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Old 11-11-2010, 09:30 PM   #1
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The Fourth of July - Chapter 7

I'm back from my travels, so here's another chapter for you.

Usual Disclaimer: This is all made-up, the only things that are mine are the mistakes.



-----
Chapter 7
-----

The dawn light showed pale around the edges of the curtains as Bono realised he was awake. Ali lay breathing quietly beside him, still sleeping. He brushed her shoulder with one hand and reminded himself how lucky he was to have her.

The pressure in his bladder reminded him of why he'd woken up, and Bono slid carefully out of bed and visited the bathroom. He decided he might as well stay up and get some work done before he dropped by Edge's on the way to the airport. He needed to write a few letters and polish what he wanted to say at the press conference that night…

Three hours later, having been largely oblivious to the sounds of the waking household preparing for the day, Bono started at the sound of a knock on his study door. "I'll take the kids, shall I?" Ali called. Bono winced - he was supposed to be dropping them off to visit their uncle and aunt today.

"If you could, love," he replied sheepishly. He could almost hear his wife's smile. "Thank you!"

There was a chorus of goodbyes from his younger children and Ali as they headed out of the house. After they were gone, the fleeting thought crossed his mind that it was a pretty poor way to farewell your loved ones, a shout through a door. What if that was the last time he spoke to them?

Bono shook his head, dismissing the morbid thought. He still had a lot of reading to do, and then he had to pick up Hollie's gift.

---

Natasha had spent the hours following her brief but revelatory talk with Bob Geldof at a London bar, nursing her beer and thinking. Upon waking again in Dublin, she had wasted no time dressing and driving to the airport. She had no idea where VIPs entered the airport or boarded their chartered jets, but she had eight hours to find out, give or take.

Two hours later, she had conducted a fairly thorough survey of the airport, and had made note of all the flights listed as going to London that afternoon. The news would come through just after four o'clock, so the flight must be scheduled to depart at four, or just before... unless it had been running late.

Well, Natasha had plenty of time yet to work out where to be... and what she would do once she got there.

----

"You'd better get a move on," Edge was saying, just as Bono's mobile phone warbled in his pocket. The singer pulled it out and answered it.

"Yes, I know, I was just leaving... No, I'm at Edge's place. ... Well, I was going to... Great, thank you." He hung up, winking at Edge. "A car's coming round," he said.

"You should just keep a suitcase packed in your car at all times," Edge said, not bothering to roll his eyes again.

The car took Bono to the airport in good time, although Bono could have wished it had taken a bit longer as he spent most of the ride trying to catch up on his missed calls.

He went through the airport with a minimum of fuss, until some crazed woman started screaming at him. Bono put his head down and walked faster while the security people intercepted her.

"BONO!" the woman was shouting. "LISTEN TO ME, BONO! DON'T GET ON THAT PLANE! Oof…"

"Now miss, if you'll just come with us…"

"Take your hands off me, I'm trying to save his life! THE PLANE WILL CRASH, BONO! DON'T GET ON IT!"

The security guards were hauling her away wordlessly now, and a quick glance over his shoulder showed that she was kicking and fighting every inch of the way.

"I'VE SEEN IT HAPPEN!" she cried. "GET OFF ME YOU MORON! TAKE ANOTHER PLANE, BONO!"

Finally they dragged her away out of sight, but her shouts were still audible as Bono went through security.

"I don't care what you do to me, but don't let him get on that plane!"

Bono shook his head. He hadn't seen one that crazy for a long time; it was quite sad, really.

He was ushered through passport control and onto the small chartered jet with a number of apologies from the airport staff about the madwoman. Bono brushed them aside and made light of the matter, although he made a point of stating aloud his hope that she would be dealt with gently.

The passengers on the plane barely gave him a second glance, wealthy and influential as they all were. Still, one balding businessman couldn't help asking for an autograph, which prompted the severe-looking woman next to Bono to ask as well. He smiled and obliged, chatting easily and ignoring the fluttering of nerves in his belly.

It was ludicrous to think that woman's ravings were affecting him... it was bad enough that he still felt even a little nervous when flying, especially considering the thousands of flights he'd made throughout his career. But to be spooked by some unfortunate, unhinged fan was something else again.

Get a grip on yourself, Hewson, he told himself firmly. Thousands of flights, and never a problem. There was absolutely no reason to be nervous, nothing in his personal experience to cause anxiety. He was imagining it.

Absorbed in quelling his fears, Bono had missed the usual safety announcements, and the plane had taxied to the end of the runway. The engines roared, the plane leapt forward, and soon they were gliding smoothly into the air, Dublin dropping away rapidly below.

See? Nothing to worry about. He rubbed his ears as they popped.

The woman beside Bono gasped as a rending shudder jolted the plane, the noise of the engines changing to a tortured scream, before one fell frighteningly silent. Smoke billowed from the starboard wing, and Bono was frozen in place.

"Ladies and gentlemen," the co-pilot began over the speakers, but then cut short as the plane's nose dropped, and the altitude they'd gained was lost again.

A chilling certainty gripped Bono's heart, blowing away all his reasoning. He was about to die, and too soon. This was the final encore, and there was nothing he could do to stop it. Astoundingly, unbelievably, that madwoman had been right.

"Assume the brace position!" The flight attendant shouted, as the plane juddered and plunged. One or two people tried to comply, but it was nearly impossible to stay in one position. Gravity had turned backwards, even as it pulled them down.

How the hell had she known?! It must be a co-incidence, but the most extraordinary one in the world. Bono couldn't grasp it. Why hadn't he listened to her?

A vision of his wife and children hit Bono with a palpable force, as the woman next to him clutched his arm in panic. His family, whom he had farewelled through his study door that morning, blasé in his assumption that he would see them again. He clutched the woman back, staring into her horrified face, no doubt a mirror to his own.

"Why didn't I listen to her??" he demanded. Why would anyone scream a warning like that if they didn't have a good reason?

He'd assumed she was mad. Everyone had. But they'd all been wrong, and now he and everyone on this plane, and all their families and friends, were going to pay the price. He squeezed his eyes shut, no longer able to look at the woman he was clinging to, unable to accept it was all going to end now.

The last thing he heard was the impact, and the roar of death exploding from the fuel tanks.

----

Tasha glared at the pale faces of the airport security people who were still holding her in custody. "I told you," she said with a weary sigh. "Why does nobody ever believe me?"

A higher-ranking security officer yanked the door open. "Let her go," he snapped. "We've got enough to do, get out there."

"Wait!" Natasha said as she was ejected from the airport. "What should I do next time? How can I stop it??"

The guards didn't answer, but ran back into the airport to control the panicky crowds. As she walked away, she looked back and saw the billowing column of black smoke rising from the place where Bono and twenty-four others had just been killed.


*****

Okay, so screaming a warning at Bono from across the departures area hadn't worked. Natasha hadn't quite meant that to happen, but she almost hadn't seen him at all. A woman sitting near her had actually spotted him, and hissed a question at her friend, incidentally catching Tasha's attention. And the moment she'd recognised Bono, striding purposefully towards security with an overnight bag, inconspicuous clothes and conspicuous sunglasses, her brain had shut down under the overwhelming imperative to keep him off the plane. And, Tasha was forced to admit, something of her inner teenage U2 fan had surfaced as well, freezing up part of her brain when she needed it most.

She had to be more subtle, and she needed more time to convince him. Bob Geldof had given her purpose again, something better than killing herself or getting drunk. Maybe she had an eternity of repeating days to achieve it, but sooner was better.

*****

The car made good time to the airport, and dropped Bono off while he was returning a call from an Australian newspaper.

"Yes, zero-point-seven percent. It's a tiny fraction of the GDP, but it means the difference between life and death for thousands of Africans. Yes that's right. Yes... I'm confident that they'll make the right decision, because their voters won't let them do otherwise. ... All right... No, thank you. And I'm sorry I forgot the time there... Haha, yes. Goodbye."

When he looked up, Bono found himself meeting the eyes of an attractive young woman. She was holding a pen and a piece of paper, and he smiled. She smiled too, nervous, but spoke first.

"Giving some quotes before the conference?" she asked.

"Just waking up an Australian journalist," he replied.

"They'll be thrilled, getting the scoop for the 2am edition now," the woman grinned, and offered the pen and paper. "Would you mind...?"

"I can fit in a quick one," Bono winked, taking the pen and paper, "but I've got a plane to catch. What was your name, love?"

The woman's expression froze, and she suddenly seemed lost for words.

"About that... My... I'm Tasha. Natasha. Bono, could you do me a favour?"

He scrawled an autograph and handed it back. "Depends on what it is," he said, picking up his bag and resuming his walk towards security. She followed, nervous again.

"Don't get on that plane, Bono. Please."

He looked at her as he walked – she looked and sounded deadly serious. A security guard caught Bono's eye, asking a silent question.

"I have to get to London, and it'd take too long to swim," he joked, but she stayed serious.

"Take another plane, any other plane. That one is going to crash after take-off, killing you and everyone else on board. It'll be all over the news by four-thirty, fans will be weeping in pubs and leaving flowers outside your house, and Bob Geldof will give the best rant of his life. But I'd much rather you didn't die, so please... take another plane."

Bono had stopped, staring at Tasha. Then he turned, returned the security guard's look, and started walking again. "It's sweet of you to be concerned, but it'll be fine, you'll see." He smiled a reassuring smile, and increased his pace. The guard put a hand on Tasha's arm as she tried to follow.

"But you don't und-- Hey!"

"Come along, please, miss..."

"Not again! Bono, that plane's not safe! You're going to die! I HAVE seen it! Do you want to die again? Get off me!"

---

This time, they didn't let her go after the crash. She was held in custody, questioned, interrogated as a suspect. They thought SHE had somehow caused the accident... The irony nearly made her sick. She maintained every word of her story, which was the simple truth, right up until 5:59am, when she woke up.

*****

It would have been easy enough to believe they were dreams, if every one hadn't been the same, except for her intervention. Even if they were dreams, (and Natasha had considered this possibility), she might as well behave as if they were real. It was safer than behaving as if reality was a dream.

On the other hand, if your reality consisted of one repeating day and no consequences, it might as well be a dream.

Natasha had been embarrassed that she had suffered any star-strike at all, but it had struck her nonetheless. It was her first time meeting a celebrity, except for Bob Geldof, and that had been under exceptional circumstances... and she'd never had a crush on Bob Geldof.

She was sure she would get a lot more practice at meeting Bono before she managed to convince him to stay alive.


*****
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:46 PM   #2
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ohhh....you're getting to the good part...
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:20 PM   #3
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I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:45 PM   #4
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I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!
That made me literally laugh out loud.

It gets worse..hehehe
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:11 PM   #5
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Should I just post the last chapter and put everyone out of their misery?
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:34 AM   #6
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That made me literally laugh out loud.

It gets worse..hehehe
WHY DO YOU TELL ME SUCH THINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????

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Should I just post the last chapter and put everyone out of their misery?
YES! No. YES! Wait...no. YES!! Oh, I don't know!
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:14 AM   #7
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WHY DO YOU TELL ME SUCH THINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????



YES! No. YES! Wait...no. YES!! Oh, I don't know!
LMAO! I think you should do whatever you want, but try not to wait a week before posting it because some people might not be able to wait that long
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:34 AM   #8
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This is good advice, although I wouldn't have left a week between chapters if I hadn't been forced to.
Fortunately I should be able to post the rest on a more frequent schedule.
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:51 PM   #9
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WHY DO YOU TELL ME SUCH THINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????



YES! No. YES! Wait...no. YES!! Oh, I don't know!
Because I'm evil that way?
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Old 11-12-2010, 02:50 PM   #10
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I can wait. Seriously.

...I think.

ANYWAYS, if you could just throw a girl a hint or two? or...the next chapter?

I'm just messin' with ya. On the other hand, at least you know that some people (like myself) practically jump twelve feet out of their chair when they see "4th of July (insert chapter)"

It's a good compliment.

As for dianepm...it's so SO unfair that you know the ending to this story! LOL!
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:00 PM   #11
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What wait? Last chapter? There's only one left?
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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 11-12-2010, 05:34 PM   #12
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No no, there are lots left! We're not even halfway through...

And yes Diane, you are plenty evil. Nothing wrong with that.

Hints... You mean something at the end, like "Stay tuned for the next episode, in which Natasha tries repeatedly to dissuade Bono, by any means necessary"?
I can do that.
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:28 AM   #13
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No no, there are lots left! We're not even halfway through...

And yes Diane, you are plenty evil. Nothing wrong with that.

Hints... You mean something at the end, like "Stay tuned for the next episode, in which Natasha tries repeatedly to dissuade Bono, by any means necessary"?
I can do that.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:35 AM   #14
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Bwaaaaaaah! I'll quickly say that I really really REALLY love this story, and now on to chapter 8!
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