Chapter 1: PLAYLIST + WARNINGS
SIX FEET UNDER // BILLIE EILISH
BROKEN JAW // FOSTER THE PEOPLE
Take The Fall // Warren Wolfe
Violence, lots of it Slurs
Abuse from both family and partners (Physical, Verbal, Sexual)
Chapter 2: POSTER
chapters will get longer as the story progresses
The brunette hue sighed irritably, sifting his fingers through his unruly- now sweat-caked, curls as he attempted to keep up with his two other friends.
"Why the fuck is it so hot?" He huffed once he had finally managed to keep up with their quick pace. Which, in Josh's opinion, didn't make sense considering the café they were heading to wasn't just going to grow legs and run away.
But no, when Brendon, the main reason they were walking so fast in the first place, wanted to get somewhere, there wasn't such a thing as walking at a normal, reasonable pace.
"Maybe- just maybe, because it's June and we're in New York City." Ashley quips, giving him a snide smile, to which Josh scoffs.
"Really? I didn't notice!"
"It was rhetorical."
"Asking about the weather can't be a rhetorical question."
"Okay but, um- you know what I mean!"
"Actually I don't-"
A, very, loud squeal pulled Ashley and Josh's attention away from their conversation—as well as a lot of other people considering the mix of both glares and shocked looks directed at the source of noise.
The two shared a look, instantly knowing what- or rather who, had caused the noise.
"Brendon." They said in unison before following the direction nasty looks given by various people, even apologizing to a few who looked just about ready to beat Brendon's face in.
Who, in fact, was currently bouncing in place in front of a large poster that had been stuck on a brick wall of what seemed to be an old hotel.
"This is what you caused a public disturbance for?" Ashley sighed, glancing at the poster herself with bored eyes. Josh looked over it as well, still not quite understanding why Brendon had been so excited to see this.
The first thing that could be noticed about this poster was of course it's main focus- the man on the front. He was posed in what looked like a ready position in a fight, his fists clad in black boxing gloves- same colour as the various tattoos splayed on his muscular arms and across his chest, and scarlet red Everlast shorts fitted around his toned waist.
Yeah, Josh could see why Brendon was all flustered over this guy.
He looked like a typical boxer- except for the black ski mask on his head.
"What the fuck?" Josh said, snapping Brendon out of his daze.
"Why the hell is he wearing a ski mask?"
Brendon looked at Josh incredulously for a moment before rolling his eyes.
"It's his thing, like- it's something that people see and think of him." He explained, his tone like that of someone explaining the most obvious thing in the world.
"A ski mask?"
"Yes, a ski mask."
Josh let out a sigh, knowing well enough that arguing with his best friend of two years was pointless.
"Wait, so let me get this straight, you dragged us around for an hour in what feels like Satan's ball sack, claiming you wanted to take us to some amazing café, all for a poster of some dude in a ski mask?" Ashley questioned. Now it was her turn to be lectured.
"Tyler Robert Joseph isn't just 'some dude in a ski mask'," Brendon corrected, "he is the youngest undefeated boxing champion in all of New York City. Not to mention he's hot as fuck. You guys should appreciate the fact that I am even taking you here. "
Josh and Ashley just shared another look.
"And you couldn't have just looked up his picture on Google or something?" Josh asked and Brendon suddenly had a shy—almost mischievous glint in his eyes.
"N-No, there's one more thing I wanted to bring up." He muttered before gesturing to the text both Josh and Ashley hadn't bothered to read.
THE NOTORIOUS BLURRYFACE A.K.A TYLER JOSEPH UP AGAINST PETE WENTZ ON THE 15TH OF JUNE AT THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE. TICKETS BEING SOLD STARTING THE 1ST OF JUNE AT YOUR LOCAL BOX OFFICE
Josh furrowed his brows in confusion, why would he did he want me to read the-
"Nope. No. Not happening. Not in a million years." Josh said, crossing his arms, lips pursed and brows slightly furrowed in the way they do when he's set on something. But of course, Brendon wasn't going to give up that easily.
"C'mon Josh! We're on summer vacation, that's when people like—figure shit out about themselves! How many times in your life will you go to a boxing match? A Tyler Joseph boxing match at that!" Brendon reasoned and the look on Josh's face merely hardened.
"There are plenty of other things we can try! Like bungee jumping or some shit! But a boxing match—a most probably illegal one at that, I'd rather not. Ashley agrees, right—Ashley!" Josh gasped in betrayal, seeing who he thought to be the only other rational person in their group actually mulling over the idea.
"I mean Brendon does have a point. We've never gone to something like that before, plus soon enough we'll be back in college again with stress up to our eyeballs and no time to do anything exciting. Anyways, it seems pretty professional." She reasoned, glancing over the well-designed poster once again.
"Professional? Ashley we had to spend an hour looking for this thing! And where do we find it? On some old looking hotel! Doesn't that seem a little sketchy to you?" He questioned and Ashley faltered a bit. Brendon groaned.
"There were a ton of posters for this event, idiot. I just wanted to show you this one because, you know, Tyler Joseph." Brendon defended. Josh didn't look amused, and his suspicious only grew.
"If he's as much of a hot shot as you say, then why wasn't he on all the other posters?" He asked and Brendon looked about ready to snap.
"Fuck you ask a lot of questions—look, Tyler isn't very liked in the industry because people don't like people who gain success as quick as he does, especially because of how young he is. It's all a bunch of jealousy-induced bullshit but it is what it is. Just give it a chance! It's a boxing match Josh, as long as you're not in the ring, you're safe." Brendon said, giving Josh a pleading look.
Josh was about to protest but then looked at Ashley who was giving him the same look and he decided against it. He let out a defeated sigh and his two friends cheered knowing they'd won.
"I-fine, but the second any fight outside the ring breaks out I'm booking it, with or without you guys."
Ashley and Brendon cheer, bringing in Josh for a hug, and despite the unsettling feeling in the pit of his stomach, he grins.
"So, where's the café you were talking about, Bren."
"Right, about that..."
Chapter 3: 3 A.M.
TW // sexual harassment
Josh sighs, wrapping his arms around himself and glancing around the arena that was slowly getting more and more packed.
If you were to ask him his top ten most hated things in the world, large crowds would be pretty high up on the list.
But instead of saying something like every fiber in his being was telling him to, he bit his tongue and sat down. It's not like they were sat in the back where it was less crowded and Brendon ended up dragging them to nearly the front row seats.
Not at all.
"I still can't believe that guy gave up these seats just so you could give him head." Ashley said as she got situated, glancing at Brendon.
The only tickets that were still being sold had been for seat in the back of the arena, and of course Brendon wasn't going to just sit in the back when he found a perfectly good chance to sit in the near front.
"What can I say? I give the best head." Brendon grinned proudly; ignoring the few odd looks he received from the other people sitting around them.
Josh rolled his eyes as his two friends began to bicker, turning his attention to the crowd that was around him. He wasn't surprised upon seeing the majority dressed in skeleton hoodies, considering they had obviously chosen to sit on the side where Tyler- "Blurryface's", fans sat.
Of course they've got some weird shit going on, Josh thought to himself, their idol wears a fucking ski mask.
"Josh! Do you think I give good head?" Brendon's loud voice pulls him out of his thoughts and his face reddens once he realized what Brendon had josh asked him.
"S-Shut up, we're in public asshole. Also how the hell would I know?" Josh whisper-yells, looking nervously around them to see if anyone was paying attention before glaring at his friend who merely gasped dramatically.
"Don't you remember? In Junior year?" Brendon retorted, arms crossed. Ashley gave him a confused, almost bewildered look.
"That was t-three years ago, Bren. And we were experimenting!" Josh defended before Ashley could get any ideas.
"And what an experiment that was." Brendon smirked, wiggling his brows suggestively.
Josh wished he could crawl into hole and hide there for the rest of his life.
Before any more snide comments were made the lights finally dimmed and for the first time tonight the brunette hue was excited for the fight to begin.
"Ladies and gentlemen of the Slaughter House! Tonight we will have the privilege of seeing The Pete Wentz go up against the ever so Notorious Blurryface!" The speakers blared and before Josh could even get a chance to look for the announcer everyone in the whole arena began screaming and cheering.
Suddenly the lights dimmed again before shining on the entrance to the left of the arena.
"Weighing in at 174 pounds coming in from our left we have former light weight champion Pete Lewis Kingston Wentz III!" The announcer yelled and chaos ensued.
The crowd opposite to Josh's erupted in cheers that almost shook the entire arena as a said Pete runs through the entrance, jumping along the way with his fists raised in the air as if to edge to crowd on while what seemed to be his team followed behind him.
The man wasn't as tall as Josh had expected him to be, but he was definitely muscular--and full of himself.
Josh already wanted to leave.
"And coming from our right, weighing in at 170 pounds we have the notorious, oh so hated yet so successful, current light weight champion, Blurryface!"
Despite suddenly being jostled around as his side of the stands began to shake with cheers and screams, Josh was too entranced by the man running in through the entrance to be bothered.
Although he still had that stupid mask on, he was undeniably more attractive in real life than in the poster.
Although he wasn't extremely muscular his lean body, broad shoulders, and towering height which Josh could swear had to be at 6ft minimum, gave him an intimidating look.
"Holy shit he's hot." He said and Brendon gasped.
"And to think you were making fun of him! I knew you'd want that Joseph di-" Josh clamped a hand over his mouth, even though people were still too busy cheering to hear them.
"S-Shut up! I didn't even mean to say that out loud. He probably doesn't even have a nice face." He muttered taking his hand of Brendon's face, who just smirked in return. Josh sighed before turning his attention back to the ring and-
Both Pete and Tyler were in the ring at this point, edging their side of the stands on to cheer louder but that wasn't what Josh was focusing on.
Tyler had thrown off his mask and Josh was convinced he had died and gone to heaven.
"I told you he was-"
"Shut up." Josh said eyes still trained on the brunette who had a smug yet proud smile on his face. Josh didn't normally do smug, but he'd make an exception for this one.
Brendon giggled, whispering something to Ashley who then looked at Josh with a knowing glint in her eyes. Yet Josh was still too focused on the ring to notice, or care.
Finally the ref slides onto the ring, and the two fighters stand face-to-face with Tyler easily towering over Pete.
The announcer speaks again.
"What do you think about this fight, Smith? Wentz hasn't been seen in a fight since he lost his title a month ago."
"I don't know, George... Wentz has remained undefeated up until that last fight but then again so has Blurryface for the past two years." A new voice, Smith, commented.
"Guess we'll just have to see for ourselves then!"
Once the announcer finished speaking the referee huddled the two fighters, telling them words the audience couldn't hear- most likely a reminder of the rules to maintain a fair fight, before blowing his whistle signifying the beginning of the match.
Another thing that would be high up on Josh's list of his top ten most hated things--tension.
The two fighters circled one another like predator to its prey and the crowd was dead silent except for the few screams of 'punch him already!'. Tyler, or in this moment Blurry, had a smug, calm look on his face as he kept his gaze set on Wentz, who looked much more aggravated.
Expectedly, Pete swings first and the crowd erupts in cheers and jeers.
"Blurryface" dodges all of them and Josh watches with wide eyes as he skillfully blocks and avoids every single punch thrown at him.
"The first round is almost up and Blurryface has yet to make a move! This is a first for the crowd, he usually has his opponent on the ground before the first round ends!" The original announcer gasps in astonishment.
Suddenly the ref blows his whistle signaling the end of the first round and the two fighters respecting teams take them to different sides of the ring to tend to there care.
What the hell was that, Josh thought to himself, ironically disappointed with the lack of action.
"Don't look so disappointed Joshie, it's all about tactic." Brendon said and Josh furrowed his brows.
"Even the announcer said it was weird." Josh muttered and Brendon rolled his eyes.
"Joseph always has surprises up his sleeve, just wait." Brendon assures, patting Josh on the shoulder good-naturedly and the next round begins.
And the same thing happens.
And then the next round begins, and the one after that, and then the one after that.
However, by the start of the third round, Josh begins to realize why he wasn't bothering to throw any punches.
He's tiring Wentz out, Josh smirked, smart.
Not long into the round does Tyler finally make a move, jabbing right into Wentz's jaw so hard that it sends him stumbling to the ground.
Once again the arena erupts in a roar of cheers and Josh can't help but stand up himself and cheer "Blurryface" on.
From then on the next two rounds became a lot more interesting, more punches were being thrown- Joseph even taking some himself.
And Josh would be lying if seeing Tyler all sweaty and riled up didn't turn him on just a little bit.
Finally, by the sixth round, Tyler sends Wentz straight to the ground with one hard uppercut to his jaw.
"3... 2... 1! Blurryface has once again conquered another match, continuing his undefeated reputation!" The announcer yells and everyone in the crowd, including Josh, stands up and screams.
"Told you that it'd be worth it!" Brendon yells over the crowd proudly to his two friends, and for once since they'd decided on going to the match Josh gave him an appreciative grin.
The referee raises Tyler's arm signifying his victory and the raised cheers from his fans' side of the arena overwhelmed the jeers and 'boos' from Wentz's side.
Eventually Tyler is lead off the ring by his team, waving at the crowd before exiting through the same side he came through.
Although Josh had admittedly enjoyed the match, he was more than ready to leave the stuffed arena and get some fresh air, which is why he took both of his friends by their hands and dragged them out once the lights were back on and everyone began filing out.
"Whoah relax, I thought you enjoyed it?" Ashley huffed once they were outside, snatching her hand from Josh's grasp and rubbing her wrist. Josh let go of Brendon's hand before smiling sheepishly.
"I did, I just didn't enjoy the crowd." He said and his friends nodded understandingly.
"Now to find a cab..." Brendon said looking around. The streets were mostly empty, considering the arena was in more a of secluded area.
And the fact that it was 3 in the morning.
Josh frowned slightly, not wanting to get into another tight space after being in such a crowded area for so long. He glanced around the area, realizing that taking a walk back to his apartment wouldn't be too bad.
"Hey guys, you go ahead. I think I'm just going to find my way back." Josh said and his friends both gave him an incredulous look.
"It's the middle of the night and you're in one of the toughest cities in America, and you want to take a walk?" Brendon asked and the look on Ashley's face practically said the same thing.
"I always go exploring in the middle of the night. Plus I have cash on me so if I need to get a cab I can. I'll be fine. Anyways I'm really not in the mood to be in a tight space again."
His friends didn't seem convinced by his reasoning but by their defeated looks it seemed they decided against it.
"Fine, call us if anything goes on." Ashley said and Josh nodded, before Brendon suddenly tackled him into a hug.
"This might be the last time I ever see my best friend who I gave head in the 11th grade!" Brendon said with a fake, or real, sob. Josh gave Ashley a pleading look.
"Okay clearly you need sleep. Bye Joshie, if don't call me within the next in an hour I'm going to assume you're dead." Ashley said once she yanked Brendon off from Josh.
"I'll be fine!" Josh called before walking off.
"Fina-fucking-lly." Josh muttered once he was finally far away from everything that caused noise.
Although it was relieving to finally be away from everything, the feeling that he was being followed slowly crept up his spine about fifteen minutes into his walk.
Get over it, Josh thought to himself shaking his head, you're just tired.
That's what he kept telling himself, however, he was so focused on trying to get rid of the eerie feeling that he lost focus and walked off track.
"Fuck." He cursed, looking around and realizing that he'd walked into a very shady looking neighborhood.
"Hey there, sweet thing."
Josh felt his heart sink at the gruff, unfamiliar voice that sounded way too close behind him for comfort. Although ever fiber in his being was telling him to run he couldn't get his legs to move.
"Y'lost pretty boy?" The man asked once again, his words slurred together and the smell of alcohol emitting from him hit Josh like a bus.
Josh kept silent, still refusing to look at the man.
"I asked you a fucking question." The man suddenly growled, a clear change in mood evident as he grabbed Josh and spun him around.
It was then the adrenaline kicked in and Josh began fighting back, trying to twist himself out of the man's grasp and yelling for help.
"Shut the fuck up." He muttered slamming Josh into the nearest brick wall and clamping his grimy hand on his mouth. Josh only screamed louder, kicking and wriggling in the man's grasp.
Though it was useless, even drunk the man still had a clear advantage of the brunette due to his height.
"Saw you walking out here all 'lone. Had t'come up t'ya." The man muttered, looking down at Josh's struggling form appreciatively before he suddenly leaned in.
Josh felt tears well up in his eyes as the man got closer and closer and-
"Get the fuck off him."
The rest was a blur.
Suddenly the man his yanked off of Josh who's legs seem to turn into jelly as he drops to the ground scrambling away from the two.
With all the strength he could muster Josh curled in on himself as he tried to block out the relentless punches and groans of pain happening a little ways away from him as he attempted to regulate his breathing.
A few more moments of chaos, and then silence.
Josh stilled upon hearing footsteps near him, refusing to look up in fear that he'd come face to face with the man who attacked him rather than whoever had saved him.
"Uhm, he's taken care of- you're okay." A voice that sounded almost too sweet to be true spoke softly above him. Josh's heart rate finally slowed down upon hearing the soothing voice and realizing it wasn't the man.
Hesitantly he looked up, about to thank whoever had saved him-
Chapter 4: PRETTY
Holy shit holy shit holy shit, is all that was running through Josh's mind as he stared up at Tyler Joseph.
"Yeah, get that a lot." Tyler smirked and Josh couldn't find it in himself to be upset, because one minute he's getting attacked by some drunk and then Tyler Joseph is beating the living shit out of said guy.
Holy shit holy shit holy shit.
"Hey, you with me? How many fingers am I holding up?" Tyler's concerned voice pulls him out of his daze as he sees three fingers waggling in front of him.
"U-uhm three." He mutters, still trying to let the previous events sink in. Suddenly there's a hand being jutted towards and he heavily flinches away from it. Its owner frowns and crouches down to Josh's eye level.
"Relax, I'm not going to hurt you, I'm just trying to help." He soothes, hands held up in front of him in an almost defensive manner to show he wasn't hiding anything, waiting for Josh to nod before standing back up and offering his hand again. Josh takes it tentatively; not really needing to do anything as Tyler effortlessly pulled him off the ground.
"You're very light." Tyler muttered and Josh said something he'd regret very quickly.
"You have nice hands."
Stupid shock, Josh thought to himself and if his face wasn't red before it definitely is now.
"I didn't mean to say that!" He defended quickly and Tyler let out a chuckle at the look on his face.
Josh decided it was the nicest thing he's heard all day.
"Clearly you're still in a daze, so I'll let you off easy this time." Tyler replied with a playful wink and Josh went silent again.
"You're shaking." Tyler said frowning once again and Josh was become slightly irritated with how quick this guy's mood could change.
"Yeah, you'd be too if you were in my position." Josh said with an airy-chuckle and Tyler nods in understanding.
A silence falls upon the two and Josh averts his eyes, is too tired and overwhelmed to be able to tell whether or not it was awkward.
He looked at Tyler once again, the man's sharp gaze still hasn't budged from him and although everything about the boxer practically screams intimidating, the concern in his dark brown eyes did the opposite.
"I'm uh, gonna get going now. Thanks for the whole saving me thing." Josh mutters after what felt like forever. Tyler's frown deepens slightly.
"You sure? You're still shaking and you look about ready to pass out. What were you even doing in a place like this at this time?" Josh frowns at Tyler's intrusiveness.
"I could ask you the same thing." He snapped and Tyler raises a brow at him.
"I live around here here, your turn." He replied and Josh bit back the urge to ask why someone as successful as Tyler was living in a place like this.
"I was walking back to my apartment, a-and I took a wrong turn." He explains and a grin spreads across Tyler's face.
"I had a good feeling you weren't from here." He said and Josh narrowed his eyes.
"What is that suppose to mean?"
"It means that no one looking like you would choose to live in an area like this, which means the only reason why you're here is because you're lost." Tyler replied and Josh pouts, slightly offended.
"Okay Sherlock," he mutters quietly before continuing, "what do you mean looking like me?" he questions, crossing his arms and the taller bites back a laugh.
"You're too... Pretty to be in an area like this." Tyler replies easily, and it by the look on his face he wasn't saying that for the sole sake of being a flirt.
Because what else was he suppose to say.
"Okay, well, I'm going to find my way back. Thanks!" Josh said and immediately rushed off not wanting to experience any more embarrassment than he already has.
"Wait!" Tyler calls and Josh mentally curses himself for actually stopping.
"Do you want an autograph?"
Josh had never lost attraction to anyone so quickly ever in his entire life.
He didn't even answer before he turned back around and walking faster; even when Tyler called him to come back he kept walking.
God forbid I get one moment of peace, Josh though to himself when Tyler caught up with him.
"I was kidding!" Tyler defended once he had managed to catch up with Josh, who still refused so stop walking. "C'mon take a little-"
"Listen, you're right! I'm not someone who is cut out to live in an area like this, which is why I'm trying to leave! Why are you even still talking to me? Aren't you famous or some shit? Shouldn't you be celebrating your win over a glass of champagne that probably costs more than my college tuition?" At this point Josh had stopped and turned to Tyler, an exasperated look plastered on his face.
"I'm still talking to you because usually people don't like to walk home alone at almost 4 a.m. after almost being assaulted. No, I'm not some a-list celebrity I'm only known around New York and maybe Columbus. And finally, I'm more of a red-wine kind of guy."
Josh sighed in defeat, realizing that he should be a little nicer towards the person who'd saved him from that disgusting bastard's intentions.
"Well, thank you, I mean it! But right now I just want to get back to my apartment." Josh said about to start walking once again before Tyler stood in front his path, hindering him from going forward.
"I'll walk you back."
Tyler rolled his eyes.
"I said I'll walk you back. I doubt you're going to be able to find your way back to where ever your apartment is and I don't think you want to risk the chance of someone else getting you." Josh huffed at Tyler's excuse, annoyed by his lack of belief that Josh was capable of getting back on his own.
"I can find my way on my own." Josh defended trying to walk around Tyler only for him to side-step right in front of him.
"You're already going the wrong way, unless you live in an even worse area than this one." Tyler said with a grin, as if convinced he'd already won their little argument.
Josh grumbled before letting out a defeated sigh, realizing there was no point in arguing anymore. He just wanted to go back to the hotel.
"Fine. I live on 351 Pine St, but that's as far as you can take me." Josh gave in and Tyler furrowed his brows momentarily in thought before grinning again.
"Follow me then." He said, turning around and walking straight forward-
"Didn't you say that this way led to an even more dangerous area?" Josh accused, nonetheless following Tyler, who smirked in response.
Josh gaped at him momentarily before sighing and looking at the ground, deciding that arguing would either result in prolonging his arrival to his home or result in more embarrassment--or both.
A silence, which Josh couldn't decipher whether it was comfortable or tense, fell upon the two as Tyler led them out of the neighborhood.
Josh glanced at the taller, taking advantage of the silence to properly check him out. His dark brown hair shaved on the sides and decently long and unruly on the top, the several scars along his cheek and nose gave him a rugged look yet his doe eyes and long lashes was contradictory to this, and his tall frame was clad in a grey hoodie and black atheltic shorts.
He frowned slightly, how could he make such casual clothes look so-
Before Josh can even finish his thought he squeals when he feels someone yanking him back.
"What the fuck?" He glared at Tyler who was giving him teasing grin, his hand fisting the back of Josh's shirt.
"You should be saying thank you. You were about to run into that streetlight because you were too busy in la la land." He chuckled, letting go of Josh's shirt.
All Josh could do at this point was stare at him with his mouth open in both shock and embarrassment, his face once again bright red and Tyler seemed to be enjoying it thoroughly.
Who could blame Josh, what was he suppose to say in response to that?
Of course, things couldn't go smoothly after that. No, Tyler just had to take it upon himself to cup Josh's chin and close his mouth for him.
"You shouldn't keep your mouth open, you'll catch flies."
Smug asshole, was the only thing going through Josh's mind as Tyler gave him another smirk before he continued walking, stupidly attractive smug asshole.
Fortunately for Josh nothing else that would leave his memory scarred happened on their walk. Eventually they reached the neighborhood, Tyler managing not to get noticed by keeping his hood up and head down.
Though, he didn't have to worry considering the only people who were out at this point were most probably too shit-faced to even decipher between left and right.
"Well, here it is- take care next time. Judging by how red your face still is you don't want to end up on another walk with me." Tyler said with that stupid teasing grin that Josh would never admit to anyone or himself he found really fucking cute.
Or hot, he still couldn't decide.
"Yeah, uh, thanks again." Josh replies with as much confidence as he could muster. He gives Tyler a short, awkward nod before rushing to his apartment complex.
He felt Tyler's gaze burn holes in his back until he turned the corner and was well out of sight.
Another thing Josh would never admit is that he was slightly disappointed that he would probably never be in the presence of the boxer ever again.
However, his mind didn't linger on Tyler for much longer, as he began to mentally prepare himself for the lecture of a lifetime he was about to receive was he called his friends.
Finally, after what feels like forever, the doors of the elevator open up and he practically runs to his flat, fumbling with the keys only for the door to be practically ripped open, revealing a very disheveled and worry looking Brendon
Not even a minute passed before the door was practically ripped open by a very worried disheveled Brendon.
"Josh! Where the fuck were you?" Brendon all but whispered, as he yanked Josh in for a hug, which he was too stunned to return.
"Why are you in my apartment?"
Before Brendon can answer however, and pissed off looking Ashley speaks up from behind him.
"You were half an hour late to message us Josh! We were convinced you were dead or something! Why didn't you answer your phone?" She scolded not unlike a mother to her child as she closed the door behind the two. Josh let go of Brendon, checking his phone and grinning sheepishly.
"Of course! Josh you could've been jumped or something!" She colds and Josh's heart speeds up a little bit as he's reminded of the incident that had taken place earlier.
"Well uh—I was."
"What?" Josh winced as they both yelled in unison, fearing the verbal ass kicking he'd receive from his landlord for noise complaints.
"I'll explain later, but you'll never guess who helped me." Josh said excitedly, hoping the story would at least put his friends' worry at ease.
"Josh you could've had beaten the shit out of you, I don't we really want to hear about who helped you." Brendon said, arms crossed with an expression just as annoyed as Ashley's.
"Josh do you really think it's time to make jokes-"
"I'm not! He was in the same area as me and saw me getting jumped by some shit-faced asshole so he—I'm being serious!" He frowned at the concerned and skeptical looks his friends were giving him.
"L-Look Josh, I think you took a pretty hard hit to the head, I mean your cheek looks like it's going to be black and blue by tomorrow morning. Maybe you should rest." Ashley said, her voice quiet for the first time tonight. However Josh's only raised.
"Do you genuinely think I'm faking this?" He asked incredulously, offended that his friends refused to believe him.
"We don't think you're faking anything! We just think that you've probably went through a lot and you're a little bit, disoriented." Brendon said, clearly trying to avoid using the word 'delusional' before giving Josh a gentle squeeze to his shoulder.
However, Josh didn't appreciate his attempt at calming him down, and yanked his shoulder back from Brendon's grasp.
"I'm not being delusional! He was right there—he even helped me get back here! This bruise? When he knocked the guy off me I ended up falling too!" However despite all of Josh's attempts his friends only began to become more and more concerned.
"I think you should get some sleep, Josh." Ashley said sympathetically which only pissed Josh off more.
"Are you—you know what? Fine. I'll prove it to you tomorrow when I'm not 'disoriented'." He scoffed before going into the bathroom and slamming the door behind him.
He groaned quietly, resting his head against the door as he slowly felt guilt start to consume him. His friends had only been trying to help after all. Not to mention, the story was pretty bizarre.
"Shit." Josh muttered once he looked at himself in the mirror, no wonder they were so concerned.
The bruise on his cheek was becoming worse, he had bags under his eyes that were too dark to go unnoticed, and his hair was just as disheveled as Brendon’s had looked just moments ago.
Of course Josh had to look like had hadn't slept or showered for two months straight the day he met probably one of the most attractive guys he'd ever seen.
Not like I'll ever see him again, Josh thought a little too glumly.
He splashed his face with water, brushing his teeth and all before leaving the bathroom, feeling a slight pang of sadness in his chest when he noticed his friends had left, not that he could blame them.
He kicked off his shoes, discarding them to the side in the hallway before taking his clothes off
What a long fucking day, is that last thing Josh thought before falling into a fitful sleep.
Chapter 5: MANAGER
tw for abuse and homophobic slurs
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
When people thought of Tyler Joseph, inevitably their first thought was the infamous "Blurryface" persona he put in the ring.
The swift, skilled, tactical, and most definitely ruthless: Blurryface.
Their second thought was the Tyler Joseph who was practically drowning in money, splurging it on anything his mind desired, and probably sleeping on mattresses that cost more than most people will make in a lifetime.
The Tyler Joseph, who was just as much of a cold-heartless asshole as his persona.
What people didn't know, was that this wasn't at all the case—entirely at least.
Of course he was most definitely becoming well off, considering the fact that he's been as successful as he is for the last two years. Yet, he refused to leave the first old, worn-out apartment he'd first bought when he moved to this city.
It was almost a miracle that no one had figured out he wasn't living the luxury life they assumed. Then again, he had grown to be very skilled at staying unnoticed in the less crowded areas of NYC.
Not to mention the very few people who had tried to snag a couple of pictures of him in the area he lived always ended up with their cameras broken, as well as a couple of bones—y'know, to get the point across.
The rumor that he wasn't the nicest guy around wasn't completely false. Multiple people had posted on their social media accounts of his lack of enthusiasm when meeting fans, and his tight-lipped or non-existent smile in photos had proven this. However, this never applied to the kids, he was always gentle with them—he wasn't evil.
His refusal to do interviews outside of the mandatory ones before and after matches didn't help his case and created a strong barrier between himself and his fans, yet he still had a strong following.
No one knew why people stuck around, neither did Tyler for the most part, and this is what resulted in the media despising him to the extent that they do.
However, Tyler did have soft spots for things other than children, like his dog.
Excluding in the mornings.
"Get off of me." The brunette groans, weakly shoving at the black pit bull who was currently laying right on top of him and licking and nudging his face in an attempt to wake him up.
However the dog was persistent and switched to barking right in Tyler's ear.
"Fuck, okay! I'm up." He grumbles, sitting up with a yawn. He glanced at the clock noticing he only had about forty minutes to get ready and let out a tired sigh, finally lifting himself off the bed and making his way to the kitchen of his small flat.
This was routine for him, be woken up everyday at around 5 in the morning by his dog, who he feeds before eating his own breakfast, going through the typical morning-hygiene ritual of a 25-year-old man before changing into his workout clothes and making his way out of his apartment.
Not without taking his meds, of course.
All of this was suppose to be done by 6 a.m., which was when he was supposed to be at the gym he trains in that was owned by his manager. However, it was typically done half an hour later.
What had also become routine was being berated for being late by his coach, Dallon Weekes.
"You're half an hour late."
"And you still have the same, most generic haircut I've ever seen in my entire life for the past two years."
"You're doing—wait what?"
"I thought we were just stating the obvious." Tyler responds with a smirk, earning a glare from his coach.
"Real fuckin original, Joseph. You know I was gonna let you off easy, but now I think you'll be training without gloves today." Now Dallon was smirking and Tyler's falters.
"Oh c'mon Dal-pal! It was just a little joke, your hair cut looks great!" Tyler tries even though he's well aware it's useless, which is proven when Dallon's smirk only widens.
"I know it is. Now get your ass moving and start the warm up, also I want you to double your reps with cardio and abs. And don't bother complaining, you're the one who came up with the idea of coming to the gym early, so you deal with the consequences." Dallon said and Tyler grumbled, knowing it was true.
"It was so I would avoid being watched or some shit, which clearly didn't work out." Tyler said, this time out loud so the other seven-or-so people in the gym who were clearly not working out and only there to see Tyler's regimen or take pictures to send to tabloids would hear him.
However once he made it loud and clear that he was well aware of their intentions they all immediately turned away and began to mind their own business.
Dallon snickers, cocking his head towards the corner of the room, as if telling Tyler to start.
And so Tyler did, of course not without complaint about the added reps to his already difficult regimen. However, he didn't have to complain for long because about midway of his warm up he's suddenly interrupted.
"Tyler, my man!"
There was only three people in Tyler's life who's voice was able to make his blood run cold, and his manager was one of them.
"Hey, I'd like to see you for just a moment." Jack says approaching the duo with something hidden behind his back, giving a confident smile to the others in the gym.
However, Tyler felt his heart sink, because he knows what that tone of voice means. He knows that smile is only a façade to the public to keep his slate clean.
"Y-yeah, of course." He says mustering up all the courage he had left inside of him to give a Jack a tight-lipped smile. He knew whatever was about to happen would be a whole lot worse if he didn't play along.
So with that Tyler follows Jack into the office built in the gym he created, throwing Dallon one more glance before entering the office.
With a shaky sigh, Tyler takes a seat on the plush chair in front of the large wooden desk. Once the door is shut and locked, Jack's smile drops into the hard, malicious glare that Tyler has grown all too familiar with.
"What the fuck is this." He sneers, throwing what he had been hiding behind his back right at Tyler's face. Tyler scrambles to take a hold of it, and once he does recognize it his eyebrows furrow in confusion,
The daily newspaper.
He gives Jack a confused look, whose scowl only deepens. "Open it you fucking idiot, do I have to do everything for you?" He snaps, evidently trying not to raise his voice. Tyler flinches at the insult, but opens up the newspaper nonetheless.
Once his eyes land on the article his heart rate picks up so quick he feels as if he's about to pass out.
TYLER JOSEPH SAVES SECRET BOYFRIEND FROM SEXUAL ASSUALTER? READ FOR MORE!
Under the text was two photos taken of Tyler and the man he'd helped the other night. One of him beating up the asshole that had attacked the mystery man and another one of Tyler cupping the other's chin.
How had he not noticed?
"Well? Are you going to sit there looking at it like an idiot or are you going to give me an explanation? And it better be a good one because I am running out of patience with you Tyler Joseph." Jack growled, hands place firmly on his desk and he leaned over it, easily towering Tyler.
He felt like this throat was closing up, he hated feeling vulnerable.
"I-I was on my way b-b-back from-" Tyler doesn't even get a chance to finish his sentence before Jack slams his hand against his desk, causing a pencil holder to topple over.
"Enough with this fucking stuttering bullshit. Stop being such a fucking coward for once in your life Joseph or I swear to god I will give you something to cry about. You're a boxer, not a fucking child." Jack says as he takes a seat, this time his voice scarily calm and Tyler's mind has gone haywire.
The random bursts of violence being followed by calmness were too much for him- it's too much for anyone.
Yet, he takes a deep breath, wanting to leave the office as fast as possible. He just had to listen and agree to to whatever his manager said. Now matter what.
"I was on my way back from the last match I had, and I saw some drunk guy assaulting some other guy. I couldn't just leave him alone, Sir. H-He was defenseless! God knows what would've happened if I had just left them alone!" Tyler explains, his heart speeding up in anticipation to see the reaction Jack was about to give him.
He wasn't pleased.
"You know how long people have been trying to get dirt on you, Joseph. You know how looked down upon you'll be in the industry once people find out you're a fag? You're lucky I didn't drop your ass when I found out." Jack snapped with the intensity of a thousand suns in his eyes. Tyler winced at the slur, but he kept silent.
Jack closes his eyes sighs, running his hand through his slicked back hair. Tyler hates that he feels guilty for making him this distressed.
"Do you like him?"
"I asked if you fucking like him, Tyler. It's not that hard to understand." He snapped, eyes open again and glaring. Tyler bites his lips, fear crawling up his spine because he knows that he can't give Jack an answer he wants—he'd be lying if he said he wasn't the least bit attracted to the mystery man.
"No, sir." He mumbles, knowing that Jack could see right through him.
"Don't fucking mumble." He says slamming his hand on the table and Tyler has to hold back a yelp.
"No, sir. I don't." Tyler repeats, this time more clearly.
The tension in the room thickens as Jack stares at Tyler dead in the eyes, searching for any possibility of deceit.
"You're lying to me. I don't like liars Tyler-"
"I'm not lying, I swear! I don't like him!" Tyler defends before clamping his hand over his mouth, eyes wide with realization. He interrupted Jack and raised his voice.
Fortunately, Jack let it slip. He knew when to push and when to hold back.
"Tyler I'm being very lenient right now, so be grateful and answer me honestly. Do you like him?" Jack's voice is calm once again and Tyler feels lightheaded again.
"I don't. I just wanted to help him because I couldn't just walk past that, please believe me." He pleads, throat tight as he tries to put on his most convincing look possible.
Still, Jack sees right through it, he always does.
"Then what's that fucking picture of you cupping his damn chin? Huh?" Jack is standing up again, snatching the newspaper away from Tyler who flinches and points at the second picture.
"I-I was just trying to make him feel-"
"I don't give a single fuck what you were trying to make him feel. I'm not some kind of idiot, Tyler. I know you were trying to hit on him. Haven't you learned by now? You aren't meant for love or relationships. You aren't meant for anything but boxing, you hear me? Your own parents couldn't love you."
Tyler stays silent, eyes trained on the ground. It's taking every fiber in his being not to break. Not to beat the living shit out of his manager, not to scream and cry like he's been wanting to do every since he moved to this city.
"Look at you. I can tell how hard you're trying not to burst right now. Is that what you're going to do to the next person you 'fall in love with'? Beat them up whenever you're mad? Fuck I can't imagine what you'd be like off your meds." Jack sighs and sits back down, and Tyler takes every word like a punch to the face.
"Need I remind you what happened the last time you were in a relationship?" This makes Tyler's head snap up, eyes wide and frantic.
"N-No. Please, don't. I don't want to t-think about him, please-"
"Good." Jack says and Tyler lets out a quiet sigh of relief.
"You're doing an interview this Saturday, Good Morning New York, I'm sure you know the one."
Tyler's panicking again.
"What? I've never—no I can't. I hate doing-"
"I don't care. You need to clear all this shit the media has been saying about you, especially the most recent incident." Jack's tone holds no room for argument and it takes everything within Tyler to keep quiet.
"Remember, only I know what's best for you. I care about you, Tyler. I've been taking care of you for the last four years, let me handle this." The softness of Jack's tone makes Tyler sick to his stomach yet calm at the same time.
Finally, Jack stands up and walks around his desk, giving Tyler a clap on his shoulder good-heartedly before walking out of the office.
Tyler only gives himself a moment to collect himself before he's striding out of the room, confident as ever with a determined smirk on his face.
"What happened in there? Are you okay?" Dallon asks, eyeing Tyler wearily.
"I'm more than okay, where were we?" Tyler asks, but Dallon frowns and shakes his head.
"I don't think you should practice Tyler. He obviously said some fucked up-"
"No, I want to. I'm in the perfect mood, for practice Dallon." The smirk Tyler gives is different this time, almost dark.
Sometimes Dallon wonders if Blurryface is just a persona.
it's so weird to write about blurryface after the era has ended