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Old 05-25-2011, 10:43 PM   #1
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Please - Chapter 17

This is shorter than the other chapters. No dirty bits. It's still fiction however. These are not real people, just look like real people.

Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division

The next morning, Faith sat up in bed and contemplated a run. She was still tired. The dreams didn't help for a well rested night. She wondered if she'd ever feel normal again. When was the last time? She laughed. It was the 5 minutes before Lucy came backstage to tell them U2 wanted a word with them. With a month left, the tour was taking its toll on a few people. Faith retreated to the back of the plane to work on lyrics for some of the new songs. She hoped they would both leave her alone. One did. Larry plopped beside her 10 minutes into the flight. Bono pulled his hood up and opted for more sleep. He ended up sleeping in the second room of his suite. He was sure he could still smell and feel Faith in that bed. At least she was alone too. Perhaps she was missing him as well.

It was a quiet caravan to the hotel. Dinner was organized for everyone in a few hours. U2 went to check out the stage. Faith opted to change before dinner. She just needed some downtime after the last few days.

As she pulled clothes out for dinner, she heard the knock. Which one would that be? She wondered. Bono had been amiable earlier. Maybe a little reserved. She could see that Larry was taking his cues from her. Taking a deep breath, she opened the door to see Alex.

"Oh hey," she was never so glad to see her.

"Were you expecting Larry? Or Bono?" She asked.

Faith stepped back. "Come in." She chose to ignore that comment. "What’s going on?"

Alex's brow was deeply furrowed. "Um, I'm late."

Faith cocked her head. "Late? OH, late....Shit. How late?"

"Uh about 5 days and I'm usually early, " she wrung her hands.

"Okay, well," Faith thought. "Worse case scenario, we can at least finish this leg and possibly

Alex bit her lip. "That's not the only thing."

Faith closed her eyes. Alex didn't have to say it. She braced herself for when she looked at Alex again.

"I don't know whose it would be," the tears began to fall.

Faith led her the couch. "Come here. Sit down."

"If it's true, I don't think it's Sam's," Alex whispered.

"Oh boy," Faith said. "Edge?" Alex nodded. "Okay. Does he know?" She shook her head violently. "Okay." Faith drummed her finger along side her temple. "We need to get a test to be sure. Then we can deal with the next step."

Alex gulped for air. "Okay. Do they have them here?"

"Maybe. We might need a pharmacy or chemist." Faith wondered how they would sneak out to get one.

"I can't let anyone see me buy one. Sam will be excited and assume it is his," Alex sobbed.
Faith bit her tongue. Now was not the time for lectures. Who was she give one from her glass house?

"You want me to go?" She asked. "Wouldn't that look stranger?" According to anyone, she wasn't get anything from anyone. That would suggest she'd whore it up. Or would confirm a few suspicions.

Alex buried her face in her hands. "I thought I was being so careful."

Faith sighed. She was going to have to get this test. Alex was in no state to leave the room. "Stay here. I'll be back as soon as I can. We'll figure this out, okay?" She hugged Alex tightly before she slipped out of her room.

Faith took a cleansing breath as she scoped the hallway. It was empty. She needed to get to the front desk without being seen to ask where she could a pharmacy. She passed a few crew members as they made their way to their rooms. They exchanged a casual wave. She approached the girl behind the desk and asked where the nearest pharmacy was located. Her accent was so thick, it was hard to understand her. Luckily, she drew her a map on hotel stationary. 
The weather had been misty and humid in Scotland. Faith was actually sad they wouldn't be here that long. She always wanted to tour Scotland. Her grandmother was a Stewart and had been from the Highlands she was told. As she darted down the street, she wondered if she should take one as well. That would fuck things up nicely if they both would up pregnant by members of U2. She wiped her forehead. She could see the tabloids now. She took comfort in knowing that she was nowhere near that dangerous period in her cycle. Still, she cursed herself for being careless with Bono on the couch. Didn't matter if they used protection the other times. It only took once. 
Her thoughts went to Alex and Edge. How long had it been going on? Sure, she had a strong feeling that they might have kissed but Alex made it sound like it happened a few times. Poor Sam. Yes, he was a dick at the beginning of the tour. He worked hard to redeem himself. Yet, he wasn't without indiscretions. Faith had seen him get a little too cozy with a few female fans. She wished that Alex and Sam would see that their relationship was over. They acted more like friends than lovers. And what was that business about proposing?

Faith looked around the tiny shop. She prayed that no one recognized her. She wasn't sure of their popularity up here. It was impressive in England and Ireland. She found the right section. Now which one? She had only taken one once when she was with Bradley. She had been both scared and excited. In the end, it was best that it turned out negative. She grabbed the box she knew. The longer she stood staring at them the chance that she'd be spotted grew. She had some pounds from when they were in London. She tried to not make small talk with the salesperson. The less they knew about her the better. With a nod of thanks, she bolted out the door clutching her bag. Now she just needed to get back to the hotel room undetected.

As she walked her head bent, she wondered how involved they were. Was it love? Was it just lust? Was it like her and Bono - somewhere in the middle of all that? Rarely these things were black and white. Like Bono’s decision to not tell Larry. Sure, it was none of Larry’s business. And it would never happen again. Somehow that made her a little sad. But she wanted Larry for so long. This was her chance to see if there was something incredible there.

"Faith," she heard Bono voice from the doorway of a shop. Shit.

"Hey," she tried to sound casual and make this quick. She pressed the bag to her leg out of view. "I thought you guys went to the stadium. "

"The rest of the guys are still there. I have a phone interview at the room so I left," he said. "What are you up to?"

"Oh," she glanced around realizing what a terrible actress she was. "Just walking around. Heading back the room."

"I'll walk with you," he smiled. He still felt a bit shaken around her.

"You know what? I forgot I was going to look for some shoes," she stopped.

He frowned. Something was wrong. Did he make her that uncomfortable? "Okay, do you want company?"

"Won't you be late for your interview?" She asked.

He looked at his watch. "I have some time."

She shifted her weight. "Shoe shopping sounds exciting to you?" Alex was dying a thousand deaths right now. She wished she stuffed this bag under her shirt.

"What's going on, Faith?" He asked. "Do I make you uncomfortable? "

She considered lying to him just so he'd go away. In a way, he did make her feel a little uneasy because they shared too much. She let him sink into her skin somehow. Even being a foot from him seemed too close for comfort when she was supposed to be overjoyed with the prospect of a real relationship with Larry. The bag rustled in her hand as she dropped it behind her back. His eyes dropped to her hand.

"No, everything is fine," she cursed herself for being so obvious.

He grabbed her arm that held the contraband. "What's going on Faith? What are you hiding?" He saw the three letters blaring through the thin white plastic. EPT. Early pregnancy test. His heart stopped. Panic ripped through him followed by Was she carrying his child? There were worse things in this world. “Faith? Are you...we?”

She couldn't let him think that. "It's not for me."

He stared at her blankly before another name popped onto his head. "Oh.” Disappointment crept into his voice. “Why did you get it?"

"She didn't want anyone to know," Faith said lowly.

Panic hit his eyes again. "It's not Sam's, is it?" Faith didn't have to answer. The pained look was enough to confirm the worst.

She pulled him into an alley in case someone happened upon them. "She isn't sure. Please do not saying to anyone."

"Of course. Not even to Edge. God, we were right, weren't we?" He rubbed his face.

"Of all things to be right about," she sighed.

"Do you know how long its gone on for?" He asked.

She shook her head. "I didn't get details. She came to me this afternoon. She's waiting in my room to get back with this," she motioned to the bag.

"You should get back in that case. She's has to be scared shitless," he said. "Um, do you think we should..." he glanced down at the bag again.

"I think we're okay. We weren't that careless," she said.

"It only takes once," he thought of the couch. He didn't even think of protection. He just needed her.

"After she goes, I can take one if you're worried. There's three in here," she bit her lip. That would fuck things up rightly.

"It’s up to you. You know your body. I'm okay with whatever happens," he said. They stare at one another for a moment. “I’ll still walk with you if you like.”

“You might be able to distract people at the hotel if they are there,” she suggested.

“This is a bit of a mess, isn’t it?” Bono rubbed his chin and neck.

“I’m wondering if it was a good idea to sign on for another leg. Have you ever toured this long with a band?” she asked.

He shook his head. “No, I don’t think so.”

“Why is that? Why us?” she stopped. “Why do you still want us around?”

His face softened. “I like having you around, so I guess it’s selfishness on my part. I think you’re brilliant. Your song writing, stage presence. You really get that crowd going so they are finely tuned when we hit the stage. But it all boils down to, I really enjoy having you on the tour.”

She noticed he said ‘her’ and not the band.

He placed his hands on her shoulders. “Please don’t leave the tour. I know I wouldn’t be the only one upset.”

“It just seems a bit messy. I wonder if it was like a one time thing....or on going,” Faith said. “And if Sam finds out.” She brought her hand to her forehead. “It would be ugly.”

“Well,” he grabbed the bag. “Let’s hide this and see where the chips fall. We’ll handle it whatever it is.”

Faith nodded. “Okay.” She tucked the box into the waistband of her jeans and let her t-shirt fall loose over it. “How’s this?”

“Eh,” Bono hid a smile. “It looks like you’re smuggling a carton of cigarettes.”

Her face broke into a grin. “If that’s the worst of it. Come on. I’m sure Alex has had heart attack while I’ve been gone.”

He looked at his watch. “And Edge will be returning from the stadium.”

He itched his palm wishing he could thread his fingers through hers. Right now, he envied Edge if they were having a full blown affair. His ended before it really started. But what the hell was Edge thinking? What about Morleigh? A few months ago, he wanted to ask her to marry him. What happened?

As the hotel came into view, they saw some more crew milling about.

“Shit,” she muttered.

“I’ll distract them. I don’t see security, so no one’s here yet,” Bono said.

“Speaking of security, where’s John? How did you get out?” she sideglanced him.

He flashed that crooked grin. “I told you. I’m an escape artist.”

They waved to a few crew leaving the hotel looking for some dinner.

Bono leaned closer. “Let me know how it goes.”

She nodded. “Okay. Thank you.”

“For what?” he asked as they walked through the lobby doors.

“Being a good friend,” she smiled tenderly. He saw something more behind it. Whether she liked it or not, they were entwined.

“Always, love,” he winked as she walked to the elevator.

Faith’s heart soared as the doors closed around her. They were still good friends. It was the one fear she had by everything that had happened between them. While it wasn’t completely comfortable to be near him, it wasn’t as awkward as she imagined. Maybe they would all come out of this unscathed.

“Where have you been?” Alex cried as Faith opened the door.

“Sorry. I had to walk a ways,” she said pulling the crushed box out of her pants. “Do you want to take it now?”

“No, but yes,” Alex sighed. “I need to know. Can I do it here?”

“Of course,” Faith sat on the couch while Alex disappeared into the bathroom. The look on Bono’s face in the few moments that he thought the test was hers haunted her. He had looked...pleased? No, it must have been shock. Why would he want that?

Alex’s hand shook as she unwrapped the test. What was she going to do? How would she tell either of them? She decided that she would need to tell Edge first. She wasn’t sure why. Maybe he’d want to get rid of it. She placed her hand over her belly. Edge’s baby. Maybe a son. She liked the idea of that. She tried to think of when she might have had sex with Edge during her cycle. Or was it Sam’s? He never wanted kids. Or he once said when he was 40 and he’d done all his living. She laid the test on the sink and stared at it. It said 10 minutes. She couldn’t stare at it for that long. She went to sit with Faith.

“I have to wait,” she said quietly.

“One day, they will make these things quicker,” Faith predicted. “How are you?”

“Scared as hell. I can’t believe I was so careless,” her shoulder rolled forward.

“How did this happen? I’ll admit that I saw some sparks, but I didn’t expect this,” Faith went to the minibar for some beer. She handed one to Alex.

“Should I if I’m?” she looked up.

“One beer won’t hurt at this point. So, you and long?” Faith reclaimed her seat.

“Oh, it’s been building for awhile. Working on music together didn’t help. We shared so many common threads. I love Sam, but it never felt like it does with Edge. He makes me feel alive in a way no man ever has,” her eyes filled with pure love. “I know it’s wrong. Very very wrong. He has a girlfriend and I have Sam.”

“I know you and Sam have been rocky for awhile. Even before the tour. What do you think he’d do if you broke up with him?” Faith asked.

“Would he stay in the band? I’d like to think so. We’ve come too far for him to walk away because we aren’t together. Would it be hard? Yes,” Alex didn’t like to think about being in close quarters with a spurned Sam. When he wanted to be, he could be downright nasty. It’d be hostile, and Alex would have to ride it out.

“Are you ending it with Sam?” Faith held her breath. The tour had become oppressively tense without adding that to it.

Alex shrugged. “I don’t know. When I’m near Edge, I’m done. I want him and no one else. But I do love Sam still. I don’t think I know what that love means. Is it just friendship? I know I don’t want to spend my life with him.”

Inside, Faith winced remembering Sam’s plan to propose. This was going to get ugly. But first, it was messy.

“Do you know how he feels about you?” she asked.

“Edge? Not for certain. I mean, we’ve never said that to each other. I’ve never had sex with someone I didn’t say I love you to first,” a far way look hit her green eyes. “It was so raw and exciting. I just couldn’t wait for him to just do me anyway he wanted.”

Faith found herself blushing at Alex’s description. She’d never know her friend to be uninhibited - ever. She was quiet and pragmatic. Half the reason she dated Sam was because she’d never have time for a boyfriend it he were outside the band. It was like multi-tasking for her. Yet, this was a different Alex who had lust in her eyes as she waited for her pregnancy test to cook.

“When was the last time you....” Faith’s voice trailed off.

“Dublin, the first night. It was such a huge party that we were able to slip away. That’s why we didn’t know about Ali and Bono,” Alex said.

Faith found her use of ‘we’ to be intimate and strange. So, no one got sleep that night, Faith thought. “I think it’s ready.”

“Will you go look with me?” Alex took in a sharp breath.

“Of course,” she rose from the couch. “Alex, we’ll deal with this no matter what, okay?”

Alex flung her arms around her friend. Thank God she was here. “Thank you so much.”

“Come on. Then you can finish your beer,” Faith attempted to lighten the mood.

Hand in hand, they walked into the bathroom. “You look, I can’t.” Alex squeezed her eyes tightly.

Faith looked at the test resting on her sink. There was just one solid pink line. According the print on the test, if it were positive, there would be 2 pink lines.

Faith let out a huge sigh. “It’s one line. It’s negative.”

Alex’s eyes flung open. Tears streamed down her face. “Oh God, thank you. I promise to go to church on Sunday.” She grabbed Faith in a tight hug. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

“Please please wear a condom from now on,” Faith begged. Her heart raced as their career flashed before their eyes. What would Alex have done?
“Yes, I’m always very strict about that...usually,” she wiped her tears.

"So what now?" Faith stepped away.

Alex chewed on her bottom lip. "I know I should stay away from him." Her eyes were desperate as she looked at Faith. "But I love him."

Faith knew she wasn't talking about Sam. "And Sam?"
"I love him too, but I don't think I'm in love with him anymore."

Faith turned her eyes to the ceiling. "That's problematic. "

"I'm not doing anything that will mess up the tour," Alex promised.

"But if you don’t want to be with him," Alex wasn't making much sense.

"I know I love Edge, but I have no idea how he feels about me. He's still with Morleigh. We haven't really talked about any of this," Alex sighed heavily. "But after this, I might need to stay away from him."

"Can you do that?" Faith asked.

"I don't know that I have a choice," Alex shrugged.

After Alex left, Faith went into the bathroom and stared at the EPT box. She cursed herself and decided she might as well know now. Unlike Alex, she knew exactly who the father would be. There had only been 2 nights in recent history. And if it was positive, there was only one night it could have occurred. She ripped open the packet. Like Alex, she left the room and pulled some clothes out for dinner. A dinner where she'd sit beside her new future boyfriend. God, if you get me out of this I'll be a better person. She had asked a lot of God in her young life. She touched her cross. The one that Bono gave her. Dammit, he really fused himself to her. Slowly, she walked back into the bathroom to learn her fate. One very distinct pink line.

All the air escaped out of her lungs. Thank you, Lord.

Bono walked into the restaurant with Edge. He looked at his jovial friend a little differently knowing that he was carrying on a torrid affair. He searched for Faith and Alex. He would know just by looking at their faces. He didn't see them yet. He had spent the afternoon thinking about how he'd feel if Faith was pregnant. The only emotion he came up with was happiness. Sure, the timing wouldn't be perfect, but the mother, in his eyes, was. He'd seen her the kids in the hospital and his heart melted. She had so much love to give. He remembered her staring out the window on the way home from one hospital.

"You're great with the kids. Do you think you'd ever want some of your own one day?" He asked.

She smiled. "I do. Hopefully in a few years. Right now this is my baby. But I want a few."
"You'd be a great mother," he said.

Her face darkened. "I hope so. I've had a lot of chemicals pumped in me to get me here. I don't know if there will be a trade off, you know?"

He placed his hand over hers. "I refuse to believe that God would let that happen."

If it did happen, they'd have to deal with it together. That part didn't bother Bono. He saw them enter with smiles - granted Alex's was a bit strained. Her eyes scanned for Edge. Would she tell him? Sam came up from behind her and took her hand to lead her to a table. Poor Sam, Bono thought. Love is blindness. Faith's gaze caught on his questioning eyes. She crossed the room. She didn't want a nod or smile reveal to Alex that Bono somehow breached the circle of secrecy.

"Hey," she said casually. "How was your interview? "

"Boring, " he said. "How was your afternoon? "

"Negative on all accounts, " she stated.

"All accounts?" He frowned in confusion.

She nodded. "Yes, everyone is okay. No news to announce. "

"I guess you mean yourself included, " he was oddly disappointed.

"Myself too," she did pick up his tone. Was he serious?

He cleared his throat. "Good. Guess we're back to our regularly scheduled program then."

"I hope everyone is," Faith said making a point to look at Alex.

Bono hid a smile. "Did you give her a-talking to?"

"Probably not as harsh as I should. I hope we've learned a lesson here," she sighed.

"Wrap that rascal?" He cracked.

She had to laugh at the absurdity of it. “Yeah, something like that.”
“We have a few days off leading into Paris. Any plans?” he asked rocking on his heels.

“Working on new material. We only have like 3 weeks to get the EP done. Plus, I think we want to start writing the next album,” she said.

“No rest for the weary, eh?” he asked.

“We have to make it happen now before our time is over,” she said.

“That kind of attitude will take you far beyond the point where we’ve been involved,” he motioned a waitress closer. “I guess we’ll have to take your training wheels off sooner or later.”

“Sheila said that Rolling Stone is thinking of a cover story about the tour. I don’t think it’s supposed to be like Q,” It was nice to talk to him again, the way it used to be without an underlying sexual tension.

He smiled proudly. “That’s great.”

“How about you? Any plans?” she asked.

“I think the band are heading to our place in Eze in south of France for a few days. I know Edge and I are going there,” he considered inviting Strict Machine, more pointedly Faith. “I’m not sure what Larry’s plans are.”

Faith shrugged. They hadn’t spent much time alone since Dublin. “I know I’m going to be a total tourist in Paris.”

“That’s right. I keep forgetting that this is your first time in these places,” he said.

“I’m loading up my passport,” she grinned widely. “I’m going to sit along the river and eat cheese and bread. I won’t be able to fit in my stage outfits.”
He laughed. Just as he was having a good time, Larry walked into the restaurant. It took him exactly 5 seconds to spot Faith and make his way over.

“Hey, what’s going?” his cheeks were flush.

“We were just talking about what we’re doing until the Paris show. Are you come to Eze with Edge and I?”

‘Ehm, I don’t think so. I think I’m going to head straight to Paris,” he knew that’s where Faith was headed. He thought it might be nice to have a few days without everyone else around.

Bono nodded tensely. He bit his tongue from opening up his invitation to Faith and her band. The last thing he needed was to be turned down. “I’m starving,” he lied. “I’m getting some food.” And he was gone.

“You’re just going to bum around Paris?” Faith asked.

“Why not? You’ve never been, right?” he asked.

“Until this tour, I’d only been to Canada,” she sat a table nearby. Bono and Edge were across the room and that was fine with her.

“I know of some cool places. You know, not tourist traps that have the best cheese or crepes,” He sat beside her.

“Are you asking to come along?” she grinned.

“Well, if your looking for company, I’d be happy to tag along,” he said shyly.
“That would be fun. We are spending some time working on new music,” she watched Alex shift uncomfortably beside Sam as they ate dinner. “You know we head right into a studio when end this tour to try to squeeze out an EP before starting up again.”

“So when do you get a vacation?” he asked.

“December 13?” she shrugged. The tour ended for 1997 in Seattle December 12.

“We go back out at the end of January to end of March,” Larry sighed. “After Zoo, I thought we’d swear to never tour for this long.”

“Little under a year? I guess that is a long time.” she offered. “It’s a long time to be away from home.”

He scratched his head. “I guess that’s why half of us are divorced or newly single. It’s not easy to have someone who doesn’t understand the road to be waiting at home.”

“Is that what happened to you?” she asked.

He chewed on his lip. “Probably. It didn’t happen overnight. It had been coming for awhile.”

Faith wasn’t sure what to say. While it had been what she wanted, someone’s heart being broken was never happy.

"Is Larry coming with us?" Ed asked between mouthfuls.

"No. He's off to Paris," Bono grumbled.

Edge looked over at Faith and Larry chatting away at a private table. Bono focused on his food.

"This really bothers you, doesn't it?" Edge asked.

The last thing he needed was to take advice from Edge. He had his own set of issues to iron out.

"I think he's moving too fast," Bono lied. It was a partial lie. It was too quick. Less than 48 hours ago, Ann was kissing him and now he was planning a mini break with Faith. There was nothing Bono could do about it. He knew all along that Faith wanted to be with him. Bono was working hard on convincing himself that she would've been rebound for Ali. Now they could still be friends. And maybe he'd been around when it didn't work out with Larry.

It was a quiet dinner with Bono and Edge glowering in the corner with security. Bono considered heading the charge for a night on the town. He needed something to make him feel better. It looked like Edge wasn’t up for it and Larry was mooning over Faith. Maybe he’d go out alone and just start chatting up the prettiest woman he found. That didn’t sound appealing either. He excused himself early to head to his room where he polished off most of his scotch and wrote.
“In a little while
Surely you'll be mine
In a little while I'll be there

In a little while
This hurt will hurt no more
I'll be home, love!

When the night takes a deep breath
And the daylight has no air
If I crawl, if I come crawling home”

Home. Was that anymore? He felt homeless and floating through space. Home was that stage and the audience. He knew what home felt like. Like a kiss from heaven with soft lips and blue eyes.

To put all that went down in Dublin behind him, Bono organized 3 days of Hedonism at the villa. He invited Gavin and G along with all his Hollywood friends and models. He was truly single after dropping the last shred of hope for he and and Ali. It was time to enjoy good wine, great friends and beautiful women who circulated around him. For two days, he saw the sunrise over the beach surrounded by half-alive party-goers. Some were gorgeous as they lounged beside him. He and Gavin talked philosophy and economics. As the sky brightened, he tried desperately tried to forget what he was missing.

Bono woke early the sound of his own pounding head. He was in his own bed yet he didn't remember getting himself there. They ran out of white wine and he switched to red. That explained the head on him. He listened for other noises in his room like breathing. He thought he remembered someone kissing him but who? He knew he dreamt of someone else, but were those just dreams? He turned his head dragging the world with it. He was alone. No sound from the bathroom and the door was open. He inspected his bed. The other side of the bed was untouched. He breathed a sigh of relief. It was just a dream. He pulled his battered body out of his bed to survey the body count from last night. Bleary-eyed, he staggered downstairs. He hoped he hadn't downed the stash of Lucozade already. The air from the refrigerator felt amazing. After he finished this bottle, he was headed directly into the water for the best hangover cure - the ocean. Stripping to his underwear, he didn’t care who was around. No one really knew that he owned this place. The water was freezing, but it felt amazing. As he sloshed in, the numb feeling spread from his legs upward. The water was like slap as he dove under. He no longer felt he could be sick. After 5 minutes, it started to hurt. He emerged shaking cold to the bone, but he felt better. He spied Edge on the patio nursing a cup of coffee. Dripping wet, he bounded up the stone stairs.

“Morning,” he stood in nothing but his soggy knickers and his sandy clothes bundled in his arms.

“Can you get dressed?” Edge didn’t tear his eyes from the ocean.

“Is coffee made?” Bono asked as he dripped into the house.

He shook out his shirt and watched the sand scatter on the kitchen floor. After breakfast, he’d take a shower to get ready for the next party. He slipped his shirt on as he poured a cup of coffee for himself. The doorbell rang. Who was that at, he looked at his watch, 11 in the morning? He guessed it wasn’t as ungodly as he thought. He answered the door in his wet underwear with his shirt hanging open.

Morleigh was a little taken back. “Morning. Go for a swim?”

He grinned widely at her. “I did. Come in. Edge is on the patio.”

The moment Edge saw Morleigh guilt hit him hard in the gut. His anger over her complacency during the funeral and tour made it easy to give into Alex. Now as Morleigh walked across the patio in a sweeping dress with her curls brushing her bare shoulders, he wanted to cry for his deeds. Tentatively, he wrapped his arms around her and buried his face in those sweet smelling curls. He felt bad for wishing Alex was here earlier in the day. There was something about the sunrise that made him miss Alex so much. But it's not like he could exactly walk hand in hand on the beach with her. She was in the world's most romantic city with Sam.

"I missed you," he meant it. If she would've come to the funeral everything would have been fine, right? Then he wouldn't need Alex so much.

She kissed him deeply and he felt shaken to the core. Bono watched their reunion from the kitchen. Edge did not look good. He'd gone pale when his eyes hit her. Faith was pretty sure that Alex wasn't going to tell Edge about her scare. There was nothing to tell, Bono guessed. Alex stayed beside Sam as a sort of penance in the days that followed. Maybe they both been scared smart, Bono wondered. Though Edge didn't look at peace in Morleigh's arms. He looked more disturbed than ever. Bono was glad he chose not to invite Strict Machine. Maybe Edge needed a few days to get a handle on himself. He'd been a faithful husband while married to Aislinn. He even felt bad for getting close to Morleigh during Zoo. At that point, he and Aislinn had been separated for almost 2 years. That's why Bono didn't understand anything now. Did he get involved too soon after Aislinn? Is that what Faith was to him? Just a bridge between sorrow and true love?

Strict Machine spent long days crammed into a practice space Sheila found for them. After spending so much time together, the writing process had become stale. They hammered out the details to the most promising song 'Let The Damage Begin' and revisited an older song 'I Don't Wanna'. Miraculously, Sam and Alex were working together better than ever. Guilt was an amazing motivator to get along and open ones mind. After the second day of being stuffed in room for ten plus hours, Faith needed to see a different face. Enter Larry. As she walked from the space towards a cafe to meet him, she couldn't help but wonder what being here with Bono would be like.

"How goes the writing?" Larry asked.

Faith sipped her cappuccino. "Not too bad. Not as quick as I would like. I think we're suffering cabin fever together. This does really test you as a band and as friends to be in each other's hair all the time. We have at least one song we'll try out in Paris or Madrid."

He nodded sympathetically. "That's why I didn't go to Eze. I know in a few weeks we'll all have some quality alone time before another month."

Her eyes strained. "We go into a recording studio. I get my break in December. I might even take a vacation."

Larry smiled to himself. Perhaps if things went well, he'd whisk her away. During the break, he would be moving into Adams guest house - the third member to call it home after a break up. He hadn't talked with Ann since that day. He did miss her friendship. Maybe one day they could be friends again. That night there was a lot of anger towards Larry and Faith. Even though he said Faith had nothing to do with, it had been written on his face when his eyes passed over her. Ann had seen it too and hoped it was a phase that would pass.

"I thought about going to New York for the break," he mentioned casually. "There's a few drum theory teachers I took lessons from."

"You took lessons?" She asked.

He nodded. "After Zoo TV. It's never to late to learn."

"I want to get better at playing guitar. I'm okay at it. Barely passable as rhythm guitarist." She munched on her croissant.

"You can't be any worse that Bono," Larry grinned.

"He was better than I expected. I thought it was really for show. When he actually played it, I was shocked. "

"Its largely show with moments of flair," he wanted to get the topic off Bono. "Do you write all your songs on piano?"

"Most of them. I've tried on guitar but I end up giving it to Alex to translate," she said.

"I have to ask, is it hard being in a band with a couple?"

She glanced around. "You have no idea." She flashed a guilty grin. "You have to deal with the individual emotions and couple emotions. They can gang up on you, but that's been less and less. If they have a fight or hit a rough spot, it plays out in practice or on stage."

"How was has touring affected them?" Larry asked.

"I try to stay out of it as much as possible," she shook her head. "But I know its not easy to be together all the time. That's why I told them not to get 1room."

"I never see them together much," Larry flagged down the waitress.
"They're together now. I honestly don't know how things will shake out after all the tours. That is the thing that scares me most," worry crept into her eyes.

Larry threw some money on top of the bill. "Come on. Let's walk around."

They walked along the river and talked. Sometimes silence settled between them. Larry’s hand itched to take hers. He wasn't sure his was ready for that. He ran full speed ahead towards this. Now he felt like he needed to move slow. Was he really ready to transition into another relationship? Yes, he wanted to be close to Faith. But was that feeling forever - it was too soon to say. Back at the hotel, he gave her a quick kiss on the cheek as he left her at her hotel room. While she was happy to let things run their course, she had a need to be touched. Each night that stretched between her last night with Bono and the current night left her aching. She shoved those memories as far down as she could. She would be satisfied as she and Larry found their groove. That awkward dance of a new relationship was hard. They were still getting to know each other. Then there was her past. Larry had no idea. When was the appropriate moment to share that, she wondered. If she had her way, no one would know. In awy, she felt bad that she shared that truth with Bono among other things. Would Bono still want to visit hospitals with her now that she was Larry's girl? She cringed at those words. It'd been a very long time since she had been someone's chick. Relationships were big and scary. Sometimes it was easier to be alone.

Larry joined Strict Machine for dinner with Sheila who took note that Larry was not with his own band. Through the dinner, she saw Larry inch closer to Faith until he leaned into her. Sheila heard about the break up and now it all made sense. Sam and Alex seemed to back to their old selves. He was affectionate and she was responsive if not enjoying herself with him. What would happen when everyone turns up for sound check, Faith pondered.

Like the afternoon, Larry suggested they go for a stroll. It was a warm late summer night. Soon a chill would settle in the air and fall would begin. Faith looked at the brilliant lights of Paris with fascination. As a little girl, she wanted to come here. She had no idea why, it just looked pretty in every photo or painting she had seen. Slowly, Larry grabbed her hand in an awkward motion.

"Is this okay?" He asked.

"Yes, it's okay," were those butterflies or a nagging sensation? Almost like she was forgetting something to do.

They made small talk as they looped around the city. He remembered the night of their one and only kiss when he ran away. He knew he wouldn't bolt, bit had she forgiven him? She was holding his hand. He couldn't wonder anymore. He hoped it would be amazing as before. Suddenly, he stopped to face her. She knew exactly what was coming. Instinctively, she titled her face up to his. The difference was immediate and hard to not notice. Larry’s lips were a little harder. His kiss was less languid. There seemed to a rhythm to his mouth. It wasn’t as fluid as the first time. They both felt it. Had something been lost when he ran away? Slowly, they parted.

“I’m sorry. I’m nervous,” he said.

She touched his cheek. “It’s okay.” She kissed him lightly. “We don’t have to have it all figured out tonight.” Those were the same words Bono said to her.
They walked back to the hotel hand in hand until they reached the lobby. He dropped her hand as he opened the door for her and never grabbed it again. He was serious about remaining private. She tried not to be a little put off. She wasn’t ready to be paraded around as the new girlfriend anyway. She picked up idle conversation as they walked to the elevator. Larry rubbed the back of his neck. He felt a little lost on what to do or where to put even put his hands. He slipped them into the back pockets of his pants as he leaned into the wall. He walked her to her room again. There was a pause as he said goodnight. She hoped he didn’t want to be invited inside. She wasn’t ready for that.

“Good night,” she smiled.

“Night,” he gave her a quick kiss. “See you tomorrow.”

Faith closed the door to her hotel room. Passion. That’s what was missing right now. Is that something that can be built? Inspired? Was this nerves? She really liked him. There was a solidness about him that attracted her to him. With him, she felt safe and protected. That was important, right?

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Old 05-26-2011, 12:31 AM   #2
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:33 AM   #3
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Thank you.
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:02 AM   #4
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what domo-kun said this was an excellent chapter, and I hope this is the beginning of Faith sort of realizing that Larry might not be the best choice for her. And Bono being happy about the prospect of her being pregnant haha though it was kind of sweet in some kind of way
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:09 AM   #5
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Thanks. I'm glad you are enjoying it.
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:18 PM   #6
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Oh man. Very realistic there with the fact that either of them could've gotten pregnant :/ and kind of scary. I'm glad Alex isn't, but at the same time, she and Edge are going to stay secret, aren't they? rrrgggh.

Home. Was that anymore? He felt homeless and floating through space. Home was that stage and the audience. He knew what home felt like. Like a kiss from heaven with soft lips and blue eyes.
I like those couple sentences...

Hmm, some Larry time in France

at the same time, Faith seems definitely unsure about that. It's obvious she really wants to be with Bono. I feel bad for both of them...

Also, strange that the song was by Joy Division; I just watched a movie about them yesterday...
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:32 PM   #7
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24 Hour Party People? I saw that a few years ago. I had Bizzare Love Triangle but didn't fit the mood.
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:09 PM   #8
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Nope. It was actually 'Control', which Anton Corbijn directed, I think, interestingly enough. Black and white and depressing as hell though the music was good. ...I didn't know there were multiple movies about that band! oops ^^
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:31 AM   #9
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I think Faith will be confused for a little while. For months, she's wanted to be with Larry. But this friendship with Bono has her confused. So, it makes sense that even though she has what she wants (Larry) that she's unsure. Things with Bono just seem flow naturally - which was not planned just happened. It might be a little awkward with her and Larry for a bit.
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:51 PM   #10
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Its weird - im finding i dont like Larry at all in this fic (a fic has never made me feel like that before, so you ar obviously a great writer!) im all for Faith and Bono!!
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Old 05-28-2011, 03:27 PM   #11
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Oh, In A Little While. Nice. When I read "writing for the next album" I got excited- then I was like, wait, it's All That You Can't Leave Behind. Not nearly as cool as Pop.
Ah, poor Faith. Obviously she and Bono need to be together, Larry is just too awkward around her. Bono's not going to come out of this single, I can tell now...
And now I'm wishing Edge and Morleigh were back together, though I was all for him and Alex. I was so scared when I thought she was pregnant!
Lastly, this sounded cool:
that awkward dance of a new relationship
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:56 PM   #12
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I think that quote could possibly summarize the entire story...

Obviously she and Bono need to be together, Larry is just too awkward around her.
Unfortunately true...ah well, I'll take Larry. Or you can give him back to Ann, Grace XD
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:03 PM   #13
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Back to Ann...hmm...hadn't considered that possibility.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:43 PM   #14
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See? That's what readers are for XD

I'd feel a little bad for him going to all that trouble and then going back to Ann...but then if I think about it, her situation's even worse and if Faith goes with Bono then she won't have to deal with any of those problems...but that would make it too easy, wouldn't it
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:19 PM   #15
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Hey, Ann got a house of the deal. Okay, so she's wasted her youth waiting for a proposal. Either way Faith turns, it's messy. I was working on when everyone reconvenes in Paris. Mostly I was working on time lines to fit in all I want to fit in. For the first time, I can see the end of the story - sort of.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:48 PM   #16
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Seeing endings is good! There's still a lot to happen in the story, though, right?
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:43 AM   #17
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Oh yeah. I just see it better than I did with MW. I think it brings us to the middle or end of the North American tour
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:42 PM   #18
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So you're not going to mention Mexico City? Just putting that out there...
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:48 PM   #19
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Um, I'm not sure. I know what happens until the Miami show. After that, the story is really up in the air. I was so grumpy earlier, I thought about stop writing it full stop.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:39 PM   #20
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Okay, I know this story is like a year old but it's totally got me stressed out. I am so glad that Faith is getting close enough to Larry to figure out that it might not be right. And pregnancy scare- OH MY GOD. Heart attacks. I can't help thinking that Alex needs to take another one in week or so. What if it's a false negative? And is this just revenge sex for Edge? My poor hear is going to give out.

This story is really interesting because in real life it seems like it's unusual for people who are very alike to fall in love. IME people are usually attracted to others who are complementary opposites to each other, but the Bono/Faith relationship is really believable.

And of course Bono wants a baby. Sweetness. And also stupidness. Can't he think what it would do to all the work Faith has put in?

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