Title: Like God's Only Dove
Category: Romance, angst, Dark!Bono, Zoo era, smut to come
Disclaimer: Not mine. Dammit.
Feedback: Would make me happier than you could know. Concrit, please!
Summary: A brooding rock star finds beauty in a young girl who possesses something he lost a long time ago--innocence. But will she give him the solace he longs for? And at what price?
* * * * * *
* * * * * *
Angela's small studio in west Hollywood could get cramped at times. Cramped, and quiet. And lonely. On nights like that, she felt claustrophobic and paranoid, afraid the tiny room would swallow her up whole and no one would ever be the wiser. For a city like Los Angeles is bleak; millions of people, people one could pass on the street and sit next to on the Metro; people studiously ignored as you shared a bus stop bench, an elevator, a book store couch; people you shared your world with, but not your life. Some whose faces were as familiar as your own, whose daily routines were neatly catalogued in your memory so that your day felt off-kilter if they failed to make their usual morning appearance at Starbucks or the bus stop. Familiar strangers. For you never actually spoke to them. So many
people, and yet so much loneliness.
Sometimes this got to Angela. And on nights like that, there was but one thing to be done.
She laced up her favorite worse-for-wear Chuck Taylors, threw on a jacket, slung her backpack over her shoulder, and set out into the balmy Los Angeles night. Off to see her dear friend Julian, bartender at the Seabar in the disgustingly luxurious Mondrian Hotel. If she timed it right, she could get there just as he was closing up for the night. Julian was her best and only friend in L.A., but it wasn't his company she was interested in on this particular night. What she needed was to pay a visit to the Seabar's great black beauty. A glorious Steinway grand played weekly by jazz once-greats and the occasional visiting rock stars,
raucous and drunk after their own arena shows. On nights like this one, however, she was Angela's alone.
Julian gave her a quick kiss and a knowing wink as she entered the otherwise empty bar. It was written all over her face what she was here for, so he silently nodded toward the piano and returned to the bar to make her a drink. Relaxation in a glass. Her muscles were tense, her neck and shoulders tight with the strain of another day. She could use the drink. She tossed her bag and jacket onto a nearby chair and sat down at the magnificent instrument in the center of the room. Peace settled on her shoulders as she placed her fingers on the keys, and a
sigh escaped. She began to play, and as always, the bar slowly faded away, along with her claustrophobia, loneliness, and all the familiar strangers. It was just
Angela and the piano and the gentle, perfect notes rising up around her and coloring the air with a pulsating rhythm. Her frustrations poured out through her fingers and onto the keys, and she played out her therapy in the form of a song.
She'd been trying to write this particular piece for a while, but it was a stubborn one that didn't seem to wish to be captured. "Love, love, don't leave me/Love, love, stay a little longer, love..." Suddenly she realized that the song
wasn't reluctant to be written; on the contrary, it was she who had been reluctant to write the song. Something clicked, however, and the chords started to flow like water over a rocky stream, bubbling and churning and growing more and more frantic towards the crescendo. "You never stay, love/Just once, this time, please stay..."
Angela stared at the keys as she held the last chord; stared in relief and amazement that she'd finally gotten it all out. She'd been haunted by this song for weeks. Her hand found the drink Julian had placed silently at her side; the
room was still hazy as she took a long drink, not even tasting the burn of the whiskey. Her eyes finally drifted away from the keys and up to the bar in search of Julian's encouraging smile, and suddenly froze as her gaze met the fascinated stare of a pair of brilliant blue eyes. Eyes not belonging to Julian. Eyes, however, that seemed oddly familiar...
The stranger flashed her a bemused smile and slowly sauntered over to the piano. She was overcome with embarrassment as it occured to her what he had witnessed; and, just as quickly, embarrassment was replaced by anger. She felt invaded, like he had intruded on a most private, vulnerable moment. And now he was approaching her with an air of cockiness that only fueled her anger. Did he mean to make fun of her? Just who was he, and what was he doing here? Liesurely making his way across the bar, he'd fixed her with such an intense gaze that she was helpless to look away, so she simply stared defiantly back, chin thrust stubbornly in the air. There really was something familiar about the man, she could't help but think as he made his way closer to her. Familiar and...sexy. She allowed her eyes to wander from his and took in his slow, lazy gait. Black leather. A strong hand cradling a delicate glass of smooth, blood-red wine. A rogueishly handsome face not at all ruined by the curious smirk plastered across it. He radiated self-possession and sensuality. This was the type of man who could undo her. 'Not that I will let him', she thought smugly to herself, and conjured the most aloof and uninterested face she could muster.
After what felt like a lifetime, he reached the piano, leaned a leather-clad elbow on it and swirled the wine in the glass as he looked at her. He didn't speak. Didn't introduce himself. Just...stared, squinting slightly, as if he was
trying to figure her out. 'Why isn't he saying anything?' she wondered, defensiveness slipping for a moment as she realized just how attractive he really was. Attractive and close and...still bloody *staring* at her! Her anger ebbed
and the words escaped before she realized she'd opened her mouth to speak.
"Can I help you?" she asked in her most unhelpful voice.
The curious smirk broke into a wide grin. "Ah, feisty one, are ye?" His voice was softer than she expected. An accent. Irish?
"I...what are you doing here? Don't know know the bar is closed?" She was floundering. Why was she floundering? He was just a man. A rude, assuming man. A rude, assuming, fluidly sensual man with a sexy accent and piercing blue eyes that hadn't left hers since their gazes had locked across the bar. She needed to get out more.
"I guess I could say the same to you, now couldn't I? After all, you're the one playing to an empty room. Bit daft, don't you think? Especially a tune as lovely as that." His expression had softened, the smirk gentled around the edges. His eyes were kind, but still had that mischievous twinkle. A slow burn crawled up Angela's cheeks and she inwardly cursed her mother for passing down her fair skin
and propensity for blushing.
She lowered her eyes, finally, and studied her glass. "I don't usually play for other people," she mumbled lamely. "Just...for myself."
"And the bartender."
"Yeah...yes, and Julian. The bartender. Because he lets me. I mean, I don't have a piano of my own. This one wouldn't even fit in my apartment," she said with a
self-deprecating laugh. "Ay, well, they probably had to build the bar around this beauty." He set his glass down on the smoothly polished ebonized mahogany and moved to sit next to her on the bench. She shifted down to the end, but there wasn't far to go; it was a small bench. If she felt invaded before, she felt absolutely assaulted now. Her right thigh was practically fused with his, solid and encased in dark, rough denim. His scent was earthy and masculine and all around her. She stared uneasily down at the keys as he chuckled to himself.
"No need to be frightened, lass. I won't bite. Unless you want me to." He leaned in close and rumbled the last bit low in her ear. The hairs pricked at the back of her neck and she shivered slightly. She hoped he hadn't noticed.
He'd noticed. He chuckled again and suddenly she hated the cocky bastard. Well, her head hated him. Her body, on the other hand, was committing mutiny. The nearness of this sultry stranger had awakened feelings in her that had lay dormant for quite some time. And she knew he could tell. He softly brushed her arm as he raised his hands to the keys, and her skin burned where it came in contact with his; a burn that shot straight to that hot, low spot in her belly.
'Shit,' she cursed silently. She was in serious trouble. He began to play an intimately familiar melody, a song Angela knew as well as any she had written herself and she was put momentarily at ease by the fact that they had similar
taste in music. It wasn't until he opened his mouth to sing that recognition hit like clean slug to the gut, sending her stumbling off the bench and backing a good five feet away, gaping at him, still sitting, still playing calmly, smiling
serenely as he continued to serenade her.
"...stay with the demons you drowned, stay with the spirit I found, stay and the night would be enough." He stopped playing and watched her, obviously quite pleased with himself.
"See? I can play a little too." Grinning. Always grinning.
She couldn't believe she hadn't recognized that grin before. Retrieving his glass, he stood and made his way over to where she'd escaped to, shit-eating grin sliding away as he pulled a pair of sunglasses from the breast pocket of his leather jacket. Bulgari. Blue lenses. The man clearly had no concept of personal space, for he moved in so close she could feel the warmth of his skin even though they were not touching. He only stood an inch or two taller than she did, but his ego towered somewhere in the vicinity of the stratosphere.
"I...uh...you..." Clever. She was so eloquent, she astounded herself. He was suddenly very serious as he studied her face, lingering for a moment at her lips before returning his gaze to her eyes.
He was waiting for something. Waiting for what? For her to fawn? Faint? Scream? She did have some dignity left, so she used it to do what she did best. And there was her chin in the air again; she threw in a good hair toss too for good measure and stared back hard. Defiant. Challenging him. His grave countenance broke and there was that grin again, accompanied by an actual *guffaw*.
"Feisty indeed. I like that." He took her hand in his. "Bono," he said, shaking her hand and then bringing it up to graze the tender skin against the rough stubble of his chin and then planting it with a gentlemanly kiss. "Perhaps I'll see you here again tomorrow evening? I'd like to hear some more of your lovely tunes."
And with that, he turned and sauntered out of the bar, leaving her standing and staring after him long after he was good and gone.
On November 14th, 2005 10:14 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
So far, so good. I can't wait to read more.
Hi, I'm rhiannon from U2 Fanfiction.com. Followed your LJ link in your profile. Did you say you're looking for a beta reader? I'd love to help you out, if you are needing someone. You can find my info at my profile at the fanfic site.