Categories > Celebrities > Guns n' Roses

Walking Away

by RavenTheEchidna278 4 reviews

[Slaxl] This came to me after watching the "November Rain" video. Why did Slash walk away during the wedding?

Category: Guns n' Roses - Rating: G - Genres: Drama,Romance - Published: 2010-03-01 - Updated: 2010-03-01 - 6287 words - Complete

/Walking Away/

The priest looked up at the best man, expectantly, and Slash panicked; he didn't remember whether he had grabbed the rings before leaving the house that afternoon. He'd been too worried feeling sick and heartbroken because his secret crush was getting married, and he couldn't find any excuses to miss the wedding because said crush had chosen him as his best man. And he had accepted, stupidly; Izzy was his best friend after all, why did he have to choose him?

As he searched his clothes frantically, Axl turned his head lightly, giving him a warning look over his shoulder. He was delaying everything, after all. Slash panicked more as he stole a glance at those beautiful green eyes, and he nervously puffed on his cigarette.

"Hey, Slash!" Duff whispered suddenly, and Slash turned to him. The blonde bassist smiled knowingly and lifted a hand, his pinky sticking out. Two rings were placed on it over the black glove Duff wore; one was golden with a small diamond on it, and the other was silvery and thick. Slash grabbed them, thankful, and walked up to the priest, handing them over to him. His shoulder brushed Axl's, and the redhead smiled lightly. Slash felt his heartbeat quickening, and he quickly stepped back again, letting the ceremony go on.

Axl and his bride exchanged rings. The singer had a smile on his face; he seemed to be living the happiest moment in his life. Erin, however, didn't look so sure. Slash hadn't seen her smile once since the wedding ceremony started. Deep inside, he couldn't understand her: she was marrying a beautiful, unique man. Yeah, Axl could be moody, bossy and generally irritating, but he was also strong, decided and caring. The guitarist knew that, even if they had their rough times, everyone in the band appreciated him. That was why everyone was there, on the front row: Steven, Izzy and Duff, and him as the best man. They were all there for Axl in that special moment, sharing his joy, but Erin was another story. Slash could only hope the singer wouldn't notice.

"And now, I declare you husband and wife" the priest said, as Axl and Erin turned to face each other. "You may kiss the bride."

Axl smiled softy, pulling his brand new wife into a passionate, loving kiss, and that was more than Slash could take. Turning around, he started walking towards the exit, hair carefully concealing his eyes from view. Duff held out his hand towards him as he walked, and Slash smiled sadly and shook it briefly before resuming his walking. Many a stare followed him as he made his way down the aisle and towards the doors, careful to keep his back to Axl.

He couldn't see the green eyes glancing towards him for a second, saddening upon seeing him leave.

He stepped out into the desert, looking around, the strong wind ruffling his curly hair. A storm was coming close, shrouding everything in its grey and violet darkness. He tilted his head up, closing his eyes, letting the wind caress him, soothing away a slight bit of the pain he was feeling. His heart was broken; Axl was married to his long-time girlfriend, and he hadn't even had the change to tell him how he felt. And even if he did, he knew he wouldn't have told him. It wouldn't have made any difference, because Axl didn't see him as anything but a good friend. That was the reason why he'd been chosen as the best man in the first place.

How ironic, he thought with a sarcastic smile. Being the best man when he only wanted to be the groom. He let out a soft laugh, fighting the tears.

He stood there, facing the storm, until he heard people coming out of the small white church, and he quickly wiped the tears behind his sunglasses and ran up to the doors to cheer and congratulate the newlyweds.


"Dude, what a mess!" Steven complained as he walked into his suite at the hotel they were currently staying in. At least, four of them were that night; Axl had gone to a different place with Erin for their wedding night. "Where did all that rain came from?"

"Yeah, and that asshole ruined the cake" Izzy pouted, walking into the small bathroom to dry his hair. "I couldn't even taste it..."

"What the hell happened to Slash?" the drummer asked then, shaking his head before flopping himself down onto the couch and taking out a cigarette. The guitarist was missing as well; something about going for a walk. /Under the rain?/, Axl had asked, evidently worried, and Slash had nodded and left, hands in his pockets, the top-hat a bit tilted to the side on top of his dark curls.

"I don't know" Izzy admitted, and both turned to the remaining musician in the room, and the only one who could have any idea of what was going through the lead guitarist's head. Duff looked at both his bandmates in turn, first one, then the other. Both of them had that curious expression in their eyes, mixed with the slight worry of knowing something was wrong with one of their close friends. The tall bassist sighed and sat down next to Steven.

"He's having quite the hard time, guys. You promise to keep your mouths shut?"

"Yes" Izzy replied immediately, cutting off Steven, who would've certainly said 'no' or something along those lines. This seemed serious and it was no time for joking. Duff glared at his fellow blonde, but he didn't comment on it. He was outnumbered, and he trusted his friends to be discrete.

"Well... Slash's been in love with Axl since, like, forever. And seeing him get married just broke him, you know? He needs some time on his own, I guess. Nothing lasts forever, he'll eventually get over it."

He said it so simply, so quickly and fluently, that he didn't realize the magnitude of what he was confessing until he saw Steven's wide eyes fixed on him, his mouth hanging slightly open. A bright pink bubblegum fell off it and onto the couch, and Izzy made a small disgusted sound.


"Hey, Slash is our friend" Duff growled, defensive. "It might be weird, but we have to support him, guys, be a little open-minded..."

"No, silly" Izzy rolled his eyes, walking over to sit next to Duff. "I meant Popcorn's bubblegum, that's gross. I already knew about Slash and Axl, I mean, it was fucking obvious that Slash wanted him. We were all there at that concert at the Ritz, remember? When we played 'Mr. Brownstone'?"

"Yeah, yeah, it was obvious. You just had to see the way he looked at Axl. It was restrained love" Duff waved a hand.

"But I didn't know it went that deep" Izzy looked away, thoughtful. "I thought it was a crush, that he was just in lust with Axl... Man, I made so many cheerful comments about the wedding and he barely even replied, and now I know why... I feel so guilty."

"Not your fault if Slash kept it so secret!" Steven exclaimed, still taken aback. "And how come I'm the only one who had no idea of this?"

"Because you're too much of a loudmouth, Steve" Duff admitted with an apologetic smile. "You would've spilled it to Axl sooner or later, and hell would've broken loose."

"But he had to know!" the drummer whined. "If we had told him before, maybe he would've reconsidered getting married!"

"Axl loves Erin" Izzy shook his head, taking a sip from a vodka bottle he'd taken from their mini-fridge. "Axl would've probably freaked out, told Slash he's a weirdo, choose someone else as his best man, and move on. He never showed any signs of liking Slash back."

"Oh, so Slash nuzzling his neck at the Ritz is relevant proof, while Axl leaning on him as he moaned in the video to 'Welcome to the Jungle' isn't?" Steven argued, and Duff patted his arm softly.

"Steve, dude, I know you want Slash to be happy and things between him and Axl to work out, but sometimes it just doesn't go that way, man. Slash will have to live with it or, well..."

They all fell silent as the grim possibility of Slash leaving the band made itself present.

"That won't happen" Izzy said firmly after a few more minutes of tense silence. "I-If Slash loves Axl so much, he won't leave him. He won't leave us... R-Right?" his voice faltered, and he looked up at Duff, who put an arm around his shoulders for comfort.

"I don't think so, man. Slash's far tougher than that."

Izzy leaned his head against Duff's shoulder, who patted his back gently, while taking a cigarette from Steven's pack and placing it in his mouth, lighting it. Then he offered them to Izzy, but the rhythm guitarist silently declined them with a small shake of his head.

Steven glanced at the clock and drummed his hands on his own knees a few times, nervously.

"Guys, I think I'm going to bed" he commented. "Do... Hum, do any of you want to switch bedrooms with me? I mean... I'm not sure if I can comfort Slash..."

"It would be much better if you acted as if you didn't know anything" Duff shook his head, trying not to disturb Izzy, who was half-asleep, leaning against him. "You'll probably be asleep when he gets here, but you know? It'd be better if you pretended to be asleep if he comes back early."

"Okay" Steven sighed, getting up and whispering a sad 'Goodnight' before leaving the room. Duff watched him go, mindlessly playing with Izzy's hair.

Everything had seemed much brighter until the cold November rain hit, and suddenly nobody was happy anymore.


Steven woke up when he heard the door to his suite opening and muffled footsteps coming in. He slowly opened his eyes, the alarm clock coming into view; four thirty-seven a.m., and he could hear rain still pouring outside. He groaned and rolled onto his back, and the other inhabitant of the room came into view.

"Slash?" the blond drummer asked, voice hoarse with sleep. "What the hell happened to you?"

Slash smiled lightly. He was completely soaked, his hair slightly straighter because of the water. A small puddle was starting to form under his boots. Steven was about to get up to look for a towel, but Slash stopped him with a gesture and walked to the bathroom.

"Don't worry, man, it's okay. I don't want to disturb you, just go back to sleep..." the guitarist tripped over an empty bottle and cursed loudly. Steven sighed and curled up into a ball, closing his eyes. He didn't know whether he would be able to sleep or not; Slash's voice was sad and a bit throaty. It was obvious he'd been crying out there, under the rain. Cliché, maybe, but it wasn't half as funny when it happened to one of your best friends.

"Slash?" he muttered quietly when his friend came out of the bathroom, wearing nothing but a pair of black boxers. Slash got into his bed and turned to face Steven, whom in turn was facing away from him, towards the wall.

"Yeah?" the curly-haired one asked, and Steven rolled onto his back again, gaze fixed on the ceiling.

"Hum, just wanted you to know... I'm here for you, yeah?"

Slash nodded lightly. Steven didn't need to explain anything else, he already knew what the blonde meant with just that.

"I know" he whispered. "Thank you."

"No problem" Steven looked down, and then at Slash. The guitarist's hair fell over his eyes, as usual, but he was smiling a bit. Well, it hadn't been that hard to comfort him, it seemed. "Night, Slash..."

"Night, Steve."

But Slash didn't go to sleep straightaway. He lay there for what seemed like an eternity, waiting for sleep to come over him and take every thought of Axl away from him, but it didn't happen. He could remember everything since the moment Axl told him about his engagement with scary clarity. The day he confessed he was going to propose to Erin, and he told Slash before anybody else – the others found out only when it actually happened. All the arrangements for the wedding, the day Axl took him to that bar to talk in private and asked him to be his best man, how nervous the singer was before the wedding, bitching at everyone and everything. Slash sighed; he had loved him in that moment, more than ever. His tantrums had been so Axl, so purely and only him... He couldn't believe he'd lost that beautiful person forever. Now Axl belonged to that bitch of a woman, and he... Well, he'd have to move on.

He only wished Axl wouldn't change. He hoped everything would be just as it always was. And more than anything, he hoped Axl would be happy.


The next morning, Axl was late for sound testing, but nobody was surprised. The wedding had taken place in the middle of touring, and they were already late on schedule. Still, they waited patiently for two hours, and when Axl didn't show up, Izzy got impatient and walked out of the backstage.

"I'm fucking calling him. He's fucking late. I can't believe he doesn't give a flying shit about us..."

"Izzy, dude, it's not like that" Duff pleaded, running after the pissed-off brunette. "Please, man, it was his wedding night, have a little patience..."

"Don't go quoting our songs now! Fuck off, Duff!"

"Izzy, man, c'mon!"

"Duff is always running after Izzy" Steven commented as he walked onstage to set up his drum kit. They were in a very important stadium, which the drummer hoped would be completely packed by the time the show started, around nine p.m. "He should just let him be..."

"Maybe he likes him" Slash replied sarcastically, puffing on his cigarette as he sat on an amplifier, fiddling around with his Gibson Les Paul. Steven's eyes widened at the possibility.

"Two days ago, I would've told you you're crazy, Slash."

Slash looked up, frowning suspiciously, the faintest of blushes on his cheeks.

"And why not now?"

Steven didn't reply, and he was really thankful for Izzy and Duff suddenly coming back, still arguing, which provoked a great distraction. Slash looked up from his guitar and tried to reason with them, but his words fell on deaf ears as rhythm guitarist and bassist growled and yelled at each other.

"...such an asshole, and I can't believe you stand up for him...!"

"You're always the first one to defend him! I wouldn't want you bothering me on my honeymoon, you know?!"

"Like any girl with a brain would want to marry you!"

"Hey, I don't want this to get personal, Straddlin'! And may I remind you, you're single too!"

"Guys, GUYS!" Slash raised his voice, and Izzy and Duff fell silent, although they still glared at each other. "You're both acting like fucking fools! Axl isn't here and hell breaks loose? C'mon, losers, give it a break!"

Duff looked down, running a hand through his messy blonde hair, and Izzy blushed madly, still furious.

"This is Axl's fault" he spat, walking over to his white guitar and plugging it into an amp forcefully. "If he wasn't such an irresponsible asshole..."


Duff flinched, and Steven's head peeked into the backstage again when Slash screamed, throwing his guitar down and getting up, turning to face Izzy, who had a 'deer caught in headlights' look in his eyes and stood motionless, the guitar hanging limply from his shoulder.

"Leave Axl alone" Slash warned his fellow guitarist, pointing an accusing finger at him and giving him a dangerous look. Izzy's lips trembled, but he didn't say anything. "Leave him the hell alone. He's enjoying his marriage, enjoying his wife, and having a good time. And we should be happy for him. Leave him alone."

"Wow, Slasher. Thank you."

Slash blushed madly, and Izzy's eyes widened when they heard Axl's voice. Behind the singer, Duff and Steven were giggling for no apparent reason. Slash glanced at the singer over his shoulder, and quickly stepped away from Izzy – at some point, he had backed the rhythm guitarist into a wall. Poor Izzy, he hadn't meant to scare him that much. In fact, he hadn't meant to snap at all. It had just happened.

"Axl..." the lead guitarist whispered, and Axl smiled at him.

"I didn't know you had it in ya, Slash."

"I... Didn't either."

Axl laughed softly, and turned to Duff and Steven.

"How's everything going?"

"It's going pretty well, we haven't had any trouble up to now..."

"Only that you were late, Axe."

"Shut up, Stevie" Axl warned as he followed the drummer onstage. "My personal bodyguard Slash might not like those comments."

"Oh gosh, I'm so scared!"

"Well..." Izzy started, and Slash quickly turned to him, giving him an apologetic look.

"I-Izzy, I'm sorry... I-I didn't..."

"I know, I know" Izzy shook his head. "I know everything. It's okay."

"Y-You know?!" Slash's eyes widened, and he gave Duff, who had appeared beside Izzy, a betrayed look. "Duff, man...!"

"He didn't tell me" Izzy hurriedly explained. It wasn't completely true, but it wasn't completely false either. "I kinda realized it on my own."

Slash looked down, frowning worriedly.

"Is it that obvious?"

"Well..." Izzy was at a loss, and he looked at Duff for support. The blonde smiled nervously.

"N-No, Slash, of course not! I mean... Hum..."

"It was obvious to me" Izzy said softly. "But it wasn't obvious to Axl and Steven, I'm sure."

"And it was only obvious to me because you told me" Duff backed Izzy up, and Slash looked a little relieved. Still, he was evidently uneasy when Axl came back from checking the stage and threw an arm around his shoulders as he sipped on a bottle of Jack Daniels.

"Want some, Slash?"

"Eh... Yeah, sure" the guitarist took the bottle, mentally thanking Axl for the distraction. Izzy raised an eyebrow.

"I'd love to know where all the booze comes from."

"We're Guns n' fuckin' Roses" Steven chuckled as he walked in again. "There has to be booze."

Izzy rolled his eyes, and Duff shook his head, smiling.

"C'mon, I don't want any of you thrashed before the concert, guys."

"We're fine!" Axl waved a hand, laughing, his other arm still draped over Slash's shoulders. The guitarist nodded absentmindedly, watching Axl's hand; there the ring was. He sighed and took another sip.

He wasn't fine, and he probably wasn't going to be.


A month later, the tour was still going on. Erin had travelled with them until a few days ago, when she had decided to head back home. Nobody asked her about this decision, and nobody dared ask Axl, whose mood had visibly darkened. Well, Steven thought as he watched the singer smoking, leaning against a window with a thoughtful expression on his face, at least his mood now matched Slash's. The guitarist hadn't been the same since Axl's wedding.

"The driver said we'll be there in another three hours or so" Izzy commented quietly as he came in, speaking mostly to Slash and Duff, who were sitting at a small table, playing cars with two bottles of beer by their side.

"Three hours!" Steven moaned. "Damn... I better go take a nap or something. See you later, guys."

And he headed towards the back of the bus. Axl turned to watch him go, and Slash caught the look in his green eyes. Carefully standing up, he pushed his cards into Izzy's hand.

"You play with Duff for a while, mh?"

"But I don't even know how to play."

"Thank you" and ignoring him, Slash walked up to Axl and sat at his feet, smiling lightly at him. Axl gave him an emotionless stare.

"What do you want now?"

"Hey, hey" Slash chuckled, patting Axl's leg, whom in turn kicked his side.

"Fuck off, Slash."

"Axe, c'mon" the guitarist looked away, sighing, suddenly serious. "You have to talk about it sooner or later."

Meanwhile, Duff and Izzy pretended to play while they simply threw cards on the table aimlessly and listened to every word that was said between the bandmates.

"Axl will bite his head off" Izzy whimpered, voice so low, that Duff had to lean closer to him, over the table, to be able to hear him.

"This can either go very well, or very badly" Duff replied, and Izzy looked straight into his eyes, intensely. "Don't worry" Duff added. "It'll be fine either way" he assured the guitarist, patting his hand, and Izzy nodded lightly, leaning back against the seat again.

"C'mon, let's play poker."

"Talk about what?" Axl snarled at Slash. "I have nothing to say to you."

"Why are you treating me like shit all of a sudden?" Slash frowned, pushing his hair out of his eyes to look at Axl directly. Even if Axl's eyes were a weak point to him. "It's your dear wife who left you, not me. I'm still here."

That came out more like a hint than he had intended, but it caused the desired impact; Axl was taken aback, and vulnerable. Slash loved that expression in those clear green eyes.

"I..." Axl sighed, looking down, his hair falling over his face. "I tried to make it work out. I did my best. But I can't change who I am, Slash... Not even for her."

Slash nodded, but commented nothing. He had heard the singer and his wife – ex-wife? – screaming away at each other countless times. Maybe that's why Erin didn't smile at their wedding? Maybe she knew it wouldn't work?

"It was my fault" Axl shook his head, placing it between his hands. "I really wanted it to work out, but..."

"It wasn't all your fault."

Axl looked up at Slash, dumbfounded. What did the guitarist know about this? He hadn't had a relationship in ages, as far as the singer was concerned. And yet, his words had made a bit of the weight lift off his shoulders.

"You think so?" he whispered, and Slash shivered. That voice, so soft and sweet, whispering only to him... He shook his head. Focus, Slash.

"Yeah, I mean... A marriage consists of two people" the guitarist shrugged. "Maybe you weren't perfect, but I'm sure she wasn't either. So you can't blame only yourself."

"Yeah... She wasn't perfect. I mean, she bitched about everything I did, she drove me nuts..." Axl smiled a bit. "She didn't want you to be the best man at the wedding. That's why she was so mad" Axl chuckled a bit, placing his feet on Slash's lap and taking out another cigarette. "I didn't care, I wanted you to be it... Want one?"

"Sure. But why didn't she want me to be your best man?" Slash asked as best as he could while holding the cigarette between his lips. Axl leaned over to light it, and carefully brushed Slash's hair out of the way. He didn't seem to notice Slash's breath hitching, or the shiver that went down his back.

"Said she didn't trust you" Axl shrugged. "I don't know what came over her to say that. She said there was something fishy about you and me. Women are always like that... I almost thought she was jealous" the singer giggled again, and Slash smiled meaningfully. He was both surprised and pleased; surprised that Erin had been so perceptive, and pleased that he'd been able to fight for Axl up to some extent.

"Maybe she was scared you'd marry me instead" the guitarist played along, and Axl rolled his eyes, pushing Slash's bare torso with one foot.

"Shut up. And don't you dare commenting on my sockets."

"Why are they pink?!"

"Mixed red and white clothes. Now shut up."

There was a moment of comfortable silence, the only sounds being the ruffling of the cards being shuffled and the cracking of the pavement under the wheels of the bus. Duff turned towards the silent singer to ask for a cigarette, but decided against it; Axl looked really peaceful, a small smile on his lips, and he didn't want to interrupt that. Besides, Slash looked happy for the first time in at least four weeks.


Duff looked at Izzy again, putting any comments about the somewhat affectionate nickname aside.

"Sorry, I got distracted."

"I'm sure we would've argues less" Axl whispered suddenly, and Slash turned to him, listening attentively.

"Whom? You and her? Axe, stop torturing yourself with that..."

"No, I mean, you and I. If we'd gotten married instead. You're the only idiot who always sticks around me when I go batshit crazy on everyone" the singer smiled affectionately at the guitarist. "You're the only one who dares tell me to shut up and calms me down. That's why I chose you as my best man. You're the only one I can actually relate to."

Slash blinked, trying hard not to think those words meant anything at all. He couldn't help but hope, however, that Axl's smile and his beautiful eyes held something more...

"Axe, did you drink anything?" he tried to joke, and Axl tilted his head, still giving him that dazzling lazy smile. He was so, so beautiful...

"I'm not drunk, Slash, I mean it. You're the only one who came up to me and made me talk, while everyone else was too chicken to do so" and the singer smirked, knowing Izzy and Duff were glaring at him. It was too obvious they were listening, Duff had been holding the same cards for at least three minutes. "And I wanna thank you, Slash. I... I really do" Axl sat up, crossing his legs, and Slash watched wide-eyed as the singer leaned in and kissed his cheek. It was a small peck, but it lasted a bit longer than it should've. In that moment, Slash closed his eyes, feeling his heartbeat speeding up to impossible levels and his cheeks burning, especially there where Axl's lips touched his skin. Axl pulled away, and Slash turned to look at him; he was also flushed, and had a shy look in his eyes.

"Thanks" Axl whispered one last time, before getting up and walking to the back of the bus. They could hear him waking Steven up with a yell and the drummer complaining and telling him to fuck off, and then both Izzy and Duff turned to Slash, smiling knowingly.

"Wow" Izzy giggled, and Slash nodded, leaning back against the seat as he took a last long drag from his cigarette before discarding it.

"Wow indeed, Izzy."

"Man, I never even imagined something like that could happen" Duff admitted, smiling at his friend. "That was..."

"Yeah..." Izzy looked down, not knowing how to finish the sentence. Slash chuckled.

"That was absolutely freaky, yeah. And I don't think it means anything. But it was amazing nonetheless."

"I'm sure it was" Izzy smiled, looking up again. "If you want, I can ask Axl..."

"No, Izzy" Slash shook his head. "Thank you, but I think I'd rather not know."


"Are you sure you don't want to know?"

They were due to go on in thirty seconds, and it was everything but the right moment. Slash gave Izzy a nervous glare, almost chewing on his cigarette.

"Izzy, not now!"


"We're about to go onstage, I don't need to worry about this now! I have to play a fucking show out there!"

"But Slash...!"

"Izzy, /I don't friggin' care/. Let's go now."

"Guys" Duff called, worriedly, but Axl interrupted with a screech.


Izzy gave Slash one last pleading look, but Slash avoided his eyes and escaped onstage, almost running into Axl, who gave him a warning glare, although it wasn't half as dangerous as other glares from the singer Slash had received. Blaming it on the adrenaline of a show, he ignored this too and concentrated solely on playing.

The show was awkward for the lead guitarist. He knew Duff was watching him for no apparent reason, and that freaked him out. There was also Axl, who seemed more intent on playing with him on the stage than ever; the singer danced around him, stole his top-hat and then gave it back, feigned to play an invisible guitar imitating him, and pretended to try to steal his guitar during the solo to Mr. Brownstone, chasing Slash around playfully. He didn't know what the hell was going through the redhead's mind, but he couldn't deny he loved the attention. On the other hand, every time he glanced at Izzy, the rhythm guitarist had that same expression on his face; he seemed to be choking on his own words, dying to tell him something. And he didn't want to think of whatever Izzy had to say to him. When he caught his eyes for the thirteenth time and saw that same look in them, he turned his back to him and resumed dancing with Axl as he played.

"You seem to be more hyper than usual" he commented, leaning closer to Axl so the singer could hear him. Axl smiled mysteriously – and somewhat seductively, Slash noticed with a shiver – before stealing the guitarist's cigarette and running back to his microphone. Slash glared playfully at him, and the singer winked at him. This made a few fan-girls on the front row squeal like unicorns on a sugar rush.

They closed the show with Paradise City, Axl stage-dived, and they called it a night. Almost half an hour later, they were at the bus, sharing booze with a few groupies they had brought along. One of them, a very sexy blonde with very little clothes on, sat on the arm of the couch where Slash was half-sitting, half-lying, and asked him for a kiss. The guitarist complied with a smile, even if, deep down, he didn't feel like it; it became much more worthy, though, when he caught Axl staring at him from a corner. There were two girls next to him, all over him, but the redhead was openly ignoring them, staring straight at his guitarist in disbelief.

When the blond chick left, Axl took her place immediately, handing Slash a fresh bottle of Jack Daniels.

"Here, Slash."

"Heh, thanks, Axe" the guitarist smiled sincerely at the singer, moving a bit to make room for him on the couch. Axl sat next to him, resting an arm on the back of the couch, and in consequence, around Slash's shoulders. The guitarist, busy with his booze, didn't notice this until Axl's hand brushed his right shoulder. "Huh?" he turned, confused, and then realized it was only Axl. The singer giggled softly.

"How cute..."


Everything seemed to fall silent, and all gazes fell on Axl, who blushed bright red and gave Slash a pleading look, begging for help. Stunned and embarrassed as Slash was, he decided he had to help his crush; lifting a cushion, he took a long, thin alive snake from under it, holding it carefully but firmly so it wouldn't escape. The groupies screamed, a few of them going as far as to run out of the bus, and Izzy, who was sitting on the floor, quickly got up and hid behind Duff, who was chuckling at Axl's freaked out expression.

"You really think he's cute?" Slash continued as if nothing had happened, kissing the top of the snake's head. Axl nodded, although it wasn't very convincing, since he was curled up on one end of the couch. "You hear that, Clyde? Axl likes you..."

"Oh, it was only that..." Izzy sighed, and Duff, who had been entranced watching Steven making out with some chick, turned to him.


"Axl" Izzy whispered. "He only meant the snake."

Duff frowned.

"You know something I don't, right?"

"Yes, I know, but I promised I wouldn't tell!" the rhythm guitarist whimpered. "I wanted to tell Slash, but he wouldn't hear me...!"

"Wait, didn't you promise you wouldn't tell?"

"I know, I know...!"

"Izzy, breathe. Relax. Whatever has to happen, will happen, mh?"

"Yeah..." and Izzy leaned against Duff's back, sighing. "I'm tired."

"Go to bed. You won't miss anything."

"I'm sure I won't. Goodnight."

"'Night, Izzy, dude. Great show, by the way."

"Thanks, you were great too. Goodnight."

"Slash" Axl whispered then. "Slash, you can put that thing away now..."

"He's not a thing" Slash replied, smiling at the reptile. "He's Clyde."

"Well, you can put Clyde away now!"

"Okay, okay, don't panic..." and a second later, Clyde was back under the cushion. Axl gave it a wary glare, and flinched when a hiss came from under it.

"I-It's gonna stay there?"

"Axl, I'm here" Slash rolled his eyes. "You don't have to worry about him."

"Okay..." Axl looked down, thoughtful. "Hum, Slash?"

Slash looked up at him and smiled gently. Axl looked shy again, his cheeks flushed.


Axl looked up at him, green eyes shiny.

"...N-Nothing" the singer sighed, getting up. "Goodnight, Slash."

Slash watched him go, silently, sipping the last remains of Jack Daniels in his bottle.

What was it that Izzy had wanted to tell him about Axl?


It was only two nights later that Slash finally found out. He was walking back to his suite after taking a walk with Steven, when he heard Axl and Izzy talking inside their own room. It wouldn't have caught his attention, but just as he walked past the door he heard Axl say his name, and he stopped.

"Go on ahead" he told Steven. "I'll borrow Axl's hair dryer."

"'Kay" Steven walked into his room, greeting Duff, and Slash pressed his ear against Axl's door, listening.

"...didn't tell Slash, Axl, I promise."

"He knows, I'm sure, and you're the only one I told!"

"Axl, you can ask him..."

"Like hell!"

"Well, you can't, but I swear I didn't tell him! Axl, if only you let me--!"

"No! I told you I don't want to know what he thinks! I'm better off without knowing!"

"Axl, trust me, you should tell him!"

"Izzy, are you stupid?! How am I supposed to tell him this? What would he think? I was already freaked out that my ex might've told him as a revenge, I'd die before telling him myself!"

"If only you trusted me, Axl, I know something you don't...!"

"I don't want to know! And I won't tell Slash I love him!"

Slash placed a hand on the door, supporting himself, because his legs had suddenly given out under him. He closed his eyes, breathing deeply, trying to convince himself that he wasn't dreaming, nor drunk, nor high. He had actually heard Axl saying that.

"C'mon, Axe... You left your wife for him, you stick around him all the time, and you won't dare confessing how you feel? When I'm telling you to?"

"No. And I'm gonna go borrow Slash's hair dryer. See you."

Slash stepped back as Axl opened the door, walked out, and closed it again behind him. His eyes were downcast the whole time; he only looked up when he turned around and bumped into Slash, who was standing right there in all his mysterious, top-hat-wearing glory. Axl blushed, mouth hanging open, as he stepped back and pushed a loose strand of orange hair out of his green eyes.


"Hey, Axl" Slash said simply, smiling down at Axl, and the singer smiled too, awkwardly.

"I-I was about to ask you... D-Do you have a hair dryer?"

"No" Slash shook his head, "but I know you have one."

Axl bit his own lower lip, looking down.

"Hum... Y-Yeah, but it isn't working properly, so..."

He was silenced when Slash placed a finger on his lips, leaning in closer to him so he could hear him whisper.

"I heard everything" the guitarist confessed, finding it unnecessary to prolong Axl's suffering. The singer gasped, blushing madly; on one hand, he couldn't believe Slash had heard it all, and on the other, the curly-haired demon was so irresistibly close... Slash gave him a soft smirk, and then closed the gap between them, capturing Axl's lips in a searing kiss. Axl immediately kissed back, gripping Slash's hair as he pushed the stronger male back against the wall. The guitarist rested his hands on Axl's hips, and the singer pulled back and smirked.

"Wow. Didn't see that one coming."

"I didn't either" Slash admitted. "I mean, I've loved you since forever, but I wasn't sure if you felt the same and..."

"...I was too scared to ask" Axl finished. "Yes, same here. I was foolish, mh?"

Slash chuckled and shook his head.

"Both of us were. Very foolish and blind."

They stayed in silence for a few minutes, Axl's head resting comfortably against Slash's chest, the guitarist playing with the redhead's soft hair. None of them wanted to part from the other, and Slash only pushed Axl off when they heard one of the doors in the hallway opening and footsteps coming their way.

"Too many people here" Axl whispered, and Slash nodded, his hair falling over his eyes again.

"Let's get outta here. Wanna go to the theatre?"

"Sure" Axl nodded, and blushed when Slash grabbed his hand, pulling him along with a smirk

They had a lot of catching up to do, and the dark back of a theatre sounded like a good place for it.
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