'what makes him so special?'
“Mornin’ Honey” Perla greeted her husband as he entered the kitchen “Did you and Duff have fun last night?” she asked, lifting her brown eyes from the page watch Slash as he got himself a glass of water and sat at the table opposite her
“Yeh it was pretty good, nice to see Matt and the others again” he responded quietly, glancing over her appearance “Where are the kids?” Perla smiled, closed her magazine and stood up
“They’re at school, it’s a Monday” she answered, placing a plate of toast in front of the guitarist, he muttered a thank you, “Are you planning on going out again?”
“Um, we’re thinking about sometime next week, are you going out?”
“Yeh, me and Sue are out this weekend” Slash nodded, his eyes catching the magazine cover, curious he reached out and examined it, Axl’s green eyes looked back at him as a light smile curved soft pink lips, appearance just as he remembered it before he flicked to the page and settled in to read the article. Perla stayed silent as she leant against the counter, a coffee mug clutched in her hands, she watched as her husband’s eyes moved down the page. He finished and sat back, disbelief mapped over his face “I know, wasn’t expecting him to ever do that, that DJ must be pretty special” she remarked, putting her mug down and clearing off the table to stack the dishwasher.
“Y…yeh” Slash said softly, veins of hurt throbbed through his voice. He stood and told Perla he was going to work in the studio; she nodded and gave him a gentle kiss
“I’m out for the day, so I’ll see you later, love you”
“Yeh, love you too” he muttered distractedly as the front door closed behind her, looking back at the article his eyes were drawn to the top left-hand corner, it was a picture of the ‘happy couple’, his ex-lover looked peaceful and ecstatic to be able to walk around hand in hand with his boyfriend and not have to hide anymore.
He looked beautiful.
DJ was slightly blurred but just as happy as the redhead; his hand linked securely with Axl’s.
His fingers traced over redhead’s picture. He sighed, unable to ignore the hurt and anger he felt; what made DJ so special? Why was the younger guitarist worth that much more to Axl? What did he have that Slash didn’t?
Why he was he better than him?
He clenched and unclenched his fists, trying to calm down before he did something he might regret. Standing, he grabbed his glass and headed to his studio. Family pictures adorned the wall up the stairs, Slash paused to examine their latest family photo, fixed smiles were on everyone’s faces. At least on London and Cash they looked genuine. His eyes found Perla’s face, she was grinning toothily, glassy-eyed at the camera, one arm around Cash’s waist, the other was out of sight but Slash knew it was around him. He was holding her back.
The picture of family bliss.
He glared accusingly at his wife, ‘You caused this, you asked me to leave the band’ she remained smiling at him out of the picture, he looked away after a moment and continued up the stairs, fully aware of how irrational he was being. It wasn’t Perla’s fault. It was his. He chose to leave and he chose to hurt Axl. Chose to let the media blame him. Chose to leave his lover behind without a seconds’ thought as to how Axl would feel. Chose to move on.
Except that wasn’t strictly true.
He hadn’t moved on.
Not at all, not even a tiny bit.
Slash turned the chair towards the desk and leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table. Memories were filling his mind as he gazed at photo propped up against his laptop speakers, Axl looked back, right arm reached back to tangle in Slash’s hair gently whilst the left rested upon the arms wrapped around his waist, fingers linked firmly with his. “Axl, why did I ever leave you? … Why did you let me? We could have been happy now. We could have worked everything out, we could have got married, had a couple of dogs, adopted some kids. Why did you give up? Why didn’t you fight? Why did you let me go? We could have… we could have had everything. Everything we ever wanted. Why did you turn me away when I went to see you?” images of Axl’s hurt eyes and memories of his harsh words, Slash’s fists clenched again as he continued to speak to the picture.
“I could have made you happy again. I could have made you smile, made everything right in your world. Could have… could have…” he paused, guilt tinting the edges of his mood “Could have undone all the damage I did.”
“If only you’d given me the chance. Damn it Axl, why’d you have to be so difficult!!” he yelled, standing quickly, the chair tipping backwards and hitting the floor, Slash kicked it out of the way and began to pace his studio floor “What the fuck makes fucking Ashba different!” a scathing tone accompanied the guitarist’s name “I fucking loved you Axl! Fucking adored you! Yes I wasn’t the best person in the world but I loved you” his voice broke slightly, tears gathering at the corners of his eyes. He wiped them away angrily “Why did you do this to me? Why… did… why did… oh fuck why didn’t I fight for you?” he gasped, realizing for the first time, the full extent of his actions.
His shaking fingers grasped the frame and he brought it close to his chest. The guitarist sank to the floor, trembling limbs no longer feeling strong enough to support him, with tears on his cheeks and a clear quake in his voice Slash raised the picture to whisper softly “Axl, I’m gonna get you back. Somehow, I’m make you see that you’ve never left my thoughts. I’m gonna show you that… that Ashba is no good for you, he’s gonna hurt you and I’m not gonna let that happen”. Tracing his fingers to stroke Axl’s photographic cheek, he breathed in deeply and wiped his cheeks again, new strength being found in his determination.