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Old 04-19-2012, 09:19 PM   #1
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Acrobat - Chapter 4

I know it's been forever since I've posted this story. I work with a slave driver in writing and she's got me working 4 stories with her!

But Acrobat is still going.....and once I got more of Acrobat down, I'll continue with MW too. So here is chapter 4.



Bono rattled around his house like a lost soul for the two weeks between leaving America and embarking on the European tour. They were already starting to plan the next leg in America that would be four months long and outside. The TV screens and price tag grew steadily much to Larry's dismay. They rehearsed some different songs while he tried to be father and husband. His head and heart were still on the road. Most nights, Ali heard him rattling around in the kitchen at ungodly hours. Secretly, she looked forward to the peace his leaving would bring.

******


Gloria returned to repack a bag for Europe and make sure all her traveling papers were in order.

"I know you may have plans with tour friends this summer," Andrew had said. "But do you want to come to Europe with U2?"

Was he serious? Stay and swelter in New York pushing faxes and phone messages around Andrew's office or tour with U2 and Bono through Europe? Was he being cute? Gloria had managed to get her raging infatuation for Bono under control - on the outside anyway. She was able to spend long periods with him and not swoon. She worked very hard at not only surviving his flirting but give it back with a false sense of bravado. At least until she could escape for a few minutes to hyperventilate before pulling herself together again. Sometimes his gaze was hard to operate under. He looked at her as if she was a puzzle he was trying to solve. Could he think of me differently? She wondered. But why would he? She had nothing interesting to offer him.

*****

Bono's heart pounded with excitement as he walked into the arena. Last few shows had been a large disappointment when he expected Gloria to be there only to discover that she was still in New York handling a crisis with a young upcoming star. Mysterious Ways meant a lot less without her eyes on him.The new dancer, Morleigh, was great - much more focused on everyone's stage performance. Bono often wondered what it would be like to watch Gloria shimmy and twirl in front as he sang. It would take all this control to not pull her into a kiss in front of thousands of people.

His eyes scanned the people wandering the backstage area - the usual players. He looked for Andrew knowing Gloria would be close by. He hoped she hadn't been kept in New York longer. Bono had expected to see her in Dublin for the flight to Paris. Then it was to be in Belgium. It was now a week into the second leg of the tour and no Gloria. He couldn’t very well ask everyday like an impatient child. Suddenly, he felt silly and panicked about the whole thing as his mind spun out of control.

Bono heard her voice but couldn't see her. With a sharp intake of breath, he steadied himself and his heart. He climbed the steps to the stage to find her sitting on the drum riser in one of those fabulously short skirts. Thank heavens it was summer. He removed his bug glasses and slipped them into the back pocket of his pants. Her head tilted back to look up at Andrew with the ever present schedule book balanced on her lap. Andrew's head turned to him.

"Here early? That's a first," he remarked.

Gloria's eyes met his and the most amazing smile spread across her face.

"I see you finally made it back to us," Bono sat beside her.

"Three planes later, here I am," she raised her arms triumphantly.

"How was your summer vacation?" he leaned into her.

"Isn't this it? Touring Europe? " she missed him so much she was sure her heart would burst.

"That's right. Sunsets over the Atlantic," he winked and her stomach flipped. "You have come here for that, right?"

"Right," her mouth ran dry. He remembered, she thought.

"I'll have to see what can be done about that," his voice dropped. With a wicked smile, he was off, his mood improving greatly.

With a cleansing breath, her eyes returned to the schedule. As far as she could see, Ali was not penciled in.

Edge couldn’t help but note that Bono’s elevated mood coincided with Gloria’s arrival to the tour.

That night, Bono's eyes searched for Gloria in the crowd the moment he stepped to the microphone. It took until The Fly for her to appear in her usual spot. His heart raced as he danced above her; loving her eyes on him. He was so wrapped up in Gloria that he almost missed his cues from Morleigh. Edge did note the extra swagger in Bono's step tonight. Yet his eyes were somewhere else on the stage for the moment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It didn't take long for Gloria to get back into the swing of the tour. Late nights followed by earlier than desired mornings. The celebrities were different and she didn't really know any of them. The afternoon while the band did a sound check, she would pour over the list of dignitaries and celebrities to familiarize herself with that night's after party guest list.
Some days, she was in the arena all day organizing the backstage area and after party details. Those days were busy, and she'd have to wait all day to finally see Bono. He always seemed genuinely happy to see her, but he had the gift of making everyone feel special. She'd watched him with fans, giving them his full attention. Gloria was only a small step ahead. Almost a week into the tour and no sunrise rendezvous yet.


Yet her favorite days involved accompanying the band or just Bono on an interview or appearance. Andrew wanted to be sure that Gloria could handle the press, the fans, the restrictions and of course - the talent. Bono was a known escape artist and lived in time warp where the numbers on the face clock meant nothing to him. If Gloria could reel him in, then she would be perfect for this tour. For whatever reason, he listened when she bent close to say, "We have to go."


After the show had become a competition between Bono and Edge to get to Gloria first for her assistance through the party. Bono glared as Edge was guided from party guest to reporter by Gloria's gentle hand. The nights that followed, he was quicker in changing and reached her first.


"Are you still out of breath from the show?" She asked.


Running a hand through his damp hair, "I guess so. Shall we?"

"I'm ready if you are," she said.


He was ready for something and the urge only grew more and more each day. He was distracted as she walked him into the hospitality tent. Instead of paying attention to the words from her lips, he watched them move and curl. Eventually, he found his center and moved about the party as usual. Yet one eye stayed on her. As they left the bar, he looked up to the sky - cloudy. It was probably best. If he took her to the roof, he might not be able to control himself.

********

Gloria hunched over a scheduling book and tour itineraries that Dennis provided her as they flew to Italy. Most of her friends were planning beach parties and concerts. Gloria was planning Zoo TV.

As she flipped pages, Bono watched with his arms crossed under the guise of being asleep. When she was in deep concentration, she bit the left corner of her lower lip. Her gaze would wander off the page for a few moments until her eyes snapped back to life and she refocused on making notes. His thoughts often drifted to the night he danced with her. She fit his body completely. Since that night, his eyes searched for her during Mysterious Ways. It was her song. Each night, hee eyes lit up at the start. She had told him it was her favourite song. Little did she know how much she had to do with it. He opened his eyes.

Sensing his gaze, she glanced up. "What are you doing?"

"Watching you work," he said quietly.

"Why?" she asked.

"You watch me work," he shrugged.

"Yes, but what you do requires people watching you," she sat back.

"Am I making you nervous?" he asked.

She nodded. "A little. If I wanted an audience, I'd be performing. "

He smiled. "You do perform, you just don't realize it."

She frowned. "What do you mean?"

He stood and stretched. "I'll leave you to your work." Pausing beside her, he ran a hand over her head affectionately. "Try to get some sleep too."

Not that she wanted him to leave but she did need to get these finished. Another couple months on the road with him. What would they bring?

Bono worked his way to another seat. Touring in Europe meant being close to home and close to his girls. Maybe that would clear his head. It's not like his head never turned for the sway of a pretty woman's hips. This felt different in a way he couldn't understand. While everything screamed 'Move away!' - he inched closer. There was something in there he wanted.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Gloria tilted her face to the sun. The breeze chilled her skin as the boat skimmed the water. Edge sat beside her also snoozing in the sun. She was disappointed to hear that Bono would be meeting them at the restaurant and would not be on the boat. It was a nice day and she had a cold drink to her right and a good friend to her left. She didn't talk much to Edge during Joshua Tree. There was so much tension swirling around him that she just left him alone. He didn't need a teenager under foot. This time, they fell into easy conversation. He was quite funny and incredibly smart. His new single status left him feeling exposed and almost embarrassed by any female attention. Gloria was a good buffer for that. Since he felt comfortable with her, it was easy to cling to her side. Watching Bono glower was an added bonus. Yet, he felt he was doing his friend a favor by keeping him away from Gloria.

Bono and Paul stood on the dock as the party boat pulled alongside. He swallowed hard when his eyes caught sight of Gloria with wind tousled hair and short flowing skirt. Her exposed shoulders were red from an afternoon in the sun matching her nose. Of course Edge hovered close by. With the back of his hand, he wiped his damp forehead.

When she saw him, she flashed a huge grin. "Ahoy!"

He offered his hand to her. "Ahoy indeed. Looks like you had a pleasant journey."

"It was amazing. So nice," she chimed.

His face pulled into a pout. "I bet I was not even missed."

"Not really," Edge jabbed him in the ribs.

Gloria laughed along with Edge. Deep down she wanted to tell Bono that she counted the minutes until she would see him again.

"Fine," Bono stepped on the boat.

"Let's go," Edge took her elbow. "I know I'm starved."

Gloria turned to look over her shoulder as Bono disappeared to the back deck. She heard "What are you doing?" When she glanced back, she saw a flash of pale skin and heard a splash.

"He's gone for a swim," Nassim announced as she disembarked.

"Did he bring a suit?" Gloria asked.

"Yes, his birthday," Nassim deadpanned.

Gloria's heart caught in her chest. Splashing not more than a few yards from her was Bono - completely naked. It took all her strength to not follow him in the water. Edge was waiting for her to enter the restaurant. With a sigh, she joined him.

A few minutes passed and Bono joined the party in only a fluffy white robe. Gloria chewed on the inside of her cheek willing herself to not blush or let her eyes linger too long on his exposed chest - or thighs.

"Water was nice," an impish grin rested on his lips as he plopped beside her. "I'm famished. What's for dinner?"

Gloria held her glass to the waiter. "Please keep going."

The waiter gave her wink as he filled her wine glass to the rim. "Certainly."

Nothing makes a woman more attractive than when another man shows her extra attention. As the blonde waiter smiled and flirted with Gloria, Bono inched closer.

"Looks like you have an admirer," he plucked a roasted potato from her plate.

She frowned. "Doubtful." With the exception of his flirting, Gloria went largely unnoticed. And Bono flirted with inanimate objects.

"You underestimate yourself, Gloria," he shook his head.

She turned to him with his air dried hair wavier than usual. If they were alone, she would pull him into a kiss. Instead, she blushed and shook her head.

"Oh yeah, they are just lining up for me," she said dryly.

"I think they are just afraid." He swiped another potato from her plate. The conversation was moving across dangerous waters. If it continued, he might slip. "He'll be a lucky man."

Swallowing her fear, she smiled, "He will be."

She decided that was the perfect time to go to the ladies room to leave him with that lingering thought. His eyes lingered on her disappearing form. He caught the look of disapproval from Edge across the restaurant. He's just jealous, Bono dismissed. He knew he shouldn't claim any right to Gloria; but he couldn't help himself around her. As more wine passed his lips, the space between them closed.

After dessert, a glass with some kind of white liquor passed around. Watching Gloria's lips curl around the glass made him burn. He'd need another dip in the cold ocean to squelch his hunger. As the room spun around, he lost sight of her as she slipped into the hazy crowd. Edge, he grumbled as the group boarded the boat again. The sea was dark as oil except for the silvery moon dancing on the waves. Bono took another swig of his beer as he peered into the dark water below.

"I dare ya," Larry gazed at him through slits.

"To go for a swim?" Bono laughed. "That's not much of a dare."

Slowly, the boat pulled away from the dock as more beer and wine poured into glasses. Trippy electronic music blared over the sound system as tipsy people maneuvered on the rolling waves.
Gloria peeled away from Adam and Andrew to look for Bono. Perhaps I should stay away, she thought. Compared to most of the party, she was just a little drunk.

Bono leaned over the rail of the boat while Larry laughed. She watched him shrug the robe off his shoulders like a Hollywood starlet. She damned the clouds that muted the moon’s glow on his body. Her morals were shedding like skin - or Bono's fluffy robe before. She stopped mid-step unable to think, react, move. Her eyes explored his muscular back, furry torso as he turned in her direction.

"Who wants to join me?" He kicked his robe to the side and followed her eyes as they slipped lower.

"What are you doing?" Paul bellowed.

Bono smiled. "Going for a dip." He gave Gloria a wink before he leapt from the deck of the boat and his body disappeared into the black abyss.

Gloria couldn't remember what she saw - if anything. He'd been nude in front of her and all she recalled was his smile. Everyone rushed to side at the sound of the splash.

"He did it," Larry laughed.

Another splash followed. Paul's head bobbed up in the water a few feet from Bono. Gloria was glad she missed his disrobing.

"Man overboard," Edge called.

"Make that men," BP guffawed.

"Fuck!" The captain growled as he swirled the boat around. He pulled the boat between Paul and Bono. "Let's get them out."

Gloria watched the glorious fish known as Bono swim in circles beside the boat catching glimpses of skin just beneath the water.

"Who's going to join me?" he asked. His eyes fastened on her. "Gloria, you seem adventurous enough.”

Biting her lip, she imagined how his wet skin would feel against hers - their bodies entangled in the water.

"I'm not a great swimmer," she managed to choke.

"I won't let you drown. You can hang onto me," his eyes shined in the dark. He wanted to watch her undress and slip into the water beside him.

Her hands paused on the waistband of her pants while her eyes never left his widening smile.

"Get him out of there," the captain ordered the deckhands.

Soon he was plucked from the sea and covered in his robe again. Gloria cursed herself for hesitating; the next time she wouldn't second guess his proposition. He was whisked away to dry off and reclaim his clothes.

"Welcome to the zoo, Gloria," Adam remarked. "It only gets wilder from here." He offered her the bottle of champagne he was drinking from.

Gloria took a long hard gulp. Until tonight, she had managed to keep her sobriety during these parties. Her head felt fuzzy and everyone moved in slow motion around her.

"Are you all right sis?" Andrew asked though he was equally soused.

She nodded. "Yeah...finding my sea legs."

Bono returned in his black jeans but no shirt. He held two wine glasses and made a beeline for Gloria.

"So Gloria, you're not a mermaid after all?" handing her a glass.

More wine was the last thing she needed, but she politely took his offering.

"I can paddle around a pool. The open sea? Not so much," she said.

"I'll guess I will have to teach you then. There's nothing like open water swimming," he draped an arm around her. The inner voice inside him that would prevent him from sitting so close to her was handily drunk and asleep. Edge was nowhere to be seen, so he decided to take advantage of her undivided attention.

Gloria reveled in his salty scent as he leaned into her, his eyelids heavy. She wondered if there was a way to casually touch his chest without alarming him - just to run her fingers through the thick hair once. His breath on her face was tinged with wine and the mystery liquid that seemed to push them all over the brink of sobriety. At some point during their journey, Nassim produced a shirt for him to wear and Gloria cursed her for it.

The boat returned to the dock and a large coach bus waited to take them back the hotel. Gloria grabbed a bottle of water for the two hour ride home and settled into the last seat. Between the sun, the wine and Bono, she was exhausted. Leaning her head against the cool window, she closed her eyes in effort to remember what he looked like naked. It had been dark and she had been too shocked seeing that much off his skin. She smiled recalling the curve of his buttocks.

"Pleasant dreams, love?"his voice snapped her eyes open.

"It was nice day," she swallowed hard.

He settled in beside her. "It was. We'll have to get ready for swimming this summer when we do Outside Broadcast," he yawned.

Most of the bus was quiet, save for a few murmurs up front. After being scolded for being reckless, Bono had looked forward to sleep. His head dropped to Gloria's shoulder, curling in under her chin. One arm draped across her pulling her closer.

Gloria wasn't sure if she was going to pass out or throw up. His hair tickled her cheek, but she didn't dare move. Her eyes flicked to the rest of the sleeping bus. No one seemed to care that they were snuggled into each other. Cautiously, she wound an arm around his shoulders. He sighed contently and nuzzled her before dropping into a deeper sleep. Gently, her fingers grazed the back of his neck eliciting a small murmur from him. She looked up for spectators - no one. Her fingers raked through his hair - it was coarser than she imagined. His arm tightened around her causing her freeze.

"Don't stop," he whispered. "Please."

She was sure he could feel her heart beating against his ear. There was no way to come back from this as if she didn't mean it. She took in a steadying breath and continued to smooth back his black hair. His other arm wound her back until she cradled him.

"This is nice," his voice rumbled against her stomach.

Gloria followed orders and continued to brush back the few curls that dared to flop across his forehead. It took her reserved strength to not place her lips against his neck. One, he had not asked. Two, they were not alone. Once she heard his breath deepen, she stopped touching his hair. All she needed was for someone to see that. He was fast asleep and getting heavy. She started to lose feeling in her arms when the coach pulled into the hotel. The others start to stir at the front of the bus.

"We're home," she gently shook him.

His eyes fluttered open, yet he didn't want to move for he felt warm in her arms. "Morning, love."

She smiled. "It is very early in the morning."

Slowly, he sat up and yawned. He glanced over at her sun-kissed face beaming at him. His insides longed to stretch out beside her in his bed and breathe in her scent all night. He considered leaning in her ear before everyone was moving about to say, 'come to my room'.

"You got a fair amount of sun today," he said instead.

"My shoulders are crispy," she tugged her shirt to expose the hot red skin.

His stomach growled wanting to taste the saltiness. His head swam with booze and desire.

"You'll need lotion." His voice was husky.

She held his gaze for what seemed to an eternity. Why couldn't they be alone? It didn't matter if it was the wine or the sun, she felt something stirring in him.

"Home again home again, jiggity jog," BP announced to everyone.

"Thanks for a place to lay my head," Bono winked.

She steadied her nerves and winked back. "Anytime."

As a chill bolted through him, he stood and stretched his arms over his head giving her a peek of his belly. She sighed inwardly.

"Hey, I thought we left you back there on the boat," Andrew peered over the seat.

"We were sleeping," Bono explained.

"He was passed out cold, I was dozing," Gloria grinned.

"Straight to bed," Andrew ordered. "We have a gig tomorrow."

Bono opened his mouth to make a suggestive comment, but decided it was hitting too close to his desires.

"Right, no late night star gazing," Bono saluted.

He is killing me and enjoying it, she whimpered.

"Right....just the stars behind my closed eyelids," she agreed as they filed off the bus.

"Hmm," Bono leaned closer. "Stars in your eyes....care to share?"

"Not really," she teased and followed Andrew.

Bono almost followed Andrew into the elevator. That sly smile was the last thing he saw as the doors shut around her.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:53 PM   #2
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Thank god!! im so happy to see this again!! i hope the next chapter comes a bit sooner!
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:00 AM   #3
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I have to admit, when I saw this new chapter I did this -->



Love your ZOO Bono Can't wait for the next chapter!

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Old 04-20-2012, 04:14 AM   #4
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You posted it!
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Originally Posted by GraceRyan View Post
And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:38 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone. This was a tough chapter for some reason. I wanted to move the tour along and not get bogged down by small details of the daily life. I'm trying to stay as true to history as possible (except the whole affair thing). Fans of young U2 will be happy to know that we're in the early stages (figuring out characters and plot) of a non AU early U2 fic before Boy was released.

But have no fear. I'm already working on chapter 5 of this.
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:48 AM   #6
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Yay!

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Old 04-20-2012, 10:11 AM   #7
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Why thank you....I promise....it's action packed after this chapter.

ETA: The robbery and hostage scene come in chapter 6....wait...what?
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:02 AM   #8
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I admit, when you first told me there was a new chapter, I was immediately with myself for not checking this section of Blue Crack.

Then I got while reading, and now I can't stop

Great chapter. I love love LOVE... well, everything.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:01 PM   #9
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Aw... what lovely descriptions & imagery! at the swimming. Of course Bono would do that...
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