Fourth Night

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Laying in bed alone sucks. Because I was so used to having him next to me...

Even before this touchy-feely-whatever-this-is started, Axl and I shared that bed in this trash heap. I was so used to having him there next to me; feeling the heat from his body, or accidentally nudging him softly when I sprawled out too much. I was so accustomed to the sound of his breathing, the rustling of the sheets when he moved, the contented sighs. I...I missed him already. 

I couldn't find hide nor red hair of him all day. And I looked everywhere. None of the other guys had seen him, and he wasn't over at Tim and Erica's. I checked all the houses of the girls and strippers we knew, and none of them had seen him all day. I walked the streets, no signs of him. Around 10 at night I started to worry. I mean, I knew he wasn't a pushover by any means, but it didn't stop me from picturing graphic, horrible scenarios that ended with him being raped by some demented slimeball, or drugged and tied up in some back alley. Fuck. My mind was racing as I stared at the dark ceiling. Dammit, Axl, please come back. I'm sorry...


I leapt up like I'd been shot! Jesus Motherfucker! I stared towards the rolling metal door. It sounded like something heavy had hit it. My heart was bruising ribs with how fast it was beating. Slowly, and careful not to fall, I got out of bed and crossed to the rolling door, opening it slowly. And there he was.

“Holy shit, Axl?” I gasped at the crumpled, disheveled heap that was my friend, lead singer and roommate. He looked a little confused as to how he got on the ground and why he got there. His black cop hat was askew and it looked like he'd torn his black jeans and grazed his knee when he fell. He wobbled to his feet and tried to stand, but swayed and leaned on the siding, giggling. He was trashed 

“H—hey, I thought this was where I lived!” He giggled, still swaying unsteadily. He was making me nervous; I thought he was going to hit the pavement at any moment. “I thought I—I was gonna have to ask for directions!” Ok, he was more than trashed.

“Axl, holy shit, where have you been? I've been looking for you all day! I was worried!” I said, looking him over. It didn't look like anyone had taken advantage of him. Wow... that was where my mind went first? God I'm a terrible person...

“Andy, man! Andy was workin' at the Rainbow tonight! He—he was hanging out with me, and this guy at the bar said he'd buy me all the drinks I wanted if—if I gave him a handjob! Isn't—isn't that great?” He grinned at me like it was. It wasn't, but I had more important shit to worry about. Axl swayed, still clutching the siding.

“Axl, man, how much have you had to drink?” I eyed him, very concerned. His eyes were unfocused; I could tell even in the moonlight. Somewhere in the distance, a cat jumped out of a garbage can. 

“I—some Jack, a rum and coke, haha that was good—some Tequila, gin, vodka—oh! And—and shots too!” He slurred, way too happily, ticking them off on his fingers and losing track. I gaped at him. Holy shit, and I thought could drink! 

“Dude, what the hell were you thinking? You gotta space your drinks out, you—” But I stopped myself. Because I realized I was the pot calling the kettle black. I rubbed my temples and sighed. The one night I picked to be sober was the night he came home blasted off his ass. My how the tables have turned. I sighed. “Please tell me you at least ate something?”

Looking like he had no fucking clue what planet he was on, Axl stared at the sky and put a hand on his stomach, like he couldn't remember.

“No...” He finally said, misty-eyed and swaying like a branch in the wind. Jesus Christ...

“Axl, for God's sake...” He cut me off by throwing up on the pavement. I sighed. He didn't look too happy now; now he looked downright sick. I knew that point all too well: he had almost reached the “party's over” point of being drunk. I'd been there many times, and so had he, just not as often. I approached him, dodging the mess and putting a hand on his shoulder. His white button-up was soft. “You ok?” 

He breathed deeply a few times. Then he looked up and laughed at me, still enjoying himself, apparently, even though his body had just forcibly ejected everything in his stomach.

“Come on, Axl, let's get you inside, ok? You should lay down before you fall down.” I said, putting an arm around Axl and pulling him into me.

“You're really nice...” said Axl softly, giggling a bit. Wow, was it hot out here or was it just me? Even though he was drunk, I was so overjoyed to have him next to me again that I could care less what state he was in, as long as he was here with me and ok. I kicked the lever to the door back up with my foot, still holding onto him. He wasn't making it easy for me; he was more leaning on me than anything, and even though he was skinny as fuck, he was still dead weight and I was still a junkie and an alcoholic. He kept nuzzling me. Cute as it was, it wasn't helping me at all.

“Come on, Ax, help me out here.” I said to him, firm but not angry. Needless to say, he didn't listen. Carefully, I carried him up to the loft and laid him down, making sure his head was well above the rest of his body. 

“I like you a lot.” Axl giggled some more, not even bothering to control himself. You'd think someone was tickling him. Even though he was drunk, I liked the sound. The butterflies in my stomach were desperately trying to get out. He grabbed my hand and pressed it to his soft cheek. My heart started pounding so loudly I was sure the people down the block could hear it. He pressed his soft lips to my hand, sending rays of explosive heat up my arm. I wonder what shade of red I turned. Was this—actually happening? His face was pink too, but it was probably from the alcohol. Or his fever...

“Axl, I—” I stammered, nervous as hell. What the fuck was I going to say? Stop it? Keep going? Wanna fuck me? No! No, I couldn't say that ! Keep it together, Slash! 

“Don't tell Slash, but you look j-just like him, man. You should—see him, he's so goddamn beautiful. My—my heart starts pounding every time he l-looks at me, man...I like him so much...” Axl sighed and giggled like a schoolgirl, blushing like one too. What. The. Actual. Fuck? You mean Axl is so drunk that he doesn't even recognize me?! What kind of fucked up world were we living in? 

“But you can't tell him ok? Pinkie—swear that you won't tell Slash I like him? Cause—cause it's a sin for a man to love another man. My stepdad—said that...But I like him so much...” 

Axl started planting sweet, feather-light kisses on my hand. God, they felt so amazing and wonderful. I was just so happy to have him here safe and (mostly) sound. And to have heard the words that just came out of his mouth... did he mean those, or was that the alcohol talking? I, meanwhile, had been stunned into silence. What the hell could I say to that? I sat back against the back wall of the loft, dissecting it all in my head. Did he mean it? Or did I imagine it? Axl would never just come out and spill something like that, not without help. But he still said it, didn't he? Could he really—?

Axl crawled into my lap like the oversized, drunken kitten that he was, slowly pushing my shirt up and nuzzling and kissing my belly, his soft hair dancing across my skin. Oh, fuck it. Tenderly, meaningfully, I smoothed the long strands of copper off his face and forehead. He closed his eyes, relaxing at the touch. He smelled of peppermint and alcohol; a -lot- of alcohol. Slowly, softly, I bent down and kissed his forehead. He smiled. I smiled because he smiled. I knew to enjoy the moment now, because things were going to royally suck tomorrow.

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