"I don’t know… I just.. I wanna take a chance with you"
“Now’s your chance” Axl murmurs and disappears outside. DJ follows a few moments later. Slash watches the door they’d exited through for a moment, expecting to feel jealousy but can only identify relief. Suddenly a light hand tugs on the sleeve of his jacket and he glances down, at his son, who places another’s hand in his. Myles. A light flush covers his cheeks and Cash slips away grinning.
“Hey” he mumbles, wondering why Myles hasn’t retracted his hand yet, the other wiggles his fingers and he releases them immediately, not noticing the shadow that passes over the singer’s face as he does
“Hey” he replies quietly, fingers playing with the label on the glass bottle in his hands, a pink haired woman danced past them and out of the door as Slash reached out and places his hands over those restless fingers and asks softly
“Can we talk?” Myles nods but avoids his gaze, the distance between them almost painful as he follows Slash throughout the spacious house, eventually ending up in an airy guest bedroom. He steps in first, moves closer to the bed as Slash lingers by the door, his arms slide around him and he hugs himself, still determinedly evading the guitarist’s eyes.
“It’s about last month” Slash has to begin the conversation, guilt spiking as he watches the colour drain from Myles’ face and he sank onto the bed slowly giving the appearance of folding in on himself, trying to make himself invisible as he makes a small soft “Oh” sound that worsens the guilt and Slash nods “Yeh. What’s DJ to you?”
“We’re friends. He’s a good friend.”
“Why’d you stop him?”
“Letting him go would have done more damage than stopping him. They were too wired. You were better for Axl” he answered “Why does it matter?”
“It doesn’t, I just wanted to know” Slash answered quickly, sorely aware of how ridiculous his questioning must sound. Myles is watching him curiously so he avoids his gaze, turning to the door and grasping the handle tightly until he felt tentative fingers touch his shoulder.
Those fingers curl and take hold properly “Slash?” he’s quiet as always but there is a nervousness to his voice now “Please stay, you want to talk right?” the guitarist looked to the floor, hair swinging forward to shield his face, usual defence setting in as he mumbled
“Yeh, I did, what do you wanna talk about?”
“What about us?” he sees Myles’ head dip and a pale blush set across his cheeks as he almost whispered
“I didn’t tell you why my wife left did I?”
“You were having problems right?” Slash questioned softly looking up as Myles’ gaze remained on the floor, the singer shook his head
“I was having problems, not her” he paused and swallowed thickly “Umm, I” his voice faltered out once more and his head dipped, trying to work up the courage to say the words they both needed said
“Why?” the guitarist asked cautiously, Myles shivered slightly and the fingers on his shoulder fall loose and the singer’s hands began wringing fretfully
“Umm, I, I l…like you” he muttered and Slash felt a leap of surprise, of joy until he focused on Myles’ next words “But forget about it. I know Axl’s gonna be ‘the one’ and all so…” he sped up, words slurring together as he babbled out more excuses ending with “…I’m just gonna go” and he stepped forward squeezing past Slash to clutch the doorknob, turn it quickly and pull it open, jump when it’s pushed closed suddenly and his hand is pulled away, held in a warm clinch.
“Myles.” Voice soft and gentle like the fingers that held the singer’s as he determinedly pulled him back “Don’t leave, what makes you think that Axl’s ‘the one’ for me?” the younger felt his back hit Slash’s chest and the guitarist’s arms wind around his stomach, right thumb gently stroking his left hip. He swallowed nervously and closed his eyes, not wanting to add visual clarity to the situation, altogether feeling too much like a dream
“You’re each other’s opposite, you’ll always love him”
“Maybe so, but he’s not ‘the one’”
“How’d you know?” the singer’s tone had gone sharp, no longer carefully probing, Slash frowned and sighed slightly, consciously tightening his arms as Myles’ hands slid over the top of his, curling palms finding a stance on the wall of his fingers “You looked like you had it all figured out last month.”
“Were you jealous?”
“Were you jealous of Axl?” hands pushed his angrily
“Let go of me Slash” he snapped struggling as the guitarist stepped back away from the door, pulling him with him forcibly “Let go!”
“Answer me and I will” he fell silent and still, refusing to answer and Slash sighed “I’m only asking cause I need to know it isn’t just a passing fancy. You and Selena could always give it another go, Perla and I don’t have that option. Neither does me and Axl, we’d destroy each other” his fingers relaxed and he stepped back, releasing the singer and sitting on the bed, head in his hands. Giving Myles the perfect escape route should he take it.
There was a tense silence before the bed dipped beside him and he heard a soft confession “Yes. I was jealous. That I was always going to be the replacement and then you disappeared together. Me and DJ looked for you both for hours, hours. We gave up around 5 am.” His voice had gone bitter towards the end and Slash reached out, placed a careful hand on his thigh
“I didn’t know that. I didn’t think we had any reason to stick around, from what we saw you and DJ were pretty convincing as a couple”
“That’s no excuse. You knew Axl had to sort it out with DJ, instead you went off to some hotel and spent the night together”
“I wouldn’t call it a hotel” the guitarist muttered before clearing his throat and saying “Myles I had no idea how you felt about me, how was I supposed to know that DJ wasn’t who you wanted?”
“Why didn’t you answer your phone the next day?” his mouth opened then closed, a puff of air passing through his lips as he searched for the right words to his answer
“I… didn’t want to talk to you” he winced as Myles stiffened underneath his fingertips before he stood quickly, striding to the barely illuminated window “Myles?” he asked softly, wondering whether he should follow the singer or stay where he was “I’m sorry but I didn’t know how you felt about me, I’ve never felt guilty about being with Axl and I won’t start”
“You really know how to deal with these situations don’t you?” Myles choked sarcastically, arms hugging himself tightly, fingers biting into his biceps.
“Look it was comfort that night ok? It wasn’t sex. Or love between Axl and me. It was comfort”
“What the hell did you have to comfort each other about? Axl brought the situation with DJ on himself and you didn’t need to be comforted” the younger snapped, shifting restlessly on his feet the profile of his face turning to glance at the door
“It was my fault as well, I shouldn’t have made Axl come and see me by hurting DJ” Slash protested and Myles made an annoyed noise
“Forget it. Don’t bother with explaining Slash. I’m going back downstairs” he barked sharply, swiftly exiting the room and reaching the staircase before a hand grabbed his arm pulling him backward abruptly; his back hit the wall and Slash stood in front of him, hands either side of his shoulders giving the appearance of holding him in place
“Don’t run away” the guitarist told him firmly, voice hushed “It was comfort because I was as jealous of DJ as you were of Axl”
“Because of A..”
“No because of you” he interrupted fiercely, taking a cautionary glance at the staircase when the conversation at the bottom paused for a moment “Because I couldn’t be sure how you felt about me and everything with Axl distracted me from finding out. Fuck… Myles I didn’t even know you liked guys. Maybe Duff was right and I shouldn’t get involved with my singer again but… I don’t know… I just.. I wanna take a chance with you Myles, if you’ll have me.”
The music shuddering below them stopped and yell was heard, hollering that they were all to make their way outside; the singer took another look at his face before sliding out from under his arm and hurrying down the stairs. Slash swore lightly and ran a hand over his face, reluctantly following the other stragglers into the garden and declining the drinks offered. Axl announced a seasonal greeting as a shower of sparks lit up the sky delighting everyone beneath, his eyes scanned quickly for his sons before tipping upward to admire the vibrant colours against the pitchy black. A slim hand slid into his and he glanced to the side, tightening his grip as Myles smiled lightly nerves showing through as he pulled the younger slightly closer to snuggle into his chest and wrap his arms around him, hand sliding into the straight, silky hair, tilting his head and meeting those cerculeans before he exhaled shakily and pressed their foreheads together, whispering “Thank you.”