Chapter Twenty Seven: Shine

A day later, Gerard and me sit in the kitchen. I'm perched on the countertop, and Gerard's got his head stuck in the fridge. It's about dinnertime, but we're both in our pyjamas (or a pair of boxers and an old T-shirt for Gerard). The radio is blasting out cheesy pop songs, and I'm singing along to those that I know. If Gerard doesn't approve of a song, he gives me the evil eye.

"What are you looking for?" I ask, twirling a strand of hair around my finger.


"Mum said before she left," I sigh, "That she's going out to buy eggs. And anyway – how packed is the fridge that you can't find the eggs?"

"It's pretty packed," Gerard says defensively. Then I hear the beginning notes of a song, and I groan.

"What? I like this one." Gerard grins at me.

"I," I say, "can't stomach Take That."

"You, you're such a big star to me," Gerard sings, slamming the fridge door shut. "You're everything I wanna be!"

"A girl?" I frown.

"But you're stuck in a hole and I want you to get out," he continues, dragging me off of the counter and grinning at me, "I don't know what there is to see, but I know it's time for you to leave –"

"Gee, thanks a lot!"

"We're all just pushing along trying to figure it out, out, out..." He twirls me around once and I stumble into his waiting arms. "All your anticipation pulls you down when you can have it can have it all!"

"I've got all I need..." I mutter as he grabs my hands, forcing me to dance along to the music.

"So come on, so come on get it on! Don't you know what you're waiting for?" He laughs at the look on my face, and spins me around again. "You're time is coming don't be late!" he lets go of me momentarily to tap his wrist as if he has a watch there. "So come on! See the light on your face – let it shine, just let it shine...Let it shine!"

I roll my eyes as he prances off down the kitchen, spinning around quickly at the end and nearly knocking over Mum's shelf of herbs and salt and pepper. "Stop being so hard on yourself – it's not good for your health," he sings, sashaying back down the kitchen and grabbing hold of my wrists again. "I know that you can change..." Gerard looks directly in my eyes as he sings this line, and I feel myself begin to blush slightly. "You only have to open your eyes, you might just get a big surprise!"

"Speaking of surprises," I sigh as he spins me around, "what's your surprise you've got planned for my birthday?"

"And it may feel good!" he sings at the top of his voice, pulling me closer to him, "and you might want to smile, smile, smile – don't you let your demons pull you down, 'cause you can have it all, you can have it all..."

I begin to laugh; he's pulling stupid expressions as he sings now, like he's in the video for the actual song. "So come on! So come on, get it on – don't know what you're waiting for your time is coming don't be late, hey hey –" he repeats the tapping wrist gesture – "so come on, see the light on your face let it shine, just let it shine, let it shine!"

And then he does something that surprises me. Gerard picks me up, which I completely wasn't expecting. "Hey! Let me know you!" He puts me into the fireman's lift, and I shriek. "You're all that matters to me!" Gerard sings over the top of my shouts. "Hey! Let me show you! You're all that matters to me –"

"Gerard – put me down!" I demand, and he puts me the right way up, cradling me in his arms as if I way nothing. "Oh my God, Gerard, are you super strong or something? I'm not that light!" But he's off again, singing.

"So come on, get it on! Don't know what you're waiting for – your time is coming don't be late, hey hey!" He spins around on the spot, making me dizzy and making me laugh out loud. "So come on! See the light on your face – let it shine – just let it shine – let it shine!"

I giggle madly, and he stops spinning finally, slowly lowering me to the floor, but then he's making me dance again. "Hey! Let me know you – you're all that matters to me! Hey! Let me show you! You're all that matters to me!" he croons, and then he says, "Sing with me?" I roll my eyes, but go along with it.

"Hey – let me love you! You're all that matters to me! Hey – so come on see the light on your face just let it shine – let it shine! Shine your light over me..."

Finally, we come to a breathless stop, and he grins down at me.

"Thanks for that Gerard," I say with a roll of my eyes, leaping back up onto the countertop. I hear Mum coming in and shouting a hello. "There are your eggs," I tell him, nodding towards the door. He's walked up to me, and he rests his hands on my hips and grins at me.

"Eggs can wait," Gerard murmurs, and he kisses me. It doesn't last for long, but it's everything I love about Gerard's kisses; gentle and soft. He pulls away after a few moments and takes my hands.

"I think that song is great," he tells me.

"Yes, and I think kissing you is great."

"Hey, there's something we can both agree on." Gerard grins at me, and I just have to grin back.

"What's the surprise?" I ask again, pulling him towards me for a hug.

"Can't tell you."

"Why not?" I pout.

"Because it's not a surprise if I tell you," he says in a 'duh' tone of voice. I scowl at him. Mum walks in, depositing her carrier bags on the floor.

"Could you two lovebirds do me a huge favour and put away the shopping?" she appeals, unzipping her heavy coat and vanishing out of the kitchen before we can reply.

I hop off the counter and bend down to pick up the bags. "Hear are your eggs," I tell Gerard, handing him the long cardboard box.

"Want an omelette?" he asks.


"You never know," Gerard says mysteriously, setting up for omelette making while I put away the shopping, "the omelette could be the key to your surprise..."

"Is it, though?" I ask eagerly.

"No." Gerard laughs at my expression. "What the hell, Layla? What could possibly be a surprise hidden by an omelette?"

"I've no idea," I admit.

He laughs again. "Don't be too impatient, Layla. You'll find out soon enough..."

Author's Note: The song 'Shine' by Take That wasn't released around the time when this story was set, but for the purpose of the story, I'm going to pretend it was. The lyrics Gerard sings are obviously from that song. I don't own them.