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Old 06-03-2010, 01:32 AM   #1
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A Rhythm Unbroken: Chapter Eight

It's been awhile. This was one of those chapters that I just could not seem to finish. I started writing it when school finished, and then, what with the bad news...I couldn't write then. And I almost wanted to change this chapter because of it, but I didn't. Anyway, I'm sure it's obvious there was a lot of stop-and-go here, but it's finished. Hopefully I can move on now more smoothly and steadily with this!

~I'm tired. I made this up, people. Fictional~


March 28th


The emergency room was freezing. I stroked the braided thread bracelet around my wrist absently, jiggling my leg impatiently. Edge sat with his arm around me, either for warmth or support, maybe both. Maybe he felt bad about our argument earlier.

"You left that girl your key? It's nice to know you value my advice." He was glaring at Bono and I.

"Look, Edge, I don't know what your deal is, but it's ridiculous. We just asked her to collect the mail and write down any important messages every weekend. If we just left it, the tape would get all filled up. This way she can let us know if there were any important messages and clear the tape."

He was looking at me even more bug-eyed. "You're having her listen to your messages and look at your mail?"

"I wish you would stop being so nasty about her...the poor girl is lonely. She has hardly any friends, no one. Just us. If it makes you feel any better, we don't keep anything valuable in the apartment, so there's nothing for her to take," I sneered.

He opened his mouth to say something, but then changed his mind. "You know what? Never mind. You guys are stupid. Especially you, Lilly."

Bono and I were shouting at him, and he was shouting back at us. But now it was forgotten. Edge rubbed my arm, because I was shivering.

"Geez, it's taking forever! I can't believe this..." I muttered, glancing down at the now dried blood on my shirt.

Other than arguing with Edge over stupid things that didn't concern him, the day had had been progressing wonderfully. The band were rehearsing in this huge auditorium at Arizona State University. The sound guys were working with Larry for hours, and Bono and I sat in the lower tier of seats, watching.

"What is it with men? Why do you guys feel the need to sit like that??"

Bono was slumped in the chair, his legs spread lazily and his stocking feet up on the chair in front of him. He looked at me with a raised eyebrow. "Well, excuse me if my position offends you!" he said playfully. "It must be a male instinct. If I sit with my legs squished together, my sperm will get too warm, and die!" He said it so dramatically.

I snorted with laughter. "Baby, you wear pants that are practically painted onto you. I'm sure your little swimmers aren't swimming anyway."

He stuck his tongue out at me. "The way I sit, my tight pants, health of my sperm...anything else you want to complain about?"

Giggling, I kissed him. "No. And you can sit like that in tight pants all you want."

Bono leaned into me, and pulled from his pocket a nearly finished colorful, intricately braided thread bracelet. He had occupied himself with it for most of the plane ride. He had a bunch of these things on his wrist. He went back to work on it, and I watched his fingers expertly weave the threads.

"Where did you learn to do that?"

"I dunno, I guess I just made it up. No one taught me."

I nuzzled him. "You're such a little artist."

We were quiet for a bit. I listened to him breathe as he worked, deep in concentration, and watched Larry on stage. He was messing with his headphones and appeared to be playing the same thing over and over.

"Larry looks irritated as hell."

"Hmm," Bono mumbled back. "When does he not?"

I laughed and kissed his head. "Mmm, your hair smells so good..."

He grinned, not taking his eyes off his work, until he proclaimed that he was done.

"It's beautiful, Bono."

"This one's for you," he said, taking my hand and tying it around my wrist. "Since you always say how much you like them..."

It was a tiny gesture, but something in its simplicity struck me as incredibly thoughtful and romantic. I wrapped my arms around his neck and showered his face with kisses. I felt this warm, swelling sensation in my chest.

"You're so sweet, my baby. Thank you. I love it."

He grinned happily, returning my kisses. "I could make you more, if you like!"

"You can make me as many as you want. And I will love every single one, because you made it! Oh wow...that sounds so damn corny, doesn't it?"

He laughed. "No. Well, yes...but it makes me feel happy, so who cares?"

There wasn't anyone around that either of us would have felt embarassed in front of, so Bono pulled me into his lap and we became entirely absorbed in kissing eachother. His hair was so perfect for playing with in this kind of situation.

"Oy! Would you two stop sucking face? Bon, get down here!" Larry was gesturing impatiently.

I laughed. "I cannot believe he just said that..."

Bono picked me up swiftly and scampered down to the stage. It was a little scary flying down steep steps in someone's arms. Bono plopped me down on the stage and they went to work rehearsing. Bono was having some trouble with his mic, and I thought Larry was going to slap him across the face.

I had to laugh at the fact that Bono still wasn't wearing any shoes. He was running, skidding rather, all over the stage in his socks. I wasn't surprised when he slipped and landed flat on his ass. He sat there groaning for a minute, and all I could do was laugh.

Sometimes I thought about how tolerant they all were of me. Yes, we were all very close, but still. I must have been getting in the way, sitting on the side of the stage like that. Not once did anyone ever say, "Aw jeez Bon, does she have to be up our butts all the time?". And if they felt that way, I was sure they'd come right out and tell me.

Bono seemed to have devised some sort of "routine" with a spotlight. He was swinging it about in this strangely intense manner. The damn thing was about a third as big as he was. He got too close to the edge of the stage, and whomp, down he went. Edge saw it and slapped his hand to his face.

I stood up. "Bono, are you ok? Stocking feet..."

He didn't answer. "Bon, you alright?" Edge asked. Still no answer.

I hopped off the stage to go help him up. He was staggering to his feet and groaned. "Owwww."

"Aww, baby, did you hit-"

He looked up, and I was going to scream, but no sound came out. I just stared at him in horror for a second. He was covered in blood. Blood was running from his mouth down his neck...I didn't even know how. The sight of blood generally made me sick and faint. Now I was both sick, faint, and terrified.

"OH MY GOD...come here! Come here!"

He looked bewildered. I grabbed his shirt, and in pulling him closer, I realized that he wasn't bleeding from his mouth, but his chin. I pressed his face against my shoulder. He just kind of stumbled. "What...what?"

I was shaking. "Stay there...you're bleeding. The pressure will slow the bleeding, keep your face there."

"Someone get me a towel, please!" I shouted. When approximately three seconds had passed, I yelled again, "I need a towel!!"

A familiar face who's name I couldn't remember brought me one. "Thank you..." I pressed the towel to Bono's chin and looked down at my shirt. It was soaked with blood. I was scared, and the blood was making me dizzy. "Edge..."

He popped up quickly. "What happ- oh my God. Did this just...?"

I shouted at him. "Don't just gawk! We have to get him to the ER! Can you drive, or do we need to call the ambulence? He's bleeding a lot!" I was trying not to panic, but it was hard when blood was seeping through the towel. It was beginning to feel like I was holding Bono up.

"I don't know where the hospital is," Edge replied. He yelled out to no one in particular, "Call an ambulence." He cringed. "I'll get another towel."

Bono groaned again. "Ow...damn, it hurts...why are you pressing that thing on me like that?"

"Shhh, it's okay, baby...you're bleeding kind of a lot." I didn't want to freak him out. "This will stop the bleeding." It didn't look like it was stopping at all. I stroked his hair, trying to calm myself. He didn't seem to realize what exactly what was going on. Either that, or he was just being calm and trusting me to take care of it.

The hospital was close, I figured, because the ambulence showed up within minutes. I had never ridden in one before. It freaked me out. I tried not to think about anything but tending to Bono. He was still very calm, only grunting softly if I pressed the towel too hard. I felt like I was on the verge of tears. I didn't want him to be in pain. The sight of him covered in blood was horrifying.

As soon as we'd gotten into the emergency room, a nurse grabbed Bono. Still holding the towel to him, I followed along, until she noticed. "Excuse me, miss, but you have to stay in the waiting room." What? I knew this bitch was not trying to take him away from me.

"Why can't I stay with him?"

She gave him a quick glance. "Because it looks like he needs stitches, and the examining room is a sterile environment. You'll have to stay in the waiting room." She repeated it firmly.

I felt panicky, but the nurse clearly wasn't having any of that. Bono squeezed my hand. "I'll be fine, love!"

Holding onto Bono's hand, I pressed my lips to it, and reluctantly followed Edge back to the waiting room.

And now here we were, nearly an hour later. I'd never gotten stitches before. Did it seriously take that long? I bit my lip, wondering if it hurt him. All I wanted to do was hold his hand, and that bitch nurse wouldn't let me! My mental grumbling continued until a different nurse walked Bono into the waiting room.

I sprang up and ran to him. "Are you ok?"

The nurse answered before he had a chance to. "He's fine. The doctor gave him six stitches. The bandage can come off tomorrow and the stitches will go away on their own. Like he was told, he just has to take it easy tonight."

I hugged him cautiously.

"See Lilly? I told you I'd be fine. Just a little-" he paused. "Good God, your shirt is covered in blood," he said, cringing.

"I know. Don't worry about it, you're ok now. Oh, baby...they messed up your hair..." It had been carelessly tied into a slapdash ponytail with a rubber band, presumably to keep it out of the doctor's way. I freed his hair gently and smoothed it out. Someone had washed out the blood that had gotten into the ends of it. My eyes burned, and my vision got a little blurry.

"Baby, don't cry. What's wrong?" Bono pulled me to his chest.

I blinked, and a few tears rolled down my cheeks. "You were hurt," I sniffed. "It scared me. All that blood..."

"I don't know if you understand how good it feels to know you were so worried about me, Lilly. Even though I'm perfectly fine. That's why I tried to stay so calm. I could tell you were scared," he said, still holding onto me. I wanted to cry all over him, but I was painfully aware of the crowded room.

Once back at the hotel, the man at the front desk flagged us down. "Miss Quinn?" he asked, adressing me. I scowled in mild confusion. "No...Mrs.Hewson..." How would he even have known that used to be my last name?

"You're Lil?"

I nodded, still confused. Lil Quinn? That hadn't been my name since...

"You had a call here earlier. A friend of yours, said she needed to speak to you...Kenzie Roberts. She left this number to call her back at-" he handed me a piece of paper with a phone number on it. I didn't remember telling Kenzie the hotel we were staying at, but I must have. Good thing, I thought. Already she needed to talk to me about something. I had a feeling I knew what it was. What I didn't know was why she would have left a message with the front desk for a Lil Quinn.

"Hello?"

"Kenzie, it's me. The hotel said you called earlier looking for a Lil Quinn? Sheesh, you're lucky the message ever got to me."

"Oh! Old habits die hard, I guess. I'm glad you got it though. Your mom called. She sounded annoyed, too. She was asking why you hadn't called her yet, so I guess she knows you have someone listening to your messages."

I sighed. "I knew she'd call...I didn't have time to call yesterday. I was going to call today, you know, but then I was at the hospital with Bono and obviously I forgot."

Kenzie gasped dramatically on the other line. "What happened?!"

"Ah, nothing serious. He fell off the stage and had to get a few stitches-"

"Can I talk to him?"

Huh? "What?"

"Well, I just want to tell him that I hope he feels better."

I was glad she couldn't see the bewildered face I made. I would have looked so rude. "Uh, well, Kenzie he already went upstairs to the room. I'm down in the lobby right now. He's probably getting in bed. I'll tell him you wish him well, ok?"

"Ok."

I called my mom next, prepared for the onslaught. Why didn't you call, blah blah blah.
"Hello?"

"Hi mom, it's me."

"Lil! I-"

"Look, before you start, I'm sorry I forgot to call yesterday. Everything has been very hectic. I meant to call this afternoon, but I spent the last several hours at the hospital with Bono-"

"Oh no. What happened to him?" She interrupted me with that concerned-mother voice.

"He's okay, it was nothing serious. He just fell off the stage and had to get a few stitches. He was in his freaking socks."

My mom chuckled on the other line. "Awww, bless his little heart! Give him a hug from me, tell him to feel better, and be careful!"

I smiled. "I've been telling him to 'be careful' for years. I don't think it's in him."

"Take care of yourselves, Lil. Call back tomorrow and let me know how he's doing, ok?"

"Alright, I will. I promise."

The man at the desk had been giving me an odd look when we walked in, considering my shirt was covered in dried blood and Bono had a bandage. I'm sure he'd heard both conversations, though, and he was no longer looking at me funny when I got off the phone.

I didn't have a key to the room. I knocked on the door and Bono opened it for me, already in his pajamas. I hugged him quickly.

"That was from my mom. She told me to give you a hug from her, and to tell you to stop being such a horrible klutz!"

He laughed. "She said that?!"

"Nah. She said feel better, and be careful."

He was smiling. "Can I have a hug from you now, Lilly?"

I swallowed a lump in my throat and threw my arms around him as gently as I could. I kissed his neck and stroked his hair. "My baby..."

He hugged me tight for a long time, and I could feel his chest rising and falling against mine. Then, he put his hands on either side of my face and kissed me softly. I realized after some time that I had forgotten to tell him that Kenzie had wished him well, but I didn't say anything. Bono's eyes were closed and his head was resting on my shoulder as we stood there, and it was a very intimate and tender moment.
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:02 AM   #2
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Psh...just wants to tell him that she hopes he feels better.

Yay. And I'm the friggin' Queen of England.

::mumbles::

AND IT'S ABOUT TIME, WOMAN!

::cough::

Sorry. I'm calm now.

Very cute chapter--as always, dear, Val! I love how she took care of him and how he stayed calm. And I see you like giving our Mr. Edge some attention! Growl! You should add MORE Edge!

I still hate Kenzie...
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:42 AM   #3
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Ouch, stage falling...that's no fun. It was the teensiest bit hilarious, though, since that is so what would happen with him swinging those lights around...
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