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Old 09-19-2011, 11:59 PM   #1
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No Love Lost, Chapter 3

I think it's shite but I'm hard on myself. Well, sometimes. I'm just impatient. I want these beginning chapters to be done.

Blue, I'll read your new chapter when it's a more opportune time than midnight
***


Chapter 3. Ultraviolet.

head out of the mud baby/too much and not enough/the phoenix rose and flew away

Ciarán was practically vibrating with nervous energy; it presented itself in static at the moment he parted from his da and from Edge, who’d come along to say goodbye. Tucked in the back of Ciarán’s mind was the hazy unimportant apology that Memphis Eve had gotten sick and Ali was with her at the doctor’s, they couldn’t come wish him well. Straight ahead the walkway that would lead directly to the plane gaped, pulling him with thick heady darkness. The announcements overhead in rapid English and Gaelic shot and fizzed through him, distracting him even as he pulled himself away from the entrance to the walkway to give a painful sideways smile to Bono and Edge. Then forgetting himself, Ciarán shoved through the thin plastic sheen of fame and hugged his father hard. For a moment red desert dust swirled beyond his eyes and the cool sunrise of another country brought him back six years; when he broke away he saw a little shadowy mirage, a second Bono Vox in front of him. Ciarán blinked, his worldview expanding, as he thought, He’s been like two parents…

Because he hadn’t known her, and still didn’t know Ali. Very deep down, very far back, he felt safe with his da, in a way most people with two parents weren’t forced to have.

He waved back one more time, and got an answering wave from Edge too, and then he was off. Outside the metal body of the airplane, the air shifted and changed and blurred from country to country. Ciarán’s mind chased it; his head was in the clouds; he felt what was coming already starting.

America (again) was sound and light and color. So dizzy fast in the airport he wanted to throw up. He stopped completely rigid in the flow of people at the LA Airport and watched them flood by and past, feeling a faint panic beat faintly over his heart. There were no parents to guide him here. There was confusion everywhere, in bright clusters in the thick hot air he drank in greedily. He felt a stab of longing as he looked at the shadows of palm trees outside and felt the hot air weigh on his shoulders. He had missed California with a wordless pain. Despite everything that had happened here, it felt like a first, or second, home. Aspects of himself he’d wanted hidden were dragged out of him screaming; he’d been born a second time in Santa Barbara.

(Rush of air, fist connects with body, but he’s the one with his face screwed tight in pain, knuckles of his small hands fisting tight in his hair as he listened to the teachers’ ultimatums. That hurt so tied to the fiber of his body had to spill over into others. He couldn’t keep it in, he tried. Before he could fight his voice back out of his mouth, he had to try and communicate it somehow. He figured himself out, before they left back for Dublin, but recalled all the turmoil with a feeling of need. If he’d kept it all inside, he would never have emerged from himself.)

other afterimages he didn’t remember, hadn’t seen. phoenix running angrily from her parents, now on her own, grinning at a boy with a guitar and challenging him to play it right. cath standing in a dream outside the airport, looking lost at the wash of people, a suitcase clutched half-forgotten in her hand. america had happened before. he had more to discover than either of those two.

Ruth and Oisín were late. Ciarán sat down dizzily on the ground, looking at everything so huge around him. He got lost. He got lost in music. There was a visual music around him, that hurt/intrigued. It pricked the hairs of his arms and shot electricity up his spine. He was about to leave entirely into the music but underwater voices brought him back.

He bit his lip, when he saw Ruth, and Oisín again. Because it was like another mother and another father in a way he couldn’t describe, and they too were distracted, but by a five-year-old. Aidan. He almost snorted, hearing her American accent that was nonetheless, likely Oisín’s fault, faintly Irish. He expected her to ask about Bono. It was actually Ruth and Oisín who asked, and there was a difference: not about either of his parents, but about him.

Ciarán closed his eyes, hearing the familiar song intro ghosting in through the radio, and swallowed hard. The lights in ribbon snapshots of glances outside the window blurred a moment. Here it came. A longing so intense it took his breath away, as he felt the hot air around him and saw the flicker flash of traffic around him.

“I’ve been fine.” He meant it more or less.

"I want to run, I want to hide..."

He remembered Ruth had been playing the drums the last time he’d heard this song. Eight years old, he’d crept in on rehearsal, unseen, caught his da’s eye and shook his head to say, no I don’t want to talk, and wondered why Ruth was drumming and Larry was grinning and Bono laughing. Ciarán had given a half-smile and stared at the drums. That had been the second time he’d felt some awakening of that need. For something that couldn’t quite be described. If he thought hard, he could remember the first, the tight compressed fear, his hands clapped over his ears to drown out the rough-voiced argument in wherever the hell he was. His heart crawled out in fingers and found no escape. The steady metallic pounding of his blood rushing through his ears…I want to run, I want to hide, was what he had been thinking then…

One of the two adults was asking why he’d come even if it was on his own, the other argued both his parents were busy. They’d made it to the house in Santa Barbara. Aidan rushed out and barreled inside, crying that Buttons had had kittens (Buttons? Ciarán wondered. Who? I mean, what?) and she wanted to see if they were awake yet.

Ruth bit her lip to keep from laughing and gave Oisín a look. They could have been the same people from years ago. There was a looseness in the way they interacted, though, and some of the heavy unspoken silence of things neither wanted to remember had left. It had been years. A few faint lines. Ciarán walked in front, clutching his suitcase and refusing to let one of them carry it...Jaysus, he was thirteen, he could carry his own luggage…

He let himself be dragged by Aidan to an upstairs room where a very irritated looking cat licked little bundles of fur. He squinted a moment, seeing double; he remembered when Aidan had been a lot younger.

“Come on, I’ll make sure she doesn’t scratch you, pick one of them up,” Aidan said, grinning and holding back an irritated gray paw. Her face looked a little, weirdly, like his. Same eyes. Or was it nose. It was confusing. He tentatively reached a hand down and felt little paws shift, felt a few heartbeats and faces and tails. They were all smaller than he’d been as a baby. He left Aidan upstairs but she raced downstairs and started asking things about Dublin, how long it had been since he’d been here before, what the music was like.

He turned around, and then it clicked, what he hadn’t noticed on the way here. He asked.

“Yeah, but she doesn’t do drums anymore.”

The next few days were a blur, of sun and sound and vision. He went along to the beach and stared out into the waves, feeling pale and Irish and ill-fitting. First freckles everywhere then sunburn. The choppy beat of someone’s radio on the beach. He swam in the water to the pace of the music. Oisín laughing as he remembered when Ciarán had run away when he was three, out past the first beach and onto the second. Aidan trying to draw him in crayon; Ciarán trying to draw out the cover of Achtung Baby.

None of it felt so magnetic as the moment he stepped indoors of a place that should belong to no-one anymore. It could be any normal house, it looked like all the others around it. Sunlight filled the empty rooms along with a fog of memory. Ruth kicked aside a record player carefully, moved a stack of papers over to the windowsill, ran her fingers over the glass between the house and the cold sky outside. Oisín left for work, Aidan was yawning in the background saying this was boring. Ciarán felt a little fist in his heart separate into two and start beating as he looked at the abandoned drums in the corner. Ruth started talking guitar automatically, because Mark and the others were there, and Ciarán forgot their names but recognized some. His eyes felt tight; he knew who was absent. A thin hollowness around Mark’s eyes said he knew too.

Ciarán asked about the drums. With the tension easing in his chest, the rubber band expanding, he lay down with the forgotten sun at his back beating through the floor of the roof, the sky above him cooling to embers. Countless others had lay down in this selfsame place, some here, some gone. His eyes wandered along the hazy golden skyline and his hands lay silent against the skin of the drum. Eyes closed at last, a yawn escaping from his mouth, he let lives and deaths play in rhythms from his hands.

“It was good,” he answered his parents, returning. “I missed them.” He’d left the drums on the roof. He could wait. An impatient breath of warm air, ocean fog had settled in his body, making him restless. When he closed his eyes he saw dreams.

There was some compulsion in him still that made it ache horribly to lie awake, the blue room drifting around him, not knowing what he was missing and wanting it, badly.

Perhaps that was why, he reflected on the hospital stretcher seven years later, that that time had not been enough. He’d known there was more. Everywhere he turned he glimpsed it but he couldn’t find it. It would take so much to get it, take so many years.

He turned to the person on the stretcher beside him and meeting their eyes thought he couldn’t have changed it even if he’d tried.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:53 AM   #2
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Lovely. Just lovely.

....

I can't describe how much I love it.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:06 PM   #3
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Pleased that your chapters are short. (Heh... I was gonna add "in contrast to Please" but realized I'd accidentally punned with the first word...) It's a relief for me, cause I don't have much reading time.
Aw, kittens
And Ruth and Oisin... I just remembered how much I loved that couple... yes! But it's sad that she doesn't drum anmore... I wonder why?
I can tell drums are going to be important to this storyline... that's good. I have a thing for drumbeats.
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:51 PM   #4
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Uh, I forgot a lot of details and stuff because I have slight writer's block, therefore this chapter was shittier than I envisioned...and I didn't get to explain Ruth and the band much.

Remember how in the epilogue of Out Of Control she tells Ali she's considering getting the band back together? well, a couple years later when Aidan's less demanding, Ruth stops drumming because she takes over where Phoenix left off. Mark (other guitarist) can't sing for shite, so he takes up bass. They get some other chick for drumming and another guy on backup guitar and the band's all set. It was useful for Ruth not to be drumming anymore—for one, she regarded it as sort of basic, something she would eventually progress beyond. It also worked hella well with Ciarán's 'oh god abandoned drums noooo!' instinct.

Next couple chapters should change drastically and I'll get to them when my writing promises not to be shite.

(and yay puns XD)

(Also, I made this chapter a lot happier than it was going to be. I realized of course Ruth and Oisín would have time for Ciarán even with a five year old. They have less issues to deal with than B and Ali)
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:03 PM   #5
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Your writing is NOT shite!
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:19 PM   #6
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Aw thanks XD

This chapter was gonna be a whole lot better, though.

I've mapped out what's going to happen in the next one...so it'll be on the way sometime in the next week...
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:59 PM   #7
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:47 PM   #8
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In the meantime, here's some preview of what's to come.

Random person on the right is sorta random. Sort of. There are a lot of people ahead.

Oh and I hate painting back freckles. On bad sketchbook paper. Ah well.



Yes, we will be skipping ahead some years.
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achtung baby, aidan, ali, angst, band back together, bono, buttons, ciaran, ciarán, drumming on the roof, no love lost, oisín, ruth, silliness, zoo era, zootv era

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