Categories > Celebrities > Guns n' Roses > Perchance to Dream

What Dreams May Come

by Sabine 0 reviews

He thought about his childhood back in Lafayette, of his mother calmly preparing dinner while his father hit him across the shoulders with a two by four before opening his bible and praising God.

Category: Guns n' Roses - Rating: R - Genres: Drama - Warnings: [R] [V] - Published: 2006-05-27 - Updated: 2006-05-27 - 3719 words

Disclaimer: Don't own them, don't want to own them. This is just a story, it isn't real and it never happened. Ain't making money either. For entertainment purposes only.

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Author's Notes: Another old one. Cross-posted on another archive. Much thanks to Andy for helping me with it.

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Axl did what he was told and stayed hunched up on the floor of Slash's living room. It was going to be all right, he told himself. Everything was going to be fine. Izzy was coming. Izzy would make it all go away. Just like he always did. Like he did that time in Lafayette and that kid in London back in '88. Sure, they had to pay the kid off but nothing ever came of the incident and the girl in Lafayette never remembered what happened anyway. It could be done. Izzy would fix it. He never failed.

*A snarl and the flash of golden skin; a scream as teeth sank into the muscle between shoulder and neck...*


Can't think about this. Won't think about it. Won't listen. That wasn't his heart beating through his chest. It wasn't his body covered in cold sweat. It wasn't him curled up in a tight, fetal ball cowering from the demons riding his own soul. This wasn't real; he wasn't real and neither were the images in his mind playing to a soundtrack of Hell.

Breathe Axl, he told himself, breathe.

He thought about his childhood back in Lafayette, of his mother calmly preparing dinner while his father hit him across the shoulders with a two by four before opening his bible and praising God. About the wild look in the old man's eyes and how the saliva would pool at the corner of his mouth as he quoted Leviticus and raged on about Unnatural Acts. The hypocrisy of church he knew even as a boy, where a forgiving, loving God turned a blind eye to a man like L. Stephen Bailey whose hand the Pastor would shake ever Sunday as a pillar of the community.

Don't ask, don't tell, don't talk about what goes on behind closed doors in neat, little houses behind white picket fences and picture perfect lawns. Pretend that Mr. Peterson didn't have an alcohol problem and beat Mrs. Peterson bloody or that Sam Ashton wasn't fucking pubescent girls all the while he preached celibacy and abstinence in the high school auditorium. So what if Janet Markes was a kleptomaniac, she was a God fearing woman and always tithed to her church. We don't discuss these things, there are none of our business and we pretend they don't happen while we wear false masks of propriety, go to church and pray for the sinners unfortunate enough not to live in Lafayette. Such a perfect town, America and apple pie, where a God fearing man can raise his family and the nearest liberal was that hippie freak at the health food store. And if L. Stephen Bailey beat his son until his blood splattered the walls, what of it? He was a member of good standing in his church, he had the Pastor to dinner every Sunday and was always ready to lend a hand to his neighbors. L. Stephen Bailey had found Jesus and that was enough for the good people of Lafayette with their carefully constructed illusions and propped up lies.

No, the good people of Lafayette pretended that young Bill Bailey wasn't up in that choir loft with a black eye and split lip. There he would be, every Sunday morning, singing the Lord's music like an angel, and if he limped a bit as he walked down the church steps, well boys will be boys, always getting into mischief and Lord -- was that Bill Bailey a hell spawn seed if there ever was one! L. Stephen never could get a handle on that boy no matter how much he prayed or how many times he dragged him, kicking and screaming, to meetings with the Pastor. No one could get through to him and no matter what L. Stephen, the Pastor, his teachers or even the good people of Lafayette did, young Bill Bailey continued on in his path to eternal damnation. He had the devil inside him, that was for sure, and not all the prayer meetings in Christendom could get Old Scratch out.

One day, young Bill Bailey up and disappeared and it was a long time before they discovered in Lafayette what he was up to. To no good, as it turned out. There he was, on the front of magazines, and prancing around on that godless MTV, singing the devil's Music and whoring himself out to the idolators. He was lost to Satan and all L. Stephen could do when they showed him a picture of his boy was quote the bible and shake his head. A man could only do so much. He could teach his boy and lead him to the path of righteousness; he could point the way and pray for his soul but sometimes the Devil was stronger then one man's heart and in the end, even a virtuous man like L. Stephen can fail the Lord.

"'And they shall say unto' the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice..." Axl murmured, his eyes unseeing. "And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away among you....'"

"Finding God, Axl?"

The deep, sardonic voice pulled Axl out of his dissociative state and, as awareness came back into his staring eyes, the first thing he saw was a pair of black boots pointed at his face. He uncurled his body and stared up at Izzy, taking in the familiar face that had turned so cold and cynical. This was not the boy he had met in Lafayette so long ago nor was it the drug addict who supplied Joe Perry with his smack. Nor was he that guitarist in Guns N Roses, the silent man who kept to the background and never said a word, projecting an image of softness and innocence while carrying a switch blade in his pocket. This was the Izzy Stradlin people rarely got to see and the one that Axl desperately needed right now.

And yet - this was the Izzy Stradlin that terrified him the most.

The corner of Izzy's mouth turned up as he noted Axl's reaction; his eyes cold and hard as he stared at the singer. He didn't say anything but let the silence drag out as he casually dipped a hand into his jacket for his cigarettes. His long, delicate fingers placed one between his lips and dropped again into his pocket for his lighter. Axl watched as he flipped it open and drew his thumb roughly across the steel, the flame casting almost a demonic light on his face as the smoke coiled through his dreds and pooled between his lips.

"I think it's a little late to get religion," the guitarist observed, taking yet another drag.

"Izzy - " Axl murmured, glancing towards the back hallway leading to the bedroom.

Izzy noticed the movement.

"I've already been back there," he told Axl coldly. "While you were feeling sorry for yourself and begging God to forgive you."

Axl paled. Never in all the time he knew Izzy had he heard such contempt and hatred in his friend's voice. Never had he looked at him with such unyielding implacability. Izzy wasn't going to help him. He knew that without having to ask just as he knew that no amount of pleading would change Izzy's mind. It was clear he had come here only to gloat and Axl felt truly lost for the first time in his life; he was doomed.

I'm alone, he thought and he shuddered, stumbling back until his knees hit the edge of the couch. As he fell into the sectional, he couldn't help but feel betrayed. What had he done that everyone, everyone, in his life turned against him or abandoned him? Was he such a bad person? Was he really that hard to understand?

My father beat me, he screamed into the vaults of his own mind, beating back the rage of Furies and Demons alike, the snarls of angry chords reduced to a low growl as he defended himself with all the force and passion that fueled the depths of his very being. They lied to me about who I was! They betrayed my trust, turned their backs and abandoned me to a life of pain and struggle. Why doesn't anyone understand me? Why doesn't anyone ever help me? Am I that unworthy? I didn't mean to! I didn't know what I was doing and if I am guilty of anything, it 's because - it's because no one ever care enough to stop what was going on!

They just stood by, he whispered to the listening silence, and pretended it wasn't happening while I bled.

There was a pause and then an old woman's cackle.

Look what you've done! it said with a angry hiss and the distant murmuring of a dirge surged up with a roar to be joined by an electric snarl of rage that blinded and deafened Axl even as the memory flashed across his horrified mind.

*The smell of blood filled his nostrils, a glimpse of hands caught in leather, fingers spasming and clutching in agony...the screams only inflamed him more and he used his teeth to bite and gnaw...he lapped at the torn flesh, his hands clawing and ripping...the feel of muscle, tendon and bone, pulse fluttering against his thumb as the breath gasped beneath his fascinated him, the vulnerability and the power and he wondered what would happen if he started to squeeze even as he roughly slammed into that warm, tightness below....*

The maelstrom had him in it's grip now and even the music laughed like a devil's chorus as Axl writhed in the shadow of guilt and remorse. He felt as if he was being sucked down into a place where only madness and suffering dwelt and his only salvation, the one person he counted on to pull him from the abyss had just turned his face away.

"He's still warm, you know." Izzy remarked suddenly, his voice dream like and almost bewildered; confused. As if he didn't know what to make of it or in what direction he should take.

Whatever it was, it broke the chaos' hold on Axl and he found himself on the floor with Izzy standing over him. He blinked the sweat out of his eyes and wiped the tears away from his face, staring up at his old friend and feeling as if he could function for the first time in what seemed like an eternity. The guitarist was acting so strangely, his face impassive and his eyes looking off in the the far off distance as he smoke yet another cigarette.

An unfamiliar feeling surged into Axl's heart, one that silenced the chaos and cut through the confusion: hope.

"He is?" he whispered, wincing at how raw his voice sounded. It was shot, that was for sure. "We should to call Doug. Have him come with the car, take Slash to Hawaii. Slash likes Hawaii. I just...wish it would do him some good. Why can't that fucker just leave the fucking drugs alone?"

Izzy stared at Axl.

"I've already made the call," he told the singer carefully.

"You did? that's good. Very good. Get him cleaned up. Maybe this time...this time maybe he can stay clean."

"Axl, Slash - "

"He'll need a doctor," Axl observed, ignoring Izzy. "H-He beat himself up pretty bad this time. Must've started seeing the little men again...crawling along the base boards; in his hair ...I wonder if he saw them crawling in his hair again? Little, tiny, men...all different colors...remember when he used to take pictures, Izzy? To show us the little men and they were never there...."

Axl voice trailed off and he began to hum tunelessly to himself, rocking back and forth on the carpet with his knees pressed into his chest. Gradually, the monotonal hum turned recognizable and Izzy froze as Axl began to whisper lyrics in a strange, creepy singsong, "You're crazy...hey...hey; You're fucking crazy...oh my...."

Izzy listened, momentarily stunned, but then the flames leaped into his eyes and he clenched his jaw.

"Not this time, you fucker." he snarled, reaching to grasp Axl by the front of his shirt and pulling him to his feet. Without letting go, he suddenly backhanded the singer and then pulled him closer to his own face, "not this time."

"Izzy! What the fuck - "

The guitarist threw Axl against the wall and the singer crashed into a side table, knocking over a lamp that fell to the floor with a crash. Before he could collect himself, Izzy was on him, grabbing him by the hair and dragging him towards the bedroom. He pulled Axl up and drove him hard into the wall after only a few feet. Axl winced as the corner of hallway caught him in the shoulder blade.

"You couldn't leave him alone, could you, you fucker?" Izzy spat in his face, a suspicious hint of moisture in his dark eyes. His face twisted and he started to bang Axl repeatedly against the wall to emphasize his words. "You just couldn't leave him the fuck alone! You just couldn't stand it that there was someone like him on this planet without trying to control him. Without trying to use him!"

He let go and Axl fell to the floor.

"What the fuck are you talking about, man?" Axl yelled, rubbing the back of his head. "Have you lost your fucking mind?"

Izzy laughed.

"No man, but you lost yours a long time ago, didn't you? If you ever had one," he said bitterly. He dropped to his knees and pinned Axl with his stare. "Do you remember that time we were coming back from Seattle? After that disastrous, fucked up tour we did, with the car breaking down and missing half the dates. If that wasn't a premonition of things to come, I don't what was! Do you remember Axl?"

Axl nodded warily, never letting his eyes stray from Izzy's face.

"When we stopped in San Francisco on the way back to L.A. You decided that maybe we should try and pick up a quick gig to get some money for bus fare. Duff and I actually manage to line one up but you - you had to open your fucking trap and piss off the club owner. Started a fucking riot in the middle of the bar and the fucker took our fucking equipment. Do you remember that?"

"Izzy - "

Izzy struck out and yanked Axl's head back by the hair, "You're going to fucking listen for change, do you understand me? You're going fucking face the fucking truth for once!"

He pulled the singer up and jerked him forward so that their chests collided, "Now answer my fucking question! Do you remember, Axl!"

Axl nodded, hoping to quiet the mad man.

"He told you we could have our equipment back if Slash sucked his dick, so you sent Slash back there without telling him what was up." Izzy slammed Axl into the wall again. "A twenty fucking year old kid and you pimped him out like a cheap whore! Is that what you call friendship, Axl? Love? Loyalty? You fucking talk about loyalty all the time and this is how you play it. Fuck you!"

"Izzy, come on, man, it wasn't like he hadn't done it before," Axl defended himself. "and we needed our shit back!"

Without hesitation, Izzy slapped him.

"We've all done things to survive, even you Axl, even though you won't admit it," he hissed, "but that was our choice. What choice did you give Slash? What choice did you ever give him? Did you give him any choices tonight, Axl? Or did you just fucking take like you always do?"

"I never forced Slash to do anything he didn't want to, not once! He knew that fucker had our gear, he had to know what was going on and he went back there anyway. Don't you fucking feel sorry for Slash, Izzy, he knew damn well what was expected of him."

Izzy gave him a crooked smile and stepped closer to Axl, trapping him against the wall. "What you don't know Axl, is that sonofabitch wanted more then just a blow job. You never thought just for one minute that you weren't the only wanting to fuck our pretty, little, exotic guitar player. And that night, after we played the gig, you were pissed cause Slash wasn't up to his game, wanted to fire his ass and leave him in San Francisco. Never thought for one moment that maybe, just maybe, he was a little off his game because he was too fucking beat up to play!"

Axl felt like he had been punched in the stomach, "No - "

"Your fault, Axl!"


"Oh yeah, it's your fault," Izzy repeated, wrenching Axl's arm as he started to drag him down the hallway. "Just like this is your fault but you can never admit that, can you? You leave it other people to pay for your bullshit so you can pretend that you're blameless in everything you do. Well, no longer Axl, no more! It's time you faced the truth. It's time you look at the ugly reality for what it is instead of pretending you're innocent. No more denial, Axl, no more bullshit! You are going to look at what you've done in the face for a change and fucking own up to it!"

Axl dug his heels in, struggling to break free from Izzy's grip but the guitarist wasn't letting go. He dragged Axl inexorably closer to the open doorway, ignoring the singer's pleas and shrugging off his blows. Just before they reached the bedroom, Izzy pulled Axl up once more.

"You used him," he accused the singer. "You used us all. Never gave a fuck about anybody or anything and there I was, chump that I was, following you around like your bitch and cleaning up you fucking mess. And do you know why, Axl? Because I was your friend and friends don't fuck over friends, but that didn't stop you, did it? Not with me, not with Slash, not even with Duff or that fucking loser Adler either! As long as you got what you fucking wanted, fuck the rest of us! Fuck the fans; fuck the world! Axl Fucking Rose gets what he wants and never has to answer to anyone for any fucking thing he's done!

"Well, not anymore, motherfucker!"

Axl was terrified and he didn't know why. He didn't understand why Izzy was going off like this. Slash OD'd; he's done it before, why was Izzy pitching such a fit about it? The guy was still breathing for fuck's sake, why did he have to look at him sleeping it off?

In the distance, he could hear sirens approaching and suddenly, he was overcome with sheer, raw panic. He fought Izzy like a frenzied animal, kicking and screaming but it was no use. Izzy continued to drag him into Slash's bedroom even as Axl made a grab for the door frame and held on for dear life. The guitarist only pulled harder and years of playing the fret board had made his hands like iron. No matter what he did, Axl couldn't hold on, couldn't stop him from forcing him into the room, couldn't avoid that crushing grip on the back of his neck that wrenched his head around.

"It's time to face reality, Axl," Izzy announced, dragging him towards the bed where Axl could barely make out a dim shape in the gloom. He began to shake uncontrollably; he didn't want to see this! Please Izzy, no!


But Izzy didn't have any pity and he forced Axl straight up against the bed until his thighs were pinned against the mattress. He jammed a knee between Axl's legs and tightened his grip on his neck, forcing the singer to bend over at the waist while he reached for the lamp.

"Take a look, Axl, " Izzy told him, switching on the light.


No! I can't! I won't! Don't make me! Axl screwed his eyes shut and struggled but it was no use.

"Take a long hard look at what you you've done, you fucked up psycho freak!" Izzy hissed in his ear. He yanked at Axl's head, pushing him closer to what was lying on the bed. "Open your fucking eyes! Or I swear, Axl, I'll snap your fucking neck!"


Axl obeyed though at first he saw nothing. The roar in his head blinded him to the sight and for once, he was grateful for it. He didn't want to see this! No, Izzy, not this, don't make me. Please!

"Look, motherfucker!" Izzy shouted. "You asked me to help you with this? You asked me to get you out of paying for this? You asked me to help set up one of my best friends as the next Michael fucking Hutchence and for what? So you could pretend you're innocent and blameless? Like nothing happened? Like nothing ever happens? So that Axl fucking Rose could go on as if he's innocent of every fucking thing that's gone wrong in his life and pretend he's just the victim in every fucking thing in his pathetic, fucked up world!

"Not this time Axl! I won't do it. This time you're gonna have to take responsibility for your own screw ups for a change. I'm done with letting you pretend that there's nothing wrong with you. Yeah, you did this and there's no fucking way that you're going to be able to convince anyone different this time!"


"Open your fucking eyes, Axl!"

Axl opened his eyes and Izzy reached for Slash's hair where it had fallen across his face.



"It's time to pay the piper, Axl..." Izzy was saying...

*WAKE UP!!!*
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