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Old 11-17-2010, 02:36 AM   #1
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The Fourth of July - Chapter 9

Hello again!

I meant to post this yesterday, but various work things got in the way (including some people dismantling half our partitions, wtf). But all's clear now...

Disclaimer: It may come as a shock to some, but I don't actually know the band, and none of this is real...

...



-----
Chapter 9
-----


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.

Bono rolled over, trying to remember the dream he'd had, but it evaporated like smoke. He dismissed it, and got up to pee.

---

Later in the day, at the airport, Bono chuckled to himself as he went to the gate to board his plane. That woman, Natasha, she was an interesting one. She'd been all fan at first, complete with a revealing top and lots of giggles. But the closer he'd got to security, the more she'd dropped the act and become serious, pleading with him not to get on the plane. Going on about it crashing over and over, trying to save his life. Then when he wouldn't be deterred, she had smiled brightly and said 'See you tomorrow,' and walked away.

He met all sorts, Bono reflected.


*****

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.

What was that dream? Something about flying, or falling… Every time his brain groped after a detail, it dissolved into forgetfulness. Finally Bono gave up, and was driven out of bed by his insistent bladder.

---

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.

Bono turned to the woman, surprised for an instant that it wasn't that Natasha woman he'd met in the airport. Why would he expect her to be here?

Then the plane's nose turned towards the earth, and they began to plunge downwards with terrifying speed. The cabin was filled with panic and screams, but all Bono could think about was how Natasha had tried to convince him to delay his flight so they could keep talking about theology.

Sometimes God had a cruel sense of humour.


*****

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.

A melody was in his head, and words formed themselves around it.

"Every night, I have the same dream..."

Not wanting to wake his wife, and needing to pee, Bono slid carefully out of bed. When a song came to him like this, he needed to capture it. His brain offered a dozen different rhymes for 'dream'... beam, scheme, gleam, seem, theme, scream...

---

As the plane plummeted towards the ground, Bono saw his death plummeting up at him, and remembered the song, and the dream. It was too late now, even though he had gone berserk and was screaming and pounding and clawing at the window.

What he couldn't understand was how that Natasha woman had known…


*****

Eight, or ten, or maybe more times, Natasha met Bono at the airport, introduced herself either as a fan or a journalist, engaged him in conversation, and got an autograph. If she'd been able to keep them from day to day, she might have made a tidy sum selling them on ebay, but usually they were made out to her name. Most of the time Bono stole her pen, too, and she was just as glad to not have to keep buying a new one.

She hadn't joined him on the plane again, however. Once had been enough.

Tasha had tried to learn as much as she could about him in those all-too-brief encounters, hoping that eventually she would know enough to convince him to stay on the ground. She had also learned that flirting tended to distract him more than talking politics.

This day, using observations on his reactions to the various things she'd worn recently, Natasha dressed up in an outfit she would normally have worn on a night out. In broad daylight she looked a little too much like an expensive lady of the night, but expensive was better than cheap.

She checked the mirror. Classy, sexy, definitely distracting. But what exactly was she hoping to achieve? Was she going to try to actually seduce a married, forty-something rock star? In his home town? At an airport, in full view of the public?

Anything to keep him off that plane, Tasha reminded herself. She also reminded herself of the crush she'd had on Bono when he'd been fifteen years younger and wrapped in black leather. She could do this.

---

She knew things were starting well when Bono cut short his call to Australia when he saw her. Their eyes were on a level, and she saw his travel up and down her, noticing her heels were higher than his elevated shoes. And everything else besides. He smiled the 'Well-hello-there' smile. She smiled the smile she might once have given leather-clad ZooTV Bono.

"Hi Bono," she said. "I'm sorry, you must get bothered all the time... but I couldn't believe it was you!"

"It's all right, I don't mind," he said, either unaware or unconcerned that his eyes were wandering.

"You wouldn't remember me, but you pulled me, I mean pulled me up on stage, last tour. In London. It was during With Or Without You..."

"How could I forget?" Bono smiled, despite the fact that this had never happened.

"I wonder, would you mind if I asked you a question? Achtung Baby is my favourite album, and I was wondering about the lyrics... they're so different to most of the earlier songs..."

Five minutes later, they were still talking and Bono hadn't made a move towards the gate yet.

"... The Bible is a lot sexier than most people give it credit for," Bono was saying. "Have you read the Psalms?"

"Not recently," Tasha said. She'd looked up Psalm 40 once, when she'd been a fan, but that was it.

"Some of them are really..." Bono's attention had been caught by one of his goons, no doubt reminding him of the impending flight. Tasha pretended not to notice.

"Would you like to get a coffee or something? We could go somewhere less busy to talk..."

Bono actually looked tempted, but unfortunately his sense of duty was winning out. "I'd love to, but I've got a plane to catch, love," he said apologetically. He'd been calling her 'love' a lot.

Natasha dug in her handbag, making sure she leaned over more than was strictly necessary. She pulled out a pen and paper, again. She also pulled out Midnight's Children, a Salman Rushdie book, for Bono to lean on.

"That's a great book," Bono said as he signed the paper. "How are you liking it?"

"It's all right," Tasha said, accepting the paper back and deciding not to remind him about her pen. "I think The Ground Beneath Her Feet is better... and Satanic Verses starts slowly but I think it's more consistent over all."

"You know, Salman once said to me..."

That damn goon was interrupting again, pointing at his watch.

"Surely they'll wait for you," Natasha smiled. "Or you could take a later flight; the conference isn't until tonight, is it?"

"I'm sorry, they've booked me in, I've gotta go when I gotta go," Bono winked at her, and started to walk away.

Tasha actually pouted at him. "I don't even get a goodbye kiss?"

Bono chuckled, came back, and gave her a peck on the cheek before she could take advantage of the situation. She considered the possibility that he was practiced at avoiding the advances of amorous groupies, at least when he'd been younger.

This time, she didn't plead or beg or shout as he walked away. It never did any good, and it was embarrassing to be manhandled by the goons or security, and more so if they actually detained her.

As Bono disappeared through the gate, she glanced at the autograph, trying to decipher it. 'Natasha, lady in red ... love Bono'.

Wait. She hadn't told him her name this time. She stared at the autograph. There was her name, and she was sure she hadn't introduced herself. Had she? She always had before. But she had been so focussed on distracting him that she'd forgotten this time...

He remembered. Her heart pounded and she had to sit down. He was remembering her, she was sure of it. Maybe not consciously; he certainly hadn't recognised her, even though he pretended he had. Maybe he'd got a feeling of déjà vu as well, and assumed that her story had been true, that he'd seen her before at a concert. He hadn't exactly been paying attention to what he'd written...

She just had to try harder. She could get him to remember. She had to.

Determined, Natasha went back to her car and got as far away from Dublin airport in the next half hour as she could.


*****

Absorbed in his work, 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. 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 was suddenly gripped by paranoia, and stood up. He hurried out of the room, and caught his wife and younger children as they were going out the door. "Wait," he said, and Ali paused, wearing a tolerant smile.

"Did you want me to pick anything up on the way back?"

"No," Bono said, and kissed his wife, holding her tight.

"Eeew, Daaaad," one of his sons complained, disgusted by the display.

Ali was surprised, but pleasantly so. "What was that for?"

"I love you," Bono said, unable to explain his sudden fear of losing her. And the boys, too... He knelt down and gave them both an embarrassing Dad-hug. His daughters were away for the holidays, and he suddenly missed them terribly.

"I love you, too," Ali said, just accepting his odd mood, as she so often did. "I'll see you tonight, okay?"

"Yes," Bono said, deciding in that moment to fly back from London after the press conference. "Take care."

"We will," his wife said, and left the house.

Bono stood inside the front door, lost in thought. Finally he shook his head, dismissing the odd feeling. He still had a lot of reading to do, and then he had to pick up Hollie's gift.

---

Same day, same dress, same plan. She just needed to find out exactly how to either trigger his subconscious memory of the repeating days, or convince him he needed to spend more time with her and not on an aeroplane.

This time Natasha stuck to talking about literature and philosophy and tried to mention U2 lyrics as little as possible, as he seemed less comfortable talking about his own work, at least the older stuff. She was just about to make the let's-get-coffee suggestion, when one of her heels slipped and she crashed to the hard stone floor like a sack of bricks. Her head bounced and she lay there, stunned.

Bono was leaning over her. "Are you all right?"

"You're wearing a different jacket," she said, confused. Tasha tried to sit up, and a wave of dizziness swept over her. She fell back, and laughed. "Vertigo," she giggled. She couldn't stop.

Bono helped her to sit up, and the suddenly-helpful goons were there, picking her up. Bono was asking an airport employee where the sick bay was.

By the time she'd stopped giggling, Tasha was on a stretcher in a sick bay, and Bono was sitting next to her, holding her hand. The goons were gone, somewhere outside.

"You got quite a bump there, love," he said. "Will you be okay?"

"I think so," she said, and immediately regretted her honesty. She would never get a better chance... Tasha tried to sit up again, and didn't have to fake the light-headedness much. "Urrgh. Maybe not."

"I can call an ambulance for you, you were a bit delirious..."

Natasha was staring at Bono's jacket again, her head suddenly clearer. "You are wearing a different jacket," she repeated. "Every other time it's been black, but this time it's got all those patches. Why is it different this time?"

Bono was laughing, a little uncomfortable. "It's just the jacket I put on this morning," he said.

"But why that one? Why not the black one with the red bits?"

The rock star was definitely looking at her oddly. "You've hit your head, you've got a touch of concussion..."

"Dammit, I'm not insane! Come here..." Tasha pulled Bono closer with the hand he still had around hers, and kissed him. Jeez, he could have shaved...

For a moment, he was surprised. For the next moment, he kissed her back. But the moment after that, his brain kicked in and he gently pulled away. Bono smiled apologetically.

Natasha sighed, suddenly overwhelmed. "Feck. First I think you're starting to remember all these repeating days, you write my name on the paper when I didn't even tell you what it was. Then you wear a different jacket, and I get you alone, and none of it makes any feckin’ difference. You're going to get on that plane and it'll crash and you'll die and Bob Geldof will rant and rave and then it will all happen again and again and again until the end of time and I really will be a feckin’ mental case by then..." She broke down and cried.

"Hush now, no one's going to die." Bono was actually rubbing her back, comforting her, and not running away from the crazy lady.

"You keep saying that, and you keep being wrong," Tasha sniffed. "Tell me, what would it take? What can I do to stop you getting on that bleedin' plane?"

Bono was humouring her by even considering the question. He chuckled. "You'd probably have to tie me down," he said. "Bob would never forgive me if I didn't show up, and you don't want Bob Geldof mad at you."

"Tell me about it," Tasha said. Fat lot of good that did. She couldn't see anything within reach that she could use as rope. But he'd made her think...

She had been prepared to seduce him. Was kidnapping him such a large step from there?

"I know you think I'm crazy. But you'll see. And I will fix this somehow."

Bono stood, smiled at her, and left the sick bay. Natasha began to plan her next move.


*****



((I'm sure you can all guess what's coming up in the next chapter... ))
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:20 AM   #2
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holy mother of all these holy! It's four a.m. and I should be sleeping but I saw this was up and I just HAD to come check it out!!!

And now that you left me hanging with hints of the next chapter, I can openly say that you. are. a. TEASE!

I was totally wrong though. I had expected that Bono would actually "dream" of Tasha and all her craziness. WRONG! But I'm glad I'm wrong!

Ok...seriously, I need sleep now! Thanks for this wonderful, tense and sexy chapter!
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:39 AM   #3
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Do I smell Bonodage coming up?


Does she need a hand perchance?


Love how every day brings such tiny changes.
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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 11-17-2010, 11:20 AM   #4
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This story is so friggin great... I NEED chapter 10! I really what's going to be her next plan...
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:58 PM   #5
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*eeeeeeeeee*

tease! lol

awesome as usual
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:15 PM   #6
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I'd say wait until you see what we have next...but a) it probably wont be finished for about a month and b) it may make L&L implode...hehehe.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:23 PM   #7
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I like the kidnapping idea
Can't wait till the next chapter!
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:44 PM   #8
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I'd say wait until you see what we have next...but a) it probably wont be finished for about a month and b) it may make L&L implode...hehehe.
Oh ha ha. LOL! I'm just saying what others are thinking!
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:57 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone

I suppose I shouldn't let GG and others get their hopes up; alas, Tasha won't end up taking Bono literally with the tying-down. Sorreh.
But there will be kidnapping.

I can't wait until we post that other thing, Diane...

Chapter 10 will be coming up later tonight, Aussie time.

Also, might be a weird question, but has anyone here sent me a friend request on facebook? I have one but I don't know who the person is... I think it's an interferencer though.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:00 AM   #10
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Boooooooring!


Needs moar Bondage.
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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 11-19-2010, 01:17 PM   #11
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ahem...it's later tonight....and/or a week next Tuesday
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:51 PM   #12
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Boooooooring!


Needs moar Bondage.


And I don't have a facebook.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:17 PM   #13
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"'Every night, I have the same dream'"

In that context, it's rather chilling

And huzzah, he's beginning to learn!
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