Slow Dancing in the Darkness

29: His Hero

Wrinkling his nose a little, Lionel blinked his dark eyes open, allowing them to stare around the quiet bedroom. It was still early, a little after six in the morning, but with something nudging at his leg, he couldn’t help but stir a little, disturbed by the odd sensation. It had been a couple of weeks, after handing their parents, Gabriela and Lionel had settled into something close to normal and it pleased the argentine. He was wary, he knew that they still needed to be careful for a little while, but he couldn’t but flirt with the idea of getting used to them. They were comfortable, even if they had only been in a relationship for a matter of months, and he knew it boded well for them. He liked that they were so content. Sparing a look at Gabriela who was still soundly asleep, he tossed onto his side and peeked over the edge of the bed, his eyes landing on Noah who stared up at him wide-eyed. “Noah” he murmured “What are you doing up? It’s only six and you don’t have to be up for another hour” he noted.

Noah shifted a little. “I had a bad dream” he admitted gently.

Lionel frowned. “Why didn’t you wake up your madre?” he posed. It wasn’t the first time, Noah seemed to be prone to bad dreams, but he always woke up Gabriela, something which confused Lionel.

“I…I want you” Noah admitted softly.

Lionel stared at him. “You do?” he posed softly, sitting up.

Noah nodded his head. “Please?” he murmured, looking up at him with his big brown eyes.

Lionel nodded his head. “Ok” he noted gently “What do you usually do with your mama?” he posed as he carefully climbed out of the bed, locating a shirt to pull over his head.

“Cartoons” Noah murmured, offering out his little hand to the footballer.

Lionel smiled and bent down, lifting the little boy up. “Then we will watch cartoons OK?” he enthused, smiling as Noah wrapped his arms around his neck.

Noah offered him a shy smile before he rested his head sleepily on Lionel’s shoulder, a small yawn tumbling out of his mouth. Lionel smiled at him gently and held him close, carrying him carefully out of the room.

Stretching out a little, Gabriela frowned as her hand dropped onto the other side of the mattress, missing out on Lionel’s body which she had assumed was still asleep beside her. Tilting her head a little, she spared the empty side of the mattress a look before she moved to collect her dressing gown, making her way through the apartment to the living room. “Leo?” she murmured, her blue eyes admiring the sight on the couch ahead of her. They looked sweet together, Noah had curled up at Lionel’s side, his favorite stuffed toy clutched in his hand, and Gabriela couldn’t help but smile. Her boys did look good together.

Lionel jumped a little at the sound of her voice and turned, offering her a small smile. “Buenos dias” he greeted softly.

“What are you doing up?” Gabriela murmured as she padded towards the couch, placing a kiss on his head.

“Noah got me up a little while ago” Lionel replied, shuffling away from the little boy slightly so that he could stand up “He had a bad dream” he added.

“He didn’t wake me” Gabriela noted.

“He said he wanted me” Lionel admitted softly.

Gabriela’s face softened, a fond smile on her face. “I can’t say I am surprised” she mused “He adores you” she added.

Lionel shook his head, something which made Gabriela smile. “You’re all he can talk about. You’re the reason he loves going to the Camp Nou or wearing his Barca shirt. He loves you” Gabriela grinned, her hands settling at the back of his neck.

“You’re exaggerating” Lionel denied gently.

Gabriela shook her head. “You’re his hero” she enthused softly “And I have to say, my son has fantastic tastes” she added before she pecked his lips lightly, moving away to wake Noah so that they could get him ready for school.

Lionel watched her for a moment, a slight smile on his face. He liked the idea of Noah growing attached to him. It was no secret that Lionel already adored the little boy and he knew it boded well for them. There was likely to be a custody battle in their future and Lionel hoped that Noah liking him as well as loving his mother could convince anyone to let the little boy stay with his mother.

“Leo” Gabriela noted.

“Huh?” he posed.

“The door” she smiled “You should answer it whilst I go and get this little one dressed” she added before she lifted Noah up, carrying him back towards his bedroom. Lionel nodded his head gently and padded towards the door, pulling it open to a sight which made him roll his eyes.

“Elliot” he muttered, his eyes looking over the other man and the woman who stood beside him “And you must be Elena” he added.

“I want to see Gabriela” Elliot muttered.

“She’s busy” Lionel replied curtly “Perhaps if you showed up on days when your son didn’t have school, she’d have more free time” he added a little bitingly.

“I didn’t come here for a lecture, Messi” Elliot muttered “I want to speak to my ex-wife” he added.

“Well, my wife is busy. Why don’t you come back later?” Lionel countered, trying to close the door.

“I want to amend the custody arrangement” Elliot noted.


“I don’t want to take him away from Ela” Elliot interrupted, not missing the dark look that passed over the small man’s face at the mere prospect of him demanding full custody.

“Then what do you want? It’s been over a month since you’ve seen him, Elliot” Lionel muttered.

“I want to talk to Gabriela” Elliot repeated.

“And I am not going to let that happen until you tell me your plan” Lionel countered.

“What has this got to do with you?” Elena contributed.

“About as much as it has to do with the reason Gabriela got her heart broken” Lionel retorted.

Elena rolled her eyes.

“Leo?” Gabriela posed, quietly stepping back into the room.

“It’s Elliot” he replied, offering her a soft look.

Gabriela nodded. “Let them in” she murmured gently.

“Gabby” he protested gently.

“He’s his papa, Leo” Gabriela returned as she stepped a little further into the room “And I think we need to have a conversation. I have to get Noah to school shortly, but you can stay here. I want to talk about it too” she mused, her eyes glancing at Elliot before they slipped over to Elena, a small look of pain passing over her face that made Lionel’s stomach turn. He never wanted to be the reason for that look.
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Thanks to FootieJo and Jayme112234 for the comments :)