you're as smart as you are hot, okay?" Patrick assured him, with a grin.
"That's more like an insult than a compliment, dude."
"No, I'm serious – I think this is just a one off, y'know? And anyway, I want you to get into the one in Jersey so you might be near enough to Berklee if I can get in."
"Yeah, I know, me too. But if I get in and you don't, that's gonna suck too."
"Maybe we should just not go," Patrick snorted. "Live out of a van for the rest of our lives, playing shitty bars across the Midwest."
"I would and everything, but like... I think your mom would pretty much kill me if you decided to do that."
"I'd be the one she'd kill."
Joe smirked a little and stole back the milkshake.
"But y'know... what if we did that?"
"What Pete's doing?"
"Well, I meant more like take a gap year or something. Give it a year to work out, and then if it doesn't, do the college thing, maybe? I dunno. Something
, anyway. And it'd mean we wouldn't be hundreds of miles apart, or anything."
"That'd mean if we ever went, we'd already have been together like, two years or something, dude..."
"Is that a bad thing?" Patrick asked with an awkward laugh.
"No, but it's kind of weird, seeing as like, a year ago, I was avoiding you because of that book and everything, basically."
"I can't believe it's already been a year since that happened..."
"It seems like forever, to me. I mean, it sounds kind of dumb, but like, I feel like we've been together forever and it's just like a few months, really."
Patrick shifted them hip to hip and tucked his own arm around Joe. "Everybody had to start somewhere. And I totally think we'll be together two years from now. I can't see any reason why we won't."
"Except maybe college."
"Then why are we going?"
"Because I don't think your mom will be so happy with you fucking with your future for the sake of dating a dude who couldn't even get into a shitty college, basically."
"She wasn't happy with me dating a dude, period. We fixed that."
Joe grinned and kissed him quickly on the temple because yeah, they had pretty much fixed that, and that
– at one point – had been Patrick's worst fear. "So, I mean like... are we seriously thinking about just not going?"
"I don't know... are we
"Well. I guess."
"Do you want
to not go?" Patrick asked, turning on the step and looking at him earnestly.
"I don't want to not
Patrick bit his lip and squished Joe's fingers. "That's Bambi-speak for 'yes', isn't it?"
"Uhhhh..." Joe shrugged, still smiling and slightly embarrassed by the use of the petname he'd earned a couple of weeks before. They'd been looking for a film to watch while they babysat Sam, and Patrick had pointed at the screens in Blockbusters and nearly given himself a seizure laughing at how much the Disney fawn apparently looked and moved like Joe, now his buzz cut was growing out. Joe himself couldn't see it, but Andy thought it was hilarious and now it seemed to have stuck. "I guess I could maybe think that it would kind be okay. Maybe."
"It's a serious maybe," Joe teased, even though the idea was sounding better and better by the second.
"My mom is so going to kill me for this," Patrick beamed, looking like he really couldn't give a shit if she strung him up like a piñata.
"My dad's gonna spend my trust fund on a midlife crisis."
Joe was still smiling when he got back from dropping Patrick home that evening. They hadn't set anything in stone, but they had ideas – big ideas – and if they came off, then it would be pretty cool. It had also left him feeling more confident than he'd ever been that he and Patrick were onto a good thing.
"Evening, honey," his mother smiled, kissing him on the top of the head as he threw himself down beside her on the couch, Sam on her other side, and rested his head on her chest. "Where have you been all day? Patrick's?"
"Nah, just like around, mostly."
"Not getting into any trouble, I hope," his father asked from the easy chair, with a wry smile.
"Yeah, actually, we mugged an old lady, ran down a mom with a buggy, and then like, went on a gun rampage at the kindergarten."
, that is not funny," his mother scolded, tapping him on the side of the head with her fingertips, even though his father was chuckling quietly.
," Sam snorted. "There isn't kindergarten on Saturday. If you want to shoot them, do it on a school day, stupid
They all stared at Sam for a few moments before their mom carefully picked up the remote and turned off the action movie on TV.
"So... like... Patrick's thinking about taking a year out or something, pretty much," Joe announced, mostly to break the silence and ensure they weren't both banned from movies and computer games for the rest of their lives.
"A year out from what?" his father asked, getting out of his chair with a slight groan and turning the film back on. "Looking like he's wondering if I've noticed how thin the walls are?"
"Patrick sounds weird
when he stays over," Sam added. "He snores like a cat when you scare it."
Their mother cleared her throat and patted his shoulder, pulling him into a closer hug, "I'm sure he does... 'snore' like a cat, honey."Oh my God, I am nevereverever having sex in this house again
. "SO, ANYWAY," Joe tried again, before this became any more embarrassing, "Patrick is thinking that he might, like, take a year out to work on the band, like Pete is."
"Well, I'm not sure Patricia will be too happy for him to do that."
"She so won't. It's gonna be kind of like world war three at their house, when he tells her, basically, but like, if he decides to she won't be able to stop him or anything."
"Are you trying to tell us something, son?"
"I'm not, but like... if I can't get into any of my colleges anyway, I won't have a choice."
"Oh, Joey – it was just one rejection, sweetheart – "
"Yeah, but like... I kind of don't mind if I don't go."
mind if you don't go," his father teased, "because it means you'll be here under my feet for at least another year. I've been waiting seventeen years to get rid of the first one. I've still got another five before Rambo Junior over there flies the nest. Or gets locked up for shooting four year olds... whichever comes first. Couldn't you give an old man a break?"
"You are welcome in this house for as long as you want to be here, honey, but if you don't go to college, you'll have to get a job and pay some housekeeping each week or you'll never learn to budget or take care of yourself."
"I can totally take care of myself!"
"You've never worked a day in your life," his father scoffed. "Knowing how to put a frozen pizza in the oven doesn't make you a grown up."
"No, but like... what if I did think about not going?" Joe asked, pinging his wristband nervously.
"We'll see. You're not spending a year slobbing around at home. If you defer, you defer for a reason and you achieve something with your time. But like I said, we'll see."
A few days later, as they stood in the back room after a show, Patrick in the middle of peeling off a sodden t-shirt and towelling himself down, Pete – who had been accosted on the way off the stage – bounced in, followed by Andy, and grabbed them both in a headlock under each arm.
"Dudes. This is totally fucking awesome."
"Getting to feel up my boyfriend while he's half naked?" Joe asked, twisting to avoid a punch in the ribs from Patrick.
"I can feel up your boyfriend any time I want, kind of," Pete told him, earning himself a swing to his own stomach. "Ow, you little fucker
! I'm trying to give you some good news, or whatever, chill the fuck out."
"Then get off of me."
"Okay, okay, take a joke, man. Jesus."
Patrick lifted Pete's arm from around his neck as Joe wriggled free, and started to pull on a clean t-shirt. "So, what's the big deal?"
"We've been propositioned."
just was, anyway," Joe muttered, making a point of putting his hands on Patrick's waist as he sidled past to get his rucksack.
"You know how like, Project Rocket are putting out the EP, or whatever?"
"Um, yeah?" Patrick shrugged. "That's the split one, right?"
"Yeah," Andy nodded, pulling out a chair and sitting on it backward. "The guy behind it wants it to be a split EP, to showcase both bands."
"Which 'both bands'?" Joe asked, around a can of Coke.
Pete looked at him like he was insane or stupid or both. "Um. Them and us, obviously."
Andy grinned at them, "He wants Fall Out Boy to share the EP with Project Rocket. Three songs each."
"Are you like, jerking our chains or something?" Joe asked suspiciously, even though April Fools was three weeks away.
"No, he's serious," Andy assured them with a grin.
," Patrick mumbled in disbelief, adjusting his hat. "We're gonna do it, right?"
"Fuck, yes we're gonna do it!" Pete laughed.
Andy shrugged. "The label wanting to do it are pretty decent. I think there's no reason we shouldn't, it just means we'll need to work pretty fast. It's supposed to be released in like three months."
"Well, I mean – wait. We can't put the stuff we're doing now on a CD. This isn't the best we can do. We can do way better than this," Patrick babbled suddenly, almost sounding like he was having a panic attack. "We need to get writing again. We need to write more – better
– songs for this."
"I kind of like Switchblades
," Joe admitted, even though he knew it was about Patrick's last crush, the girl with the crayons, dating someone else. He'd been a little put out when he'd first heard, but he was over that, now; he'd been the one Patrick was with on Valentine's Day (Patrick had bought him a vintage-style Star Wars lunch tin, although he hadn't admitted it until Joe awkwardly handed him a card and an authentic 1973 Aladdin Sane gatefold vinyl his aunt had found in her collection while moving house; Joe had suspected it was probably worth about a billion dollars but she was pretty loaded and he kept the Thin Lizzy for himself, so he didn't mind giving it to Patrick. It was worth it just to see his jaw drop, and he'd left Patrick's house so thoroughly thanked that his mother asked if he was high when he got in).
"We can keep Switchblades
, that's passable – but c'mon. If we're gonna do this we need to make a good impression."
"The songs we have were good enough for demos, or whatever," Pete reminded him, folding his arms. "Do you want to do this or not?"
"Of course I want to do this, man – I just want it to be really amazing when we put something out there for people to hear, y'know?"
"We've got a couple of weeks," Andy shrugged, standing up. "We should see what we can do, and if nothing happens, just use the best of what we have."
The others nodded slowly; it was better than nothing.
"So, I guess... I should maybe talk to my mom, or something," Patrick said carefully on the way home, looking over at Joe.
"Yeah. I mean, I guess I'm going to stick around here."
Nodding, Joe pulled over into the parking lot for the country club between Glenview and Winnetka, virtually abandoned this late on a Wednesday night, and probably an okay place to talk.
Patrick unbuckled his seat belt and shifted to look at him. "You feeling any more certain, yet?"
For a moment or two, Joe just sat there, weighing up the reality of potentially not going to school at the end of the summer; and then the possibility of actually going
and what that would mean.
"I think... like...." He trailed off with a sigh.
"What? What do you think?"
"I think this is like, a good enough excuse for my mom and dad to say it's cool if I take some time off."
"Yeah," Joe nodded, shifting over to the edge of his seat and putting an arm around him. "I guess you're stuck with me for a while, after all, dude."
Patrick grinned and leaned his head on Joe's shoulder. "I think I can handle it, maybe."
"Are you gonna like, tell your mom right away?"
"No, but I'm not letting Pete in the house until I did."
Laughing, Joe ducked down and kissed him briefly, falling into a tight hug with his chin resting on Patrick's shoulder. "Does this make us, like, professional musicians or something?"
"It means I don't have to worry about letting you out of might sight long enough for you to forget about my boring ass, back home."
"Your ass is pretty much like, anything but boring dude, trust me," Joe tutted, gnawing playfully on Patrick's shoulder and trying to tuck one hand down the back of his pants. "You need to quit worrying. Seriously."
Patrick laughed and squirmed, pushing him off a little, but not far enough away that couldn't reach. "You're such a creep. But hey: I can
quit, now. We're staying, right?"
Joe sighed theatrically. "Well, I guess
, dude, but I might kind of like rethink that if you're just gonna like, cock-block me anyway..."
Rolling his eyes, Patrick leaned in to kiss him again, letting Joe nuzzle his cheek and neck mumbling, "Joe..." when his hand returned to its previous mission of trying to grope his ass; then a little more urgently, "Joe
– " as he pulled it back and ran it across his thigh.
"Oh God..." Patrick gasped, writhing backward a little.
"NO, dude, you seriously don't –"
There was a sudden tap at the driver's window which nearly scared the crap out of him; he jumped so hard his head bumped the roof as he turned around and Patrick scrambled back into his seat.
Outside the glass was a stern-looking older man with a flashlight who seemed to do a double-take when he realised it wasn't a blushing teenage girl in the passenger seat.
"Son, I think it might be time to take the young lady home," he said through the window, arching an eyebrow. "I wouldn't like to have the both of you taken home in a police car. Now, scoot, go on."Oh my God, every single fucking time!
"Um – sorry, sir, just... just kind of got a little carried away..."
"I'd rather not know the details."
"Sorry..." Patrick called, waving awkwardly and hurriedly buckling his seatbelt. "Dude, let's get out of here," he hissed. "This is so not going to help my case with my mom."
It was Friday night that Patrick decided to tell his mom. It hit Joe completely out of left-field because they hadn't discussed it any further, and then suddenly, sitting in the kitchen that evening, he pretty much just came out with it.
"Did you get any letters back from colleges, yet?" Patricia asked Joe over a supper of spaghetti which had struck fear into the heart of him because he totally knew he was going to get it all over his shirt, his face... the kitchen in general...
"Um... yeah, like, a couple."
"You don't sound too happy with that..."
Joe cleared his throat and cast Patrick a sidelong look. "Well, I dunno. One was a rejection, one was an acceptance, so it's not too bad, I guess."
"Oh, well, I'm sure the right one will come along. Patrick's already received an acceptance to Miami, haven't you, honey? He was really excited about the composition and production course they run down there."
"I don't want to go to Miami," Patrick huffed, tearing up some garlic bread. "I told you that."
"Well, you did when you applied, and either way, it's a good start."
"I kind of don't need any
"Well, you have to go somewhere, don't you?"
"Don't be facetious."
"I'm not being facetious. I'm not going."
"Well, I'm not forcing you to choose Miami – you wouldn't last in the sun down there, you need to go somewhere – "
"I don't. I'm not going anywhere. Not Miami, not Boston. Nowhere, mom, okay?"
Joe kind of hoped that if he shut up and ate his food, he'd somehow become invisible and not get the blame for this.
"What are you talking about?"
"We're not going to college, mom. We're staying in Chicago and focusing on the band. We're doing the EP and then we'll need to tour more and build a fanbase and start working on an album or something maybe, and we can't do that if we're on the other side of the country."
"Oh, no you're not."
"Oh, yes I am."
"Patrick, you are not
throwing away your education for a band that isn't going to get you anywhere. You can go to college, learn the skills which will enable you to make something of yourself, and then you can make all the music you want, okay?"
"No. No, mom, it's not
okay! I'm eighteen in six weeks. I'm practically a legal adult and I'm making my own decisions. It's only for a year. If it doesn't work out, I can go back next year and start college."
"Oh, no, no – if you leave education now, you will never go back. You're going to college in September, and that is the end of the discussion. I won't let you ruin your life on some ridiculous notion that you're going to be the next Bay City Rollers."
"We're not going to be 'the next Bay City Rollers', we're going to be good
Joe barely contained a snicker.
"Mom, we already have this guy putting out the EP – we have a chance at this, and I don't want to fu... I mean, screw it up by moving away to do a course I probably won't even need! There's one guy who works at a venue who says he'll help me get into doing sound teching and there's no better way to learn about the music industry than being in it
"Pretending you know what you're doing is not
convincing me, Patrick. Look at your father! He's was a very talented young man, and maybe if he'd taken his career a little more seriously and taken his time to attain some qualifications, then maybe he would have been a little more successful."
"But I'm not dad, mom! And you can't make me
go to college! I'm old enough to make my own decisions, now – I thought you'd figured that out already when you got over me and Joe - !"
"If you want to be an adult, Patrick, you behave like one. In fact, if you're so convinced you're an adult and you can make your own decisions, you can decide between going to college and having a home to come back to between semesters, or you packing your things and leaving the day you graduate. We'll see how long you can manage as a grown-up."
"You know what?" Patrick exploded, getting up and knocking over his stool. "FINE! Whatever
. I'll go now." He picked up his dish and threw it in the sink, where it smashed against the edge and fell in a messy, broken pile of spaghetti, meat balls and shattered ceramic.
"Oh, so I assume you're just going to invite yourself to stay with Joe's family again, are you? That's very
mature of you, Patrick. And you can clean that up
before you leave this house, do you hear me?"
Joe suspected that Patrick didn't care much either way, because he was halfway up the stairs, leaving Joe sitting uncomfortably in the kitchen, prodding at his meal and wondering whether he should follow him or stay and wait for him to come back down. Judging by the sound of things slamming around in Patrick's room, it was probably safer to wait downstairs with a horrible sense of déjà vu.
Even hours later, while they were washing up to get ready for bed, brushing their teeth in the bathroom, Patrick was still totally seething. He barely held himself back from throwing the toothpaste across the room when he couldn't get any to stay on the brush because his hands were shaking.
Joe just sighed gently and tugged them both out of his grasp, putting the paste on the brush and sticking the whole ensemble in his mouth; he stopped short of actually brushing his teeth for him.
"You can chill out, you know... mom and dad are like, totally happy to have you here," he assured him as Patrick rinsed. "It's cool and everything. I promise."
"I can't just stay here forever, Joe. It's like totally proving her point. I have to do this by myself – and yeah, maybe I can stay here for a few days or something, but y'know: I'm not
going to college. Probably not ever, now, and I have to show her I can stand on my own two feet, otherwise it's like proving I'm still a baby."
"No, I know," Joe nodded, perching on the edge of the bath and rubbing his back, "but – "
"She stated her terms, man."
"Well, like I said and everything: we want to keep you, dude, but if you give it a few days and stuff – kind of cool off, basically – maybe she'll calm down like she did before and see reason or something."
"You know what? Even if I go back until I finish school, I'm pretty much done with living at home. When we're not fighting, I love my mom, y'know? But I just can't stick around to wait and see what she's going to try to control next. I've gotta move out, even if that means getting like, two jobs or something and renting my own place. I just... I've got to."
"My mom and dad –"
"Joe, I love your family. They're awesome
. But I've got to do this for myself."
Joe nodded slowly; this part he knew he wouldn't be able to talk Patrick out of. "Okay. I guess that like, maybe we can figure something out or whatever, but let's just go to bed, right now... Work it out tomorrow. We've got at least the weekend, right?"
Patrick nodded and turned to hug him tight, as Joe looked up at him. "Yeah... I guess."
"Dude, we'll work something out, okay? I promise."
Title of the chapter from 'Even If It Kills Me' by Motion City Soundtrack.
Quote from 'Abandon Ship or Abandon All Hope' by Four Year Strong