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Old 01-14-2011, 07:43 PM   #1
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An Cat Dubh 20, PG Version

I loved writing this. I have to write a college essay now, I know—but this came so easily and wonderfully today.



Untrue, everything; I own only the wire and the dress

Yes, this is the PG version. For the slightly more PG13 one (PM, email...), you know what to do.

***

Days started warmer, safer. When Edge was no longer freaked out about anything happening to Cath—he still gave her odd looks out of the corner of his eye when she attempted anything huge—she transferred herself back into Bono’s house. His dad was in and out of there every once in a while, which ended up not being too odd. He accepted Cath more after the scare about the miscarriage. Paul didn’t mention it, but Cath assumed this had something to do with Iris Hewson.

Cath groaned, not wanting to wake from delicious sleep. It was particularly cold if she got out from under the covers, and Paul’s warm body next to her was distressingly nearly gone. She threw his pillow over her head, clamped her hands over it and shut her eyes tight, muttering something about more sleep. Her gripped loosened and she popped one eye open, letting a little sliver of light come in from under the pillow: she felt something against her hand. Again, the terrible boy was distracting her; he kissed her knuckles slowly and then caught one of her hands, his lips soft against her wrist. She laughed, ignoring the early hour, and sat up, sliding into his arms. He kissed her very happily. She didn’t move for a long moment, then slid her hands from behind his neck to his cowlicked hair and pulled him away. He was smiling. She had to physically stop him from stopping her speaking.

“Paul! Paul. What day is it?”

“Happy Christmas,” he said in a low voice, desire-drunk eyes sweet, and climbed out of bed. She was content to watch the cold light ripple over his half-naked body and then yelled, “you’ll get sick from the cold!” He propositioned some very interesting things in response. “Nuh-uh,” she said back, heart leaping. “It’s Christmas!” And she had things to do he didn’t need to see yet! Now, where had she put that box? Oh, that’s right…

He disappeared dejectedly into the corner of the room, changing pants and putting on a shirt, doing absolutely nothing about his bedhead. She kissed him before shoving him out of the room. “I have things to wrap!” she told him. He really was quite insistent, distractingly passionate today. She extricated herself from his embrace and pushed him out, closing the door behind her, grinning like mad.

She reached under the bed—a painfully good hiding place; seriously, the man never cleaned up in here; he had other things on his mind when in the bedroom—and pulled out a dark bundle of fabric, unwrapping it and setting aside what it had been wrapped around, hiding that under her pillow just in case he walked in. She unfolded the fabric and held it against her body, smiling a little half-smile. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ali!

She found a little envelope and a larger one to put her presents for Paul in, and then peeked out the door, making sure he was busy doing something else, and shut it firmly, shedding quickly her pajamas, shivering, and pulling the dark dress over her head. It fit a little more snugly than it had, perhaps a little too much; she sighed, then ignored that: really, who was she going to be around today? Paul Hewson. And they’d all seen things more revealing—speaking of which, she had a good idea what he had gotten for her. Cath giggled, then with a look of deliberation thought about what she had gotten for him. Where in hell am I going to put it? She looked down. Yeah, no pockets. And even with pregnancy doing odd things to her body, it was laughable that anything could fit into her bra. She gave up and clutched the envelopes in her hand.

The look on his face was worth it, however, when she exited the room. Cath wore a dark blue, three-quarter-sleeve dress with a neckline just above her breasts that caught an echo of the shape of her face and drew attention there. What wasn’t shown in neckline was revealed by the shape that left very little to his imagination. For a short while, Bono was quite unable to speak, then took Cath’s hand in an oddly intimate way and blushing, came downstairs with her. He shot curious glances at the envelopes she held and she swatted him lightly, saying he could open them later.

Bob and Norman Hewson had been there for Christmas Eve, but both were busy on Christmas Day. Cath had forgotten entirely the day before that it was Christmas Eve at all; she’d assumed Christmas was next week and wrapping things slipped her mind entirely. She had, however, made plans. She kept a slight distance of mostly-not-touching between her and Bono, for thinking’s sake, and when he protested, insisted they were going to see everyone else today.

“They don’t have to be around later,” she conceded at last.

Cath made Paul go into the other room—he complained like a little boy and caught at her like a man; she at last got him to do it—while she used the phone, whispering in case. There were whispers or giggles—and in the case of Larry, not very heartfelt complaints that she ignored fondly—at the other end. She hung up after what seemed like ages to Paul. He looked confused when she stuffed a coat over his arms and a hat over his head. “Come on, we’re going out! I’m driving.”

“Are you sure you should—“ he began, before she practically lifted him up off his feet. “If I can do that, I can drive,” she shushed him, exiting the house happily, excitement entering her voice. Their faces reddened against the cold; she was glad she’d stuffed a hat on her own head as well.

It was seeming like…a very short drive, Bono Vox noticed. “Where are we going?” he asked for the tenth time, pouting in the backseat where Cath had insisted he stay, another measure against distraction. Compared to him, she drove beautifully, just not when they were practically making out behind the driver’s wheel. Now that she had more visibly recovered, he couldn’t keep his hands away, she noticed, rolling her eyes.

“That would be telling,” she answered brightly, to which he sighed, fiddling with the hat that was squishing his hair. She pulled up along the sidewalk of a particularly uninteresting-looking row of houses, where a couple other cars had. Bono looked outside, rubbing his eyes.

Edge’s house? Why did we drive to Edge’s house? We could have walked. What is so secret about Edge’s—“

“Well,” she said, opening the door for him and pulling him out of the car, “he doesn’t know we’re here.” She grinned evilly and went up to one of the other cars, out of which came Ali, and then Adam, and then Larry, Bono noticed with amazement. How had they all fit into there? The stream of talking floated over to his ears: “…practically in my face, couldn’t you have put your feet somewhere else?” “Well, if your arse wasn’t…” It fell into silence. Larry glared at Adam and rubbed his elbow, then they both brightened. Ali had a quite wicked expression on her face, one that Cath shared. Good god.

“Come on guys,” Cath whispered, and Ali laughed. They all went up to Edge’s door and Ali, quite slowly and gleefully, knocked. There were footsteps, a yell, and an equally slow opening of the door. Edge shivered, fabulously bedheaded, in pajama bottoms, blearily glaring murder at the other members of the band and giving a look of painful confusion to Ali.

“D’you know what bleedin’ time it is?” Edge asked, barely intelligible since he was pretty much half-asleep. Larry and Adam devolved into laughter, and Paul chuckled nervously in a oh god, what a mood he’s in way. Cath grinned and practically knocked him over in a hug, to which Edge blinked and blushed hugely. There was a disjointed, laughter-stifled “HAPPY CHRISTMAS!” from everyone before they all invaded his house.

Edge looked less peeved when he opened the rather large cardboard box Adam hauled in—Larry whispered to Cath that he looked like he was going into labor, and Cath punched him before he bit his lip, feeling like an idiot—Edge at first gave everyone a sarcastic look of ‘a box? Just what I wanted, thanks’ but managed to just look sleepy, then gave a happy little yell when the box revealed a brand-new amplifier instead. He gave Adam a hug that Adam broke out of uncomfortably: “go put a shirt on, Edge.”

Edge disappeared into his room to put a shirt on, chattering happily about the amplifier. Of course he wanted to plug his guitar into the thing right away, which everyone else stopped him from doing for the sake of not waking up the neighborhood at this hour.

Larry had another cardboard box that Edge had badly wrapped, and presented it to Paul, who looked excited after some brief trepidation about whether it was a piece of dogshit or something. The wrapping paper went flying. Edge emerged just in time to see Paul exclaim happily, “a microphone!” and Larry nearly be knocked over by the appreciative slap on his back.

Someone gave sunglasses to Adam, Larry got a packet of condoms from an anonymous present Paul eventually confessed to giving—“well, you never know!” Bono said, shoulders shaking from laughter, while Larry looked ready to kill him. Cath gave a Ramones record to Ali, who was very happy with the choice and told Cath she could come steal her records anytime.

Edge’s parents came into the room half-asleep and told everyone to quiet down, fondly enough, before going back to their room to wake up later “at a normal hour.”

Ali seemed to remember something. “Wait a sec,” she said, and disappeared over to the car. Cath shot a questioning look at Adam and Larry, who shrugged. Bono shifted guiltily beside her. Ali came back with a rather large box, which Cath was prepared to happily watch someone else open, but plopped it in front of Cath, who was quite taken aback.

“Are you sure this isn’t for someone else?” she asked, after blinking. God, whatever it was was huge.

“Nope,” Ali said with a satisfied look on her face. Bono shifted again, and Cath shot a questioning look at him. “Did you have something to do with this?” she asked him curiously. “Yes…well…most of the stuff from me isn’t in there,” he evaded.

She looked at the daunting box and carefully ripped the paper off. Larry rolled his eyes; “you can destroy the paper if you want to. Come on.”

“A box, just what I wanted!” Cath began, then looked into the box, her hands meeting with…fabric. And more fabric. She held some of it up, and smiled at Ali. In the box were some very, very cool shirts and clothing that looked like it would actually fit.

“Thanks, guys,” she told both of them. Ali rolled her eyes. “Those were from me…well, mostly,” she amended. “He”—she jerked her thumb at Bono, who grinned, “did not get you anything practical.”

“Hey,” Paul protested, grabbing the box and fishing around until he came to the bottom of it. He threw something at Cath, whose reflexes were thankfully good. She grinned. Tight, shiny leather pants.

“These will be fun,” Cath told him, giving him an evil smile. “When they fit. I should get you some,” she mused.

“The rest isn’t in the box,” he said, giving her a heated glance. Cath set the pants down, blushing.

“Well, that’s it, guys,” Ali said to everyone. “Now go back to sleep or party or something. I know I’m going back to sleep.”

Edge grabbed his amp and headed straight for the shed-studio-whatever, daring to slip in between Cath and Bono and plant a kiss on Cath’s cheek. She blushed harder, and pulled Bono by the hand back to the car, waving goodbye to everyone. It was very, very difficult to concentrate on driving. Bono gave her a look that was pure sin when they arrived at his place, rushed up to the bedroom and fetching something. Cath removed her coat and her hat and smoothed down her hair, momentarily caught in place by her reflection in the bathroom mirror; the Cath she saw was so much happier than the Cath she had been a year ago…he came and pulled her into the other room.

She took his hands and separated from him so she could think straight, grabbing the envelopes from where she’d put them beside the door, her heart flipping when she saw the look in his eyes. He clearly hadn’t expected her to have gotten anything for him.

“Open this one first,” Cath said softly, putting the smaller, heavier envelope in his hands. His fingers were so much thicker than it that it took a moment for the contents to slide out and fall into his hand. He picked up the metal and stared wonderingly, his breath catching. It was a little silver wire ring, a perfect circle unadorned by anything, both simple and perfect. She picked it up from his fingers and slid it onto one of his fingers—not that one—smiling a taken half-smile.

“How…?” Paul asked.

“I made it,” she said. “I persuaded an artist in the city to let me play around with some wire, when you were off impressing people in London with the band.”

“Huh,” he said, noticing again her earrings. He hadn’t known she could make jewelry—that there was something she did with her spare time that perhaps she hadn’t been able to earlier in her life. He felt an odd part of himself split of and settle into her, become more empathetic: she created things, too—of course she did, he remembered, looking down at the curve of her belly.

She came up behind him, her breasts and stomach brushing against his back, and handed him the larger envelope, and smiled, kissing the side of his neck. “This one next,” she whispered. He opened it with still-shocked fingers, something heavy and dark, thin and flat sliding out. It was a photograph. It looked a little like outer space, like a little capsule—no, that’s not what it was, he realized, his heart kickstarting and jumping.

She traced a little bulge and a few other little bulges. Looking back at him was a morphous little person…oddly, Paul thought of Peter Rowen, how at some point during the photographic process it had seem like Bono was taking a picture of himself, time and years reversed. This was more immediate, reversed even more.

“See, he’s looking at you,” she said softly, kissing him again very gently. “Those are his fingers…those are his legs.”

Like looking at anyone, but with a slightly larger head, a strange little alien thing—no, this was a baby, oddly beautiful in its way, looking like anyone over its—his?—shoulder, one hand relaxed, one little arm with a clenched fist, and kicking legs a blur in the patchy ultrasound picture.

Paul turned around, tearing his eyes away from the picture, and placed his hands on Cath’s shoulders, leaning forward and kissing his reactions into her understanding, a warm little trail of a tear sliding against her face from his. Their kiss grew heavy and Paul broke apart, remembering as if as an afterthought, “I have something for you, too,” and grinning a beautiful lopsided smile before dashing upstairs.

There was the sound of some clattering—what the hell was he doing?—and he came back downstairs with a box. Oh boy. She grabbed it from him, noticing their fingers kissing each other, the ring that had only fit on his pointer finger bumping a quicksilver kiss coldly against her hand, and she fumbled with the bad wrapping, then laughed.

“Are you sure these fit me?” Cath asked, holding up what was really only a bit of fabric and pulling an amazed face at the audacity of the boy. Men…or really, this man.

He leaned over and, smiling, whispered in her ear, “Maybe we should check.”

*


She and Paul, the rest of the band, and Ali got together for New Years. Edge seemed less a bundle of nerves; Cath suspected he had found something to thoroughly absorb his time. She had no idea that the main goal of whatever he’d found to do was to distract him from the agony of being around her when she was with Bono. Ali called Cath in the early morning of New Years Eve and they snuck over to Edge’s house, drunk on lack of sleep already. He was actually awake, but protested when they began decorating the makeshift studio and hauling the speakers and his new amp into another room, until they agreed it could stay if everyone wanted to play music. In fact, Edge’s brother and some of the Virgin Prunes came along, as well as various others of their friends, and music there definitely was. It was loud and uproarious enough that thinking was impossible, but warm and happy. They all were a flame bright against the cold of winter and the old year.

Stay, Cath resolved, whether to herself, everyone else, or the times, she was not sure. There was something about the future that seemed impermanent, frightening, until she became aware again that her arms were around the man she loved, and they danced out of time to the music, barely separated, his eyes saying something about forever, everything always staying and certain.

Edge ended up giddily keyed up on the music, playing random harmonic chords on his guitar until Larry followed in and they all ended up banging drums or drumming fingers or singing or playing instruments, Cath laughing until she was red in the face at the faces Paul made at her while he sang. Everyone crashed after midnight, and Cath and Paul went home. He kept rubbing his thumb against the ring on his forefinger and losing himself in thought, distracted if Cath talked to him. She was silent instead, happy enough, their breath weaving and charging frozenly ahead of them until they got back and collapsed into bed. Before she fell off to sleep, she opened her eyes to see Bono looking at her with an expression she could not place.

“Cath,” he whispered in her ear, almost a little declaration, folding his arms around her and leaning his head against her neck. She felt something cold and hard slip against her hand: the weight of the little wire ring was calmness on her finger.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:26 PM   #2
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Oh man....and you know I'm going away. Luckily, I can get some access from my phone! At least until we depart Sunday afternoon. What is Paul doing???

Can I have the more detailed version too?
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:32 PM   #3
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You're going away? (I totally didn't know ) Paul is doing...well...great stuff. (I keep fluctuating between names for him...)

Yes you may! I have it saved as a draft...sending...it's also on Burning Down Love (nearly)
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:41 PM   #4
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Going on a cruise. I wasn't sure I'd get as much of MW as I did. I was happy I got Larry's confession up. Started thinking about the next bit, but couldn't write anything since I was so busy at work.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:43 PM   #5
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Yaaay Larry's confession I enjoyed that; he was such an awkward hopeful fellow.

I'd say, from my own experience, don't swear over a couple days or weeks of not writing much; it's usually not that bad to recover from...and there's always pen and paper if you can't get to the internet
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:04 PM   #6
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I love how you randomly have a half naked Edge in your chapters. Seriously, if Cath doesn't want him, I'm over here.

And your Bono is so sweet! I just adore him! And I'm warming up to your Cath. I'll be honest, at first I was like "OH POOR ALI!" and now I'm all "Awwwwwww! Cath and Bono are AMAZING together!"

I loved this chapter! It was fun and celebrated. Very real. Wonderful job as always!
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:07 PM   #7
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Half-naked Edge is aaalways fun

Pssh, you'd better be. I've been tolerating her since the 3rd chapter, when she became an actual person with a real live, and now I like her as a character Ali's off with Some Random Guy anyway...

Thank you it was too, too fun to write...heheh. I loved writing this chapter; it all came so unexpectedly.

...I'm assuming you want me to email the other version...
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:09 PM   #8
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If it's on BDL I'll read it there. I know how annoying emailing/PMing can be.

And more half naked Edge is always welcome.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:11 PM   #9
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OK. Go ahead

Sure thing! I can make him randomly half-naked aaaall the tiiime...in the middle of...winter? Um. Might not work. But it'll probably pop up again
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnCatKatie View Post
OK. Go ahead

Sure thing! I can make him randomly half-naked aaaall the tiiime...in the middle of...winter? Um. Might not work. But it'll probably pop up again
Really? ALL. THE. TIME?

I'm holding you to that.

Do you have AIM or google talk by chance? These forums can be such a hassle.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:21 PM   #11
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Oh no again he'll pop in and out of there, though. I swear, when anything happens with Edge, I think of you.

I have google and all that jazz. I don't do AIM really...right now I'm attempting to watch Rock'n'Roll High School on youtube though, so I'd probably be distraaacted.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:27 PM   #12
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Ah, well, if you'd like to chat just let me know and I'll PM you my gchat name.

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Old 01-14-2011, 11:28 PM   #13
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Go ahead I'll be less busy to-morrow
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:33 PM   #14
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I work a ten hour shift tomorrow.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:34 PM   #15
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D: Noes! ...I just invited you. This shall be potentially a multitask on my part
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:17 AM   #16
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of course!

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Old 01-15-2011, 09:47 AM   #17
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Sounds like a great Christmas! Very nice, celebratory chapter... you have that dress? Wow! Sounded really pretty!
I love how they all went to Edge's place to celebrate. Heh. And Cath's present for Bono was really sweet.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:48 PM   #18
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An awesome Christmas, in fact I have a dress almost exactly like it, it just has patterns all over it. I feel kind of awkward whenever I wear it because it's freakin' tight...

Edge's place just needs invading. The end. It's not a proper celebration without waking him up, is it?

I had fun with all the presents...heheheh.
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:49 PM   #19
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Might I add that I love that she got leather pants?
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:18 PM   #20
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Me too hehehe. Those will be fun.
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