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Old 03-19-2011, 11:10 PM   #1
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Please - Chapter 9

This took forever it seemed. The last bit - I'm not in love with. But I could not write it anymore. I wrote and deleted several drafts of it. Lots of music in this one. Hopefully we are getting to know Strict Machine better. Some of this was written on my Droid while on the train. Hope you enjoy.

New York - U2
In New York freedom looks like too many choices
In New York I found a friend to drown out the other voices
Voices on the cell phone
Voices from home
Voices of the hard sell
Voices down the stairwell
In New York, just got a place in New York

In New York summers get hot well into the hundreds
You can walk around the block without a change of clothing
Hot as a hair dryer in your face
Hot as handbag and a can of mace
New York, I just got a place in New York
New York, New York

In New York you can forget, forget how to sit still
Tell yourself you will stay in
But it's down to Alphaville

New York, New York, New York
New York, New York, New York

The Irish have been coming here for years
Feel like they own the place
They got the airport, city hall, concrete, asphalt, they even got the police
Irish, Italians, Jews and Hispanics
Religious nuts, political fanatics in the stew
Living happily not like me and you
That's where I lost you...New York

New York, New York
New York, New York

In New York I lost it all to you and your vices
Still I'm staying on to figure out my mid life crisis
I hit an iceberg in my life
But you know I'm still afloat
You lose your balance, lose your wife
In the queue for the lifeboat

You got to put the women and children first
But you've got an unquenchable thirst for New York

New York, New York
New York, New York

In the stillness of the evening
When the sun has had its day
I heard your voice a-whispering
Come away child

New York, New York


Bono was overjoyed to hear that Strict machine signed on for Europe. He felt invested in their success like a proud Papa. Also, it would give him more time with Faith who was largely unimpressed with the singer. There were glimmers of hope when they would fall into easy conversation. Yet when Larry entered the scene, her attention wavered. Sure, Larry was a handsome guy - but she knew he had a girlfriend. Bono tried to consider other companionship. He flirted and chatted with models, actresses and other guests after shows. Sometimes, they were interesting. Sometimes, he'd leave the party with a pretty lady friend. It never went beyond kisses and maybe some caressing. His heart wasn't into it. Half of him still missed Ali. The other half wondered about Faith and why she wouldn't give him the time of day? Did he mess it up because he came off like a pretentious arse or would she never be interested? Was he that unlovable? And why did it matter so much?



Larry, too, was happy Faith would be around longer. Yet, his crush was growing. The more time he spent with her, he wanted more. Ann was waiting back at home for him. Waiting for what? A ring? A kid? Something she could hang her future on. He had not looked much past the next week let alone what 1998 could bring. They were booked through spring. Then what? At least in America, he could push those thoughts in the distance where they belonged. He could enjoy the company of Faith - at least in a limited capacity. As long as he stayed arms length from her, he was okay. He wasn't doing anything wrong. Though every smile made it harder each day to not inch closer.



The tour rolled forward. Each band getting familiar with life on the road and each other. Some nights were brilliant for Strict Machine. When Rage left the tour, they noticed their audience drop drastically in the first two shows Fun Lovin’ Criminals joined the tour. Faith tried not to feel down about it. She reminded herself that in Europe, they were second.


They were in Ohio. Two shows and they were back on native ground. Being close to home reenergized them. They had played 11 shows in a month's time. It was a grind for a band that had never toured with such intensity. The plus side was as a band they were never tighter. Faith sat at the piano with the sun beating down on her bare shoulders.

"Don't you think a ballad would derail the show?" Sam asked sitting on the drum rise. "And an acoustic one at that."

"It's not like we are throwing solos at them," Alex said. "I'd like to hear it."

Faith nodded.

"It's not even our song," Sam grumbled. Alex shot him a look that said, you are still in the doghouse. He clamped his mouth shut.

Bono heard the piano and Faith’s voice as he climbed the stairs to the stage.

“Fish in the sea, you know how I feel
River runnin' free you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree you know how I feel
Its a new dawn, its a new day, its a new life for me
And I'm feelin good”

He bounded up the steps. Rounding the corner, he saw her band watching as she sang. Some of the crew had stopped to listen. Her eyes were closed as every note evoked emotion. He recognized it as an old standard. He was sure Frank had done it. Not like this. Faith injected a bit of sexy rock into it. The hair on his arms rose as she lifted her voice.

“Dragonfly in the sun you know what i mean
Butterflies all havin' fun you know what I mean
Sleepin' peace when day is done that's what I mean
And this old world is a new world and a bold world for me

Stars when you shine you know how I feel
Scent of the crime you know how I feel
Your freedom is mine, and I know how I feel
Its a new dawn, its a new day, its a new life for me
And I'm feelin good”

When she opened her eyes, she saw Bono staring at her mouth agape in the middle of the stage. She cleared her throat a - bit bashful suddenly.

"Fucking brilliant, " he clapped loudly. Ryan was the first to join in applause. Even Sam looked impressed.

"I stand corrected," Sam said.

"You have to do that tonight, " Bono said.

Faith offered a small smile. "That's what I was thinking."

"Hold on," he ran to the top of the stairs. "Edge get up here. You gotta hear this!" He walked back on stage. "You have to play it for Edge."

Edge wandered across the stage with a coke in his hand. “What's this then?"

"Listen to this," Bono motioned to Faith to start again. He watched her transfixed. Something about the yearning her voice that covered him in goosebumps.

Larry and Adam joined everyone. Larry had the same look on his face. Enthralled. The whole stage applauded.

"Is this the song you mentioned the other day?" Edge leaned over to Alex. She nodded. "It's good."

"We didn't write it. It's not ours" she said.

"Still." He said.

"Were you planning on doing it like that? Just you on piano? " Bono leaned on the piano.

She nodded. "Yeah. Give them a break before the final 1 or 2 songs.”

"Sam was worried it halted the show," Ryan said.

"Depends on your set-list. Can I see what you planned?" Bono asked.

“Um, sure,” she handed him the piece of paper with a list of songs scrawled on it. There were slashes and crosses all over it. Bono sat beside her on the piano. He nodded as he looked over the list. He was always impressed with the time they took to compile the show. “Where were you going to put this in?”

“I was going to take this song out since it’s kind of slow, and has been dragging as much as I love it. It’s just not working. Put this is before ‘Hey Now’ and I think still end with ‘Shock of Lighning’,” she said.

“I’d even put it right before your last song. Yeah, it’s just you and a piano, but you sing with such passion that no one will get bored. Then you clobber them with this,” he suggested.

Faith looked over at Alex. “What do you think?”

“We can try it a few nights and see what happens. In a few days, we’re in New York,” Alex said.

Faith looked at Sam who was the hard sell. “Sam?”

“Okay, I know I was dead set against it. I think Al’s right. We should give a try,” he nodded.

A smile broke out on her face. “Great. Thanks Bono and everyone.”

Maybe now was the perfect moment to make a move, some kind of move, Bono thought. What could he do in front of everyone? She stood.

“Listen, we’ve been asked to take part in the Free Tibet festival in New York,” he said quickly.

She turned around. “Yeah?”

“Did you want to do a song?” Bono asked.

Larry knew that Bono had no authority to offer them their own spot. “Uh, Bono....you might want to talk to Adam about that. I’m sure they have a pretty tight schedule.”

Bono glared at him. “I’m sure we could make room in our slot. It would be good exposure for them.”

Adam, the voice of reason, had to step forward. “I agree with Larry. We need to talk with Adam and the organizers before we just cut our set short a song.”

“Or two,” Bono said. Faith’s eyes widened.

“Did you think about the time it takes to set up between songs?” Larry knew what he was trying to do. He wanted to impress Faith and this was the way to do it. He made it seem like such a selfless act to give up U2’s slot for the them. Fans expected U2. The Beastie Boys expected U2.

“Larry, Ryan can use your kit,” He looked at Ryan’s kit in front of Larry’s. “It’s not much different.”

“Edge, can you get through his bleedin’ thick skull?” Larry asked.

“Look, we don’t want to cause a problem. Yeah, it would be awesome. I don’t want you to get in trouble and don’t want to cause bad karma by having all those bands thinking we are hi-jacking a spot,” Faith said. Sam was glad to see her finally stand up for integrity.

“Larry, if they have no issue with us giving up a bit of our time, would that be okay with you?”

Sure, make me look like the bad guy, Larry thought. “Of course I have no issue.”

Bono turned to Faith. “I’ll see what I can do.”

As promised, Bono did call the Beastie Boys. U2 generously offered three songs off their scheduled eight song set to Strict Machine. Unfortunately, it didn’t bring Bono closer to Faith. While she was appreciative, and it did wonders for their friendship, it was clear to Bono that she only had eyes for Larry.


"I think Larry is a little sweet on you," Ryan said over lunch.

Faiths eyes lit up. "Really?" She shook her head. "Whatever. He has a serious girlfriend. Who is going to be visiting the tour."

She had felt Larry’s interest in recent days as they watched Fun Lovin’ Criminals from the backstage. Each show, he leaned closer until their arms touched. Usually pragmatic, Faith couldn’t help but feel the heat when he was close. She knew to not get too close. Nothing would ever come of their flirtations. He was with someone else, and there were rules about that. It took years to master the art of thinking with her head and not being ruled by her heart. But when Larry’s hair flopped in his eyes and his boyish smile spread across his face, her knees buckled.
"There’s always Bono. He’s pretty warm for your form. He is just as good looking. " Ryan said. "Maybe more so. There's danger about him."

"He's a mess. Freshly divorced with a chip on his shoulder. No thanks. Sure, as long as I hold out on him, he's interested," she leaned back in her chair. "I guarantee I'd be forgotten the next morning. I half considered doing it so he'd leave me alone."

“If you do I want details." Ryan smiled.

She tossed a french fry at him. “You pervert.”

“I’m sorry, but have you looked at him in those shiny black pants? Sex on a stick,” Ryan sighed.

Faith laughed. “Lucy would never forgive me. You see her face when he’s chatting up a model.”

“That’s why she’s only been eating salads. But, we had lunch yesterday, and she wolfed a Big Mac,” Ryan shrugged.

“I can’t say much. She’s been very helpful so far. More so than I would’ve thought,” Faith shrugged.

“I think she finally resigned herself to the fact she would not be Bono’s new girlfriend. She was pretty upset when she saw him with another girl a few nights ago,” Ryan said.

“I told you he was a whore,” Faith made a face.

Ryan flashed her a wicked smile. “I would still go there. And I think you should so I can live vicariously through you.”

“You are a sick puppy,” she laughed.



The buzz surrounding the 3 shows in New York was infectious. Besides Boston, New York was U2’s home away from home. They had many friends here. Larry and Bono owned apartments in the city. Edge was trying to convinced Morleigh to move to NY where they could have a house together. It was a homecoming for Strict Machine too. Since April, they had not seen home. They would home for almost 10 days. As comfortable as the hotel beds were. Alex looked forward to her own room and things. Faith, on the other hand, had sub-letted her apartment for five months until they returned from the European tour. She was stuck living in the hotel for the next week.

For the first time on tour, they were in one place for more than just 2-3 days. Oddly, everyone seemed to scatter. It was 4 days until the first show. Bono and Edge visited with friends. Jocelyn had flown in from England. She and Adam were finally reunited after over a month apart. Alex and Sam spent time with family. Larry, Faith and Ryan hopped from Irish bar to Irish bar with their friends. As much as she loved spending time with Larry, she knew that Ann would be joining the tour in a matter of weeks. It was odd he never talked about her. She tried to not take too much stock in that fact. Larry was very private. He never talked much about his family or girlfriend. Faith could appreciate that. She shied away from her own past. The future was far more interesting.

As the final touches to the stage were being tightened, the three bands milled about the humid backstage as they took turns with the soundcheck.

Bono swung his legs as he nursed a hangover perched on top of a speaker. He watched Strict Machine as they discussed their set list. Every night was little different. He missed being able to mix things up like that. Their show was dependent on visuals. To toss in a different song would wreck the continuity of the show. Whereas, Strict Machine changed things nightly. To Bono’s delight, they did add Faith’s version of ‘Feelin’ Good’ to the set. Somehow, it worked. Most nights, that one song drained Faith. She was sweating and huffing after. She knew being the lone person on that huge stage, she had a big job to do. Entertain thousands of people with just her voice and a piano. It never failed to leave Bono covered in goosebumps and wishing that she looked at him the way she looked at Larry. While he watched them, he guzzled water and Lucozade - curing Irish hangovers for years. He spied an older couple watching from the other side of the stage. Their mouthes hung open as they took in the large stage. Earlier, he met Ryan’s mother. Alex’s parents were due in from Boston for the second show. Not a rumble about Faith’s parents.

Faith sat at the piano and played a slow melancholy song. She stopped and restarted.

“Is that new?” Sam wandered over.

“Sort of. I’m just making sure she’s in tune,” she said. “This is what I have so far.”

“It makes sense that it should happen this way
That the sky should break, and the earth should shake
As if to say: Sure it all matters but in such an
unimportant way
As if to say:

Fly away, sweet bird of prey
Fly fly away
Nothing can stand in your way
Sweet bird, if you knew the words
I know you'd say: fly, fly away”

“I really like that,” Bono said from his perch.

Faith looked up startled. “Uh, thanks. I was diddling around really. It’s not even finished.”

“You should finish it. It’s good,” he turned to Paul who handed him some papers.

“He’s right,” Alex said. “I know I’ve heard you play it before, or part of it.”

Faith shrugged. “I guess I’ll have to work on finishing it.”

Sheila crossed the stage. “Faith, you’re going to be late.”

“Oh right,” She looked at her watch. “We’re done, right?”

Alex nodded. “Yeah, get going.”

“Thanks. See you guys later,” she scrambled to her feet and followed Sheila where a car waited for her.

Bono craned his neck to watch her disappear into the back seat and zip away. He didn’t noticed this occurrence at first. Two weeks ago, he took note of her leaving for a few hours at each city. Once he had asked where she was running off to in such a hurry. She smiled and said shopping. Yet her eyes were serious. He wanted to ask Alex or Ryan where she ran off to every afternoon. He considered following her. If she had wanted him to know, she would tell him. Whatever it was, it was very important to her.

Sam called his parents over to meet Bono and Adam before giving them a tour of huge stage area. Alex started to unplug her amps and pedals when Edge crossed the stage towards her.

“Are you busy? Do you have a few moments?” he asked.

She squinted into the sun. “Yeah. I’m free.”

He scratched his head. “Remember we talked about adding some texture to ‘Times Like These’?” She nodded. “I asked Dallas and Terry to help.”

“Yeah, sure,” she straightened her back.

“You said you wanted to add some string arrangements to the beginning, right?” Edge led her to the Underworld where Terry sat posed to help. He had a tape of their live performance from a previous show. “I figured that we could work on it and give something to present to the band.”

She nodded. “Um, yeah.” She was surprised that he remembered their conversation. He seemed very eager to help.

They spent the afternoon buried in the Underground. Alex could smell Edge’s sweet scent as he wiped the sweat from the back of his neck. She fought against stealing glances or leaning in too close. Sam and his parents were walking above their heads. She was sure he was looking for her. The four of them worked until dinner time adding a swelling string section to the beginning of the song to accompany Faith on the piano. It couldn’t over power or take away from her on the piano.

Dallas played back the entire track. Edge nodded along and looked for the reaction on Alex’s face. A small smile played on the corner’s on her mouth. It sounded great.

“What do you think the others will think?” he asked.

“Faith will love it. I think Ryan will too,” she rubbed her chin. “Sam might be the hard sell.”

“We can play it for them tomorrow,” Dallas offered.

“Thanks guys,” Edge said. He tuned to Alex. “Are you as starving as I am?”

She nodded, but remembered she was to have dinner with Sam’s parents. Looking at her watch, she swore, “Shit. I’m late for dinner plans.”

Edge’s face fell. “Oh, okay. I’ll let you go. Sorry I kept you too long.”

“Don’t be. I had so much fun. I’m trying to think what other songs can use some fattening. I’ll talk about it with Faith tonight,” Alex said.

Edge nodded. “I had a great time.”

They stood for a moment basking on the glow of creating something together. She didn’t want to leave. She felt closer to Edge than she did to Sam lately. “Thank you.” She smiled.

“Maybe we’ll see you later,” he smiled.

He watched her disappear above ground. Humming their song to himself, he gathered his things to head back to the hotel. As usual, there was a party in a friend’s bar that night. He found himself craning his neck to see if Alex would walk through the door.

Alex introduced the new arrangement of Times Like These at soundcheck the next day. First she played it for Alex who she knew would love it. Alex was right. She loved it so much that she started pouring over their entire catalog wondering what other songs could benefit from the same treatment. With Faith on board, Ryan would follow. Sam would be the hard one to convince. She decided to bring it to both Ryan and Alex at once. Hopefully Ryan's enthusiasm rubbed off on Sam. And as expected, Ryan was on board. Sam was a little more subdued. He liked the beginning. He felt that the orchestrations should fade out once Alex's guitar kicked in. The difference was split. They would start out the song with the accompaniment but it would drop in the middle to be brought up at the finish.

"When did you do this?" Ryan asked.

"Yesterday with Dallas, Terry," she said."Oh and Edge."

Faith glanced over at Alex. Edge was tossed in at the end casually - as if an after thought. Alex's voice rose an octave or two when she said his name. To Faith, this was a dead give away there something more than an after thought. Sam didn't seem to catch it. He nursed a nasty hangover from his night partying with Bono. Models, actresses, and plenty of premium alcohol. Sam could only watch as Bono held court with the room's most beautiful women. They touched his chest, ran their fingers over his short hair and nuzzled closer in hopes he would be interested enough to continue the evening with them. Sam didn’t last through the night. He called it a night as Bono led his parade of pretty down the streets on New York to find another party.

There was a palpable electricity in the air the first New York show. Faith paced in the hallway outside their dressing room. This was the homecoming she had dreamed of. The next three nights, friends would be streaming in to watch the show. She didn’t want to let anyone down. Her band. Her friends. Her new mentors. That night, they tried the new arrangement of ‘Times Like These’ and it sounded amazing. Their single ‘Kiss With a Fist’ had the crowd jumping around and colliding into one anther. It was the first city that Strict Machine knew they had fans in the audience. Faith walked the enormous stage with feigned confidence, Inside, she thought she’d vomit.

Sheila had arranged for a party for Strict Machine to celebrate Strict Machine’s single finally cracking the Billboard Hot 100 and slowly climbing the Alternative charts on the final night of the New York stand. All their friends and family would be invited. A few clubs away, U2 would host a larger party of their own. Once Bono and Edge learned of the separate parties, they insisted on one huge party with all the bands.

“Are you sure? They’ve invited parents and friends. Do you want them mingling with Winona Ryder and the like?” Sheila had asked.

“You make them sound like red-headed step children,” Bono laughed. “I want one large party for everyone to enjoy. No division. We’re one family.”

“But not the same,” Edge quipped.

Bono walked down the hall of the backstage area. He came across Faith hopping up and down in a circle. He’d seen all kinds of warm up, but this was different. She caught him watching with a perplexed look on his face.

“Getting the heart rate up,” she attempted to catch her breath.

“The whole going on stage doesn’t make your heart race?” he asked.

“It does, but in a different way. Big show tonight. Last night at home for awhile,” she nodded. “We switched things up a bit tonight.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Really? I like the arrangement you did with ‘Times’.”

“That was Alex and Edge,” she said.

“Have you considered the next single?” he asked.

“Sheila has us mulling it over. I think we could do ‘Times’. I think we do need something out there as we hit Europe. I think we’ll be making that decision in the next few days,” she hopped around again.

“I didn’t mean to interrupt your pre-show warm up,” he mused.

Rocko peered around the corner. “Five minutes Faith.”

“Good luck,” Bono nodded.

She flashed a smile. “Thanks.”

It was interesting to watch her blossom. Just a month ago, her face was pale before every show. Tonight, she was full of life.

“I’m going to watch the show,” Bono said to Edge. “I just saw Faith and it promises to be quite a show. You coming?”

“Sure,” Edge followed him.

They stood on the opposite of the stage where Strict Machine would enter. Usually, they would start ‘Kiss with a Fist’ with Ryan, Alex, and Sam taking the stage while Faith started the song off stage. Tonight, Faith walked to a keyboard and sat behind it. She began to sing as Ryan took a seat at his kit.

“Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by you know how I feel

It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good”

Suddenly, the lights went up and the whole band kicked into the song. Faith grabbed her microphone and strode across the stage. Bono looked over at Edge who nodded with a smile on his face. This band took risks. That’s what he admired most about them. It would be safe to go out with hit single. They just mixed it up with a song that wasn’t even theirs. Bono always enjoyed watching Faith stride and slide across the stage. Her moves were fluid and big. Her voice carried through the night clean as a bell. The crowd was enjoying it - even if they had no idea that it was just a cover. Faith smiled at Alex and gave a thumb’s up. Alex, notoriously serious on stage, broke into a grin. Faith’s eyes caught on Bono and Edge watching in the wings and behind a tower of amps and speakers. She locked Bono’s gaze.

“Stars when you shine you know how I feel
Scent of the pine you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And you know how I feel

It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good “

She gave a wink and ran down to the second stage singing, “You hit me once, I hit you back.”

Damn she knew how to get to him, he shook his head with a small laugh.

Edge leaned over. “Hey, do you ever wonder what you’d be like as a woman?”

He looked at his friend strangely. “Not really.”

Edge motioned to Faith. “That’s it. She’s like the female version of you, I swear. The same swagger, smile....sex appeal. She’s you with breasts.” He grinned. “Bigger breasts.”

“Fuck off,” Bono gave him a playful shove.

The piano solo was dropped from the set since the new version was added.

Faith paced the stage. “We want to thank U2 for inviting us along. They have been great hosts to a tiny band from New York. We want to thank New York for supporting us and giving us a great homecoming. We missed you guys! We want to do an old song that maybe 5 of you out there might know. This is ‘Partys Fall! Thank you, goodnight!”

Alex was surprised to hear more cheering for the song than she expected. They decided to goof around with it at soundcheck. It sounded so good, they threw it in as their final song.

“Your parties fall around you
Another night beckons to you
Your parties fall around you
Another night beckons to you

Shadows loom as you resist the gloom
Faded hues issue forth and bloom

A bed of leaves for a lover
Awake with a kiss and rise asunder
And when the party's over
You retreat in a realm of slumber”
“This sounds like something we could have written back in the day,” Edge mused.

Bono nodded. “Yeah, Boy or October era, eh?”

The audience bounced along. There was a group of fans that knew every word at the edge of second stage. Faith pulled a Bono and hopped off the stage to sing with them. Security, unprepared for that, scrambled over to assist her hands reaching to grab her.

Edge laughed. “I told you.”

“Very funny.” Bono rolled his eyes. Yet, he had to admit the similarities. Was that why he was drawn to her? Because essentially she was him? Did that make him weird and narcissistic?

She scrambled back to the stage and ran to join the band again. Her face beamed with the success of the show.


“Your parties fall around you
The night forgets to rouse you
Your party's fall astounds you
An aura of sadness abounds you

Glad rags sigh
Maybe you're alone inside, don't hide
Hurting all the time, hurting deep inside, don't cry
My happiness depends on knowing this friend is never alone
On your own
A party on our own
We'll have a party on our own inside
No sighs”

It was strange that many of Strict Machine’s songs struck a chord with Bono. Some were about pain and some were spoke of renewal and redemption - much like his own songs. When his marriage dissolved, he knew that getting on stage and singing his personal words would be difficult. The first few nights stung like a hot blade. If not for the love of the fans and his band, it’d be near impossible to sing words he wrote for Ali. ‘One’ and ‘With or Without’ were emotional enough during the last tour when he was apart for her weeks at a time. They took on a new poignancy now she was gone. He thought of the last few nights of booze and distractions. Yes, he had been orbited by beautiful women. And yes, he might have kissed one or two. He could have been a little aroused by female hands on his arms, chest and resting on his thigh. Yet every night or morning, he walked into his hotel room alone and feeling empty. It was as he slipped into the bed when Ali drifted into his mind. It happened less and less lately. But in the moments before alcohol won in the battle of consciousness, Ali seeped in. Sometimes, she was followed by a lingering image of Faith. Unfortunately, neither woman was attainable.

Bono and Edge slipped down the stage stairs and into the hallway towards their dressing room. They were both a little quiet. Edge tried very hard to not gaze intently at Alex. He watched as Alex and Sam interacted on stage with smiles and nods. Strange pangs disturbed him. He shook those thoughts from his mind. It wasn’t until Alex saw Faith sing in the direction of Bono and Edge that she realized he was there. The smile on her face warmed him.

Alex had never intended for her and Sam’s parents to meet. At least not so soon. But here they were at the after party shaking hands and beaming over the success of their children. The mother’s chatted the possible future, while the father’s discussed how they were glad this whole rock and roll thing worked out. Alex looked over at Faith and was suddenly very jealous. She was not tethered to family. She had a handful of friends that had come to the show and invited to the after party. Alex knew that Faith was probably jealous of her in a small way - but at least Faith had her freedom.

Larry watched as Faith made her rounds in the club. She was a natural. Her warmth towards everyone reminded him of how Bono could work a room. There were times when Larry wished that could feel comfortable in large crowds. All that handshaking and being 'on' was too much for Larry. He preferred the company of close friends to the frenetic rush of people. Yet Faith was navigating it like a pro. With Sheila guiding her around to record company executives, radio personalities, and journalists - her smile never diminished. She was full of life as she and Alex sat on a couch away from the fray to be interviewed by MTV. She never looked bored or tired. In three weeks, Ann would be flying to Chicago to spend a few days with him. He wasn’t sure how he felt about it. Conflicted mostly. The fews days he hung out with Faith and Ryan were fun. He and Faith laughed and talked. They walked beside one another occasionally bumping arms and blushing. If he wasn’t with Ann, he’d be in the flush of a new romance.

Bono also watched from the opposite side of the room as he chatted amiably with Ryan’s mother. Being from Dublin herself, Mrs. Walsh was anxious to shoot a bit of craic with the singer.

"Ma, enough," Ryan pleaded.

Bono held up his hand. "Ryan, it’s fine. It's nice to see everyone with their families." He looked over Faith with a group of friends. It did not go unnoticed that she was the only one without family. "Where is Faith's family?"

"She's from Boston originally," Ryan explained.

"Oh..." he wasn't sure that was the real reason. Alex's family was here and they weren't from New York.

Ryan could see that Bono was not convinced with that answer. “Alex’s family is from Connecticut. It’s an easy trip.”

He nodded. Eventually, Ryan sent his mother home leaving them both free to enjoy the party. Like Faith, Bono had made his rounds to friends, executives. He hugged and kissed parents. Once all obligations were met, Bono slid beside Faith tucked into a booth with her friends.
“Now, I thought I had met everyone here tonight,” he leaned across Faith to peer closer to her friends.

“Ladies,” Faith sighed. “You know who this is,” She turned to him, “God, these are my friends Rachel, Erin, Marisa and Liz.”

Practically laying across Faith’s lap, Bono shook the hands of her friends. “It’s a pleasure to meet you lovely ladies.”

Both Rachel and Erin giggled. Marisa, a tall redhead, slipped from the other side of the booth to tuck herself in beside Bono.

“I heard you were single now,” she said.

“I am,” he offered Marisa his winning smile. “However, my heart belongs to her.” He nodded to Faith who rolled her eyes.

“Faith, you didn’t tell us!” Rachel gasped.

“Because it’s not true. He’s joking,” she said.

He took Marisa’s hand. “You have to help me convince her I’m a great guy.”

Marisa lowered her eyelids. “I think you’re a great guy.”

“Do you, love?” his voice dropped.

She leaned forward. “I do. I used to have your posters in my room.”

“Used to?” he feigned hurt. He slipped his arm around Faith’s shoulders. “Now, what kind of man does Faith like?”

“Subtle men,” she deadpanned.

“Is he kidding?” Rachel asked.

“I can never tell,” Faith answered.

They were joined by Alex, Ryan and Edge. The table before them was littered with beer bottles and empty glasses. Bono entertained Faith’s friends with tall tales. His arm didn’t leave her shoulders. Their group was joined by Winona Ryder, Helena Christensen and Michael Stipe. The table howled with laughter. Alex and Edge gravitated together. They pushed their chairs to the side as they were in deep conversation. With every drink, Bono moved closer to Faith until he was pressed against her. She didn’t flinch, which was a huge victory. He nestled into her taking in her scent. Maybe he was finally getting somewhere. They laughed. They verbally jousted. His eyes locked with hers for a moment. If they had been alone, he’d lean forward and kiss her. For the first time, he felt he was getting somewhere. He felt so close to her, he ached for more. Everything seemed perfect until Larry sat at the table. Faith’s focus switched immediately. She peeled herself away. Rachel scooted over to him. When Faith returned to the table, she pulled a chair beside Larry. Bono’s heart sunk. No matter what he did, Faith only had eyes for Larry. Didn’t she know he had a girlfriend? Bono ordered another round of drinks. He might as well get numb. He shot glare after glare at Larry. Why did he have to sit down at this table? Things were going so well. He was so close.

At four in the morning, Faith stood. Her head spun from champagne and beer. Rarely did she indulge in alcohol, but tonight she celebrated an amazing show.

“I’m off. I can’t keep up anymore,” she yawned.

Ryan staggered forward. “Yeah, me too. I’ll take a cab with you.”

Larry considered joining them. His judgement was clouded with Guinness. He couldn’t trust himself to do the right thing tonight as his eyes rested on Faith. Edge decided it was time to turn in as well. He was happy to sleep in tomorrow. They had 3 days until the Free Tibet show. Alex had bunch with Sam and their parents. She didn’t look forward to facing it with the hangover she was certain to have. Faith kissed and hugged Marisa and Rachel, the last of her friends to be standing. She hugged Bono too.

“Thank you,” she smiled.

“For what?” he asked.

“For being nice to my friends and being ridiculously supportive of us. How many headliners watch their opening bands?” she shrugged.

He relished in the moment of her body being pressed to his and her kind words. At least she saw him in a favorable light. Just as he was feeling good about himself, he saw her hug Larry and give him a chaste kiss on the cheek. That didn’t bother him as much as her flushed cheeks when her eyes met Larry’s for a moment.

Bono watched Faith say her goodbyes to everyone as she left the club. It took her fifteen minutes to get from the table to the front door. She didn’t want to miss anyone on her way out. Once Faith was gone, Marisa moved in closer. She had been waiting for this moment all night. The table had thinned. Marisa didn’t doubt that Bono’s heart somehow belonged to Faith. She saw his face when he talked or looked at her. But knowing her friend, Marisa knew the feeling was not mutual. She tossed her hair over her shoulder as she leaned in closer. She purred in his ear wanting him to dance with her. He’d had several glasses of wine and was perfectly lubricated. His head reeled at her offer. She was pretty with red hair and scorching eyes. If she wasn’t Faith’s friend, he might consider it. He longed for human contact. He wanted something deeper than the skin, but tonight he ached for anything. Bono excused himself from the table. It was time to head home, he decided. If he had any shot of being with Faith ever, he was not going to fuck it up be going anywhere near a friend of hers. Bono and Larry shared a taxi back to the hotel. They stared out of opposite windows - each thinking of the same thing - each knowing they shared the same interest.

“When does Ann come?” Bono asked.

“In a few weeks,” Larry said.

“That will be nice. You must miss her,” he said.

Larry nodded slightly. “Yeah, I do.” Bono knew he was lying.

The rest of the ride was silent. Larry knew exactly why he mentioned Ann. He smiled to himself. Bono was just jealous that for all his attempts, Faith was not interested. Eric waited for them in the lobby as they whisked in a side entrance. With Larry and Bono in the hotel, he could finally say all band members were accounted for and go to bed.

Eels - Feeling Good


Poe - Fly Away (not a great version)


Muse - Feeling Good


Siouxsie and the Banshees
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:25 PM   #2
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Ryan is epic "Sex on a stick"
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:41 PM   #3
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I liked Ryan in this and Faith's piano song.

I'm a little bothered by Larry...I feel bad for Ann. And Bono's not the safest choice of someone for Faith to be with either....
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:08 PM   #4
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Interesting. Is Bono becoming a more sympathetic character?

Yeah, Ryan seems to be Faith's BFF. He wants her with Bono since he can't have him.

Remember, Larry came into the story unsure of his relationship with Ann. He just didn't need a crush to push it further.

Glad you like the characters - even if they do walk a moral line.
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:12 PM   #5
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Totally not...but I may be biased XD I'm not liking writing him in my story...

It's cute

Ghhh...well, I hope she's alright if he does end up with Faith (which I do kind of like the idea of as opposed to her ending with Bono...Bono needs to become 1. less of a manwhore 2. better after things messed up with Ali. At the same time, it would be less problematic for her to be with Bono...aaaa!)
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:17 PM   #6
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Is it weird that I like this Bono - all full of self doubt and desperation? At first, he came off like an ass, full of bravado. He's mellowed a bit - but he's still Bono. He's a natural born charmer. To bad that Faith has no interest in him.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:20 PM   #7
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He needs to find a new woman!

You're writing him—of course you like him. You're entitled to I sometimes like the people I shouldn't and sometimes hate the people I should like, when writing them, or the other way around. Also—you know him more completely than we do, because you know what's going to happen and have a better idea of what he's like in the story, by writing him.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:24 PM   #8
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Flawed characters are more interesting anyway. And that's true. I do know what comes down the pike for most part. Besides, it's Pop Bono. How can you not want him?
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:26 PM   #9
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They really are...they're a lot of fun. And usually more realistic.

Want him, yes. Want to smack him about the face, also yes
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:30 PM   #10
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Spanking? No there's an idea....oh, you said smack.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:34 PM   #11
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Hmm...well...
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:52 PM   #12
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Maybe a chapter down the line....
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:56 PM   #13
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Heheh.

Really, either would do. I just sympathize so much with Faith, in the sense that I've been around guys who were acting a lot like Bono and it wasn't much fun to deal with...
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:32 PM   #14
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If you like Faith now, I have a few revelations about her past coming up.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:49 PM   #15
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Hmm...that should be interesting...
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:47 PM   #16
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YAY IT'S BACK!! And took me like two days to read, I had a lot of stuff to do besides read fanfic... but now I'm all caught up. There were some funny-cute parts in this, like
Quote:
Was that why he was drawn to her? Because essentially she was him? Did that make him weird and narcissistic?
and
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“Ladies,” Faith sighed. “You know who this is,” She turned to him, “God, these are my friends...

I'm liking Faith more and more as a character. Those women are awesome... oh, as a matter of fact New York started playing on my iPod when I started this chapter!
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:59 PM   #17
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Been meaning to ask about that second quote. ...did Faith just call Bono 'God'? XD or am I just confused?
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:41 PM   #18
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Yes, Faith did refer to him as God. She likes him when he's being normal, like when she talked to him before the first show or when he was looking over the setlist. She's finds him annoying when he sort of puts on his Charmer persona. And that's just who he is in a crowd and trying to seduce a woman. Most would fall under the spell, but she's not impressed. She likes Larry because he is straightforward. You know what you are getting with him.

Faith is turning out to be a much deeper character than Alex. But Faith was always meant to be the main character in my mind.
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