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Old 04-24-2012, 10:24 PM   #1
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Seconds - Chapter 13

Title: Seconds
Authors: GraceRyan & WithoutSpeaking
Rating: G
Disclaimer: This didn't actually happen. U2 was not born until the 1960s. But David Evans really is this sweet, IMO.


************

David paused outside the window of Sutton & Gray - a shop he walked past every day on his way to and from the hospital, yet never stopped in. Today something compelled him to gaze through the window at the array of watches and jewelry that had been turned over in return for a few extra shillings to put food on the table.

His meager pay packet didn’t allow him the luxury of anything special, yet even though his Christmas presents had been posted to home a week ago, he felt compelled to enter the store.

He removed his wool cap before opening the door and stepping inside.

David peered under the glass at the rings and necklaces below. These were birthday and Christmas presents for someone else one day - turned into to buy food or firewood. His eyes swept over the dazzling diamond rings - a promise forever once. Would he ever drop to his knee to ask for a lifetime of love?

The shopkeeper raised an eyebrow as David chuckled to himself at the absurdity of that thought.

“Good morning, private,” he nodded from behind his glasses with a salute, “what can I help you find?”

“Um, not sure, really, sir...”

“After a gift for Christmas?”

“I might be, yes.”

“If you tell me who you’re shopping for, I might be able to help you.”

David bowed in respect. "I'm just browsing sir. You have a lovely collection."

The shopkeeper reclaimed his seat on his stool. "If there is something you want to see closer, let me know."

David nodded and returned to the glass cases. There were china cups, lockets, silver spoons - all manner of things that people collect and cherish. Were some of these things left behind in the battlefield when mothers lost their sons? He didn’t wish to think of it, but he clung to a keepsake of his own - the medallion of St. Luke that his mother had given him hung closely around his neck. As he continued to imagine the lives behind these mementos he spotted it - a perfect cluster of emeralds surrounded by tiny rhinestones.

"May I see this?" he asked the old man.

"That piece is exquisite," he unlocked the case. "For a special lady in your life?"

He laid the broach on a piece of black silk and pushed it toward David.

"Maybe," David muttered, carefully lifting the piece and turning it over in his fingers, the rhinestones dancing in the light.

“It’s a bit dear, I’m afraid. The emeralds are the real thing.”

David looked up at him, silently asking the cost.

“It’s two quid,” the old man said, knowing that a private in the army could ill afford such a luxury.

David winced. That was nearly half his fortnightly wage.

“It’s beautiful, but I’ll have to pass. Thank you, sir.”

David looked down at his hands as he placed the broach gently back on the counter. If he’d stayed back in Dublin and gone to college, he’d be half finished his schooling to become a doctor by now. If only he’d not procrastinated, he’d be well on his way to affording such things as this...

He placed his wool cap back on his head and braced himself for the cold wind outside.

“Young man...wait...”

David stopped just in front of the door, turning to the shopkeeper.

“It’s for someone special, isn’t it.”

David dropped his eyes. "I hope so...one day."

"Love and hope is hard to find these days. I met my wife right before I went off to the Great War."

David removed his hat again and stepped back toward the counter to listen to what the old man had to say. “Thank you for your service, sir.”

“I was in the army like you, son. What’s your specialty?”

“Royal Army Medical Corps, sir. Just in training though, haven’t seen any conflict yet...”

“Ah, a good man. Saved my life, a boy like you. I was at the Battle of Somme - took fire to my knee and thought I was through. They couldn’t save my leg, but he pulled me to safety. Never knew his name...”

David bowed his head. “I’m sorry, sir.”

“Don’t be sorry. We won that war - lost a lot of men, but anyone who came through should have been proud.”

David nodded, the old shopkeep giving him a smile.

“I know it’s tough, private, not knowing if you’ll come home.” He reached back into the glass case, removing the broach once again.

“What’s your name, son?”

“David Evans,” David answered.

“Pleased to meet you, Private David Evans. I’ve always made sure I get a soldier’s name when I meet him.”

David smiled. “And yourself, sir?”

“Private Jack Duncliffe. I never made more than that,” he laughed. “Give me 10 shillings for it.”

“No, if it’s worth two quid, then I’ll...I’ll have to come back,” David looked at the money in his hand.

"Son, please. It would make my day if you would give this to your future special lady,” Jack smiled.

He only had 15 shillings left until Christmas after sending home some small gifts, and it would leave him short for nearly a week, but the offer before him was incredible for something so lovely. He thought he couldn’t possibly give the man so little so he opened his mouth to protest.

“I won’t take no for an answer, young man,” Jack said sternly. “Let me get you a box from the back.”

David wished he could hug this dear old man. Gingerly, he fingered the broach and closed to his eyes to think about pinning it to Lyneth’s coat.

* * * * *

Paul whistled as he made his way down the town street. A shiny object in the window of Sutton & Gray caught his glance - a gold pocket-watch gleamed in the sun. It was magnificent and reminded him of the one David carried. Watching his reflection in the window, he pulled out the imaginary pocket-watch from his pocket. It did indeed look refined. How the women would swoon, he thought. Unfortunately, there was no way he could ever afford such a luxury item. Not far from the gold watch was the largest diamond ring he had ever seen. In fact, it was larger than Ava’s. Now that would certainly impress her. He imagined being able to replace the one Dick gave her with a larger more dazzling rock.

Dear God, what am I thinking? he started. The image of him on one knee in front of Ava sent chills down his spine. Like I’d ever get married. His frown deepened. Like she’d ever say yes. As his eyes squinted into the window, he noticed David at the counter. Was he getting his watch fixed?

The bell above the door rang and caused David to jump. His heart leapt into his throat to see Paul walk directly over to him.

“Hey mate. How you keepin?” Paul leaned against the counter beside him. “What are you here for?”

“Here you are Private Evans, the perfect box for the perfect gift,” Jack called as he entered from the back room.

“Ehm, I was just getting a gift from me mum,” David’s voice quivered slightly.

Paul looked down at the emerald broach nestled on the bed of black silk. “Wow, Dave....that’s right nice of you to get yer mum this for Christmas.”

David saw a flash of sadness hit Paul’s face. “Thanks,” he mumbled with a feeling of guilt for lying.

“Yes,” Jack’s confused expression lifted. “She’s a very lucky woman to have a son like you.”

Quickly, Jack placed the broach inside the box. David slid the coins towards him, nodding silent thanks. He quickly placed the package in the pocket of his coat and gave Paul a nudge. "Come, let's go. We should get back before supper."

Jack looked at David with a smile and gave him a wink. He saluted him before turning to leave with Paul, his hand on his pocket.
They stepped out into the brisk winter air together, donning their hats and gloves as they began the walk back toward the barracks.

“10 shillings... That was a bit dear. Your mum will love it, Dave...”

"I've nothing left though….looks like I'll be sitting out Boxing Day.” He wondered if emptying his pockets for a pipe dream would be worth it.

"Nonsense," Paul tossed an arm around him. "You do no such thing. I've got you sorted, mate."

“You don’t have to do that,” David shook his head.

He smiled. “I know I don’t. Besides, when you’ve got your shop set up after the war, fixing people up, you can lend me a few pounds for one of those pocket watches I had my eye on. Do you think it’d make me look sharp? You figure that Ava would be impressed?”

As Paul blathered on, David nodded pleasantly with a secretive smile on his lips.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:05 AM   #2
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OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG Surprise new chapter! Awesome!!!!



*goes to read*



Aww. Suuuure, a broach for yer 'mum' Dave. Nice save.
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:31 AM   #3
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It's a very small chapter. The next 2 chapters are short, come to think of it.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:55 AM   #4
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I'm easily satisfied. A chapter is a chapter!
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:03 PM   #5
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A small but important chapter for our wee David....
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:33 PM   #6
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A wee chapter for wee David.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:37 PM   #7
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:10 PM   #8
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Short, but very good! I keep wishing I could actually see everything and everyone described.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:55 AM   #9
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Short, but very good! I keep wishing I could actually see everything and everyone described.
After it's gone viral on ebooks and optioned for a movie, you'll be able to see it clearly. Ha!
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:40 PM   #10
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Haha. After U2 allows you to use their characters, which would mean reading the story. And who knows what would happen then...?

(I'm just very interested in WWII and the setting, though. And keep forgetting what the female characters look like, and wondering what the band looks like when they're not the band.)
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:54 PM   #11
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If we changed names, you would know it was based on them. The beauty of AU fics.
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:30 AM   #12
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And even so, there's plenty of guys out there named Dave, Adam, Paul or Larry. There's no way they could know for sure it'd be them. Sure, there's lots of arrows pointing towards yes, but that won't hold in a court of law. So there's no proof, no permission needed.
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:10 AM   #13
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Aha, genius!
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:58 AM   #14
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And even so, there's plenty of guys out there named Dave, Adam, Paul or Larry. There's no way they could know for sure it'd be them. Sure, there's lots of arrows pointing towards yes, but that won't hold in a court of law. So there's no proof, no permission needed.
Unless this reveals the darkest U2 secret ever. Bono and Larry ARE brothers....dun dun dun....
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:11 PM   #15
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Unless this reveals the darkest U2 secret ever. Bono and Larry ARE brothers....dun dun dun....
Totally! They look so alike.
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:02 AM   #16
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Love the chapter. Dave

I blame you 2 (ha! U2) for turning me into an Edge-girl.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:33 PM   #17
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Love the chapter. Dave

I blame you 2 (ha! U2) for turning me into an Edge-girl.
You say 'blame' like it's a bad thing

My fics do tend to do that. I'm always so happy when the Bonogirls take a chance to read the Edge stuff, I know he's not your favourite but I love writing him so much, I'm glad it rubs off a bit
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:02 AM   #18
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I'm not an Edge girl yet. I need more... tempting...


New chapter done yet?
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:32 AM   #19
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I'm not an Edge girl yet. I need more... tempting...

New chapter done yet?
Sorry. We've been stuck in 1997 New York.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:46 AM   #20
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Oh the horror. Well, I'm not picky. Whichever... comes first..
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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