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Old 02-10-2011, 09:45 PM   #1
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Out Of Control 8

For the purposes of that chapter, Bono. n. That kid who always got into fights. But not always his fault.

Poor confused Ruth Everyone else's got it easy in this story. Well, all the characters in it at the moment, that is.

It's moving along quickly...I might have to hurry along the '86 plot! And that is exciting.

Song in this is "Television Screen" by the Radiators From Space, or in '78, the Radiators. Bono kind of adored them, among other punk bands of the time.

***

1978

Ruth swallowed around the lump in her throat. Outside the house, the wind blew through the trees and brought the scent of leaves into the room, but she closed her eyes and buried her head against the pillow, blinking tightly, then sprang away from the bed in aversion, wrapping a sheet around herself and sitting against the wall, the floor cold against her feet.

She ducked her head and stared at the floorboards. They swam before her in prismatic distortion before the little globes of water fell icily onto her feet. She wrapped her arms around her body, feeling disgusted with herself. What had she done? But no…it wasn’t her fault. Was it?

She loved him. Or at least, Aodan loved her. He had practically cried, yesterday afternoon, and he couldn’t hide it, they were so close together. Closer than he had ever really been to her before, without the protection of clothing, or of words or other people defining who he was, just the tight closed distance between them.

It had surprised her to see him so human, just then. His eyes red, his voice raw, his arms briefly weak. His shaky downcast eyes his hair fell into, and he without free limbs to brush it away. So human then, so normal and natural, and it had happened. She trusted him on a deep level she wished she could erase.

Her blood had turned to ice, when she had seen, briefly, Larry approaching from the window of her bedroom. And the fact that she had suddenly imagined that it was he with her, not Aodan…

She shook her head hard, dried her eyes with the edge of the sheet, and traveled to the bathroom, letting it fall and running cold water over her head as if it could cleanse her of her actions. It hid the tears and the confusion, and Ruth was stony-faced when she came downstairs. She was silent all day, drifting in and out of noticing when Eve spoke to her. Eve was oddly energetic, her speech scattered and frenetic, her eyes wild and her face aglow. When she spoke she made large motions with her arms and grinned. It was about the opposite Ruth felt, and while she felt happy for her sister—and confused as to the cause—she fell deeper into that still pit of reflection.

I don’t love Aodan…

well, I do…


She didn’t really know. And that scared her.

When she went to drum with Larry today, he seemed distracted, then concerned. He spoke to her but she barely heard what he said; it echoed around the drumbeats that poured out of her with a furious energy. Ruth sat back from the drums finally and looked up with wide eyes that were closed as soon as they seemed open. She wanted to tell Larry what had happened, she wanted—she didn’t know what she wanted. She watched his hands over the drumsticks and the taut flesh of the drum and imagined his fingertips humming over her skin and everything that had ever happened before lost, lost in the rhythm.

“Ruth?” he asked her, waving a hand over her face. She snapped out of her thoughts and looked at him wildly. She huddled inside herself, then just as suddenly, stood up.

“I’m sorry, Larry,” she said to him. “I can’t do this.”

She left him there in the practice room that still echoed with the clatter of her drumsticks falling. It thudded across her heart. She wished she could take it back. But it was all too much. She couldn’t…

*

Larry came with stormy eyes to see Eve, though really he wanted to know where Ruth was. Ruth had been a constant presence in his life up till now, and it seemed wrong for her to be suddenly gone, a brightness wrenched away from him. His heart sank even as it leapt when Eve opened the door, eyes bright, grinning giddily at him. He sighed and clenched his fists with the tight want he held back for the purpose of finding what the hell Ruth was up to. He could very easily forget it in Eve’s distraction.

“Something wrong, Lar?”

“Eve, where’s Ruth gone to?”

Something flickered in her expression. She sighed, looking troubled. “She’s been gone all day, Lar. I don’t know.” She looked up at him, took a step outside, and closed the door behind her. “You can wait with me until she gets home, if you want, although she may want to be alone. I don’t know what’s going on with her.”

He nodded, then seemed to have a thought, as they both settled on the edge of the porch, Eve swinging her legs back and forth happily like a child.

“Is she having troubles with her man?” he asked. Something about the way Eve had spoken of him, just that once, the fact that she wanted to stop Larry from even seeing him, bothered him.

Eve stilled, a reflective look coming into her eyes. “I don’t think so…”

She knew Larry only a little, and while she trusted him, she didn’t feel like she could really say it was a fine line with Aodan, and Eve had never really trusted the man at all—and what had they been doing for all those—

“Hours,” Eve whispered, staring forward and blinking for a long, sad moment that condensed into her eyes. What had happened? She thought he hadn’t hurt Ruth in any way, but really she had no idea. She remembered Ruth had been silent all of yesterday, with some secret eating away inside of her.

She eventually said all she knew, which was very little, to Larry. He had her hand and traced roadways and veins and lifelines across it, pathways of future and concern, his eyes speaking enough of his confusion and worry warring with his inner urge to forget about Ruth and steal Eve away. The warm night held them and faded over the edges of the street until they would no longer be able to see Ruth approaching. It made everything spoken vibrate closer, or perhaps that was the closeness of their bodies. Her arm and side pressed against his was electric, felt like a conduit of emotion between her and him. Or thoughts, fears, understanding rippling hazily between them like slow motes of sunlight through clear water.

“She’s not here yet,” Eve was forced to admit. “Maybe she won’t be.” Her voice was tight with concern for her sister. Then she looked at Larry.

Somehow they ended up not against stairs but against the grass that had held them before. There was no communication but of their bodies speaking to each other. He saw the world spinning in her eyes and then the close fragmented vision of her face when they kissed long and endless, that edge of concern he tried to ease from her melting away and binding them together. Larry was very aware of the physicality of his body, the little slipping thud of their heartbeats colliding as they separated, the little light in her eyes and the sigh in her body that meant that most of the worries had left. They looked at each other for a long moment, the night air heavy slipping between them and hiding the moonglow that lit around Eve from the last light of the sun. She whispered she’d wait for Ruth a little longer, and he nodded, kissed her tentatively, and walked away across the night-cooled ground.

*

“They got a new guitarist,” Bono Vox noted to Ali under the roar of the crowd that had gathered for the other band. “We may need to get a new drummer if Larry’s going to be taking so much time off.” He didn’t like to admit it to himself, but there was a little part of him that felt Larry’s drumming could be replicated, with practice, and the boy could go deal with his problems and still leave the band free to play.

The stagelights and sound were at full blast; the Radiators tore through any of the silence in the room. It was darker up front in the bar, the light blocked by the tight press of the screaming fans. Screaming, he thought with adulation and envy. A woman towards the front wasn't, though; she seemed distracted. The lights lit the side of her face in contrast briefly, and blindingly, her red hair. Bono squinted at her a moment later but couldn’t see clearly in the haze of darkness, light, and excitement.

That girl had looked familiar… “We’ll get that good,” he continued to Ali, giving up. She leaned against him with an easy smile, raising her eyebrows. “I have no doubt of it, Paul,” she said, and laughed when he couldn’t hear because of the sheer volume of this band. They were still very good, he admitted to himself. He had been addicted to the Radiators’ music even after a nasty fight at one of their gigs ended in a stabbing and the band unraveling briefly. He and Ali went and saw other bands to open their eyes to the world outside U2, and he had been happy that the Radiators were back together, minus one guitarist. The guitar still had a frantic fast pace, though, that reminded him a little of Edge with too much caffeine.

“We can be that good,” he repeated thoughtfully, before abruptly his eyes focused again where they had before. In between where the lights punched the darkness, they briefly illuminated the girl’s face again. He swore he had seen her before. Puzzled, he explained to Ali then left her side and pushed through the crowd, managing to yank Ruth into a corner successfully.

“What’s going on?” Bono asked, crossing his arms. He was right, it was Ruth—he knew that sharp face—but her expression…

“You know, Larry’s been trying to find you for the past few days,” Bono added with some irritation. His missing girl was all Larry had been able to talk about, and he had this secretive look about him too—he wasn’t mentioning something or other. Paul would have preferred if Larry kept his romantic life to himself and let him figure out the band, not work Larry’s life out himself.

Ruth looked frozen. He was surprised, thinking she would glare and yell at him; she was the vocal type of girl, much like Ali—it got him to either fighting or singing, depending how close he was to someone. Right now the music set his nerves to not tolerating Ruth much, but that fell away and he was prepared to give up and listen—

“I have to figure everything out,” she told him.

“Right,” he said, tilting his head, “that’s what Larry said. Are you two—“

He didn’t get to finish his sentence. A fist slammed into the side of his face. His jaw exploded with sudden pain and he saw sparks.

Cause I don’t like what’s going down…” The music distorted briefly and filled his head before he blinked and wiped his bloody lip.

He pushed himself up from the dirty floor and glared murder at his assailant, who Ruth yelled at, eyes wide, before she disappeared outside with an angry shout.

“Aodan,” Bono spat the name he’d heard, feeling his muscles tense in his arms. “I’m not stealing your girl.” He pushed the other man, hard, into the wall, grabbed Ali, and prepared to leave, ignoring some question that ended with Larry’s name.

Shit. What had Larry gotten himself into?

Paul looked as he left at Ruth’s face; she stood outside the building looking into the street, angry and pale. And still that expression he could not name inside her eyes. He wondered, for the rest of the way home, what was going on. Her wide eyes and the memory of Aodan—his lip still stung angrily from that punch; I should learn to fight the nasty ones better, he thought—were a lingering visceral discomfort that remained with him for the rest of the day. Whatever it was, was more complicated than he’d assumed.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:43 PM   #2
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Yeeks! I left this page up this entire time I've been out to dinner!
Poor Ruth... I feel sorry for her...
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, she wanted—she didn’t know what she wanted.
I so know how that feels...
Mmmmmmmmmmm! Eve and Larry!!
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The guitar still had a frantic fast pace, though, that reminded him a little of Edge with too much caffeine.
That was funny!
What is Aodan's problem? I don't mean him being angry/jealous at the end, I mean what was going on with him and Ruth that day?
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:49 PM   #3
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Hahaha, it's ok. I've been working on the next chapter, so I'm a little behind things too.

Larry still seems so awkward to me ^^ even when he's in love!

Edge on too much caffeine describes the late 70s very very well. And was what I was thinking when I was trying to compare that song to U2. It's really really fast!

Mm, well, he's an odd fellow. He's kind of quiet at times, and at other times is way too emotional, usually on the less pleasant spectrum of emotions later on. And which day d'you mean? Beginning or end?
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:58 PM   #4
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I like Larry. I think. I'm glad he's in love as you say, maybe he'll relax some more...
Um, beginning I think. I just don;t understand why what happened between them... had to happen. He sounds... strange. ( )
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:04 PM   #5
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Oh, no, I'm not as obvious as I should be! What were Ruth and Aodan doing for hours? Well...

I don't know if Larry can relax some more. A little, maybe. We'll see how that goes.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:12 PM   #6
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I'm not asking what they did. I'm asking why. It sounded like Ruth didn't like it.
Oh, no, not obvious at all...
They would make a good couple! (Eve&Larry)
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:17 PM   #7
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Ruth's just at an odd place in their relationship. Everything happened pretty quickly; she's only known him for a couple months. It'll make more sense later.



Eve and Larry...hmm. They are a good couple.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:48 PM   #8
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Oh, I see!
(According to 1986 they are a couple. Heh.)
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:54 PM   #9
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(Indeed they are. Hehehe. I decided it wasn't obvious enough that they entered the house together; that's just high school logic )
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1978, ali, bono, boy era, larry, out of control, radiators

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