Axl and Slash meet, but circumstances soon turn awkward. Can Slash fix things between them before it's too late?
His mouth was softer than Slash had thought it would be; soft and tasting of nicotine and alcohol. He set his drink down on the bar and leaned further in, parting his lips in an invitation to let Slash scope out the inside of his mouth. He spread his long, pale fingers over Slash’s thigh, lightly massaging, sending pleasantly warm, tingling sensations down his spine. He ran his tongue against Slash’s, light moans vibrating in their mouths, turning them on. When he broke away from the kiss, he was breathing hard, his green eyes darkened and blazing with lust.
“What’d you say your name was?” he asked hoarsely.
“Slash, and you?”
“Axl. Axl Rose.” He leaned forward and kissed him again, teeth scraping together, drawing blood. Slash reached up and ran his fingers slowly through Axl’s long, smooth, red-gold hair. He wasn’t entirely sure how he’d ended up in this position—he knew they were both drunk and they’d barely exchanged greetings before Axl had leaned in and started rubbing his nose against Slash’s—but he didn’t want it to stop.
Eventually, Axl’s hand moved from Slash’s thigh to his hot, hard crotch. Slash grunted softly, pulling away, and mumbled, “Hey, y’know, we should—"
“Your place or mine?” interrupted Axl, without missing a beat.
“Mine, if you don’t mind the junk Steven’s left lying around.”
Axl, who was halfway off the bar stool, paused and turned. “Who’s Steven?”
“Best friend since middle school—Slash stopped talking, realizing too late the mistake he’d made. Axl’s irises darkened, but in anger, not lust. He crossed his arms and snarled, “The fuck are you playing at? Why the hell would you go and get me all excited like this if you’re already living with someone? Punk-ass motherfucker, who does that? Goddamn cock tease…”
Slash opened his mouth to explain that it wasn’t like that at all, that Steven was straight and that they weren’t even living together, Steve had just come over recently and left a mess, but before he could get the words out, Axl’s fist had collided with his jaw, sending him flying backwards. Slash landed on a bar table behind them and barely avoided hitting his head.
“I don’t want to hear excuses!” Axl roared. “I just want you out of my sight! I never want to see you again.” He turned and stormed off in the other direction, and Slash found himself marveling at how quickly the redhead’s temper had changed. It was a little scary, and Axl did hit pretty hard, but Slash found himself oddly drawn to him. Those green eyes were so damn hypnotizing; and his voice… god. It was like marbles running over sandpaper, it was like sinking down into a warm bed on a cold night, it was like…like…
Well, Slash thought, straightening up and re-fluffing out his hair, whatever it’s like, it sure as hell is enough to make me want to go find him again.
Three Weeks Later:
Slash was crouched down behind the counter of Tower Records, sorting boxes and thinking, as he so often did, of Axl. Since their first meeting in the gay/bi-friendly section of the Rainbow Bar and Grill, they’d only seen each other once in passing, on the Strip. Axl had been walking one way with his band Hollywood Rose, and Slash had, unfortunately, been with Steven. Axl had sent him a cold look that was three parts hatred, two parts disgust, and one part regret. He’d nudged one of his band mates and, pointing at Slash, whispered something that made both of them crack up laughing. Blushing, furious, Slash had ducked his head and hurried on, ignoring Steven’s confused questioning.
“Hey, are you the guy that drew this?”
Slash’s thoughts were interrupted by this voice, low, slightly hoarse, and male. He turned and saw a pale, dark-haired guy standing behind him: tall-ish, thin, and good-looking in a subtle kind of way. Slash straightened up and looked at what the guy was holding: a drawing of Aerosmith he’d done for Marc Canter.
“Well, it’s cool. I like it.”
“Thanks. I’m Slash, by the way.”
“Hey. I’m Izzy Stradlin.” They shook hands, then Izzy tilted his head to one side.
“You play any instruments?”
Slash nodded. “Guitar.”
Izzy grinned. “Same,” he said. “You should come over and jam sometime. Here’s my number and address.”
“Mind if I bring a friend?” asked Slash, thinking of Duff McKagan, the weird but cool, tall, punk bassist he and Steven had met just a week ago.
“Go ahead.” Izzy nodded once, then turned and left without saying good-bye.
Slash sighed. Then he turned to the phone and dialed the number of the house Steven and Duff stayed in, along with Steve’s grandparents.
“Hey guys,” said Slash when he had them both on the line, “I think I got us a gig.”
Two days later, Slash, Steven, and Duff were standing at the door of Izzy’s apartment, waiting. Slash knew he should be flattered, seeing as Izzy was obviously older than him and probably had three bands already, but he was just nervous.
A moment later, the door opened and Izzy grinned at Slash, nodded once at Duff and Steven.
“C’mon in,” he said. “I’m just tuning up, and Axl’s—" He continued talking, but Slash didn’t hear the end of his sentence. He was too busy focusing on Axl, a name that didn’t run commonly in West Hollywood. And sure enough, when they went in, there was Axl Rose, talking in a low voice to someone on the phone. He glanced up at the sound of the door shutting, then did a double-take. His mouth dropped open; his irises darkened. He ran his tongue, perhaps subconsciously, over his lips, then, turning away, murmured into the phone, “Sorry, I didn’t catch that…”
Duff and Steven were too busy admiring Izzy’s guitar and drum heads to notice this little exchange, but Izzy perceived it. An eyebrow went up; his eyes narrowed slightly in confusion as he glanced from Axl to Slash and back.
“You know him?”
Slash wasn’t sure how Axl would feel about him revealing the story, so he just shrugged.
Izzy shook his head. “Axl’s been my closest friend since the seventh grade. I can tell something’s going on.”
Abruptly Axl said, “I gotta go,” slammed the phone down, then turned to face Izzy and Slash. “You wanna know what’s going on, Stradlin? Fuck, I’ll tell you. This guy… remember when I told you I got fucked over at the Rainbow? This guy right here is the reason for that.”
Izzy’s eyes widened. “Oh…”
“I didn’t fuck you over!” said Slash desperately. Axl sneered.
“Yeah? Then how come you let me get nearly in your pants before you said you had someone already, huh? I dunno, Slash, that sounds pretty fucked to me.”
Steven and Duff were staring. “You’re gay?” asked Duff incredulously, as Steven said, “You’ve got a boyfriend? How come I never knew about this?”
“Because he doesn’t exist!” Slash yelled.
“You little lying fuck!” said Axl angrily. He looked like he was going to hit Slash, but before he could, Izzy stepped between them, arms raised.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Axe, calm down. Slash, are you dating anyone?”
Slash shook his head.
“I’m straight,” Steven supplied helpfully.
“And I really don’t want Slash—no offense, bro,” said Duff, grinning.
Axl shifted uncomfortably, eyes cast down. After a few seconds, he mumbled some sort of vague apology and turned away again.
There was a brief, awkward silence. Duff and Izzy looked at each other, then looked away again, blushing. Steven, aware of the slight mood shift, said, “Uh…guys? I’m gonna go upstairs; anyone wanna join me?”
Hastily, Duff and Izzy nodded, and the three men left the room.
Slash turned to Axl. “I—I’m sorry for causing all that confusion…”
Axl lifted his head and stared into Slash’s eyes, and the guitarist was startled to see tears glistening there.
“Don’t apologize,” he started hoarsely, but Slash interrupted him by reaching out and gently folding his fingers over his wrist.
“Hey, it’s okay, Axl.” He leaned forward, pressing their foreheads together. He thought about saying something corny to make the singer feel better, but ultimately decided against it. Their lips met slowly, tentatively, and this time it was Slash, not Axl, who opened his mouth first. Axl reached up and gently tugged on Slash’s curls, and at some point during the kiss his hand slid up and their fingers intertwined.