In which our hero faces more challenges, his old friend Stress returns, he makes a promise that is proving difficult to keep and just as things start to look up, it takes a turn for the worse…
"Why don't you idiots try making something that won't kill us all?" Izzy suggested, his voice a little groggy from sleep, "Like cereal maybe?"
"We were trying to make cereal!" Steven yelled.
Just then Slash walked in scratching his balls with his mouth wide open as he yawned.
"Morning ladies!" He smiled and sat next to Izzy at the table and poured himself some cereal. "Has anyone seen my cat?"
Izzy looked to Slash and bit his lip. He had a feeling he knew where Little Axl was.
Axl Rose was walking through a field. Green grass stretched out before him, seemingly endless. The smell of grass was fresh and it tickled his nostrils.
He felt free. Like a child. Like a bird. Like a...
He stepped into a little wet patch of leaves. He looked down at his foot. He'd gotten his orange fur damp..
He tried to lift his hand up to touch his hair but he tripped over himself. Lying on his back he looked up, four furry orange legs and a tail...
He tried to scream but all that came out was a cat's screech.
The singer's eyes snapped open and he found himself tangled in sheets and staring up at Izzy.
"I think you were having a bad dream dude."
Axl looked under the sheets and around the room. Where was he?
"Axl..." The redhead struggled to speak, his voice a little shot and his eyes were wide.
"No you're Axl!" Izzy laughed at his panic stricken friend.
"Where's the fucking cat Izzy?" Axl composed himself and put on a stern front.
Izzy grinned and lifted the devil cat into Axl's view. The singer lunged forward with his arms out. The cat had to die. Izzy was too quick and stepped aside letting Axl come crashing down onto the floor.
"He hasn't even been with us for 24 hours Axl! Give him a chance, what will Slash say?" There was the guilt factor.
Axl carefully considered the situation. Dead cat, happy Axl, unhappy Slash or...
"Fine I'll give him another chance." Axl couldn't do that to Slash. He could do something to Izzy no problem though, so he reached up from the floor and hooked a foot around the back of Izzy's knee.
Izzy fell with a shriek and a dull thud next to Axl and the cat jumped up from his arms and ran out of the room.
"How can you hate something that loves you so much?" Izzy sat up and scowled at Axl as he rubbed his shoulder.
"That cat doesn't love me, he stalks me and haunts my dreams!" Axl stated, a little over dramatically.
"I meant me!" Izzy faked a heartbroken expression, which was quickly wiped away when Axl pushed him onto his back again. The redhead laughed down at his friend and Izzy laughed right back at him.
"Make me breakfast?" He knew Izzy wouldn't.
"I think Duff and Steven have something made for you." Izzy replied.
"No thanks!" Axl screwed up his face and waved away whatever it was Steven had thrown into a bowl and shoved in front of him. "I'll just have what Slash is having."
He smiled at the drummer and sat down at the table. Their tiny kitchen was falling apart and it smelled like something had died there. Something probably had died but whatever it was, it wasn't a little ginger cat.
Little Axl sat on top of the table staring at the singer as he ate his Coco Pops. Axl stared right back. He was good at this game. Steven sat down and made the table shake slightly making the cat lose focus and look away.
"Ha! Winner!" Axl waved his fists in the air and beamed. The others gave him a 'what the fuck' look.
"Today's gonna be another boring day isn't it?" Duff sighed.
"Yes it is!" Slash seemed happy about this. "I'm gonna spend some quality time with Axl today!"
Axl was getting used to this, but he couldn't help looking up anyway.
"Not you, the cat."
Thought so. He looked back down and continued with his cereal. He felt somewhat unloved now. The cat was stealing his life and now his guitar player? This sucked.
Duff picked up on Axl's forlorn expression and decided to quiz the guitarist.
"Hey Slash? Axl the cat? Or Axl the Rose?"
Axl looked up again and waited for Slash's reply. Slash was teasing the cat with his jingling bracelets. He stopped and looked up at all the expecting faces, a pale one with big green eyes in particular.
Axl held his breath and waited.
"Well cats and people are very different so I love them both in different ways!" Slash smiled nervously. He really did love his cat.
"Errr wrong answer!" Duff slammed his palm against the table making everyone jump.
"You can't love a cat as much as you love Axl!" Steven intervened, "Cats don't have thumbs!"
His comment was met with confused faces.
"Well Little Axl's not gonna be able to tune a guitar or open a bottle for Slash is he?"
"Ohhh!" They understood now. Steven was clever after all and Axl thanked him for his genius-ness.
"Why would I ask Little Axl to tune my guitar?" Slash asked.
Axl cursed Steven for being so stupid.
Slash turned to Axl and sighed.
"I don't love you less, I just really miss having a cat." He smiled and Axl melted.
"Aww!" Izzy chimed in. "How adorable!"
Axl kicked Izzy under the table and looked back to Slash. The guitarist looked like he was expecting Axl to say something. Axl knew what to say.
"I promise I'll try harder to get along with..." He tried with all the will power he had not to wrinkle his face in disgust. "...Little Axl."
Slash beamed and threw his arms around the redhead. Axl tried to share his enthusiasm but inside, he was slowly dying.
They didn't have a gig to look forward to that evening. It didn't stop them from writing some more music though. That afternoon they finished a song they had set aside a while ago. It was a song about being in the city and making your own way about it.
Axl had laid some t-shirts out onto the bed and was looking down at them. This was a crucial decision to make. He wanted to look his sleaziest for their outing tonight. The band were bored and wanted to get wasted. Again.
Izzy meanwhile was dancing around Axl and being a smartass by singing their new song with a slight twist in the lyrics.
"Welcome to the jungle,
We've got fun and...cats!"
He sniggered and continued on with the song.
"We've got every...cat you want,
Honey we know the cats!"
Now he was full on howling with laughter.
"Welcome to the jungle,
We'll take it cat by cat,
If you want a cat you're gonna bleed
But it's the price to cat!"
He fell on top of Axl's t-shirts and clutched his sides laughing.
Axl gave him a death glare so powerful it silenced the man before him.
Izzy choked a little and stopped laughing.
"The price to cat? That doesn't even make sense you dick licker!" He pulled Izzy off the bed and onto the floor and went back to his examining.
Izzy remained on the floor looking up at Axl.
"Stop looking at my ass." Axl said without turning away from the t-shirts.
Izzy blushed and looked away.
Axl felt something brush against his leg.
"Izzy leave me alone you pervert!" He looked down to Izzy this time but instead of brown eyes looking up at him he saw green. Green, orange and tail.
"You again!" He picked up the cat and was about to put him on the bed but the cat started thrashing his little legs around. Axl waited for his furry enemy to settle before placing him on the bed.
"Behave." The cat froze.
Izzy now stood next to Axl looking at his t-shirts with him.
"I'm thinking the black one." Axl said.
"I think you look sexy in the white one." Izzy grinned.
They both looked to the cat. Little Axl walked over to the black t-shirt and started poking at it like it was a mouse.
"Good choice kitty." Axl stuck his tongue out at Izzy and slipped on the black t-shirt.
"Remind me again why we had to bring him with us?" Axl along with the others walked down the street on their journey to their favourite bars.
"Axl, be nice," Duff sighed, "He's the only drummer we could find."
Steven laughed out loud but then stopped abruptly.
"Hey, I'm the drummer!"
Everyone laughed except Axl. Stressed and on edge, he was not in a laughing mood. Strutting alongside his snakeskin cowboy boots was Satan on four furry legs. Little Axl had his tail straight up in the air. Axl fought the urge to grab that tail and swing...
Slash sensed the hatred in Axl's face.
"Axl you promised!" Axl snapped out of his thoughts and looked at Slash's pleading face. Damnit! Why did he have to keep making him feel so guilty?
"Sorry." The singer looked at his boots and walked on in silence.
The bar was full of the regulars. The depressed old men whose wives had just left them, wallowing in self pity and drink and the cheerful individuals who came for the good time and indulged in 'sensible alcohol consumption.' And then there was Guns N' Roses.
The five of them sat in the booth that was most hidden in the back. Enough Jack Daniels and Vodka for the band, the roadies and the groupies.
Axl found himself being attacked by the cat again. It was playing with the many bracelets around his wrist. He could easily have swept the cat off the table and sent him flying across the room. This however, would go against the promise Axl had made to Slash that morning.
Then he got an idea of how to get into Slash's good books for a while. A quick fix. He got up and went to Luigi the bartender. He was an Italian man, stout and hairy but friendly as fuck.
"Ah! Axl, what can I get you my boy?" Luigi asked, beaming at the singer.
"What's he doing? He hasn't even touched his drink." Izzy asked looking over to the redhead across the room.
Steven was already off his face.
"Uuhh...Axl'sssss got a beautiful asssss." Steven's words flowed out of him like piss.
"Yeah he does, doesn't he?" Duff agreed as he looked over to the singer.
"You two are in love with him." Slash remarked.
"Yeah? Well I'd rather fuck Axl than a cat!" Duff said rather loudly as Axl sat down again.
The singer blushed and pushed the hair out of his eyes.
Duff just giggled and downed his Vodka.
"What did you say to Luigi?" Slash asked.
Just as he spoke Luigi returned with a small bowl of milk and placed it onto the table.
"For the little one!" He smiled and went back to his bartending.
Little Axl quickly started lapping up the milk while Big Axl scratched behind his ears.
"Axl you do care!" A wide grin appeared behind Slash's hair and Axl sighed in relief. Happy Slash meant happy Axl.
What a wonderful night out with his friends. Axl couldn't help but smile as he walked home. Once again friends and alcohol saved the day. Little Axl gave out a loud meow and Axl picked him up and held him up high beaming at him. He was starting to like the bastard. Slash noted the show of affection and wrapped his arms around Axl's waist and kissed him on the cheek.
"Who's in luuurrve now Slashy?" Izzy was holding up Duff as they stumbled onwards. Steven was barely managing to walk but they were in no rush.
They had just turned the corner of the street their house was on when it happened. A flash of car headlights and Little Axl jumped out of Axl's hands.
All Axl heard next was the screech of tires paralleled by the screech of a cat.
Time stood still as did the five stunned musicians. No one dared breathe.