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Old 12-22-2006, 08:41 PM   #1
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Learning to Fly, Part 12

The penultimate part - sorry it's a bit long!

Learning to Fly
Part 12

A day on my own, many chores to attend to, supplies to be replenished. An inner calmness which floated me through the mundane routines, colouring them with pleasure.

Tidying up the office I discovered a little sketch of Bono’s. It was a funny little biplane, trailing some sort of message across the sky. I couldn’t decipher the writing, if it was writing, so pinned the paper on the wall beside my desk.

A long, luxurious bath and a leisurely search through my wardrobe to find something to wear that wasn’t jeans. A glass of wine on the deck, watching the setting sun. Bono and Edge were coming over later and I felt the quiet satisfaction of a day well spent and an evening to look forward to.

As the daylight faded the sun’s lowering rays glinted off the windscreen of a car making an erratic progress up the track. Must be Bono behind the wheel. I went out to meet them, warm anticipation of seeing him.

And here he is, backlit by the sunset, walking towards me with his easy grace. And Edge, raising a hand to Jack as the horse called out a welcome from the shadows of the paddock.

Bono took my hands and stepped back at arm’s length. ‘You are looking particularly fine tonight,’ he said approvingly.

‘Lookin’ good, Roo,’ said Edge in passing.

‘Edge is going to do something special for us tonight,’ said Bono as we walked through to the kitchen. I looked questioningly at Edge.

‘I’m going to cook you dinner,’ announced Edge. ‘And all you will have to do is be entertained by Mr Hewson.’

‘Why, that will be wonderful,’ I smiled at Edge, caught Bono’s eye and raised an eyebrow. Bono made the tiniest shrug. What can we do?

Bono and I retired to the deck with a bottle of wine, leaving Edge in possession of the kitchen, seriously studying a recipe book. We sat on the swing seat, Bono reaching forward to pour us some wine. I noticed him wincing as he picked up the bottle.

‘What’s up Bono? You hurt yourself?’

‘Something’s out, up here,’ said Bono, rubbing his neck.

‘Let me see, turn round.’

I could feel a lot of tightness around Bono’s left shoulder and neck. ‘How about you take off your shirt, lie down and let me do something about this?’ I suggested.

‘That’s too good an offer to refuse,’ said Bono, unbuttoning his shirt and flashing me an evil grin.

‘No misbehaving,’ I told him sternly.

‘I won’t if you won’t.’

‘Just get down there and be quiet.’

‘Whatever you say,’ said Bono with mock humility.

I knelt beside him and went to work carefully, slowly, easing away the tension from Bono’s muscles. Neck and shoulders, all the muscles on either side of his spine, finding the pressure points to release the tightness. Bono sighed as relaxation spread through his body.

‘There you go,’ I said quietly.

‘That’s …,’ Bono began, and was interrupted by a crash, closely followed by a string of curses from the direction of the kitchen.

‘Everything all right, Edge? Bono called.

‘I’ve got it all under control.’ There was a definite note of desperation in Edge’s voice.

‘It’s going well,’ I giggled. Bono was shaking with laughter.

We got up. Bono put his shirt back on and settled back on the swing seat. ‘That feels all kinds of better,’ he said, fitting an arm comfortably around me. ‘What are you doing now, woman?’

‘You missed a button.’

‘Ah, yes, that does seem to happen.’

‘I’m just putting it right.’

‘Of course.’

‘Stop laughing at me!’

‘I’m not,’ Bono laughed.

‘Hold still. There, all neat and complete.’ I could feel Bono shaking with silent laughter. ‘What’s so funny?’

‘The way you boss me around, little woman.’

‘You need bossing around sometimes.’

‘You’re probably right there,’ admitted Bono, giving me a hug. ‘That’s a beautiful necklace you’re wearing tonight. What’s it made of?’

‘The little shiny stones in the chain are fire opals and this black one is obsidian.’

Bono felt the curved spike of obsidian, handling it carefully. ‘It looks delicate.’
‘No, it’s a very dense stone, very difficult to carve.’

Bono turned the stone in his fingers, light from the candles caught in the polished black surface. ‘Like it’s wearer, then.’

‘Very dense?’ I teased him.

‘Not what it appears on the surface. You seem so vulnerable sometimes, but underneath there’s a core of steel.’

This gave me pause for thought.

‘The toughness is all a front, Bono. I don’t have a heart of stone. You are more like the obsidian, I think, hard to break, almost impossible to shape.’

Bono pondered this. ‘Actually, I break quite easily,’ he said.

‘But you have your core of strength, faith, belief, that seems unshakeable. And you’re not what you appear to be on the surface, either. You seem to have layers and layers.’

‘Like an onion,’ said Bono with a grimace.

‘Which brings tears to the eyes when you try to peel it,’ I laughed.

‘I don’t like this person you’re describing very much,’ said Bono. ‘He sounds like an unfeeling bastard, really.’

‘No, no, that’s not what I meant at all - how could you think “unfeeling”? You’re a wonderful, caring person …’

‘Enough, enough! My ego will explode!’ protested Bono.

‘… and you’re clever and funny and never boring …’

Bono stopped my words with a long, lingering kiss that sent all rational thought away to dreamland.

‘If anyone’s interested, dinner is served,’ came Edge’s voice.

‘Oh, dear. Busted again,’ whispered Bono. Edge fixed him with a laser-beam glare.
‘Be right with you mate, we’re both starving,’ Bono said hurriedly.

‘Yes, I can see that,’ replied Edge drily.

Edge had set the table with candles and an exquisite spray of jasmine in the centre.

‘This is so lovely,’ I said to Edge as he handed us plates of something which definitely had pasta in it and actually smelled very good.

I could see Edge watching me with a worried little frown, but didn’t have to lie. ‘Wow, this is excellent!’

Edge’s face lit up with a wide smile. ‘It started out as chicken carbonara, but ended up as something entirely different,’ he explained.

It didn’t matter that this was the Dish With No Name, we made it disappear very quickly.

‘Larry and Adam missed out on something special tonight,’ I said.

‘They wouldn’t come,’ said Bono. ‘Larry said he’d rather eat worms.’

‘More fool them,’ I said. ‘Larry will have to eat his words, anyway.’

‘He won’t believe us,’ said Edge. ‘Larry would need to see it in writing, signed and in triplicate.’

So I got some paper and wrote:
‘Dear Larry, Edge had just cooked us a fabulous dinner. It was not burnt, contained no sand or other suspect additives, and was completely delicious. P.S. I am NOT writing this under duress. Love, Roo.’

*****

Later, and Edge was out on the deck playing his guitar to the stars, a silhouette in the moonlight. Bono was stretched out comfortably on the sofa with his eyes closed, listening or sleeping. I curled in the big armchair where I could see them both, wanting to savour every moment. They would be flying out in two days, away to Dublin, France, America. Time was precious, and it was slipping away fast.

Edge was singing a haunting melody, something about Van Dieman’s Land. Strange, how a song can pierce you, bring long-buried emotions to the surface. In that moment I was suddenly homesick for my own country, an exile, a stranger 12,000 miles from home. I lay my head on the arm of the chair as Edge’s clear voice sang me truths hard to face up to.

It seemed I was losing everything – my new friends, the man I loved, even my sense of belonging in my adopted country. The ground was not only shifting, it was turning into quicksand.

I shut my eyes, searching for a foothold.

A gentle hand on my face. Bono’s voice, low and concerned. ‘Tell me what to do, to make you feel better.’

‘Just … if you could … be here with me, for a little while …’

Bono gathered me up as easily as if I were a child, carried me to the sofa. ‘It will be alright,’ he said. ‘Whatever it is, there’s always an answer, always.’

I thought for a while, rebalancing, finding peace in the safe haven of his arms. ‘I just realised that I can’t go home again. Odd, isn’t it, to miss a place after so long?’

‘What’s to stop you going back?’

‘Fear of what I might find – how much it’s changed. My memory of it would be very different to reality, I think.’

‘Yeah, I can relate to that. Every time I go home I see huge changes. The world moves on,’ said Bono. ‘Yet change can be for the better as well.’

‘Maybe I will go back, for a visit. There really isn’t anything to stop me jumping on a plane anytime. Maybe it’s time for, what’s that buzzword? Oh, yes, closure. Time for closure.’

‘You go for it, darlin’. Make it a celebration.’

‘You’ve made your whole life a celebration, haven’t you? It’s a good philosophy to live by.’

‘Most of the time,’ Bono said with a little smile. ‘Are you back on solid ground now?’

That made my heart miss a beat – how did he always seem to know? ‘Hmm, yes, thanks to you.’

‘My pleasure,’ said Bono quaintly, kissing my hand. ‘Now, you stay right here, I’m going to make some special coffee.’

‘Sounds good,’ I smiled at him.

Edge strolled in from the deck, guitar in one hand, Effy-cat cradled in his other arm. ‘She was helping me play,’ he said. ‘But when she started to sing along I took it as a cue to stop.’

‘She does tend to get involved,’ I said apologetically.

‘What have you done with Bono?’

‘I’ve got him tied up in my wardrobe.’

Edge raised an eyebrow.

‘He’s making special coffee.’

‘Oooh. Are we celebrating something?’

‘Life, I think.’

We smiled at each other, Edge’s eyes twinkling.

Bono came back, handing us mugs of something that was one-part coffee and three-parts Irish whisky. The first sip burnt a comet-trail all the way down to my stomach, settling there in a sizzling ball. ‘Oh … shit!’ I gasped.

‘Good, isn’t it?’ said Bono proudly.

‘God’s truth,’ said Edge weakly. ‘Went a bit mad with the “special” again, mate.’

‘Reminds me of that time in Boston …’ Bono went off into a long, rambling story which became more fantastic as the Specials were consumed. Edge replied with an even more outrageous tale, embellished with frequent interruptions from Bono. My sides ached with laughter, it even half of it were true …

It was probably Bono who suggested that we should all go for a walk in the moonlight. His energy level was up in the stratosphere again, and it tended to carry along anyone in the vicinity.

‘Great idea,’ declared Edge, rising to his feet. Effy remained attached to his shirt by her claws. Edge blinked down at the cat. ‘I’m sure this should be painful,’ he said, carefully detaching her.

We made it as far as the porch, where I sat down to pull on my boots. They seemed to have grown a lot of laces and it took rather longer than it should.
I stood up to see Bono and Edge trying hard not to laugh.

‘What?’

Bono just pointed at my boots-and-skirt ensemble and burst into helpless laughter, leaning on Edge for support.

‘It’s what all the best people are wearing, don’t you know?’ I told him with as much dignity as I could muster.

The moon lit our way with a milky blue light, the night full of whispers and stealthy noises as the night-creatures went about their business. It was much darker in the bush as we felt our way alongside the stream.

I was concentrating on finding the path when Bono nearly flattened me as a harsh, ripping sound tore through the quiet darkness.

‘What the blue fuck was that?’

‘Bloody hell,’ from Edge.

‘Bono, let up, we’ll end up in the stream. It’s a possum. He’s just calling for a lady-friend.’

The awful cry sounded again, very close. Edge stepped back, tripped over a rock and sat down hard.

I got the giggles, struggling to stay upright. ‘Bono, please, ease up on the death-grip, darling man. Look, there he is, up in that tree.’ I pointed to the possum which was clinging to the tree-trunk and regarding us with huge eyes.

Bono peered up at the possum. ‘Oh. He’s quite cute really. Pity he sounds like someone throwing up.’

‘Looks like Larry after a bad night,’ observed Edge, placing a hand on a rock to lever himself upright. ‘Shit … SHIT!’

Bono renewed the death-grip. ‘What? What?’

‘This … thing …’ stuttered Edge.

‘Where?’

‘Here, by the rock.’

Next to Edge’s leg, a large insect with long feelers and serrated legs stood poised for attack.

‘It’s a weta,’ I managed between giggles. ‘Don’t touch him, Edge. Best to back away slowly.’

‘It looks like one of Geiger’s aliens,’ said Edge, inching away from the weta. The insect tracked Edge’s movements with it’s alien head, began to advance towards him. Edge backed up fast.

‘That’s one mean-looking beastie,’ said Bono respectfully.

‘Got a lot of attitude,’ I said. ‘Best we leave him in peace.’

‘So all the time we were sleeping on the beach, we could have been attacked by wetas?’ asked Edge as we continued onward.

‘Well, they normally keep to the bush. It’s the katipos you have to watch out for on the beach.’

‘Katipos?’

‘Spiders.’

‘As in large, hairy and poisonous?’ said Edge with a slight shudder.

‘Small, hairy and mildly poisonous. We don’t have any really deadly beasties in New Zealand.’

‘They just look and sound deadly,’ remarked Bono.

‘There’s something else I’d like you to see, if I can find them. Not hairy or deadly or loud, but we have to be very quiet. Ah, yes, here we are.’ I turned off the track between some massive boulders which formed a small cave. Bono and Edge followed, doing their best to stay quiet.

I ducked under an overhanging rock and stopped. Before us, hanging in the cave like fairy lights, hundreds of tiny sparks.

Bono bumped into me in the darkness. ‘Sorry, what’s …’ and all the lights went out. I placed a finger over Bono’s lips in a ‘quiet’ gesture and as we stood silently the lights gradually reappeared. In the blackness of the cave it was almost like being in space, surrounded by star clusters.

Someone scraped a foot over the rocky floor which was enough to turn out the lights once more. We ducked out of the cave again and back onto the trail.

‘Glow-worms.’ I explained to Bono and Edge about the larvae hanging on sticky threads like bright strings of pearls.

I decided not to mention the cave wetas.

Back at the house and Edge had sobered up enough to drive safely. ‘Thank you so much for our wonderful dinner,’ I said, giving Edge a quick hug. ‘Sorry you were menaced by a weta.’

‘I won’t be forgetting him in a hurry,’ said Edge with a rueful shake of his head. ‘Or the glow-worms, they were special.’

‘Or the bloody possum,’ said Bono. ‘See you tomorrow, yeah?’

‘I’ll be there. Thought I might wear the boots and dress again, what do you think?’

Bono grinned. ‘I think Adam may approve. Personally, I find the flying suit sexy.’ he informed me.

‘So sexy it made you throw up, as I recall,’ I said.

‘Hell of a first impression, wasn’t it?’ said Bono with a laugh.

‘Hm. Do you do that to all the women you want to impress, then?’

‘Only the ones who’ve been hanging me upside-down in an aeroplane for half an hour.’

I giggled. ‘Must be lots of them …’

‘Go to bed, you wicked woman.’ Bono gave me a hug and kissed my cheek. ‘Night.’

‘Night, sleep tight.’
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:04 PM   #2
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Wohooo Part 12. Thank you! Thank you!

Another fine installment....

Good Gawd, Bono is the master of torture: ""Bono stopped my words with a long, lingering kiss that sent all rational thought away to dreamland.""
Poor Roo... how on Earth can she cope with this hot and cold treatment - and then the final surrender to coldness when he leaves in 2 days?
It seems terribly terribly unfair.

Ahh... sweet, slow torture..

I eagerly await the next part... but I fear it is the last....
How then, shall I cope? Like Roo I will be left... longing... knowing that which I have come to love is not with me. Oh my darling story... don't leave me...
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Old 12-22-2006, 10:25 PM   #3
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Poor Bono too, he's struggling with his demons of desire and guilt and trying so hard to keep his integrity … but sometimes love shatters rationality and leaves them both helpless in the face of it.

I hope Bono hasn't come across as cold and uncaring - it's very easy to write a sexy, flirtatious Bono but much harder to dig deeper and uncover the hidden layers of the character. Of all the characters in the story, Bono was most difficult to write, constantly challenging me in his twisty, turning way. Next time I'll write a story about Edge. He was much easier ...
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Old 12-22-2006, 10:50 PM   #4
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All hail Queen Effanbee!!! Ruler of the fanfic!!!!

Wow....this is better than ANY Christmas present!!! Can't wait for the next bit!! No mucking around now!!!!!
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Old 12-23-2006, 05:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Effanbee
Poor Bono too, he's struggling with his demons of desire and guilt and trying so hard to keep his integrity … but sometimes love shatters rationality and leaves them both helpless in the face of it.

I hope Bono hasn't come across as cold and uncaring - it's very easy to write a sexy, flirtatious Bono but much harder to dig deeper and uncover the hidden layers of the character. Of all the characters in the story, Bono was most difficult to write, constantly challenging me in his twisty, turning way. Next time I'll write a story about Edge. He was much easier ...
No, Bono had definitely not come across as cold and uncaring... I think he is definitely layered... (like the onion in the chapter, hah). I think it's slightly naive to blame Bono - I guess I perhaps came across that way even. But I think it's part and parcel of the fact that Roo is the only character who's true motivations we have access to as it's told in first person. The other characters retain a greater sense of mystery, and though their actions are superbly described, we just don't know whats truely going on in their headspace.

I think you've done a wonderful job capturing him... (and them) Don't you dare run off to Edge now... {{sorry die-hard Edgers}}).

I think this chapter is very interesting - there are lots of little pieces which take the piece up a notch, and seemingly have dual meaning and perhaps even some foreshadowing.


ie:

Yeah, I can relate to that. Every time I go home I see huge changes. The world moves on,’ said Bono. ‘Yet change can be for the better as well.’

And this part:
‘You’ve made your whole life a celebration, haven’t you? It’s a good philosophy to live by.’

‘Most of the time,’ Bono said with a little smile. ‘

I could see that smile in my head - and perhaps it wasn't the smile you were intending, but it was a slightly uneven smile like it was perhaps meant to reach further, but another thought mid-way stopped it - and it's wistful, contemplative... there's a hint of sadness behind it.

Oh yeah, to end on a less serious point - in the glow worm cave I was like KISS... dammit KISS.. right there, right next to Edge, he can't see you in the dark.. go for it in a serious way.
Bad me...
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Old 12-23-2006, 10:19 AM   #6
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ROO GO KIDNAP HIM AND KEEP HIM IN THE CLOSET!!!!!!!!











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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 12-23-2006, 05:39 PM   #7
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BDO, that's just how I imagined Bono's smile when I wrote it! We must be on the same wavelength

Roo has much more self-control than I would have, Galeongirl! Bono would be bound and gagged and in my damn closet in a nanosecond and

Ahem. Back to reality. Going to give my glorious horse (aka Jack in the story) his Chrisse present, then will post the final part. Don't hate me for this ...
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:55 PM   #8
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Hmmm... great minds think alike, hey?
Or... possibly deranged minds think alike?

Mwhahahah....


Oh no... the last part. Good that we get a new installment, bad that it's the last...
Bittersweet.

I don't think there is anyway you can get away with not posting the sequel.....
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Old 12-23-2006, 08:16 PM   #9
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knelt beside him and went to work carefully, slowly, easing away the tension from Bono’s muscles. Neck and shoulders, all the muscles on either side of his spine, finding the pressure points to release the tightness. Bono sighed as relaxation spread through his body.
********************************

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