Please - Chapter 19 - U2 Feedback

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Old 06-15-2011, 10:32 PM   #1
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Please - Chapter 19

This is pure fiction. A bit of darker chapter. Some swearing. No U2 members or animals were hurt writing this chapter.


Is there a time for keeping your distance
A time to turn your eyes away
Is there a time for keeping your head down
For getting on with your day

Is there a time for kohl and lipstick
A time for curling hair
Is there a time for high street shopping
To find the right dress to wear

Here she comes
Heads turn around
Here she comes
To take her crown

Is there a time to run for cover
A time for kiss and tell
Is there a time for different colours
Different names you find it hard to spell

Is there a time for first communion
A time for East Seventeen
Is there a time to turn to Mecca
Is there time to be a beauty queen

Here she comes
Beauty plays the clown
Here she comes
Surreal in her crown

Dici che il fiume
Trova la via al mare
E come il fiume
Giungerai a me
Oltre i confini
E le terre assetate
Dici che come il fiume
Come il fiume...
L'amore giungerà
L'amore...
E non so più pregare
E nell'amore non so più sperare
E quell'amore non so più aspettare

[Translation of the above]
You say that the river
finds the way to the sea
and like the river
you will come to me
beyond the borders
and the dry lands
You say that like a river
like a river...
the love will come
the love...
And i don't know how to pray anymore
and in love i don't know how to hope anymore
and for that love i don't know how to wait anymore

[End of Translation]

Is there a time for tying ribbons
A time for Christmas trees
Is there a time for laying tables
And the night is set to freeze


Faith walked down the hallway towards her hotel room. She noticed that the door to her room was cracked open. Was she being robbed? Slowly, she inched closer. Pressing her ear against the crack, she listened for the sound of ransacking.


"Hello?" She questioned. Nothing. That was stupid of me, she cursed. Like someone is going to politely say they are robbing you. Her hands formed fists and she brought them up in a defensive manner. Whoever it was inside wasn't going to leave unscathed. With her foot she pushed the door open and stepped inside.


A familiar pair of watery blue eyes smiled at her from the couch. "My little boxer girl."


She blinked. "Bradley?"


"In the flesh," he grinned.


"How did you get here?" She wasn't sure where here was. She knew it was Europe but all the countries started to blur together.


"I had to see you again," in one swift move, he was at her side. "I missed you, babe." He flashed that sly lopsided smile. She swore she'd seen it recently. The same grin. "You cut your hair, it looks great."


It had been years since his mouth had been on hers. Instinctively, she responded to his kiss. Years ago, he filled her with such desire. She couldn't get enough of him. He was everything she wanted. He was so like her. Full of life and love. She pulled away. His eyes still adored her.


"Do you miss me?" He asked.


She had to think. Did she miss him? She missed the way he made her feel. That rush of adrenaline when they were together. She missed laughing with him. Walking home from a show hand in hand - their home. The one she left when it got to be too much. But lately, she didn't miss that excitement. She felt it when she was around Larry. No, she felt that uncontrollable surge around Bono and it scared her shitless. She'd been here before.


"I thought you were sick," she peered into his face. "Last I heard you moved south. Did you get help?"


"Babe, you're the only help I need. I need you to keep me strong. You are my whole world," he said.


She looked into his eyes again. There was that red ring around the edges that was unmistakable. 
"I meant professional help," she sighed. She swore they had this argument.


"I got it under control. It's not like before, babe," he leaned his sweating forehead against her. "Let me stay with you. I need you. Please."


She felt that pull towards him. How easy to fall in his arms. Would it be different this time? How many times could she walk that line with him?

"I'm not so sure," she sighed.

"Please, Faith. I want to stay with you tonight," the voice wasn't Bradley's anymore. She looked up into Bono's eyes, but they weren't crystal blue. They were like Bradley's - watery and red, tired and wild."One more night."

Faith jumped. Her hotel room was still dark. What time was it? She turned over to face to clock. 4 am. There was no one else in her room. Falling back against the pillow, she breathed in deeply. The dreams of Bradley were more frequent lately. Sometimes, it was a memory of happier times. She had fallen in love with this bright, handsome man that at the time seem to be a mirror of herself. Outgoing and kind, his smile could melt the ice on the coldest winter night. When she met him, she thought he was overbearing and impulsive. Yet, he won her over. One day she woke up not knowing where she ended and he began. Everyone was sure they would marry and be happily ever after - until the bottom fell out. She stayed longer than she should have. Even though, she tried everything to put Bradley back together, he refused rehab. Alex implored her to leave. Faith had lost weight as she battled for Bradley's soul. Unable to suffer anymore, she left. There was anger. Things were thrown. Many tears fell. She wondered how he was. She could never look back or go to their home once she closed the door for good. She heard he'd gone south to 'get help'. Then he seemed to disappear. A part of her still responsible to him even after almost a year had passed. She considered going to look for him against Alex and Ryan's wishes. Then U2 walked into her life and brought her down a different path.

Faith grabbed a water from the tiny refrigerator in her room. Her throat was dry and scratchy from singing. Where were they tonight? Back in France. She peered out the window to nothing interesting below. It was just a street like any other street. Just beyond the buildings, she saw a light blue hue of the day creeping up. It was the third dream she had about Bradley and Bono. What the hell did that mean? In some ways, they were a lot alike. Larger than life personalities with huge hearts of gold. Both incredibly handsome and irresistible to most women. That's where the similarities ended.There was one glaring similarity between she did not want to face - the way each made her feel. That out of control and free falling feeling that scared her to the core. With Bono, she had a great friendship. But on the other side of that was a fire that threatened to consume her. Like with Bradley, it crept up on her. She felt the heat licking the back of her neck. This time, she was able save herself from it. There was no way she going to fall that hard again.

Climbing back to bed, she thought of Larry. He was everything Bradley was not. Controlled and measured, he was careful with his own emotions and hers. There was no flicker of impulse behind his eyes. She almost knew what he was going to do before he did it. She felt safer in his arms. Larry would take care of her and not break her in two.

~~~~

Sarajevo. Everyone gathered around the airplane windows to peer down into the devastated city. Faith felt sick to her stomach thinking about what these people went through. Larry took her hand. He had been slowly showing more affection in public. An arm around the shoulder or hand holding. He might even drop a kiss on her cheek. Their relationship had not taken a huge physical step. She had mixed feelings about that. She wanted to feel close to him. There was something still in the way. Maybe if they made love, it would be the final missing piece. She looked over at Bono. By the expression on his face, he felt the same way about Sarajevo. Sadness and excitement traced lines in his face.


The door of the plane opened revealing a throng of reporters and military. Both were there for the bands. Paul ushered U2 towards the reporters from all over the world. No one could believe that they would dare play a concert in a war zone. Bono had been ready to do it 4 years ago. One drunken night on Zoo Tv, he had convinced his less daredevil mates to join him on what had been described as a suicide mission. Paul and several officials squashed that idea. Not only were the lives of the band at risk, but everyone around them as well. Bono was excited to be apart of the healing in this region though he battled a nasty cold. The last few weeks left him drained and battered. His immune system was having a hard time keeping up.


After chatting with the press, everyone boarded vans to be driven through several check points towards their hotel. Bone and Edge sat in the front talking with a Bosnian reported and a British reporter from NME who was covering the historical concert. Faith alternated looking out the window and trying to learn some of the language so she wouldn't have to rely on the translator at the hospital. Larry saw tears collect in the corners of her eyes.


Taking her hand, he asked, "Are you okay?"


She nodded. "Seeing all this is a little overwhelming."


He nodded. "I remember broadcasting with the live feed from the concerts. It was probably the worst and best thing we could do. I dreaded those links."


"I remember MTV talking about them," Faith said. That seemed like a lifetime ago. Sitting in an apartment in New York.


"That was the good. We did bring the atrocity to the public. A concert is just not the forum for that." Larry sighed. "Luckily we didn't go there like Bono wanted to."

Faith turned her attention back to the passing landscape.


A film crew followed Bono around as he relived his involvement with Sarajevo in the early 90s. Posters of the show were plastered all over the crumbled buildings. It was strange to see such normality in such chaos. He and Edge piled into a car with the former Miss Sarajevo, Inela to tour the shambled region. Bono felt proud that they took the production to these people. As the caravan of buses, trucks and vans passed through the city, people stopped and waved enthusiastically. This war torn country had looked forward to Bono living up to his promise.
While Bono and Edge zipped through the city with a European beauty, Larry and Adam introduced Strict Machine to Brian Eno. Alex was particularly interested in meeting him since they would need someone to produce their second album.

The hotel was under reconstruction. The Holiday Inn had been damaged in the shelling years ago. Larry’s room had shrapnel and he could see the floor below. It strummed the importance of being here for these people.


It was a clear day as both bands boarded vans to go the stadium. Film crews and reporters still followed them everywhere. As Paul and U2 met with some officials to go over the politics of the show and its audience, Strict Machine did their sound check for the crew and heavy military and security presence. The whole tour had been surreal. They traveled to places they never imagined. This was particularly bizarre as soldiers patrolled the area with heavy artillery and dogs. As soon as they were finished, MTV grabbed them for an interview.


They sat on the couch of the main green room under the stadium.


"So first, congratulations on your American Music Awards nomination. You received 3, right?"Kurt Loder asked.


Faith felt a bit giddy. Many times she imagined being interviewed by him. Now it was happening.


"We did. Best Rock Band, Best Rock Song....and I forget the other one," she said.


"Newcomer, " Ryan chimed in.


"How has this tour been going? You were an obscure New York band and now playing to thousands each night," Kurt said.


"It's been an amazing experience," she said. "We've been given a new life really."


"Now, you've completed 2 legs almost. And you are about go on a third leg. How did that come about?" He asked.


"We get along with them,"Ryan shrugged. "And they really believe in our music. It's that simple."


Both Faith and Alex were nervous that Kurt was hinting to something else.

Kurt decided to move on. "The other opening band for this leg decided to not join U2 in Sarajevo citing concern for personal safety. Was that something you thought about?" He asked.


Faith shrugged. "I guess so. We talked about it with security. But we're here with the world’s biggest band. The security has been amazing. Is there a risk? That's life. By not coming we'd miss out on the chance to be apart of something incredible. " she smiled sheepishly. "I think my main concern is that they know none of our songs and they'll hate us."


Kurt chuckled. "What are your plans for the break?"


"Going into the studio to get some new stuff out on an EP for the American tour. We've been writing all this time on the tour," Ryan said.


"And will you be joining U2 after the new year? I heard the tour is headed to Australia and South America, " he asked.


Sam shrugged. "There's been no plan for that yet. I know we are anxious to record a new album with what we've written. Perhaps a tour of our own."


A life without the members of U2 in it sounded so foreign to her. She had spent the last 6 months living with them. It was strange to think one day they would go their separate ways. She wondered what that meant for her and Larry - and Bono.


Bono barely slipped away from the press to climb into a darkened military truck beside Faith for their visit to the children's ward at the local hospital. He wondered at what point it would be discovered that they stole away for these visits. Faith had come up with an excuse as to why she went with him. Bono thought it was pretty thin and suggested it would be easier to come clean.

"You look tired," she commented.

"It's this fucking cold. My voice keeps going out." He grumbled.

“Maybe you should take a nap instead of coming with me,” she suggested.

“Do you not want me there?” he turned his head.

“No....I just don’t want to wear you out,” she said.

He smirked. “I don’t mind being worn out by you.”

Blushing, she nudged him. “Stop.”

He looked out the window. “It’s quite something, isn’t it? I came here about a year and a half ago. It’s changed a bit. There seems to be more hope.”

“I’ve never seen anything like this, and I’ve been to scary areas of New York city. Such devastation. I can’t even wrap my head around what it was like at the time,” she shook her head.

“There were times after the feeds, I had a hard time carrying on the show,” he sighed. “Where does Larry thing you’re off to?”

She shrugged. “He’s off with someone named Big Mo touring the city.”

“I can’t believe he hasn’t noticed you slipping away,” he mused.

“Well, I haven’t been able to visit many hospitals lately. And we just started dating.....” she trailed off.

In silence, they rode to the hospital. The building had taken a fair amount of gun fire. A large part of the facade still lay crumbled on the corner. Accompanied by John, a few armed Irish soldiers, translator and Sheila, Faith and Bono entered the halls of the battered building. They were introduced to a few doctors with Doctors Without Borders. Once Bono removed his sunglasses, they were starstruck that he had graced their halls. They were led up dusty stairs towards the children’s ward. Doctors and nurses gathered around as Bono and Faith sat with the children. Some had cancer. Some were wounded from road side bombs. Some had been there for years. Bono watched as Faith’s smile never wavered as she heard horrifying stories of strength and courage. She sat on one of the beds as Bono pulled out a guitar to sing. A little girl with severe burns on her hands and arms crawled into Faith’s lap and held her hand tightly. It was the first time that Bono thought she might breakdown. They sang and laughed with the children for over 2 hours until Paul tapped on his watch. They had dinner plans and people would start to notice that they were gone. Faith looked into the sad blue eyes of the girl named Emira, and had to say goodbye. She’d been to many hospitals and hugged many kids. Something in Emira’s eyes haunted her. She had the translator tell her that she would write and wanted to come back. On the way out, she asked a young doctor about Emira.

The war had been over for a few months. Emira, orphaned in the war, was playing with friends when she saw a brightly colored ball. Luckily for Emira, the bomb was not made correctly by the Serb, and it did not explode as it should. Instead, it caught fire and fell apart in her hands, burning her hands and arms. She endured many skin graphs for the next few years. Her four year old eyes were wise beyond their years.

As Faith listened to Emira’s tale. she grabbed Bono’s hand. Something about the little girl’s eyes and the way she settled into her arms left her dizzy. Once inside the car, the tears fell freely. Like Emira, she was an orphan. Bono wrapped his arm around her and held her to his chest. He understood. It was the first time Faith had seen a world like this. Not that it still didn’t affect him, but the first time was always hardest. If Bono had his way, he and Ali would have returned home from Africa or Central America with a busload of children. He understood how a child’s eyes could hold the heart hostage.



After being so close to Faith at the hospital and ride back to the hotel, it was hard to release her back to Larry. He relished the minutes she curled into him. He knew that she would have not broken down in front of anyone else. That was just the type of relationship they had. He smoothed back her hair as he rocked her. As the SUV pulled into the hotel driveway, she wiped her face with the sleeves of her jacket.


"Sorry," she sniffled.


He smiled. "Don't apologize for being moved. It's hard seeing that. But remember that you brought her joy and comfort - even if it was just for a few hours. Most people might shrink away from her."


She nodded. "Would it be weird to try to go back tomorrow before the show?"


"Not at all. I'll try to join you," he said.


As they pulled up to the front doors, she pushed away from him. He was aware of the chilly early fall air that rushed in between them. He knew that going with her tomorrow was not the smartest thing to do. She was supposed to be Larry's girlfriend - yet he was having a very hard time letting go. For now, this was theirs alone. He ignored the warning in Paul's eyes. He had been there when she needed him. That was enough for the time being.

Dinner was arranged at a nearby cafe by their guide and host Big Mo. The owner knew Bill Carter, the filmmaker that brought the Bosnian war to their doorstep. It was nice night to have wine and unwind from an emotional day. Like most of the buildings, pieces of missing plaster exposed wood and support beams. Sam wondered if being in there was safe. He couldn't wait to do the concert and get out of the country. he marveled at how the rest of the band seemed to take it in stride. Faith embraced this crazy place. Larry talked about his tour of the battered city and even more decimated areas outside. All night, Bono’s voice faded in and out. More wine flowed as both bands settled in with some guests and crew. The owner wheeled out an old karaoke machine to the small stage of the coffeehouse. Before the war, singers and poets would share their art with patrons. It was an old and heavy machine as it clunked on the wooden floor. Even that had sustained a piece of shrapnel. He spoke of how they brought it to the basement to sing when the days were dark and the nights desperate.


Bono poured himself another glass of wine as he eyed the machine.


"You should get to bed early," Faith frowned.


He grinned mischievously. "Are you going to tuck me in?"


She flushed. "You don’t stop, do you?"


He took a large sip without taking his eyes from her face. "Not until I get what I want."


Faith walked away shaking her head. As she rejoined Larry at the bar, his arm dropped along the back of her barstool. Bono finished his glass and poured another. He sidled up to the karaoke machine and flicked through the selections.

"Does this thing still work?" he asked.

The owner, Risto, nodded. "Why do you think I dragged it out?"

Bono smiled. "Wonderful. I'd hate to disappoint." he picked up the microphone and flicked on the machine.

"The songs are old and outdated," Risto apologized.

"I'm sure I'll find something." Bono said flipped through the selection.

Faith leaned into Larry's ear. "He shouldn't be singing, right?"

He looked over his shoulder. "Probably not. But you're not going to stop him."

Unfortunately, anyone that would have stopped him had left or was drunk. She could only watch from the bar as everyone else seemed to egg him on. He managed to belt out one Johnny Cash song that he mostly spoke the words. He made a vain effort to make Faith jealous as he gyrated his hips for a very purple Lucy. Poor Lucy had disappeared into the background since the start of the tour. She hung on the fringe of the crew gazing at the lead singer with big eyes. Several times, she considered asking Faith for help with Bono as they were now good friends. Maybe tonight, she'd pull courage from somewhere to make any kind of move. A few crew members got up to sing or duet with Bono. More wine flowed. Even Larry's usual pale pallor was flushed. Faith drank coke as she watched everyone around her unwind. Emira plagued her mind. What could she do? She was a single woman at the very beginning of a new relationship. She didn't even know how much money she actually had. Her bills at home and on the road were being taken care of by U2. What was she even contemplating?

Bono took the center of the tiny stage again. "This one is for the ladies." The room groaned as they opening strain's of a Styx song boomed over the tinny speakers. "Stop, you love it."

With his hazy eyes fixed on Faith, he sang
"Lady, when you’re with me I’m smiling
Give me all your love
Your hands build me up when I’m sinking
Just touch me and my troubles all fade"

His attention turned to Lucy sitting at the at the front table.

‘Lady, from the moment I saw you
Standing all alone
You gave all the love that I needed
So shy, like a child who has grown

You’re my lady of the morning
Love shines in your eyes
Sparkling, clear, and lovely
You’re my lady’

He hopped off the the small stage with his eyes once again on Faith. Larry was too engrossed in his conversation with Big Mo to see his girlfriend being serenaded.

With swagger and smile, he inched her way
“Lady, turn me on when I’m lonely
Show me all your charm
Evenings when you lay down beside me
Just take me gently into your arms

Your my lady of the morning
Love shines in your eyes
Sparkling, clear, and lovely
You’re my lady”

Edge and Alex couldn't help but exchange glances. It wasn't a huge secret that Bono had designs on Faith once. It wouldn't be a surprise to find out that he still had some feelings towards her. Remembering what he saw in the nightclub, Edge wondered how deep this all went. It was no secret that were close friends. But how close? Alex watched a mixture of annoyance and panic cloud Faith's face as he sang directly to and for her. Behind his smile was a thin cloaked secret of something a bit more intimate. It was brief enough that it wasn't picked up on by anyone but Edge and Alex. Just as he reached Faith to sing to her nose to nose, he twirled around and stalked over to Lucy who looked as if she might explode. Faith was annoyed he made such a spectacle in front of not just Larry, but everyone and that he was flirting with poor Lucy. With a quick look around, no one seemed to notice his innuendo-laddened serenade.



Faith had expected a different face behind the persistent knocking the following morning. It was Lucy and not Bono’s blood shot eyes.

"Morning," Lucy trilled with a huge smile.

Faith nodded. "Morning. How are you?”

"I had the best night. Can I come in?" She was practically jumping out of her skin.

Faith stepped away from the doorframe she was blocking in case a certain still inebriated singer had been on the other side of the door.

"Sure," her eyes followed a bouncy Lucy. What could make Lucy light up like Christmas display? She rubbed her forehead. Please, Bono tell me you did not sleep with her. He had been obviously flirting with her to make Faith jealous. But that was beyond what Faith ever imagined. Unless he got that drunk and was unaware of what he was doing. If it did happen, Bono clearly made the walk of shame to his room. Lucy would have needed to be surgically removed from him and his bed. She steeled herself as she watched Lucy perch on the side of her bed.

"I need your help," Lucy blurted.

"With?" Faith asked innocently.

"With Bono," she said plainly as if Faith should have known.

"What specifically? " she asked carefully.

"I need you to set me up with him," she said.

Faith felt anger creep up the back of her neck. He took advantage of poor Lucy if she was under the impression that Faith could set them up like in college.

"Um, what do you think I can do?" Faith leaned on her desk.

"You guys are such good friends. You must have some kind of pull with him. Like he'd listen to you," she made her case to become Mrs. Hewson.

"What happened last night?" Faith asked. Maybe he kissed her planting this notion in her head.

She cocked her head. "Faith. You saw him sing to me. He's always ignored me. But not last night. He talked with me and sat so close to me. I know he'd listen to you.”

Faith frowned. “What exactly do you want me to say? Ask him out for you?”

Lucy fidgeted with her hands. “I don’t know. Talk me up to him. See what he thinks.”

“Lucy, he’s been through a lot this year. I’d hate for you to get your hopes up. I’ve seen him kiss a lot of girls,” she said.

Lucy looked as though she’d been slapped. “I know that. He’s been different lately. Maybe he’s ready for something real.”

Faith felt guilt creep over her. Yes, Bono was singing last night. It wasn’t to Lucy. “I’ll see what I can do.” She lied.

Lucy’s eyes lit up. “Thank you, Faith. I know he trusts your judgment!”

Clearly, Lucy was not watching Bono close enough or she would have seen their kiss in Madrid. Yet another knock on her door. Faith held her breath. Please do not be Bono. She opened the door to Alex.

“Hey, ready? Oh sorry,” she saw Lucy.

“It’s okay. I should go. Thanks Faith,” Lucy gave her a quick hug as she slipped away.

“Sure,” Faith closed the door behind her.

“What was the about?” Alex asked.

She shook her head. “Lucy wants me to set her up with Bono.”

Alex laughed. “What?”

“You heard right. She feels they made a connection tonight and she wants me to talk to him somehow,” Faith sat on her bed to pull on her shoes.

“You set up Lucy and Bono? That’s rich,” Alex said.

“She thinks I have some influence,” Faith shrugged.

“Maybe, but not for her,” Alex scoffed.

Faith picked on Alex’s tone. “I left early last night. Maybe they had a connection. Perhaps it is the start of beautiful relationship.”

“Faith. Come on. It’s me. If Bono was talking with Lucy last night, I’m sure he was drunk and I doubt he was seriously hitting on her,” Alex stated. “But, if that were the case, would it bother you?”

She was definitely fishing. Faith sat up. “Not one bit.”

“Are you sure? We both know that Lucy is not the one he has eyes for,” Alex said.

Faith’s mouth went dry. “He doesn’t know what he wants. After Ali, he’ll grab onto the person closest to him. I hope he doesn’t mess with her. She’s nice and doesn’t deserve that.”

“What are you going to do?” Alex asked.

“About setting them up? I have no idea,” Faith shook her head. She wanted to march up to Bono and read him the riot act for last night. But if he knew that Lucy was aflame for him, he might treat her differently. Faith hoped last night was a one time thing brought on by wine. “I’m going to have to play it by ear.”

Alex looked at her watch. “We should go. The guys are waiting downstairs.”
Faith nodded. She hoped she would have time to visit with Emira again before the show.

~~~

Bono looked sullen backstage as he sipped tea with honey and lemon. His head was swollen from the wine that he swore was mixed with something more high octane - or did he just switch to something higher test? After he sang the cheesy Styx song to Faith, he didn’t remember much. He did wake to find no voice. The first word came out a hoarse squeak. From Paul, he was under strict orders to rest his voice. He was allowed to talk at his meeting with the Prime Minister in which he was presenting a book of Irish poetry. After that, he was to shut his mouth. When he saw Faith’s narrowed eyes, he knew his serenade last night was not a success.

“So....blew your voice, huh?” she asked with her hands on her hips. He nodded solemnly. She shook her head. “Serves you right.”

He looked wounded. He mouthed, ‘Are you going back today?’

She moved closer. “If I can.”

‘I’ll try to join,’ he whispered.

“Stop talking and drink your tea,” she scolded and walked away.


Faith did steal away for 90 minutes with a translator and some security, including John, Bono’s man. He had sent John to look after her since he was not able. She sat with Emira and some of the other children. Emira’s eyes lit up when Faith walked into the room. She ran over and wrapped her little arms around Faith’s neck. Together, they looked at picture books and Faith rocked her to sleep for her nap. She didn’t have the heart to tell the little girl that she may not see her for a very long time.

~~~~

The air was tense as the stadium filled with people. Since not all the tickets were sold, it was decided to open the gates for the thousands that either didn't have money or time to get tickets. The distant sound of the train was strange to hear for the natives of Sarajevo. Paul and Big Mo watched as a local choir took the stage. Faith paced in a circle like it was her first time on stage. It would be easy for Bono to connect with the crowd, but her? They decided to perform "Shine" in honor of the children of war. Larry pulled her into a hug to comfort her. The whole trip had been a little surreal. She watched a flustered Lucy hang on the fringe of the group with her expectant eyes on Bono. He was still under strict orders to rest his voice. He whispered to the president of MTv and correspondent from CNN, guest of the show.


Rocko turned to Faith. "You're up."


Strict Machine looked as if they were being led to the firing line and not the stage. Everyone collected backstage to watch them with held breaths. The first two local groups were well received,perhaps they would embrace this American band.


They switched the set list around. Usually starting with Feeling Good, they decided to start with Times Like These. Faith took a cleansing breath before she left the safety of the backstage to sit at her piano. While she hugged Larry, she sought the crowd for Bono’s face for a smile or a wink.

"You'll be great," he winked.


With a nod, she walked on the stage. Looking beyond the sea of people screaming, she saw the soldiers lined along the top of the stadium. It's just another concert, she told herself as she started to sing.


Immediately the crowd began to dance. Faith and Alex decided to keep the setlist upbeat with Shine as the only slow song. After 3 songs, Faith was warmed up and headed down the ramp to the second stage. Gingerly, she thrust her hands into the crowd to shake hands and make that connection. Most times on this tour, she was able to break the language barrier. Tonight, it was more necessary than ever.


Towards the end of the set, she sat at her piano. "This is for the children. "


The rest of the band moved off to the side leaving Faith the stage. Bono crept closer. He hadn't heard this song since early in the summer. It was even more beautiful as she sang with raw emotion. The crowd was swept up in the song as well. Faith couldn't stop the tears. Edge slung his arm around Bono who also had tears. As the last note rang in the air, the stadium erupted in thunderous cheering.


Bono slipped back underground where their dressing rooms were. Watching Faith was emotionally taxing on him. He needed to regroup before hitting the stage.


Faith wrapped an arm around Ryan and Alex as they took their final bow. The crowd was amazing. If they never performed again, they would this night and these people with their energy and hope. She ran into Larry’s open arms off stage.


"It was brilliant, " he beame


"It was amazing. I was so scared," she grabbed a towel. The sweat on her skin felt cold now that she stopped moving. She glanced around for Bono. He was nowhere.


Arm in arm, they walked to the dressing rooms below. Bono still sipped tea in hopes of lubricating his vocal chords. He was so into his own head that he didn’t notice Larry and Faith walk in clinging to each other. Finally when he picked up his head to see her, he gave her a large smile and a thumb’s up.

The band didn't have much time to get ready as Strict Machines set was quickly removed from the stage. Officials wanted to be sure that the crowd didn't have too much downtime in between sets. The stadium was filled to capacity as Bono and the rest of the band bounced their way to the stage to opening of Mofo. The first three songs, Bono struggled to sing. The cold, dry air wasn’t help him find his voice. After Last Night on Earth, he ducked behind the stage to the small area set up for changing.

“My fucking voice,” he croaked. He felt terrible. These people had come so far for this, and his voice was shot.

“Have them sing for you,” Big Mo said.

“What?” Bono frowned as wardrobe stripped his shirt.

“Ask the crowd to sing for you,” he said.

“How? What do I say?” Bono asked as he gargled with brandy.

"Pjevajte za mene." he wrote on a note and then repeated in his best Bosnian pronunciation.

Bono repeated it a few times for the Ambassador before taking a large swig of brandy. With a nod, he headed back out on stage as Until the End of the World started. The brandy helped him get halfway through the song.

"Pjevajte za mene!" He called to the crowd trying to repeat the words exactly as he heard them.

He held his microphone to the crowd as he sang the words. In a rare act of unity, they carried the struggling singer and sang for him. Bono finally had a break after Staring at the Sun. On the spot, they scrapped Desire.

Edge leaned closer. “Go rest for a moment. I’m going to do Sunday Bloody Sunday.”

They had rehearsed an acoustic version with the two of them. Tonight, it just be Edge. Alex had completely shut down when it came to her feelings for him. She tossed herself back into Sam’s arms reminding her all the reasons she was with him in the first place. Listening his Edge’s voice ring in the chilly air set her hair on end. The parts she closed off opened and flooded her.

Bono darted backstage for a cortisone shot to reduce the swelling from his strained voice. Faith winced as she watched the needle pierce his neck.

“We are not doing the duet,” she stated.

He held up his hand in protest. “I’m fine.”

She shook her head. “No, not tonight.”

Brian stepped forward ready to take his place or at least help out with backing vocals. Larry’s drum tech set up a microphone for him to help Bono.

The band powered through most of the set. Bono’s voice wavered, but was present. They battled through Miss Sarajevo which was clunky and rough. Bono apologized to the crowd by saying,"Sarajevo, this song was written for you. I hope you like it, because we can't fucking play it.”

Bono dragged himself off the stage as they wrapped up with ‘Unchained Melody’. He had given blood, sweat and tears and felt every drop. Flinging himself into a metal chair, he gestured for a tall glass of something strong. From below the stadium, he could still hear the applause and screams. Tonight, they were all one. Every person that took that stage was afraid and unsure of what to expect. The audience seemed equally apprehensive. What would happen with that many different people back into the mix together? But for the sake of music, they banded together and sang for him. As he stared into space gathering himself, he could feel the tears sting his eyes. As he heard the room fill in behind him, he cleared his throat. That look wasn’t lost of Faith.

“Are you okay?” she asked lowly.

He nodded. “Tough night.”

She patted his arm. “It was.”

He stared at her hand on his arm. He longed to press lips against her fingers. He wanted to hold someone - or be held. Larry interrupted their moment. Soon, she was on the other side of the room. Edge wrapped his arms around his friend knowing he needed human contact to bring him back.


BigMo led the lads and Strict Machine down the streets of Sarajevo for a little post show refreshment. Bono sipped his wine, but opted for water. There were still 3 shows before he could really rest his voice. For once, he had to sit back and listen around him. His mind wandered off as he watched Edge and Alex in counsel across the room. He couldn't see Faith in the basement cafe. In under 2 weeks, they would be parting ways for at least 3 weeks. He'd be home and alone. He would have to deal with Ali and her new future husband. There would be some kind of family dinner to ease tension. He would know for sure if he was over Ali. He'd see the girls. There rooms in his house waited for them. It would be nice to have their laughter and bickering to drown out the silence. With all his might, he tried to avoid the one thing he would miss on break. When he thought of not seeing Faith for weeks, a dark cloud gathered over his head. He had become dependent on just being around her. She was headed to New York to stuff into a studio. But Larry was most likely following. Without Bono around to be a constant reminder of the two nights they shared, Larry and she could get closer. How would they be come Toronto?


"Did you see her?" Bono asked Faith when he caught alone.


"Emira? Yes," she nodded with sad eyes. "I wish there was more I could do for her."


"I know. It's hard when they get under your skin," he said softly.


"Has it happened to you? I know you've been to Africa." She asked.


He rubbed his chin. "Ali and I went in 1986 to get a sense of what the money we raised did. Turns out, not much. But I had mothers trying to give me their children. They said I could give them a better life. It was very difficult. It left a scar on my soul."


"That's how I feel. And don't even know what I want to do. I'm not married. I can't offer her a real home. I have no idea what my future looks like."she sighed.


Bono dropped his arm around her shoulders and gave her a small squeeze. "You made her feel special. You went back. And after this silly tour is over, you might be able to figure a clear plan."


She wasn't sure. She knew she needed to get through the next few shows. Larry offered to come to New York with her. He wasn't interested in trying to sort out things in Adam's guest house. He still had a home in New York.


She had laughed. "You're one up on me. I've had a sublet in my place for 6 months. I have no idea what I'm going home to."


"Stay with me. If you don't have a place, there's plenty of room. I have 3 bedrooms." he had said.

Her response was maybe. That seemed very quick to share a space with a man - even one she wanted for so long. She really wanted to be alone for a bit. On tour, there were people around everyday - all day. She barely had time to think. She knew upon landing at JFK, they would be running into a studio. More togetherness. Now Larry would be in New York. It would be nice to get to know him outside of the circus and Bono's gaze. Yet, she wanted to escape - if just a long weekend - from U2 and all the havoc they caused.


Something had been plaguing Edge's mind. His eyes darted around the small cafe. He watched Faith and Larry and Bono. Finding Alex alone at the bar, he slipped beside her.

"Can I have a word with you?" he asked cryptically.

Alex felt raw towards him after witnessing Sunday Bloody Sunday. Had he seen the way she stared at him? Was he going to confront why she was keeping away?

"Um, sure," she said.

He glanced around. No one was paying attention to them. "I saw something strange the other day."

Alex had no idea where this was leading. "Okay."

"I saw Bono and Faith get into a car together and drive away. When I asked someone where they were headed, they didn't know. But said it wasn't the first time. What do you make of that?" he asked.

Alex knew that Bono sometimes joined Faith on her visits. They tried to be stealth and for the most part were. She wished Faith would come out in the open. It wasn't a scandal. Was having everyone know that she was a cancer survivor worse than people thinking she was having an illicit affair with Bono?

She leaned closer. "If I tell you this, you cannot tell anyone. Not Morleigh. Not Larry. Not Adam. Understand?"

Edge's heart plummeted. It was more than just a kiss. And it was ongoing. Why? Why not just be with Bono? "Okay."

"You have to promise. Faith would kill me if she knew I was telling you," her voice was grave.
His throat was dry. "You have my word."

Alex looked around to see that everyone was otherwise busy. "They go to hospitals to visit kids with cancer."

Edge frowned. "That's the secret? You expect me to buy that?"

"The reason they go is because Faith had cancer as a teenager. She didn't want anyone knowing. Bono stuck his nose into her business one day, Ryan spilled the truth," Alex whispered.

"Why doesn't she want people to know?" Edge asked. It didn't make much sense.

Alex shrugged. "I think it's fucking stupid to be honest. She didn't want to be treated with kids gloves. She didn't want to overshadow the band. It's her choice ultimately."

"Okay, that explains her. Why does Bono go?" he asked.

"You'll have to ask him that. His tagging along makes it less likely to stay a secret. At first, I thought it was a pervy move to get close to her. Now, I think he just wants to be near her," Alex said.

"You see it too? Yeah, I know we've all joked around about his crush or whatever. I think it's more than that," he moved closer. "And, I think it's mutual."

Her eyes widened. "Me too."

He gasped. "What do you know?"

"I know nothing, but I guess Lucy asked for help getting close to Bono. Faith didn't seem overjoyed to help," Alex said. Her eyes narrowed. "But you know something more...."

He shook his head. "Nothing concrete. I know what I saw or what I thought I saw. In Madrid, you know the night we all got bolloxed, I swear that I saw them kiss."

"In the club? Where was Larry? They were together then, right?" her hand flew over her mouth.

"He went back to the hotel. He didn't come out," Edge blushed as he remembered the circumstance in which he came upon Bono and Faith. It was after he kissed Alex. "I was headed to the toilet and I swear it was them. They were dancing and kissing. You know, intense like. I lost sight of them, and they were gone."

Alex looked over at the two of them talking. It seemed innocent enough. They were joined by Larry.

"Do you think they....." her voice trailed off.

"Not that night at least. He came home with me. I do know one thing, he has it bad for her. He was just coming out of his fog and I wondered if something was brewing. He was happy until," he scratched his head. "You know, I wonder what upset him more. Finding out that Ali was engaged or that Larry was free to date Faith."

"That happened on the same day, right?" Alex asked.

"Yes, he went pale. It's not like Bono to be reserved about that kind of thing. You should have seen the fuss he made over Jocelyn and Adam," Edge said. "And you think she feels the same way?"

Alex shrugged. "I'm not sure. Something is just off. I've seen Faith in love, and I'm not seeing it around Larry. But there is this strange electricity when she's with Bono. And they are just talking about something stupid....but I sense something. It's really hard to say what I mean."

He nodded slowly. "No, I get it." Even as they sat talking about Faith and Bono, he felt the energy between them. "I'm starting to think Larry and Faith shouldn't happen."

"You say that like you have control over it," Alex chuckled.

"I just think it is disaster. If Bono and Faith are in love like we suspect.....then it will come out eventually," Edge said as they both looked across the room. Larry, Faith and Bono were huddled around a table. Larry’s arm resting along the back of Faith’s chair, but not touching her. While Bono leaned forward and against the full length of her body.


Lady - Styx

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Old 06-16-2011, 12:03 AM   #2
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Oh Faith...that was an intense chapter. I loved the backstory because, well, I'm a sucker for backstories and now I'm wondering how it's going to play into the rest of Please...also, why do I feel like Bono is going to help out in some way with Emira...

Still kind of reeling from the staggering emotional-ness...

Edge and Alex suspect, yay! It'd be funny if they found out...and I think Edge probably won't have it be too obvious he knows about Faith and cancer/cancer kids...
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:01 AM   #3
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Edge wrapped his arms around his friend knowing he needed human contact to bring him back.
Aww, an Edge hug for Bono - I love this, it's a brilliant touch in a great story. As for Edge and Alex, never mind looking at other people's relationships, get on with your own

You have turned me into a complete Edge girl with this story, and a bit of a Bono girl too between this and MW. I've actually started dreaming about Edge for pete's sake! Not that I'll be telling my husband about that...
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:53 AM   #4
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I had the Bradley history in my head. I knew I wanted her to the sing I Don't Wanna and have Bono think it was about him when it was really about Bradley and his drug addiction. It all worked out because I needed a reason for why Faith wouldn't just tell Larry - sorry, I'm in love with Bono. She went through hell with Bradley and doesn't want to do that again. In her mind, Bono is too similar as are her emotions. She's very scared of how she feels about and around him.
Edge and Alex.....still haven't figured that out. Their suspicions about Faith and Bono as well as knowing about Faith keep them close.
Yes it was an emotional chapter. I was glad the way I handled Bradley. I was trying to figure out the best way to do that. And Emira was sort of inspired by Welcome to Sarajevo which I saw many many years ago. I did a lot of research for this bit.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:28 AM   #5
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Aww, an Edge hug for Bono - I love this, it's a brilliant touch in a great story. As for Edge and Alex, never mind looking at other people's relationships, get on with your own

You have turned me into a complete Edge girl with this story, and a bit of a Bono girl too between this and MW. I've actually started dreaming about Edge for pete's sake! Not that I'll be telling my husband about that...
See, a dream was how it started for my renewed lust for Bono. It wasn't sexual but made me revisit his wonder.
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:07 AM   #6
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It all worked out because I needed a reason for why Faith wouldn't just tell Larry - sorry, I'm in love with Bono.
*sigh* No, it's alright. I was like that for a long time

And I could tell about the research...he did lose his voice, also, didn't he...I remember reading about that in U2 by U2

What was this dream, Grace?
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:20 AM   #7
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*sigh* No, it's alright. I was like that for a long time

And I could tell about the research...he did lose his voice, also, didn't he...I remember reading about that in U2 by U2

What was this dream, Grace?
I don't really remember it. I think I was watching them in concert - not sure if it was TV or I was there. In my dream, I was glued to Bono and couldn't help watching him. It was one of those dreams that sort of stick with you.

He did lose his voice. I found an article written by Big Mo that talked about it and some of the background of the concert.
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:32 AM   #8
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Awww. I had a dream like that...well, it was strange; I was at this party outside my grandma's house and for some reason there was a tiny stadium thing with U2 in it and I think I went up to Bono and kissed him on the cheek, or reverse. It was pretty funny.

I thooought Big Mo was a real person! XD Yay, I was right
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:44 AM   #9
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Yeah, that was his nickname. I couldn't be bothered to write out Muhammed Sacr-something. He's not the focus here.
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:38 PM   #10
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I like the definite sort of feeling of this chapter, it feels like, well, this is the way things are going to go from now on- it's going to be one way or the other, somehow. The concert sounds amazing; you wrote it better than what I've read about it. Oh, and now we know the full story behind Bono's lost voice- who'd have thought kareoke... Oh, and I'd thought Alex would like Sunday Bloody Sunday. Must have been a treat.
Last sentence explained everything. That's, like, a summary of some of these chapters, or the general feel of them.
Okay, what happens next?
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:50 PM   #11
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I like the definite sort of feeling of this chapter, it feels like, well, this is the way things are going to go from now on- it's going to be one way or the other, somehow. The concert sounds amazing; you wrote it better than what I've read about it. Oh, and now we know the full story behind Bono's lost voice- who'd have thought kareoke... Oh, and I'd thought Alex would like Sunday Bloody Sunday. Must have been a treat.
Last sentence explained everything. That's, like, a summary of some of these chapters, or the general feel of them.
Okay, what happens next?
I have started some of 20. What happens next is a break in the tour. Everyone breaks apart for about 3 weeks and comes back together for Adam's wedding. How it look for everyone?
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Old 06-16-2011, 03:56 PM   #12
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They needa break... that's good.

Yay Adam.
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:25 PM   #13
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Break sounds good...hmm, I wonder what will happen for those 3 weeks...
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