Slow Dancing in the Darkness

11: Let’s Jump In Together

“What are you and Noah up to tonight?” Lionel commented from his spot on Gabriela’s couch, his brown eyes peeking over at the brunette who was preparing lunch for the little boy who played at his feet. It had been about a week since the first night that Lionel had spent with Gabriela, but since that night, they’d barely been apart, something Lionel couldn’t help but like. It was very much the honeymoon phase, the period of their relationship where they couldn’t keep their hands off of each other for very long, and Lionel hoped it lasted for a while yet. He knew that things were going to become complicated when Elliot inevitably found out about them, but he hoped that they could stave it off for a little while. He liked being around Noah and Gabriela without any problems or conflict.

Gabriela, who had finished preparing Noah’s lunch, shrugged. “Probably not a lot” she commented, handing the peanut butter sandwich to the four year old who grinned, thanking her. “Why?” she added.

Lionel smiled and placed his hands on her waist, gently pulling her into the spot at his side. “Because I was thinking, you two might like to come to my game tonight” he murmured, pressing an affectionate kiss against her jaw. It was the first one, thanks to Argentina’s run in the Copa America, he’d not been able to play on Barcelona’s tour of America, but he was pleased to be getting back to it. They had a good season ahead of them, providing that things went well in terms of injuries until January when the transfer embargo was lifted, and he was excited at the prospect.

Gabriela tilted her head. “You want me and Noah at your game?” she posed, her eyebrow lifted a little skeptically.

“Yes” Lionel noted “I wouldn’t have asked you if I didn’t want you there” he added.

Gabriela shook her head. “I just didn’t think it would be something you’d be asking barely 2 weeks into us dating” she commented, turning so that she was looking at him face to face. She had known he would ask eventually, it was something that she knew was important to him and she had been fully anticipating an invite at some point, but she hadn’t envisaged that it would be so soon.

“Why would I want to wait?” Lionel posed.

“Well, I thought you’d want things to be a little more cautious” she mused.

Lionel lifted his eyebrow. “Cautious?” he posed.

Gabriela shook her head. “You know what I mean” she murmured, playing with her hands shyly.

Lionel watched her for a second before he smiled, gently shaking his head. “Gabby” he murmured, his hands squeezing hers in an attempt to make her look at him “Nena, I get it” he murmured, leaning down to place a kiss on her hands “I know that you’re not really good with getting attached and I understand why you’re so hesitant, but you need to understand that I am a big boy and I think I can handle whatever you ex is going to through at us down the line. I get the need for distance, but you and me, we’ve got a good thing here” he murmured softly.

Gabriela sighed. “I just don’t want to rush us” she replied, lacing their fingers together, her blue eyes staring up at him through her eyelashes.

“I am not trying to rush you into anything” Lionel replied, moving one of her hands to her cheek “I just don’t want to hesitate and worry. I know what you’re coming off of, you’ve been honest with me, but that shouldn’t be a reason to hesitate, Gabby. Head first, no regrets” he noted, recalling the conversation he had had with Antonella with regards to Gabriela.

“You sound so sure” Gabriela marveled.

“I am sure” Lionel smiled fondly “Like you, relationships don’t appear to be a strength of mine, but I know better than to hesitate and worry. It was one of the reasons why things with Antonella didn’t work. She wanted a man who could be spontaneous and who didn’t have to overthink things, and that wasn’t me” he explained softly.

“And you want to change that with me?” Gabriela posed softly, offering him a tender smile.

Lionel nodded his head. “I want us to work out, Gabby” he mused gently.

Gabriela smiled at his reassurance before she leant towards him, pressing a little kiss against lips. “I want us to work out too” she whispered “And I kind of like the idea of jumping in” she added, resting her forehead against his.

“You do?” Lionel quipped.

“3 years I wasted on Elliot trying to get him to jump in or take a risk. I am not a big fan of having to wait for things anymore” she explained softly.

Lionel nodded his head understandingly before he flashed her another smile. “So, we’re jumping in?” he posed, half teasing and half truly questioning the state of their relationship. Gabriela smiled back at him and nodded her head, moving to place another kiss against his lips in confirmation. Lionel held her close to him for a few seconds before he felt something tug at the leg of his shorts, causing him to back up a little, his brown eyes peeking at Noah who grinned up at him, peanut butter smeared on his face.

“I finished my lunch” he announced.

Lionel nodded. “I can seat that, Noah” he noted, trying not to laugh “Would you like me to fetch you something else?” he posed.

Noah nodded his head, smiling up at the footballer who he had welcomed into his and his mother’s life with relative ease. Lionel smiled back at him briefly before he padded towards the kitchen, allowing Gabriela the chance to pick up her son, sitting him gently on her lap. “How would you feel about watching a football game tonight?” she whispered, collecting a tissue from the coffee table and wiping the little boy’s face.

“Football?” Noah squeaked.

“Leo plays football. Barcelona” she explained.

Noah thought for a second. “Will it be scary?” he posed softly, his brown eyes a little fearful.

“No” Lionel insisted gently, padding back to his girlfriend’s side “It will be a little daunting at first, but I will make sure that you and your madre are well looked after and safe. I promise, Noah, I won’t let anything happen to you” he smiled.

Noah looked at him. “Do you wear a kit?” he posed.

Lionel nodded his head. “I do” he confirmed “And I could probably get you a shirt if you wanted one” he offered.

Gabriela smiled. Noah could wrap anyone around his finger.

“I want one” Noah stated.

Lionel smiled. “I can probably sort that out for you, but you have to do me a favour in return” he bargained.

Noah tilted his head.

“You’d have to look after your madre for me. She’s never been to a game before and I know she’s a little bit scared about going, so you need to be a big boy for me and keep an eye on her. After that, I will give you a shirt” he explained, noting the smile that formed on Gabriela’s face as he spoke. It was no secret that she was incredibly fond of the way he was with her son.

Noah seemed to think for a moment before he nodded. “I will look after mama” he mused proudly.

Lionel grinned at him and ruffled his hair, something which made the little boy giggle. “Thank you, Noah” he smiled.

Gabriela watched the two before she lifted her hand, gently squeezing Lionel’s which rested on the back of the couch beside her. The argentine smiled back at her, wordlessly communicating the notion that he didn’t want to regret them.
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Thanks to Luuuc_19 and Jayme112234 for the comments :)