Some quality time with Joe
“Yeah, why?” Joe jumped as the books hit right next to where he head was lying.
“I need to copy it. Me and Pete went to go see some band he likes last night, and I didn’t do it.”
“Well, what’s in it for me?” he lisped, pulling his notebook out of his backpack.
“I don’t know. I’ll let you touch my boob or something.” She shrugged, grabbing the notebook from him.
“Go ahead.” She arched her back, sticking her chest out and pointed. Joe placed his hand on one of her breasts and grinned like an idiot. “Ok, that’s enough.” She slapped his hand away.
“So, I’m going to Ohio with you this weekend.”
“Why?” Izzie gave him a look, furiously copying his work. “Is this a 7 or a 1?”
“7. Arma needed a replacement guitar player, and Pete asked me to come. He said that you said I was good.” Joe smiled.
“That’s cool, I guess.” She smiled. The teacher came into the room and Izzie shoved Joe’s homework into her backpack.
“I’m handing out today’s lab assignment, you may get started with your partners once you have read all the instructions. And feel free to ask questions.” She passed papers through the classroom.
“What do we do next?” Izzie picked up her handout, reading the directions as Joe held a jar over the Bunsen burner. “Why are these always so hard to read?” she squinted at the tiny type, bringing it closer to her face.
“Watch the fire.” Joe inched away from her.
“It’s fine.” She scoffed as the corner of her paper caught on fire. She screamed and tossed the paper in the air, lighting the chemical in the jar and singeing Joe’s hand.
“HOLY SHIT!” he yelled as the teacher ran over. She turned on the sink, dousing their entire table in water.
It was about a week into the tour, and Izzie was getting really tired of hiding from Pete all day. When would he just get the hint that she wasn’t going to listen to whatever he had to say? She was wandering around the venue, the guys were all off doing whatever boys do, and she had a couple hours to kill between sound check and the show. She heard music coming from one of the busses and decided to go over to see who it was. She followed the sound until she came to Pete and Joe’s bus. Of course. She had just seen Pete inside the venue, so she was pretty sure it wasn’t him. Or she hoped when she pushed the door open. A cloud of smoke leaked out into her face. “Hello?” she coughed.
“Hey.” Joe coughed, waving her in.
“Is Pete here?” he shook his head. “Good.” She stepped up the stairs and sat down next to him.
“Want a hit?” he croaked, holding a joint out to her. She took it and inhaled deeply before handing it back. “So what happened to you and Pete that’s making everybody freak out so much?”
“You mean he never told you?” she widened her eyes.
“No. He says it’s none of our business and he doesn’t want to talk about it.”
“I would have thought he told you guys.” She took another hit.
“I think Patrick knows.”
“Patrick does know.”
“Do YOU want to tell me?” he gave her a puppy dog face.
“Come on. I feel all out of the loop. I thought I was your friend.” He pouted.
“You are my friend.” She giggled, the pot taking effect.
“But only when Pete’s not around.”
“That’s his rule, not mine. I never made anyone pick sides. And if I told you, then Andy would be out of the loop, and how would that make him feel?”
“…and when you set me on fire!”
“I said I was sorry. I let you copy my math homework for an entire semester!” Izzie laughed uncontrollably.
“Yeah, and we both got Ds!” Joe joined in, both completely stoned. “What was up with that?”
“I never said I was good at math.”
“You could have told me that.”
“You never asked.” She wiped the tears from her eyes.
“Speaking of Ds…” he stared down at her chest. For such a tiny person, she had pretty large breasts. Which was probably one of the reasons Pete’s friends had always let her tag along everywhere, despite being four years younger.
“Go ahead.” She sighed, leaning back. Just as Joe’s hand hovered over her, the door opened and Pete entered, waving the smoke from his face. He paused at the top of the stairs, looking directly at Izzie. “Ugh. I gotta go.” She pushed herself up from the couch and pushed past Pete, tripping down the stairs.
“Iz, wait.” He grabbed her arm, helping to steady her.
“Let go.” She squinted in the sunlight.
“I just want to talk to you…about that night you left.” He added softly.
“Fuck off, Pete! It’s NEVER going to happen.” She ripped her arm away, instantly sobering up. She stormed inside to the venue to get ready for tonight’s show.
She slammed the dressing room door open and marched in, grumbling to herself. “Whoa, what happened to you?” Kyle asked, moving to put a chair between them, for his own safety.
“Are you high?” Steve sniffed the air near her.
“What’s it matter to you? I can still play fine. It’s not like you’ve never gone on stage stoned or drunk or anything.” She snapped, digging through her bag and tossing clothes everywhere.
“I just asked.” He put his hands up in defeat. She grabbed a pile of clothes and headed into the bathroom to change.
“What’s her deal? She on her period or something?” Kyle laughed.
“She’s just stressed, and she’s freaking out with Pete being here and all.” Taylor shrugged, glancing back at the door.
“Well, she’d better get over it or this tour’s going to suck.” Steve scowled.
“Hey, are you sure you’re alright?” Taylor pulled Izzie aside, whispering, when they were all waiting by the side of the stage for the lights to go out so they could take the stage.
“I just…he touched me. He grabbed my arm and tried to make me talk to him.” Her eyes started tearing. “I can’t handle this. I shouldn’t have come on this tour.”
“Do you want me to talk to him? I’ll tell him to leave you alone.”
“Thanks.” She whispered, staring at the ground.
“Tomorrow.” He slung his arm around her shoulder and kissed the top of her head as they rejoined the group. They were best friends, never anything more. They tried a couple years ago, but it only lasted three days. It was just too weird.
“Hey, Mike called. You have an interview with Spin tomorrow.” Kyle turned to look at Izzie.
“Yeah, and we all have to go to the photo shoot.” Steve added, and they all groaned. They didn’t mind that Izzie got all the interviews. They actually preferred it, none of them were very talkative and Izzie liked the attention. Sometimes they sent Taylor too for TV stuff, since he was the ‘cute one’.
“I thought we had the day off.” She whined.
“That’s why he scheduled it for then.”
“I swear he hates me.”
“You DO buy a lot of clothes with his money.” Taylor laughed.
“He gives me money to buy clothes. Do you know how much this crap costs?!” she gestured down to her sequined mini dress and thigh high boots.
“It works.” Steve shrugged.
“Yeah, I’d do you. If you weren’t, you know…you.” Kyle wrinkled his nose.
“I don’t know if that’s supposed to be a compliment or not.” Izzie gave him a look and laughed. “At least my hair looks better than this.” She ruffled his hair.
“Hey!” he smoothed it down and punched her in the arm. They all bickered like siblings. In a way, these guys were more of a family to Izzie than her own family.
Hope you like it, and please review. We'll find out the big secret in the next couple chapters. I can feel the anticipation. And tell me how you're liking the flashbacks? I have a bunch written already for the different chapters of different important milestones in the characters' relationships. I wanted to give a sense of what everything was like before the 'incident'.