Mysterious Ways - Chapter 16

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that follows U2.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Rock n' Roll Doggie FOB
Dec 18, 2005
in a humid place
Okay, finally I was able to get something done. It might be a bit disjointed as you can tell when I hit a roll and when I struggled. I wanted to get more down before posting, but it was getting long.

I am the proud owner of (RED) iPod Nano but not these people.

Dinner at Bono’s was very casual. Steaks and chicken with roasted vegetables. It was surprisingly good. Wine flowed from his wine cellar all night. Gloria was careful to sip slowly as he was quick to refill her glass with an impish grin. The laughter echoed out the opened French doors to the water. Even Larry was in decent spirits. The wine helped. Larry felt his anger slowly lift like fog. He wasn’t ready to come out of himself, but he no longer felt he could break someone’s neck at a moment’s notice.

They all retired to the living room with brandy. Gloria and Paul went over the schedule for the Australian tour. Paul talked financials. As the moon climbed in the sky, Adam, Paul and Larry left to get a good night’s sleep. Gloria sat with Bono and Edge to go over the onslaught of positive press they would need to do for Spiderman once back in New York. There were interviews with 60 Minutes and several local newspapers. .

“Presales have been strong,” Gloria said. “I think people are getting excited.”

“We’ve been rehearsing ‘Boy Falls From Sky’. We might pull it out at one of the last shows,” Bono said.

“There still some concern over the safety issues surrounding the aerial stunts,” she said.

“With practice, they’ll work out,” Bono said dismissively,

Around midnight, Edge wandered home. Gloria steeled herself as she and Bono went over the plans for World AIDs Day. It’s not as if he wasn’t trying as he bent close over her shoulder. Music played low in the background.

“Another glass of wine?” he asked.

“Oh no,” she said. The scent of him was driving her crazy. She looked around the house to remind herself that this didn’t belong to her.

“Come on,” he took her hand to pull her to her feet. “Let’s dance.”

She resisted. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

He cocked one eyebrow. “One dance? What could it hurt?”

She shook her head with a laughing knowing exactly what one dance can lead to. “One dance.”

He didn’t pull her too tight. He chatted amiably about the dance album they were working on. One dance turned to two and three. The chatting stopped and he pulled her closer to hum in her ear. As she felt herself flush, she stiffened her arms against his shoulders.

“I should go. It’s late,” her voice was barely a whisper.

He touched her cheek. “Glory.”

She looked at him sternly. “Not in this house. Never in this house. Enough about this wrong, I won’t do this in her home.”

Eyes wide, he nodded in agreement. He glanced around the room at the family photos. Gloria was right.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered. “I wasn’t thinking straight.”

She pressed her palm to his cheek. “I know. It’s okay. I should go.”

Wordlessly, he watched her gather her things into her briefcase. They walked silently to the front door. For what seemed an eternity, they stared at one another.

“Can I come with you?” he asked weakly.

She gave him a weary smile. “Not tonight. I need to get some sleep.”

He was disappointed, but understood. “I’ll miss you.”

“Me too. See you tomorrow,” she hugged him quickly and slipped out the door before she changed her mind.

Bono turned to his large empty house. The kitchen was littered with wine glasses and dirty dishes. Rolling up his shirt sleeves, he went to work rinsing off the plates before loading his dishwasher. They would be leaving early tomorrow, and he didn’t leave to leave this mess for his housekeeper. He listened for the phone or the door, hoping she’d change her mind. Nothing but the music from another room to keep him company. With a heavy head and heart, he turned off all the lights and trudged upstairs to bed. He found no comfort in his bed. He felt like it didn’t belong to him anymore. He lived in this house for years and years but tonight, he was a stranger in this home. The bed was lumpy and cold. He looked at indentation where Ali slept. She would be still be up in New York. He considered ringing her, but knew it would only make him feel worse. The last time they spoke, she was distracted. He too was distracted. They hastily declared their love before hanging up. Usually he would be bothered by her distance. It happened every tour. She would pull away a little as he was off touring the world. She had the kids and her life to focus on. And she was fairly satisfied. It was up to Bono to make his case at the end of each leg of the tour. He would have to woo his way back into her arms and attention. Today, he didn’t have the energy. He considered sleeping in a guest room as he was uncomfortable in his room. The sheets were scratchy. The shadows haunted him. When he closed his eyes, he could smell Gloria. He remembered her bedroom on the top floor of her flat with it’s eaves and skylights. Her queen sized bed was cozy, and her sheets cool. Though it had only been three nights, they settled beside one another as if they had not stepped away at all. He grabbed his pillow and wrapped his arms around it. He drifted off pretending the sea below was her heart next to his.

By the second show in Spain, Larry didn’t feel as angry. One morning, he woke with a smile on his face. He started to think about his future. That day, he watched Gloria with fresh eyes. He was truly single. He didn’t have to worry about Ann. She had done what they both said they would do - she moved on. Larry decided that it was his turn. He was finally ready to move forward. However, time was not on his side anymore. The tour had wasted away without his being able to do anything. Being detail oriented, he needed a plan and he needed time to execute that plan. He resolved that there was not much he could do until the Australian tour. They would have close to a month in a beautiful country that held a special place for them. Now, he just had to prove to her that he wasn’t a sullen asshole that hated her. He knew that she felt the full force of his moods and even blamed herself. He regretted that deeply.

His elevated mood wasn’t lost on his band and tour mates. Adam and Edge were just happy to have the wisecracking practical joking Larry back. Gloria did notice that he was a little more pleasant to be around, but was very preoccupied with her own thoughts and work. Bono, however, took note that Larry wasn’t taking off for home as often. In fact, he noticed that the calls from Ann had all but stopped. This made him nervous. What could happen if Larry was no longer with Ann? Would he pursue Gloria again? What could Bono say? Behind closed doors with Gloria’s adoring eyes on him, Bono had no fears or doubts.

In Portugal, Bono never slept in his hotel room. Away from his home, he was able to be with Gloria the way he longed. He was given an extra key. Both nights, he was in her room before she was. The first night, she was ten minutes behind him. Without a word, he kissed and removed her clothing. He waited 3 long days and nights to feel her skin on his. After unleashing their bottled desires, they were sprawled on her bed panting. Bono wiped his damp forehead with the back of his hand. She stared down at the new lines on his face. He shuddered as her fingertip traced the scar on his chin.

“This has really faded,” she said.

“It’s been over 20 years,” he smiled.

She kissed it. “God, I used to dream about that scar. It’s hard to see under all this scruff. Did you forget how to shave?”

“I did shave baby, I’m just so much of a man it grows back immediately,” he winked.

The following night, Gloria watched the concert from the security pit. Their night together energized Bono. Having her eyes watch him excited him. He was counting the moments when they would slip away from the after-parties and into each other’s arms.

“In honor of the welcome you gave us last night and are giving us tonight, we would play something we’ve never played before. This could be interesting,” he adjusted his green guitar. “This is “Boys Fall From the Sky.”

Larry and Bono bounded off the stage arm in arm. They both beamed as Gloria stood in the hallway. Edge was the first to wrap his arm around her and walk her out. It was rare that the band didn’t board a plane when there was no show the next night. There was an air of celebration as the tour was ending as crew and band milled about the hotel bar for the first drink of the night.

After a dinner of rich Portuguese food, they trickled into a drag night club. A tall queen with bulging muscles pulled Bono up on stage to sing a duet of ‘Summer Wine’ with him. It was fairly cringe-worthy. The queen crawled over him, unbuttoning Bono’s shirt to touch his chest. On the surface, Bono was gracious and laughed hamming it up for the cat calling gay men and tour personnel. Inside, he felt a little violated. After the performance, they made a hasty escape to an underground dance club. After a few glasses of wine, Bono stood and announced that he thinking of moving on. That was usually Gloria’s cue to leave as well. After a few twists and turns, Bono slipped out of the club and unto the quiet streets. He pulled his jacket closer as he quickly made his way to Gloria’s room. He knew their time was ticking by too fast. Soon, he’d be back in New York. She’d be there too, perhaps. But they would be a world away.

He sat on her bed and waited. Ten minutes passed. He decided to get naked and slip under her sheets. Another ten minutes passed. He remembered that she was talking with Larry when he last saw her - right before he left. Where was she? He started to worry. What is she was jumped on the way home? What was Larry talking with her about? He looked intense, but it didn’t look particularly private. However after several drinks, maybe that wouldn’t matter to him. His heart rate quickened as panic began to set in. His mind went to dark places - like Gloria and Larry kissing in the dark club.

Finally, he heard the click of the door. Her eyes searched for him - and found him in her bed. He wasn’t smiling - but looked upset?

“Sorry. Larry and Adam were chewing my ear off about Andrew producing a record. It was the strangest conversation I’ve had,” she placed the Do Not Disturb on the door. She spied the pile of clothes at the foot of the bed.

“I was starting to panic that something happened to you,” he pouted.

She smiled at the sight. This petulant boy with his arms crossed - naked in her bed. “I’m here now.”

He was just happy that the awful vision he had moments earlier was not close to being true. She was undressing before him to envelop him in her warmth. How could he go days without this?

“Oh babe,” he whispered into her flesh.

All night, they giggled as they heard various members of the tour stumbling down the hall. The morning felt particularly harsh. Burying his head in her pillow, he pulled her closer.

“You should think about heading to your room. We’ve been lucky no one has caught you leaving my room,” she caressed his arm.

He groaned. “I’m so comfortable here.”

“I know but people are going to be getting up soon,” she kissed his forehead.

“I wish you weren’t so practical,” he kissed her deeply before coaxing her into a hot shower.

Eventually, Bono pulled himself away Gloria. He looked at his crisp bed. He hadn’t even sat on the edge of it in the last few days. He glanced at his watch. The plane would be leaving in a few hours to take them back to France. They had one more show before hiatus. He would be a dad again He would need to be a husband again. How was he going to wrap his head around that? It wasn’t like before. Things went much deeper this time. He tossed his bag on the bed to start throwing his clothes inside. He figured e should probably change his clothes before people started asking questions. He wondered if anyone had noticed that he and Gloria disappeared from the party. Usually by that time, everyone was seeing double and losing track of people.

Bono and Gloria knew this was coming. It was eventually going to happen. A day after going home to southern France, Bono, Edge and Gloria were flying to Paris for an Edun event. They would be meeting Ali there - fresh from Dublin. The plane ride was quiet. Bono stared out the window at the white clouds below. He could barely bring himself to look at Gloria. She was her usual jovial self mainly because Edge was there. Bono could see the pain behind her beautiful blue eyes when their gaze caught. He wanted to pull her close and tell it was going to be okay, but he didn’t know how it would be. How was he going to feel when he saw Ali? After long periods apart hugging Ali was like coming home. Yet with Gloria the last few weeks, he felt home. He didn’t feel lost or twisting in the wind just waiting for Ali to calm him down. He felt lost sitting in that leather first class airline seat. He was sure he would explode sitting next to Gloria in the car to the hotel. He felt the heat of her leg against his. Her eyes were vacant as she scanned the buildings pass her by. Here she was in the most romantic city in the world with her lover and his wife. It was a bad movie, she told herself. In the airport, she quietly excused herself to the bathroom to vomit. Her stomach was tight as they pulled in front of the posh hotel. Unlike the tour hotels, there were no fans or photographers standing outside. No one knew they were there. Taking a deep breath, Bono opened the door and climbed out. Instinctively, he turned to help Gloria out of the car. His eyes lingered on her face a few moments as he unconsciously gave her hand a gentle squeeze. After a weak smile, she dropped his hand and brushed past him quickly.

Ali waited in the lobby for them. Bono forgot how pretty she was. Stylish in all black, she smiled at her husband as she stepped in for a hug. He kissed her cheek.

“Hello, B,” she said.

“Hello,” he kissed her cheek tenderly. He couldn’t bring himself to call her a pet name.

Gloria forced herself to watch their reunion. Perhaps this would put an end to it. After seeing them together, maybe she would not crave him as she did.

“Let’s check in,” she said to Brian. She was happy escape the sight before her.

For the moment, Bono focused on Ali. He asked about the kids. He asked her about her plane ride. Yet, he was aware that Gloria was close by.

“Did you want to get some dinner?” Edge asked Gloria. “I have a feeling I’m on my own tonight.”

“Sure,” Gloria nodded. Her other option was sit and drink herself silly in her room with visions of the reunited Hewson’s dancing in their bed. No thanks. “My guess is that they will be staying in, so ask Brian if he wants to join us.”

“You’re probably right,” Edge nodded.

Gloria held her breath as Bono and Ali walked over hand in hand. “Gloria, how are you?”

A pit formed in her stomach as Ali hugged her. “Great. Tired. They keep me busy.” She instantly regretted saying that. “We’re going to get dinner. I’m famished.”

Gloria managed to escape the lobby without vomiting. She arranged to meet Edge in 20 minutes. Once inside her room, she eyed the Mini bar. What could it hurt? She mixed a little ginger ale and whiskey to take the edge off.

Bono had hoped for a quiet dinner with Ali to reconnect. He needed to focus on his marriage. He needed a night that he didn’t think about Gloria. He wanted to be Ali’s husband again. Unfortunately, Ali was hosting a dinner party for the Africa Rising event. He sat on the other side of the table watching his wife be the perfect hostess. She bustled and circulated around the restaurant. Bono sat uncharacteristically quiet watching the evening unfold. He smiled as Ali chestnut hair flowed across her shoulders. Her dark eyes crinkled when she laughed. Though he tried, Gloria floated in his mind. He wondered what she doing. He pictured her blue eyes shining as Edge made her laugh with her blonde hair framing her porcelain face. They were so different. Ali noticed her husband was reserved, but he looked exhausted. The recording and tour were taking their toll. Soon, they would all be back in New York and he could rest a little.

Bono and Ali walked through the hotel lobby a little after 1 in the morning both weary. As they passed the bar, they heard laughter. At a table littered with beer bottles and glasses, Edge and Gloria were the lone customers in the tiny bar.

“Did you want to go in?” Ali asked.

He watched them wipe tears from their eyes. Pangs of jealousy stabbed him. He knew nothing was happening. And he knew that he had absolutely no right.

“No, I’m knackered,” he said wearily. “Let’s just go upstairs.”

He wrapped his arm around his wife’s shoulders as they boarded the elevator. His active imagination went to dark places as he thought of Edge and Gloria together. For all of Bono’s wonderful qualities, he possessed an awful jealous streak. He knew he was a hypocrite. His life was flirting with women and girls. Yet when a man gave Ali a little bit of attention, he felt the hair on the back of his neck bristle. It was how he felt tonight. He engaged in small talk with Ali as they entered their palatial suite. Gloria had to book their room. He winced at how that must have felt as he kicked off his boots.

Ali slipped into the bathroom to remove her make-up and begin her nightly routine. The weight of the day crashed on Bono. He shed his clothes and slipped into the soft silky sheets. The few glasses of wine he had with dinner swam directly to his head. Would Ai want to make love tonight? He pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes to shake this all off. It’d been many years since he felt this divided. Yet it was different now. Back then, it was easy to compartmentalize his life - his tour life and his home life. Somehow, it made sense. His life was like entwined fingers, overlapping and entangled. A part of him wanted to go back to the night Gloria fell asleep on the couch and make a different decision. He would be overjoyed to be with Ali now. He and Gloria would be great friends. The other half felt he could never turn back now. Too many things had been unearthed. His eyes felt heavy as he concentrated on the next few hours - focusing on Ali. As usual, she was a little distant. Tonight, he was too tired to jump through her hoops.

Ali slipped into the bed beside her husband. She swore the lines deepened since she last saw him. He was preoccupied during dinner. Perhaps he was mad she planned the dinner on one of the few nights they would have together. She moved closer to hear the gentle snore escape from his mouth.

“B?” she asked quietly but got no response. “”Bono?” Nothing. He was out cold. She shrugged and rolled over. She was tired too and happy to go straight to sleep.

Gloria’s knees were throbbing as she pounded out a hard and fast 5 miles on the hotel treadmill. She was soaked in sweat as she attempted to exorcise last nights liquor and nightmares on the poor unsuspecting treadmill. She chose her angriest music and wailed on her body. As she hung on to the machine panting, she only felt a tiny bit better. She grabbed her water and headed to her room to take a shower so hot it would burn all of Bono’s fingerprints off her body. Edge managed to keep her somewhat entertained last night. He was easy to talk with. If her illicit affair had not been in his own band, she would love to confess her sins to him. He didn’t judge but offered sage advice. She had turned to him last year when she considered getting back into a relationship with Billy. Every day she was glad she took his advice to not go there.

She should have known that she would run across the Hewsons as she limped towards the elevator. Ali, beautiful in black with sparse make up on her perfect skin, compared to the sweaty state Gloria was in. She was sure she might have yesterday’s make up smeared across her face. Her blond mop piled high on her head and stray strands clinging to her beet red face. Yeah, Bono;s choice would be easy today, she thought grimly.

“Hey,” Gloria panted as they stepped out of the elevator.

“Dear God, are you okay?” Ali asked.

Gloria focused her eyes on Ali. If she looked at him, she would search his face for the answer to the question that kept her sleepless last night. “Yeah, just left the gym.”

“I heard about your racing. Bono told me all about it. He’s very proud of you,” Ali smiled.

She had to shift her eyes to his. He was guarded - trying to hide behind darker sunglasses. There was a pain in his weak smile. Good, Gloria thought. She dropped a heavy curtain over her emotions, eyes, everything that could give her away.

“Yeah, I’m crazy. The guys tell me that all the time,” she shrugged.

“We’re headed to breakfast. Do you want to join?” Ali asked.

Gloria glanced down at her damp workout clothes clinging to her body. She smiled sheepishly. “Thanks, but I’m in no condition for company. I’ll see you tonight.”

“Tonight?” Bono finally found his voice.

“At the reception. I’ll meet you there. I have stuff to take care of, so I’ll be there to make certain everything is okay,” she said.

“Okay, see you tonight,” Ali nodded.

Once inside the elevator with the doors closed, she collapsed in the corner. She had used up all her endorphins on that one conversation. She repeated the same mantra she had been repeated over and over for the last month. ‘This cannot continue. This cannot continue.’ She wondered when she would actually believe it.

After a few lubricating glasses of wine at the hotel, Bono felt a little more relaxed about the evening ahead. He and Ali had a busy afternoon getting ready for Louis Vuitton event. He would seeing his good friend Naomi and others. Everything was fine. He felt a little more at ease with Ali by the time they piled into the dark SUV to zip through Paris. They walked the red carpet arm in arm to talk about the photo shoot that seemed a lifetime ago. He reunited with Naomi who was very happy o have something positive to focus on in lieu of her recent troubles. The flashbulbs felt particularly cruel to Bono’s eyes as his vision was awash with white light when he entered the gallery. Ali had left his side to circulate and take photos. For a rare moment, he was alone. With a sharp intake of air, his eyes caught on Gloria. Dressed in a formfitting skirt and royal blue blouse, she chatted with Lenny Kravitz by the photograph of Ali and Bono in Africa. Sensing him, she turned to give him a small smile. He watched her cross towards him and he longed to take her in his arms.

“You clean up nice,” he worked to keep his voice steady.

“Thank you. Leather pants?” she cocked one eyebrow.

He grinned. “Everyone expects a rockstar at these things.”

“Ali looks beautiful,” her voice was small.

“She’s not the only one,” his voice cracked.

Taking a deep breath, she turned to him. “Come on. You have PR to do. The concert is about to begin.”

The night was a blur to Bono. From the concert with Angelique Kidjo to the cocktail party with Lenny Kravitz and Kanye West. He posed for photos. He gave short interviews. He talked of dream collaborations. To Ali, he was a doting husband. But his eyes constantly sought out Gloria in the room. He searched for her golden hair in the crowd. She was all business. She introduced people that wanted to meet him. She walked Edge around the cocktail party as he flew solo. She worked late into the night as Bono was being lead out of the party by Ali. And back at the hotel, the moment of truth revealed itself. He sat on the edge of his bed as Ali emerged from the bathroom to reclaim her husband. He closed his eyes and fell into the comfort of her arms. He tried with all his might to wipe Gloria from his mind as Ali hands removed his shirt. Their lovemaking wasn’t mechanical but it was familiar. As he stared at the ceiling with his wife sleeping against him, he felt unsatisfied. He tried hard to lose himself in her hair and flesh. He was restless and more confused than ever. Was it a simple case of the grass being greener? Did this go deeper? There was no reason to feel guilty, but he did. How did Gloria feel? Was she lying in her bed aching for him? Wondering if he had indeed made love to Ali? How would he feel if their roles were revered? How would he feel knowing that she and Larry were having sex just down the hall? He had hoped that being intimate with Ali would solve everything. The fire would reignite and all the answers would on the surface of her skin. It didn’t go like that. He knew that he lied to her, to himself. He looked at the red numbers beside his bed. It was 3am. Was Gloria still out with Edge and Lenny Kravitz? Ali shifted and rolled over on her side. His soulmate. She was his world. His center. She was getting lost in all this noise of tours, diplomacy, good doing and so many other people they had to hang on to for survival. How can a marriage weather all that without a hiccup?

Gloria and Edge waiting in the lobby for Bono. The rest of the band were flying in to Rome from Dublin earlier in the morning. Despite being plagued with the reality of Bono and Ali, Gloria slept well the night before. The party had given her plenty of distractions. Finally, Ali and Bono emerged. It took one look at his face, and Gloria knew the answer to the question she didn’t want to ask. What did she expect? They were married. She gave Ali a chaste hug before lugging her overnight bag to the SUV waiting to carry them to the airport. She insisted on taking the front seat from Brian - claiming a nonexistent hangover.

Bono hugged and kissed Ali goodbye. He would see her in a week or two once the tour was over. He was more concerned with the hurt in Gloria’s eyes as he slid behind her in the car. To avoid him, she composed emails on her cell phone. She kept the conversation business as much as possible. On the plane, she huddled against the window for a nap. With Bono sitting beside her, she didn’t dare open her eyes. She had no right to be angry or hurt. She just wasn’t ready to talk to him. Her hurt was too close to the surface. She needed some time to push it down into the darker parts of her soul. She needed quiet to shake off the sick feeling in her stomach.
:ohmy: wow. this chapter was so insanely intense! all the angst and drama! and bono being jealous. :cute: bravo, lady! :applaud: this story just keeps getting better and better!

I like how Larry is coming out of his shell but he needs to step up before it's too late! And, oh, God, what happens if Larry finds out about Gloria and Bono? Would he tell Ali? :huh:


And for the record, Bono should have something to worry about with Edge working his magic on Gloria. WOOF!

:ohmy: wow. this chapter was so insanely intense! all the angst and drama! and bono being jealous. :cute: bravo, lady! :applaud: this story just keeps getting better and better!

I like how Larry is coming out of his shell but he needs to step up before it's too late! And, oh, God, what happens if Larry finds out about Gloria and Bono? Would he tell Ali? :huh:


And for the record, Bono should have something to worry about with Edge working his magic on Gloria. WOOF!


I just reread it and there could be some foreshadowing in a few places. :sexywink:
Yay new chapter!! :applaud:
I like that Ali was actually a character in this one. I was waiting for her to come in...
And it didn't feel disjointed at all to me!
Thanks! I figured at some point reality had to come crashing in on the lovebirds. The tour creates this exciting little bubble but the real world lurks just around the corner.
He grabbed his pillow and wrapped his arms around it. He drifted off pretending the sea below was her heart next to his.

Bwawwwww. He's so cute!

Goodness, Bono, stop being suspicious! I admit, Larry kind of deserves some Gloria time...:D
Bwawwwww. He's so cute!

Goodness, Bono, stop being suspicious! I admit, Larry kind of deserves some Gloria time...:D

All in good time....

For some reason, I would think Bono would be the jealous type. He likes being loved and the center of attention so when someone else gets attention....
I've been hanging out for the next chapter of this, and it certainly doesn't disappoint! You're right, reality does need to crash in on them, and I'm waiting not so patiently to see what happens next!

Thanks for writing this fanfic - and for sharing it with us all :heart:
I read what you had written so far in one sitting. I really, really like it... a lot! So, I'm hoping that your muse has you inspired and it won't be long before the next chapter is out.
Top Bottom