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Old 01-22-2011, 11:57 PM   #1
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An Cat Dubh 27

This one felt short to me, even though it wasn't.

The hospital paper was fun

Not mine, not true, though I do wish I could go to the beach.


A little fist of rebellion formed inside Cath. She lay awake, eyes closed, aware of the gathering light of morning.

Paul had come home to find Cath and Edge very far apart on the couch, everything looking normal. The wet spots on Edge’s shirt from Cath’s hair and body had long since dried. Cath had pretended to be asleep, and silence filled the house. The bubble burst with Paul’s return; he broke the silence, asking both how their day had been. Edge said something meaningless about the lyrics and looked significantly over at Cath, who opened her eyes and stared at Paul. She did her best to convince him with her expression that the hardness with which Edge shut the door was completely usual, that her face was not tight and hot from crying.

But he must have seen something: a tiny gulf between this day and the one before, the emptiness in her eyes. The way she turned aside, as if accidentally, away from his kiss. Bono had then sat, thoughts tight in his head, and looked over at her, putting one arm around her.

And life had continued. But she was silent, or in another realm of thought, for the rest of the day.

She could feel his warm body next to her. It should have been comforting, and on some level, it was.

But the night before…

She walked straight from the dinner table upstairs, huddling in the darkness and pulling the covers up around her. It was right around then that the realization slammed through Paul: something was wrong. His footsteps as he climbed the staircase were tentative as his heartbeat.

“Cath?” She looked up brokenly, and very quickly hid the expression from her eyes, shoving it away. “What’s the matter, love?” he asked.

She just looked at him.

He crossed over to her, the air humming some odd warning between them: there was something he should realize, but he did not know what. It broke when he reached over to her face and automatically moved her hair away from her eyes, letting his hands fall to her shoulders. There was such a look in her eyes…it pulled him back to those blue shadows of days year back when he sat in his bedroom, hands pulled into fists, either shaking with fear or anger.

“Everything’s just….out of control, Paul. Whenever everything seems alright, something happens to change it. I can’t be sure of anything.”

She accepted his arms around her.

“I’m sorry,” she said at last in the little calm that had grown around them, the space between their breathing and their heartbeats. She cursed herself for holding herself away from him in the hours before: he healed and changed all the darkness, all the fear, everything that went wrong, or as best he could. “I shouldn’t be dragging you into my problems.”

“No,” he said, even more softly. “You are me and I am you. They would affect me anyhow.”

He held her more tightly and spoke of those years ago when everything had spun out of control for him—when his mother had died, and he could barely handle himself. Something clicked: Cath remembered why they were so similar. They had grown around each others’ silences and words, experiences they shared and did not share, and held to each other fast even while the rest of the world slipped away.

“Whatever it is, Cath,” he said sleepily, pillowing his head on her chest, “I’ll do my best to make it go away.”

But there was still that little cautious part of herself that needed to stand back for a short while. She needed to understand everything that was going on. Her weakness was that she needed to be around him, needed it more than breath or life—and she could not stand back. But perhaps, when he was gone at school today, she could be alone and think.

The little fist of rebellion broke, transformed. She sighed and stirred when Paul blinked sleepily awake, and opened her eyes to the early morning’s faint light. He leaned above her, on one hand, looking at her calmly, the morning hazy around him. She sat up and embraced him hard, finally letting go and staring back at him and the little echoes of dawn in his eyes.

“I have an exam. I won’t be able to make it to the ultrasound, love,” he said apologetically, and brushed his lips against her forehead, then pressed them against hers. “I’ll take Edge with me,” she reassured him. It wasn’t as reassuring to her.

“Promise me you’ll be here when I get back?” he asked, looking into her eyes. She shivered at the sudden absence of his body against hers, and nodded, wrapping her arms over each other against the cold. He kissed her again in a slow, healing way, before he was gone.

And Cath was suddenly detached, drifting, directionless. The hours between now and Edge’s arrival were more sinister now that she knew it was Isaac they all feared. She kept any such thoughts at bay as best she could, and went up to shower as soon as Bono was gone—a repeat performance of yesterday would not necessarily be the best idea.

She was downstairs, flipping through the lyrics of various songs from ‘Boy’ and trying to read the crossed-out lines on some of them when Edge arrived. She opened the door distractedly, noticing there was no other version of ‘An Cat Dubh’, though nearly every other song had little scrawled alternate lyrics in the margins.

“Hey, Edge,” she said, looking up briefly then glancing back down again at the words. He came and sat beside her in as platonic a way he possibly could. Something knocked against her knee: Edge had brought his guitar, in the possibility that Cath would completely ignore him, which she had every right to.

He peered at the lyrics he held and smiled amusedly. “Your song. That’s the part I wrote in the studio.”

She frowned and absently flipped the paper over; there was something familiar written on the back of it.

It looked like a form of some sort. Cath tried to decipher it, then stopped whatever she had begun to reply with in midsentence.

The paper read,

Cathlin Fairleigh – female—b. Aug. 2 1960, admitted with fever and abdominal pain. No history of…she skipped past the medical words and arrived at a little paper stuck, seemingly accidentally, on this one.

“Edge,” Cath stated. He looked up. “Why did you pay for the hospital visit?” And why didn’t you tell me?

“There was no-one else there to. From what the nurse said, I thought it would be a bad idea to contact your family.”

She looked deep in thought.

“Edge…I assumed that was how my father found me. But if you were the one paying that bill, how…”

She shook her head, not liking this thought, and felt alone and vulnerable again. A few thoughts ran in her mind at once, racing and running away from other realizations, and settled with the look Edge was giving her. It was too intense, too afraid for her, too open, and his gaze did not drop when she suddenly looked back at him. Cath stood up and pulled on a sweater. “Let’s go, Edge.”

He was protesting before she even had shoes on. “Go—where—what? That’s not a good idea.”

She turned, eyes tight. “It wasn’t my idea to have you over here. And I am not going to stay here quietly for the rest of the day, with you.” He had become much more direct towards her, his thoughts completely unguarded, and it was overwhelming.

I don’t love Edge.

But he was the one she told everything, the one who was there at odd hours, who walked away from his life and into hers. And he had changed things.

I’m engaged to Paul Hewson. Edge does not need to make things complicated.

And there was something else racing in her mind, a sort of warning, sudden decision. Her thoughts trailed along a familiar road—and eased somewhat. There was a purpose to what she was doing.

Cath—!” Edge yelled as she shut the door behind him and pocketed the key, and was too stunned to react when the warmth of her hand shocked briefly across his thigh: she had his car keys, and unlocked his car, putting them in the ignition.

“Nuh-uh. I am not letting you drive,” Edge protested, before being hauled into the other seat, rendered immobile by his seatbelt and the apologetic kiss that burned across his cheekbone.

She just kissed…me…

no, not like that, you eejit.

“I can drive,” Cath argued back, exhaling sharply, closing her eyes for a moment and letting all the tension go. She was not angry at Edge. She was not afraid about anything—no, the fear eased a little, but drummed silently along her ribs, even as she drove into the street and out of Glasnevin. Edge sighed, leaned back in his seat, and accepted fate. He realized he held something: he had brought his guitar with him. The scenery blurred past and he closed his eyes, pulling his fingers across the guitar strings, sweeping them both into music that, for now, lifted any fears away.

He opened his eyes when the sun trickled over his face warmly. The car had stopped moving. Cath pulled another sweater over the first one, winced, and opened the car door for Edge. He blinked, placed his guitar carefully on the seat, and exited the car. A strong wind ruffled through his hair and blew Cath’s around her face. There was a strong roaring sound around them; Edge realized where they were.

“I dreamed about this place,” Cath said, walking down to the dunes. He followed, and sat beside her as she lay down on the sand and pillowed her arms beneath her head, staring up at the sky.

“Why did we leave?” Edge asked.

She didn’t reply for a long while, feeling the world turn beneath her, the sky wheeling above her, only the water constant, and the little eager movements the baby made pulling her down to earth.

“It’s safer here,” Cath said finally. “If my father knew where I was, it must have been Isaac who told him. And frankly, Edge, I’m not feeling great about your self-defense.”

“It doesn’t matter whether he screws me up,” Edge said stubbornly. “There’s very little that can be done to me. Anything involving he and you would be much, much worse.”

“Edge. I know.” Her silence hushed him. He fell into a frustrated half-asleep daze that calmed and cleared after what felt like hours, then sat up. Cath was eating a sandwich. “Sorry,” she apologized. “That one was yours.” He shook his head. “It’s fine.”

She sat crosslegged, the sun tracing the edges of her body, and had taken off her sweater and threw it around her shoulders, though the wind slid her hair over her face and back and pricked her arms.

In his mind...Edge exhaled...there was nothing wrong with the world, with her life or his, and underneath the pounding of the waves, she reached over to him and drew him against her until they forgot everything in fire and tears and each others' arms. But no, his mind was not reality. Sure as the solid space between them, they were apart and would remain apart. Life stood between.

Edge sighed, and looked her for a long moment before she realized and stood up, pulling her sweater back on again. “Let’s go. I have an ultrasound today; we probably should have been at the hospital hours ago.”

Edge drove the way back to the hospital; Cath had dozed off in the passenger’s seat before they left, her face still tight and tense. Since she slept, he dared to try and massage the tension away from her shoulderblades, ignoring his body’s reactions, feeling sorry instead for Cath: she had escaped any possibility of danger and still she worried. He shook her awake when they arrived. She looked a little confused, as if she expected Bono to be there, then remembered again that Bono couldn’t come.

She felt oddly light, any worry she had had earlier in the day gone, but entering the hospital pulled her back to reality. Edge turned from her when he saw the shifting image of the child inside her, his hands balling into fists to stop the tears pricking at his eyes.

“He looks like Paul already,” Edge covered his reaction. “Big head.” Cath laughed softly.

It was his best mate’s kid, Cath his friend’s fiancée. But none of that really mattered. He turned back, wiping the heat from his eyes, and caught the amazed expression on Cath’s face.

“Please tell me you are not going to name him Bono Vox,” Edge added, his voice still slightly awed.

Cath shook her head. “Definitely not. There might be a Paul Hewson in there somewhere, though,” she continued jokingly. Edge rolled his eyes at the thought.

“No, I think I know his name,” Cath said quietly, smiling up at Edge and waving him out of the room; she had to wipe all the ultrasound goo off her stomach. He wandered back to the waiting room, feeling light, and barely noticed how long Cath stayed speaking to the doctor.

She had escaped beyond danger, and pulled him with her. It was a marvel in itself that Edge had not even thought of.

If that can happen, maybe...

...the inevitabilities of the world weren't so concrete. That he hoped, though he did not know why he was hoping.

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Old 01-23-2011, 05:13 PM   #2
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Oh, she does have a last name!
Hee. The beach again.
It's turning out well.

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Old 01-23-2011, 05:38 PM   #3
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She does indeed! Bono's just clueless.

Hehehe. The beach turns up again after this too.

Thanks! if you meant the story. Ha.
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Old 01-23-2011, 05:48 PM   #4
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Yep, that's what I meant LOL
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an cat dubh, baby bono, baby edge, boy era

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