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Old 03-16-2011, 09:51 PM   #1
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Out Of Control 25—PG version

This gave me a headache but was ultimately fun. Oh yeah, cut out the naughty bits again...once again, PM/email if you want them.

I enjoyed this chapter a lot...suspense! Anything offtopic ultimately has a reason, too, so pay attention.

Oh, Buttons. Would that I still had a cat to compare you to. Have to make do with memory now.

***

(1986)
"If I said I'd lost my way
Would you sympathise
Could you sympathise?
Won't you come on down
to my
rescue...
"

—Echo and the Bunnymen, "Rescue"
It was midafternoon when Ruth woke, the sun spilling in through Oisín’s window and over their curled up bodies with a heat she was by now accustomed to—she couldn’t remember what Ireland felt like aside from faint ingrained memories.

She lay awake, feeling the sun on her body and Oisín’s sprawled next to and over hers, still pleasantly sleepy. She sat up when the heat became uncomfortable, Oisín’s arm falling from across her shoulders to the mattress. He frowned, sleeping, and turned over, managing to practically throw the sheets to the floor in doing so. She giggled quietly and slid back next to him, wrapping her arms around him and looking at the patterns the sunlight made on the other wall and across his face.

He looked so much younger, like the Oisín she had known eight years ago, when he was asleep. A weightless sort of happiness had settled over his features, and his hair was sticking up all over the place—probably her fault. The angle it made on his face was familiar, shading his closed eyes from the sun that lit him.

Not disrupting that strand of hair, out of amusement, Ruth played absently with the rest, yawning. She felt a little tremor across her body and looked down to see Oisín’s eyes had opened and he was looking at her in a warm haze. She grinned and kissed him further awake, and he turned over and began…sinking?

Abruptly Oisín fell off the bed. Ruth couldn’t help it. He mock glared at her while she made no pretense of holding in her laughter.

“You…you…” She tried to speak and gave up. He rolled his eyes and picked himself up off the floor. “Now I’m all bruised in bad places,” he complained, amused.

“Oh are you?” she chuckled. “I hope not. And you fell on the other end of your arse, ‘Sheen.”

“I did,” he winced as he sat down. He lost the pained look, laughing. “I’m fine.

“Oh,” he said, “I’m an eejit.” She gave him a questioning look. “Ruth, are you alright?” The look continued. “I mean, I’m an eejit for just…just…doing this, while we shouldn’t have done things so fast.”

The look continued but lost some of its confusedness.

“Oh,” Ruth said at last, echoing him. She was lost in thought briefly, then looked back at him. “Oisín, why do you think that?”

“Last night…well…you seemed bothered by something.”

“I said it had nothing to do with you,” she said softly.

He looked at her sadly. She really didn’t know, did she. For eight years she’d assumed everything in Ireland was going the same. That if she went back everyone would be alright. He caught at her hand and she looked down, away from that look, sighing.

“What did I say on the phone eight years ago, ‘Sheen?” she asked. “I can’t remember. It must not have been everything.”

“It was.” She met his gaze again and was startled to see his expression. It was open, surprisingly so.

“I left Ireland because I thought everything I loved would come to an end,” she said quietly. He nodded, but she saw, instead, a brief furious rush of flame in her mind’s eye, the heat still stinging across her back. It had been a very real possibility. She continued speaking, falling into his arms and into stillness, and explaining further, feeling that time infringe upon the present, though the pain was no longer there…just scars in her body, and her mind. She looked up and saw the sunlight tracing their entwined fingers, like one body ended where the other began, Oisín’s chest rising and falling under hers. He had wrapped his arms around her more tightly when she mentioned the days at the hospital and the fear that Isaac would come looking for her anyway unknowing that she no longer carried his child. She let that and the rest of what she’d once told him fall away. It felt in a way unreal, the past, after last night.

Ruth, blushing, was startled out of her thoughts by the tightness of Oisín’s eyes. He blinked hard for a moment and sighed shakily.

“But…you’re all right now, Ruth?” he asked quietly.

“Yes,” she smiled, turning around so she could see his face better, tracing the lines of sunshine across his chest. “Of course I am. Which is entirely your fault. It used to be I thought sometimes of the past. I probably still do. I didn’t think anything bad could go away so completely. Now it’s the present…the future…everything.”

He kissed her softly, all the sadness gone in a moment, expelled from him out into other times. Ruth soon discovered it probably wasn’t the best idea, if they planned to ever leave the house, to be kissing him on the bed. She did stop him from falling down a second time.

She could almost hear his thoughts resonating through him...



At some time Ruth dragged herself and Oisín, naked butt and all, out of bed, into clothes—he valiantly offered her use of his, and she declined on the grounds of them definitely not fitting.

“Besides, I’m already going to get hell from Phoenix, and they don’t know you at all,” she giggled, throwing his proffered shirt at his face. He extricated himself from it and she pushed him offbalance, grabbing his arm when he mock stumbled. Silly ‘Sheen.

“Ah, Ruth,” he said, grinning and dragging her over to the bathroom, “I’m afraid they might guess anyway.”

“Why…”

He stopped walking when they got to the mirror, and ducked out of view, laughing. She flushed. There was a huge mark where the skin of her neck met her shoulder.

“Hmm,” Ruth said. “Don’t remember that.”

“Should I take that as a compliment?”

“Yes, you should, lover,” she said, swatting him again. “I wish I had some lipstick so I could smear it all over your face. You can cover anything up. I can’t be wearing turtlenecks while drumming in 100-degree weather; it would just look…strange…”

“You could always say it was Bono,” Oisín chuckled. “Although…” He had seemed rather busy doing something or other backstage. And not with Ali.

Ruth looked disturbed. “What? Why would he be in Santa Barbara? Isn’t he in Dublin…with the rest of everyone I knew…back then,” she sighed, trailing off.

He looked at her, amazed. “He was in the bar last night, with the rest of the band! They played before you! What on earth were you doing that you didn’t notice…”

“Huh,” Ruth said. “I thought I saw Larry…maybe I wasn’t wrong…”

“Oh, no you don’t,” Oisín said before he kissed her, stopping that train of thought effectively.

“Silly,” Ruth said when she broke away. “I like you.”

“Good,” he laughed.

“What would bring them to Santa Barbara,” she muttered, though, and pushed Oisín out of the bathroom so she could wash up. It was just her and her confusion for several minutes, and even alone and able to think, she had no idea why they would be here.

She gave up, sighing, turning off the water, and stretching. She still felt amazing, even if exhausted. She looked in the mirror again—nope, it was still pretty obvious what she’d been up to—and as she exited the bathroom, holding a folded towel, not sure where Oisín would want her to put it, the strangeness of seeing the burn scar on her back almost gone still resonated through her.

She was so preoccupied with that she nearly tripped over something. The towel went flying out of her hands, and Oisín caught it, struggling not to laugh. Ruth looked down towards her feet, glaring, and saw something gray and fuzzy. The glare melted away, and she picked it up.

“Who’s this fellow?” she said, startled, looking into wide green eyes.

Oisín had to laugh. She looked like she’d never seen a cat before.

“Don’t hold her like that,” he said, setting the towel down on the kitchen floor forgotten, and moving Ruth’s hands around until she held the cat practically like a baby. “Her name is Buttons,” he answered Ruth’s question. She chose not to comment on his skill of naming or lack thereof. It could be a lot worse…

She thought the cat was angry, and looked down at it puzzled, trying not to hold it so tight—maybe that was it—Buttons emitted a rumbling sound.

“She likes you,” Oisín said, still struggling not to laugh.

Ruth decided she liked cats. Although, she liked Oisín more. She carefully set Buttons down—the cat miaouwed in a peeved sort of way. “Be nice, Buttons” Oisín commented to the cat, and Ruth thought she would die of laughter even worse than he had moments before.

“Why’d you name her that?” she asked idly.

“Ah, well, it was something stupid I said to Cath when we were little and she thought our mother died. I was trying to distract her, and she saw a neighbor’s cat and said we should get one. She made up this sort of imaginary cat called Buttons…”

“Where is Cath?” Ruth asked. “I kept trying to call her a while ago and the number was wrong or something…I’m pretty sure she’s not in Dublin; the operator didn’t know of anyone under her name.”

Oisín had gone still. He scooped up Buttons and placed her gently outside despite complaint, and when he turned back, closing the door behind him, said, “You didn’t hear anything, did you?” quietly. He looked slightly sad again. What had Cath done? “For eight years, you didn’t get any word back from Dublin?”

She shook her head. “Something wrong with the phone lines and the numbers…” She laughed. “I actually only found out recently that the Hype had become U2…Phoenix saw ‘The Unforgettable Fire’ in the record store and said they were Irish, maybe I knew them, as a sort of joke. I was pretty quiet that day. Anyways, it was totally unexpected and I was mortified that I had no idea that they’d become, well, something…”

“I was trying to call you, eight years ago,” Oisín stated. “Right abouts when you were trying to reach people back in Dublin and had difficulty. D’you remember how you couldn’t reach Cath, she was away?”

Ruth nodded, puzzled.

“It took me a while to figure out, but that…” he said something incomprehensible in Gaelic, and then modified it, “man staying at our house, d’you know who he was?”

A warning crept through her, as if she already knew. She remembered lying awake in the strangeness of America and sensing, because Eve sensed, something bad was going on in Dublin.

“Isaac,” he said. She tensed.

“Was he looking for me?” she whispered.

“No. I didn’t know anything until you said it, actually. And everything else I found out far too late, after I’d moved out. From what I can piece together, Isaac got shot, and somehow my father was the one who got him to the hospital—not even a proper one, for some reason, and they said he was me, which confuses me still—and since the hospital did a shite job removing a bullet from his side, he was recovering at our house.”

Oh god.

“Cath was working nights at our da’s bar, because he was off looking for another job. She started to feel sorry for the bugger, walked him back to the house—he was shot around the hip and couldn’t walk right yet—and sometime after that, he pretended to be in pain, locked all the doors, and…”

“Did he kill her?” Ruth asked, the blood draining from her face. Buttons was scratching at the door outside. The real world seemed briefly surreal, transparent and thin as a soap bubble—like any moment it would break; she’d been wrong about so much that was going on.

Oisín shook his head. The last piece fell into place; she understood.

“You told me over the phone she was looking for me,” Ruth said, biting her lip, feeling worlds of awful. “That something had gone wrong, you didn’t know what, and she was trying to figure it out.”

He nodded. “I had no idea for a while, but I caught on to that much.”

“Is she alright?” Ruth asked, hoping. “Did she set the cops on the bastard?”

He shook his head again, briefly not meeting her eyes. He was not going to go back to that place, those few hours when he had not been himself—had done something any normal person would have never done, for the sake of his sister. It wasn’t important, in the face of things. He had left that brief mask behind.

“She did leave him, and I heard very little about her for a long time. What I did hear was that she was involved with a certain band…”

“Really?”

“…She was the girlfriend, and then fiancée, of…oh, what’s his name…Paul Hewson.” He grinned. “I wanted to kill the boy, until I figured out he was all right. Although anyone seems alright after Isaac…”

“Don’t worry, that’s not the standard I’m judging you by,” she winked.

“Thanks, love…”

It was quiet for a moment; he stared off into nothing.

“How come Bono’s with Ali, then?” Ruth asked. She felt bad for Cath. “Did they fall out?”

“No, he loved her, perhaps more than Ali for a very long while.”

“Then…”

“In 1979, seven years ago, I was about to leave for America,” he began.

“And a good choice that was,” Ruth said. “I might never have met you again.” He waved her silent and she obliged, catching the seriousness of his expression.

“I didn’t go when planned. Y’see, I was called over to the hospital. That’s where Cath was. She said she wanted to see me. Or rather, her man found me and practically dragged her there. I asked why she was in the hospital, he said she’d just had a baby. I assumed she was fine.”

“She…she…” Ruth had had no idea Cath had done that. “Give me a second to let that sink in. Cath practically got married and had a kid and didn’t tell me?”

Oisín had an ironic look to his face. “She was probably a little mad at you for leaving. She had no idea where you were, or why you’d gone.”

“So there’s a kid somewhere…” Ruth chuckled, not connecting it to Ciarán at all. “Oh, I wonder how Ali can stand that…Why didn’t she tell me?” she mused again softly, referring to Cath.

“Ruth,” Oisín said. “Cath died.”

She was still for a long moment, absorbing that. There was a brief heat behind her eyes, and she blinked it away; Oisín made as if to wipe the tears away, but she wouldn’t let them fall.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“I can’t believe no-one told you,” he muttered. “U2’s been in America for a while now.”

Ruth shook her head. “It’s not—I just can’t believe that…I didn’t stop it…”

“What?” he asked softly, his breath tickling her ear. She pressed her cheek against his.

“Everything. If I’d stayed, I could have figured out what Isaac was doing. I could have stopped that, at least.”

“She would have died anyway.” He sat against the counter again, his face briefly the boy’s again, in his raw unsurety. “That’s what I told myself when I thought the same thing.”

“Did it help?”

“No,” he shook his head. “Not at all.”

“I’m glad I found you again, ‘Sheen,” she whispered into his skin when they quieted again.

“Me too,” he said, smiling.
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:12 PM   #2
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Aww, so happy they found love together. So interesting to hear this summing-up of past events... it's weird to think that someone was out of the loop for so long. But I guess that's cause no one knew where to find Ruth...
Can I have the parts you left out?

Oh, and KITTEH!
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:36 PM   #3
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No-one knew where to find her and the phone lines were weird...there might be an explanation for that. Poor Cath thought Ruth just up and left for no reason...and Ruth had no freakin idea of anything...

Hah, glad the summary didn't bore you to death I was thinking to myself, 'oh no, another one...everyone's probably sick of them by now...' but she did need to find out...

Of courses! Do you want them via PM? and I have the other chapter if your PM box is free too and you want it.

I'm in cat withdrawal, but writing about a cat weirdly made it a little better...
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:40 PM   #4
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Nah, it's pretty fun to hear summaries sometimes... who knows who the character will tell it...
I'll go clear my PM box, I mean that will probably make it better, but I'm afraid I'll exceed the limit with replies... ah well, it's the only way I can do it since I don't want to give away my email...
It was so cute how she was unused to the cat. Buttons is a cute name
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:46 PM   #5
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Good that makes me feel better. I feel like I explain things/reference past events waaaay too much in my stories...

Sounds good! They'll be coming your way shortly.

My friend thought it up I can't think of cat names well at all...to be fair, I've only had one and my sister named it
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1986, bono, joshua tree era, larry, out of control

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