Without thought, Killian rose from his seat.
A hand landed on his shoulder making him look back into Conner's eyes, but the worry there didn't matter, nothing mattered but getting his hands on a guitar now. The need was intense and so sudden that it almost brought Killian to his knees, but he couldn't, not yet. He needed to make some noise too.
"I've gotta...." He couldn't get it out, he couldn't speak the words that wanted to come to his lips, and so he pulled away from Conner's hold and bolted. He wasn't sure what he was doing, but he was going to do it.
He waded into the crowd fearlessly for maybe the first time since his parent's betrayal, since his first broken heart, since the fall of his sanity, he felt fearless.
He was rough as he pushed his way past people, not apologizing, not every caring. He'd never treated people this way but for the first time he was fighting for this. He was swinging back at the apathy and the panic and he was winning.
He finally made it to the stage and looked up.
Killian could see the very moment the vocalist realized who he was, the chocolate eyes widened and the boy actually missed a word in his song before he snapped himself out of it and grinned broadly.
Killian didn't care about him though, his eyes snapped to the side, to the guitarist still jerking to the beat, his eyes closed tight like it hurt to bare his soul and Lian could relate, he could relate to the pain so strongly that he needed it, needed to lay himself down along with this man.
He planted his hands on the stage and pushed himself up.
Right there, in the middle of a song he didn't know, on a stage he didn't know, with a band he didn't know, Killian forced his way onto the stage.
He didn't go unnoticed.
The crowd's screaming reached a new level as the band mates who noticed him stumbled before stopping completely, only the guitar remaining.
Soaring in a sudden solo, Axel's eyes snapped open in shock before he finally spotted Killian.
His fingers didn't stumble like his band mates, but his expression was one of cocky bemusement.
Killian's breath left him completely as their eyes met.
Axel's eyes were amazing. A dark and dirty green that turned slowly to a honey color around the outsides, they sparkled and twinkled as Axel looked at him and Lian felt his body set aflame.
Without a word, Axel kept playing as he jerked his head to the side, the gesture turning Lian's attention to the backup guitar just on the edge of the stage.
Just as suddenly as they stopped, the rest of the band got over their shock at Axel's easy acceptance, and once again their sounds were all added, the blend a little jarring but smoothing out quickly.
Killian didn't hesitate. He didn't think as he moved passed Axel to the guitar.
He noticed that it was already plugged in, but the amp was turned off, with a flick of his wrist, Lian changed that.
His eyes tracked Axel's back as the man kept playing.
The song was coming to its end, Lian could feel it, and so he hung back, waiting for his chance.
When the song ended, Axel didn't allow anyone to pause, his guitar going from one end straight into another beginning. The band was only a moment behind him, but surprisingly that moment didn't last. This band was well used to picking up the slack of its members it seemed.
Killian could feel their eyes. The crowd and most of the band. Yet none of that mattered. The only eyes he wanted, those green honey eyes, they weren't looking at him and Lian needed them to.
Stepping forward and right next to Axel, Lian closed his eyes and felt this new song.
He'd never heard this band's music, never played with them before so he would have to be the free bird here, but he was used to that too.
He felt it the moment Axel's eyes turned to him and it gave him the courage he needed to start.
The hook of Axel's guitar pulled at him, letting him fall into a rhythm he didn't know but could definitely follow. From the very beginning it was a battle.
His sound fought with Axel's in a painful way, the intense push and pull of their fight dragging his body through gravel as he finally felt himself let go on stage.
He could hear the lyrics this time, and they were beautiful.
"Everyone is divided between the day and the night,
We all have choices between the wrong and the right,
We fight a battle no one can see,
Against ourselves, who will we be?
I'm not a sinner despite my sins
In the end a balance always wins
I've been to the edge, but had no one to save me,
I was alone in the fight, left to set myself free
So fight on the warriors inside
We all got courage, we all got pride
We've still got demons left to fight
But we've got more than hope tonight."
Killian's fight with Axel felt like the song, it gave it an edge, a sharp and angled thing that hurt inside, Killian wanted to change it, but he wasn't sure how. He didn't know this song well enough.
He was suddenly filled with doubt. Was this really the right move? He cut into a song he didn't know just because he felt the need to play. He stepped on this bands toes like he owned them, he'd never done something like this before. Not ever before.
Killian felt himself withdrawing, the fight and excitement leaving him.
Sharp eyes snapped in his direction and something suddenly changed.
Instead of a fight, their sound collided. Together the guitars sang, one under and one above riding a wave together.
Killian's gaze rested on Axel's and he couldn't tare himself away. The man managed what he couldn't. To mend their fight and blend their sound. How did he do that?
Much too soon, the song was over, and Killian allowed himself to come down from the flight he'd been on, but he still didn't look away. He was fascinated.
The noise of the crowd, the echo of the instruments belonging to the other members of the band was gone. Everything was silent except for the beat of his rapid heart in his ears.
"Ye're amazing." He found himself whispering.
The warm twinkle in those green eyes was worth it.
"You're beautiful." Axel countered back.
Lian smiled unconsciously his hand coming up to tug on his ear, a nervous habit he hadn't performed in years.
This all felt so new. Maybe it was.
"What's your name, beautiful?" Axel asked.
Lian felt his face heat but he couldn't help smiling. "Killian O'Connell."
It took a moment, but recognition finally dawned in Axel's face and Killian found himself saddened by it. Now the man would treat him differently, everybody did when they realized who he was.
"Will you play with me?"
The question took Lian by surprised. "Ye still want me to?"
"I want to fly with you."
Killian's smile was sudden and unusually wide. He could feel it on his face and it was so foreign, he wasn't sure what to do now.
"I can only fly when I know the song." Killian admitted lightly.
"We know all your songs, just pick one."
That hadn't been Axel. Looking to his left, Killian saw the rest of the band looking at both him and the other guitarist. Suddenly Killian flushed in embarrassment.
"I'm sorry I shouldn't have-"
"Killian." Axel's voice drew his attention back to the other man. "Pick a song, beautiful. We'd love to play with you."
Killian didn't want to think about it, so he nodded.
Turning back to the vocalist, he picked a song he knew by heart.