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Old 10-27-2011, 01:02 AM   #1
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No Love Lost, Chapter 12

The time for blatantly obvious has come. I personally really hate writing explanation chapters...ugh. They're not exciting at all. (and Iiii remember when Bono was just called Paul in my writing...)

Now, to worry about everyone else. Ciarán has places to go, things to do. And if you'd thought I'd forgotten about the first half of the story, or the prologue, you are wrongggg. Shit has yet to go down.

***


Chapter Twelve. Deep In The Heart.

Tears of sadness for you,
More upheaval for you,
Reflects a moment in time,
A special moment in time,
Yeah we wasted our time,
We didn't really have time,
But we remember when we were young.

And all God's angels beware,
And all you judges beware,
Sons of chance, take good care,
For all the people not there,
I'm not afraid anymore,
I'm not afraid anymore,
I'm not afraid anymore,
Oh, I'm not afraid anymore
.”

—Joy Division, “Insight”


Ciarán could remember very far back. Back, back, very back, there was music, and of course there was, his father was a musician. But it wasn’t his da’s music he remembered, because he’d only even seen his da once with unfocused baby eyes before four years passed without him. Ciarán’s very early memories progressed in sound and static. Voices in an airport as people passed by. Oisín’s voice vibrating against his body as he held him a moment and spoke to a woman beside him. Ciarán didn’t separate words or sounds or feelings, that far back, it was all one long strange musical ebb and flow.

The static of the radio as Oisín drove up through California. Unfamiliar for him to be driving on this side of the road, yet he turned back and flashed a grin that Ciarán, in another’s arms, caught. The man spoke but closer Ciarán heard a sound resonating. He came back to this now, because in a steady percussion once again he was hearing that heartbeat, that heartbeat, that heartbeat.

He frowned; twenty years after the memory, he had different surroundings, he could sense even with his eyes closed. The world around him was such a hazy half-guessed place, because his energy had been sapped away from him. The sharp burning pain still lingering in his throat and esophagus remained from earlier, separating the gap of years instantly. But he was confused, as he clung to something in the hazy world; in and out, slightly arrhythmic now, he heard a very familiar sound.


It was like being half-in-half out of a dream, Cath thought, looking at someone she hadn’t seen for a long time. Mirror images slightly distorted. She leaned against the doorway, watching him shift and wake and blink confused on the couch. He was very pale but looking more alive than he had the night before. His breathing scraped a little on the way out; she winced automatically. First she noticed how threadbare he was. Ankles poking out of jeans, shoes worn, no socks. Ciarán’s hair was as long as Oisín’s had been back in the day, faded red and all in his face. His thin bones showed through worn clothing. Then she noticed the thin fingers, the contours of his face, with a weird sense of looking through a mirror, until her eyes hit the double curve of her son’s ear with some pain. Those were Paul’s ears.

Very much half-in and –out a dream. For a few moments a stasis settled easily over them, he still asleep and unaware. This was the easy part. Then that moment burst; he jolted out of sleep, knocking over a pile of records on his way. Picking them up, he flipped through them. Her eyebrows drew together as she watched him suddenly still and set all but one down.

He woke up feeling terrible. It felt like something had tried to claw out of his body and ripped its way up to his mouth. Disoriented, Ciarán groaned, shifted, then sat up quickly. He’d been in danger of falling off a very small couch. He rubbed his head and looked around blearily. He didn’t remember very much, just that he’d collapsed just after puking his guts out…wait. It felt a lot worse than that. He made to stand up, but just then the room decided to whirl around him, and he sat back down quickly, his arm accidentally knocking something over. A whole stack of something.

“Shite,” Ciarán croaked and scrambled to pick up the large squares. The thick material beneath his fingers was familiar. He ran his fingers over an album briefly, remembering. Then frowned curiously, flipping through the stack of records.

He didn’t look up to see she was in the doorway. Until he got to a record made just after he was born. That’s where he paused. Flipped it over. Saw writing on the back.

He’d have wanted you to have this. —E

Ciarán read it over and over, his heart pausing, his mind thinking, ‘wait a second.’ No, that was Edge’s handwriting.

Her heart clenched when he looked up into his own eyes in a different face, a very hard to read expression on his face.

“What does this mean?” he asked, holding the record up. Peter Rowen’s face looked out innocently, Edge’s words blurred in this distance from Ciarán’s sight. “Why do…” He screwed up his face. “Wait, no,” he said a little quickly, “that could be to anyone. I mean. A lot of people have these records…” She saw him look away, the insides of his eyebrows turned up in confused outrage. Then he looked back, trying to understand, and gave a short laugh.

He was just imagining the woman before him was younger than she was, that was it. It was just coincidence she looked about his da’s age. But then he looked back to her eyes and his stomach twisted.

“I’ve seen you before,” he tried to explain.

“You have seen me before,” she said quietly, “I looked after you til you were four.”

Then, relieved, he said, “Oh, you were the one with Oisín before I lived with my da…”

“Na, Oisín’s my brother, Ciarán. You know who I am.”

It took him a minute; their expressions mirrored each other. Confusion, disbelief, betrayal, sadness, a charged sort of hope. Ciarán’s head dropped, his fists clutched his hair, he raised his head again and gave her such an expression.

“Why,” he asked when he was able. He wasn’t even sure what he felt at the moment. Whatever it was broke when she neared; he grasped her shoulders hard and then his head sank and she stopped him from collapsing into complete incoherence. Through the oceanic darkness of briefly closed eyes he heard her heartbeat.

“It sounds different,” was the first thing he said.

“What?”

“Your heart was different sounding a while back.”

“A while back, it got fucked up,” she said frankly, and Ciarán laughed in disbelief.

“Say what? How…how is…” He took a breath. “How is it possible.”

“How’s what possible.”

“That you’re alive.” He pulled away, his eyes red, and looked at her in confusion, sitting back down and wrapping his arms around himself childishly. He was of half a mind to go back to sleep and wake up again. This didn’t seem real. Except for the little skipping pause in the heartbeat that hadn’t been there very, very far back.

He sighed when she didn’t answer. “You know, my da said you were your mam.” And from memories farther back than hearing his da say that, he’d known it wasn’t true.

“That’s what he had to think.” She looked away.

“You know this?” Cath laid a hand just beneath her collarbone. It was strange and disorienting to see she’d aged a little, or maybe just grown tired (tired as he looked). Her hands were older. “That little pause?

“That was Isaac,” she continued. “That was something I was running from.”

It was all a half-dream and a memory and a disturbed vision of back when he’d been younger and she and Oisín had been speaking about things urgently out of his hearing. Something Paul couldn’t know because she’d never told him, Ciarán’s mother said. He looked at the faintest of lines just forming at the corners of her eyes, and the little wire ring on her hands.

Isaac tried to kill me, she told Ciarán. He looked at the faded walls of the house reflecting in silver wire. He responded with residual hurt that they’d all thought she’d died. But then he shut up and listen.

***
“Don’t speak of this. Ever.” Isaac laid heavy hands on her shoulders, pushing her to the ground. She looked up at him, feeling sharp pain and dull ache like a knife’s edge. She knew he was trying to cover up the tracks of what he’d done; what if word got out? Seamus would kick him out and send him to the police. What Isaac didn’t guess was what Cath would take the bottle from his hand and swallow its contents, hard, to distract him; she looked him in the eye and prepared to smash it over his head before suddenly she couldn’t breathe. She heard him explaining. That stuff’s lethal after a while and you don’t speak of it, ever, or…

“It was only a little before you were born that I found out what it was. Medicine was really shitty two decades before; the doctors only knew something bad was in my bloodstream but it wasn’t a real harm. Not then, at least. It was something to do with how much of it was taken in and when. Without meaning to the first time, Isaac poisoned me with something that loves control. Given with the antidote, it’s harmless, but he didn’t intend for it to be harmless. After a while it builds up and fucks up your body. It was just that once, and…”

…and that time before you were born, at the bar. Trying to fight him, saying I wasn’t scared of him, and then just before he was kicked out of the place…it came out of nowhere...

“…I thought nothing was wrong. Until just before you were born. I was getting weird pain everywhere. The doctors thought it was an infection of some sort. It was Edge who figured it out. He was with me at the hospital a lot. It was something in my bloodstream. It affects the blood. I didn’t say anything to Paul because he’d freak out and try to find Isaac who would find some way to mess him up…

“Oisín apparently beat Isaac up really bad. I wasn’t sure if he was actually dead or not. In any case, we had no way of finding out what the antidote was. I was just hoping you’d be born before anything bad happened, as it seemed there was nothing to be done at that point.

“Then I recovered a little. And I made a plan with Edge. If Isaac was alive, he’d have to know nothing about my whereabouts. We’d pretend I’d gone missing or something. I’d tell Paul who would come with me somewhere where Isaac wouldn’t be able to get to, and Edge would make sure there was no way for him to contact us, then tell the police everything.

“It didn’t work like that. You came early. I got worse. About a week later, everything hurt again, and I thought I was dying. There was nothing the doctors could do. I said my goodbyes. Told Paul, who let go. And the strangest thing happened. Isaac must have messed something up along the way. I had a huge fever and my heart was acting up, and…it stopped. And then after a minute, it started again. Paul was nowhere to be seen. Edge told me no, don’t find him, Oisín’s here and he thinks Isaac might not have died after all. And my mam had died, totally unrelated circumstances.”

“Paul didn’t see me. Perhaps that was for the best. I had to become someone else. Isaac found you in ’86, you know how bad it could have gotten. You’re lucky you’re alive. Perhaps it was good,” she said, looking away, “that your da looked straight past me, and he didn’t know. I don’t care. I want to go back and change that.” She swallowed. “I got the best scenario, I suppose. I went with you and Oisín to America. I looked after you until Oisín found Paul again and there you went.

“By the time Isaac had died, nothing had really gone as planned. And Paul was with Ali. And that was fine.”

Ciarán was silent, imagining a different scenario and failing. Then he frowned. “What about Phoenix?”

“I have no idea. It’s something I don’t really understand myself.”

“And my da was having these dreams back then…”

“Yeah, that was strange. Edge told me about that. It was a lot like what actually happened…a little…sometimes people wish so hard they dream, or maybe dream so hard they see…”

Still he looked confused. “Phoenix,” he muttered.

“I don’t know,” she said, looking lost. “I do know I would have done what she did, if I’d been in her place. But that’s all I know.”

I don’t know,” Ciarán said, a troubled expression darkening his face. He looked at her and for an instant she saw reflections of Paul Hewson, wondering about the world. “I don’t know how…this changes things.”

He didn’t have the strength to leave; he still felt weaker than usual. She kept him static for a time, because she worried if he left she’d be right (and that the same thing was happening to him, as she suspected). He tried to understand, attempting to eat slowly while the Bsides drifted around them in bass and drums and strange ghosts of memories, how the unconscious drumming of his fingers suddenly made sense. And how when he closed his eyes to sleep, he had an overwhelming sense that instead of the world tilting and sending him into space, it had centered and spun in place, in order and reason and recognition. For a brief few days he fell back to a sort of security he hadn’t felt since those Bsides were being made in the desert.

He threw up blood again, once, and his body ached afterwards. But after the little stuttering of his heart ceased, he improved, enough to tear himself away.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:04 PM   #2
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OMG.

.....

OMG!

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Old 10-27-2011, 09:10 PM   #3
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Hurr. That's more like it.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:23 PM   #4
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You have exploded my brain.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:29 PM   #5
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I think I've exploded my own brain too.

 
trying very hard not to make that a Misfits reference


This changes characters a bit. One, Oisín's a jerk for not telling Ruth, Cath's best friend. Two, EDGE DID NOT TELL BONO OH WHAT THE. Three, everything Edge coulda been up to during Out Of Control. Hurr.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:38 PM   #6
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*brain explodes*

Wow. Edge not telling Bono about this.... and Oisín not telling Ruth! I didn't even think of that stuff!
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:42 PM   #7
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This stuff is running through my head all the time

Even better, Ciarán obviously hasn't mentioned any of it to Bono by 1999...
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:44 PM   #8
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You.
Are.
GOOD.
At.
This.

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Old 10-27-2011, 09:47 PM   #9
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Aw thanks

I wish it was possible to edit old chapters long after the fact. There are so many teeny plot holes in the older stories, and stuff I wish I could add in most of this is based on a very small something I added back into an improved version of ACD, anyhow.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:00 PM   #10
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I've been waiting for this to happen. Deep down, I knew it would. I wondered if you thought about it and changed your mind at times - or were waiting for the right moment.

So, this is when? 'll admit that I got hopelessly lost in some of the chapters. And what happens when Bono finds out that the ghost inside him is alive.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:09 PM   #11
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Oh hai thar Grace

Yeah I kind of thought so too. I don't know, it made sense. I thought it was going to happen in Out Of Control but that didn't seem right. That's what all those weird dream sequences were, me kicking myself over that a bit. But this plot forced it to happen; the shit that's going down with Ciarán has to do with what happened to Cath, and there was no. other. way. For it to be able to be explained (or for him to remember that far back)

Hopelessly lost as in confused? I'll do a quick little summary of what's gone on. Ciarán left all the crazy weird people, found Mats and Corinne, and started forming a life. Just about when he and Corinne started realizing they had a thing for each other, they had a really intelligent moment and were swimming in a really weird current, and freak accident occurred of both being swept away to different places. Ciarán ended up in the middle of nowhere, somewhere far away. By now he's probably closer to the west coast than the east coast since I don't think Cath's all that far from Oisín. He did some traveling by foot, ran a hell of a lot. He's probably got huge blisters by now. His health got a bit fucked up again as soon as he found a city and a bar and had a drink, and then Cath found him...etc. She's suspecting he's got the same problem she had.

(God, this all seems so unlikely when it's written out into summary form )

As for Bono, I've got a weird little epilogue planned out. I think. By the time it's actually 1999 (in a couple months plotwise) it'll be around the end of the story, because after we go full circle to then, the time of the prologue, and then Ciarán gets better because Edge and Bono will figure things out, there won't be much left happening.
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:31 AM   #12
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Oh, you KNOW you need to write the hell out of Bono and Cath reuniting. And by that I mean - meeting again for the first time in 20 years. He has to freak out over that. And there is the 'are they soulmates meant to be together regardless of time' or 'has too much happened to them to look at each other the same way'? Plus, how does Ciaran react to seeing his parents together for the first time? I know when I see my parents in the same room together - it freaks me out. I never knew them as together.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:08 AM   #13
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It's a lot closer to the 2nd option, depending on whether Ali's there. *cough cough* Ohhh I'm gonna feel guilty.

(It is really funny to imagine Bono's reaction taking place in like a minute, with no sound, just seeing his expressions Imagining scenes is fun...)

I didn't think about Ciarán reacting to seeing them together...hmm.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:19 AM   #14
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Glad I could be of service.
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:31 PM   #15
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...I hate you. And love you. But hate you at the same time.

How are you going to explain all the dreams and supernatural stuff in Out of control, then? This cancels it all out...

I'm glad Cath's alive, but it just messes the whole plot up... (I still like it though )
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:44 PM   #16
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Just...don't mention that right now I have so much plot to figure out. I have an explanation for some of that stuff that's not quite possible but hey, this story's fiction, I totally don't have to be realistic. Dunno if it'll work itself in or not.

If you knew how impossible everything else would be without this happening...
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:48 PM   #17
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Hey, yeah, it could be ALL a dream.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:50 PM   #18
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Totally not happening. Nooo. I don't go there. I can promise that at least.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:38 PM   #19
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*wipes forehead* Phew...
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:53 PM   #20
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Also, Ciarán's not gonna die...and...that's all I can think of that's not happening...
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