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Old 01-16-2011, 06:29 PM   #1
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An Cat Dubh 22

January's becoming February...in real life and in the story. The months they count on.

This chapter was kind of scary too.

***

A week passed before Edge and the rest of the band began to notice Bono’s lack of productivity. Sure, he worked on the songs they had already written, and they finally gave up ‘Street Missions’ and ‘Lost On A Distant Planet’, but he seemed distracted, without giving himself fully to the performances. After one particularly dismal Monday afternoon in which the crowd actually began to leave in the middle, Edge took Bono aside and whispered, “What the hell is going on?”

The other boy looked to the side, sighed, then looked at Edge. The look in Paul’s eyes said he was disappearing into things he could not handle, and was scared. He shook his head. It almost came to a fistfight before Bono breathed in deeply, stepped back, and in a low voice told Edge what had happened the week before.

It was a moment before Edge could speak again. He kept seeing horrible images in his mind, most of them red or the color of bruises. The worst was an open door, Bono Vox’s house deathly still and empty. Everything interrupted, as if Cath had been dragged away.

“Holy shit,” Edge breathed, then a sort of tension snapped and gave in him. Incredulously, he realized he was practically yelling, if it was possible to yell and whisper at once.

“Bon. Bono! This doesn’t mean you can leave everything behind. It’s no bloody excuse for you to practically fall out of the band.”

And it wasn’t. Bono stared up at his friend, shocked that Edge was yelling. What the hell was making Edge yell? He found himself growing angry, and glared, which somehow solidified that lost-child expression on his face.

“I’ll do what I have to,” he said tensely.

“No, you won’t,” Edge said. Bono was making for the street; they had been by the side of the building, the dark shapes of the disappointed public trickling outside in their peripheral vision. He grabbed Paul’s arm, which he twisted angrily away from Edge.

No you won’t,” Edge repeated a little desperately. It was difficult to try and change Bono’s mind, but he had motivation. He had to run at about twice the pace the singer was walking and shoved his hands against Bono’s shoulders to stop him from walking. Bono gave an exasperated sigh, Paul Hewson looking on in his eyes.

“Yeah, you’re scared, to the point where you don’t notice if anyone else is scared shitless—“

…what? the thought didn’t completely penetrate Bono’s mind. The buildings and sidewalk around him blurred into glassy unimportance as he tried to focus on what the hell Edge was saying.

Edge shook his head as Bono made again to move, pushing him still again with tension-strained arms. Meanwhile, Edge was calculating he couldn’t stop Bono from moving for long. Inwardly he sighed, though whatever had become clear to him in the minutes before was glad about what he was about to say.

“You don’t get to just leave. People get hurt. People die. That’s what happens, and you have to get over it.”

“Not her,” Paul said, looking suddenly lost, his crossed arms wrapping around himself. “I can’t let that happen.”

“You can’t change things that happen if you’re not there. You can’t worry about them, or stop them. Stop acting like it’s your fucking mother dying again.” As soon as he said it, Edge wished he could take it back. Bono looked like he had been slapped, his expression too vulnerable, his eyes too shocked. He began to walk away in some meaningless direction, Edge standing there cursing himself, feeling like a black stain on the world, only a little scrawled sketch of a man who had no right to pry into his best friend’s life.

It was all the same fights, wasn’t it, Paul thought as he walked away, the anger fading from blinding to be replaced with a deep sense of loss. He found he was singing, the anger dissipating, the hurt remaining.

Back to the cold restless streets at night…
talk to myself about tomorrow night
Walls of white protest
a gravestone in name
Who is it now?
It’s always the same…


The fear spiraled out and grew into a sort of crystallized image that vanished as soon as it appeared. He remembered briefly being much younger, with the thought that everyone lived forever—and then he remembered when that had been proven wrong.

Who is it now
that calls me inside
Are the leaves on the trees
just a living disguise…


And tried to forget.

I’ll walk the sweet rain tragicomedy…
I’ll walk home again
to the street melody…


Edge caught the last two lines on the rising wind, and thought of another time, an imagined time from the lyrics he sang, when he walked down the street and everything had changed…

How could he blame Paul? He was afraid himself. He held the fear back with two hands, practically, but resolved he would find some way to ease it within Paul’s mind. They could trade off the worry.

The tension simmered and slipped into Paul Hewson’s unconsciousness. One day he emerged back into the studio again and the music was once again driven, the energy of Edge’s guitar and his black, guilty stare channeling into the drums and then the bass as the rest of the band wondered silently what on earth had made Bono act the way he had—and almost leave. Larry clashed against the drums and Edge played unconsciously. Somehow the lyrics from days before came to his mind. In half-question, he sang, and Bono followed,

Do you feel in me
Anything redeeming?
Any worthwhile feeling?
Is life…


So short…

…like a tightrope
Hanging from the ceiling…


Shadows and tall trees in their minds, that separation none of them wanted to feel. All the street fights they had tried to forget about; Paul hoped it had been erased from his nature. It had broken finally, Paul catching Edge’s eye and speaking seriously to him after the rest of the band had left his house.

“I’m sorry,” the singer said, surprised to see there was no challenge at all in Edge’s eyes, only a sort of hurt sympathy that echoed in his own mind.

What on earth, Edge? What happened that made your mind so like mine?

“I shouldn’t let it get in the way of the band. I just had this silly idea that everything could last forever, and this shook things up. I don’t know what to think anymore. I was just…really, really scared, Edge.”

“I should be the one apologizing,” Edge said, nodding. “I had absolutely no right to say that.” He really did feel terrible.

Paul nodded, swallowing. “It’s fine. Just…” He trailed off, unsure of what to say. He smiled brightly, realizing something that would help more than his silent angst. “Edge,” Bono began, “could you do something for me?”

Edge’s expression was a cautious Yes…? He wasn’t sure what the singer was about to propose.

“Could you stay with Cath when I’m at school? It’s just…I don’t want anything bad to happen, and I’d feel better if she wasn’t alone.”

Edge laughed incredulously after nodding seriously. “You know I’m the least likely to be able to take this guy out, right? He could easily punch the bloody hell out of me and then where would this plan be?”

“I wouldn’t be too sure of that,” Paul said. “I’m not expecting you to stop anything that comes along. That would be impossible. But I think you’re underestimating yourself.”

“Well, if it does come to that, it’d be relieving as hell to drag his ass away.”

Bono sighed. “Even more so for me. Damned, bloody Gaelic class…”

“You haven’t asked her for help with that, have you?”

“She’d laugh at me! I wouldn’t be able to get a straight face from her for days!” He rolled his eyes. “Well, thanks, Edge.”
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:40 PM   #2
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Now I'm worried! Kinda taken a darker path here...
EDGE! That comment was over the line! Good thing he felt badly...
And now I want to listen to Shadows And Tall Trees. I've never heard the lyrics really. Hmmm...
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:21 PM   #3
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Yeah... sadly.
I know! Edge, that was not nice. I was going for something Bono would *not* be happy about...and it's true.

I never really realized the lyrics were that sad...kind of reflective, but not sad. They fit in pretty well I listened to Shadows and Tall Trees again after writing this...
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Old 01-17-2011, 05:10 PM   #4
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Shadows and Tall Trees! Perfect! I love that song!

And BAD Edge! BAD BAD BAD! You should go to my room, Edge! You've been a bad boy.



I'll punish him for you if you'd like.

I like this chapter a lot! Your writing was spectacular (nothing new there, though...) And Edge being with Cath while Bono is at school! Something is BOUND to happen between them!
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Old 01-17-2011, 05:14 PM   #5
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I'd had it in my mind for a while to have that song come in this story. I knew at least it would be with someone walking angrily down the street...it happened in an unexpected way, however.

Baww and thank you. I'm glad you liked the chapter!

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I'll punish him for you if you'd like.
.... I think I just peed my pants laughing no, but it came close. If he's a naughty boy you're an even naughtier girl!

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And Edge being with Cath while Bono is at school! Something is BOUND to happen between them!
Thought you'd pick up on that. :blush: He's going to find it difficult to deal with. That's why he was all incredulous. 'You're letting me stay at your house with your girlfriend who I'm really really attracted to? Oh yes.'
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