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Old 01-25-2011, 12:57 AM   #1
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An Cat Dubh 30

This was quite satisfying to write...finally! Times two.

Oisín's pronounced 'osh-een,' when I pronounce it at least.

Go raibh maith agat—Go faster; máthair—mother (Eee, Gaelic...so much fun to write and a pain in the ass to find online. There is no translator, only dictionaries...)

Unfortunately, Isaac's names sound pretty good together. I think for me finally finding names for everyone...


***

Cath only sensed, waking barely, someone coming into her room, and relaxed, knowing it was Paul. He settled into the bed, too exhausted to bother with his clothes, still warm through all the layers to Cath. He kissed the back of her neck, and she could feel when he closed his eyes and his breathing slowed. She drifted back to sleep again, happy he was back, confused as to why he had been gone, but sleep beckoned even more seductively with the safety of him.

The morning came brightly. Cath woke with the shock of another stirring, pulling sensation in her belly. She opened her eyes and woke fully to realize Paul was still here.

“Good morning,” he said softly, tilting her face up when she looked down at her stomach in surprise, and kissing her lingeringly awake. Realization crossed his face and he broke away.

“Cath, are you…?” He stared where she had been staring.

“I don’t know yet,” she told him. “I feel strange…”

His eyes widened. “God.” He breathed out in a preoccupied way. “I really, really hope that’s not what I think it is.”

“Why?”

“The band’s playing tonight, and it’s important; there’s a man who says he might get us a single…god.” He rested his hand in his face. “The hell does that matter? We could get a single anytime. It doesn’t matter fecking anything.”

“Well, I don’t even know if this is it. But thanks. If there’s anything to worry about, you’ll probably be first to know after me.”

She was so intensely relieved to have him back, she forgot to ask him where he had been. His return was like a powerful drug, knocking all sense and reason from her. She dragged him practically as another part of her body throughout the house, which he certainly did not object to. They got pretty much nothing done; breakfast was interrupted because he kept looking at her, and when she noticed, grinned.

“What is it, mister rock ‘n roll singer?” She swatted him and he caught her hands in his.

“I’m going to be a father,” he said giddily.

“And do you feel up to the challenge?” she asked, holding her fist like a microphone in front of his mouth. He kissed her knuckles.

“I don’t know,” he said straight-faced, and chuckled when she hit him again and pulled him out of his seat, kissing him deeply, positive energy radiating through them. It just felt so right, so much better that he was back.

She didn’t notice the continuing twinge in her stomach, the feeling like the world had dropped through her and was dragging itself back up her body in surges. She fell into a half-sleep, curled up with her head in his lap, the sunlight warming them both, and the questions stayed at bay.

It was only when she threw away the leftovers from breakfast into the waste that a scrap of newspaper caught at her eye. She pulled it out from underneath other papers and dropped everything else she held, everything receding into the simple black-and-white reality of typeface, headlines, and bold smaller truths.

FEBRUARY 22 1979. A MAN IDENTIFIED AS AODAN ISAAC O’HANLON died sometime February 21st from…
She couldn’t make herself read any further. A sinking feeling spread throughout her, and brought to her attention the faint pain in her abdomen.

“Paul.”

Her serious tone and the look on her face brought a bewildered stare to his.

“What is it, love? Are you—“

She clutched the newspaper to her chest, thoughts wheeling through her mind at an incredible speed, her world slipping sickeningly.

He didn’t deserve to die,” she had told Edge about Isaac. She remembered telling Bono that she had nearly killed the man; she had done it just after, unknowingly, meeting Paul for the first time…

He didn’t deserve to die,” and yet the look on Edge’s face, the anger at what had happened to Cath, the understanding when she told him that she had not been able to kill the man. And Bono…

Bono had been in jail, that one time, because he beat Isaac up. She remembered Ali telling her, and not believing Ali, before it made sense.

She remembered a few nights ago, when she had been afraid, not knowing of what, and “Whatever it is, Cath,” Paul had said, “I’ll do my best to make it go away

Oh no. No…

She shoved the paper at him, stumbling and reaching a hand out to steady herself against the wall, and he scanned the paper with a look of confusion, then saw what she had seen. He looked up, his expression even more confused.

“Did you kill him?” she asked with what strength she could muster. She couldn’t bring herself to say either name. Somehow if she connected Paul’s name to his actions, he would change in her eyes and it would be wrong to love him—she would be relieved but he had—what he had done—

“Oh, no,” Bono said, realizing what she thought. “Cath, love…”

He sat down and sat her down next to him, fingers light and tentative as if she would bolt away suddenly. Her eyes were huge. She couldn’t think; she would be lost in some huge earthchanging emotion if she did, one she could not face.

He held her hands together in his, his touch once again hesitant. The warmth of his hands revived her a little so his words spun in less out of control.

“Yesterday morning, I did go to find the man.”

Cath made a conclusive noise, and proclaimed, “So you…”

“No,” he interrupted softly. “I found an empty house where he lived, and looked where I assumed he found you. Isaac was nowhere to be found. He’s been dead for two days; the papers got it wrong. The bartender told me there was a nasty fight two days ago. The only intelligible words he overheard were something about you and something else confusing. He did not like Isaac, not at all, had wanted to kick the man out of the bar. The barman was relieved someone called Isaac out, and it wasn’t his problem when the fight went outside the bar. The police came a little late, when only Isaac was left. The other guy had hit a little too hard, the bartender defended, but he wasn’t really sure. The man who walked away from that fight was not me, as I was not in it. He was a fellow named Oisín.”

The meaning trickled into Cath’s awareness, and a powerful relief swept through her. She still felt shaky, and like someone had battered her heart against her ribs.

“It wasn’t you.”

“No,” he confirmed. “I was relieved that I didn’t have to do anything to him, actually. He was a rotten shite who should have been in jail, but I didn’t want to see him die. He didn’t deserve it. Very few do.”

Then…she looked at Paul oddly, her mind running backwards at great speed, clutching on earlier memories and coming up with another recollection. It had been a while since she heard that complete name. But it couldn’t be…

Cathlin turned around and made a waterlogged face at her mother, who was preoccupied chasing someone down the beach. The boy turned around and made a similar face, calling back “go raibh maith agat, máthair! Maybe you’ll catch up.” Cathlin ducked her head under a wave, coming up spluttering, and heard her mother reply, “Slow down, ’Sheen! You’ll kill me at this pace.” She caught up with him and dragged her son back, to be led out insistently into the water by the eleven-year-old boy while little Cath giggled and spit saltwater out of her mouth.

“Oisín? What was his last name?”

“It was a little odd. Started with an F. Fionán—no, that’s Gavin’s name, sorry—ah. His last name was Fairleigh.”

Cath stared.

“The bartender said he was looking for something,” Paul added. “He had started to ask after someone before he saw Isaac and the fight began.”

“Oisín,” Cath repeated significantly, a little stunned. “Deartháir mór.” Paul looked at her questioningly; he still hadn't gotten that part of Gaelic down.

“My older brother.”

“What the—ah. That makes sense, then.”

Her world had flipped perspective again, as if someone had shaken her view of it and tipped it over all askew. Oisín had been the quiet one, though there had been a time when he and Cath had tolerated each other, before their mother died and Oisin quite seriously fell into drinking—though he hadn’t been as bad as her father—or perhaps not bad at all.

Was he even in the house when Isaac…

No...she recalled distinctly he had argued with their father about something important and stormed out of the house, trying to speak to Cath, who would not listen.

She had assumed…she had been wrong. God…she should have spoken to him, nevermind having a reason, sometime in the last year or so.

“I hated him for so long,” Cath groaned, “and it wasn’t him, it was my bloody father…”

Paul had decided it was safe to approach, and wrapped his arms around her tightly, Cath’s turmoil spreading through him and then dissipating. She raised her head sharply, looking surprised. There was a clear, faint ripple across her body. She and Paul looked at each other, a sort of surprised fear stamped across his face.

“I’ll come with the band tonight,” Cath told him, wincing as another faint contraction came and left with a wavering stillness that was not at all reassuring. “Just be ready to have someone take me to the hospital.”

He protested, then realized if she stayed here she would be alone, and nodded in defeat.
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:29 PM   #2
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So who was that guy in the last chapter?
Baby's on the way?
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:36 PM   #3
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Want to guess? (and isn't it relieving that Bono's back? Goodness, he was gone for long enough)

Yes
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:22 PM   #4
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Nah, I'm just going to read the next chapter if you don't mind. (It's up I hope...)
Oh. Right. Forgot to express my relief. YAY YOU'RE BACK!! (where've you been?!)
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:08 PM   #5
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It is up I just finished writing Chapter 32, also, though I may tweak it a little.
Heheh...good relief
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