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Old 04-05-2010, 12:46 AM   #1
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Stranger In A Strange Land: Chapter 24

I managed to keep myself awake long enough to finish this chapter

~Signage in Penn Station is actually very confusing. All else is fictional~


"So, I called my parents and told them we'd be there on the second..."

That was exactly how I told Bono, at the theatre in St. Louis, an hour before their show.

"Wait...what?? That's...that's next week! Less than a week away!" I bit my lip. "Oh. I know. You don't have to go if you don't want to! I just...I dunno, you've bugged me several times about meeting them, and-" "Oh no, of course I want to! I just thought I would have more time to mentally prepare myself, that's all." I laughed. "You don't need to mentally prepare yourself. It's not a big deal. There's no way in hell that they couldn't absolutely adore you."

Poor Bono was nervous now. As the last miles of I-95 flew past, I realized that this would be some of the last open highway I'd see. It was a route I had travelled countless times in my life, visiting family up and down the east coast. We had been travelling on I-78 most of the way from Pittsburgh, and crossed to I-95, because it would bring us directly into Manhattan. As we approached New York City, the road became bumpy from heavy travel. That was how I knew we were getting close. The road suddenly filled up with other cars, and finally, the skyline became visible in the distance. I was filled with a strange feeling...kind of like a tingling in my stomach. I could identify it only as excitement. I was happy to see the city, my city.

Bono peered out the window and groaned. I squeezed him. "Don't be nervous!!" He gave me an exasperated look. "That's fine and easy for you to say. But do you really expect me to not be nervous? Everyone is nervous when they 'meet the parents'!" I grinned. "I wasn't nervous when I met your dad." He smirked at me. "That's because you met him only hours after meeting me. We weren't practically married yet." I tickled his ear. "True. But I was already falling in love with you. You're very loveable, you know." He rested his head on mine. "I hope your parents think so." "They will! Now be excited! Have you ever been to New York before?" He nodded. "Only once, last year. Just for a day or two. It was our first show here." It boggled my mind to think that they had been there in the city...Bono had been so close, and I hadn't even know it. Fate was a funny thing.

Watching Bono was hilarious. The nearer we got to the city, the more ridiculous and adorable he got. He stuck his head out the window and looked around curiously like a child. He did not like the Lincoln Tunnel. "Whoa. What the hell is going on?!" he shouted, as the bus suddenly fell into darkness. I laughed. "This is the tunnel. It brings us into Manhattan. We're under the Hudson River right now." His eyes grew wide. "I don't like the thought of being underneath a river." I never liked it much either. "Well, don't think about it. It only takes about three minutes anyway." He breathed a sigh of relief when we reemerged into the sunlight on West 38th Street.

Nate dropped us off at Penn Station, where we would part ways. Bono looked up. I thought he was going to fall backwards. "What's this giant building?" "The Garden. Madison Square Garden. It's New York's arena...like, the premier venue in the city." His eyes seemed to glaze over. "Someday, we'll play here." I nuzzled him. "Of course you will." The four of them chattered for a minute about how they would someday soon play The Garden.

"Ok, guys, pay attention. It would suck if you got lost." Larry looked confused. "I don't get it. Where's Penn Station?" I snorted. "Down there!" He looked down the long flight of stairs. "It's underneath Madison Square Garden?" This was proving to be absolutely fascinating. "Indeed it is. Now, you three are going Uptown, so you're going to get on the A train. Let's go, I'll show you when we get down there." They followed me like little chicks. The signage in Penn Station was confusing and verging on sucky. I led them all the way to the platform. "I guess we'll see you guys in a few days. Listen, you're more than welcome to stay at my house..." They looked uneasy. "You guys have the number. Call tomorrow night, I want you to come over." I wanted my parents to meet Bono alone, not as part of a stampede of boys descending upon their home. But after that, I wanted them to meet all of them. They were my best friends.

If I hadn't known any better, I would have thought Bono had drank three cups of coffee. All the bustle was sending him into overdrive. He grabbed my hand and swung it back and forth. "Where are we going, huh??" "We're taking the 1 train Downtown. Follow me." I didn't need to tell him to follow me, since I had a tight hold on his hand and was practically dragging him along. The train was crowded. I held Bono's hand and continued to drag him behind me as if he were my young son. "Ow...Lilly, I'm not going to get stolen or anything. And I've been on the underground before!" I directed him to a spot by a vertical pole. "This isn't the Dublin Underground, or a metro, or whatever...this is the New York subway. Watch your wallet," I warned, smacking his butt gently. He was still looking around, observing everything. That curious foreigner thing he had going on was so adorable. I cuddled him and he held onto the pole. About five minutes into the ride, Bono suddenly looked like he was about the fall asleep. "Ohh, baby...you look so tired! What happened?" He yawned. "I didn't sleep much on the drive from Pittsburgh." I looked around, but there were no empty seats. At the next stop, a man with a briefcase got off, leaving a space next to a woman about my mother's age. "Hurry, hurry- go sit!" I practically pushed him into the seat, beating out a woman with a can of hairspray in her hair. "Hey!" she shouted. "Ladies first! What kind of a gentleman are you?" She prodded Bono's foot with her own. He looked slightly mortified. I rolled my eyes. "He's tired." She didn't give up. "So?" I turned to her. "Listen, you crass bitch, he's sitting there. I suggest you go find somewhere else to piss people off. How about under the hole you punched in the ozone layer this morning?!" I gestured towards her hair. There were a few guffaws. She looked like she was about to hit me, but I guess she thought better of it, and stomped off instead in what I assumed she thought was a dignified manner. It wasn't.

Bono still looked shocked. "Lilly, I don't think I've ever seen you act like that!" He seemed amused. "Oh, well, then you should have seen me when I went to buy you that soup when you were sick. I kneed a man in the groin and bitched him out to an extreme." He laughed. "Why?!" Oh. Yeah, now I remembered why I hadn't told him. "Ehh, he was saying nasty things about you, even though he doesn't know you. He saw you guys somewhere. Ignorant hick." Contrary to what I had imagined, Bono seemed to think all that was very funny. "You picked a fight with some man for me?" He sounded very sleepy. "Mhm..." It was a short ride, but I knew he'd be out like a light. Sure enough, he fell asleep quickly, and his head rolled onto the shoulder of the woman next to him. I apologized and attempted to readjust him, but she shook her head. "No, don't worry about him at all, dear. He's just fine." I held the overhead bar with one hand, our suitcase with another, and thought about my parents and Killian waiting at home. Waiting for us to get there. My mom was probably looking at the clock every five minutes, or less. She knew the subway just as well as I did...she knew exactly what time we would arrive. It was only a matter of waiting, now. I wasn't nervous. I had nothing to be nervous about, really. I wanted my family to love the person that I cared the most about. I couldn't imagine any way that they, or anyone, couldn't love Bono, though. I looked down at him, sleeping, with his head on the lady's shoulder. Thinking about it from my parents' point of view, I felt that they would think he was perfect. Sweet, well-mannered, responsible, caring, and very affectionate. What more could parents want for their daughter? In their case, they probably would have preferred me to find that combination closer to home, or at least somewhere in America. But there wasn't another soul like Bono on the planet.

Two stops later, the woman sitting next to Bono got off, and I finally had a seat. His head displaced, Bono looked around, sleepily bewildered. I shushed him. "You can go back to sleep baby, we've got a few more stops to go." He nestled his head on my shoulder and went right back to sleep. I smoothed his hair, and pressed my lips to the top of his head. I was aware of a few people looking at us, some with apathy, some clearly thinking it was cute. A few minutes before we reached our stop, I nudged Bono awake. He wiped the sleep from his eyes and took a deep breath. "Stop..." I warned. We carried our luggage off the train, and Bono looked around like he was trying to figure out which way to walk. "Just follow me, silly." When we reached the stairwell leading to the street above, we had a little scuffle over the bags. "Bono, my arm isn't going to break off! You weigh like a hundred and ten pounds, if you try to carry them both, you're going to fall down the stairs." He made an indignant noise and I snatched one of the backs, lugging it up to the street above. Bono scrunched up his nose. "For your information, I weigh more than a hundred and ten pounds!" I snorted. "If you say so. Now come on...we only have two blocks to walk."

He walked very slowly, looking up and around at everything. There wasn't much to see, but then again, I had been seeing this place my entire life. "How do I look, Lilly? Is me hair ok?" I chuckled. "Hmm, come here..." I ran my hands through it, experimenting with it, tucking bits of it behind one of his ears, then the other. "Nah, it looked better before. Here, just put this little bit there," I mumbled, putting one awkwardly long lock behind his left ear. "I think you need a haircut soon. But you look ridiculously cute, as usual." He made a horrified "you're telling me this now?" face. I hugged him tightly. "Don't worry Paulie, eh?" He smiled and nodded. "I just, you know..." "Of course I know. Listen Bono, I love you. And I know they will too. It would be impossible for them not to- you're like a parent's dream come true. But more importantly, you're my dream come true. No matter what happens, you have me." That seemed to comfort him a bit. "Now gimme a kiss baby..." He placed his hand on my cheek and kissed me tenderly. It was the kind of kiss that said "I really love you" without words. He still had a deathgrip on my hand as we climbed the stairs to the third floor and I rang the bell.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:58 AM   #2
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::melts into a large pool of human goo:: that was lovely...::
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:02 AM   #3
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:06 AM   #4
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:10 AM   #5
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Wonderful as usual Val
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:52 PM   #6
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*melting.....*

do I have to even say anything? Adorable and excellent as usual Val
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:26 PM   #7
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Thanks so much guys
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:49 AM   #8
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Oh confusing stations

and I think the ozone layer likes Lilly
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