In The Stillness of the Evening ch. 4 - U2 Feedback

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Old 03-17-2012, 12:02 PM   #1
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In The Stillness of the Evening ch. 4

Completely made up stuff I wrote about the Elevation Tour, and Adam. If it was true we would have heard about it. Sorry the chapters are so long- it's all necessary to the story.

In the morning, U2 were confronted with a very odd mystery. Someone seemed to have kidnapped their singer.
After the frantic worrying of Adam and the aggravated, yet held back fear of Larry, Edge finally confessed that he knew of Bono’s whereabouts. “He’s in Dublin. He took the plane there to apologize to Ali. He told me not to mention it because he thought he would be back by nightfall.” Edge let out a pent-up breath, realizing how stupidly Bono had behaved.
Adam stared. “He’s in Dublin?” All thoughts of Bono flew from his mind, to be replaced by the thought of… Kelly. He had tried to put her out of his head since U2 left Copenhagen, he really had, but she kept managing to creep back in there, a blessed temptress ready to strike with a smile. Adam wasn’t sure why he hadn’t confessed his infatuation to the rest of the band. Maybe for the same reason Bono hadn’t explained his nighttime trip to Dublin- he hoped it would only last briefly.
“Yes, what did I just tell you?” Edge asked hypothetically, in response to Adam’s own hypothetical question.
“Sorry…”
“Well, he should have been a bit more responsible,” Larry said. He didn’t like the thought of Bono gallivanting all over without the rest of the band’s knowledge. “When is he going to be back, Edge?”
Edge just shook his head. “We’ll learn when the plane flies back here. We need to get to Cologne.”
Reluctantly the band went to eat breakfast, and Adam fell into a dream. He allowed the tantalizing thoughts of Kelly to crowd his mind, and the rest of the band, believing him to be brooding, left him alone. Adam laid forth the facts in his mind as he ate bacon.
Firstly, there was the fact that Bono had visited Dublin last night. Adam himself rarely took advantage of any of the U2 tour planes, though Bono used them frequently. Adam had always suspected if he was homesick enough, he could fly back to Dublin if he wanted. But why would he be homesick? Adam had more attachment to these touring venues than the empty house that awaited him Ireland.
But then there was… Adam sighed, at the same time spewing bacon on the table. Staff gave him dirty looks. Adam cleaned up, his mind still far from the breakfast room. Then there was Kelly. He couldn’t forget that woman. If he flew back to Dublin sometime recently, would he be able to track her down? Adam wasn’t the praying type, and yet he prayed that he would be able to find Kelly, because he wasn’t sure what would happen if he never saw her again. His head might implode from unanswered questions.
So what if… what if he took a night trip to Dublin and stayed till the dawn broke? It could happen- hey, Bono had pulled it off. He couldn’t wait for this leg of the tour to end, though it had only begun a few days ago. It was time to take matters into his own hands.
Bono finally returned as the band were about to depart Stockholm- thankfully, for he brought the Elevation plane with him. The news reached the hotel that the plane and its passenger were back, leading the disheveled trio to clamber onto a bus and be rushed off to the airport. Bono needed to have a very good explanation at his side.
The first person seen by the band was Bono himself. Edge, Larry, and Adam all tried to speak, but the singer beat them to it. Pushing his blue sunglasses up his nose, Bono asked, “Did you miss me?” His voice was muted, knowing that he had pissed his friends off and that he had to repay them.
“Bono… why didn’t you tell us you were leaving?” Adam asked, breaking forward from the rest of the group.
Bono stroked his hair. “What do you mean? I’m not… oh God.” He took in the stares of his bandmates- Edge’s sympathetic, Adam’s worried, and Larry’s frustrated. “Look, I had to make it up to Ali, all right? The interview- she wasn’t going to last a day without blowing her stack unless I came down there to explain to her.”
“That’s a lie,” Larry interjected. “I’m sorry, but if you’d just gone to see her I doubt the trip would have lasted as long as it did. You don’t need an alibi, Bono.”
Bono gazed over at his best friend, who eyed him back in a sad sort of manner. Bono understood why Edge had to tell the band where he was, but… Jeez. All because of a small excursion, and now the entire band was upset.
“Forgive me,” he said. “We can talk in the plane.”
Once the tour plane had achieved liftoff- prompting a shout of “EL-EH-VAY-SHUN!” from a halfhearted Bono- he spilled the entire story, explaining the nitty gritty details. He had gone to see Ali, but prominently on his mind was Bob in the hospital. “But in my defense,” Bono said, “he’s not looking too bad now. I don’t know if I’ll go there anymore.”
“Let’s pray you don’t have to,” Larry said, while Adam looked down. Praying, again. Did he believe in that nonsense?
“So how did Ali take it?” Edge wanted to know.
Bono laughed. “She knows I’m a foolish old man- I’ve been one for years. We talked it out. Everything’s going to go up from here.”
“Hey, who says you’re that old?” Adam laughed. “Only, oh, 41 years old… my age!”
“Adam is, if anything, the old man of the band,” Bono said dryly, poking the bassist’s back.
“And I’m the baby,” Larry said. “I guess it makes sense.”
“You have retained your childish good looks,” Bono said, sliding his gaze over to the drummer. “Not to mention humor.”
“And of course you say nothing about your own sense of humor…”
Adam tuned the chatter of his friends out. Edge had long since done the same, gazing out a window. Adam supposed he could fall asleep- the plane flight wouldn’t be long, just enough to snag a few precious hours of rest. And maybe Kelly would visit him there, in free dreams.

Kelly Laughter settled herself into the chair, kicking her legs once against the wood-and-plastic of the cubicle. She placed her fingers on the keys in front of her, easing the computer out of its sleep and typing in her password. The hulk of a machine flicked on, shedding some green light on her face.
Kelly brushed her pants off as she read over her current work. The denim felt firm beneath her fingers, a reminder that some things will be and always have been the same. Her eyes may have turned to the clippings on the walls, each article with a cutout of a different celebrity from a magazine to accompany it.
The faces were all different- Americans, Europeans, men, women, black, white. And yet they all shared one certain trait- namely, the fact that they were celebrities. Kelly had interviewed many of that breed in her day, digging up dirt that had wrecked them in the press for years to come. Her former great accomplishments had all been film and TV personalities.
Now she had a musician for the new winner. Kelly smiled as her green eyes caught on the shiny cutout of Bono’s face, his eyes hidden by those damn awful sunglasses, teeth gleaming in an awkward smile. He only had, what, about three more years left in him before women stopped falling in love with him. Kelly didn’t quite understand how he could have stayed married to Alison Hewson for all those years. What the hell. Finding a rock star who maintained the same relationship for so long was a tough thing to do- and that was why Kelly had chosen him as her next target. He’d told her all his secret thoughts about other women, and more besides. She couldn’t believe she’d gotten so lucky.
The cutout was tacked up alongside Kelly’s newspaper article, the contents of which she was very proud of. She’d had to use her hooker guise, Kels, and get very, very drunk- damn, that man sure could hold his liquor!- but it had all been worth it. She’d simply edited out her parts, changed the location of the interview, and it was ready for the paper to snap up. If that didn’t cause a rift in his relationship with his wife, what would?
She’d never had a problem with Bono before, but after a bit of research and some tripping along a forum called @U2- hey, most of her targets didn’t have entire forums about them!- she had unearthed a bit of complaints over him. He’s too good. He’s too caring. He wants to save the world. Not right for a rock star of any sort.
Then Kelly had stumbled across a bit of trivia about his wife, and bingo! It became her desire to topple him over. The other targets had fallen from grace in a mind-boggling, but less satisfying way. What Kelly had learned from the Bono experience was that she could still seduce like the best of them, hangovers always came back to bite, and rock stars with a cause were most definitely not her type of man. In fact, Kelly almost wanted to pursue him again, in the interest of ruining his life further. There was something about that man that was hard to stomach.
She batted an eye at the computer screen and pulled up a Word document, beginning to type with a fervor. It wasn’t every day she got to ruin a celebrity’s world, just a few times a month, maybe twice a year. She savored the moments.

Adam arrived in Dublin without one glance towards his home. He had the brilliant, always exciting feeling of doing something he wasn’t supposed to be doing- a feeling that never accompanied him anymore, what with U2 playing it safe these days. Deep in the back of his mind, Adam wished he could get drunk and miss a gig again, just like on the Zoo TV Tour in 1993. It had felt like complete shit, and the band had given him all sorts of grief for it, but at least it was daring. It was bold. It was risky. Adam was a peacemaker on the outside, but on the inside had the tendency to go a bit wild.
The first place he headed to was the tall building of the newspaper company that Kels worked for. No stares were drawn by any passersby, which calmed the flood of nerves and ecstasy in Adam’s veins. It was Dublin once more- Adam should have known he wasn’t to be recognized.
Once Adam got to the wide double doors of the front office, his nervousness began to return. Kels would know who he was, and probably send him away. Or she might get him as drunk as Bono, and then play her little journalist trick on him. He could return to the band with nothing to show for his trip except an article in the newspaper, giving up all the divine secrets of Adam Clayton, bassist of U2. Make that “bassist,” not “basis,” Adam calmed himself- what sort of secrets did he have that the media would enjoy?
Without another thought to his safety, Adam opened the doors and strode in.
At once he was assaulted by the tapping sound of the woman at the front desk. She peered at her computer screen, frowning as she made out a message. Adam approached her.
“Excuse me, ma’am?”
The woman looked up, her glasses sliding down her nose. “Sir, do you have an appointment?”
Adam’s throat felt dry. He swallowed- “I’m here to see Kelly Laughter.”
“Kelly Laughter…” the woman mumbled, as if the name was a familiar one. She squinted back at her computer. “You have to have an appointment to get in to see her.”
“But- I didn’t schedule one,” Adam said, realizing he was fighting a losing battle.
“Sir, you’ll have to come back tomorrow to do that. Ms. Laughter has appointments with a few others. She’s booked.” The receptionist smiled up at Adam. He shook his head at her.
I don’t have tomorrow. I need to see her now. Adam thanked the receptionist.
“Can I leave a message for her?”
Her hands waved in front of her. “Sure. What do you want her to know?”
“Just-“ Adam took a deep breath. This was going out on a limb, but he couldn’t help himself. “Just let Kelly know that Adam Clayton has been around to see her.”
“All right, all right,” the receptionist said, jotting the name down on a scrap of paper. Adam predicted she’d last for about two, three seconds until-
“Wait. Do I know you, sir?”
Adam stared into her chocolate eyes, wavy hair fanning about her face. “I don’t you know, but you might know me,” he said.
She blinked. “You’re kidding. You’re not the Adam Clayton, the bassist for U2?!”
“The one and very same.” Adam swallowed. “Just pass the message along to Kels… y.”
She sat, sizing him up. Adam could feel her guessing, her mind wondering at why such a famous personage would be associating with the Irish press in this manner.
“Sir, you don’t have to wait if you don’t want to.”
“Oh please,” Adam groaned, cutting her off. “I’m not anyone different, all right? There’s a matter I need to discuss with Kelly, and I don’t see why it should make a difference what my occupation is.”
The receptionist nodded. “She’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Okay. Thank you.” Adam walked away and out the door, cursing himself with every mechanical step. How was he supposed to reach Kelly now? He could have at least asked for her contact number…
He stepped back from the office building, leaning against the wall to watch and wait for someone to come out. He didn’t have to wait long.
Kelly was sitting in her cubicle when the phone rang. She picked it up and pressed the hard, comforting plastic of the receiver to her ear. “This is Kelly Laughter speaking.”
“I’m here with a message for you,” the woman on the other end said. Kelly recognized her voice as the receptionist downstairs. “A man named Adam Clayton came by and said to tell you that he had called, wanting to see you.”
A light went on in Kelly’s head. Adam Clayton? She recognized his name from all sorts of magazine and newspaper articles, and of course from the forum @U2. If she wasn’t to be mistaken, Adam Clayton was U2’s bassistr. Her muddled, dirty thoughts from the night in the pub swam before her eyelids, and the scene played out like a movie. Adam had been the taller man with glasses sitting at the far end of the table. He’d been staring so intensely at her that she had had to tell him off. Or rather, mention it to Bono. And Adam had been the first to realize she was Welsh, not Irish.
“Has he left?” Kelly asked, smoothly fingering her phone cord. She calculated in her mind the many tricks she had left in her book. Adam would probably give up if she refused to see him, but you never knew. In Kelly’s line of business, she had come to realize that men- and women- could be utterly, annoyingly persistent.
The receptionist’s shake of the head was almost audible through the phone line. “He’s… he’s still out there. He’s outside the office-“
“Doing what?” Kelly inquired sharply. Was he calling someone? Kelly wouldn’t put it past any of the members of U2 to have a portable phone.
“He’s… he’s… waiting. Leaning against the wall, not moving, just standing there.”
Kelly envisioned the scene in her mind. Adam was probably in the persistent phase already. He would be waiting to see her, waiting to see if she would come out. Kelly could guess what was on his mind- he was no doubt here to discuss her interview with Bono. She was familiar with that. When families and friends of whatever celebrity she’d broken down had discovered her wrongdoing, there was always one member who would track Kelly down and try to catch a word with her. She would never take their advice, or simply refuse to see them at all. Kelly was faintly surprised that Adam had come and not Bono’s wife, but she figured it was for the better. Her skills with men always worked better than her skills with women.
Kelly figured she could stay in her office all day, and the man would eventually leave. He was on tour with U2 now, wasn’t he? Adam Clayton couldn’t wait forever. Soon the only memory of him would be a blurred image from the pub, and Kelly could bask in her glory over Bono once more.
But she supposed it couldn’t hurt to see what exactly it was that he wanted…
“Tell Mr. Clayton I’ll be down in a few minutes,” Kelly murmured, her tongue sliding over the words with a silvery coating. “I have to get a few things done first.”
Hanging up with the receptionist, she strode out of her cubicle and perched on the air conditioning by the window, peering out. This side of the office didn’t face the front, but Kelly knew exactly what she would be seeing on that side. Adam would be resting by the wall, probably checking his watch with an anxious air. Kelly would let him wait for a bit. She loved playing with men, testing their nerves.
Adam’s nerves were indeed stretched by the time Kelly came down. He stared worriedly at the sun, wondering how long it would take for it to fall. He had made this trip in complete secrecy, terrified of someone catching him. Adam was so wrung out that he almost didn’t notice when Kelly came out of the office building. If he had he probably would have straightened himself out for her.
Kelly snuck up to Adam, her feet making no sound. When he was within the correct distance she lunged out a hand and tapped his shoulder. “Hello, Mr. Clayton,” her words leapt out into the air, collected and emotionless compared to Adam’s reaction.
The touch of Kelly’s fingers tingled every part of Adam’s skin. He jumped, but not too high, and turned, attempting to save his dignity from a slow death. Unfortunately dignity was out the window when Kelly rolled her eyes onto him.
For the first time Adam noticed what color Kelly’s eyes were. They were green, a beautiful sea green, framed by thick black lashes that cleared her eyes continuously. Adam could barely get his view off the eyes to explore other parts of her body. The first thing he noticed after the shock of green in her eyes was that her outfit was much more conventional than the revealing red dress and long black overcoat she’d worn at the bar. Her shirt was a boring white, covered up by a denim jacket with no patches. Her jeans were navy and held to her hips by a black scarf acting as a belt. There was no trace of Kels, the enchantress that Adam knew and loved in this sensible Kelly Laughter. But she was still beautiful.
Adam cleared his throat. “Hello, Ms. Laughter.”
She nodded. “You’re here to see me, aren’t you, Mr. Clayton?”
“I am,” Adam said, wishing he could ditch the formalities. He wished to take a hold of her waist and stroke her short hair, set his lips ever so softly against her cheek…
“What is your business with me?” Kelly asked, her black hair ruffling in the light breeze.
Adam stroked his cheek. “Em, I-“ At once he ran into trouble. Adam couldn’t tell Kelly that he had a crush on her. Even if that was the honest-to-God truth, he couldn’t let her know that after one night in a pub he hadn’t been able to get her out of his mind.
So Adam stated the next best reason for flying out to Dublin just to see this woman. “I’m here to discuss the interview you gave with Bono.”
Kelly sighed. So he was like all the other men- after revenge for their friends. She crossed her arms and pointed her Converse outwards, making sure he saw the tilt of her leg, the tantalizing glimpse of skin beneath her jeans. “I have nothing to discuss. I gave an interview, it got published, and for an unknown reason many people are reacting a bit too strongly towards it.” She held her hands out, open palms to Adam.
God, but Adam never wanted her to stop talking. He fought through his longing for her and spoke with hard conviction- “What you did was wrong, Kelly, and you know that. What purpose do you have in destroying a man’s reputation? Bono… he’s never done a thing to you. He had never seen you before that night.”
Kelly flicked back her hair. “Adam,” she said in a bitterly sarcastic tone, “all I did was publish an interview. He could have held his tongue, but he didn’t. It was all his own fault. Bono led to his own ruining.”
“No, that’s not true, Kelly, you know it’s not true,” Adam shot back desperately. His hands worked furiously together, warding off the effect of hearing his name in her mouth. He had no time for admiration. “That was a very unprofessional move of you to make in the pub, if I do say so myself. I’m not expecting you to keep your job for much longer if you want to make a living by hurting other people.”
“I’m not hurting anyone, Adam,” Kelly said matter-of-factly. “You know that Bono was going to lead to his own downfall eventually. And my job has been secure for several years. I’m not getting dismissed now.”
She turned. “If there’s nothing more you can say I suggest you get back to your tour and leave me alone. The rest of the band will be waiting for you. Mind your own business next time.”
What a wanker.
“Wait- Kelly-“ Adam began. His mouth felt dry. He couldn’t let her go before properly exploring her… before he fingered the shape of her arm, before he slipped his tongue down her throat…
She looked back at him, and Adam thought she would say more, something along the lines of-
“Oh, forgot to mention- nice pants. What century are you living in?” Kelly sped up and disappeared into the office building within seconds.
Adam sighed, biting his tongue to hold back the anger, and turned in several directions before finally heading off to the plane, feeling empty.
There’s nothing wrong with my pants.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:03 PM   #2
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The pants, by the way, are the red camo-ish ones he wore in the Slane DVD. Personally, I love them.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:15 AM   #3
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Yay! New chapter!

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Old 03-18-2012, 10:31 PM   #4
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Yay! Thanks, Tara!
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adam, bono, cologne, dublin, hate at first sight, journalism, kelly, larry, stockholm, the edge, unrequited love

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