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Old 12-08-2009, 01:47 AM   #1
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The Bass Player's Wife - Chapter 6.0

This "scene" or whatever is gonna be a two-parter.

Muchas gracias and love and hugs and LMJ to Zooey for helping me with this chapter, since I'm crossing over to her fic, Lost In Translation.

Disclaimer: All bollocks. All of it.

A few swear words.


Larry and I decided to rent a beach house for the holiday weekend in Montauk. Larry invited Lila along and Lucy said she would bring Rory, only two weeks old, out with her on Saturday. I got a call from Bono and Edge on Friday night saying they were landing at LaGuardia and I told them about Lila and the weekend we’d planned. They both said they wanted to come and as I was dashing out the door to pick them up, Lucy called saying her plans had changed and asked me to pick her and the baby up at her flat. I said I would after I got my mates from the airport. She acted impatient about it, which is unlike her, but I figured she was just stressed out over something to do with Aurora. When I pick her up, she’s taken one of the pain pills her doctor gave her after the birth. Lucy had refused to take them before, but I haven’t seen her in a few days and perhaps something happened. Edge and Bono help me pack the car with their gear and we drive out to the beach house. I’m early, but we couldn’t think of anything to do to kill two hours in the sweltering city.

When we arrived, Lucy said she was capable of getting Rory by herself, so we left her to it and went up to the front door. I unlocked it and started to open it and saw Lila dash out of the way.

“Oh. Hello, dear.” Edge turns to me. “This must be the one you were telling us about. I’m--“

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Larry scowls from the top of the stairs.

I walk past Lila, admittedly using her as a shield to escape Larry’s wrath.

“Hi. I’m Edge. I hope we’re not intruding.”

Larry snorts at that before coming downstairs.

Bono looks Lila up and down. She flinches to cover herself. That dress is rather see-through if you look hard enough. “I’m Bono. Lisa, is it?”

“Lila.” She looks to Larry for help and he is by her side in a flash, hand on her shoulder in a protective way. Lila forces a smile at Bono and Edge and makes eye contact with me. I shrug and fail to hide a smirk, trying to apologize, before making my way out to the porch for a smoke.

Lila looks up at Larry, whose eyes were ice, fixed mainly on Bono. “I’m gonna, um, go—fresh-- do the, um--“

“Go ahead, babe.” He kisses her forehead and Lila runs up the stairs.

“Well, this is a decent—“

I slip outside for a cigarette, if only to prevent my head from getting torn off. I leave the door open a crack. This is bound to be an entertaining argument, if nothing else.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Larry snaps.

“Nice to see you too, Lar.” I'm sure Bono grinned at him, just to ruffle his feathers even more. I turn to watch, keeping the cigarette smoke out of the house.

Edge tries to smooth things over. “We stopped in to see you in the city and Adam was on his way out here. Bono thought it might be fun, you know, to spend the weekend together.” Larry just glares at Bono. I bite my lip to keep from laughing. Edge continues, “Look, if we’re intruding… we just thought, since Adam was coming out anyways…” He trails off.

“Whatever. It’s fine.” It clearly wasn't fine, but there was nothing he could do about it. He wanders into the kitchen. For what? Water over beer? Just trying to change the subject then.

“She’s cute. Where’d you meet her?” Bono grins again, and wiggles his eyebrows like Groucho Marx.

“Bono!” Edge admonishes.

“What? What’d I say?” Bono asks, knowing full well he's only doing this to get under Larry's skin.

Larry walks back into the room with his glass of water. “I met her in a coffee shop, okay? Can we please not do this?”

“Do what? What’d I do?” He looks completely innocent. Bono, sometimes, you're my hero.

Larry admits defeat. “Nothing. Make yourself at home.” As Larry goes up the stairs, he says over his shoulder: “There’s only 3 bedrooms so somebody’ll need to share.”

“What’d I do?” I hear Bono ask Edge before Larry closes his bedroom door. Edge hears something I don't and walks over to the front door. Lucy walks in, carrying my daughter. I quickly stamp out my cigarette and go inside.

"Hi, babe," I take the baby from her and kiss her cheek. Lucy floats to a dining chair and flops down, an empty smile on her face. "Do you need anything?"

"Hmm?" she gazes at me, pain meds clouding her eyes. "Nope." She starts giggling at God-knows-what, lays her head on the table, and goes to sleep.

Edge and Bono stare at me, saying nothing.

"What?" It's my turn to snap.

"Nothing," both of them say, shaking their heads, fighting smirks.

"Well, since you're standing around saying nothing, you mind helping me get the baby settled upstairs?"

"Alright," Edge nods.

"Sure," Bono smiles. "Wait till Larry finds out about this," he mutters to Edge. Edge snickers, then buries it and elbows Bono, which starts them play-fighting and makes them useless to me. Aurora coos at me and I smile at her. I carry three armloads of baby gear in the house before Bono eats enough grass to give in and tap out. Edge helps me carry Aurora's playpen inside and Bono sits on the bed and plays with her while I set everything up as well as I can.

"Somebody's tired," Bono sings after Rory yawns. She starts to fuss and suckle the air. "She's hungry, too."

"Alright," I pull a bottle out of her diaper bag and scoop her up.

"Isn't Lucy nursing?" Bono wrinkles his forehead.

"She struggles too much with it, plus, I don't want what she's taking to pass on to Aurora," I explain, settling on the bed, watching Rory fight to keep her eyes open.

"I'll leave you to it, then," Bono kisses Rory's forehead, then pecks mine and leaves the room.

Rory drifts off a couple of minutes later. Right about the time I hear Larry shout, “Jesus, Bono!” The thing about Bono is that he has excellent timing. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up for debate. I put her in the playpen we brought and tiptoe out of the room. I shut the door gently, praying I won’t wake her and the front door slams. I cringe, eyes shut tight, waiting to hear her wail, but she doesn’t and I walk quietly toward the stairs. I get downstairs and the house is quiet. Bono and Edge are getting settled in the downstairs bedroom. I walk over to Lucy and shake her shoulder.

“Luce,” I say softly. She takes a deep breath in and sits up. She looks around, no clue where she is and no idea how she got there. “We’re at the beach, remember?”

“Mmm,” Lucy nods and yawns. “I’m tired.”

“Our room’s upstairs,” I say, hoping she’ll get up. She only nods. I sigh, “Okay.” I pick her up and carry her to bed. She wakes up the instant she hits the sheets, but I leave her there and walk over to the French doors. I’m a little surprised Larry didn’t take the room with the balcony for himself and Lila. I don’t open the door, there are about five seagulls on the balcony and any one of them looks bold enough to try to fly inside the house. Lucy wraps her arms around me from behind.

“Are you angry with me?”

“A little annoyed, maybe,” I mutter under my breath. She sighs.

“Bono! No fire! Remember what happened last time?” Edge shouts downstairs. God only know what’s happening outside our bedroom, but it has to be infinitely more entertaining that what’s going on inside it, what with Lucy being tedious and predictable.

“I’m sorry,” she rests her head on the center of my back. She kisses me and when I don’t react, she lets me go. “Why did you bring us if you don’t want me here?”

Because I want my daughter here. If I could have her without you, I would.

I can’t say this to her, of course. It’d gut her, she’d take Aurora and I’d never see either of them again. So instead, I lie. “I want you here. I just didn’t expect you to be popping pills and putting it all on me to take care of Aurora.”

“Just say it, Adam. You don’t love me and you never will,” Lucy sits on the bed and folds her arms. I can’t look her in the eye. I’m too afraid those exact words will come flying out of my mouth. “Fine.” She opens her bag, pulls out the bottle of pills, throws open the French doors and tosses the pills to the birds. “I won’t be popping pills now.” I shrug. It’s not enough. “What more do I have to do to prove myself to you?”

“I don’t know, Lucy. Maybe there’s nothing you can do,” I shut the doors and lock them and Lucy stares me down as I walk across the room to make sure we haven’t woken the baby.

I hear from downstairs, “Edge! Come look at these seagulls! They’re high as shit!”

“Goddamn it, Adam. I am sick of not being good enough for you.” I expect her to start to cry, but I guess she’s learned that that has no effect on me. “Forget it,” she stands up and walks out of the room.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” Larry groans, I assume, when he sees Lucy.

“Fuck off, Mullen,” Lucy slams the front door.

“Ha, I knew she was lying about being pregnant in Sydney,” Larry cackles. Since the door slam woke Aurora, I decide to take her downstairs with her formula and bottles.

“No, she wasn’t,” I put Aurora on my shoulder. Larry freezes and his jaw actually drops. Lila’s eyes go very wide, but she manages to go back to chopping. “Meet my daughter, Aurora.” Larry watches me as I shove the beer out of the way to put formula and bottles on the shelf. He’s still speechless.

Bono, like a moth to a flame, has appeared in the kitchen and is playing with Rory from across the room. I grin at Larry, amused by the fact that he has essentially gone bye-bye for a moment.

“Are you okay, Larry?” Lila asks after ten or so seconds more. She bumps him with her forearm.

He snaps out of it and shakes his head, “Fine. Just fine.” He looks down at the burgers and steaks for a minute, and then glances back up at me, sitting in the dining room with Aurora on my lap, to make sure he isn’t having a nightmare.

After dinner, Edge and I set about lighting a bonfire that can be seen from space. We sit around it, drinking beer (Sobriety? What’s that?), and telling stories of family vacations we took as kids. I feel like I miss half of it because every fifteen minutes I’m getting up to get a bottle or clean up spit-up or change her diaper or get a blanket to wrap her in because it starts to get cold or grab somebody else another beer. After Aurora falls asleep, I take her in and put her in the playpen and turn on the baby monitor I knew we’d need, no matter how many times Lucy insisted it was a waste of money. I take the receiver outside and walk back down to the fire as Larry walks up to the house.

“What’s going on with Lucy?” Bono asks. Edge gives him an evil look. “Oh, come on. We all knew I was going to ask.”

“It’s fine. I don’t know. She wants us to be a family and I just—“ I shrug. “She’s acted so weird since the baby was born, you know? She used to take the band and us in stride and now she’s insisting that we’re in love and we have to be a family. Am I really supposed to want to play Mum and Dad with her?”

“What do you want?” Edge points at me with his beer bottle.

“I want…my daughter to be happy and safe,” I sigh. “And how can she be happy without her mother? But how can I be happy with her mother?”

“Is she trying to change?” Bono lies on his back and looks at the stars.

“I don’t know. I haven’t really given her the chance to show me if she has,” I shrug and rest on my elbows. “I was being an asshole when she left this afternoon.” Both Edge and Bono slug me.

“Are you stupid? She just had a baby,” Edge shakes his head. “For a month after Aislinn had Hollie, I couldn’t even look at her without her bursting into tears. If you thought she was nuts before, she will never be as nuts as she is now with her hormones turned up to eleven.” He slaps the back of my head and takes a drink of beer. “You’re an idiot.”

“Yes, thank you, Edge,” I say. “Should I go call her?”

“Does a bear shit in the woods?” Bono giggles. I thought he’d fallen asleep.

“Don’t make me hit you again,” Edge says, reaching for the rest of Bono’s abandoned beer.

“Alright, alright,” I get up and walk in the house. I reach for the phone, but I don’t dial. I can’t. I can’t force myself to love someone, after all. I find my bass and pluck the strings, not playing anything consciously. When I stop, I hear Edge yell from outside: “’With or Without You’! Call her!”

I look at the phone again, hating myself for not being able to the right thing and lay down on the couch. I turn Aurora’s monitor up and her slow, regular breaths lull me to sleep.

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Old 12-09-2009, 10:25 PM   #2
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i like it .

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Old 12-10-2009, 11:11 PM   #3
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Nice chapter, Reg. & I really like the overlap with Zooey's fic.
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