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Old 01-10-2011, 09:18 PM   #1
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An Cat Dubh 18

As promised, darlings. It was a little harder to get back into the flow of writing after a day, but fun at the end and I'm excited for everything next.

This story is so fictional, if it bit its own butt, it would feel no pain. Song lyrics excepted. I only own the bad phone skills, and the crying.

'The Rocky Road To Dublin' is a very catchy song...it took a bunch of U2 to get it out of my head after it came on when I was writing...

***

The jailer was definitely giving Bono the evil eye. Paul tried very hard not to laugh, smiling instead as he leaned back against the wall, his voice soaring over the drunks’ off-key singing.

Well if you don’t kno-ow,
Electric Co…


It had taken a few passes to teach the song to the other men in the cell, but they were more or less agreeable to singing the song Bono was currently working on, though one rolled his eyes and made disparaging comments about “the little punky brat” before the rest ignored that man with general condescension. And Bono didn’t even want to think about Creepy Man and Creepier Grinning Guy. They were luckily not very visible or audible from where he was; the song rumbled the floor a bit, as tended to happen when many drunk men congregated and gave voice to what they thought terrific music.

Yep. Even in the low light—was it still only early morning?—that was a definite glare on the jailer’s face.

Jaysus, what’s his problem? Yes, Bono had picked the song most likely to rile up the man with the keys, but said man probably had no idea what it meant. Though ‘Electric Co’ railed against electric shock therapy, specifically—Bono closed his eyes tightly—he also felt it could be pointed to complaint about, say, prison.

Where he still was, though it had been overnight. When the hell would he get released—or bailed out, or something?

The song rose and fell and twisted through the air, the other voices beneath his imbuing Paul’s mood with greater forgiveness, though he still pounded a fist against the bars every once in a while musically with the needling chorus. Oh, this was great fun. He found himself grinning, looking at the jailer from the corner of his eye. Clearly the man did not anticipate that the longer Paul Hewson was here, the louder it would get.

“Enough, boys,” Paul laughed, “let’s do another.” They started right into a rousing rendition of some Irish song or another; after a while, to him, they all blurred together, the words only questionably distinct. He caught something about the road to Dublin, though he may have been mistaken.

…on the rocky road to Dublin, one two three fo’ five!”

Maybe it was the early morning hour, but this was an oddly infectious song. If he wasn’t exhausted and grimy, Bono would probably be with Cath, making a fool of himself dancing…

There was a stout flicker of a shadow across the door to the cell and a brief loud noise. “Oi!” The jailer shouted. There wasn’t much sign he had been heard.

Enquirin' for the rogue,
They said my Connacht brogue,
Wasn't much in vogue,
On the rocky road to Dublin…


Paul turned, singing a little more quietly, though the deafening din continued around him, giving the jailer an amused look and half a grin. “Yes?” he seemed to be saying with his body language; “I don’t give much of a shit…”

There was another rattle of the door. Sighing, Paul motioned with his hands for the men to bring the sound level down. They muttered and whined at the jailer but quieted.

Although before they died down, “’Ey, this is a bleedin’ singer of a bleedin’ band, we don’t have to be quiet…”

Why thank you for that vote of confidence, Paul thought with more than a little suffering. His first audience for this song at least a bunch of jailed drunks…

“What d’you want?” he asked the jailer, walking as politely as he could over despite lack of sleep that made the light on the floor and across the wall blur a little in his sight. Good god, he was tired; only the singing had kept him awake this long. That and the two creepy men.

“Well, y’don’t have t' answer it,” the man sneered—Bono took back anything he had thought about the bad breath of the drunks, his eyes watering—“but there’s a phonecall for you, punk.”

Bono sighed and put his hand on what would be the handle of any normal door—if this was not a jail, as if to swing it open.

“And they were almost getting on-key,” he muttered forlornly, then smiled wickedly and sprang in relief out of the crowded cell when the jailer turned the key. God, it felt good to use his legs. Ignoring the glower directed at him, he walked languidly over to the telephone the jailer handed to him.

(“Hey, why don’ we have phonecalls?”

“Because no-one wants ye back, you drunken sods!”)

“Hello?” he asked exhaustedly, finally letting the defensive energy wash out of him and leaning against the wall.

“Paul? It’s Mr. Evans.”

Edge’s dad? For some reason he had assumed Ali was calling…to yell at him, probably. He’d hoped like hell Cath had no idea he was in jail.

“Hey, well, uh, if you were wondering your son’s whereabouts he’s probably the farthest from jail,” Bono said, trying to work out why Edge’s dad was calling him.

“Well, that’s a relief.” He sounded somewhat amused. “We assumed…well, anyways, we’re bailing you out.”

“God, thanks,” Bono breathed out in relief after protesting stupidly that it wasn’t necessary and being protested back at by Edge’s da that they were practically family anyways, the kids had been working on the record for so bloody long. He didn’t do anything even more impossible like promise he’d make it up someday, though he probably would.

When he got back to his house, after trying very hard not to cry thanking Edge’s parents—they really didn’t have to do this for him—it was very still, and he wondered what was different. He wandered upstairs, opening the door and peeking in, whispering “Cath?” She was probably asleep…

In the pale light of morning that stabbed his eyes, there was no-one there. That was odd.

His father was downstairs, and set down the newspaper when Paul, confused, walked in.

“Where’s Cath?” Paul asked. After hearing the answer, he briefly went pale and clutched at the doorframe. Sleep was suddenly not important at all. He was on his way to the hospital before he even thought it.

It took all his patience not to yell at the nurse when it took a full ten minutes’ wait for her to believe his reasons for wanting to visit Cath. Why the hell was she looking at him so oddly, like he was lying his arse off?

“The baby’s fine,” she told him finally, hesitantly, still with that odd look on her face. Who was this man in relations to Cath? “And Cathlin is most likely recovered.”

Paul had a sudden, wild thought that he didn’t care if the baby was fine; he’d been terrified Cath had died, and though he would have been pained if the baby had…if…He couldn’t lose another person he knew, and loved already, and was so sure would be alive when he was.

Then there were no holds barred and Bono pushed his way to open the glass door, blinking stinging eyes when he beheld the way Cath lay on the hospital bed. She looked like there was something very, very wrong with the world.

You should have seen her yesterday, Edge thought in reaction to Bono’s expression. He had extricated himself from around Cath finally, heart pounding, as he was oddly unwilling to be even so many inches or feet far from her, and now looked at his friend with a spark of intense defiance in his eyes that scared the shit out of Bono.

What the hell?

Edge was only at the back of his mind, though. Paul, feeling young and scared, walked over to Cath, and it struck him how fragile she looked, and how thin the barrier between life and death was. It hit him hard that the thing he had thought so solid—of the people he loved always being there, existing—could be changed in instants. The jagged edges he had tried to fill with friends and music, the pain he’d forcibly shoved away after his mother had died, yawned before him with the newfound realization that life was not forever or guaranteed.

“Cath?”

She must have heard his footsteps, and her eyes flickered awake slowly. A strange light and sadness entered her eyes; the weight hit Paul again.

“I’m sorry, love,” he said, suddenly unable to bear the distance and embracing her tightly, crushing her to him as if she could slip into nothing at any instant. Her belly pushed against him, the physical presence finally reassuring Paul that nothing had happened to the baby. He was as aware of that aspect of her being healthy as the lack of tension in her body, how thin her arms seemed suddenly, like bird bones. And her tired face, her chin pressing into his shoulder. Her shoulder shook and she hugged him as tightly as she could, wet tears plastering Paul’s shirt to his body, his own rolling down into her hair. He sniffed awkwardly, his face hot, and blinked the tears away. Something about his face, at that moment, when he looked at Cath, pulling away, was like a little boy.

I’m fine, Cath wanted to say, though she didn’t really know. The baby’s fine.

I’m worried about you, what you’ll do if

But she said nothing, unable to speak, and unable to bear the expression on his face if he realized her suspicions. She knew enough about his past, had practically known before she had known…in many ways, he was like her when faced with loss, or hurt—and could not be the same after it.

She clung to him for another long minute as if physical closeness would heal everything, before the overwhelming emotion in Paul made him, still crying despite himself, kiss Cath like he would never see her again. Her shudders eased eventually and he wiped her tears away. She was pillowed against his chest, and eventually wrinkled her nose, finally noticing the smell.

“You smell like shite,” Cath murmured, unwilling even so to move.

“Sorry,” he laughed. “I couldn’t come fast enough.”

Interesting, Edge thought, that this moment of almost reconciliation between the two—though nothing bad had happened, or been broken—veered away from her asking Bono where he had been. In Cath’s mind, it mattered only then that he was there, and she forgot anything but other recent emotional upsets pulled into her memory from the relief that he was there finally.

But Edge tilted his head for a moment and looked at the two, and the tears binding their faces together, and was aware of his own stuttering heartbeat and that he still could not make himself let go of Cath, even if that was what this called for.

He wondered if things would change and suddenly, desperately, hoped to God they wouldn’t. He willed Bono to reveal nothing about where he had been—Cath didn’t need that on her mind on top of everything else.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:14 PM   #2
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WOW.
A chapter that went straight from hilarious to serious in the course of a few moments. I want that skill.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:47 PM   #3
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It's fun I tend to do that.
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:52 PM   #4
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And that is life. Comedy one moment and tragedy the next.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:06 PM   #5
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Very much so...(like, me getting through another wonderful chapter of U2 by U2 and then having to do Anatomy homework D

The next chapter might be tomorrow instead of today...I have a bunch of projects I might be working on tomorrow too, and today is a bunch of studying, flashcards, and muscle worksheets for Anatomy. Fun fun fun. Although—now I can have more accuracy in my story, since I spent all of last night reading the beginning of U2 by U2...hehehehe.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:37 PM   #6
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You'll have to let me know what you think of it. I loved that book so much. Makes you fall head over heels for Bono and Edge.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:07 PM   #7
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So far, I'm feeling terrible for motherless baby Bono (and wondering what's going on with he and Maeve), and I was quite amused that little Edgy and his brother blew things up Adam is better and worse than I guessed, and that'll come into the story probably. Larry is adoooorable :3 'No, I don't want to have music theory, I want to bang on things with sticks!'
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:32 PM   #8
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Oh wait. I got that confused with U2 at the End of the World.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:35 PM   #9
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Hehehe that's OK. It's on my list, though.

Nevermind the chapter not being up tonight stuff; I'm on my way writing it. Whee...
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1978, ali, an cat dubh, baby bono, baby edge, boy era, edge's parents

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