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12 January 2008 @ 05:57 pm
music gave you back your beat so you could dream  
music gave you back your beat so you could dream
Gerard/Pete, for octette from my lyrics prompt meme
R (for language, mostly), ~3700 words, set during Warped 2005. Title is a quote from Lou Reed. The song that Pete and Mikey are singing is “Punk Rock Girl” by The Dead Milkmen. Thanks to octette for betaing her own gift.



Everyone thinks that it is Pete-and-Mikey, Mikey-and-Pete, that the Summer of Like is a poorly-veiled metaphor for sex.

They are more right than wrong, except about one thing: it is Pete and Mikey, that much is true—but it isn’t that Pete and Mikey are fucking.

*

Warped is different this year. Pete’s still not used to the main stage, to playing to crowds that are ten, twenty, thirty times the size of crowds they were playing to (and grateful for) just a year ago.

There’s a lot he’s not used to on this tour. Patrick’s still-simmering anger, larger stages, calls twice a week with his therapist.

He has his sunglasses set firmly on his face, his face impassive as he searches for caffeine. It’s not like he’s living some rockstar life, even now that he’s a rockstar, even though he is grumpy at the crack of eleven. He just needs some caffeine for himself and some for Patrick before he can even imagine facing a show.

A tall, thin shuffling figure all dressed in black catches Pete’s eye. The … guy? Yeah, guy, the guy looks vaguely familiar, even with sunglasses and hair hanging in his face.

It’s the ridiculous hair that triggers recognition, sticking up in a million directions but also looking like it’s … intended to look like that?

Well, if there is anyone that knows where to find coffee, Pete guesses it would be Mikey Way. From what he remembers of the few dates they shared on Warped 2004, the dude functionally mainlines either beer or coffee.

“Mikeyway!” he crows, his cheerful voice only a little forced. Probably nobody will notice. “Mikeyway, boy of my HEART! Where’s the coffee?”

Mikey looks up, his face falling into the easy lines of a small smile. “Pete,” he greets.

Pete likes his smile. He likes that when he drapes himself over Mikey’s shoulders like they’ve known each other for years, Mikey doesn’t mention that they’ve only met twice.

Pete likes Mikey.

“Mikey, if you find me good coffee, I’ll give you the best blowjob of your life.” He grins a little.

Mikey’s smile widens just a fraction as he puts an arm around Pete’s hip to steady him. “There’s a Starbucks van over there,” he says, turning Pete around in the opposite direction.

“Mikeyway,” Pete crows, his mood lightening with a hand on his hip. “You are a sweet little dude!”

“I’m taller than you,” Mikey says dryly, steering Pete toward the Starbucks van. “Significantly taller.”

Pete waves his hand. “Height is immaterial when it comes to sweet little dudes, Mikey.”

*

So it starts with coffee, but it mostly continues because Mikey doesn’t seem to get irritated or tired of Pete hanging on and shouting near and jumping around him. Apparently, a couple of years of touring in vans with Frank Iero has pretty much anesthetized him against irritation in the form of short, loud, tattooed dudes.

It’s amazing, because Pete is pretty sure that if Mikey wasn’t such a patient, quiet guy, Pete never would have known how fucking funny he is. Mikey makes these comments just barely under his breath that are so dry that most people seem to miss that they’re hilarious. He’s smart and he’s calm and he’s not really that into drinking right now, not since the previous summer, the pills and withdrawl and total life changes that he just kind of waves and calls “The Gee Thing.”

(Pete gets it. Five months after the fact, Patrick still calls Pete’s suicide attempt “The Best Buy Incident.”)

So it starts with hanging out because they can. It’s cool. Mikey is quiet where Pete is loud, subtle where Pete is obvious. Mikey’s a cuddler, too. It’s nice. Pete likes to spread his cuddles around a little.

It’s weird, then, that Pete gets to know Gerard while sitting in Mikey’s lap.

It’s not like Pete had never met Gerard before, but he’s never met this Gerard. He hasn’t seen him since he got sober, hasn’t spent any real time around him ever. And the crazy thing is that all of the press is true – Gerard is earnest and he’s a massive nerd and he’s kind of crazy sweet.

The first time Gerard makes hot chocolate and automatically hands Pete a cup without thinking about it or asking, Pete feels something drop in his stomach a little.

Later that night, after Mikey has passed out during Planet of the Apes and Gerard is talking excitedly about social commentary and sci-fi films with the bluish glow of the television lighting and shadowing his features, he feels something drop in a place significantly lower than his stomach.

*

They run around a lot, Pete and Mikey. Pete likes pressing his leg against Mikey’s, hanging off his shoulders and yelling into Mikey’s ear.

He likes that Mikey listens, that he hasn’t heard every story a million times, wasn’t there for most of them.

Pete loves his band. But this summer is the summer to love other people, too. Not replacements… more like supplements.

His therapist says that it’s a good thing, that he’s learning to trust other people.

Pete thinks it’s a good thing because Patrick has only punched him once this summer.

*

So it’s maybe a little weird, because everyone thinks that Pete’s after Mikey, but it’s not bad. He’s not after anyone, not really. He’s still a little too battered after Jeanae and as much as he likes hooking up with that hot bass tech, he knows himself too well to think it’s a good idea to actually get involved with anyone.

Of course that has never in the history of ever stopped him before, so it probably shouldn’t surprise him when he finds himself stopping by the My Chemical Romance bus when he knows that Mikey is off with Ray or staring longingly at Alicia or hanging out with the Alkaline Trio dudes. Gerard doesn’t seem to mind that Pete’s around when Mikey’s not, but he doesn’t actually get it, either. Normally, that would either frustrate Pete or cause him to lose interest, but something about this is different.

So it’s still cool. Gerard doesn’t watch Pete the way that Joe and Patrick and Andy do, always looking for the cracks in the ice, always waiting for something. Pete knows that it is because they love him, but it’s also about to drive him nuts.

It’s cool to sit with his feet tucked by Gerard’s side while they argue about which Star Wars movie was the best one.

“Obviously, it was Jedi,” Gerard says dismissively, handing Pete a strawberry poptart.

Pete stares at him, actually offended. “Jedi? You’re out of your fucking mind! Jedi? Are you on drugs?”

Gerard stops mid-bite and it’s like someone paused everything as they look at each other across the small expanse of the couch, Luke Skywalker whining in the background.

And then Gerard snickers, tearing off a piece of poptart and throwing it into his mouth.

“Not anymore, no.” He laughs a little, sounding … maybe a little relieved.

Pete knows that he’s tired of the kid gloves. Maybe Gerard is, too.

*

“So the plan is …” Joe’s voice trails off doubtfully. He probably would be looking at Pete all doubtfully, but he’s too engrossed in the Halo match on the screen.

“How did you know that …” Pete has no idea how Joe knows that there’s a plan.

“Patrick told me,” Joe says dismissively.

“It’s not like it’s not obvious,” Andy says from the other couch, his forehead furrowed as he kicks Joe’s ass.

“I’m not obvious.” Pete pouts a little. He’s stealthy! He’s subtle!

He has no idea what the plan is.

“Dude.” Joe actually pauses the game for emphasis and turns to look at Pete. “You’re seriously obvious.”

*

It is almost hilarious that Gerard doesn’t get it. He does corner Pete one day, but it doesn’t go exactly as Pete has imagined (or fantasized, shut up).

“What are you doing with my brother?” Gerard says with a face that is probably trying to look intimidating, but mostly looks confused. Probably because it’s ten a.m.

“Um?” Pete tries really hard not to snicker. Intimidating or not, he actually doesn’t doubt that Gerard would at least try to kick his ass in a heartbeat if Pete was laughing at Mikey. “Hanging out?”

Gerard tips his ubiquitous sunglasses down so Pete can see the eyes narrowed at him. “Uh huh.” Gerard sounds doubtful, but mostly confused. Still. “Hanging out. Well, if you hang out with my brother and break his heart, I’ll break your legs.”

Pete stifles another laugh, letting a big, potentially stupid-looking grin break across his face. “You’ll break my legs, huh?”

Gerard’s face is deadly serious as he shrugs. “I’ll get Bob to break your legs.” He motions vaguely in the direction of the MCR bus. “He’s big. And I think he needs his laundry done. Which I could do. Or something.”

Pete looks down at Gerard’s outfit, the same pants he’s been wearing for eight days (not that Pete’s been counting [Pete’s totally been counting]) and grins harder.

Gerard glares while Pete grins and it’s strangely familiar to Pete. Patrick gives him that look a lot, too.

“Dude.” Pete finally breaks, laughing a little. “I’m not sleeping with Mikey.”

Gerard raises his eyebrows. “Really?”

“Really.” Pete is very earnest now. It is important that Gerard get this. “I think Mikey’s straight, with a Gabe Exception or something. And, you know, I’m not interested in him like that anyway.”

“Why not?” Gerard sounds a little defensive, as if someone not wanting to fuck his little brother was a personal affront.

The Ways are fucking weird.

“No, Mikey’s awesome. He’s great. I would even take the word ‘rad’ out of retirement to describe him.” Gerard’s shoulders are relaxing as Pete simultaneously assures him that Mikey is both attractive and not attractive to Pete. Pete thinks that he should maybe be offended. “But … I’m not interested. I’m interested in someone else like that.” Pete looks at Gerard Very Meaningfully when he says “like that.” There is no way that Gerard could miss that. None.

Gerard misses it.

“‘Like that?’ Are you twelve?” Gerard snickers a little.

“No,” Pete sighs. This subtle shit is hard. “I’m shy.”

Gerard laughs then. It’s the real, barking, dorky laugh that makes his entire face kind of glow. Because Pete is, apparently, stupid over him. Awesome.

“Shy?” he says, still laughing. “Pete, the third time you met Mikey, you offered to blow him.”

Pete just glowers. He is shy. He’s just loud, too.

*

Mikey doesn’t miss it.

“You’re kind of obvious,” Mikey says, his voice a little flat. Gerard has just walked out of the bus, mumbling something about finding Patrick to borrow some Miles Davis.

“Um …” Pete is laying on the couch with his head in Mikey’s lap and he wonders if he’s going to actually have to reject Mikey to, like, his face. That would be awkward. “I don’t want to have sex with you, dude.” He raises his head, his neck muscles tightening as he lifts himself off of Mikey’s lap. It would be weird to reject a guy while using him as a pillow. Pete has manners, after all.

“No,” Mikey laughs—it’s his real giggly stupid laugh and Pete, relieved, lays his head back down. “Not me, Jesus. Gerard. You’re obvious.”

“I don’t …” Pete trails off and hides his face in Mikey’s boney-ass belly, turning his shoulders in toward his head. “Shut up,” he mumbles, his voice muffled.

Pete feels Mikey’s hand come down on his neck, big and broad and covering most of the back of his head. It’s comforting.

“He has no idea,” Mikey says, his voice a little kinder and with less laughter. “You’re gonna have to do something, you know.”

Pete sighs.

He knows.

*

“The coffee is shit here, man,” Gerard says as he drinks his third cup in the catering tent since they’re in the middle of bumfuck Washington, apparently without a real town nearby or mobile coffee vans. Pete laughs a little, still working on his first. “But there’s no time to go get Starbucks or something. Can you believe that there’s not a Starbucks for thirty miles?”

“Playing the four o’clock slot?” Pete says, somewhat sympathetically. He’s only somewhat sympathetic, though. Someone has to take the midday headlining slot bullet and if it wasn’t Gerard, it would be Pete. At least it’s an outdoor amphitheatre today, though that’s probably not cheering Gerard up any.

Gerard waves his hand vaguely, probably indicating the ‘yes’ that Pete already knows. God, even Gerard’s stupid wavy hand gesture things are kind of hot.

Pete is so screwed.

“What are you doing after your set?” Pete blurts out, kind of surprised that anything came out of his mouth. He and Mikey make plans, sometimes, but he and Gerard do not make plans. They just kind of … end up in the same place.

Okay, maybe they end up in the same place a lot, but it’s not like Gerard has noticed that.

Gerard raises his eyebrows over the rim of his coffee cup. “Watching you guys?” he says, his voice sounding more like a question than Pete would like.

“No, after that. What are you doing after we’re done? I want to see the sights.”

“The sights?” Gerard looks around them, the rolling hills of the Columbia River Basin, the total lack of any urban area. “Why don’t you ask Mikey?”

“He’s busy,” Pete shrugs, finishing the last of his coffee and tossing the paper cup in the trash can. “He and Alicia are hanging out tonight.”

Gerard raises his eyebrows again. “Okay.”

Pete grins then claps a hand to Gerard’s back. “Okay!”

*

Fall Out Boy got the last slot on this night, so it’s long after a pretty fucking amazing sunset that Pete is toweling off his hair and trying to shove a bottle of water down Andy’s pants.

“Hey,” Gerard calls, weaving his way through the techs and other bands flowing in and out of the backstage area.

Pete grins at him, flipping a smirking Andy off behind his back, where Gerard can’t see it.

“Hey! You ready?” Pete says, grabbing a t-shirt that has a strong sense of Joe about it, more so when Pete pulls the shirt over his head and smells stale smoke all over it.

Whatever, it’s not like Gerard will notice.

Gerard shrugs, smiling a little at Pete. “I still don’t know what we’re doing, but Bob says that you have to return me by midnight or they’re leaving without me.”

Pete cocks his head to the side a little, calculating. Just over an hour, then, to figure out his plan.

Okay, he can work with that. He’s done more with less.

“Come on, Soda Pop.” He grins, grabbing at Gerard’s wrist and pulling him toward the side of the main stage. “Let’s ride.”

“Why do I have to be Soda Pop?” Gerard’s voice floats above Pete’s head as he lets himself be dragged. “I really think I’m more of a Ponyboy.”

*

The crowds have been cleared out and the only people left in the amphitheatre are a cleaning crew who are both too harried and too used to shows to get too excited about headliners anymore.

The venue is really pretty fucking amazing, really. There aren’t any seats, just a big concrete floor in front of the stage with huge sloping grass hills creating a natural ampitheatre. It looks like the way Pete imagines Woodstock wanted to be, but with more garbage littering the ground now and less mud.

“Have you ever played here before?” Pete asks Gerard as he steers them toward the top of the grass hills, farthest from the stage.

“Don’t think so,” Gerard shakes his head as he settles himself on the grass gingerly. Pete snickers a little – for a guy who has to be bribed to shower, Gerard is kind of prissy. “I mean, I don’t remember last summer’s Warped too well, but I don’t think we made this leg.” He looks around, smiling a little and rifling in his pockets, probably for his cigarettes. “It’s pretty.”

Pete nods and settles next to Gerard. “Yeah, it’s no New York or whatever, but … it’s cool here. Bill told me I should check it out if I had time before we take off.”

Gerard looks sideways, grinning. “Oh, Bill, huh? On a first-name basis with Billy Idol now?”

Pete blushes an little and shoves at Gerard’s arm. “Fuck you. Like you weren’t all starstruck the first time you met him.”

Gerard shoves back weakly, laughing. “Oh, absolutely. ‘Rebel Yell,’ motherfucker. That was the soundtrack to 1984.”

“Old man,” Pete says fondly. “You were, what? Seven?”

“I was a very forward-thinking seven-year old,” Gerard says, trying to look serious. He’s terrible at deadpan, it’s hilarious.

Pete snickers. “Elena was a fan?”

“Egh,” Gerard groans, flopping back onto the grass. “Yeah, she thought he had a great butt. It was weird.”

Pete lies back, too, looking up at stars that he usually can’t see.

It’s quiet here.

“These the sights you wanted someone to see with you?” Gerard’s voice is quieter now.

“Yeah.” Pete half-shrugs, all he can really manage while laying down on an incline. “It’s pretty, but … I think that being out here by myself would be …” he trails off.

“Lonely,” Gerard finishes. “Thin line, there, between peaceful and lonely.”

Pete nods. Fuck, melancholy was not part of his plan. Pete closes his eyes and just breathes. Who is he kidding? He doesn’t have a damn plan. Usually, he would have either fucked Gerard by now or gotten over it, but there’s something about this that’s different. It’s the difference between a suggestive hand on a thigh and laying in the middle of nowhere and listening to the stars and Pete has no idea what to do with that difference.

I don’t know what I’m doing, he thinks, realizing for the first time that it’s true.

He feels something in the air around him shift. It’s not until he opens his eyes and turns his head that he sees that Gerard has propped himself up on one arm, his face a few inches from Pete’s.

“You’re really not very good at this,” Gerard says, the lines around his mouth creased in amusement or irritation or … something?

“I’m not good at what?” Pete asks, confused and a little dazed because he knows that he has no idea what is going on now.

“Mikey clued me in.” Gerard pushes his hair back from his face and leans in closer.

Pete gapes. This was not a part of any of the potential plans. Gerard wasn’t supposed to make moves on Pete, mostly because it was impossible that he would.

When Gerard closes the last few inches between them and his breath ghosts across Pete’s lips, it hits Pete that Gerard is making the moves on him.

All mental objections stop.

*

It’s 11:59 when Pete sticks his hands in Gerard’s pants for the first time.

In his pockets. To get his cell phone.

He thumbs down the contacts menu until he finds Bob’s number and, grinning widely down at a tousled and squinting Gerard, Pete hits send.

“Nghhh,” Bob grunts, presumably as a greeting. Maybe he was sleeping?

“Bob!” Pete says cheerfully. “I’m holding Gerard hostage. So you can have him back in the morning, okay?”

“Egnggh,” Bob grunts again. Pete thinks that the inclusion of vowels is intended to convey irritation, but Pete kind of doesn’t care when he’s got a blushing Gerard underneath him.

He wants to see how far down that blush spreads.

Pete flips his own phone open and holds down the “2” button.

“Patrick? I’m gonna be half an hour late,” he says grinning. “Oh, and someone’s coming back with me.”

Gerard’s blush spreads most of the way down his chest, apparently.

*

It’s totally common knowledge that Pete and Mikey are the Sweet Little Dudes, but it’s not totally common knowledge that Pete and Gerard are sleeping together. Gerard likes it that way (“Why should people know about my sexual orientation, anyway?” starts a whole rant about proof of queerness and heteronormativity that goes on forever and, while Pete thinks it’s hot that Gerard cares about shit, he kind of doesn’t want to talk about sex as much as he wants to have it). Mikey thinks it’s hilarious that he’s a beard for his brother’s boyfriend and goes so far as to hold hands with Pete in front of fans, cackling every time he loads gossip message boards with subjects like “PETE N MIKEY ARE TOTES DOIN IT.”

Pete mostly doesn’t care. Maybe he’s talked a little too much about being “gay above the waist” for anyone but his guys and Gerard’s guys to get it, but he just doesn’t have any personal struggles or stances to make here. He has friends and orgasms and is getting into the groove of big stages and quiet nights.

*

Gerard is humming something indistinct, his hair hanging in his face and the hand holding his cigarette jiggling as he sketches. Pete is stretched out next to him on the couch in the front lounge, lying on his stomach, half-awake and just watching.

Gerard is good for watching, Pete has found.

“One Saturday, I took a walk to the Zipperhead,” Gerard mumbles indistinctly.

“I met a girl there and she almost knocked me dead,” Pete sings along, grinning. Gerard raises his head and meets Pete’s grin with his own.

“Hey, Pete,” Gerard says, laughter bleeding through his voice. “Let’s travel ‘round the world.”

Pete barks out a laugh of his own. “Just you and me …”

“If you call me a girl, I’m putting my pants back on,” Gerard says, slapping his hand over Pete’s mouth. Then, Gerard interrupts Pete by doing what has proven to be the most effective way to make him stop talking.

He kisses Pete, laughter still vibrating their lips.

*

Everyone thinks it is Pete and Mikey, the Summer of Like. And yeah, the summer will end and Pete has no idea what the hell will happen or where this is going.

But it’s been something, something bigger and different and needed. And maybe that’s enough.
 
 
 
Kohut's tripolar selfelucidate_this on January 13th, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)
lovely lovely lovely.
gonnafeelgood: fob patrick and pete leangonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC)
*happy smile*

Thanks. I had no idea that something this schmoopy was in me, but ... surprise!
(no subject) - goddessofwords on January 14th, 2008 07:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
gonnafeelgoodgonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
Hah! Thank you! I'm glad to hear that the OTPness extends beyond octette's!
chaosy on January 13th, 2008 02:50 am (UTC)
Awesome possum awesome possum.
gonnafeelgoodgonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
Thanks!
barkdust on January 13th, 2008 03:43 am (UTC)


(not that Pete’s been counting [Pete’s totally been counting])

Heeeeee!
gonnafeelgoodgonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
HAH! How funny is that line? I rarely actually make myself laugh with my own writing, but I totally was like "nope, that's not getting cut because I think it's HILARIOUS"
the only blowup doll bobblehead on the internetimpertinence on January 13th, 2008 04:30 am (UTC)
Ooh. I loved this.
gonnafeelgoodgonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
Aww. Thanks, imp!
Dira Sudis: Gerard et al. - On the Bus! by lordessredsudis on January 13th, 2008 04:34 am (UTC)
Ohhh, this is sweet and awesome! Darling fumbling boys!
gonnafeelgoodgonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
*grin*

Thank you! I kind of love the Pete that doesn't know what the fuck he's doing.
bed-stuy: [gerard] pjs!ofkitchensinks on January 13th, 2008 04:56 am (UTC)
This is absolutely lovely. I wasn't expecting to like the pairing half as much as I did, and I really enjoyed your Mikey. ♥ So sweet.
gonnafeelgoodgonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 04:06 am (UTC)
Thank you thank you! I really didn't want to give Mikey the short characterization stick (partially because he always gets it), so I'm glad to hear that Mikey rang through for you in this.
(Deleted comment)
gonnafeelgoodgonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 04:07 am (UTC)
HAHAHAHAHAH.

Oh Gerard and Pete ... your love defies namesmooshing.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - gonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 04:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - gonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 05:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
Like Carmen Sandiego, but with less a capellascorpionvoices on January 13th, 2008 05:30 am (UTC)
Holy. . . Wow.

Um. You kind rock; did you know? I may have to friend you and tell you that *all* *the* *time*.

Bravo!!
gonnafeelgoodgonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 04:07 am (UTC)
Awww. Thank you so much!

I rarely write stuff this cute, but I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Addie: Rockstars?marcolette on January 13th, 2008 08:06 am (UTC)
I love this a lot. I really like all the guys you've drawn here, and want to just hang out with them for a while.
gonnafeelgoodgonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC)
Awesome! That's totally a compliment - I wanted the friendship and the comraderie to be the first real impression. I'm glad it worked!
Pouncer: Trees against night skythepouncer on January 13th, 2008 08:20 am (UTC)
This is fabulous.

♥♥♥
gonnafeelgoodgonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC)
THANK you! ♥
just a girl who's afraid of the darkgo_gentle on January 13th, 2008 12:16 pm (UTC)
I really liked this.
gonnafeelgoodgonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
strongplacebo: fob pete clan bassstrongplacebo on January 13th, 2008 12:26 pm (UTC)
This is delightful. I love it.
gonnafeelgoodgonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
Thank you!
wildestranger on January 13th, 2008 12:50 pm (UTC)
Marvellous. I really enjoyed this, and particularly Pete's thoughts on Gerard. Most delightful. :)
gonnafeelgoodgonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
Thank you very muc!
tell me your heart doesn't race for a hurricanejocondite on January 13th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, this was really, beauutifully done. You managed to completely sell me on the pairing, and I loved it - the way Pete and Mikey are platonically adorable, the similarities between Gerard and Pete, especially at that time, why and how they would fit together. Beautiful, darling. ♥
gonnafeelgoodgonnafeelgood on January 14th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
Aww, thanks, lady! It's such a weird pairing, I love that people are being sold on it.

*waits for more people to write it*