Slow Dancing in the Darkness

02: Ham Sandwiches

Rubbing her eyes, Gabriela padded into the kitchen, her blue eyes peeking at the clock which illuminated the dark room. It hadn’t been long, after Elliot had left, Gabriela had opted to take a nap before Noah woke up, but she was fairly confident that it had only served to make her feel worse. A period of time with Elliot never served to make her feel better anymore. Yawning, she switched on the tap and filled a glass with water before she heard Noah’s light footsteps padding towards her.

“Mama?” the four-year-old mumbled as he toddled into the kitchen.

“How was your nap, baby?” Gabriela mused as she knelt down ahead of him, allowing him to toddle happily into her arms. It was still strange, Gabriela couldn’t quite believe that she had a child that was almost 5 years old, but she adored him. Noah was the only good thing to come from her marriage to Elliot and, regardless of the way she felt about him now, part of her would always love Elliot for helping to make him.

“It was OK” the little boy replied “But I am hungry. Where’s dinner, mama?” he posed, peeking up at her with his doe brown eyes.

Gabriela sighed. She knew that there was nothing in the house.

“We’re probably going to have to go and find a store” she noted, pushing his brown hair out of his face “Why don’t you go and put on your shoes and I will see if I can find one nearby?” she mused.

Noah nodded and padded away, allowing Gabriela the chance to move towards her laptop, quickly searching for the address for the nearest supermarket. Scribbling down the directions, she slipped her own shoes on before Noah appeared once more, his shoelaces untied. “I thought papa was teaching you to do these” Gabriela commented as she knelt down ahead of him.

“I can’t do it” Noah complained.

“I am sure that you can” Gabriela commented, lifting him.

“Papa says I don’t have to” Noah retorted.

Gabriela sighed. It was just like Elliot.

“Come on” she mused, carrying him towards the door “The store isn’t very far away” she added.

Noah nodded his head gently and rested it against his mother’s shoulder, allowing her to pull the door closed before they made their way up the hall.


Gabriela turned slightly and smiled, watching as Lionel padded towards her. “Lionel, hola” she noted.

“You’re out late” he noted.

“I just realized that I don’t have anything inside to make dinner for this little one, so I need to find a store so that I can get him something” she explained, gesturing to Noah who peeked up a little at the man who spoke with his mother.

Lionel shook his head. “You won’t find much open now, except maybe a petrol station” he noted, peeking down at his watch. It was late, a little after ten at night, and he doubted much would be open.

Gabriela sighed.

“I could give you something” Lionel suggested, noting the expression on her face “I mean, I haven’t got a lot, but I am sure, between the two of us, we could come up with something to give to this little guy” he noted, smiling at Noah who turned into his mother’s shoulder, shyly hiding his face.

“I couldn’t ask that” Gabriela protested, shaking her head.

“You have to eat” Lionel refuted.

“I am sure we can find something” Gabriela replied.

Lionel chuckled. “It’s not a problem, Gabriela” he noted.


“Leo” he corrected “And stop fighting it. Come inside, we can look through my cupboards and then you can go home. It will take 5 minutes” he noted, pushing the door to his apartment open and gesturing for her to walk inside. Gabriela eyed him warily, but padded into his apartment, knowing that she didn’t have much of a choice. Lionel watched her and chuckled, slightly amused by her. “I am not going to do anything horrid, Gabriela” he noted, leading her through to kitchen.

“I know” she replied.

“You should tell your face” he refuted with a grin “You look like I am about to kill you or something” he added.

“I am not one for new people” Gabriela admitted, sitting Noah on the island in the centre of Lionel’s kitchen.

“I’d noticed” he replied, leaning down to check one of the cupboards.

Gabriela rolled her eyes a little before she turned her attention to Noah, pressing a little kiss to his forehead. “I will get you something in a minute, baby” she murmured, seeing his little pout beginning to form.

“He’s how old?” Lionel quipped, placing a loaf of bread onto the counter.

“4” Gabriela noted “He’ll be 5 in September” she added.

Lionel nodded. “His papa?”

“Is an ass” Gabriela replied.

“Wow” Lionel chuckled “I was expecting ‘it’s complicated’” he teased, rifling through the fridge where he pulled out a tub of butter and some ham.

“It’s not complicated” Gabriela noted.

Lionel lifted his eyebrow. He wanted to push it, to ask why she had such animosity towards the little boy’s father, but he stopped himself. He’d only met her a couple of times and that no way entitled him to pry into anything other than the superficial or obvious. “It’s not much” he commented, shuffling the pile of food towards her “But it should tide him over until the morning when you can find a store” he added.

Gabriela nodded. “Thank you” she mused, lifting Noah up and placing him back on his feet.

“It’s no problem” Lionel noted “I want to be known as the good neighbor” he quipped.

Gabriela smiled. “You’re the only one I know” she pointed out.

“And that makes me the best” he retorted playfully.

“Of course” Gabriela agreed before she gathered the food and took Noah’s hand “Honestly, thank you” she added.

“It’s nothing you can’t repay by grabbing a coffee with me” Lionel quipped, his brown eyes looking over at the brunette.

Gabriela straightened slightly. “Pardon?” she poked.

“I think I asked you to get coffee with me. I mean, technically, you owe me one…”

“You’re asking me out?” Gabriela interjected.

“Yes, for coffee” he clarified “Did I not make that clear?” he teased.

“Lionel, you don’t know a thing about me” Gabriela refuted gently.

“And I would like to and I would do that by taking you for coffee” he noted, quirking a little grin.

Gabriela looked at him, her expression slightly puzzled.

Lionel laughed. “It’s not rocket science, Gabriela” he smiled, leading her towards the door “I want to take you out for coffee” he added.

“I got that” she mused, shaking her head.

“Then why do you look like I just asked you to give me the meaning of life?” he posed.

Gabriela shook her head. “You surprised me” she pointed out, opening the door.

Lionel nodded. “I just need an answer. Yes or no?” he posed.

Gabriela thought for a moment. It had been a while since anyone had asked her out.

“Mama” Noah complained.

“I know, baby” she noted, squeezing his hand gently “I should go” she added with a look towards Lionel.

“Alright” he mused “Think about the coffee, Gabriela” he smiled, leaning against the door frame.

Gabriela smiled. “I will” she quipped before she let herself back into her own apartment.

Lionel watched her go and shook his head. Just 5 minutes alone with her made him wonder just what her ex had done to make her so unsure.
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Thanks to Jayme112234, FootieJo and Luuuc_19 for the comments :)