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Old 01-05-2011, 09:42 PM   #1
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An Cat Dubh 14, PG Version

Yes, another one. PM, email, whatever. I blame WithoutSpeaking and Loveandlogic...it was too much...

Don't own it, unfortunately, and it's not true except the lyrics, and I'm sure Edge has gone to the beach sometime in winter.

Stories for boys...stories for boooys...

***


Cath’s shadow fell across Paul’s face as she picked up the withered remnants of a fallen leaf from just outside the door. A strange expression had crossed her face, flickering there, somehow familiar. Bono couldn’t remember when he had seen it before…

He crossed over to her from where he stood inside, previously yawning and nearly spilling coffee over the floor, setting the cup on the table where it watched, forgotten.

Silently, Paul wrapped his arms around her, being her comfort. The expression dropped from her face, he could see as she turned, and capturing the rays of sunlight beginning on the horizon, kissed him. She could feel he was smiling.

“Let’s go inside, love,” he said. “You’ll catch cold.” Something like Edge’s worry, though more unnamed, had begun to grow slowly in his mind—which was natural, Bono thought; he felt suddenly protective of this little life inside of her, his regard of Cath expanding to include it. Instinctually he knew the cold proved harm and tried to keep the other similar thoughts from overtaking him all the time: he knew Cath could watch out for herself.

She let herself be led back inside, slight weariness falling away. Grinning, she shed the coat Bono tucked around her, ignoring his protests and laughing outright when the old Paul crept back into his expression. She did not need to lead him up to the bedroom.

Somehow, this morning stood out in Paul’s mind, the way the floorboards icy against his feet made him shiver, the exact moment he looked up to see Cath standing outside, the expression on her face. It felt like that first morning had passed again, until he looked down and remembered again she was pregnant: time stood still, frozen too in winter.

The silent sound the door made as she opened it and drew her arms around him, that enough for the moment, until some of the nameless fear he had woken to made him kiss her with his heart choking through him. They had marveled at the impermanence of the fallen October to a fleeting winter…no, there was no reason for him to be anxious, this morning a different manifestation of that night, but for the more pronounced swelling of Cath’s skin, her belly pressing against him even when he hold her close. He kissed her again like the world would end.

“I love you,” he said, a short while later, when they could both speak again.

And he did. He didn’t know what he would do without her. They had known each other months, but those months spun within them a dazzling web of years…he remembered, again, falling off to sleep, that odd way their eyes had connected as he sang and the way his spirit had firmly tied itself in her, refusing to let Paul leave the bar without knowing what this connection was.

Cath had grown used to waking up in Paul’s arms, reveling in the safety she felt. Sometimes she slipped away reluctantly because of the beginning weight of this growing baby: the unfortunate consequence being that the call of nature called her away too often. And she would look upon Paul’s face, asleep or pretending to be asleep, grinning as he woke.

Were they ever teenagers? She recalled less than a year ago she stumbled out of bed in the shadow-encroached room she had come to hate, fear pounding through her as her fingers found a jagged piece of glass and she looked at a different sleeping man, thinking that so easily she could end his life, if her will let her. And all of that falling away from her like dirt unfolding and washing away when chance brought her to Paul, who had sung her broken past and will to live.

Yes, yes they had been. They were, by name. She did not feel like one, not anymore. School was a joke, something she did not wish to return to. It was something that had stolen away Ali, Paul, Edge, all of them, and practically, Cath thought of it a little like a job or a house: they’d be there and then leave eventually. It had nothing to do with her.

She had fallen asleep and awoke to the faint winter light hazing in through the window. She blinked, pushed the sheets aside and looked next to her: Paul was downstairs.

Cath made herself shower, looking down perplexed at her stomach, which her hands couldn’t really cover anymore. She stepped out of the shower, rubbing a towel over her head vigorously and then over her body—it was so cold!—her wet hair plastering against her neck as she shivered and crossed into the other room. Yep, her jeans still fit—good—and she decided she’d be wearing a sweatshirt today, feeling a little awkward in this body that didn’t feel like it belonged to her. Paul helped with that somewhat—she always felt whatever she’d been worried about slip away quietly with his presence—but it was weird for her center of gravity to have so suddenly shifted.

She started her way hurriedly down the stairs after slipping on some socks, thinking about how bloody freezing it was and wishing the man had a damned hairdryer…she felt her awareness shift towards the vicinity of her feet, her energy draining from her suddenly. She flung her arm out to lean against the wall but it connected with nothing—

Paul sat bolt upright and was already halfway to the stairs when he heard the soft thump.

“God, Cath,” he breathed, afraid, heart pounding. She blinked, sprawled across the bottom two stairs, and groaned. “It’s nothing,” she protested, accepting anyway his hands helping her up. “I just…felt kind of dizzy all of the sudden.”

He sat them both down then leaned on his elbows against the table, eyes bright with worry. His hands gradually gripped at his hair tensely. “We should cancel,” he murmured, voice a little tight still. The band had planned to go out and play their music finally, most of the songs for the record finished. “Edge at least will probably let me off the hook. I can’t do this worrying about you.”

“No,” Cath said, then a little more forcefully, “I’ll be fine.” She rolled her eyes, having just had a thought. “I’ll come with you, does that make you feel better?”

He just stared at her.

“I’m fine, really,” Cath insisted. A relieved smile had tentatively formed on his face; he had wanted to be free to sing the songs. The whole band had been itching to do so after the brief halt of performances due to intense record producing and planning and…well, Cath. Bono admitted to himself that it had been worry for her that had kept him from performances, though she had done wonders to his song producing; the lyrics dropped from his mind with little effort onto the paper and found their way to becoming music.


The sound exploded once again from the stage, with night fallen with hushed expectation. Loud, raucous listeners looked at the band intently, pressing their bodies tightly together to fit into the small space. Cath was instantly caught up in the rising notes of the guitar, that ripped if anything more painfully, more joyfully than they had when last she heard the band. Adam’s bass followed—she giggled at his expression; he seemed ridiculously happy to be playing—adding energy and rhythm behind it, the drums following and nearly completing the band.

Cath had grown rather fond of Larry; he was like a little brother, though more intelligent than a little brother would have been, once his shyness abated. Edge had been rather distant of late, and so she and Larry talked about music and life in general sometimes when Bono was lost in lyric-writing land.

The man himself was on the stage now. He looked ridiculously good in that black, tight shirt, a cocky grin on his face, subsiding somewhat into a more gentle smile as his eyes found her. He took a minute while the song began, looking straight into Cath’s eyes, then lost himself in the music as she lost herself in his voice.

There’s a place I go
and I am far away…

there’s a TV show
and I can grow…


Edge seemed to have a good grip on things, Cath noticed, nearly starting the guitar parts before their time, so that the sound leapt into a greater energy. He had been so intense lately...

Sometimes the hero takes me,
sometimes I can’t let go…

hello, hello! Stories for boys…


Edge’s voice rose behind Bono’s, the force of it taking Cath by surprise. He was…also looking at her? Or was it because that’s where Ali sat, too, and they had been speaking intently about something or other before? Maybe they all looked at people they knew when they played…no, she must have imagined it; he looked blindly out into the crowd, eyes intent with some emotion.

He sang beautifully. Cath had been shocked still when she heard it, in the studio. She had wondered what Edge’s voice was like, and now she knew: it reflected his gentleness while at the same time caught with some sort of longing Cath didn’t quite comprehend.

She had drifted out of hearing the words, brought back by Bono’s sudden grin at her when he sang,

Sometimes the lady takes me…
sometimes I don’t let go!
Hello, hello…


She grinned back wickedly. Paul had been anything but boyish when he kissed her before coming on stage; she’d had to push him away, he was so intense.

With the chorus, she felt a sort of nostalgic happiness…she and Paul had been thinking of the worst baby names they could think of, which she had begun with after she’d fallen, to take his mind off of it:

“Bono Vox? That would make a terrible name for a kid…”

“Shut up,” he laughed, embarrassed. “I never said it wouldn’t. What kid in his right mind would keep that name?

“So’s Edge,” he laughed, while Cath giggled, replying “Don’t let him hear you say that…”



The brightness of the stagelights pierced through Edge’s eyes, like a fire around him, but were a soft glow compared to other eyes piercing through his. Cath grinned, looking over at Paul, and Edge’s voice caught in the middle of the chorus, thankfully not slipping. Something hard to place about Cath made her more beautiful than she even had been before—the love in her eyes, perhaps, that was not for him—or something that had softened in her expression, her sadness easing and slipping away altogether.

He looked out into the crowd, Cath still burned across his retinas. The darkness of his fingers ripping across the guitar strings as they started into ‘An Cat Dubh’ was her hair, her eyes, his burning hunger. His body tensed and then loosened entirely as they made love to his guitar as if he was doing so to Cath, his thoughts clear through a song, the music driven as perhaps it had not been before dawn. And Bono’s vocals moaning above the guitar and the rhythm of the drums and bass drove it to different heights.

Cath, aware only of the music around her, sat completely still, caught in the stillness. She hadn’t known how perfect a song could be, how broken and fulfilled her lover’s voice could sound, how different and complete it sounded with the instruments…she had heard it first in his raw voice soon after she’d told him she was pregnant, and thought him astonishing then. But now…

She was still even after the song ended, eyes closed, head tilted slightly back, smiling slightly. Edge imagined his arms were around her, that expression on her face, and was restless.

Eventually the performance ended. Paul felt burned out and ecstatic, pushing past the crowd of fans to gather Cath in his arms. Edge glared at the girls near the stage, crossing his arms and having nothing to do with them. He had already fallen for someone else.

Cath and Bono fell exhausted into the studio. Cath came here sometimes to sleep; tonight, they just held each other, which was fine by her. In the early hours of the morning, he slipped gently away from her and frowned at scrawled lyrics in the low light, eventually falling back asleep where he sat. He left for home a little later, telling himself he’d go back and wake Cath, but fell asleep at the table before the thought properly crossed his mind.

Something bit at Larry’s foot when he walked into the studio—he had taken his shoes off; it was really warm in there. “Ow!” Larry exclaimed unhappily, bending down to find out what it was. Something a little bent that looked like wire and shone—he extracted it and tilted his head, wondering where he’d seen this before. It looked like an earring, a tiny silver cross.

Adam peered at it, investigating, pronounced that that was odd, and wondered aloud where Edge was. They knew Bono was probably asleep at home; he had odd hours, probably was awake all night.

Larry pocketed the earring, frowning. “I can’t remember whose it is…I’ll probably remember and then give it back.”

Adam raised his eyebrows. “Thinking of getting yourself a piercing? That’d be pretty bloody awful looking…”

“I’m going to go to Edge’s place to see what he’s up to," Larry changed the subject, making a face at Adam. "He should be here today.”


Edge was at his place, but not answering; he pretended to Larry he was exhausted, and walked outside into the chill air, to his car, a small weight cold under his shirt.

He slipped into the studio, thinking he’d found someplace to sleep without his thoughts tormented by sleeplessness, and unable to, softly tuned his guitar, and heard a small noise that wasn’t him. Edge frowned and walked across the bands of moonlight on the floor, staring for a long minute at Cath, whose face pressed against the couch, hair falling past her eyes and across her cheek. He reached over and softly brushed the lock of hair away from her face as she shifted in sleep, something breaking very slowly within him. He stared for a moment longer, remembering the road ahead of them months ago, a decision forming in his mind.

Something flashed and drew his gaze: she had removed her earrings for some reason. They winked in the moonlight on the carpet.

I’m sorry, Edge thought, kissing her cheek—she shifted again—and picking up one, the cold searing across his hand in the shape of a cross.

It would probably be all he had to remember of her.


But no, of course his memory would haunt him, even more real than the physical, he realized after driving over the frozen road, the huddled waves somewhere beyond restless as he was.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:43 PM   #2
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Another emotionally tense episode. I feel bad for Edge because I've been there. Boy have I been there. Don't worry, Edge. LandL will be there to quell your unrealized desires.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:43 PM   #3
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Oh, and how is Ali dealing with all this? She still yearned for him in earlier chapters?
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:56 PM   #4
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I'm sorry Edge! and I've been there too...it's no fun

I really should mention Ali....good point...she, by the way, is for the most part fine with it. Bono's too much to handle...maybe I should have her and Edge have an angst party or something ^^
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:08 PM   #5
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Another emotionally tense episode. I feel bad for Edge because I've been there. Boy have I been there. Don't worry, Edge. LandL will be there to quell your unrealized desires.

Damn straight! I'll gladly take Edge off Cath's hands! I might have to share with WithoutSpeaking though...

Another wonderfully written chapter! I love how you describe things! Pure poetry in sentence formation!

My favorite:

His body tensed and then loosened entirely as they made love to his guitar as if he was doing so to Cath, his thoughts clear through a song, the music driven as perhaps it had not been before dawn.

Um... ::THUD::
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:13 PM   #6
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But Edge's angst is too much fun

Thought you'd like that line! Hehe. Do you want the email version?

Also...I found the guys in '78, for reference!

(is that Ali?)



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Old 01-05-2011, 11:18 PM   #7
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No, the girl was his first girlfriend Maeve. At least I think that was her name. It was a short lived relationship. Ali was....well....she's grown into a beautiful woman. Teen years can be pretty cruel. I know mine were.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:26 PM   #8
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Are you sure he actually dated Maeve? I thought she was just a friend? She was in that other band right? Virgin Prunes?
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:27 PM   #9
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Oh, and yes, please email.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:39 PM   #10
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Girl in pic is Aislinn, ladies...
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:39 PM   #11
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From what I remembered in Unforgettable Fire (you know, the biography they hate) she was considered his first girlfriend. Plus, I did search and found someone else talking about it. They gave it the time frame of 73/74 - putting him 13 or 14. So, dating was probably holding hands.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:43 PM   #12
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They gave it the time frame of 73/74 - putting him 13 or 14. So, dating was probably holding hands.
Good lord, I hope dating was only holding hands O.o

That biography sounds like fun times...and hmm. I never heard about Maeve...

Sending, L&L!
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:49 PM   #13
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These are the things you remember after being a fan for *mumbles* 28 years. I read UF close to 24 years ago.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:50 PM   #14
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I suddenly feel very young XD I was definitely not alive when you read it...
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:51 PM   #15
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I feel very, very old.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:58 PM   #16
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:28 PM   #17
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I suddenly feel very young XD I was definitely not alive when you read it...
Nor was I!
Anyway, another good chapter!
But how is this possibly going to work out??!!! I feel sorry for Edge! And what about Ali?!
...and why have they all been PG13 recently?
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:36 PM   #18
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Heh, thank you. Ali's coming up in the next chapter.

They've all been PG13 recently because, well, Cath and Bono like sex
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:40 PM   #19
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Even though Cath is pregnant?
Weirding me out here...
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:41 PM   #20
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She's not very...yes.
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