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Old 01-01-2011, 11:27 PM   #1
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An Cat Dubh 10

For all who were wondering about Isaac, and Cath's dad, and Edge's odd behavior. I might have nearly cried a little, writing this...

I don't own any of this except the urge to swim, and it's not true except for the song lyrics that started on it, and the Teen Commandments were an actual band actually playing in Dublin when U2 was.They have a couple singles, and the one they sing in here is Something's Better Than Nothing, which Edge does guitar for in the recorded version Well, bass guitar:

Quote:
The Edge played bass on the Teen Commandments’ track “Something’s Better than Nothing”. Thus becoming the earliest recorded collaboration by a member of U2 with another act.
Enjoy! ...I may have Edge help them bass guitar-ing at some later point, hmm...

***

Cath stared awhile at the blue-black shadows being chased away by slow rays of morning light. Something about the color of the day reminded her of the day she had woken up in Paul Hewson’s arms, having just escaped from her past and heading towards an unknown future.

She turned over, her mouth tightening, then relaxed, breathing out. Last night…well, she didn’t know what to think. She had been so sure that this could all go away, or at least not become a burden to the people she was beginning to know and like. But now…She should have hidden when she saw him, or refused to speak. But instead, things had gotten even more worse.

Perhaps you’re just bothered that he’ll have no idea why, she told herself, realizing. She had a sudden, painful image of Bono’s expression, not what she had seen, but an expression she had herself once, torn and confused. She didn’t want to leave him behind like a child. She didn’t know if she could face doing that to anyone. But it didn’t matter what she wanted; her presence itself was problematic, and she didn’t know if she could give him what he asked for—the truth, not to leave…

Still, she was unsure.

Abruptly she rose, the cold of the floorboards a shock against her feet, and walked downstairs. No-one else was up yet, a comfortable silence having settled inside the house like it was the middle of empty forest—she thought unrealistically of going places, and that frustration proved helpful in washing the dishes from last night.

A ringing snapped her out of her thoughts—she practically jumped on the telephone, picking it up—let everyone sleep for a while; there’s no telling what Ali’s reaction will be if I—

—leave…
the thought was still unsettling, sour in her stomach. Reassuring, in that she would only have to care for and worry about herself, for now, but frightening and, she knew, impossible—

“Hello?”

Cath responded without thinking, then cursed inwardly; she’d answered in Gaelic.

“Cath?” came the voice at the other end. He’d obviously guessed correctly.

“Ali’s asleep,” she said sharply, clutching the receiver.

“Do you mind,” Bono began, and Cath swallowed—his voice was unconsciously pulling at her to listen, and even through the telephone sounded soft as it had the night before—“I was wondering if she could come see a band with me sometime after dinner?

—not what you think,” he said after an awkward silence, that note slipping back to his voice when the awkwardness ceased. “I have to apologize to her about something.”

Cath gave a small laugh, settling back to lean against the wall. “About me?” she guessed.

“Yes and no,” he responded. “Just…she’s been acting strangely, like we aren’t even friends.”

“Well, that’s a problem,” she said smiling, before she remembered he couldn’t see—which was just as well; she looked terrible.

There was another silence because neither dared to say anything. In answer to his question, she managed to reply, “All right.” She hung up the phone and stared at it for a half-second before shaking her head and continuing with the dishes.

Damned boy. She had other, more important things on her mind, and consequentially, the worry constricted around her heart that she might be doing far more damage than she had ever meant.

When Ali awoke, she found Cath scrubbing the last of the dishes, singing softly to herself in Gaelic. When she looked up, she looked sad and distant, but the expression cleared after a moment.

“Paul called,” she remembered to tell Ali.

Had he? Ali found herself suddenly curious, at the same time dreading what Paul was getting himself into.

“He wanted to know if you’d accept seeing one of the other bands as an apology.”

Hmm. “An apology? For what?” Ali grinned when Cath looked at her significantly in answer, something along the lines of ‘come on, you know what for’.

“Something tells me that’s not what he’s getting at,” Ali said. Or who he means to talk to.

Cath looked confused, then wary. She ran her hands through her hair, an apprehensive expression crossing her face.

“It might make things less complicated.”

Ali shook her head. “I don’t think that’s possible at this point.”

Something about the tone of her voice…it seemed to Cath that Ali was still angry at Paul. That sank in after a few seconds. Cath carefully set down the clean plate, trying not to shake.

Eyes pleading, she asked Ali, “Please…don’t tell him anything.”

Ali looked suddenly confused, wondering what it meant that Cath was concerned about Bono not knowing something that important for…she calculated again…less than a few months. Ali was worried at the obvious that wasn’t stated. It could mean several things. She wondered, also, what made Cath so worried. She had learned not to ask, out of respect, since the day they’d met.

“I’m not worried about him,” she told Cath. “I don’t know what you’re going to do, but…be careful,” she asked and hoped, coming over to the sink to put away the dishes and simultaneously kissing Cath on the forehead, worried for her safety.

“I personally think it’s wonderful you have more of a claim on him,” Ali said, turning to look at Cath mischievously. “You’re certainly creating more than a record.”

Cath looked away, smiling. She had expected a rather opposite reaction. The unspoken implications were some of the only reassurance that had existed in her life for a while: you’re not being kicked out of the house, I don’t hate you, and it’s certainly not your fault.

But that feeling from early in the morning still lingered: she saw herself alone, and was once again torn. She stood at a crossroads, the choices certain before her with an additional haze of others in a fog of uncertainty. And the implications of whatever she chose…

She decided, at least, to think, and that feeling lingered with her the rest of the day in oddnesses and practical reasoning. Something definite would come out of today, if only a choice. Armed with that, in the late afternoon, she asked Ali to give her the directions to Edge’s place. Ali looked at her strangely, then laughed without explanation and agreed.

“Don’t think like that!” Cath protested, seeing the direction Ali’s mind was going, and said something Ali assumed meant ‘shut up’.


Cath stood at last on the sidewalk in front of Edge’s house, amused; she hadn’t called in advance. But doing so would have meant explaining with the chance Ali could overhear what she said. Edge would probably freak out, anyways, assuming Cath was dying or something—the chances of that increased, obviously, with pregnancy, and the nurse had been unsure of the cause of Cath’s fever. And Edge would be wrong. Ali hadn’t asked why Cath had brought some of her things with her, though was plainly a little concerned. Meanwhile Cath was…still thinking, the crossroads still in her mind, making her anxious.

Edge blinked and yawned, opening the door, wondering who the hell was knocking in the afternoon, expecting Larry or Adam; he knew Bono was busy—and as Cath had expected, freaked out. Though a little more calmly than she had anticipated.

“Cath—is something wrong?”

It was probably her expression; she couldn’t shake off the worry. She shook her head and said, “Later.” She wasn’t ready for that yet. She didn’t want to think about everything that had happened in the past day.

He agreed when she asked if they could drive somewhere, though wondering what she intended to do. The bag she carried with her didn’t escape his notice. When she elaborated—the car didn’t have much gas in it, so Cath would have to be more specidic—he gave a flat out No to what Cath wanted to do, crossing his arms stubbornly.

“You’ll freeze!” After a minute during which Cath offered no more comment, he broke down and headed back into the house, coming back with what seemed like a bunch of dark, odd fabric to Cath. She looked at it askance then grinned.

“They might not fit you,” Edge hedged, trying to avoid looking at the very faint curve of her stomach and the more prominent curves of her breasts—the wetsuits were his and his brother’s and Cath was, well, not the same shape.

“They will so,” she challenged, moving as if to pull her shirt over her head just to mess with him, before he threw up his arms with a “Fine!” of defeat, red-faced.

Grinning, Cath climbed into the shotgun seat of Edge’s car. “This’ll be fun.”

“If anything goes wrong,” Edge began uncertainly. Cath sighed. “It won’t.”

Cath’s mind eased already as the city gradually fell behind them and everything blurred with the driving speed. It was relieving, also, not to be facing Paul. She didn’t know if she could look him in the eye today: it would affect her decisions.

Edge still hadn’t asked about the bag. He was remarkeably calm, silent as the drive began, then beginning to talk amiably about the record’s progress. Cath grinned evilly when he mentioned “I Will Follow,” and when he looked at her askance, told him the basics of her and Paul Hewson meeting for the first time. She left out everything after they left the bar, of course.

“The most recent song…” Edge frowned. “I’m pretty sure it’s about you, actually.”

Cath spluttered. “What?”

Edge shook his head darkly, keeping his eyes on the road. “That man, I swear…” He had restrained himself from putting judgment on Bono in front of Cath, for the most part, especially about what she did or did not tell him. It was difficult, and he felt like he wanted to slip from that restraint.

“He just doesn’t think of consequences,” he continued. “It was a bad idea.”

Cath wasn’t sure Edge was talking about a song anymore, and asked instead, “What does it sound like?”

Edge smiled oddly. “You should hear it from him.”

They arrived at an abandoned beach Cath had given Edge directions to, and there was some awkwardness concerning wet suits. She made Edge turn around when she slipped hers on, and she stayed turned around until he did the same.

“I hate this thing,” she heard Edge comment, back still turned, and chuckled, wondering how it looked. Hers fit…a little too tightly. His was probably loose or something.

It actually didn’t look half-bad, she noticed. Edge looked at Cath a moment, surprised the wetsuit actually fit, then remembering how painfully thin she had been at the hospital, seeing she hadn’t completely recovered. And the wetsuit refused to hide what her clothes had, a faint swelling of her abdomen, barely noticeable but on Edge’s mind. The rest, he purposely did not think about. If his mind, around her, was in any way similar to Bono’s, he felt terrible, rejecting just as fiercely as Cath rejected the troubles in her life.

The sky and water were grey, untroubled but for the waves. It was an unremarkable place but for its difference from where Cath had been.

Maybe that’s why, Edge thought. She wanted to go somewhere that would take her mind off of things. But he wasn’t entirely sure, especially since she had brought so much with her.

Edge was speaking, Cath realized. “Why here? Have you been here before?” he asked, curious.

“With my mother,” she said, nodding happily.

Edge sat at the edge of the beach on the wet packed sand for a few minutes, looking dubiously at the water. Cath began to run headlong into the waves, and he rolled his eyes, plunging ahead.

“I still don’t think this was the best idea,” he yelled. “Cath!”

She turned, ocean seething around her knees, her hair whipping across her face, something lighter in her eyes.

“Can you wait there? I want to see how cold it is before you go any further.”

She raised her eyebrows and backstepped until she fell back onto the sand again, waiting for the OK. “Go ahead.”

Edge tried not to concentrate on the way Cath looked, the protective fabric clinging to her skin like water. I don’t think of her that way, I don’t—

Turning away helped. He walked unwillingly into the rolling waves, surrounded by grey isolation, finally past where he could stand. The cold water bit into him despite the wetsuit, but wasn’t as terrible as he would feared, and would hopefully not affect Cath badly. He treaded the swell of the water, feeling a faint understanding of why Cath must have loved the ocean, then swam awkwardly back to give her a thumbs-up. She ran grinning and headlong into the waves without him stopping her, swimming powerfully a little ways past him, looking much happier than he’d seen her for a while. The ocean held them, and washed away Cath’s misgivings in its heartbeat, at once silent and chaotic, alone and welcoming.

*

The streetlights raced above the streets of Dublin as Ali walked about a foot apart from Bono to where they’d hear the band. It was funny he was in a band and they went to see one he wasn’t in…for a moment, she forgot he was musical, instead briefly a bastard who she still loved, in her way. He looked a little unhappy at the distance between them, but that was fine; his eyes and mind were somewhere distant though he laughed and joked and made pleasant conversation with Ali.

It was just as well. She was on her guard so as not to give Paul Hewson any reason to think of her as anything other than a friend—she couldn’t help remembering Cath singing as she washed the same dish a second time over, the girl sad and happy at once. There was something between the two, whether it still existed in full or in Bono’s mind. And, Ali admitted, Cath had already been hurt enough. Ali didn’t need to contribute to any further pain in Cath’s life.

But it was difficult. Paul Hewson was being ever so charming, the ordinary boyfriend, or so it seemed, as he opened the door of the pub for her, pulled out her chair, smiled that smile. She had had to resist the urge not to wear something more revealing, or to walk in any way that would attract his wayward attention—or even to look at him in ways she had before.

But it also felt good, like a rightful slap in his face: he had been a bastard, both to her and, in a way, to Cath. He deserved some doubt that she had him in her good graces.

Ali let herself, gratefully, be distracted by the band—the Teen Commandments, they were called, and they reminded her a little of U2’s very early music, but only a little. In many aspects they differed. There was still that boyish energy with which Bono was now entreating her to forgive him…

Something’s better than nothing,” the band sang,
"I don’t know how to get by without you…
something’s better than nothing…
I, I, I, I…don’t want to say
goodbye…


Very funny, Paul.

*

They swam for maybe half an hour before Cath’s feet began to feel unpleasant from the cold. She looked down at her briefly amphibious wetsuit-clad body, sighed, and swam back along the waves, walking drippingly over to where Edge huddled near the dunes, staring with unreadable eyes out to the sea.

The cold was more biting now that she was out of the water, actually, slamming against her body and creeping under her skin. Cath grimaced, rubbing her hands over her arms, which served only to chafe them.

Edge looked relieved now that she was out of the water. “I wish I’d brought towels,” Cath muttered, teeth chattering. Even her dripping hair made her freeze.

“I have some,” Edge said, walking over to the car and returning a few minutes later with the towels tucked under his arm. His hair was dripping still but he had managed his way out of the wetsuit and into his clothes again. He handed her her clothes and the towels and she walked up to the shelter of the car and changed, finally warming.

Somehow, it seemed a little warmer out, the sun breaking slightly through the grey clouds above. Edge didn’t ask if Cath wanted to leave: she would tell him. He noticed she looked at the bag—what was probably her few belongings she had taken—before she came back down and sat beside him on the sand, barefoot, her hair drying. She looked out distantly to the sky.

There was a long silence that grew between them, Cath’s thoughts unreachable by Edge, Edge’s worry abated by the lack of cold. Their hearing expanded instead to the faint sound of the wind and the waves that filled in any conversation with their own unknowable words.

“I was going to leave today,” Cath said finally. They had both lain down from where they sat, exhausted, and the ocean stretched endless before them.

Edge nodded, squinting when he realized sand must be getting in his hair. “I noticed,” he commented quietly, not giving judgment. He was not one to judge something beyond his knowledge and experience, and Cath’s situation was worlds beyond anything he knew.

“I was going to just…go somewhere. I would walk, or find some way to hitch a ride, go away somehow. Somewhere far. I’d figure out a job and a place to stay when I got someplace. There were times when I didn’t have the will to refuse that thought, and I thought about it a little more and it seemed like a good idea…”

She turned, her expression still a little distant, a little sad. “I wasn’t able to.” She sighed.

When the silence stretched on, he asked, “why?”

“I fucked things up.” She sighed again, and swallowed. “Last night…”

“I did wonder,” Edge said in response before she continued.

“…Paul,” and she laughed, “apologized.”

“For what?” The thought seemed ridiculous. Bono didn’t know the half of what he should be apologizing for.

“He knew a little about my past.” When Edge looked in askance, she elaborated that it wasn’t very much that Paul knew, about someone named Isaac.

“…Edge, he kissed me.” Cath had turned so that she looked up at the sky again, her face tight. When she turned back, Edge was surprised to see it looked like she had been crying.

“This screws things up so much,” she explained. “I was going to leave, and then he…”

Edge didn’t comment, was silent, accepting. Inwardly, he cursed Bono.

“That’s not all,” Cath continued. “Ali knows.”

He had a pretty good guess what Ali knew. He wondered how she’d figured it out…Ali was probably pissed at him for saying nothing. It wasn’t his secret to tell.

Fuck. There was so much going wrong in Cath’s life…

He leaned over and, very gently, wrapped his arms around her. Her shoulders shook, but she relaxed.

He didn’t think about how natural it seemed for her to be in his arms, as if the sky and sea had ordained it. He thought, rather, about what he wished he could do to Isaac.

Cath began speaking very quietly, soothed by the feeling of someone near her doing nothing beyond holding her. It was unlike how it had felt to be in Paul’s arms; Edge was more reassuring. A few things fell into place unconsciously, but she was already speaking.

“About a year ago, it became a problem that my father let some of his friends stay at our house. He’s a bartender, and somehow he could nearly always operate when drunk, though I could always tell, and he always was. My mother died a long time ago, and my brother was always in and out of the house sometimes too.”

Edge’s arms tightened around her involuntary and his chest felt tight: he sensed where this was going. He didn’t speak.

“About a year ago, I thought my brother had come home, and fell asleep waiting to say hello to him. I hadn’t seen him for months. My father was pissed drunk, I suppose, but I assumed he was conscious or—or something. And Isaac…he came in and I couldn’t stop him. I tried fighting him but I was smaller then. I only learned to fight properly afterwards.

“I should have expected something like that. I should have left home years ago, I suppose,” she said angrily. “Something of the like probably would have happened anyway. But I would have been better prepared.

“Well…you remember my father. You may have heard part of it—Paul and Ali certainly didn’t understand—but he knew I was pregnant, and he asked if…Isaac had something to do with it. I began to realize that the bastard probably could have stopped Isaac, but he did nothing instead…I screamed and nothing happened…” Her voice died off. Cath had gone very still.

“What happened to him?” Edge asked.

Cath smiled, blinking away tears. “I killed him. Or so I thought. He’s alive, but other than that, I don’t want to know.”

“That’s relieving,” Edge replied in a low voice. Or I would have killed the bastard myself.

Cath frowned but didn’t ask. She turned so she could see Edge’s face. His expression was stony, probably from what he’d heard, but it eased.

“I’ve been meaning to ask, Edge,” she said, distracting him; he had dwelled too long on things he could not change—he looked confused, wondering what she was about to ask—“what’s your real name? Ali didn’t tell me and the band just calls you ‘Edge’”.

Edge smiled, relieved, having anticipated something completely different.

“It’s David Evans,” he said softly.

“David Evans…that’s a good name.” She smiled that sideways smile, and after a long while, was breathing slowly, Edge realized, in sleep. Very carefully, he stood up, and wondered whether he should carry her or wake her up, but her eyes opened and she stretched and stood also, the remnants of tears still on her face. Edge’s heart tightened. They walked up to the car, Cath looking back to the sea that reflected in her eyes. Edge had an odd thought, before he closed the trunk and she went back to the shotgun seat, that he could kiss her…and maybe she wouldn’t mind. He winced, a second after that thought, Cath looking confused, as he walked over, sat in the driver’s seat and put the keys into the ignition.

He didn’t want to cause further trouble in her life. And he noticed the way she still looked at her bag of possessions, as if with anything gone wrong, she would be far gone and troubling them no longer.

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Old 01-02-2011, 02:46 PM   #2
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OMG EDGE! You know you have just killed me here... the angst... the plot... Cath... I love this story so much!

What is she going to do!

/edgeofseat
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:14 PM   #3
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I know right? Edgy is making things problematic though he's trying his darnedest not to...(goodness, Bono's obsessing over Cath again, she's a little iffy about the whole thing, and Ali is completely frustrated...yes, angst)

You'll just have to find out what happens...

thanks
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:53 PM   #4
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Awwww...
So that's what happened...
There's so much going on! GAH!
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:25 PM   #5
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Yep. Cath had both very good and very bad things happen in the 6 months or so before, mostly very bad.

there might be more going on later...heh.
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1978, 1979, ali, an cat dubh, baby bono, baby edge, cath, early 80s, high school, late 70s, teen commandments

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