Categories > Celebrities > Guns n' Roses > Faithfully I'm Still Yours

Back to the Moment

by LauraiSlaxl 0 reviews

Laurie thinks about Axl, and has a chance encounter with Duff.

Category: Guns n' Roses - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Published: 2011-04-02 - Updated: 2011-04-03 - 1278 words - Complete

A/N: I wrote this ages ago, and it's cross-posted at Quizilla. Not a Slaxl, but it's one of my favorite things I've ever written anyway. Enjoy. :)


Her memories of him had become clouded over the years, although she saw his face on so many billboards, heard his voice on the radio all the time. It had only been three-and-a-half years, and yet Laurie Stevens's memories of her volatile ex-boyfriend were already growing fuzzy. Sometimes in the mornings she'd wake up and realize with a start that she could not remember the feel of his arms around her, or the taste of his mouth on hers, or the way he smelled, or his laugh, or the way his eyes flashed--in both anger and joy. Laurie would struggle to conjure up his memories and fail at it. Other people who only liked him for his body could never understand how she could say that she didn't know him, but Laurie had lived with him for two and a half years and knew him inside and out. She knew that to truly love Axl, you had to look past his beautiful body and auburn hair and dusky turquoise eyes; you had to see into the psychology of his complicated mind, and no one could do that--empathize with him--better than Laurie.

After she had left him in tears in the hotel room in Canada, she'd flown back to Los Angeles and rented an apartment with the money Axl had given her while they were still together, as part of the royalties for Appetite for Destruction. She'd spent the better part of three weeks sobbing her heart out on her new couch, listening to Guns N' Roses music nonstop and wondering why the hell she'd done it; though it had seemed the only way at the time, she'd been regretting it from the moment she'd set the plan into action 'till now.

Then one morning Laurie had woken up and realized that it wasn't worth it to waste her life away like she was doing. She'd gone out and gotten a job as a bartender at the Whiskey-a-Go-Go. When Appetite had hit the Billboard Top Ten and, soon after, gone platinum faster than any other album in rock history, Laurie had forced herself to ignore it, and the fact that there was a party being hosted at the Troubadour in honor of Gn'R's success...and that the band members themselves were the guests of honor.

By 1988, Laurie's heart had healed over and hardened in the place that had been reserved exclusively for Axl Rose. She was able to go to Tower Records and buy Gn'R Lies with no trouble; listening to "Patience" was hard, seeing as she'd co-written it with Izzy and Axl, but she managed. She watched people come and go in the Whiskey wearing Gn'R T-shirts, or blaring "Welcome to the Jungle" or "Paradise City" or "Reckless Life" on their Walkmans, or shouting about upcoming tour dates and where they could get tickets, and she'd simply shut her eyes and close her ears. The one thing Laurie could no longer do was concerts, but that was okay; Axl rarely let his band come to Los Angeles anymore, except on breaks. She knew he was avoiding her, and it hurt, but she was used to it. Three-and-a-half years had made her grow used to it.

On a particularly warm day in late March, 1991, Laurie was standing at the counter of the Whiskey, waiting for the large crowd to disperse so she could go outside and take a drag on her cigarette (she'd taken up smoking as a chipping habit after she'd left Axl) when the door opened and about twenty girls let out high-pitched screams of excitement. Laurie sighed and looked up, then nearly dropped the glass she was cleaning.

Standing there, slightly wet from the rain, was none other than Duff McKagan.

He reached inside his coat pocket and pulled out a pen. "Who wants an autograph?" he called, and the girls ran forward, still screaming, holding out everything available for him to sign. Laurie hung back, on the pretense that she would get in trouble for leaving her job, but in all truth she couldn't bear the thought of seeing one of her former best friends face-to-face for the first time since 1987. The memories were still way too strong; she wasn't sure if she could handle it.

Plus, there was the problem of the questions he might ask.

After a while, he finished signing autographs and moved towards the bar. Laurie swallowed hard and ducked down before he could see her; if they had to meet again, she wanted to postpone it for as long as possible. She grabbed what she remembered Duff's favorite drink had been--Kangaroo Jack--and wondered if she could get away with just shoving it up on the bar top without ever being seen.

"Hello?" Laurie heard Duff call after a while. "Is anyone working here?"

Laurie cleared her throat, hesitated, then reached up as fast as she could and pushed the Kangaroo Jack bottle onto the bar. She heard Duff's surprised exclamation; a moment later he said:

"Who...who did that?"

Laurie shut her eyes and called up, "Me."


Laurie braced herself for whatever Duff might say or do and hoisted herself up. As much as she hated having to talk to any of them again, she knew she couldn't postpone it any longer. Ever since she'd started smoking, she'd started believing in things like transcendental meditation and fate, and this was definitely fate.

"Hi, Duff," she said shyly.

His eyes opened wide. "Hey, Laurie!" he exclaimed, reaching over the bar table to envelop her in a tight hug. "How've you been?"

Well, it was a better greeting than she'd expected.

"Fine, McKagan. And you?"

"Fine." He pulled away from her and unscrewed the bottle of whiskey.

"How are...everyone else?" Laurie asked after a moment of hesitation.

Duff hesitated too. Then:

"Everyone's fine, Laurie. We're here on break; in two weeks we're going back out on tour again. Axl's been on a writing tirade for about seven months now; we're making a double album."

"That's--that's nice." Laurie was wishing that she hadn't started talking to Duff. The memories he was evoking were way too strong, stronger than she'd expected. As he continued to tell her about Gn'R's doings in the past three-and-a-half years, Laurie shut her eyes and wondered how she'd allowed herself to be sucked into their lives again.

After a while, Duff finished his bottle and pushed a twenty dollar bill across the bar table. "I've got to go, Laur," he said, using Axl's old nickname for her, tearing at her heartstrings. "But tonight we're playing a show at the Starwood, for old times sake. Maybe you could come see us."

"Oh, Duff, I don't know..."

"C'mon. It'll be fun. We can get you in free. You don't have to see Axl again, you know...he might not even show up, knowing him..." Duff's voice trailed off, and Laurie sensed that something beyond her knowledge was taking place here; something had gone down between the Gn'R members in the past three-and-a-half years that she didn't know about because she refused to research them anymore.

"Sure," Laurie surprised herself by saying a moment later. "I'll come."

"Great! See you at around nine-thirty-ish, then." The blond bassist stuffed his hands into his pockets and walked off, whistling.

Laurie put the twenty-dollar-bill in the cash register, then sat down at the bar stool behind the bar and closed her eyes, resting her head between her arms.

When had her life become so complicated?
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