Categories > Celebrities > Guns n' Roses > Dying in the Waltz

End of The Affair

by RebelRose 1 review

Trigger warning: Mental instability, suicide attempt mentioned, eating disorder. Axl goes through hell but Duff is there to pick up the pieces this time.

Category: Guns n' Roses - Rating: R - Genres: Angst - Published: 2018-03-28 - 2919 words - Complete

Author's note: Don't worry this isn't the end of the story! There's more to come! Since I haven't uploaded in a while, I figured the least I could do would be to give two chapters in one night! This chapter deals with Axl's life falling apart, a suicide attempt, mental health issues, and an eating disorder.
I felt like I would try to explore my characterization of Axl. I see Axl as a very sensitive being having been through such emotional/childhood trauma. Having gone through a childhood similar to Axl's, I feel that I project a bit of my sadness into his character. But I hope it's believable given he's a sensitive guy.
Note: He's never been diagnosed with BPD, but to me he shows the symptoms:
Episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety, Aggressive behavior, Self-harm, Drug or alcohol abuse, Binge eating or spending, Frequent changes in life goals, Poor self-esteem, Feelings of emptiness, Fear of being alone, Intense, but unstable relationships, Suicide threats or suicide attempts, Impulsiveness, Manipulative behavior.


Chapter 14: End of the Affair

It had been a year since his entire world managed to fall apart again. A year since he’d found the torturous existence of his life to be unbearable. A year since Duff and Slash broke down his bedroom door. A year since he’d tried to kill himself.

He’d known that depression was beginning to consume his world again, he’d felt it creeping up on him after Stella left. He’d been devastated to find she’d left again without a single word, but oddly relieved. He thought that some time apart would do them good.

He was wrong.

Considering he was still struggling with the grief of losing their son, Axl had found it hard to go out and be around people. Even avoiding Duff and Slash when they’d invited him places or tried to be there to support him. While he knew their intentions were good, they just didn’t understand the pain he was going through. He had been abandoned again, he was alone and had pushed everyone away.

This is what had led him to downing an entire bottle of sleeping pills and Jack Daniels. This is what had led to a panicked Duff and Slash breaking down his bedroom door and calling the paramedics. This is what had led him to have his stomach pumped and placed in the ICU. This is what had led him to being placed under suicide watch in the psych unit and eventually seeking treatment at a mental health facility.

He could hear the hushed whisper of nurses outside his door talking about him. Talking about who he was, speculating about what might have caused him to fall so far from grace.

“He never speaks during our sessions.” A doctor said to Beta when asked about how he was doing. “He just…stares out the window. He doesn’t try to engage in any social activity we suggest. But the good news is he’s stable and eating again. My guess is this bit of silence is more of a control thing.”

“At home he does the same. He rarely speaks to anyone, won’t touch his piano. I’ve never seen him like this.” Beta frowned.

“He’s suffering from not only extreme grief and recovering from his eating disorder, but also dealing with his new diagnosis.”

“Borderline Personality Disorder.” Beta finished for the doctor.

“Yes. How has he been handling that at home?” The doctor asked as he crossed his arms.

“Your guess is as good as mine, he won’t acknowledge it.” She sighed softly.

“My advice is to give him the space he needs, encourage him to go out with Duff and Slash as they seem to be a good part of his life.” The doctor smiled reassuringly.

“I will.” She nodded once before moving over to the chair across the large room Axl was sitting in.

“Are you ready to go?” She questioned, earning a nod.

Months passed and one day a major break-through was made. It happened when Duff was over early one morning making breakfast before their morning jog when Axl finally spoke.

“I want to know what happened to Stella.” His voice was raspy after not using it for a while, his green eyes staring intently at Duff, a determined look on his face. “I want to know she’s okay and not dead somewhere in a junkie house.”

“Do you have any idea where she might be?” Duff asked as he pour their breakfast shakes in two glasses.


“Where did she go last time?” Duff said before sipping his shake.

“Her brother's…I’ve already reached out there, she’d left by the time I’d reached out. Her brother wouldn’t answer any questions.” Axl responded.

“Maybe you should wait a little longer, surely he would have told you if she was missing or if something had happened to her.”

“It’s been two years…” Axl responded and stared down at his shake, his appetite faltering.
“Drink your shake, Axl. You don’t need to fall of the wagon again with your eating.” Duff said as he pointed to Axl’s drink. “Drink.”

Axl slid it away and shook his head as he sighed, hands running through his read locks. “I can’t right now. I need to know where she is.”


“Duff, I know she’s probably found someone else and moved on…But I need to know she’s okay.” Axl explained as he stirred his shake with a straw. “I just don’t know where to begin.”

“Don’t worry about that, worry about keeping yourself healthy. Slash and I will see what we can find.” Duff offered a reassuring smile, an arm wrapping around his friend’s shoulders. “You know I’m always here for you, right? And Slash is too?”

“I know. Thank you.” Axl managed a smile and sipped his shake. “I don’t know what would have happened to me if you hadn’t found me…Hadn’t been so hands on in my recovery.”

“That’s what brothers are for.” Duff said as he moved to grab their tennis shoes. “Are you ready for your jog?”

“Yeah, let’s go.” Axl managed another smile and took his shoes, slipping them on and tying them.

In the following months, it was Duff that really grew close with Axl. The two were back to how they used to be. Axl, the powerful and sometimes unstable force, prone to outburst of emotion and irrational thought…And Duff, the quiet and calming force that could calm Axl down and pull him back into reality. There to calm him from his panic attacks, make him eat healthy, and sooth his irrational fears. He was there when Axl thought the whole world was beginning to crash back down on him, and there when Axl called him in the middle of the night upset about his lost son or a nightmare he’d had. Duff was there.

Things were finally beginning to look up for Axl again and he thought he could see the light at the end of the tunnel. He was surrounded by people that genuinely cared for him and wanted to help him. Duff was working to find Stella and Slash had contacts in Europe looking. He still struggled with eating from time to time but of course Duff would be there to gently encourage him. He’d began to play piano again and managed to find the joy in it just as he always had throughout life.

On the four-year mark of Axl’s suicide attempt, Axl spent the day with Duff. Duff had stepped out to take an important phone call and Axl was toying with a few notes on the piano trying to create a melody when Duff came rushing back in.

“They found her.” Duff’s words caused Axl to freeze, green eyes growing wide as he stared at Duff. “I mean it, Axl. They found Stella.”

“Is she okay? Where is she? Is she alive?” Axl began to blurt out any and every question he could think of. He needed to know she was okay, know she wasn’t living in some junkie shack, needed to know she was alive.

“She’s alive…” Duff said as he rushed to turn on the news.

“Authorities have just released an official statement regarding the capture of mob boss Martin Scott.” The reporter was saying, pictures of Stella and her family flashing across the screen.

“That’s who I was hiding her from when Beta brought her here?” Axl said, his mouth feeling dry.

“Yes.” Duff responded.

“They were after her when the shooter came and when she was kidnapped….They were planning to….To kill our child?” Axl felt dizzy, short of breath, and sick. She’d never told him, he’d never asked. Had he known, things would have been different. He would have never left her alone. She would have never been kidnapped.

“Axl, you need to breathe.” Duff said as calmly as he could, moving to Axl and kneeling in front of him. “Breathe like me.”

But Axl wasn’t having it. He pushed Duff away from him and stood, pacing. He had to talk to her, had to apologize for not doing his job to protect her, had to make sure she was okay during the capture of her father.

“Do you know where she is? What happened to lead to the capture?” Axl croaked out, green eyes staring right into Duff’s soul.

“Beta is going to pick her up from the airport…It seems she’s the only innocent one in the family. Her brother and father were fighting for power, her brother put the hit out on Stella to throw his father off the track. He didn’t want his father to know he was planning to overthrow him….That’s all I know.” Duff gave all the information he’d received.

“She’s coming here?!” Axl’s eyes grew wide. Was he ready for this?

“Axl, you really need to calm down, you’re going to have another panic attack.”

“I-I..Duff…I’m worried.” Axl said quietly as he looked at his best friend.

“I know, it’s okay to be worried. But you must know things have changed again…You’re doing so well, from what I understand so is she. You two are different people than you were four years ago.” Duff smiled and patted Axl’s shoulder. “You can do this.”

Duff moved to clean up the kitchen and Axl headed upstairs to shower and make himself presentable for the arrival of Stella. By the time he was showered and dressed, his hands were shaking from the anxiousness of seeing Stella again.

“What am I going to do if she’s moved on?” Axl asked as he walked downstairs to catch Duff before he left.

“You’re going to be okay. I promise. Take things one thing at a time. Don’t stress yourself out.” Duff said and pulled Axl in for a quick, friendly hug. “Good luck. If you need me I’m a call away.”

Now alone, Axl paced nervously and only stopped when the front door opened and Stella walked in, their eyes connecting. They were both frozen to the spot, Axl’s breath caught in his throat. She’d matured slightly but was just as beautiful as ever. Her eyes still held the sadness that matched his own and the intensity that had drawn him in to begin with.

“Stella.” Was all Axl said, he didn’t trust his voice not to shake if he spoke anymore.

“Axl…I..” Stella was at loss for words too. He’d changed drastically since the last time she saw him. He wasn’t the stoic figure she’d first met, but wasn’t the open person she’d come to know. He looked afraid, vulnerable, and unsure. She had heard from Beta about the hell Axl had endured during their time apart and her heart was broken now that she stood there facing the man who’d only asked not to be alone. The man who’d only ever asked to be loved. The man who’d loved her so unconditionally and patiently that he’d put up with her drug addiction.

“You look well.” Axl responded, gaining some of his composure and beginning to build his walls up.

“You’re here.” Stella hadn’t expected him to be there when she arrived.

“I live here. The guest house will be prepared for you.” He stated as he shifted uncomfortably under the intensity of her gaze.

“I can stay in a hotel if I’ll be any trouble..”

“No. You’re safer here.” Was all Axl said before retreating to his room, closing the door behind him, and sliding down it. He couldn’t breathe again and felt like he was on the verge of tears. He needed to call Duff.

“Hello?” Duff’s voice came through the speaker on the phone.

“I need help…I-I don’t know what to say. I ran away, I’m in my room. I feel like such a fucking idiot.” Axl was growing agitated with himself.

“Take a breath. You’re not expected to say anything. You’ve done nothing wrong, Axl.” Duff responded.

“I-I…What should I do?”

“Be yourself. Don’t hide, don’t be afraid. She’s not here to fight Axl.”

“I-I gotta go. I think I’m going to be sick.” Axl said before hanging up the phone and running a hand through his hair as he took a shaky breath.

Meanwhile, Stella was helping Beta unpack.

“He’s thin.” Stella spoke to break the silence.

“He’s battled an eating disorder…Of course he’s thin.” Beta snapped but regretted it the moment she saw the hurt look on Stella’s face. “I’m sorry.”

“An eating disorder?” Stella felt sick now and took a seat on her bed.

“Things got dark for Axl very quickly, Stella. We’re lucky he’s still with us.” Beta said quietly as she sat down next to the young woman.

“I never meant to hurt him.” Stella looked to Beta.

“I know…And I think that deep down he knows it.” Beta patted her knee before leaving Stella alone to her thoughts.

Axl had tried to busy himself with looking over his sheet music but was finding it difficult to focus knowing Stella was back in his life.

“I’m sorry.” Stella said as she entered the music room. She needed to talk to him, try to smooth things out.

“Don’t be.” Axl responded coolly, eyes not leaving the sheet music.

“Axl…Won’t you just look at me?” Stella asked as she advanced slowly towards him.

“How can I?” Axl spat, anger boiling in him for a reason he couldn’t quite place. “You just fucking picked up and left…Again.”

“Axl, I needed to protect you.”

“By leaving without a note? Without a single fucking word? You promised me, Stella. You promised you wouldn’t do that again.” Axl was trying to keep his voice from shaking. “Do you realize how fucking worried I was? You come home the night before from a binge, we fight, you disappear. Forgive me if I fail to see how you were protecting me.”

“Axl, I had to get away. I had to clean myself up.”

“I would have helped you, I told you I’d help you. Now please get out.” Axl tried to keep his voice strong, hands shaking as he tried to keep his emotions in check.


“I said get out!” He shouted, green eyes full of rage and sorrow meeting hers.

“No. You wanted to talk…Well now I’m here.”

“I wanted to talk four years ago…I don’t want to talk now. You walking out said enough.” He spat.

“And your refusal to acknowledge the loss of our son somehow said more?” Stella was angry now.

“I planned the funeral and attended it.”

“Don’t throw that in my face, Axl.” Stella sounded defeated and hurt now.

“It’s the truth. You could have attended.” Axl put his papers aside.

“Axl, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have put you through that. But I was too afraid to confront what I was feeling head on and I ran. You deserved better than that.” Stella said as she moved to sit next to him on the piano bench. “You deserve better than that.”

“I’m tired. Please leave.” He said as he stood from the piano bench and walked over to the window. He sounded defeated this time around and this left Stella with no choice but to leave him alone.

“I missed you, for what that’s worth.” Stella said quietly before leaving the room.

Things were broken and Axl wasn’t sure they would ever be able to be fixed. Unsure if he would ever be fixed. He’d opened up and had had the most beautiful relationship he could have hoped for…And now, things were right where they started. He was worse than when this had all started and he didn’t think he could survive another heart break.
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