It's not about the band. It's about the friendships.
The fact that they were all together, harmoniously and of their own volition was something of a miracle. not to mention Steven actually reading a book. Slash wasn't quite sure when he'd last seen Steven with a book but he was fairly sure they were still in high school at the time. Axl made a spectacular nosedive off his skateboard and into the grass, landing on Steven, who yelped, "Bloody fucking hell!"
Axl picked himself up, expression apologetic. Duff giggled and Steven glared at him. Axl grinned, "Sorry Steve."
Steven stuck his tongue out, making Izzy laugh before asking, "You okay Ax?"
"Yeah." The singer rubbed his knee where he fallen on it.
"You squashed me, Duff ran off with Axl's skateboard and the singer spent the next ten minutes trying to get it back, all the while laughing hysterically. It was nice to see him happy.
Slash got up and quietly went inside, assuming no one would notice he'd left. It was their first get together since they'd decided that, whilst a reunion was off the cards permanently, it'd be nice to be friends again. Axl was on medication and seemed happier than ever before, but somehwow Slash couldn't shake the feeling of gloom that was settling over him. The guitarist heard a noise behind him and spun around to see the singer cocking his head to examine Slash, "What's up?" He finally asked.
"Nothing." Slash turned to the fridge, "Just looking for something to drink."
"There's coke in the fridge." They were staying at Axl's house. It was suprisingly modest whilst still managing to fit five aging rockstars and a dog.
"Thanks." Retrieving an ice cold coke, Axl's favourite fizzy drink, he turned to find him staring at him intently, "What?" He almost took a step back.
"You're..." Axl couldn't find the right word, "Moody."
"I'm fine." Slash couldn't help feeling a little defensive, although he wasn't sure why. Axl noticed and tried to relax. He was, after all, the king of feeling bad without really knowing why. In this instance, however, he was pretty sure what was bothing Slash. He decided to take a different tack.
"This is weird, huh?"
"You can say that again." Slash huffed out a laugh.
Axl looked down at the floor, letting some of his characteristic vulnerability show through, "I... Uh... 'M glad you're here though." He looked up, blue eyes wide and innocent, "It all kind of makes it feel like everything might be okay."
In that moment, Slash saw that Axl really wasn't okay yet. Things were better but there was so much brewing under the surface. He looked better than he had in years and he reminded Slash of the Axl he had known before the fame. That kid from Indiana who was constantly scared by everything and just wanted someone to love him. That kid was fun; he liked skating and punk rock and talking for hours on end about anything and everything. That kid was Slash's friend. He knew his mood wasn't doing Axl any good and he did his best to brighten up, to accept that this was the way things were going to be and that maybe this was all right. He slung an arm around Axl's shoulders and the smile that appeared on the singer's face was enough to brighten anyone's day.
"C'mon, let's go and see if Duff's managed to kill himself yet."
"Or worse, maim one of the others."
"If that idiot Steven manages to hurt himself, he will never be forgiven!"
Chuckling, they made their way into the garden just in time to see Steven narrowly miss careening into Izzy on the dirtbike and Duff failing to save a vietnam war novel from certain death beneath the tires as he jumped out of the way.