When our hero gets a suspicious cyber friend, things start to spiral out of control for not only him, but all of the members. You can never tell who someone is by who they say they are...
“Slash, i-it hurts! Couldn’t you be a little gentler?” Izzy pleaded, lying on the bed.
Slash groaned, “Stop complaining, will you? It only hurts for a bit.”
“B-But, it’s really sore…”
The guitarist crossed his arms, “Well, that’s what happens when you try to skateboard when you know you haven’t ever done it before.”
Izzy stuck out his bottom lip as he watched Slash dab the medicine on the many scratches on his soar leg, “Fine. I’m sorry for wanting to try something new.”
Izzy could see the glare through the puff of dark curls, “Wanted to try something new? Please, that had nothing to do with it. It was because you saw those other guys doing it and bet them that you could skate like Tony Hawk.”
The brunette shifted his eyes slowly, “Who’s Tony Hawk?”
It was a good thing Duff came in to save him, because if he hadn’t, Slash might’ve just murdered Izzy.
“Guys,” Duff whispered.
The two bandmates glanced up at the tall blonde, “What’s up?”
“Come see this.”
The two looked at each other and shrugged, getting up to follow their friend out into the hallway, where he peeped out into the excuse of a bedroom that Axl and Izzy shared.
As the two followed, they saw what Duff was talking about. Izzy could barely gasp as his jaw dropped.
“Can you believe that?” Duff asked, not even looking up from the view.
Slash shrugged, “I don’t get it, what’s the big deal?”
Izzy glared at him, “What’s the big deal? The big deal is that he’s never used a computer before in his life, and what is he doing now?”
“I don’t know, checking his e-mail?” he suggested.
“Dude, he’s been on for hours.” Duff retorted.
Sure enough, there was Axl, in the same spot he had been in for atleast three hours, on Izzy’s computer, doing who knows what.
Suddenly, a grin sprouted on his face, and he very slowly typed, letter-by-letter…
Izzy cringed, he couldn’t take the sight- or sound- of somebody typing so slowly.
Cautiously, he entered the room and walked by Axl, “Hey, man, you need some help with that?”
Axl glared at him, “What do you mean?”
“I mean, do you want me to type it for you? No offense, but Slash’s snakes could have this written in ten seconds flat.”
Axl shrugged, “I’m new to this. But sure, go ahead.”
The brunette slid in to the chair as the redhead slid out, “Ok, what do you want me to type?”
“Say, ‘Lol, I’m not so sure about that’.”
Izzy, trying not to look as confused as he was, quickly had it down on the reply box, and handed his laptop back over to his friend.
“Who are you talking to, exactly?”
Axl smiled, “This really cute girl named Kandi.”
“How old is she?” Izzy asked, brushing the stray wisps of hair out of his eyes.
“And where did you meet her?”
Axl looked at the computer, “On myspace.”
The guitarist stared at his best friend, as if thinking of what to say next, “You met her online?”
Axl nodded slowly, “Why?”
“Yeah, so is smoking, that doesn’t stop you.”
Izzy glared at him, “No, I mean, that’s like…haven’t you ever heard of a cyber stalker?”
“Yeah,” the redhead responded slowly, casting him a questioning look. “Wait, no! Kandi isn’t a 35 year old man who likes to stalk young men. She’s a nineteen year old girl who lives on the otherside of LA.”
“You can never be sure…”
“Izzy, your acting like my mom. Seriously, get a grip, adults just tell kids that stuff to freak them out, and you know that.”
Izzy sat down on his bed and looked at Axl with wide eyes, “I just don’t want you to get hurt…”
The singer simply rolled his eyes, “Please, I’m not gonna get stalked because I’m talking to a hot girl.”
“She sure is taking up a lot of your time…” Izzy added wearily.
Axl stood up and glared at him, his voice quickly rising, “Izzy, you’re just mad cause I’m talking to somebody else who’s not you, and I can’t be with you every second for once. Stop being so fucking obsessed with me!”
The brunette’s eyes widened as his supposedly best friend turned around at the sound of new mail.
He slowly stood up and walked out the door, moving Slash and Duff aside, careful not to let his hot tears fall or his tickling chokes escape just yet.
The two onlookers glanced at each other, then back at their frontman, “Hey,” Slash started, “That was a little harsh, don’t you think?”
Axl rolled his eyes, then moved them back to the screen in front of him, “It’s his fault for being so up tight and overprotective. How old does he think I am, three?”
In the background, they could hear the back door slam, and they instantly knew it was Izzy leaving.
“You know what,” Slash forced, swinging around to face him, “While Izzy was bleeding and hurting so bad, you could’ve at least come over and checked on him, instead of talking to some girl you’ve never even met.”
Axl wouldn’t even look up at the guitarist, “Would you guys just go away and leave me alone? Seriously.”
Duff and Slash shook their heads as they disappeared from view, not knowing that this wasn’t a one time thing.
From: Axl Rose
To: Kandi Morgan
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Hey!!!
sorry bout that, my friends r being super annoying. my best friend izzy is being so lame. he keeps talking about how u might be a 35 yr old man stalking me, lol.
From: Kandi Morgan
To: Axl Rose
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Hey!!!
so not cool. so u mean he isnt happy that we’re talking?
From: Axl Rose
To: Kandi Morgan
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Hey!!!
idk. i guess not. he’s just being stupid.
From: Kandi Morgan
To: Axl Rose
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Hey!!!
doesnt sound like a very good “best friend” if u ask me.
From: Axl Rose
To: Kandi Morgan
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Hey!!!
well, he’s just being a little overprotective, that’s all. usually he’s pretty cool
From: Kandi Morgan
To: Axl Rose
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Hey!!!
if u say so.
Fore days on end, Axl stayed on Izzy’s laptop, typing away (and getting faster everyday at it) to Kandi. Every day, more and more time was quickly eaten away by the messages back and forth, the picture sharing, the tagging…the strangest thing was that they both seemed to have enough time to be on for days and days straight. There was never anything going on, she never had to go to a game or even school, she seemed to always be online.
Izzy swirled his Frosted Flakes around in his bowl. Ever since the blow up Axl had, he had been staying on the couch in Duff’s and Slash’s room.
The other three didn’t seem to have much of an appetite either.
“Where’s Axl?” Steven said slowly. There was no doubt that he knew that everyone already knew the answer.
“Well, if one thing’s for sure, it’s that he’s not on my computer,” Izzy groaned.
Suddenly, Axl walked out into the kitchen to grab a coat.
“Hey, Ax, you want some breakfast?” Duff offered, holding up the box of Chex.
“No thanks, in a bit of a hurry.”
“Wow,” Slash said, “You’re actually going somewhere today?”
Axl smiled, “Yup. I’m meeting Kandi for real, and when I do, I’m gonna rub it in your faces that she’s really who she says she is.”
“Wait, what?” Steven finally said, “Where are you going?”
“To the coffee shop in the seedy part of town. We’re meeting there.”
Izzy stood up, “Axl, no, you can’t go!”
The redhead sighed and glared at his friend, “And why not, exactly?”
“Ax, come on, this is what always happens! They go to meet someone they met online, and they never come back!”
“Oh my god, you’re such a drama queen, Iz,” Axl moaned, slipping the coat on.
“Axl, really, please, please don’t go!” he whined desperately.
“Too late now, already promised I would.” He replied as he stepped out the front door.
“Axl, come on! You can’t go!” Izzy screamed, holding on to his arm.
“Shut the fuck up, Iz, go bug Slash,” he remarked, slapping his already scratched up hand so hard that it turned red. And with that, he was gone.
He could hardly believe it. Axl was his best friend, and he was worried. Even if this girl was who she said she was, she had definitely turned Axl around, and not in a good way. His hand still stung from the smack, something he could hardly came from the guy he knew so well. They had gotten in fights before, but this was different.
Izzy swung around, eyes glassy with tears of fear and pain, “W-What if something happens?”
“Nothing’s gonna happen, Iz, it’ll be fine. Axl’s grown, he can protect himself,” Duff tried.
“I know…it’s just…I know I’m freaking out and all, but I’m worried. He’s been my best friend for thirteen years, and also…I have this really bad feeling in my gut, like someone’s about to get hurt and we won’t even know that it’s happening…”
Slash eyed his blonde friends, then turned back to Izzy, “It’s normal to be worried, but really, you need to calm down, or you’ll end up hurting yourself.”
Duff took Izzy’s arm and led him to his bed, “Lie down for a while, ‘kay? Try to get some sleep to take your mind off it. By the time you wake up, he’ll be back.”
Izzy sighed, trying to take deep breaths so he could fall asleep, or atleast calm down. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out.
The feeling was back. That terrible, heart clenching feeling he had earlier. He tried to ignore it and fall asleep, but no matter which way he turned, it was in his gut, and he couldn’t get rid of it.
Eventually, somehow, he fell asleep. Unfortunately, his dreams were just as vulnerable as reality to the feeling. His sleep was haunted by it, the feeling of just sitting there while something terrible was happening, something that you couldn’t control. The nightmare forced him awake eventually, and when he woke up, he had broken into sweat and had hot, loose tears streaming down his face.
Knowing it would stop this fear, he got up and started walking to Axl’s room, wanting to see him safe and sound.
Before he entered the kitchen, though, he noticed the three other men talking in hushed tones. He stopped and listened for a second, thinking it must be secretive by the way they were whispering.
“We can’t tell him, he’ll have a heart attack!” Slash whispered.
“That’s true, we don’t want him to panic over nothing…” Duff replied.
“Fine. But Axl better be back by the morning, cause if he’s not, Izzy’s gonna find out soon enough.”
The brunette’s back straightened as he heard his name. So they were talking about him? What would he have a panic attack about? He was full of questions, but most of all, he was full of pain from knowing that they didn’t trust him enough to come out and tell the truth.
He slowly stalked into the room, “Hey guys, what’s up?”
All of their backs straightened as they saw him, “Nothing, did you get a good sleep?”
“Yeah, it was fine,” he lied, twiddling his thumbs, “So, uh, where’s Axl?”
Duff glanced at Slash as he started to speak, “He’s having a lot of fun with Kandi, they’re at a club right now, but he should be back by tonight.”
Izzy nodded, there was something about knowing that somebody was straight up lying to your face that made you cringe.
He would wait, though, wait until Axl came back, then sigh with relief. Until then, though, he had a right to be worried.
Three days later
Izzy anxiously watched the window. He hadn’t missed anything, and he knew it. It had been three days, and he had been sitting in that one spot the whole time, watching and waiting. Waiting for his best friend for thirteen years to come back, to show up safe and sound.
But he hadn’t come, he wasn’t there. His friends had lied to him. They said that he would be back in the morning. That when he woke up, he would be there, his usual obnoxious self.
In the middle of his train of thoughts, a small, cowardly person stumbled up to the apartment and knocked quietly on the door.
Izzy anxiously ran towards the door and threw it open.
Standing there was Axl, his red hair rustled, tossed, and dirty, his skin scratched, his clothes ripped, and worst of all, his eyes ice cold, full of fear and pain.
At first Izzy was speechless, finally, he was able to cough out one word: “Axl…”
“P-Please let me in…” he said quietly, as if he was afraid to say it any louder, “I-It’s so cold out here…”
Izzy, noticing that you could see his breath, and also realizing how unusually pale his skin was, stepped out of the way for him to come in.
The other members of the band, seeing him and Izzy, knew better then to come in, and backed out, as worried as they should be.
The first thing Izzy did when he had closed the door was grab his friend in his arms, the next thing he did was choke out some cries, “W-What happened?”
Axl repeated in the crying, when he tried to open his mouth to say something, more chokes came out, he sounded like a little toddler who had just fallen out of their high-chair and bumped their head.
Izzy and him collapsed on the couch, freezing and crying, confused and scared.
The brunette once again held his friend in his arms, stroking his hair through his hands and trying to calm himself down before saying something, “Calm down, Axl, calm down…take a deep breath…”
He tried, but the deep breath ended up as another choke, so he tried again and again until he could actually breath.
Five minutes later, he almost had a hold of himself, so he tried to use this time to spit it out before he lost it, “Izzy…he…he hurt me…”
Izzy looked into his green eyes, “How?”
“W-With a-a…” Axl’s hands were shaking so hard that he could barely lift them up to demonstrate, “…a-a r-rope and…there was f-fire…”
Izzy knew that the stuttering wouldn’t stop, but that was ok. He didn’t want to force Axl to tell him stuff that he didn’t want to go into, but he needed to know, “There was fire?”
Axl nodded slowly, his eyes widening at the thought of it.
“Was he just hurting you physically, or…?”
Axl’s lips trembled, and it wasn’t long until he had burst into tears again.
Izzy took that as a yes, and started crying too.
The guitarist took his head and laid it against his shoulder, wrapping his own arms around the redhead’s cold body.
“Who was he?” Izzy slowly asked.
“I-I don’t know…it was some middle aged man, he was big, and…and…I don’t know, he pointed a gun to me and forced me into his truck, then he took me to some deserted building and…”
Izzy smoothed down Axl’s hair as he felt the sobs against his shoulder, waiting patiently for him to continue.
“I know you were right,” he sniveled, “I’m sorry…and I wish I had listened to you and….”
“Ax, it’s ok, I don’t care. I just want you to recover.”
“Now I’m scared that he’s coming back…”
Izzy repositioned Axl so that he was comfortable, “Don’t worry, this time, if he ever tries, we’ll be ready.”
It was now that Izzy noticed the word for what he had been feeling for those weeks with “Kandi”, and the days while his best friend ever was gone. Empty. Alone. But most importantly…
But that was all over now, and it was never going to happen again.