In which our heroes face their worst fear...
"Where the fuck is he?" Cried Slash.
"You're on in two minutes guys!" Shouted the gig promoter.
"Izzy you're gonna have to sing." Said Duff, glancing at the door.
The rhythm guitarist took a long, shaky drag of his cigarette. He preferred hiding in the back, in the shadows, behind his hair, underneath a hat. He was no spotlight whore like Axl.
Just as they had all got their shit together and were about to walk on stage...
Words could not possibly describe the intense relief that washed over poor Izzy as all four Gunners spun around to see their singer walking through the door, his arm slinked around the waist of some blonde chick.
"Oh thank fuck!" Sighed Duff.
"Am I late?" Asked Axl, stupidly.
From the looks the others were giving him, Axl got the feeling that he was that tad bit tardy. But he didn't care. He was Axl.
"Guys this is Suzy. She's a model." Grinned Axl, presenting his new plaything like a prize to his band mates.
"Hi...hi...hello..." They all stammered and mumbled, being as polite as possible while fighting the urge to swing at Axl.
"Hi!" Squeaked Suzy, waving excitedly.
Clearly a bimbo, they collectively thought.
"What the fuck! You're not the Stones, boys, get on the fucking stage!" Yelled the gig promoter.
With that the Guns rushed onto the stage, Izzy gladly handing the mike over to its rightful owner. Axl gave Suzy a quick kiss and whispered into her ear before joining his band mates on stage.
The Guns rocked, like they had done for the last two weeks of non-stop gigging on the Strip. Rent had to be paid and the Guns got bored way too easily. This was the only way to keep them out of inevitable trouble. Maybe one day they could make a career out of it.
Throughout their set, Duff, Steven, Slash and Izzy couldn't help but notice that Axl had yet to take his eyes off the blonde with big fake tits, shaking her ass at the front of the crowd. Suzy. Every other song they played, Axl gave the same introduction. This one's for Suzy... This girl must be something, thought the others.
After the show the Guns were still on the adrenalin high of just having played on stage. It was now time to party. But just as they had gotten ready to go out and hit the other clubs and bars on the Strip, the bands newest fan strutted in.
"That was amazing! You guys were so great!" She squealed and jumped about like a giddy schoolgirl.
She teetered over to Axl and shoved her tongue right down his throat. The others patiently waited for the singer to resurface. He did, eventually.
"Can we go party now?" Whined Steven.
Axl smiled at the drummer and nodded. The time had come.
And so the five Gunners...and Suzy, sauntered into the first bar they could find, ordered ten rounds, each, and planted themselves in a private booth for maximum, anti-social enjoyment of their alcohol. The only way to do it.
They sat on the enclosed circular couch drinking like fish. However, the group was slightly split. Duff, Izzy, Slash and Steven on one side of the table and Axl and Suzy, forever making out and groping every inch of body they possibly could on the other. After two minutes, the Guns were heavily inebriated and so felt they could say whatever the fuck they wanted.
"You're tits are HUUUGE!" Cried Slash, arms outstretched to get a feel for himself.
Axl batted his hands away and scolded the guitarist.
"Don't be rude asshole!" He warned.
Slash slumped into the curved couch and sulked. After a minute though, Duff piped up.
"You're tits are HUUUGE!"
"Oh for fuck's sake," Suzy cried, exasperated, "Come on babe let's get out of here."
She stood up, her skirt barely longer than her ass crack, and pulled Axl up with her. With a swift flick of his middle finger to his friends, Axl and Suzy disappeared into the toilets letting the others' imaginations run riot.
"Lucky bastard." Grumbled Steven.
"I don't like her!" Said Izzy, louder than needed.
"Of course you don't like her. You're Axl's rightful girlfriend!" Pointed out Slash.
Izzy nodded in drunken agreement.
A couple of days later on a rare day off from playing gigs, the Guns were all sitting around the kitchen table in their small apartment poring over a new song Duff had come up with.
"Cool, and then we could put in Slash's bridge with that riff Duff's got." Said Izzy, scribbling away on a scrap piece of paper, "And Steven, more cowbell." He added and the drummer nodded obediently.
"Ax you like it?" Asked Duff, hopeful about this new song.
The singer pondered for a moment, chewing his lip and scrunching up his nose.
Izzy stopped writing, Slash stopped tuning, Steven stopped tapping and Duff let out a tiny whimper.
"Why? This is your kinda shit, why don't you like it? It's like the perfect song!" Said Izzy.
"Suzy thinks we should do more romantic songs. She thinks we should do more slow and happy stuff. You know? None of this hard rock riffing and guitar soloing."
"What?" Asked Axl.
"Oh does she..." Said Slash quietly, "Is that what she thinks... How interesting..."
"And um, what about yourself Axl?" Asked Duff, "You know, you're opinion is slightly more important to us than Suzy's."
"How come?" Asked Axl.
The others rolled their eyes and groaned at the idiocy of their singer. He really did need it spelled out for him.
"BECAUSE YOU'RE IN THE BAND YOU ASSHOLE! NOT SUZY!" Bellowed Steven making Axl flinch.
"Suzy's opinion is just as important as ours!" Cried Axl defensively.
"Well if her opinion is as important as ours then I suppose Izzy's dog's opinion is too!" Yelled Slash before turning to the dog, "What do you think boy?"
The dog indiscreetly farted in response.
"What a coincidence!" Duff cooed, "That's exactly what Suzy said!"
"Fuck you guys! I'm out of here!" Cried Axl before stomping angrily out of the apartment to one-can-only-guess where.
"Suzy thinks this! Suzy thinks that! Suzy Suzy Suzy!" Mocked Izzy in a high-pitched imitation.
"You'd think he was in love with her!" Cried Steven.
"I swear to God, if she starts living here I'll kill myself." Said Izzy darkly.
Three Days Later...
"Morning Izzy!" Chirped Suzy, skipping into the kitchen in her pink girly pyjamas.
Izzy sat slouched over the kitchen table, face in his hands and groaned as his hair was ruffled by the Guns' new unwanted flatmate.
"This song is crap." Slash remarked bluntly.
"No it isn't! It's amazing! This is the direction the band needs to be going in! This is going to change the music industry!" Exclaimed Axl and his bitch nodded in agreement.
"This song," Said Duff, "Is crap."
"Fuck you. Just play." Ordered Axl.
And they did. Never before had playing a song given such severe depression and suicidal tendencies to the Gunners. Practising at home was almost as fun as the actual gig. But not today.
Suzy dreamily swayed to the shit sound of the song she and Axl had written together, with crayons, as Duff had wittily remarked earlier gaining him a sweet bruise on the ribs courtesy of Axl.
"That was awesome wasn't it?" Axl cried, turning to the colour-drained faces of his band mates.
"Yes! It was incredible!" Squealed Suzy.
The guitarist looked up, shocked that Axl had just acknowledged him. He was starting to get used to being ignored by the singer.
"Um...I don't really like it Ax." He shyly confessed.
Axl's smile dropped and was quickly replaced by that evil sneer that had never been aimed at Izzy.
"What do you know." Growled Axl.
He threw down the mike and stormed out of the room, bimbo in tow.
The others looked on in disbelief.
"What the fuck just happened?" Asked Steven, rubbing his head.
They all glanced at Izzy and their hearts broke for him. The rhythm guitarist was the sweetest guy any of them knew but as sweet as he was, he was sensitive too. Axl's comment had clearly hurt him bad. His eyes started to sparkle with tears and his lips began to tremble.
"Man, it's that stupid bitch of his. She's totally changing Axl." Duff said, hoping Izzy would join in.
"She's stealing him away from us. She can't just come in here and start breaking up the band!" Added Steven watching Izzy cautiously, afraid the tears would drop.
"But that's all she is, a stupid bitch. She probably can't even spell 'Axl'." Slash looked over at Izzy and was relieved to see a tiny smile creep onto his face.
"Yeah! She's got as much air in her head as she's got in her tits!" Said Steven and Izzy laughed.
The bimbo jokes continued into the evening and Izzy was eventually howling with laughter along with his friends. But deep down, far beneath the jokes and the laughter, the Guns knew that there was a possibility that she could break up the band. That she was going to steal Axl away from them. That Axl had committed the worst possible crime and had ditched his best friend for a girl.
Izzy, Duff, Steven and Slash lay awake on the bed that Duff and Steven usually shared. Since Suzy moved in, Izzy had been kicked out of his own bedroom that he shared with Axl and so the two blondes took him in as their own. Slash usually slept on the living room couch but decided to join the little Gunner slumber party tonight.
There was no point in trying to sleep. Axl and Suzy's bedroom was next door and the walls of the apartment were paper-thin. It wasn't hard to guess what the two were doing...
"When will it END?" Cried Duff burying his head in his pillow.
"Man they've been at it a long time now..." Said Steven pensively.
"You know what Suzy said to me today?" Asked Slash.
"What?" Asked Duff.
"She told me I should cut my hair."
The silence said it all.
"She's really havin' a good time isn't she..." Said Steven pensively.
"She used my hair dye." Grumbled Duff. "Without asking."
"Would you have let her use it if she had asked?"
The heavy panting and sound of bed springs squeaking got louder.
"He must be worn out by now..." Said Steven pensively.
"If we play those shitty love songs live we'll get booed off stage." Pointed out Slash.
"Or booked at gay bars." Said Duff.
"Okay seriously, he cannot be THAT good!" Cried Steven sitting up.
"Izz you've been awfully quiet. I know you're not asleep." Said Duff and he gently brushed the hair away from Izzy's cheek so that he could see the guitarist's face.
The room was dark but what little light was coming in through the window shone on Izzy's face, illuminating his ghostly pale skin. Duff could see his eyes were wide and glazed.
"You know what Axl said to me today?" Whispered Izzy and the others leaned in close.
"He told me Suzy said that a band only needed one guitar player."
It took a few seconds for the others to process what he'd just said. They couldn't imagine this band without Izzy. And what did that Suzy know anyway?
"So what man?" Said Slash, "Just because Little Miss Suzy thinks that, doesn't mean Axl will actually kick you out of this band. Remember when Steven and I begged Axl to be our singer and he said he wouldn't do anything unless you played guitar in the band?"
Izzy pulled the blanket down and sat up and looked Slash right in the eye.
"That was then. Before that bitch came along and stole him away from me. His mind is so warped now that he probably will kick me out of the band, just because Suzy doesn't like me." Said Izzy.
The others had never seen their quiet guitar player seething with such hatred and anger.
"Izzy, if you go, we go." Said Duff, "Right Slash?"
"Yeah man! You don't fuck with family! Right Steven?"
They looked around to find that Steven had left the bed and was now crouched down on the floor with his ear pressed against the wall.
"Steven!" Scolded Duff.
In all their years of knowing eachother, of being the best of friends, constantly at each other's side, Axl and Izzy had never felt like this before. Izzy sat on the couch pretending to tune his guitar while Axl sat on the floor doodling on a piece of paper that had unfinished lyrics on it. Neither had said a word to the other yet. What was there to say? Ever since Suzy had come into their lives Axl had been brainwashed and Izzy had become even more of a shadow of himself than he already was.
To say things were tense would be an understatement.
"So um...what's up?" Asked Axl a little hesitantly, looking up at Izzy.
The guitarist looked at him but said nothing. Axl noticed a brief flash of rage he'd never seen in Izzy before. The singer was about to say something else but decided the silence was actually more bearable.
The others eventually woke up and strolled into the living room to practise. They spent all afternoon playing the new songs. No one said anything to Axl and Axl said nothing to anyone.
It was only now that he was with his band and without Suzy that he realised just how bad it had become. His eyes were finally beginning to open to the reality that he had pushed his friends away to make room for what? Some girl? He was starting to rethink all the things she had said, the songs she had talked him into writing, the bad mouthing of his band mates... And then right on cue...
Suzy walked in and set the two bags of vegetarian friendly noodles and pasta and homeopathy remedies down onto the coffee table. She had also decided to impose her own eating regime on the Guns but they'd rather eat dog shit than this crap.
"I'm not very hungry." Said Axl and the others immediately turned to see the priceless look on Suzy's face.
Her plastic features were set firmly into shock, mouth hanging slightly open and eyes wide.
"Axl eat your lunch!" She screeched.
"Later." He said nonchalantly.
Suzy planted herself down onto the couch and sulked. The rest of the Guns were slightly stunned at Axl. He had never said no to Suzy before.
They continued practising their shit songs, which put Suzy back into a good mood until Axl threw in another wrench.
"Let's play Mama Kin."
Duff, Steven, Slash and Izzy looked at eachother, baffled. It had been a while since they played the song, or any other covers they usually did at gigs. They weren't going to complain now though and they started straight into it, rocking out like they hadn't done for so long. Suzy was horrified.
"Stop! Stop stop STOP!" She screamed, hands covering her ears.
The music died down and the Guns waited for all hell to break loose. It did.
"What the fuck are you doing! What happened to our songs baby? What is that shit? No one wants to hear that! Why are you talking back to me all of a sudden? Why won't you eat your lunch? I went out and bought it for you!" She paused to take a breath and Axl just stared blankly.
"You don't love me anymore do you! You hate me!" She shrieked before burying her face in her hands and howling.
While Axl ran over to her to try and calm her down the others decided to sit back, relax and watch as the chaos unfolded. Steven curiously sniffed at the noodles.
"Baby don't cry! Of course I don't hate you! Ssshhhh..." He wrapped his arms around her and stroked her hair gently trying his best to soothe her.
The fake tears eventually stopped and she looked up, make up still unharmed.
"You don't hate me?" She squeaked, sticking out her bottom lip.
Axl shook his head and kissed her cheek.
"So are you going to tell them now?" She asked, still pouting.
The others perked up all of a sudden and Steven resurfaced from the box of food, strings of noodles hanging from the corners of his mouth.
"Tell us what Axl?" Asked Slash as the four of them stood up and took a few steps towards the couple.
Axl broke out in a sweat and started stuttering and his eyes widened as his band mates advanced on him, coming face to face with him. Four menacing stares versus Axl's own shit scared one.
"Go on baby, tell them." Said Suzy, running her fingers through Axl's hair.
The singer sighed and looked at the floor. He couldn't bear the pressure anymore.
"No." He said under his breath.
"What!" Cried Suzy, "Axl stop being so immature and tell Izzy he's out of the band!"
The others stared in disbelief. This could not being happening. There was no way Axl could do that to his best friend. They may have vowed to go with Izzy but they didn't think Axl would actually do it.
"You're kicking me out Axl?" Even at the worst of times Izzy could keep his voice quiet.
He stepped right up to Axl and the singer finally looked up, locked in Izzy's gaze.
"Say it to his face Axl." Pushed Suzy.
"I think..." Began Axl and Izzy held his breath, "I think you should go."
He turned around and looked right at Suzy who stared back in shock.
"I think you should get out of here, right now Suzy. We don't want you here anymore. You fucked everything up, you insulted my friends, you tried to change our music, you tried to break up our band, you fed us vegetarian bullshit and besides! You're a total bimbo!"
Suzy's jaw dropped and the others beamed before Axl finally added.
"And nobody comes between me and Izzy."
With a whimpy sob and a stomp of her heel she stormed up the stairs to pack up her things and leave.
Axl turned back to Izzy and gave him a weak smile.
"I'm sorry Izz."
He had barely finished his sentence before Izzy pulled him into a hug. The others wanted in on the action and Duff, Slash and Steven jumped on the pair, hugging and squeezing until it all got a little too much and all five Guns toppled to the floor, laughing like children.
Suzy marched back into the room, her suitcase messily packed and she glared the Gunners up and down.
"You guys are never gonna make it! You're gonna end up working in Burger King! You're music sucks, nobody wants to hear that crap!"
"Eat shit sweetheart!" Yelled Steven and he threw a box of noodles at her.
It flew through the air and landed upside down, right between her tits and she screamed like a banshee while the others howled with laughter.
"Urgh! You guys are total assholes!" She spun on her heels and went to open the door before turning back again to get in one final word.
"Oh and Axl?"
The singer looked up.
"I was faking it. You're not actually THAT good."
She turned back and stormed out the door and the Guns roared with laughter once again, except Axl who blushed ever so slightly.
It had been a good few days since Suzy had been kicked out of the Guns' lives. All was finally back to normal. The loser love songs had been scrapped, Izzy moved back into bed with Axl and the terrible twosome had resumed their usual pranks and hell raising activities at the expense of their band mates. All was good again.
It was another night on the Sunset Strip and the Gunners were playing in front of a small crowd in one of the many clubs. After the first couple of songs a girl wearing, not very much, with long bleach blonde hair and huge fake tits, made her way to the front of the crowd and started dancing rather suggestively.
It could only be Suzy. She couldn't take her eyes off Axl and the Guns couldn't take their eyes off her. Panic struck them as they went on with their set, pretending not to care for her presence. Truth be told, Slash, Duff, Steven and especially Izzy were scared Axl would fall for her all over again and all Hell would repeat itself.
But Axl just ignored her. He sang and screamed and shook his ass for the girls but he didn't look at Suzy. Not once. After a few more songs the others relaxed a little, assured their singer wasn't going to fall for the demon bitch again. But just as their nerves had settled...
"This one's for Suzy..."
The panic was back and the four musicians stared at Axl. He was smiling down at Suzy who waved back and winked, blowing him kisses and licking her lips. The other couldn't believe it. How could he? How dare he? Izzy's heart dropped to his boots and he felt like throwing down his guitar, marching right over to Axl and smacking him right across the face.
Suzy smiled smugly at the Guns, revelling in the feeling of winning the battle. The Guns sulked and prepared themselves to play one of the shit songs Suzy had inspired. The songs, which they thought were long gone and buried. Then Axl finally introduced the song he had chosen to dedicate to Suzy.
"This is something called, Back Off Bitch!"