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Old 01-21-2011, 08:23 PM   #1
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An Cat Dubh 26

Why Edge's chapters always end in song lyrics, I don't know...

Not mine, not true, and Gaelic is even more impossible when you have to search for it on the Internet.

I like this chapter a lot more than the last, because, well, I'm out of writer's block now!

And pay attention to the dreams. They always mean something. There are always reasons I put them in. The other ones, too.

Don't you love how everyone else thinks 'fucking shit' and Cath goes 'fecking shite'? Oh yes.

***


Monday came. Paul’s eyelids cracked open too late. He had fallen asleep on the couch, sitting with his arms around Cath, and awoke to see an unusual amount of light streaming in through the windows. His heart thudded: he was late—and he had grown used to not being at school, over the weekend. Reluctantly he slipped away from Cath, walked to the bathroom and stuck his head under the faucet; there was no time to shower; and grabbed an apple from the counter, slipping on his shoes with no socks and already out the door.

There was a scrawled note on the counter when Cath woke up, reading School again. Edge might come over and say hi. I wrote some lyrics last night and they’re somewhere by the couch, though they may be impossible to find under everything else. Do you have an ultrasound tomorrow? I’ll try to be there for that. Tá grá agam duit, Cath,

"I love you" in Gaelic she assumed was what he had written, automatically translating his misspelling—

Yours forever. –Paul, he ended.

Cath shook the sleep away from her head, the warmth left from his body on the couch already dissipating, leaving her arms cold. She missed him already. She would have been fine even with waking up to him cursing that he had to leave.

I wonder what I would be learning if I was in school right now? She felt like she was learning more outside of school, in any case. It was no major loss.

She could see there was food in the kitchen, but wasn’t hungry yet; she felt faintly empty and nauseous. That might be odd for late pregnancy, but she didn’t have any prior experience in the matter. Cath shivered, rubbed her arms vigorously, and headed for upstairs to have a bath, walking slowly, for walking had become awkward, her legs a little wider than they would be normally, her center of gravity very displaced. She practically went back to sleep, in the hot water, drifting in and out of daydreams. She had dreamt of her mother again, the plotline of the dream dissipating already. She watched the water slip through her fingers and over the mountain of her belly and tried to grasp the thoughts she had had last night.

She had dreamed she walked down a night-shadowed road breathed upon by sea damp, the road ahead of her hazy, the ocean smell strong in her nose. Cold needled against her arms: she wore something sleeveless in the cold night, though she had shoes on and carried something. The cold froze around her midsection and grasped against her heart, but she shivered and the movement of that and her legs chased it away. The night was perfectly silent, some unfathomable meaning clear against the glassy, still waves. The sound of a heartbeat echoed through her head, and her own footsteps.

She looked at the path before her, and suddenly it was daylight, and there was a warmth against her hand: she looked up, far up, realized she was a younger Cath and she held her mother’s hand. Cath-from-years-ago smiled and shook her hand free, crossing her arms and looking intently at the water, whatever her mother was trying to tell her fading until the light dissipated into the night-mist that bit through her again. She stood at the end of the road, and realized she stood next to Edge, and there was something in Edge’s arms, and someone else beyond them both.

“What should I do?” she asked him.

He shook his head in response, and nodded in the direction of the hazy distance.


A knock from downstairs jolted her out of her thoughts. It came back to Cath in a rush that she was naked, alone, and rather exhausted. A little warning strike shouted in her heart. She leaned over the side of the tub, water dripping little sliding reflections, and pressed her head against the side of the door.

“Cath?” came a voice from downstairs, a teenaged frantic voice. She recognized it as Edge’s and a sudden wave of relief took her by surprise. Cath cracked open the door slightly and half-shouted, “I’m taking a bath, Edge. I’ll be down in a moment.” She stood up, water colliding with the rest in the tub, and rolled her eyes, realizing she had walked into the bathroom without bringing anything in with her.

She stuck her head out again, all the way this time. “Uh, Edge?”

“Yes?” He had crossed halfway up the stairs, sitting in the middle of the middle step, trying very hard not to blush when he noticed Cath’s wet hair trailing over her shoulders, the rest blocked by the door but coming unbidden to his mind.

“I forgot to bring clothes in with me. Would you hand some to me?”

He replied with some word of assent, his voice cracking, and turned hurriedly so she would not see the expression on his face. He closed the door to her room even more hurriedly behind him, leaning against it for a moment, closing his eyes. God, this was awkward. And just yesterday he had been practicing a song the band was trying to figure out if it fit in the album, and couldn’t help but notice as Bono briefly took the guitar from him the little ring on his third finger. Edge had stared, and Adam had noticed the direction he stared, giving a sympathetic look to Edge and asking, “You getting married, Bon?” And Edge’s life had gone down from there.

He should not be thinking any thoughts whatsoever about a practically married woman.

It would have been easier if there hadn’t been that period of time when Cath shied away from any man—and from Paul especially, still remembering Isaac—and despite all that, Edge had been drawn irrefutably into her life, keeping secrets that were not his, desperate for her to live and hoping that perhaps Bono would not make an idiot of himself in relations to her, so Edge wouldn’t have to be in the position he was. It didn’t work out that way. She and Paul fell back into love hard and fast, and Edge felt like something had been ripped out of him…and the secrets were still there.

He cleared his head and tried not to figure out anything about Cath’s personal life by what lay around the room. Some silver wire drew his gaze, and pliers: was she making jewelry? and a little dark pile of clothing on the ground a few feet away, some clearly Bono’s. He turned away and ignored all that, at last finding where she had her clean clothing—at least it wasn’t Bono; it was impossible to find anything of his—and choosing a shirt and pants at random, banishing especially the unbidden images coming to his mind: what had been unseen, the blue shadows underneath Cath’s collarbone descending, her hair falling past her shoulderblades, the water beading the curves of her body…God.

If she and Edge were together, what would it be like? Would they have some connection already, or would he have to show it by her body’s reactions? Would—

He exited the room fast, shaking his head again, and knocked softly on the door. There was the sound of dripping water again, and the door opened, Edge completely unprepared, holding the clothes out, unable to move. Her hand brushed against his arm as she took them, thanking him and laughing softly, and he shivered. He began to say something, but the door shut and there was the sound of fabric moving. The door opened again, steam billowing out. Cath’s hair fell wetly against her shirt, clinging to her body, and stark against her pale face, her unreadable eyes that shone with some of the escaping mist.

Edge opened his mouth again, unable to speak, and it hung open for a moment, while she leaned over to her door and deposited her dirty clothes. The steam, gone now, had made little beads of moisture along the hair of his arms, and shone against the back of her neck made visible as she turned.

“Thank you, Edge,” Cath said, smiling at him fondly and stepping forward to head downstairs. He couldn’t make himself move. It happened very fast. “Cath,” he responded, heart hammering through his body, vibrating his torso, and collided against her: before he could think about what he had just done, he was pressing up against her, the water droplets on her body soaking through her clothing and pricking against his. He laid his hands gently against the back of her head and kissed her feverishly, desire flooding his body and his senses for a single glorious moment while she was too shocked to respond. Cath blinked, her eyelashes brushing against Edge’s face. Her heart dropped to her feet in surprise.

Edge is…kissing me?

Oh, fecking shite.


She had forgotten. And then she realized. She stepped away as though electrocuted, eyes wide, and rushed downstairs, nearly tripping in her hurry. He followed after a moment, dazed, cursing himself, shaking still with that rush of energy. He could think clearly after another minute, then said, “Cath, I’m sorry.” Her back was turned to him; she leaned against the refrigerator, hands making little trails of moisture against the surface, her shoulders shaking. He thought she was laughing silently, overwhelmed, but when he came over beside him he realized she was crying, heaving sobs shaking her body. Edge’s eyes widened. Cath breathed out haltingly as if the crying would stop, but it only came back in a stronger wave, cooling her tear-fevered face.

Edge felt terrible. He thought to comfort her, unsure what she was crying about, then realized he probably should not touch her. “I’m sorry,” he repeated, voice cracking again. “Cath, what’s wrong? You shouldn’t have to—“

She turned to him and her body tensed. She held herself away from him, leaning against the refrigerator, looking exhausted and terrified, her eyes regretful and bright. For a long moment, she did not speak, her shuddering breath easing. Her shoulders stopped shaking with the silent tears. Her hand clenched into a fist and she stared at him, then relaxed, though her body was still unusually tense.

“Please don’t touch me, Edge. I’m sorry.”

“Cath, what—“

“I just realized—“ she closed her eyes and slumped against the fridge for a moment—“—what I was trying to remember. And there’s something on everyone’s mind.”

“Cath—“ he held a hand out gently, then drew it back, remembering, feeling terrible again.

“And why you’re over here,” she continued, eyes wide. “You thought something was going to happen. You and Paul kept it silent.” She had gripped at realization. “You think Isaac is going to come and…” The silence at the end of that statement was enough.

Suddenly it made sense why she had bolted away from him, why she had looked as if she would run or fight.

“You thought it was him, when I knocked.” His statement wasn’t a question. He sighed.

She nodded, still shaky, and wrapped her arms around herself. They folded above her swollen stomach.

“I’d forgotten. Something was bothering me, but I didn’t let myself remember…I wanted Paul to get it out of his mind…”

He realized he had stepped forward and wrapped his arms around her. She eased into them, for a moment, eyes shut tight, then pushed him away.

“I think it would be better if I was alone, Edge. I mean…not touching. I don’t know if…”

She still had a tremendous urge, that frightened her, to reach out and knock her fist against his face. Leftover fear. And the confusion in her mind was too much at once: one half of her had automatically thought Edge was Paul—but no, he was different—and another strange part thought that he was not Paul, and reacted as if Edge was threatening her in some way.

And, in a small way, compared to Paul, his presence was shocking. He had, for an instant, taken all of her pain away—brought it back and erased it—and left her confused. And it was wrong. Something she could not accept with things the way they were.

“Okay,” Edge said. He closed his eyes for a moment. “I’m really, really sorry, Cath. I shouldn’t have kissed you.” Or that time before…but I couldn’t stop myself, either time. “I’ll stay away as much as possible, if you want,” he continued softly. “Apart from if you see the band, you won’t ever have to see me again.”

It’s not what I want, but fuck what I want. That’s not what matters. I haven’t had nearly as many things go wrong in my life. I have no right deciding what she wants.

Cath looked at him, really looked at him, silently. Something had eased within her. “No, I don’t think that will be necessary. But you know how things are. They’re staying that way. I’m in love with him, Edge, so much it’s hard to wrap my head around. But it would hurt to never see you again. We’re…well…friends.”

He nodded.

And you probably haven’t told him everything, he thought at Cath with an inward sigh. You probably haven’t mentioned that we kissed. And...

She led him into the other room, and picked up a little scrap of paper that had Bono’s familiar cursive scrawl on it, handing it to him and sitting far on the edge of the couch, Edge accepting the paper and sitting at the other edge. He smiled, reading the lyrics.

“Well, this one we started on a while ago,” Edge said, “but it didn’t have real lyrics at that point. This album is really, really ironic, isn’t it?”

“Hmm?” Cath questioned, tucking her legs underneath herself and leaning back.

He smiled at her. For a moment, she was forced to face that open, happy we’vejustkissedIloveyouCath expression on his face as he explained gently, “Your baby boy.”

She nodded, and grinned. “The things Bono comes up with unawares…” She watched him curiously as he read, and then sang, the lyrics on the paper.

Into the heart
of a child…
I stay awhile…


There was an endearing quality about Bono’s singing, that he lost himself in the song, and sang to himself, to her, to everything he ever loved. Edge had unconsciously picked up the refrain of that habit, and his thoughts fell clear on his face, squeezing around Cath’s heart.

Paul…what he would think if he knew…

But if he knew, he would also know that she loved him. Paul Hewson. Bono Vox. The mixture of the two, the singer and the boy. The man she was engaged to, whose child would be born sometime soon.

I can go there,” she finished the verse for him. She tried not to let her accent slip in, and so her voice was quieter. There was an odd divide in this song between her perspective and Paul’s—childhood so far away, but she could envision sometimes, in dizzying moments when the world shifted and her stomach twinged because the baby kicked, what it would be like for this boy to grow up—and yet childhood was something intangible, lost…

Into the heart of a child
I can smile…


That first time she had seen him, walking down her street, stopping and hiding as she slammed the door in Isaac’s face, picked up a shard of glass, and stared at this boy from another world where these things did not happen. He had had an innocence and childhood once. So had she. He had still been naive enough to believe she only picked something up off the street to throw away. Not that she would hurt Isaac in self-defense. Not that that man in the doorway had hurt her beyond hurting.

I can’t go there,” that verse ended. No, she had not been able to return to that innocence. Paul held the reflection of it, made her more whole again.

Edge looked up, startled, acknowledging some of the pain in Cath’s eyes.

Into the heart, into the heart of a child,”

Edge’s voice like a whisper, longing the way he could not let his eyes.

Paul’s hair tickling her skin, as he pressed his ear against her skin, hearing the other heartbeat, his unguarded expression familiar even through her nearly-closed eyes.

I can’t go back
I can’t stay awhile
Into the heart…

Into the heart.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:05 PM   #2
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Oh, I can't think of what to say...
Man, your writing is stil good! Especially in the dream(s). I should start paying attention- dreams really do always have meaning. Even in real life.
One very random thing is that it's getting hard to concentrate reading blue writing on a blue background. I guess it can't be helped... *sigh*
I wouldn't blame Edge for that kiss! And it seems Cath is kind of slow to not have realized this whole issue with Isaac before.
Oh- is there an explanation I've stupidly missed for why Bono's dad or brother haven't found out about Cath staying in their house?
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:09 PM   #3
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The dreams are all important; you might want to go back and read the other ones too.

Hahaha...all the blue is great...

She realized the issue, she just blocked it out; I mentioned that about 2 chapters back. She purposely does not want to think about it, and Edge broke the emotional floodgates...

Um. They know...they're just very very quiet in this story. Gh. Busy doing something, maybe.
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:06 PM   #4
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Yeah, I was wondering why they weren't characters, and had nothing to say about this...
And putting this out there- I tend to forget stuff that happens in earlier chapters. Bleh.
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:36 PM   #5
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Hehehe yeah, they would have made things interesting. Bono's dad was there a couple chapters back...don't really remember when...
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