Duff calls Izzy to let him know when they're all meeting up. Set in current times.
"I-I think my sanity's gone, Izz."
It had been exactly a week today since Slash and Axl had made amends on Oprah's show. And on Sunday, the four old friends had met for lunch to discuss a possible reunion. The reunited lovers had made the plans, and neither had had a way to contact Steven at the time. Izzy had given them both the drummer's number so they could get in contact with him.
The brunette sighed deeply, closing his eyes and resting his forehead against his free hand. "What have they done this time?"
"S-Slash picked up his phone while they were…You know..." Duff lowered his voice to a whisper, "Doing it…"
"Doing what, Duff?" Izzy yawned, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
"HAVING SEX!" the blonde yelled.
The guitarist blinked and stared down at Treader, who stared back up at him, his dark eyes full of innocence and curiosity. "Duff…You're an adult. You know that two men can have sex almost like you and Susan have sex. It's perfectly normal." As an afterthought, he added, "If you'd like, I can show you just how normal it is~" He giggled quietly to himself, knowing that he'd succeeded in making Duff more uncomfortable than he already was.
He was rewarded with what sounded like Duff falling from whatever he was sitting on. "W-WHAT?! Dammit, Izz, not you, too! Gay guys everywhere," the bassist whined in reply.
Izzy laughed loudly. "Oh, man, Duff, you're too easy…"
"Dear God, I hate you. You're making fun of me!" He could practically hear Duff pouting on the other end.
"Aww, but I love you, Duffy-Muffin!" He began making kissy noises into the phone to further annoy his old friend, simultaneously reaching down to scratch Treader's head.
Duff retaliated with, "Ewww, stop it, that's disgusting! I'm gonna kick your ass!"
Izzy laughed more, remembering all the times he'd teased the blonde in a similar fashion, hiding the fact that he was flirting. "Duff, I'm kidding…Calm down…I might like blondes, but you're like a brother," he lied, fighting the old feelings trying to resurface. "It'd be too weird."
Duff was silent for a moment. "So you do like guys…That's just too weird!"
The brunette sighed again. "I never said I liked guys…I said I like blondes. Jeeze…"
"But…That earring of yours…It was awfully suspicious…"
"What earring?" His free hand immediately flew up to his right earlobe, rubbing over the old hole. "I don't wear an earring anymore, Duff. I took it out. I think the hole's closed up by now…" He couldn't help feeling guilty for lying again. He still wore an earring occasionally. But only when he was alone. And only the one Duff had given him one year for Christmas.
"BUT you had an earring! In your right ear! That had to mean something…"
Izzy pulled his feet up into the chair, hugging his knees to his chest as he felt the blush creeping across his face. "N-no it…doesn't have to mean anything…" He had to change the subject, and fast. "Did you only wanna call to inform me that you had further been scarred? Or did they make plans for Wednesday?"
"I still don't believe you," Duff muttered, sighing. "Oh, yeah! They decided to meet at…uh…Echo Park! At one o'clock."
"Echo Park, one o'clock," Izzy repeated. "Got it." He tried in vain to push his thoughts of the bleached-blonde on the other end of the line out of his head. "S-so, uh…How are Susan and the girls?"
He could hear Duff grinning when he replied. "Oooh, good! Susan's got that show, "Married To Rock", you know. It's fucking annoying, but it makes her really happy."
"I could imagine," the guitarist commented, laughing softly. "I'd hate to have my life exposed like that, to millions of strangers…But I've always been a bit more private." He shrugged, even though Duff couldn't see it.
"Yeah, exactly. But what can I do? I'd do anything for my princess," the bassist chuckled. "You were always the mysterious guy~"
"I still am~ But I'm happy." Izzy smiled down at his old dog when he felt the playful nudge at his shin. "Aw, what's wrong, baby? Is Daddy ignoring you~? Poor thing~"
He could hear Duff giggling on the other end. "You're just a weirdo, Izz."
"Well, I tried being normal and it didn't work out," he retorted. "Annica didn't like my model planes. Said they were childish. She also complained that I loved Treader more than her~" He chuckled softly, scratching behind his dog's ears.
"Because they were childish! And you probably did…You always treated that dog like he was your child~"
Izzy pouted, "Hey, they're not childish! They're cool. And Treader is my child, just as much as your girls are your children. I just got to choose my baby~"
Duff giggled on the other end. "Yes, they are childish! You're such a big kid…And no, Treader's just a dog!"
"Hey, Treader's my baby boy! You're just jealous…"
Duff was giggling harder now. "Naw, he is not!" He quieted himself down before speaking again. "Jealous? Of what?"
"You're jealous 'cause he loves me an' I love him an' we spend sooo much time together~" Izzy answered teasingly.
Duff's giggles had grown into full-on laughter by now. "He's still just a dog, Izz. You can't kiss him~!"
To prove him wrong, Izzy leaned down and kissed Treader atop his fuzzy head, making sure Duff could hear it over the phone. "I don't wanna kiss him like that, you sicko! He's like a son to me…"
"Aw, nevermind…" Duff sighed heavily. "Find yourself a girlfriend, Izzy. You're going crazy."
Izzy sighed. "Nah, I'm too old for dating…I'm two years from fifty. I'm happy to be the crazy old man who lives alone with his dog and plays his guitar way too loud." He forced a chuckle, trying to hide the note of sadness in his voice.
"Oh, shut the fuck up, Jeffrey Dean Isbell. You're not too old, you're just stubborn!" Duff huffed. Izzy could practically hear him rolling his eyes. "I gotta find you a girlfriend…"
"I'm not stubborn!" he laughed. "And please, don't do me that favor…I…like a particular kind…" He mentally kicked himself for letting the conversation go back to his love life.
"Oh, just tell me what kind and I'll find somebody. Susan has a lot of friends, you know~" Duff giggled again. "Oh, Izz, pleeease?"
The brunette sighed once again, deciding to have a little more fun with his old crush. "Fine. I like tall, leggy blondes with pretty blue eyes and a talent for playing bass~" He sat back in his chair, hoping Duff caught on to his game and that Susan did not actually have a friend fitting that description.
"Tall, leggy blondes…blue eyes…and a talent for pla—" Duff paused, catching the reference. "Izz, you're making fun of me! I'm trying to help you!" he whined.
Izzy burst into laughter. "I told you, I don't want 'help' finding a woman! I'm happy where I am right now~" He noticed that Treader had left his side and looked up to see him across the room, raising his leg near the entertainment center. "Treader, no! Don't piss on the—fuck…Duff, I gotta go. See you tomorrow." He stood from his chair, stretching and watching Treader start to slink away.
"I'm gonna help you anyway!" Duff warned, chuckling. "Bye. See you at the park~"
"No, you're not helping me! Goodbye~" Izzy hung up his phone before the secret object of his desire could protest, dropping it into his pocket and busying himself with cleaning up after his dog to keep his mind off of Duff.
"It's just like old times," he smiled sadly, kissing Treader's nose.