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Old 05-06-2011, 06:05 PM   #1
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Out Of Control 37

Phoenix's confusing behavior, check. Isaac's motivation, check. Ciarán's apathy, check. Phoenix and Seamus' plan, check. Everyone else's plan, check. Police, check. Everything else, still to go in the next chapter or two.

There's maybe...3? 4? 5? Possibly even up to 7 chapters left, but that includes some Joshua Tree recording. I have plans for the song 'Exit,' oh yes. But this will likely be finished relatively soon.


Earlier in the day
Phoenix looked warily over at Seamus, who had broken off from a heated, purposely quiet argument with Marcus. Marcus had left, slamming the door behind him, creating long streaks of light through the shadows of the abandoned building with that brief glimpse of freedom. She could hear Ciarán carefully picking little flecks of plaster from the hole in the wall, in the silence. Isaac was out for the count again, his pain muted by wary eyes that didn’t focus on any of them; he watched the door.

After a moment, Isaac followed wherever Marcus had gone, leaving Phoenix alone with Seamus and the busy Ciarán. Her heart thudded; she still didn’t trust Seamus an inch, for some reason.

The man sprang up instantly when Isaac left, paused for a moment where he stood, looking over at Phoenix who glared ever so slightly and then over at Ciarán. There was still escape-hope in Ciarán’s eyes, sunk somewhere underneath but no longer surfacing. He pressed his eye against the little crack in the wall with the faint impossible idea that maybe he could see outside.

Phoenix, however, still had the escape-energy within her that made it hard to sit still. Humming under her veins was the alternately confusing message: Wait wait WAIT you can’t leave yet. When Seamus slid the heavy bolt from the door she practically ran over, almost colliding with it, stopping her motion with her hands against the wood, her eyes wide.

“You’re able to leave?” she asked him in an undertone. He sighed.

“You can leave and you didn’t let him?” she said more harshly, then glanced over. Ciarán had slid down from the crack in the wall, his head buried motionlessly against skinny arms.

His hand stilled on the bolt. “If I let him,” Seamus said seriously to her narrowed eyes, “I can’t guarantee he’d live. That’s the thing about him. Marcus.”

She still looked at him suspiciously, though she’d gained a question in her mind. “Marcus? Not Isaac?” Phoenix asked.

Seamus nodded, then looked at her with equal suspicion. “How did you know their names?” He clearly wasn’t telling her anything until one was convinced the other was trustworthy.

She laughed briefly, internally. How did she, indeed. She wasn’t sure. She’d heard Marcus’ when Seamus mentioned it, but that was it.

“But why Marcus? Isaac’s the worse of the two,” Phoenix said, her heart thudding again.

Seamus’ gaze had turned to sharp curiosity, then something dawned on his face. Before he could mention whatever it was he realized, Phoenix saw again his stilled hand on the door. She motioned at it, the corner of her mouth turning up: she doubted he would actually go outside and risk her escape.

He opened the heavy door for such a brief photographic instant that only the two of them slipped out. Seamus could only stop one at a time from leaving, if he had any intention to stop them at all.

Phoenix blinked incredulously at the sunlight, very aware of the fact that she could leave. She could. In fact…she weighed the size of her fist against his stance and body, and resisted the urge to just hit him and be gone. Very aware of her two feet planted on the cement, as she looked with an expectant sun-blinded squint over at him.

Yes? I’m not leaving. Have it your way, bastard. What is it you were going to tell me?

“I’ve seen you before,” Seamus said slowly. She bit back anything sarcastic or affirmative she might have said—none of it made sense. He squinted back, a strange expression on a powerful man.

Seamus Fairleigh, Shay-muss, not cousin’s-friend’s-da; she was not Phoenix. Phoenix had only seen him once.

SEAMUS. He didn’t have a last name within family. Standing above her staring expectantly pocket knife flashing like a smile in his hand. Not moving still. No man locked within the unsteady eyes.

“You did didn’t you”, he said without yelling. “What the fuck did you do to Isaac?”

She stood where she was, crossing her arms that burned. Blood on her shirt. She was used to blood by now. Not of his causing. No herself staring indignantly from her eyes. Though her mind screamed.
Whatdidhedotome what did he do to me, you mean, Seamus.

“And who the fuck is this other kid! This Hewson.”

“But I haven’t—“

“I don’t believe you”. Sharp light reflection in his hand getting closer.

A little shadow of not-Phoenix stared at Seamus wide-eyed in fear of what he might say. She kept that anger tucked inside and ignored it. It was not hers.

“I don’t remember when.” He meant, it had been from those drink-muddled years when all his actions seemed like they’d come from an extension of himself that wasn’t him. A phantom limb of himself. But he’d only seen a glimpse of her, he thought with relief. It wasn’t anyone he’d ever hurt. Why the fuck was she so mad at him?

She ignored him. “Why. Would Marcus. Kill him.” Still glaring.

“Because Marcus doesn’t care what happens to him,” Seamus said reasonably, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. “You see, Isaac has this notion…”


“The mistaken idea that Ciarán isn’t who he is.”

“I don’t understand. Who does he think he is?”

“He thinks Ciarán is his son.”

She wasn’t prepared for that. The little angry fire at the pit of her stomach gripped her wholly.

That’s not possible. She knew. She’d thought agonizingly, wondered and—no.

“He’s not,” Phoenix said surprisingly vehemently, noticing Seamus’ lack of surprise.

“You knew he wasn’t,” she stated. “Why didn’t you tell the both of them?”

“I don’t know what Isaac is planning to do,” Seamus said seriously.

“If I told Isaac the truth, there would be nothing stopping him from stopping Marcus killing him. It’s been close, a couple times.” Something shadowed his eyes. “Before you arrived. Now it just seems like they’re…plotting something.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Phoenix asked suddenly. Besides survival. Survival didn’t hinge on her knowing this. And she was pretty sure Seamus didn’t give a shit about her.

“You haven’t left,” he pointed out. “You could have.”

Her eyes inadvertently trailed towards the door and invisibly, back inside. No, she couldn’t leave. Seamus’ brow furrowed.

“Someone needs to know. And the kid shouldn’t. He’s been bad enough lately. Stopped even looking when anyone left. He doesn’t fight against anything Marcus or Isaac do. He won’t listen to anything I say. He’s just…gone.” Seamus shook his head then. “He’s in there somewhere. It would be worse if he knew there was a possibility he might die.”

“Maybe…” Phoenix began tentatively. “Maybe that’s the point.” After all, there was no way, Seamus had said himself, that they could all leave in one piece. He had the ability to, almost had the ability to let them. But he didn’t have control over any of their deaths.

“It was tomorrow we were going to escape,” Seamus said suddenly, defiantly refusing that thought she had begun. And then a different thought began. He looked over at her in question. For a moment she forgot she was anything but Phoenix, and then forgot everything but the little spark of purpose planted inside her that urged her to say, “Yes.”

“I would. I would help you both.”

She knew they might be killed in the attempt, didn’t she? Seamus asked.

She nodded, something burning in her expression. It didn’t matter. And he in return didn’t question her statement, that she would take Isaac if he took Marcus.

After all, Isaac in comparison was harmless. Harmless.

Biding his time. Waiting there behind cloud-shielded eyes, something behind the planned uncoordination. The eerily precise way he could stumble, exaggerate his lack of sight. And when his eyes would focus too-quick on any disruption or sudden sound. His sudden occasional smooth movement as he opened the door and left all too easily.

Waiting. His eyes burning within and without. Biding his time. Harmless.

All afternoon, she looked at Isaac out of the corner of her eye when he returned, a sick feeling spreading through her stomach, giving her a nauseous weightlessness. The hair on her arms prickled madly but she ignored it. He was just that kind of man.

She refused the mental images crowding her mind when she saw him. Fortunately, her mind grew cool and silent where before those disturbances had been: he looked different now.

But she wasn’t all fooled. At one point he looked in her direction, straight into her eyes. As if he knew what she was thinking. Suspicious. She inwardly pleaded for him not to be; it would make this harder.

She imagined even laying a fingertip on his skin. Her stomach flipped in disgust. The afterimages of his fever-blue eyes still blinked over her own vision like little sunspots, equally sickening.

She shoved those thoughts away and tried to think of him as not-a-man. Just an empty shell Isaac-named. Nothing complicated or bad inside that shell. Totally disconnected from the Isaac of eight years ago. Severed from him with a little snap of one man dying another beginning. The blood on-his-hip-on-her-shirt-on-her-hands-on-the-floor-in-the-past washing away with those difficult thoughts.

He did look like he was plotting something, though his hands betrayed that notion, fleetingly gripping his temples as again he winced.

Distracted, was he? In pain? She could use that against him. It would make it easier. Come up behind him, keep him guessing for a while. What’s wrong with your head, Isaac? Pretending to help. When he moved, he would be too offbalance. She would keep him still.

Perhaps it would have to go further than that, Phoenix thought, and looked at the wall, her face twisting. She hoped not. What she really wanted to do was opposite. She wanted to take him by that malformed head, fingers slipping into the smooth indent at the back of his skull and knock it forward into the wall. No tears coming to his eyes, only the inability to speak. Or to do anything to her or anyone else.

She was getting prepared nonetheless, spurred on by Ciarán’s total unresponsiveness. She looked over at Seamus, who caught her eye and nodded. He began to move towards Marcus, not in any suspicious way. As if he wanted to talk about something.

She wondered, with a knowledge she shouldn’t have, if Seamus still had that knife. It would be useful now.

She stayed totally still for a little longer than she should, her heart sliding. Her palms sweated and a fever-brightness burst in her head with the pain of seeing Isaac’s eyes and trying not to know him for what he was. Her thoughts became a cacophony of indecision. She pushed the heels of her hands against the floor, however, about to stand up and walk over to him.

But in that moment, everything changed. It happens sometimes. Her motion and intentions were interrupted by something totally unexpected. The axis of the near future creaked and turned into a completely different outcome.

An odd hard sound. Seamus’ mouth closed while Marcus peered at the other man, wondering why he had suddenly gone silent.

“S’un a’ th….” Isaac muttered, then looked up alertly and said more coherently, “Some’un at th’ door.”

Seamus shot a wild glance of confusion at Phoenix that she returned and went over to press his ear against the wood. “Nothing,” he said hopefully, folding his arms. The sound of footsteps came again, hard and complete as gunshots. Ciarán’s eyes rose over his folded arms, peeked over at the door, for a moment powerfully wondering. What was happening? Nothing any of them had planned.

Marcus said in irritation, “the fuck’s gotten into ya, Seamus?” and without further ado, Seamus cracked open the door, his eyes desperate sparks when Phoenix saw them. Her heart still hammered slowing wings at the realization that whatever she really did not want to have to do had just been interrupted.

Marcus came and stood beside Seamus, the trust slipping from his face when Seamus shoved him hard against the wall, and something beyond Phoenix’s hearing occurred. She blinked when someone put a hand over Seamus’ mouth and eventually released him; Isaac moved forward, Phoenix slumping back in relief, and pulled from the doorway a woman. A woman with red hair and a look of recognition.

The rejoicing within Phoenix that Isaac was already being distracted by something else—and not her—sunk instantly when she realized that something was Ruth.

She couldn’t warn Ruth if Seamus wasn’t doing anything about Marcus. Marcus was still a problem.

The aftereffects of Phoenix’s dizzy relief meant that she could focus her eyes briefly on the lie that was Isaac. She saw something metallic in his back pocket. She tried to look at Seamus, to communicate it to him. but Seamus was still busy cursing at his own stupidity.

Harmless, waiting, biding-his-time Isaac. Eight years had slipped back and he changed.


Eve had the sense to call Ali and Bono and tell them to come with her. Then, with the tentative fingers of something she hadn’t sensed for awhile, she suspected she should call Oisín. She found a directory and called his house.

“Oisín?” Eve asked a little awkwardly, hesitantly. She had accused him of arson, after all. Though she knew now she had been wrong. “This is Eve. Ruth’s sister. Is Ruth there?”

He laughed a little harshly, remembering their meeting a few days ago, and she felt bad. “No, no she isn’t,” he said equally calmly, however, in a smooth voice. “She hasn’t been here since morning. She might be getting her stuff from Phoenix’s place.”

“No-one’s there. Phoenix is gone, Mark’s in the hospital.”

“Gone? On tour of some sort?”

Eve rolled her eyes. “Gone wherever Ciarán is. Did Ruth say where she was going?”

“N…” Oisín put a hand over the phone, and she could hear conversation of some sort. He was back again, because she could hear cut off swearing. In Gaelic furthermore.

“Friend of yours…Lawrence…said he intercepted her getting lost. That she was clearly upset about something, trying to find somewhere…someone…shit. Isaac,” he ended in a whisper.

“Lawrence?” Eve asked, clutching the phone. “Mullen? The drummer? Is he there?”

“He is.” Her heart squeezed through the phone. She couldn’t speak to ask why, or when he was coming back.

“I’m going to try to find wherever she went.”

“What the f—what kind of crazy idea is that?” she heard. Larry’s voice. Her mouth went dry.


“Please do,” Oisín said beyond the phone, clear longing in his voice. “You don’t know how utterly (mutter mutter, Gaelic swearing) that man is. She needs to get the fuck out of there and so does everyone else.”

“Lar, will you and Oisín come to Bono and Ali’s place and…”

“Help you on your search?” His voice wasn’t judgmental at all. In fact, she could tell very little what emotion he was experiencing, though she was dying on the inside to figure out what was running through his mind. Did he feel bad at all that he’d been gone for days? When people had just been disappearing with no warning? Did he miss her at all?


“Of course. But we’ll need the police, too, Eve. I have a feeling you’re right about this, and so is Oisín.”

They both remained on the line for a few moments.

“Thank you,” she said quietly, unable to ask the questions clamoring inside of her. His presence would be enough. She’d find out why he’d left later.

“I’m sorry,” Larry said fervently as if to dispel everything that had happened. “I love you, Eve. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

“We should,” Eve said, when she’d put the phone back on the hook, the energy seeping back into her body. Bono and Ali looked at her, almost like one being—in a way, in their determination to find Ciarán and figure this all out, they seemed much closer than they should be given everything that happened—and with slightly confused expressions.

“We should call the police,” Eve explained. “That’s what Lar said.”

“Sensible Larry,” Ali laughed quietly, though in the back of her mind that echoed someone else. Adam, who’d decided to step out of this mess and avoid bothering her or Bono or the rest until everything was dealt with. Again, she looked at Bono so close, her husband, right next to her, his tired eyes, the sureness in his face, the sleep-mussed hair and clothing. Wondering about him. Why she still felt so attached to him.

“We can call them if we think we’ve found the place,” Eve said, suddenly doubtful.

“From where?”

“There’ll be somewhere. There are phones in most places nowadays.”

“Okay. One of us will stay at the location to see if anyone leaves and judge the situation, and someone else will go and call the police if that happens.”

“God…” Eve bit her lip, looking at the singer and his wife, wondering how they both could trust in her erratic, sometimes faulty ability that shouldn’t even be possible.

“I’ve realized something,” Bono upspoke quietly, close to Ali’s face, though he looked at her and Eve. His voice was that of a man at peace. Deceptive almost. Ali knew the current turmoil lurking beneath that. He was a mess. He would be a mess even if everything worked out.

“In some way,” he continued, “everything will be alright.” He looked down at Ali, saying quietly, “It feels like so much has been taken from me. It’s not everything.” His voice pained. He buried his face against her skin. She might or might not have heard the rest, or it may have been an echo of another time. You’re still here, and I love you, even when everything else goes wrong. Definitely unsaid, the betraying thought he sometimes had, forgetting who it was about sometimes. I love you it’s you I love not anyone else, not as much. It would hurt, but he would be able to survive, if anything happened to Ciarán.

He just would be in pieces the rest of his life.

Ali couldn’t agree with that idea—she felt almost the opposite. Bono came and went. He was a sure existence. She hadn’t been able to have children with him yet, didn’t know if she was still as attached to him as she once had been. It would hurt far worse than anything if the other constant, the boy she considered her son, was dead.

Eve let them have their silent moment, the first to wait outside the hotel to wait for Lar and Oisín to arrive. The Ruth-sense pattered impatiently and scared, like running footsteps, under everything else. They had to hurry.

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Old 05-07-2011, 03:11 PM   #2
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YES! Finally, they spring into action! I mean, they have to get there quickly, I have a feeling someone's going to get seriously hurt if help doesn't arrive.
Isaac is like terrifying the heck out of me. :P
Er, about time someone in the band turned up... Larry made a cameo in the other chapter, but I missed Bono... ah, don't mind me.

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Old 05-07-2011, 06:58 PM   #3
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I know right? and someone is if help doesn't arrive, you're right. There's not much left to this story...

He's scaring me even more D: I have to try and think about his reasoning in order to write the next chapter...

Bono's been having too much time in the story in general he's more in the background until perhaps Ciarán gets free. Adam's trying not to complicate things, and Edge is off back in the desert trying to work on music; he figured there wasn't much he could be doing to help since what would happen would happen...
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Old 05-08-2011, 07:45 PM   #4
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Edge is a smart man. Musically oriented even when everyone else is unfocused. He's probably recording all the bests riffs too...
Yeah, I figured Bono would be kept out of it for a bit, but stupidly I start going "YAY!" upon each mention.
Ah, help's arriving now. We should be good.
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:14 PM   #5
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XD It makes him seem like such a jerk, but really, someone has to be making music!

Honestly, I'm almost getting tired of writing Bono. This one I've got here, I mean. I want to yell at him. Therefore he's been kind of out of the spotlight because I already have to deal with one guy I'm not enjoying writing (Isaac).

Next chapter'll be in a couple days. I think. I started writing it and just got freaked out. It's a difficult one.
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:28 PM   #6
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That makes me think someone doesn't make it.
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:52 PM   #7
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Not saying anything.

Except that the difficulty isn't exactly what you think, Grace; it's that I have to write about Isaac again, and I've gotten so far into that mind of his that he freaks me out almost as much as if he existed. So it's hard to write about him. Especially since he's being scary. It's been a couple months since I've had to really think about his motives.

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1986, ali, bono, joshua tree era, larry, out of control

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