A/N: This is more of my retarded logic at play: Since Snakes N' Barrels is totally Guns N' Roses in the Metalocalypse universe, GNR songs would still totally exist, except that instead they would be SNB songs (alongside SNB-specific songs like Kill You and Water Horsey Blues). Totally. Anyway.
I made Maxxine up on the spot specifically to use her for this and then kill her off before the end. Hope you like.


She had had dark brown, almost black hair, a nice smile, and light blue eyes. Her mother had died when she was young and her father was a cruel, drunken man. At first she'd been a friend of Seth's, but she'd had the great idea to share a joint with her friend's quirky little brother who for some reason went by the name Pickles. She had just turned 14, and he was 10 at the time. She would quickly become better friends with Pickles than with Seth, easily getting tired of Seth's egotistical jackass behaviour. Her name had been Maxxine, and she'd been Pickles' first love.

He wrote songs about her. That's what he wanted to do, he'd said, be a songwriter and singer in a band someday. She'd laughed and wished him luck in their shitty town. He'd told her that he planned on running away to LA someday. It was a plan many, if not most, people had in the 80's, and she didn't really believe him, but she told him that if he ever did it to grab her on his way out. They could run away together.

After the huge, stupid fight with his father that had gotten him kicked out after he'd already made up his mind to go anyway, he'd found her in Sara Park sitting under a tree. She had turned 20 just recently, had gotten fired from her job the week before and had spent every night in the park since. He was crying and screaming obscenities about his father when she saw him, but she didn't mind. She welcomed him with a hug, asking what had happened and why he was carrying a bag. He'd told her everything, and she'd been quick to tell him to wait there, she'd be right back. And she was, in just under half an hour she'd run home, packed her things, and run back, smiling and holding a bus schedule. They'd left that night.

Along the way they'd gotten off the bus in northern California, where Pickles had bought his first Les Paul. The next bus wouldn't arrive until morning, so they shacked up in some seedy motel on the little money they had. They'd spent the evening laughing and talking and thinking up guitar parts for the lyrics Pickles had already written. Maxxine had turned out to be pretty good at it. When the evening darkened to night, and they lay awake talking and hoping, they went from talking to kissing and finally to making love. They'd taken the bus the next morning straight into LA, and they both quickly set out for work.

Maxxine had gotten a job as a waitress that payed for the small apartment her and Pickles shared the first few months there. The day he came home yelling and crying from happiness was a great day for them both – he'd had his final audition that day. He'd met an Italian guy who had talked to him and gotten him in to audition for the band he and two friends were forming, and he'd wowed them. He told her that he couldn't stay long, that they expected him to be someplace at 5, and they were so happy.

LA changes people, though. Snakes N' Barrels started to get big. They'd landed a contract, they were producing an album. Pickles and Maxxine hardly saw eachother anymore. He didn't know for two weeks that she'd been fired from her waitressing job because he was never home. He didn't know that she'd gotten a new job for a month because he was on his first tour. He didn't know for two months that it was a job as a stripper, because she was good at keeping secrets.

Likewise, she didn't know that he'd become an alcoholic in the relatively short time they'd lived there. She didn't know how bad an influence Snakes N' Barrels was on him until he came home one night hopped up on heroin. She didn't know for the longest time that he'd been cheating on her, but it also wasn't a surprise to her – she'd been doing it too.

They both knew when they'd stopped loving one another. They knew when the time apart was tearing them apart. They couldn't stop it. Pickles wasn't going to leave the band for Maxxine and frankly she didn't want him to. He was happy, she could tell. And LA changes people. Pickles, this kid who'd grown up abused in Wisconsin had one day hopped a bus to California and become a rockstar in a month. Maxxine, this girl who'd grown up abused in Wisconsin had one day hopped a bus to California and become a whore in a month.

Because LA changes people.

Because people grow apart anyways.

Because they'd spent the best days of their youth together, but the best days of their future simply didn't involve one another. And the bitter-sweet memories of childhood days spent in the park lazily smoking pot and cigarettes and just watching the swans would follow them for the rest of their lives, the kind of memory that no matter how good you have it off now, no matter how amazing your life may be, you want it back because there was familiarity in it, and your soul was rooted in it because if it wasn't for that, you wouldn't be who you were today.

Pickles may never have become a rockstar.

Maxxine may never have wound up dead.

It was news that had never reached Pickles. They hadn't spoken in nearly eighteen years – God, had it been that long? – and she was just another nameless prostitute working the LA streets. As far as Pickles knew she was still alive, but he hadn't even thought of her in almost ten years. Except for on those late-summer days when the days were getting shorter and the leaves were getting ready to change, and the swans would be swimming lazily in a pond somewhere. He'd sit under a tree and smoke and watch the pond and try to remember her. Tried to remember her name, or her face, but he couldn't quite think of it.

She had had dark brown, almost black hair, a nice smile, and light blue eyes. That's all he could recall.