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Old 05-25-2013, 04:59 PM   #1
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A little one shot that I started on while agonizing over midterms and Anything chapter 7. Inspired by the fabulous 1995 drunk Amnesty video. As ever, I adore feedback of all sorts.


In a long narrow room, four men cluster before an untidy whiteboard.


The room is large but they are close, almost crowded, talking in the soft patios of very long acquaintance. On the sofa one practices fingering patterns on a unplugged bass while keeping his eyes on a worn book spread open on the cushion, which he manages with his knee. Another man sits on the sofa's arm, both feet planted on the floor and arms folded across his chest. His upright, immobile posture suggests that he may be on the scrappy side, or else perhaps in pain. Two others stand with dark heads touching, deep in consultation over a scribbled notebook. Occasionally one or the other adds a cryptic abbreviation to the whiteboard. The room is cluttered with bottles and their speech is very slow, like kittens at a slumber party; unreasonably sleepy but determined not to end the party early.

The men have been thrown out of the control room. Eno informed them that he intended to listen to twenty four tracks of silence for a while before attempting to get a handle on the next number, then shut the door firmly behind them. Their four faces are puffy from alcohol and lack of sleep, and their gestures are cloudy and indefinite, as though they are moving through water. They have been here for a very long time.

"Why do you keep doing that?" demands the pugnacious one, suddenly. Two dark heads look up from their croodle with the notebook.

"Doing what?" Bono asks.

"Touching yourself like that."

Bono glances down. He finds that one hand has been unconsciously stroking his belly. The hem of his shirt is rucked up to show a triangle of white hip and a shadow of soft darkness. "Am I? What's the matter with it?"

"It makes you look like a fucking pouf, is what's the matter."

"Poufs are nice people, Larry. They like you a lot. You should be nice to them." Bono says. The others snicker softly.


Edge sets down his cup and digs a fag out of his shirt pocket. They started out drinking whiskey in tea for Eno's cold hours ago, but the tea had been forgotten for some time. When Edge picks up the most recent bottle he discovers it is empty, and moves to the open case for another.

"Is it true that Mapplethorpe asked you to pose for him, Larry?" Adams asks over his book. "I heard he wanted to but felt shy about it."

"Shut the fuck up, Adam," says Larry, undistracted. "Maybe. But really, why the hell are you doing that?"

"It's... I don't know. Soothing." This is clearly true; Bono is so soothed that he nearly boneless. He sways gracefully as he talks, leaning a little on Edge when he sways too far.

"How can you be soothed when you're getting touched up like a sixth form girl all the time?" Larry asks. He is offended by the notion of soothing oneself, but he accepts the mug that Edge places in his hand anyway.

Bono smiles vaguely. "Well, it's not all sweaty and hormonal like that when it's yourself, now, is it? It's nice. Don't you ever rub your belly, the Edge?"

"Hm?" Edge blinks. Bono patiently repeats himself. "Mm. Yes I do, Bono. I do rub my belly sometimes."

"And it's just relaxing and... and nice, isn't it. Doesn't it feel nice, the Edge?"

"It certainly does," Edge agrees, sliding a hand under his shirt and supporting Bono with a shoulder as he starts to go over.

"It does feel nice." Bono repeats the word with satisfaction.

The corners of Larry's mouth deepen in disgust. "You two are off your trolleys."

"No, we're not. Or you are too, at least - trolleys," Bono says obscurely. Then he smiles with charm and conviction and turns for more support. "Adam, don't you touch your belly?"

Adam's long face turns up from his book, the movement punctuated by his grown out goatee. "I have a policy never to do anything to myself that I can get a beautiful woman to do for me. But if there isn't one nearby, then sometimes. Especially when I'm out in the sun, I do enjoy a hand on the belly."

"What does Tolstoy say about it?"

Adam has to think a second, and has barely opened his mouth to reply when Larry interrupts.


“I swear to God, Adam, if I hear one more Russian novelist--"

"I think Tolstoy has a lot of value to say," Adam tells him mildly. "A man of gigantic appetites who chose to live as an ascetic because he couldn't manage moderation, who gave away most of his wealth and stayed his whole life with one woman despite all his wandering- there's something beautiful in it, don't you think?" He looks innocently from Larry to Bono and back.

Larry laughs and relents, taking a long drink from his mug. "Well, there may be something in that." Bono is feeling far too nice to catch allusions, but he hears the conciliation in Larry's tone and marks that the arms have unlocked from his chest.

"You ought to try it, Larry. Why don't you?"

"Because I'm not a fucking pouf." But Larry's irritation has subsided with the whiskey in his cup and he stands as Bono indicates.

"See, just put it here." Bono demonstrates, and Larry obediently slides his hand under his white t shirt. "No, not way up there. You look like Churchill when you do that. Go below the navel." Larry's hand moves to the flatness of his lower abdomen. "Just rest it really lightly, and then you kind of make circles. There. Doesn't that feel nice?"

"It doesn't feel like anything." Larry's fingers move slightly, and his head cocks as though listening. Under the edge of his shirt his skin is pale gold and smooth as marble, with sheets of muscle that ripple when he shifts.

Bono's lower lip compresses sympathetically. "It's probably because you don't have any hair there. See, try mine." He stands in front of Larry and brings his hand around to rest on his own belly. Larry's square hand looks aggressive against the moon colored skin. Bono shows him how to make the little circles, firm stroke to one side and a light brush back. Occasionally he puts in a flat slide of the palm, left and right. Adam has abandoned his bass to watch, and Tolstoy sits forgotten on his knee. Bono continues, "Then the trick is to forget that you're doing it, so it's like somebody is giving you nice little pats all the time."

Edge, watching Larry's abstracted expression, tops off his cup unobtrusively. The movement startles Bono into remembering him.

"Edge's is nicest, though, cause his is the fuzziest. See, you should try it."

Larry appears to be catching the notion, and moves to stand behind Edge without objection. Edge raises his brows suggestively at the others as he raises his shirt, but Larry cannot see and they suppress their smiles. Larry's hand appears lighter and thinner now against Edge's dark body hair. Larry is a little the shorter, and must lift his chin to speak over the arch of Edge's trapezius.

"What is all this under here, Edge? Have you been working out? You were always such a skinny little thing. "

"It takes a lot of upper body strength to partner a dancer." Edge says a little slurrily. "I can't match her for flexibility of course. But a little extra bulk... it does help."

Larry's eyebrows approach his hairline, and his hand makes a emphatic sweep of Edge's belly. "A gentleman doesn't kiss and tell, Edge."

"M'm not telling anything. I am a gentleman. A gentleman with a very, ehm... limber girlfriend. And if you're ever single again, Lawrence-"

"That's not fucking funny, Edge. I'm going to be a father soon."

Edge's opposite hand has joined Larry's, stroking absently. "Well, it's nice that men never become single after they have children, then," he says without rancor. "Be sure to tell me all about fatherhood when you get there, won't you. Sounds fascinating. Fucking terrifying, in fact." He glances over his shoulder with gentle emphasis. Larry grins sheepishly. He knows he's been a fool but he still musters a glare for Bono, who is chuckling like a pleased child.

Bono notices the glare but he is feeling even nicer now and won't hold a grudge. "See now, you've got it. Now try your own," he says encouragingly.

Larry looks down in surprise. He has forgotten that his fingertips are still lightly stroking Edge's belly. He moves a half step away and lifts his shirt again, then holds out his mug for another top off.

"I still think this project is the biggest wank I ever saw," he says meditatively. "American jazz students couldn't be any more self indulgent. Writing scores for movies that haven't been written yet. What the fuck. All this atmospheric free association, video mash up watching, navel gazing bullshit. Thank God Island will never let it see the light of day."

"S's just for fun, Larry." Bono says. He is leaning against Edge again, still chuckling a little and occasionally rubbing his head on Edge's shoulder. "S's just taking the piss. We're gonna have fun with it and sell a few songs to a director or two. No one's ever going to know s's us. It just feels good just to keep the juices flowing. Doesn't it feel good, Edge?"

Edge nods. "I think it does, Bono. What does Tolstoy think, Ad?"

Adam's head is wreathed in sweet smoke. He stops his wandering bass line to take the fragrant cinder from his mouth and considers. "He says that every man needs to think that his work is necessary and important, even prostitutes. And if they can't, they think up ways to make it so."

They all nod profoundly, and the bottle goes round again. Larry begins to laugh. He is looking at Edge, at the shoulders recently rounded with muscle, the bulk of the outer pectoral.

"What?"

Larry tries to wipe his snicker away and can't. "Just thinking of you bench pressing your ballerina."

"Don't knock it til you've tried it." Edge says seriously. After a moment he realizes there has been an error somewhere. “Modern dancer,” he corrects.


He is halfway through lighting another fag before he notices that the others all appear to have swallowed a crumb. "What?"


The door to the control room swings open. The released vacuum of the door sends smoke from their room billowing into it, leaving Eno coughing delicately in the doorway after it clears.

"Hello, fellows. We're all better now, I hope? Wonderful. I was thinking I'd like to do some work on the rhythm tracks for 'Elvis'. This dirty kind of syncopation we've got right now is fantastic, but I'd like to add a little something to lighten it up, a little unexpected and surreal. I'm thinking some wind chimes, or maybe a single note of the toy piano we brought in. Larry, are you up for doing another take?"

"Oh, sure." Larry says easily. He is standing comfortably with his weight on one foot.

Eno looks at him. "Well then. Ahem. How's the back holding up?"

"Oh, it's fine. Tidy enough right now. Relaxed, I guess."

Eno looks a second time.


“Well. That's really great. I'll just, em... whenever you're ready?” He looks at Larry a bit strangely as he turns back to the booth.


Larry raises his fumey tea mug in a cheers gesture and smiles gently. He will go in to do the take in another minute. Right now he is wearing an expression of comfortable preoccupation. Under the edge of his t shirt, one hand is making little circles.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:32 PM   #2
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As usual, I adore your writing, K! I can see the seen happening in my mind, and the banter between the band is spot on. It's light and witty, and oh so U2.

I know I told you before that I didn't think Bono and Edge were 'drunk' per say... *cough* but you did a good job portraying them as such.

I loved the ending bit with Larry rubbing his belly. Perfect. <3
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:09 PM   #3
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I don't think anybody thinks they were drunk. There's just shit you can say, and shit you can't.

Thanks so much. This little fic was a million times easier than writing the end of Anything At All, on which I'm officially procrastinating now. Glad you enjoyed it!
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:08 PM   #4
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I love this story! How do you write these stories so quickly? It was a great laugh. Definitely "light and witty" as Xfinityy mentioned. From the opening paragraph to the very last circle pattern I see every description! Love how Larry acquiesces in the end. I thought your characterizations were perfect.
Quote:
The room is cluttered with bottles and their speech is very slow, like kittens at a slumber party; unreasonably sleepy but determined not to end the party early
--great line, great visual--one of many.

Fab job!
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:34 PM   #5
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Aw, thanks!

Seriously this kind of thing is a hundred times easier than Anything. I love the story and I want to finish it but it takes SO much mental dedication, it's like effing brain surgery. This and a couple other light fics not postable here are keeping me sane.

And if any readers have not recently seen the drunk Amenesty video, do. The good stuff starts about 2 minutes in.

See? Kittens at a slumber party. Oo, I could just pet them.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:56 AM   #6
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jeevey View Post
Aw, thanks!

Seriously this kind of thing is a hundred times easier than Anything. I love the story and I want to finish it but it takes SO much mental dedication, it's like effing brain surgery. This and a couple other light fics not postable here are keeping me sane.

And if any readers have not recently seen the drunk Amenesty video, do. The good stuff starts about 2 minutes in.

See? Kittens at a slumber party. Oo, I could just pet them.
I don't think I've seen this vid before. LMAO at those two. Edge looks like he's left his brain behind at the bar. I think they had a great night, lol. Thanks for the link.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:08 PM   #8
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Great scenery, I can really imagine Larry, Adam, Edge and Bono doing all of these things.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:52 PM   #9
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Great scenery, I can really imagine Larry, Adam, Edge and Bono doing all of these things.
Thanks, and welcome to interference.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:54 PM   #10
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You're welcome and thank you.
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Old 01-19-2015, 04:37 PM   #11
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you had me at Inspired by the fabulous 1995 drunk Amnesty video and the quote it certainly does....amazing!!!
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