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

Life's Sweet Drug

by LauraiSlaxl 0 reviews

Axl and Laurie finally see each other, but the reunion is bittersweet.

Category: Guns n' Roses - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst - Published: 2011-04-02 - Updated: 2011-04-03 - 1062 words - Complete

At midnight, when the concert was over, Laurie stood up with everyone else to clap but did not demand an encore. Guns N' Roses' stage charisma and performance level was just the same as it had always been and their music was fantastic, but Laurie just wanted to get backstage, see Slash and Izzy, and get out. Watching Axl Rose in person for the first time since their breakup had been difficult, more so than she'd anticipated. The gentle Indianian twang in his voice when he talked had evoked memories as strong as the ones caused by Duff at the Whiskey, and Laurie wasn't sure how much more she could handle.

Just as Laurie was thinking this, a security guard came up and tapped her shoulder.

"Ma'am? Are you Lauren Stevens?"

She nodded hesitantly.

"Please come with me."

Oh, shit, now I'm being arrested. Great; I didn't even want to be here and I have no extra money and no one to bail me out...great. Make my day. Laurie sighed heavily, got up, and followed the guard. He led her to the door that went backstage and pushed it open, ushering Laurie through while another guard held back the insane fans.

"Slash, I found her," said the guard.

Slash Hudson turned, saw Laurie, and smiled.

"Thanks," he said to the guard, who left.

Then Slash turned back to Laurie. "Hey," he said, opening his arms. Laurie walked into his hug and immediately felt at ease and very comfortable; the curly-haired guitarist had been her best friend besides Axl and was the first one she'd run to for advice on dealing with her manic-depressive boyfriend.

"Hey," she murmured.

"Duff said you'd be here, so I sent a guard to find you. I described you and told him your name and he said he'd see what he could do. And--" Slash paused, held Laurie out at arm's length-- "here you are!"

"Here I am," repeated Laurie, nodding, smiling against her will.

Izzy Stradlin walked over just then, carrying a half-empty glass of Jack. When he saw Laurie, his eyes widened and his mouth fell open and he nearly dropped his drink.

"Laurie!" he exclaimed finally. "Hey!" He hugged her with his free arm. "Duff!" he called. "She's here!"

The bassist wandered over and nodded, grinning at Laurie.

"Told you," he said.

"Your performance tonight was stellar," said Laurie softly. "You haven't lost it."

Duff, Izzy, and Slash looked at each other. "When we fired Steve--I guess you heard about that--we lost something. And Matt--well, he's not the same. He's cool, but...he's not Adler," Izzy sighed.

"And now King Axl is going onstage late and never showing up at rehearsals or anything," said Duff. "We're still a band, we're still brothers, remember Alan Niven, Laurie? Axl fired him because he'd been working with Great White--you know, that punk band Axl hates--and he'd cheated us out of some money. Then Tom found us Doug Goldstein, God." Duff hesitated, glanced around, then:

"He's ruining the band, Laurie. He put ideas about money into Axl's head and he's killing us."

Laurie sighed. Clearly Axl had changed, and not for the better. If only she hadn't come...she'd be out of this whole damn mess. But now she was here, and she couldn't leave...she wanted to talk to her friends some more.

Just then, Axl came storming up to their group.

"Dammit," he growled, "that little bitch stole my cigarettes."

"Axl," said Izzy quietly, "look who it is."

Slightly pissed off that he'd been interrupted, Axl turned. And his jaw dropped in surprise.

For a few seconds, neither Axl nor Laurie said a word as they sized each other up. He was the same way she remembered: lean and sinewy, with those haunting turquoise eyes, beautiful red-gold hair, pale skin, long arms and legs, his stomach and chest flat and toned. He still stood in the same self-satisfied way, like he owned the world. But there were a few differences. His bangs now were cut more professionally, falling over his forehead and eyes like a curtain. His fingers were tougher, more muscular; clearly he'd been playing piano a lot. But the most striking thing--what scared Laurie the most--was the quiet power that seemed to radiate off him in waves. It was magnetic; Laurie was drawn instinctively to it. The power was neither hostile nor welcoming; it was neutral. And it hadn't been there in such intense quantities back in 1987.

For Axl, seeing Laurie in person was like a trip to the past. She was virtually unchanged, except for a cold, hard look about her eyes and the faintest traces of cigarette smoke lingering on her. The Scotch-Irish singer wondered if she herself smoked now, or if she lived with someone who did. He couldn't bring himself to ask. Seeing her was painful enough; to learn that she was living with someone else would be torture.

"Hey, Laurie," he managed finally.

"Hey," she replied.

"So you decided to come back, huh?" Suddenly, inexplicably, Axl was furious. The bitter memory of their breakup was resurfacing, and with it came three and a half years of unspoken, bottled-up anger. "Are you finally ready to explain to me why the fuck you left? Or are you still 'thinking about it'?" His voice was mocking, sardonic.

Laurie's face flushed. Axl laughed sarcastically.

"Clearly you still have no good reason for having left. Well, that's just fine, Lauren. You never had any good reasons for doing anything, did you?"

"What the hell is your problem, Axl? You were what provoked me to leave. If you hadn't been so controlling and self-centered, maybe I would've stayed. Quit blaming everything bad in your life on other people."

"Who says you leaving me was bad?" The words were out before he could stop them. An odd coolness came over Laurie's eyes. She cleared her throat and for a few seconds there was an extremely tense silence. Then:

"Well, Duff, Izzy, Slash, it sure was nice seeing you again. Good luck on the upcoming part of your tour." She glanced once at Axl, then turned and hurried out.

"Laurie, wait--" Axl called, but she was already gone.

Shit, why does she have such a strong hold on me? Axl thought angrily, before pushing through the crowds and heading out after his girlfriend.
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