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Old 02-13-2006, 04:53 PM   #1
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Up Close & Personal - Chapter 7

Welcome back to the slightly crazy world of Rachel and U2. This chapter is a bit weird but I enjoyed writing it anyway. Thanks again for all the comments and on we go with the fic which by the way is all fiction, dudes.


*********************


Chapter 7

I once saw a funny t-shirt in a shop that said ‘Jesus is coming. Look busy!’ I feel there should be another take on that, one that says ‘Bono is coming. Look sexy!’

Except, while it’s true Bono will be here soon, I am (sadly) not remotely sexy.

It doesn’t really matter, though, because I am having tea and biscuits with Edge and we are discussing the last tour. I’m in the middle of an impassioned speech that’s going to encompass Bono’s tight trousers, Edge’s pink shirt, Larry’s occasional singing bouts and Adam’s funky hair. Oh and I might talk about music too, if the mood takes me (which I can’t guarantee it will). Edge, to his credit, is listening with good grace (that is, he hasn’t told me to shut up yet because he’s far too nice) and even laughing at points. I’m being more myself (not sure that’s always a good thing) and we’re getting on well.

I’m getting on well with The Edge. I rock.

It’s not going to last, however, because just as I’m about to tell Edge how much I love ‘The Fly’ (see, I was getting onto the music!), the man himself arrives in Bono-form, pokes his head around the door and gives me the sort of knee-trembling smile I was dreading. How can I possibly relax now? He’ll be flirting and stuff and I’ll clam up like, well, a clammy thing.

“Edge. Rachel.” He’s quite casually dressed today, his long coat wet from the rain and his hair swept back. “How’s it going over here?”

“Fine. Though you’d got lost.” Edge looks round. The two of them exchange a smile. My mind works overtime on many levels, not all of which I am prepared to discuss with you, dear reader, much as I am fond of you.

“Never. It’s wet out there.” That, apparently, is Bono’s excuse for leaving Edge in the lurch, but apparently Edge doesn’t mind because he’s up and excusing himself while he goes down the hall to show Bono something (don’t ask me what, use your imagination!). I’m not really sure what else to do, because I’ve given Edge the number and I doubt I’ll be welcome to whatever meeting they’re having.

Just as I’m on the brink of deciding to go, Bono reappears in the doorway. “Are you okay now, Rachel?”

I nod, confused. “Yeah, fine, thanks.”

He comes and sits next to me on the sofa, in Edge’s vacated spot. My stomach is going through the mill. As much as I try to be cool and act normal, this is Bono we’re taking about and he has the ability to be sexy just from a single word or action. And it’s pretty unsettling.

“Larry told me you were attacked,” he says, looking serious.

“Oh,” I say, realisation dawning. Yeah, sometimes it takes me a while. “Yeah, some guy tried to mug me. If Larry hadn’t been there, it would have been a lot worse.” Saying that brings back the memory of being pinned against a wall, having my precious watch stolen, nearly being hit or worse by a thug. I didn’t have a nightmare about it the night after it happened, oddly, but last night my dream wasn’t particularly pleasant. Again, if Larry hadn’t been in it too, I’d have woken up screaming.

Bono seems to sense my unease, putting his hand on my arm and looking at me with a compassionate expression. I’m captured by his sincerity and concern.

“I’m truly sorry if that happened because of me, Rachel,” he tells me, and he means it, I can tell. “I realise if I’d stayed away from the coffee shop as Larry had asked, you wouldn’t have got upset and left. I came only to give him some support. He’d been a bit nervous about meeting you, you see. Understandable, seeing as you’re beautiful.”

If you thought I was blushing before with Edge, it ain’t nothing compared to the red I am sure is rising up my cheeks now. Such a sweet talker, Bono, but I’m too wise to fall for that particular line. I know it’s not true. Ignoring the compliment – I don’t deal with them well – I focus on his apology.

“It wasn’t your fault,” I reply. “It could’ve happened any time. And I’m the one who ran off like a kid. I was just being stupid, ‘cause you were there and Larry was there and I totally wasn’t prepared for it at all.”

Bono smiles. “I don’t blame you. Again, my fault. It was my idea for Larry to place the ad in the paper. I thought it was time he met someone new. Someone really good for him. Because despite the impression you might have got, I care about Larry and want him to be happy. And he’s not the kind of man to go ahead and advertise himself like that.”

“You said he was thirty, though,” I point out, after I’ve absorbed how adorable Bono is. He is, isn’t he? If I wasn’t interested in Larry, and if Bono wasn’t married… But I digress.

“Ah, yes, so I did. Well,” Bono shrugs, and it’s only now I even notice he’s taken off his coat and is wearing a blue shirt that brings out his eyes, “it was to help the advert. Obviously Larry doesn’t look his age, the bastard,” we both laugh, “but I don’t think it hurt to take a few years off. He certainly didn’t mind.”

“I’ll bet,” I smile, finding myself less tense now. Despite the fact it’s Bono, I’m still able to relax a little, I realise. Maybe it’s him. He’s good at putting people at their ease. “Well, I’ve given my number to Edge so he can pass it on to Larry. I hope I’m not making a fool of myself here.” I barely realise I’ve said that last sentence out loud until it’s too late and now Bono’s giving me a look I find unreadable. Does he agree? Am I making a fool of myself and he’s trying to decide whether to put me out of my misery?

“Rachel, I know it’s difficult to believe what other people tell you sometimes, especially if they’re people you hardly know, but I honestly am sure Larry will call you when he gets back. If there’s one thing Larry hates, it’s bullshit, and he would never have asked for your number if he didn’t intend to use it.” Even if Bono’s gorgeous voice hadn’t reassured me, the blue of his eyes burns right to my soul. And I’m not going to apologise for that line, because it’s completely true.

I shiver (for probably the hundredth time since I started encountering handsome Irish rock stars), although I’m not sure if it’s down to the idea of Larry wanting to go out with me or the fact that Bono is very close to me, his hand still on my arm, his words kind and gentle.

“Right. Um, thanks.” I give him a brief smile and am relieved when Edge comes back into the room.

“I’m afraid we should go, B. We’ve that meeting with Eno, remember.” Edge shoots me an apologetic look. “Sorry, Rachel, we don’t want to throw you out, it’s just we’re running late already, and you know whose fault that is.”

Bono holds up his hands. “Hey, Reg, don’t blame me for the busy streets of our wonderful city.” He stands up when I do and helps me on with my coat. Such a gentleman. His fingers brush my arm and I jump as if I’d been electrocuted. Turning around, I see a frown forming on his face, and I paint on a smile.

“Sorry, ticklish,” I say cheerily. “Um, right, I’ll be off then. Thanks for doing that,” I add to Edge, who nods and smiles and offers to lead me out. As we head down the corridor, I look back over my shoulder – can’t resist it, can you blame me? – and am disappointed that there is no sign of Bono. Not even a wave or anything.

Okay, why do I care? As I am sure you’re quite ready to point out to me, it’s Larry I’m interested in, not Bono. Definitely not Bono. The man is married to a lovely woman and anyway, he’s a dangerous person to get involved with, I suspect. If he can have this weird an effect on me from simple sentences and the occasional smile, I don’t think it’d take much for him to make any woman succumb.

But the thing is, I get the feeling he’s not like that. He’s happy with Ali and he doesn’t want anyone else, naturally. Certainly not me, God, if he was going to cheat it would be with some tall supermodel from France or someone.

And again – why do I care? Larry’s going to phone me when he gets back from New York! That is without a doubt the single most exciting news of my life and I need to concentrate on that. Every woman falls for Bono, it’s a strange fact of life, but it’s not every day Larry Mullen Jr. wants to arrange a date with me.

Oh God, what will I wear?

Edge, meanwhile, is busy holding doors open for me and showing me the way and I’m barely paying attention as he tries to hold a decent conversation at the same time. When we reach the reception area (Caroline still there, to my dismay), he turns to me and I feel I should apologise for being so rude. But he doesn’t look annoyed at all. He’s smiling, a small, careful smile.

“Don’t worry,” he says quietly, I assume so Caroline can’t hear. “Bono’s like that with everyone.”

“I, I’m sorry?” I put on my best ‘don’t know what you’re talking about’ expression, but apparently I am no good at those, because Edge laughs.

“It’s okay, Rachel. I know you’re thinking about Bono and feeling guilty because you like Larry – it’s okay. I just wanted to tell you not to read too much into it. Much as it pains me to say, Bono’s good at charming women and making them feel special. I’m not saying he doesn’t mean it, quite the opposite, but he also doesn’t realise how many of them I’ve spoken to at some point afterwards who really believed there was, I dunno, a spark between them. So don’t worry if you’re feeling the same.”

Cancel out all my earlier attempts at major blushing, everyone, I think I just broke the world record for the reddest-ever face in front of a rock star in a hat.

“You think I’m pathetic,” I moan, unable to reign it in, my hand over my eyes in shame.

Edge is chuckling again. “Not at all.”

“You make him sound like Casanova or something,” I mumble, and then I happen to meet Edge’s eyes and suddenly I’m laughing too, at the preposterousness of my entire situation. “Could I be any more of a cliché?” I sigh.

“Honestly, it’s only because I saw you weren’t listening to me and you’d just been in a room alone with him and well, I guess it happens.” Edge winks.

I groan. “You guys should make him wear a health warning.”

“Oh believe me, we’ve tried,” Edge replies and we laugh again. I like laughing with Edge, it’s really nice. He’s not judgmental in the slightest.

“Okay, well, now I’ve sufficiently embarrassed myself, it’s time I went home,” I say, thanking Edge as he holds open the final door. “Thanks again for taking my number.”

“Any time. I’ll see you soon, Rachel.” And then Edge is gone and I’m back outside in the damp, cold reality of Dublin. Buttoning up my coat and pulling on my hat, I take a deep breath and head for the bus stop.

Four days until Larry is home!


TBC!
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Old 02-13-2006, 06:34 PM   #2
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Yay! Can't wait to read more.
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Old 02-13-2006, 10:41 PM   #3
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Great chapter!! Yay!
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Old 02-14-2006, 12:06 AM   #4
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“You guys should make him wear a health warning.”

haha

great chapter chickadee
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Old 02-14-2006, 10:20 AM   #5
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I really like the dillemma in this... Bono being Prince Charming(or should we make that king?) himself.. and Edge trying to repair what he does.... I really think that every woman could fall for Bono... is there a possibility we could try that out??
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Old 02-14-2006, 01:37 PM   #6
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Great chapter!
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Old 02-15-2006, 01:17 AM   #7
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