Axl surprises Slash on Christmas Eve at a party.
Suddenly the door opened, and Izzy and Axl came in, laughing and clutching their bags, cheeks flushed from the cold. Immediately Slash felt his own face getting warm; Axl always looked so gorgeous. He told himself it was normal to feel this way; they’d shared a room at Ola Sr.’s house for about three months before finding this apartment, and Axl had told him some really intense stories about his past, so naturally they were closer than anyone else in the band. But was it really normal for Slash to crave the taste of Axl’s mouth, for him to get completely turned on by the way the singer’s copper hair fell over his porcelain shoulder, for him to want to know exactly which spots on Axl’s body would make him completely surrender himself to pleasure? I’m not gay, I’m straight, I love tits, Slash thought firmly to himself. But then he watched Axl’s pale lips part as he laughed, watched his artistically graceful fingers fly in the air, and he felt his resolve waning.
“Slasher,” said Axl, breaking the guitarist out of his reverie. “I like the wall-to-wall streamers.” He gestured at the tree. “And where’d you get those ornaments?”
“They’re my grandma’s. She let me borrow them.”
“Oh, that’s fucking cool,” said Izzy. “Remind me to keep Steve away from the tree once he gets loaded.”
They all laughed. Then Axl walked over, set down his gift wrap, and gave Slash a hug.
“Thanks so much,” he whispered, and Slash felt a shiver run down his spine as Axl’s breath hit his ear.
“It wasn’t a problem,” he replied, struggling to keep his voice at a normal level. When Axl drew away from him, he saw Izzy giving him an odd look but he ignored it. He forced a smile onto his face and asked:
“So, what else can I help you with, Axe?”
The party was raging. Steven had invited a few friends of his to the apartment, and nearly all the booze was gone. Duff had offered to go get some more, but Slash, slightly drunk himself, had forced the bassist to stay.
“S’not… not safe, Duffy,” he slurred. Duff just laughed:
“If everyone out there is in your condition, then I’ll agree with you on the ‘not safe’ part.” He’d gone upstairs instead, and, strangely enough, Izzy had joined him. It had been two hours since, and Slash had given up on wondering what they were doing. He was sitting on the couch, halfheartedly making conversation with a girl he and Steven had gone to Fairfax Middle with, when suddenly Axl appeared. He was clad in leather pants and a bright red button-down; even in Slash’s drunken haze, he looked incredible.
“Hey, Slasher, it’s almost midnight. Almost Christmas. I was wondering if you wanna go out to the balcony with me? We can toast in the holidays more quietly out there.”
“Sure.” Slash stood up too quickly, and nearly crashed into Axl. The redhead put his hand out to steady his friend, and their skin brushed. A rush of static electricity ran through Slash’s body, and he had to look away from Axl, in case his irises were darkening. They walked out together, and Axl slid the glass door shut behind them.
The balcony overlooked the apartment’s outdoor pool and garden. The moon hung directly overhead, all pale and swollen against the night sky. Axl’s skin was slightly exposed, and the moonlight shone on it, bringing into sharp perspective some tiny scars on his shoulder. Slash knew they were from when Stephen had whipped him for making a B in English class.
Axl handed Slash a cocktail glass, keeping the other for himself. For a while both men were silent, sipping on their drinks, then Axl looked up and said:
“Hey, you got the balcony too.”
Slash squinted at the overhang… and felt a flush rise up on his cheeks. There were red and green crepe streamers, bushels of holly, a few extra ornaments… and a clump of mistletoe. Maybe Axe didn’t notice…
“Yeah,” he said, a little too quickly, “I got everywhere I could reach. And it’s pretty, isn’t it? I mean, look at it in the moonlight; you could take a girl out here and kiss her under the mistletoe or—”
What happened next occurred so fast that Slash barely had time to react. He never even saw Axl move. All he knew was that one second, he was rambling on, embarrassed; the next second, he was in Axl’s arms, and they were kissing, and it was soft, softer than Slash had imagined. For a second, the guitarist thought that Axl was teasing him, that at any second he’d hit him and call him a fag for not resisting, but then he felt the warm, wet point of his tongue gently poking at his lips, asking for entrance, and he realized this was serious. Axl bent Slash backwards slightly over the edge of the balcony, holding him steady by the small of his back, working their mouths together. Slash tasted candy cane peppermint and the bittersweet flavor of wine. It was an odd mix, but it wasn’t exactly bad.
After a while, Axl pulled away, emerald irises darkened and glazed over. He smiled lazily, and Slash felt his cock twitch.
“Did you really think I didn’t notice, Slash? The way you look at me, the way you talk to me; it’s so damn obvious.”
Slash blushed harder, and Axl’s smile grew. “One thing I never told you about my past, and why Stephen hated me so much? He caught me making out with a guy Izz and I went to school with. I’m bisexual, Slasher. And guess what?” He reached out and gently tucked a curl behind his ear, then hooked his fingers in his belt loops, pulling him closer. He brushed his lips against his ear and murmured:
“I want you too.”
It was explosive, the chemistry between them. They kissed, and their kisses were full of hunger, need, passion. Axl’s arms went around Slash’s waist; Slash’s arms went around Axl’s neck. They kissed until all sound had been drowned out; they touched until it was impossible to tell where skin stopped and heat began.
At midnight, the firecrackers sounded. Laughter ricocheted off the walls inside, and Axl pulled away from Slash, pressed their foreheads together.
“Merry Christmas, Saul,” he whispered, calling him by his real name for the first time.
Slash smiled, happiness sparkling in his brown eyes. “Merry Christmas, Axl.”