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Old 01-23-2011, 04:01 PM   #1
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An Cat Dubh 28

This could have easily been very non-PG, but that would have been a bad idea...

This chapter scared me and was fun to write, all at once.

Red Rocks lyric version of 'Cry', but I'm sure those lyrics existed back then too.

***


“Where were you?” Bono asked when Cath came in the house. With a tired look on his face, he ran a hand through his hair in preoccupied thought. Edge left immediately.

“At the ultrasound,” Cath replied. “The baby's doing great,” she told Paul.

She felt oddly buoyant, thoughts untethered, ungrounded. That feeling smashed to the ground with the conversation that followed.

“I thought that was earlier?” he asked, puzzled. Had it taken longer than usual?

“We went later,” she said, sighing. “Bon, Edge paid that first hospital bill.”

“Why would he…?”

“Well, you weren’t there. The important thing is, me dad didn’t find out where I was from that. He couldn’t have, if he didn’t have it. So someone else must have known.”

He stilled. “I don’t see how that has to do with you coming back so late—“

“Paul, Isaac must have told him.”

The unspoken words hung frozen in the air: that means he knows where I am. That means…

Paul sat down suddenly, Cath’s words floating in and out of his hearing. “I went somewhere he wouldn’t be able to find,” she continued, “because I didn’t want to stay in the house if…”

Paul made a small sound. In the lessening light coming in from the window, his face looked suddenly old and young at once—troubled and at a loss for what to do. She sat beside him and put her arms around him. He was so tense…

He turned to look at her, a little piece of younger Cath reflecting in his stare. “Just…promise me you won’t go anywhere. It might not help things much, but at least I know you’re here and it’s unlikely anything will go wrong.”

She nodded, although she wasn’t sure.

Paul was practically glued to her the rest of the day, and looked wearied throughout. Anything she did would not take that expression away from his face, that incredulous belief that if he looked away for an instant, she would be gone.

Cath did not dream anything enigmatic that night, or anything about the future. Instead, she remembered, and Paul’s arms around her did nothing to stop her from falling into memory.

Cath jumped, her legs tense, too exposed by the skirt she wore, that bunched into her fists. She hated suddenly, irrationally, the clothes she had worn to school. They were nothing, no barrier against his hard eyes. A cold sweat shivered throughout her. The glass shattering against the wall jolted her out of any thought.

She tried to disappear into the shadows. She tried to shut her eyes tightly, screaming within her head that everything would go away, that the lines of tears would run across the darkness and drag her away to oblivion, wash everything away. That she could go back...she hugged her knees to her chest, afterwards, stretched but could not stretch her stiff legs, and walked, cold dropping through her in names.

My father. He had become nothing, in her eyes.

My brother. He had not stopped it either.

She stared at herself in the mirror, looking bleakly at this stranger. Her makeup had smudged across her face, and her hair had tangled. She couldn’t look at her eyes. If she did, she would explode from her frozen thoughts and never be able to return. There were no barriers in her eyes.


Myself...

She couldn’t forgive herself. Something about her must have caused this all to happen—

She awoke with her heart hammering and pressed her face into Paul’s shoulder. Tears slid wetly down his skin, waking him. He moved from under her and looked at her tearstained face. She looked incredibly relieved to see him in front of her and not someone else. It was probably that look on her face that broke him.

“Cath, it’ll be fine,” he said quietly. She closed her eyes tightly and clung to him, muttering something frantic. Paul sighed, picked her up, and carried her downstairs in the predawn silence, falling asleep on the couch with Cath laying on his chest like a baby.

He was very reluctant to leave the house. The morning was dark, the air cold, biting through his clothing even when he was inside. The moon reflected outside in an afterimage like shadows off shrapnel in the city streets.

He looked up; the cold air clawed through his hair and slapped his face and stood still for a moment, the light from faraway cars throwing shadows across the sun that hadn’t risen.

Half a song, the part they decided against recording, echoed through him reflectively. He must have seen something in Cath’s eyes that showed her thoughts.

So many cry - so many cry - so many cry
Will somebody try - somebody try –
somebody try something quick


Don't you look back,
don't you look back,
don't you look back…
” he whispered, looking ahead at the road, decision coming like a clenched fist.

Something cracked within him, hit hard, when morning truly came, something reflected in his footsteps rattling across the street. He looked in the direction of school, and back again, and his thoughts grew resolute. Heart pounding with a sick sort of triumph, he turned a different corner than the one that lead to Mount Temple, his footsteps growing louder as he walked, crackling like gunshots over the pavement.


Cath was awakened by a distant ringing. She blinked, her head filled with static, and winced at the stabbing pain in her temples when she moved.

She answered the phone, then rolled her eyes when she realized she had spoken in Gaelic. At least that word sounded close enough to English.

“Haigh,” he called in a parody of decency and she scrambled away, laughing at him, throwing various curses behind her, a brief euphoria bubbling into her lungs: she would be gone this afternoon. She could avoid him. The rest of the day should have seemed safe: she was at school, in that unreal bubble away from her life, but she kept awakening to reality and seeing as if in a dream that bruise across her forehead, that cut on her leg, and refused to look anyone in the eye.

She stiffened and bolted from the doorway automatically when she walked in on the Gaelic class learning about greetings, hearing the wrong voice all too clear, and left school for the day then.


Cath shook free of the memories clawing at her and listened to the phonecall with a sinking feeling. There weren’t many people who referred to Bono as ‘Paul Hewson’. Her guess was correct.

Stupid, idiotic boy. Where the hell are you?

“He’s not here. No, this is not his mother speaking. No, I’m not his—I don’t know where he would be right now.” She declined to answer when the school asked her name, suspicious that they might try to make her return, and said she might not be there if they called back.

She put the receiver down carefully and leaned against the wall, now fully awake. What the hell was going on?

About an hour passed, and she still had no idea.


Edge, upon seeing Cath when he came over, was a little taken aback by the circles under her eyes. “Did you sleep?” he asked.

“No.”

She shut the door behind him with a very serious look on her face. “Bono’s not at your house, is he? He’s not playing some joke on everyone?”

Edge shook his head. “I don’t think he’d do that. What…? Is he gone?”

“The school just called me—“—she rolled her eyes—“—they thought I was his mother. I had to convince them he wasn’t out doing drugs or anything.

“Well, if he’s not with you, my last guess is wrong. And since you’re over here, it must not be a band thing.” She sat down with a bleak expression. “I have no idea why the hell he would be gone from school and not here.”

I, for one, would much rather he were here. She rubbed her hands over her arms miserably.

“Cath, are you okay?”

She looked up in a sort of exasperated pain. “I didn’t get any sleep, and when I did, it was bad, things I could do without remembering right now.”

She stared at the little slice of strawberry she held, feeling empty and sick. Cath suddenly stood up resolutely, setting her plate down, the forgotten strawberry like a shock of blood.

“Edge,” she said quietly, “I have to get out of here.”

He didn’t protest this time. It made more sense than it had, with everything explained.

“If we don’t know where he is, he’ll be hard to find,” he said instead, and didn’t make to move out the door. She just stared at him in disbelief and at last grabbed him by the sleeve of his coat, dragging him firmly outside.

“Cath,” he said even more quietly, the voice of reason, “he told you not to leave, didn’t he.” She turned around and looked at him again, hurt snapping across her eyes.

“He probably had a reason,” he continued.

“Well, he doesn’t follow his own fecking rules!”

“Cath, love, please come back inside.”

The look he was giving her…

She breathed out sharply, turned away from him so he wouldn’t see her dash hot tears away, and clenched her hands into fists, turning back. She didn’t know why she turned, shook her head. Edge tried to say something, reached out to try to stop her from moving, and in a sudden hard instant several thoughts fired through Cath in rapid succession. She twisted his hand away from his arm, her stomach clenching as she realized she wasn’t reacting to Edge—or was she? They were all the same, in some way.

Before she could think and regret it, she took flight, walking fast and then running when he tried to follow her. Edge stood where he was for a long while. The sun had risen, illuminating everything with a bright, unreal aspect. It seemed equally unreal that she had just left. When the shock faded away from him, he made a quiet decision and walked the way she had ran.

He did not expect to see what he saw. His heart slipped and lurched, and his footsteps picked up speed until he reached Cath. She leaned against the outside of the house—next to his—as if drained of all strength. When she saw him again she tried to keep on walking, but only managed to straighten her body and stand.

“What—“ he began wildly. She shook her head. “It’s nothing,” she said, not very convincingly.

He took her hand and began to walk in the direction back, and considered carrying her, for she wasn’t following easily, but she walked again properly and the shadow of pain passed.

“I’m not sure what that pain was from,” Cath said, with a quiet dread.

“Well, it’s—what—about eight and a half months since you…?” He blushed.

“I’m not sure, actually. I stopped remembering what day it was when, months before I met Paul.” She looked bleak again. Edge had a sudden horrible thought.

“It’s not…it’s not Isaac’s kid, is it?”

She shook her head vehemently. “No. I kept him away from me. The day I met Paul for the first time, actually, it wasn’t on the stage…he was walking down the street, and he saw me leave my house. He tried to hide, sensing something was going on, since Isaac was shouting at me. And I hurt Isaac back. I found a piece of broken glass, and…”

“He’s still alive, though,” Edge stated.

“I couldn’t make myself kill him,” she said quietly. “He didn’t deserve to die.”


Cath slept a few hours when they returned to the house, and Edge sat staring into the distance. When she awoke, he admitted, “We probably should go somewhere else. It’s not all that safe here anymore.

“Plus there’s no knowing what the hell Bono is up to.”

“Can we find him?” Cath asked.

“Well, we can try.”

They searched various places in Dublin, after finding out that Larry and Adam didn’t know where he was either. They went into some of the bars the band had played at, Edge glaring at any men who even looked at Cath, and the day faded into afternoon with no sign of Paul Hewson. They at last clambered back into Edge’s car, and for some reason, he found himself driving to that beach again. Within him, the day unraveled into yesterday, time washing back and releasing any tension from today.

He looked silently out into the endlessness of the waves, and spoke to Cath about nothing and everything. There seemed a fine line between today and tomorrow, past and future, until that endlessness was snapped by Cath: she wondered again where Paul was.

“I feel like something bad has happened,” she said, her words dropping into Edge’s mind like stones. Something twisted inside of him. He didn’t mention anything about the fact that she was crying. She hid the tears from his sight and buried her face against him.

“Maybe he’s with another woman,” she stated. The thought hadn’t occurred to her before. Edge held her and tried to convince her otherwise, and something changed. Cath winced, and then looked up. Sea and sky merged in her eyes. She shivered.

And he kissed her, very softly, his hand cradling her head just below her ear, his mouth moving slowly over hers with a gathering heat. She tasted like sunrise; the sun, beading the edges of her body, had filled her skin.

She moved him down onto the sand, hands running through the soft hairs at the back of his neck, her legs tucked underneath her, over his, her belly brushing his exposed skin where the hem of his shirt rode up, a little pattering heartbeat racing along with hers.

She shoved her body against him, her legs wrapping around his. The ocean pounded an urge into his ears, and twined around the rising moan that escaped Edge’s throat brokenly. His jeans felt too tight, and his whole head felt giddy, blood rushing through his body and...downward...he felt like he could run across the world and collapse, all at once. He breathed hard, the bird-fast racing of his heart flickering against her skin pressed tightly to his.

“Cath,” Edge gasped. “Cath, I—”

This was wrong. This was very wrong. It made so much sense to his body, though his mind rejected it.

She ran her hands shyly underneath his shirt from his chest down to his stomach and suddenly he couldn’t think. He inhaled, everywhere the wild pounding of the waves, and Cath’s hands driving him mad.

He kissed her sweetly, nudging her legs apart and kneeling before her to come to rest in her arms, fully clothed, clutching her tightly.

“You don’t want to do this, love. I do, but you don’t.”

And—she didn’t. Cath froze in a moment, realizing that the aching sadness of Bono's absence still echoed through her.

She did not love Edge.

Edge was different than Bono. He seemed so much more emotionally present, exposed, his heart open to the elements, buffeted by the waves, held by her arms.

But she did not love him, not that way. She was suddenly incredibly relieved they had not done anything further.

She realized he was right, and held back the tears with tight eyes, overwhelmed. She did not love him. He quivered involuntarily against her, and his legs, fabric-clad, brushed loosely against hers. His hands held her face, kissed her hair and trailed along her chin, though he only held her, and did little else, controlling himself and stopping himself from kissing her. She could feel the rapid rising and falling of his chest, the way he shook involuntarily, the way her sadness shook through her as he pressed himself tightly to her.

And she felt a twinge of pain, deep, biting through her stomach. Cath groaned. Edge looked up amazedly. “We aren’t even—” he began, assuming that had been something different, but she clutched her hands over her belly and shut her eyes tightly, burying her head against his shoulder.

“We need to go back, Edge,” she said with a kind of fear. The ocean continued around them, a constant warning rush of the passage of time. She felt a sudden surprising relief—the pain had stopped, leaving her surprised and filling her instead with warning.

Time unraveled back as the landscape passed in the direction of home; they slipped back into friendship, but for the lingering attachment in Edge’s eyes that refused to fade.
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:33 PM   #2
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I am
1. Terrified (what happened to Bono?)
2. Sad (why couldn't Edge have fallen in love with someone else? )
3. Excited? (for what happens next)
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:41 PM   #3
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1. You'll find out! Good that you're concerned...

2. Yeah...it does not make things easier for him. To be fair, Aislinn ends up being a bad idea...

3. I don't know if excited is right; there's a new chapter in the works, but it's not very happy...well, parts of it are...
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:50 PM   #4
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Okay, then I am nervous!
OMG, do not let that woman touch this story. Not that I'd expect you to anyway, but... Maybe it's just fair if Edge doesn't fall in love at all. :/
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:59 PM   #5
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Awww. Unfortunately, she may be in it at the end. I can just not mention her, buuut...it'd be focusing on when their relationship is still OK. This story ends in '83...(and I can't wait until the ending; I like it :3)
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:52 PM   #6
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Well okay... but I think it's a bit unusual that he can just go like someone else. Then again... I don't know what all else you have planned out! This is gonna be a long story, but I'm ready LOL.
Oh, 83? Meaning going through October era? COOL!
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:01 PM   #7
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Hahahaha. I'm afraid 'going and liking someone else' isn't really an option. Sorry!

It's probably not going to be as long as you think...the end is very very much a summary. I have my reasons. It's not going to be as much a long story (definitely not like 40 chapters or anything, hahaha)...

October era...more like Red Rocks (or a similar concert around then). It's very very brief, '83 in this story.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:28 PM   #8
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October justs excites me. That is all...
I guess I will have to stop talking and just wait to see what happens! (I'm going to bed now anyway... )
goodnight.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:34 PM   #9
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Well, to that. October is awesome.

Night night!
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:55 PM   #10
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Okay, I'm back and I'm caught up. Very well done. I might have skimmed some of the other chapters. It was a busy week, and well, we partied like rock stars (well, older rock stars).

This chapter was amazing and cannot wait to read the next. Might be awhile before I get mine up - I spent most of my vacation (when not trekking 3rd world countries) thinking about the next story thanks to POP Bono thread.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:02 PM   #11
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Hi Grace Long time no see! I'm envious of your partying; I've just been writing writing writing.

Excited to read the next one of yours, too thanks!
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:21 PM   #12
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Well, I am now in detox mode as cruises are eating/drinking fests. When you aren't snorkeling and basking in the sun. But now, I'm back in training mode. First, laundry and unpacking. UGH. But I jotted some ideas down before I left.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:30 PM   #13
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Ahhhh. Still envious ^^
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