Band/Pairing: Pete/Patrick (Fall Out Boy)
Rating: R, to be safe. [Language]
Summary: One morning, Patrick woke up as a pencil.
Disclaimer: Um. Does Patrick look like a pencil to you?
POV: Third person.
Word Count: 3,664.
Author's Note: CRACK. wtf27 prompt 003 - Transformation (inanimate).. And I don't write like Pete. So those journal entries? Yeah, they don't sound like his writing style in the slightest.
Patrick woke up as a pencil.
Perhaps this would not have been so frightening, had the first things that came to his mind not been five truly terrible puns. In all honesty, that was more worrying than his current state. It was a wonder that his mind had the ability to be completely and utterly ridiculous when Patrick wouldn't even think of where his mind would be.
And another thing--how could he see? It wasn't like pencils had eyes. Then again, they weren't exactly self-aware, either.
At least I'm still sharp, he thought, then giggled as only a pencil can. It was about then that the panic set in.
"Has anyone seen Patrick?"
Pete cracked an eye, not sure if he'd heard Andy correctly. Sunlight flooded his vision, and he realized with a pleasant feeling that he'd slept. Almost the entire night, in fact.
"Hey. Someone. Joe. Pete. Where's Patrick?"
Pete's body insisted he smack Andy upside the head so he'd shut up and Pete could rest, but his more rational (at times) mind made him open both eyes and ask, "Nnrgh?"
Andy, thankfully, had lived with three other guys long enough to learn early-morning grunting as a second language. "Patrick. He's not in his bed."
"Walk?" Pete asked, lamely.
"Since when has Patrick ever left without telling someone? And why would he leave his cell phone?"
"Bathroom," Joe volunteered sleepily, from underneath was looked like a catalog's worth of blankets.
"No, I checked."
Still wiping the sleep from his eyes, Pete sat up to find, as Andy had already implied, Patrick's bunk empty. "Shit," he said, voice cracking with sleep.
Andy was, by this point, visibly exasperated. "Patrick, guys. Where would he be?"
Pete swung his feet out of bed, shivering as the cool morning air hit his skin. He stared at the bunk across from his, eyes catching something that hadn't been there when he'd fallen asleep. Pulling it from beneath the blankets, he said, "You don't think?" It somewhat made sense, to his sleep-fogged brain.
"You have to be kidding me," Andy said, a note of panic rising in his voice. "Patrick's gone missing and Pete's gone insane. Thank God for you, Joe."
Joe, true to normalcy, replied with a snore.
"No," Pete said, wakefulness breaking on him in waves. "Seriously. It's like--please just look at this, Andy."
With a little huff of indignation, Andy peered down at the object between Pete's fingers.
"Shit," he whispered, finger hovering over it anxiously.
"Yeah," Pete replied, setting the pencil cautiously back on Patrick's bunk. "Shit."
"Please, can we figure out a way for this to make sense?" Joe pleaded, one hand pressed to his forehead.
"Patrick has, somehow, become a pencil," replied Andy, sounding as though Patrick had done it just to piss him off.
"I'm still not getting it. People don't become pencils," Joe protested.
"Look!" Pete exclaimed, shoving the pencil (hereafter known as Patrick) in his face. "Just look at him!"
"That," Joe said, batting Pete's hand away, "is a perfectly normal number two pencil. It's just. It. The fuck," he swore helplessly, one hand covering his mouth in disbelief.
Pete grinned, in spite of himself.
The first thing Pete did, after telling Fall Out Boy's manager that Patrick was suffering from a terrible case of strep throat (he almost said 'lead poisoning,' but Joe talked him out of it), was buy a journal.
Though he usually favored the electronic version, Pete left Patrick in Andy and Joe's care while he popped off to the craft store. After carefully examining the selection, he settled on a brown, natural papered, twine-bound journal. He figured Patrick would like the color and appreciate the bits of flowers pressed in.
When he returned to the bus, Andy gave him a look that clearly said he thought Pete had lost his mind.
Pete shrugged. "You never know until you try."
He curled up in his bunk with Patrick and the journal, barely resisting the urge to chew on Patrick's eraser.
I really have no idea what the fuck's going on here, he wrote, and waited for a response. There wasn't one.
I just don't get it, Patrick. Why a pencil?
There isn't even a way to solve this.
Frustrated, Pete flipped open his sidekick and Googled 'turning into a pencil.' Finding nothing but movie scenes and art references, he flipped it shut and went back to Plan A.
I feel kind of awkward, writing with you.
He laughed, unable to contain himself. It was absurd—that was really the only word for it.
I give up trying to solve this problem with magic words and pleading. You'll turn back when it's time.
"I hope," he muttered.
So. Just as a guess, I think you're probably missing out on a lot, being a pencil. Andy's acting like a mother hen and Joe just seems to be lost. I have no idea what I am but it's really weird, not having you here.
Well, I mean, you're here but not in the usual sense. Which I'm pretty sure isn't your fault but you're still not here, so
"Pete, what are you—you're not writing with him, are you?!" Joe demanded.
--I kind of wish I could just erase this experience from my memory. Um. Sorry about that.
Pete shut the journal and shoved it under his pillow, just as Joe ripped his bunk's curtain open.
"What are you going to do when he needs to be sharpened?!"
Three days later, Andy, Joe, and Pete were starting to get edgy.
"Seriously. Do we just cancel the rest of the tour? I mean, we can't perform without a singer. If it was one of us we could substitute or something, but Patrick—"
"Yeah, Andy, that's bad enough—but is it just me, or does it seem like this could happen to the rest of us, too?"
The three of them fell into a hush at Joe's words. For a brief moment they all pondered what object they'd be before breaking into full-on panic.
"Okay, no, that's not going to happen," Pete said firmly.
"I'm sure that's what you'd have said if someone had told you Patrick was going to turn into a pencil," Andy pointed out, with a slight squeak of nervousness.
"Well yeah, but don't you think it would have already happened? And none of us have any reason to turn into anything."
"Did Patrick?" Joe asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Uh. Well. I guess not, but…." Pete trailed off, unable to finish. "I'm gonna go. Uh. Think and stuff."
"Don't think I didn't notice he wasn't as sharp!" Joe called after him.
Okay so basically this needs to end. So just stop being a pencil. Please.
There was no response, of course.
It's like the answer should be right here, like I've written it already. This isn't permanent, is it? Maybe I'm not reading between the lines.
I only scratched that out because it sounded like I meant that you're going to stay this way. You have to come back, Patrick. We'll fall apart without you.
Pete closed his eyes, feeling like an idiot. A pencil. He was talking to a pencil.
I really miss you.
He scowled, and threw the journal against the wall.
Andy heard. "Never a dull moment, with that Pete Wentz around," he said, and choked.
It had been a week. A week without Patrick. Pete heard people complaining about the canceled shows, and ridiculous rumors had started to fly, but none of them so ridiculous as the truth.
They were beginning to lose hope. Surely magic spells (or whatever) had an expiration date? Cinderella had until midnight, Snow White had until she was kissed.
"Guys, you don't think this is a Snow White kind of thing, do you?" Pete asked excitedly.
Andy and Joe stared. "A what kind of thing?" Joe asked.
"Snow White. You know, she had to be kissed by the prince to wake up. Could this be like that?"
A few days before, and they might have laughed at the preposterous idea. Now, though, they were desperate. How could they ever explain this? To the fans, to friends, to family? How do you tell someone that a person they knew had mysteriously become a pencil, of all things?
Andy flung his arms into the air. "I'm not doing it. He may be a pencil, but he's still Patrick."
(Patrick, as a pencil, resented that.)
Joe and Pete looked expectantly down at each other, as though they thought the other would volunteer.
"How fucking awkward is this," Joe said, eyeing Patrick with suspicion.
"Rock, Paper, Scissors?" Pete asked, holding up a fist.
Joe shrugged. "Yeah, sure. Winner or loser?"
(Patrick, had he a mouth, would have beamed.)
Joe won with scissors, and eyed Patrick once again. "Okay, Patrick. But if I ever hear a remark about this—"
He pressed his lips lightly to the pencil, and they all waited for smoke and glitter, fairies, loud noises, whatever.
Patrick remained a pencil.
Joe shrugged. "Well, we tried."
"No, no, wait," Pete said, holding up a hand. "Snow White had to be kissed by her true love to wake up, didn't she?"
Joe quirked an eyebrow in Pete's direction. "Are you implying that one of us is Patrick's true love?"
Pete shrugged. "It can't hurt to try, can it?"
Joe's response was to push Patrick in Andy's direction. "C'mon, your turn."
"I seriously doubt that I'm Patrick's true love," Andy said, holding the pencil in front of his face with two fingers. "But—"
Nothing. No sparks, explosions, and definitely no Patrick.
"Okay, Pete," said Andy, handing Patrick over. "It's all you."
Pete, for what felt like the millionth time, stared at Patrick's surface. Sure, he looked like a pencil. But there was something undeniably Stump about it. He decided that he could pick Pencil Patrick out of a thousand identical Ticonderogas.
"C'mon, Pete. Just do it," Joe urged.
Pete closed his eyes and put Patrick to his lips.
After a moment, he opened one eye. Nothing. Patrick was, of course, still a pencil.
Andy sighed with aggravation and sunk in his chair. "What do we do now, hold auditions? Pay people a buck to kiss a pencil and see which one turns him back?"
"Don't you think Patrick would object to being kissed by that many people? I mean, it's not like he's even giving us permission," Pete said, still looking at Patrick forlornly.
"What else can we do? We can't leave him as a pencil, and we can't exactly just ask who his true love is—"
"How do we even know that's the solution?" asked Joe. "I mean, it's a possibility, but what if that's not the way to solve it?"
Andy groaned. "Shit, I didn't even think of that. We just keep running into a brick wall, here."
"Maybe we just have to wait," Pete said, voice soft. "Maybe it wears off."
"How long do we wait for? And what if that's wrong, too?"
"I don't know. I just need to think," Pete said, grabbing Patrick from the table and heading for his bunk.
"Seriously, Pete. He's almost out of lead and I flat-out refuse to sharpen him. What if it hurts?" Joe asked, but let him go.
I don't know what to do anymore. None of us do. We're falling apart without you, Patrick. We can't get anything done; we're a mess. I can't sleep. I can't sleep when you're here, either, but at least then you're around and I'm not worried that you're gone forever. You can't be. You have to come back.
I miss you.
I miss you.
I miss you.
This sounds kind of silly because whoever heard of someone turning into a pencil? But you did and sure it sounds silly but I feel like something's horribly wrong, when you're not here.
You're my best friend. I've always told you that. But I don't know. This doesn't hurt like that.
It's like I've lost a limb. Like when people talk about ghost pains. How they still hurt even when whatever's hurting isn't there.
I need you back.
I hope this is something we'll all laugh at, later. You know, "Hey, remember that time when Patrick was a pencil?" It will be a great story we'll never tell.
I can't even think straight. I'm not blaming you. I'm just saying, it's hard without you here.
Pete looked down at the pencil in his hands, at the last little bit of lead at its end.
So I guess that whole Snow White theory was a bust. Maybe it wasn't the right idea, or maybe it's that none of us are your true love.
Pete slammed the journal shut, feeling like a hopeless idiot. He laid it on his chest, Patrick rolling off to the side somewhere to get lost within his sheets.
"It's not that I hate you as a pencil, or anything. You're all right. It's just--fuck," he swore, even though somewhere inside he felt like laughing. "That was terrible."
Pete leaned his head back, putting one arm over his eyes. He just needed to leave Patrick and the journal alone for a while. The idea, the right one. Would have to come to him on its own. That was how these things worked.
And somehow, against all odds, Pete drifted slowly into sleep, the last thought to leave his mind of his unfinished sentence.
Patrick woke up with fingers. And toes. Arms, legs, oh fuck, a mouth. He could talk. He could breathe.
"Holy fucking shit," he said aloud, marveling at the sound of his voice.
Something next to him shifted, and he remembered that Pete had dropped him into his bunk. Which was now considerably smaller.
He briefly considered rolling from the bed, but decided against it. Pete was sleeping, and if Patrick were to wake him up, he'd find no end to remorse. Another few hours of lying still, then.
Terrible, considering Patrick's incredible desire to run, jump, and scream until he passed out.
As a bit of consolation, he moved his fingers experimentally. They worked. He would never underestimate the beauty of hands again. Ever.
Being a pencil was simultaneously one of the most boring and interesting experiences of his life. He spent the entirety of it stiff, uncomfortable, and without the ability to comprehend what was going on. It didn't take him long to discover that his "sight" wasn't really sight—more of a strange sort of awareness of his environment that he still couldn't wrap his head (and oh, to have a head) around. But he had gotten a different view of things, that was for sure.
It had been terrible, that first day. He was now painfully aware of why pencils were not sentient. You couldn't interact—the only interesting part of the day was when you were close enough to hear conversation or when someone would write with you. Patrick was glad Pete had gotten that idea, because it was as close as he came to being talked to.
He'd spent most of the week thinking. Surely he'd been turned into a pencil in order to learn some grand lesson. And, now that he was back to normal, shouldn't he have had some life-changing epiphany that shocked him back into flesh? The last thing Patrick remembered thinking was that he wished he could have laughed at Pete's awful pun. They were always funnier when they weren't intended. That was hardly what Patrick considered an epiphany.
Pete stirred, and Patrick froze. He hadn't woken him up, had he? Well, if he had, at least now he'd been able to ask what Pete had been writing, all that time.
"Nnrgh," Pete said, his usual first word of the morning. "T'hell is—shit, Patrick, what're you--shit, you're back!"
Patrick laughed as the realization dawned over Pete and he tried to get a better look at him.
"What the fuck happened? Why were you a pencil?" Pete asked, a grin nearly a mile wide on his face.
Patrick shrugged—an interesting feat, lying down. "I'm as clueless as you are. I woke up Wednesday and I was a pencil, and I woke up today and I was Patrick again."
"So you don't have any idea—"
"None. All I know is that being a pencil is a ridiculously boring experience," Patrick interrupted, smiling.
"I can't believe it. I can't—it just. What the fuck, really," Pete said, obviously thrown off-balance.
"Me neither. But can we talk about something else? Because you know Andy and Joe are going to make me tell it twenty more times just today."
"Yeah," Pete laughed. "You have no idea how good it is that you're back."
"You have no idea how good it is to be back. There's nothing like being an inanimate object for a week to make you appreciate being human," Patrick said, admiring the way his fingers moved.
"I missed you," Pete said, softly.
"I missed you, too. I could hear you guys talking, but I couldn't say anything. It was so frustrating."
Pete could only smile in response.
They both laid there in silence for a moment, Patrick happy to be human again, and Pete happy to have his best friend back.
"I was just wondering, what were you writing, all that time?" Patrick asked, after the moment passed.
Pete felt the journal pressing into his side. He could almost feel the paper beneath his fingertips, and he wondered if, given the nature of what was inside, he should give it to Patrick.
"Oh, just stuff."
Patrick frowned slightly. Sure, Pete was always a little secretive, but he usually said something like 'personal things' or 'I don't want to talk about it,' followed by a self-deprecating smile. His writing was never 'stuff.'
"Ah," he said, slowly. "Personal things?"
Pete squirmed. "Yeah kinda. I thought you could tell what I was writing?"
Patrick shook his head. "No, all I knew is that I was being written with."
"Oh." Pete was silent for a moment, and he could swear he felt the journal burning into his leg. He'd written it for Patrick, to help him. But now that he was back, it all seemed so stupid. Like a middle-schooler with a crush. It was sheer luck there weren't any 'check yes or no' boxes inside.
Patrick sighed contentedly. "I am so glad it's over. Now everything can go back to normal again."
Pete knew it was a figment of his imagination, but dammit, that journal was starting to hurt. He brushed his hand against it, and the pain subsided.
"I just feel like this was something that happened to teach me something—but as far as I know, I haven't learned anything at all."
Another imagined pain seared Pete's leg, and he grabbed the journal and flung it to Patrick's chest. "There it is," he said, breathlessly.
Patrick picked it up, running his fingers over the pressed flowers. "It's pretty. Where did you get it?"
"Craft store. Just read it, please," Pete grunted, rubbing the pain from his leg.
Patrick raised an eyebrow, but decided not to comment.
Pete watched his eyes scan the page, watching his lips curl into a smile at some things and saw a crease appear between his eyebrows at another.
"Oh, I heard Andy," he said, chuckling. "We need to get him a goldfish or something to take care of."
He continued reading, and Pete chewed his lip nervously. He watched Patrick go through pages of rambling, of incoherent thoughts, of doodles, little snippets and bits of Pete being honest.
Pete could tell when he got to the last page of writing. The rate that his eyes passed over the paper slowed, and both the smile and the crease faded, slowly, until Patrick's face was as blank as a new canvas. They sat in silence, again, Patrick in confusion and Pete in anticipation.
"Um," Patrick said, after the moment passed. "I don't understand."
"Me neither," Pete replied breathlessly. "But there it is, all laid out for you."
Patrick paused, apparently re-reading the page. "Actually, it—"
Pete knew he should have gone back and crossed out the unfinished sentence. "Yeah, that."
"Well, what's it supposed to say?"
It was past the time for subtlety and hiding things, and Pete had never been good at it, anyway. "Context clues, Patrick."
"Well then, it. You mean to say?"
"I mean to say exactly what I mean to say, and if you can't figure it out then I don't mean it as much as I thought I did."
Patrick looked bewildered for a moment (who wouldn't?). The realization seemed to dawn on him slowly, a smile working over his face.
"Well, okay then," he said, closing the journal and pressing it back to Pete's chest.
"Really? That's it?" Even Pete was baffled at the simplicity of it all.
"Well, obviously. It all makes sense, now, this pencil thing."
Pete had passed beyond baffled, and was now looking at Patrick with an expression questioning his sanity. "How so?"
"Well, a writer isn't anything without his pencil."
Pete burst into laughter, pressing his hands to his face and pulling his knees to his chest. "Are you serious? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard." His laughter died out, and he said, "But you've got a point."
Patrick stared, mouth slightly open, before bursting into laughter himself. "That was awful, Pete."
It took him a moment to realize what he'd said, and by then his lips were pressed to Patrick's and laughing was out of the question. He half expected to hear maniacal laughter, from fairies or demons or whatever had planned this whole ridiculous charade. He rather wished he had, actually.
He wanted to thank them.