This grew from comments to various people. I pulled them together, polished, added an end and suddenly had a story. One that's made of ridiculousness and insane, but still. A story.
Huge thanks go to ephemera_pop for beta duties.
My Chemical Romance and Panic at the Disco are suddenly miniaturized. Brian and Zack have to deal.
Brian bursts into the room and Mikey's sidekick is lying on the floor. The text message he sent still displayed on the screen. Help. Come quick
Which is terrifying, because Mikey never leaves his cell.
Heart thundering, Brian looks around, he doesn't even know why. It's obvious that the room is empty, but he's still compelled to check. Throwing back doors and looking in the tub, because this is Mikey, and long experience has shown Brian that Way humour is a weird thing.
But there's nothing. No giggling from behind the curtains or curled up bodies in the closet. Just silence and that terrifying abandoned cell.
Thinking of police and security, Brian paces and pulls out his own cell. Then he stops when he sees movement on the bed. Crouching, he blinks when he sees miniature versions of his band. Like seriously tiny, and he has to be hallucinating because this is insane.
Except, even at a few inches high there's no mistaking the cock of Gerard's hip as he stares up, or Mikey's knock-knees and unimpressed stare.
Brian holds out his hand, and his palm tickles with the sensation of tiny feet as they all climb aboard. When they're all huddled in the middle he cups his fingers and brings his hand to his face, staying upright by force of will only when mini Gerard smiles and says, voice barely a whisper, "Hi."
The problem is, Brian has a thousand things to do and he doesn't dare leave his band. Not after the whole tub incident -- Brian's heart still isn't the same after he had to scramble to stop Frank being sucked down the drain.
Which means, where he goes they go too, which is fine. It's not like they take up much space, but it does mean Brian spends all his time terrified he's going to accidentally squash some of his best friends.
Brian can feel them now, all curled up and squirming against his belly. If he listens closely he can even hear them talk, brief outbursts of an argument about some TV show and he isn't surprised when Bob pulls himself out of Brian's hoodie pocket and clambers up his chest.
Perching on a fold of fabric, Bob wraps his arms around the end a hoodie string and looks positively disgruntled. Brian doesn't blame him. He wouldn't want to be tiny either, especially not tiny and stuck in a pocket with Ray, Frank and the Ways.
Voice dropped low, Brian says, "I have candy, you want to share?"
Bob doesn't move, but when Brian nips off a tiny piece of chocolate from his candy bar, he smiles a quick thanks and holds out a hand.
Zack tells Worm, who tells Brian, and it shouldn't have been a surprise, but Brian still flops inelegantly on the bed when he finds out Panic have been miniaturized too.
Thoughts racing, because this is turning into a fucking epidemic, Brian doesn't even blink at the storm of protests from inside his hoodie pocket or when Frank storms out, slides down and kicks his tiny foot against Brian's balls.
"Sorry, sorry," Brian says. He looks down at Frank who's walked to Brian's knee, and is standing with his chin tilted up and hands on hips. "That was Worm, Panic have been shrunk too."
Within seconds all five are standing on his knee, watching intently as Brian checks flights and arranges a car.
The flight is -- difficult. Brian spends all his time with his arms cradled protectively over his stomach, and when the moron in the next seat stumbles and half lands on Brian's lap it takes him all his willpower not to rip her fucking head off.
Instead he breathes deep, looks out the window and concentrates on the wiggles against his belly, the way when he puts his hand against his pocket someone grabs the tip of a finger and just holds on.
The first thing Brian notices is the dark shadows under Zack's eyes, Brian understands, he's got his own matched pair. He also sees the row of dolls beds arranged on the dresser. No, Princess Jasmine dolls beds, complete with silky purple sheets and pillows.
Panic are standing next to the beds, pressed close together, hands and thighs touching, tiny but so perfectly them. From the sliver of bright orange above Brendon's painted-on jeans to the glare Spencer is sending Brian's way, as if he's ready to battle the biggest foe.
"Ryan said he needed a real bed," Zack says. He shrugs, as if he had nothing to do with finding such elaborate beds. But Brian understands. It's the same nothing that meant he didn't find miniature pencils for Gerard or a doll size comb for Ray's hair.
"Mine have been sleeping on a pillow," Brian admits. He puts his hand next to his pocket and immediately all five climb out, standing still until Brian moves them over to the dresser.
My Chem clamber off, jumping from Brian's hand onto polished wood. It's like there's an invisible line that can't be crossed, both groups just standing and staring, then there's a flash of movement and Brendon's voice is a high-pitched whir as he breaks the deadlock with hugs. Brian can't actually hear what he's saying but he can see the way he's moved in close to whisper in Frank's ear. Suddenly they both run off.
"No climbing," Zack says, and darts forward even as Brendon and Frank start to scale the phone.
Which leaves Brian to watch the others. Mikey and Ryan amble to the beds and settle on the purple covers, all sharp elbows and knees and utter indifference. Meanwhile, Jon goes to sit on the edge of the phone book, his tiny flip flops hanging from his tiny feet, and he smiles at Ray and Gerard, who immediately begin a conversation that mostly consists of Jon nodding as Gerard frantically waves his hands.
And Spencer and Bob. Both of them are scowling as they stare at each other, until Spencer suddenly stalks away and comes back with four match sticks, two of which he passes over to Bob.
It's been days and Brian's checked thousands of links, called hundreds of people while operating on about four hours of sleep. When he shuts his eyes he can't help imaging the worst -- tiny bodies smashed under shoes or falling books or a thousand other newly hazardous things -- each time he has to stumble out of bed to check they're all okay. It's how he imagines new parents must feel, except Brian's children are all adults and only inches high.
"I told you, I couldn't find the blue one," Zack says. "This will do for now."
Zack walks out of the bathroom and carefully sets down Ryan, revealing his new outfit made from a cut down handkerchief. It's belted around his waist with a piece of black ribbon and he's fashioned a hat out of a petal from the silk flower arrangement and an elastic band.
It's an unusual look, but Brian has to admit, Ryan makes it work. His bare legs exposed at the sides as he stalks across the bed to where Spencer and Bob are sitting on a rolled up sock, watching the TV and changing the channel by standing on the buttons of the control.
Zack checks a chair then slumps down, head in his hands. Brian knows exactly how he feels.
Pushing his laptop to one side, Brian stands. Stretching, he looks at Zack. "I'm getting coffee, you want?" He heads toward the coffee machine when Zack shakes his head no.
They've been surviving on a diet of take-out and caffeine. Dirty mugs are crowded on the bench and Brian considers washing one out before deciding he just doesn't care. Picking up a mug, he fills it with coffee, inhaling deeply as he leans against the wall and takes a long drink.
Which is when Gerard and Mikey appear. They pick their way through the sticky coffee spills and torn sugar packets, and when they both stand looking up at him, expectant, Brian has to smile.
He sets down his coffee, and both Gerard and Mikey hurry close, leaning their elbows over the edge of the mug. Brian quickly finds the sharpie lid and fills it up. He's already found the Ways lounging in a mug of luke warm coffee once, he doesn't need that to happen again.
Brian hands the coffee to Gerard, who immediately gives it to Mikey who grasps the lid in both hands. He looks up at Brian, grins, and holds out the lid until Brain clinks it with his own mug.
They try other things first, but even the faucet turned to a trickle is too much. It's why Brian's sitting on the bathroom counter, heels kicking against the wall as he holds up a watering can, carefully tipping tepid water on a mini naked Frank Iero as he laughs and soaps and sings.
Brian splashes cold water on his face. Droplets slide down the side of his nose, his mouth and neck, dampening the fabric of his shirt. It's when he's picking up a towel that he notices the trail of tiny toothpaste footprints and follows their path until he sees Jon. He's sitting cross-legged on a nail brush, hands wrapped around his bare feet, and Brian has no idea how he got here. Not without a lot of effort and a hazardous climb.
Kneeling, Brian rests his forearms on the bathroom counter and looks at Jon. "Tell me you didn't climb."
Jon shakes his head. It's what they all do now, communicating with Brian and Zack through gestures and occasional shouted words. When he's not focused on plucking tiny band people from certain doom, Brian has to admit, he misses being able to talk to his band.
Zack's yelling as he bursts into the room. He looks frantic and skids to a halt next to Brian, sighing with relief when he sees Jon.
"I brought him in for a wash and then Brendon fell in the vase getting more petals for Ryan and Ray was hungry so I had to cut up some chips and then Mikey was reading a comic book and Frank dropped the page when he was turning it and got stuck and..."
"It's okay, he's fine," Brian says. He holds out a finger toward Jon for a modified high five. "See, fine. I'll bring him out when I'm done."
"Thanks," Zack says, and he bends to look at Jon. "You need to create more fuss."
Jon smiles and looks wholly unconcerned, which isn't a surprise because Jon seems to be as relaxed tiny as he is big. He's even waved away the pot incident, and that was one of the most terrifying moment of Brian's life.
"I'm going to make some calls while they're watching Pete," Zack says, and leaves with a last look at Jon.
"You don't want to watch?" Brian asks. He squeezes toothpaste on his brush as Jon shakes his head no. Which is surprising because one thing they all like doing is watching FNMTV. Though he suspects Mikey and Ryan watch for different reasons than the rest.
It's warm in the bathroom, comfortable, and Brian feels his eyes sliding closed as he scrubs at his teeth. He spits foam in the sink and checks his watch. Twenty minutes and he can call the growth specialist back. Not that he holds out much hope. People just don't shrink to inches tall. Except, it seems that they do, and Brian still doesn't know why.
They've contacted specialists and witches and voodoo doctors and even made tentative inquiries to various government agencies. None of them have worked out. Brian's almost out of ideas, Zack too, and that scares him most of all.
Toothbrush clamped in his mouth. Hands braced against the sink, Brian fights against sheer frustration and the urge to smash his fist through the mirror, then jumps when he feels something wrap partway around his wrist. He looks down and Jon has his arms around Brian's wrist, holding on tight. It's the most gentle of hugs concentrated on a tiny area, but if Brian was sentimental, and he's not, he'd admit he can feel a full body glow.
They're getting nowhere. Panic and My Chem are still tiny, Zack's still stumbling around more zombielike each day, and Brian knows if he sits down he won't want to get up. It's too much. His band can't be on hiatus forever, and Panic need to get back on tour, but they've tried everything, contacted everyone and are still at square one.
Automatically checking the floor, he sits, knees up and head down.
"I talked to Pete," Zack says. "Joe's auntie knows a woman who's got a cousin who's a shaman. I've given her a call." Zack sits too, and when Brian looks up, Ryan and Spencer, who are tucked securely in Zack's shirt pocket, wave.
Brian wiggles his fingers in reply, watching as Frank, Mikey, Brendon and Gerard appear from under the bed.
"He's thinking about producing Panic action figures now," Zack says. He manages a smile when Brendon immediately strikes a muscle pose. Arms bent so his t-shirt hitches up, exposing a slice of belly and underwear. "I think you're more Barbie than G I Joe."
Brendon pouts as he eases into a pose that's all catwalk, hip cocked and head tilted. It's all so ridiculously surreal that Brian can't help laughing, and once he starts he can't stop. Exhaustion and helplessness crowding in as he hugs his knees, laughs and wonders when this became his life.
When he can finally stop, chest aching and eyes damp, Zack pats his hand against Brian's knee, and there's a huddle of mini band members talking and shooting concerned looks Brian and Zack's way.
"I'm okay, promise," Brian says, and normally that would be enough, because his band do trust him, totally, but this time they just keep on talking and looking and then suddenly arrange themselves into groups. Brian looks at Zack, but he shrugs, looking just as confused. But then, suddenly it all makes sense.
Bob and Spencer pull the match sticks they keep in their back pockets and start beating time on the ground.
Jon and Mikey start to clap, inserting their own beat of sound.
Ryan, Frank and Ray hum, twisting streams of noise that swell and dip.
Then Gerard and Brendon sing. They put everything into their words, intensity in the way they remain still. Their voices as one.
It's a breath of a sound, and Brian has to lean in to fully hear, but it could be the loudest song in the biggest arena and it couldn't mean more.
Somehow, when the song ends and he's got a chest full of mini My Chemical Romance, and Zack is lying back, Panic hugging his neck. Brian knows things will be okay.
Brian wakes the next day and they're all fully sized.
He never asks why, or how, just knows there can never be a better sight than his band curled up together on the floor. Or anything funnier than Ryan Ross dressed only in a scrap of fabric, one lone petal on the end of his nose.