get your passport!
“You’re not hitting the right button!” Steve shouted.
“Which button do I hit?” Izzie squinted. “I give up, I suck at this game.” She tossed the controller at Taylor, sitting next to her. “My hair still smells like bleach.” She groaned, sniffing her hair and holding the ends up for Taylor to smell. They were all back in the Page’s basement in Wilmette playing video games and moping. They may have a career again, but they were still broke and homeless.
“Is there any more pizza?” Kyle nodded towards the stack of greasy boxes on the table.
“No, but someone put hot sauce all over this one and it makes my lip ring burn. You can have it.” She held out a cold slice with a couple bites missing.
“Guys, there’s someone here to see you.” Izzie’s grandmother poked her head down the stairs.
“Do they have more pizza?” Taylor called.
“Actually…” Bob thumped down the stairs with two pizza boxes. Pete followed him with a plastic bag. The band descended on the food before he even had a chance to put it on the table.
“I miss pizza that’s actually hot.” Steve sighed.
“Everybody has to eat a salad. It’s HEALTHY. You need vitamins.” Bob took the bag from Pete and pulled out four plastic containers filled with lettuce.
“I miss vegetables.” Izzie said, drenching her salad with ranch dressing and pulling Pete to sit down next to her.
“I don’t think it counts when there’s more dressing than salad.” He laughed.
“It’s the thought that counts. How long have you been in town?”
“We flew in late last night with Bob.”
“So guys, we need to talk business.” Bob tossed a dirty pair of jeans off a chair and sat down.
“Shoot.” Kyle mumbled with his mouth full.
“I wonder if you could put salad ON the pizza…” Taylor tried arranging the lettuce leaves on his slice, but they all fell off when he picked it up.
“Eew. Don’t do that. That’s gross.” Izzie scrunched up her nose.
“So, anyway.” Bob sighed. “Your album is still selling pretty well, but we’re concerned with it getting forgotten. What with all the other headlines about you guys swirling around right now.”
“So what are we going to do about it?” Taylor asked.
“Well, we had an idea. It was actually Pete’s idea, though he may have had an ulterior motive.” They all looked over as Izzie held her pizza up, giggling, allowing Pete to take a bite. “So, Fall Out Boy’s doing a European tour and they wanted you to co-headline. Sort of a re-do of this last tour. If you feel up to it.”
“Europe?” Izzie raised her eyebrows, glancing at Pete.
“Sure, sounds good.” Steve said as they all nodded.
“Great. You leave in three days.” Bob clapped his hands on his knees and stood up.
“Three days?!” Izzie squealed. “I can’t go to Europe in three days. I have to find out what the trends are over there and go shopping. They don’t wear the same stuff that they do here!”
“Start your own trends.” Pete shrugged.
“I can’t…you know what. Fine. I don’t CARE what’s cool there, I’ll bring American style to the masses. No. I’ll bring Izzie Page to the masses.” She grinned. “I have to throw out all the stripper clothes Mike made me wear.” She stood up in a daze and began bustling around.
“All right. I’ll take that as my cue to leave. I’ll drop off your tickets and schedules in the morning.” Bob headed up the stairs.
“European chicks are hot!” Steve grinned.
“Dude, I heard European chicks don’t shave.” Kyle scrunched up his nose.
“Don’t shave what?” Steve gave a confused look.
“Don’t shave ANYTHING.” Pete chimed in.
“That’s not true. Only some of them don’t. Just like some chicks here are ‘natural’.” Taylor scoffed, using finger quotes.
“Scoot over, I can’t feel my toes.” Izzie bounded into Pete’s room and shoved him over in the bed, climbing in next to him. He groaned, falling half off the bed.
“Why don’t you get in that one?” he pointed over at the other twin bed.
“That one’s cold. Yours is warm.” Her teeth chattered as she pressed her back against his and buried her head under the blankets.
“Jesus, your feet are cold! And your clothes are wet, stop touching me.”
“There’s like two feet of snow outside. I had to dig my way across the yard.”
“What time is it anyway?” he squinted at the clock.
“You don’t want to know.”
“No, I have a class at three.”
“It’s 7:45.” She whispered, peeking out at him from her cocoon.
“What?! Why did you wake me up? Why are you even awake?”
“I’m a morning person.”
“We didn’t even get home until after 4.”
“We were supposed to go on the Wake Up Chicago show, but they cancelled it because of the snow.”
“So you decided to wake me up?”
“I’m going back to sleep.” He rolled over, pulling most of the blankets away from her.
They were all lying in their beds, in the basement, late that night. Taylor was the only one who got a real bed, being the oldest. Kyle was on the sofa bed and Steve and Izzie were on the bunk beds, because they were the babies (by a year). “This is so cool! I love touring Europe.” Steve smiled in the dark.
“Dude, you sound like such a girl.” Kyle snorted.
“I take offense to that. I do NOT sound like him.” Izzie whined.
“Sorry.” Kyle mumbled.
“Sometimes we forget you’re a girl.” Taylor laughed. Izzie’s cell phone rang, and she reached into the little crate she had duct taped to the end of her top bunk.
“Hello?...Hey Pete…yeah, sure…I’ll see you in five minutes.” She breathed, snapping the phone shut.
“He’s not coming over here, is he?” Kyle groaned.
“Yeah. You’re not doing anything nasty while I’m underneath you.” Steve kicked the bottom of the bed above him.
“I’m going over there.” She hopped down and pulled on a pair of jeans, heading over to the window. “Don’t wait up.” She climbed on top of the desk and out the narrow window.
“Why do we have to sneak around? Your mom likes me.” Izzie whispered as she and Pete tiptoed up to his room.
“Because if she saw us, she’d give me some huge speech about responsibility and moving too fast and how you’re a sweet girl who’s been through a lot and I have to be careful not to hurt you, or corrupt you.”
“I take it you’ve gotten this speech before.”
“Every time I’d take you to a show.” He shook his head, sitting down on the bed.
“Hm…I AM very corruptible.” She smirked, straddling his lap and kissing his neck.
“Yeah, I can bet.” He said sarcastically, moving to capture her lips as she tugged his shirt off.
He leaned back, pulling her down on top of him and slid his hands under her shirt. She sat up to pull it over her head, making him groan as she repositioned herself, causing her thigh to brush against the growing bulge in his jeans. She began kissing and nibbling her way down his chest while her fingers fumbled with his belt buckle.
“Peter…” his mother’s voice suddenly floated up the stairs. They both froze and stared at each other with wide eyes. Izzie leapt up and dove into the closet, pulling the door closed as Pete scrambled to get under the blankets. “Pete, we’re going to bed. If you go downstairs, remember to turn the lights out.” She poked her head in the room.
“Ok, mom.” He mumbled, flipping through the TV channels with a red face.
“And keep the noise down, your father has to be up early.”
“Uh…ok?” he wrinkled his eyebrows.
“Ok. Goodnight Pete.”
“Goodnight Izzie.” She called a little louder. It was silent for a moment before her voice squeaked from the closet.
“Goodnight Mrs. Wentz.” Neither moved until they heard the door downstairs shut. Izzie ducked through the door and scurried over to the bed, slipping in next to Pete as they both giggled.
“That’s so embarrassing.” Pete clapped his hand to his head, blushing furiously.
“So…what do you want to do now?” Izzie bit her lip, glancing over at him.
“I have no intention of stopping.” He smirked, rolling over on top of her.
Pete woke up hours later to the sun blasting through his window and the steady drip of snow melting off the roof. And the sound of someone rummaging through his stuff. He cracked an eye open and looked down at the floor to see Izzie’s butt sticking half out from under the bed. “Iz?” he croaked.
“Huh?” a muffled grunt seeped out from under him.
“What are you doing?”
“Cleaning your room. I picked up all your crap, alphabetized your CDs and now I’m getting all the gross dirty clothes out from under your bed.” She wiggled her way out with an armful of wrinkled tee shirts. “Eew.”
“What time is it? I gotta go to class.” He groaned, sitting up.
“It got cancelled.” She dumped the clothes on top of a pile in the corner.
“How do YOU know?”
“I hacked into your email when I got bored. You know, ‘pete’ is a horrible password. Oh, and who’s Stephanie?”
“Who?” He scratched his head, walking into the bathroom.
“She wanted to thank you for letting her borrow your notes, and maybe you could get together to study sometime.” She giggled.
“Hey, guys!” Izzie skipped into the VIP waiting room at the airport, followed by the rest of her band, yawning and dragging their feet. The guys from Fall Out Boy mumbled greetings, barely moving.
“It’s 6am, why are you so perky?” Joe groaned.
“Did you go to sleep at noon or something?” Patrick adjusted his hat over his eyes.
“I haven’t gone to sleep yet. I’m running entirely on Diet Coke.” She giggled, talking unusually fast.
“Why?” Pete gave her a look.
“It’s like an eight hour flight to Paris. I get restless on the drive to Taco Bell. The only way I can sit still that long is if I’m unconscious.” She plopped down in a seat by them. “These guys woke up half an hour ago.” She pointed at the band. “And then got attacked by high schoolers outside.”
“They didn’t jump on you? People had to hold them back when we went through.” Pete glanced over at her.
“People don’t recognize me when I’m not all made up and costumed. Especially with my new hair, it’s really lucky I guess.” She shrugged, inspecting the blue streak in her newly blond hair. “I’m hungry.” She hopped up. “Anyone want anything?”
“Coffee!” All seven guys called in unison.
“I’ll need help carrying it.” She looked around.
“Dude, I think that’s your job.” Joe shoved Pete in the back of the head.
“Not at 6 in the morning.” He snorted.
“I’ll help.” Andy sighed, standing up.
“Thank you Andy, that is very gentlemanly. These guys could learn from you.”
"So, why blonde?" Andy asked as they all stood in a single file line to board the plane. Fortunately the all girls high school exchange trip they had been cornered by was going to Italy, not France.
"It was something I'd wanted to do since I was in high school." Izzie shrugged.
"What did you want to do since high school?" Steve snapped out of his sleeplessness-induced daze.
"Justin Timberlake?" Kyle asked.
"Dye my hair. Though Justin Timberlake is also a valid answer, and if the opportunity were to arise, I wouldn't turn him down." She smiled, making Pete give her a funny look.
"You know, I think you're the only person I've met who's shorter than Patrick." Joe squinted at her.
“Hey!” Izzie and Patrick whined, simultaneously.
“It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a fact.” Taylor shrugged, leaning his arm on the top of her head.
“You’re not short, your pocket sized.” Pete chuckled.
“I hate you guys.” She grumbled as they stepped on the plane.
“We need a singer for me and Joe’s band.” Pete said as he and Izzie were again squished onto his twin bed watching a movie.
“What are you looking at me for?” she glanced over.
“I’ve heard you sing in the car. You’re good.”
“I know, that’s why I’m in my OWN band.”
“Come on. It can be, like, a side project.” Pete gave her a puppy-dog face.
“No. I don’t have time. Our album’s coming out in a couple months and we’re going on Warped Tour.” She shook her head.
“I’ll try my hardest to find you someone before we leave on tour. How’s that?”
“Fine. As long as they’re good.”
“I’m going to miss you when we’re on tour. Are you sure you can’t come? You can be our merch guy. Or guitar tech.”
“I have school.” He shook his head.
“But it’s summer. You don’t go to school in summer.”
“I go to summer semester in summer.”
“I’ll come out for a couple days over the term break in August.”
“Yay!” she hugged him before smearing a crumbled up Dorito in his hair. He glared at her. She squealed and tried to escape as he tackled her to the ground. “Ah! I can’t breathe.” She gasped, her face smashed into the carpet.
“Say Uncle!” Pete growled. Izzie twisted around and flipped him over, sitting on him.
“After you.” She pinned his arm behind his back.
“Hey neighbor!” Izzie squealed, hopping into the window seat next to Patrick.
“Are you going to be like this the entire way?” he groaned, taking his earphones off his ears.
“No, I took an Ambien. I should be asleep before the fasten seat belt sign turns off.
“Good.” He grunted.
“That was mean. What are you working on?” she pointed at his computer on his lap. He was playing around with the ProTools.
“Just this song I’ve been messing with. It’s not right, and I can’t figure out what’s wrong.”
“Can I listen?” she yawned. He passed over the earphones and pressed play. She tapped her foot for a few moments before nodding and pulling the earphones off. “If you double the tempo and increase the guitar distortion a little on the chorus, it’ll give it a real Prince-Purple Rain vibe.
“You’re right.” He grinned. “Thanks. I never would have thought of that.”
“Iz! Hey, Iz!” Pete called. She turned around to look at him across the aisle and two rows back.
“Do you want to switch?” He pointed at Joe in the seat next to him, giving her a puppy dog look.
“No.” she shook her head.
“This is my assigned seat.”
“The flight records will say that I am sitting in this seat. What happens if the plane crashes and everyone dies except the person in seat 5D, but they’re horribly mangled beyond recognition? They’ll look at the flight records and see that Joe was in seat 5D, and I’ll spend the rest of my life thinking I’m a Jewish stoner.”
“But you are a Jewish stoner.” Joe commented.
“Only half. And besides, I have to sleep. I’m already medicated.”
“I’ll let you sleep.” Pete whined as she turned around in her seat. Pete sighed in defeat as the plane started rolling towards the runway.
Izzie curled up, within ten minutes, with her head on the armrest and her foot wedged between the seats in front of her. She had barely moved in the past two hours. “She asleep?” Pete asked, stopping at their row on his way back from the bathroom.
“She past out pretty much as soon as we took off.” Patrick looked down at her next to him. “I don’t know how she got into that position though, I’m afraid of elbowing her in the face.” He shook his head.
“She’s very flexible.” Pete grinned, slyly.
“Eew. I know what you’re referring to, and I didn’t want to know that.” Patrick shuddered. “Hey, you want to switch seats?” He looked from Pete to Izzie.
“You don’t mind?”
“I’m not worried about crashing and being unrecognizable.” He chuckled. Pete grabbed his bag as Patrick stood up and they traded places, acrobatically jumping over her sleeping form in the aisle seat. Pete settled into his seat and brushed a piece of hair out of Izzie’s face. She stirred, groaning, and sat up.
“What are you doing here?” she yawned.
“I switched with Patrick. I didn’t mean to wake you up.”
“You didn’t. I could smell you.”
“Is that a bad thing?” he sniffed his shirt.
“No, you smell good.” She rested her head against his shoulder. “Did you mean what you said to my dad the other day?” she looked up at him.
“That I’m a fan? Yeah.”
“No, the other thing.”
“Oh, that you’re my girlfriend. I guess so. Why?”
“Every time I’ve said anything, you said you didn’t want to label it and we would talk about it later, but we never did. I didn’t know how you felt about us.” She sat up, looking him in the eyes.
“Well, given our past, I didn’t want to rush into anything. I didn’t want it to not work out and then I’d lose my girlfriend and my best friend. We can talk about it now. Do you want to be my girlfriend? Officially?” She gave a wide grin.
“I’ve wanted to be your girlfriend since I was 15.” She leaned in and kissed him, passionately. After several minutes he pulled away.
“You should go back to sleep. You look like you’re going to pass out.” He stroked her cheek with his thumb.
“My neck’s all cramped.” She tilted her head to the side, cracking her neck.
“Here, this will help.” He lifted the armrest between them and wrapped his arm around her shoulders. She placed her head on his chest and snaked her arm around his waist.
“Much better.” She sighed as he rested his cheek on the top of her head.
“Aw, this will make an adorable banner picture for our website.” Taylor said as Steve snapped a photo of the Izzie and Pete from the seat in front of them.
Keep the reviews coming!