Status: Active, updates may be very slow though, but bare with me

Shoulder to Shoulder


They had taken a couple of hours to get ready; Elena had chosen a new orange patterned dress from Dorothy Perkins to wear to her parents. Juan had complained for a second that he had nothing to wear, when he remembered he had some clothes in the car.

“See,” he said, holding a hanger with a shirt and chinos on it aloft. “My laziness paid off.” He told her that he’d had some of his clothes dry cleaned the week before, but had forgotten to take them out of the car.

Once he’d changed into the black chinos and powder blue shirt, Elena grabbed her bag and they left.

“My mum’s name is Emma, and my dad’s name is Joseph – but call him Joe.” Elena instructed as they drove down the M11 back towards London. Juan nodded his head, and told her to stop worrying, that everything would be fine.

Elena was completely sure how he knew that she was worrying, but she decided not to question it and to heed his advice. She calmed herself down and began to enjoy the sound of The Killers coming from the sound system.

As they approached her home, surprisingly, Juan’s words had done a world of good; she was pretty calm about everything that was about to happen.

Elena went to ring the doorbell, whilst Juan retrieved the flowers and chocolate gateau that they’d picked up on the way back.

Her mum gave her a huge hug as she opened the door, Elena walked past her and into the living room, where she saw her dad sitting watching the TV.

“Hi Dad,” she kissed him on the cheek.

“Where’s this boyfriend of yours then?”

“He’s just coming in, but don’t freak out when he comes in.” Elena pleaded.

“Why would I frea-?” her dad began as Juan walked into the room, making him trail off mid-sentence.

“Mrs Richards, so nice to meet you, I’m Juan.” He smiled, presenting her mother with the bouquet.

Elena looked over and her dad’s mouth was hanging open in shock. He managed to close it in time for Juan to introduce himself. “Hi Mr Richards, thanks for having us over today.”

Her dad still looked fairly shocked. “It’s no problem, it’s really, really nice to meet you.”

It wasn’t long until they were eating dinner; her mum had cooked a traditional English roast dinner, with all the trimmings. Elena and her parents were all shocked to find out that Juan had never had a roast before, despite the fact that he’d lived in London for just over a year.

“Mrs Richards, that was delicious,” Juan said.

“Yeah mum, that was amazing.” Elena agreed, suddenly missing her mum’s brilliant cooking.

Her mum chastised Juan for not calling her Emma, before thanking both of them for their compliments. She rose from her seat and began piling up dishes to take to the kitchen.

“Let me help you,” Juan said instantaneously.

Wordlessly, Elena began helping too, but just as she was about to follow her mother and Juan out of the room, he dad stopped her.

“How could you forget to mention that your boyfriend was Juan Mata?” her dad asked, he didn’t sound mad, just amazed.

“It didn’t seem all that relevant…”

“Didn’t seem relevant? Okay El,” he laughed at his daughter.

The rest of the day passed swiftly, filled with laughter and good food. Elena had to stop her father from texting her brother and telling him to come over. Juan’s not a circus act, just leave him be! She had berated her father before she confiscated his phone.

She was happy that her parents both seemed to like and get on with Juan. Although her Dad was slightly biased towards him, when it came to his daughter, it was a whole different ball game.

“Thank you for the wonderful dinner Emma, it was really nice to meet you.” Juan said as Elena’s mother pulled him into a hug.

“Do you want me to take you back to Norwich?” Joe asked his daughter, looking for his shoes.

Elena was about to answer, when Juan spoke. “That’s okay Joe, I’ll take her back - I’ve got a few days off, so no training in the morning.”

She could see her dad realise that the reason he didn’t have training the next day was because he wasn’t called up for international duty. “It’s a travesty,” Elena caught her dad muttering.

After the goodbyes, they walked out of the house and to Juan’s car. Elena let out a breath that she didn’t realise she’d been holding in.

“So, how do you think it went?” she asked, resting her hand on top of his on the gear stick.

“It was very good, your parents are lovely.”

Elena’s phone beeped, she saw her mum had sent her a message. He’s lovely xxx

She smiled secretly relieved that her mum liked him, she didn’t know it until then, but that was one of her fears – that her mum wouldn’t like Juan. Seeing as Elena liked him so much, she would’ve hated it if her mum or dad didn’t like him.

It didn’t take long before they’d gotten back to Elena’s house in Norwich. She went to get out of the car, when Juan pulled her back and kissed her.

“Do you want to stay here tonight? I mean, it’s pretty late,” she glanced to the clock, which read 12:03. “And you don’t have training tomorrow, so you could wake up late and drive back during the day?”

He agreed and no less than 10 minutes later, they were in bed, Elena rested her head on Juan’s chest as they watched episodes of The Big Bang Theory on E4. She smiled softly in her tired state at how everything was going for her. She was so content in her relationship and with her university work that her life seemed to be going pretty well – better than it ever had before.

Juan pressed a kiss into her hair. “Buenas noches mi amor,” (Goodnight my love,”) he whispered his voice thick with tiredness.

“Night,” she managed to squeak out before falling asleep.
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