Slow Dancing in the Darkness

49: Sooner Rather Than Later

“Are you sure that you don’t mind coming tonight?” Lionel noted as he leant against the doorway, his dark eyes watching as Gabriela attempted to lace up her shoes. It had reached the end of the season and despite only retaining the Spanish cup, the team were due to take their lap of honor that night, something Gabriela wanted to be there for, even despite the fact that she was nearly ready to burst. They only had a couple of weeks left before the birth of their daughter and Lionel was reluctant to let her do too much. He wanted the run-in to the birth to be as relaxed and as calm as it could be.

“You promised Noah” Gabriela noted, letting out a small frustrated noise.

Lionel nodded and crouched down ahead of her, tying her shoes for her. “I know that I did, but I can ask Antonella to come instead if you don’t feel up to it” he suggested.

Gabriela shook her head. “I’ll be fine, Leo” she assured him gently.

Lionel offered her a dubious look before he stood back up. “Gabby, you can back out” he offered gently.

“I am fine” she insisted gently, smiling at him “And the second I am not fine, I will tell you, Ok? Even if it does mean sending Shakira onto the field to pull you off, I will get you” she noted.

Lionel nodded. He doubted he was going to change her mind.

“Alright” he conceded.

Gabriela smiled and kissed his cheek. “You’re very sweet for worrying” she noted gently.

Lionel shrugged. “I just don’t want anything to go wrong” he noted gently, his hand rubbing a small circle into her very pronounced bump “We’re so close to her coming and I just want the next few weeks to be easy and relaxed, something they will be after tonight. I just want tonight to be Ok” he insisted gently.

Gabriela watched his hand, not missing the way that their daughter kicked when it brushed over her bump, and smiled. “I’ll be careful. Shakira’s already promised to keep an eye on Thiago and Noah and I will be on my best behavior. You don’t have to worry” she assured him, pressing a kiss to his cheek.

Lionel spared another dubious look before he nodded. “Alright” he noted “But anything changes, one slight change, and I want someone to get me, Ok?” he noted.

Gabriela smiled and pecked his lips. “I promise” she mused.

“Wow, you’re huge” Shakira teased as she sat next to Gabriela, greeting her with an affectionate smile.

Gabriela rolled her eyes. “Tell me about it” she noted “Even my maternity clothes feel snug” she added.

“How far away are you now?” the blonde woman posed, checking on the four little boys who sat close by.

“The due date is June 5th” Gabriela noted “But I have a feeling she might be on her way sooner than that” she added, brushing a hand over her bump in discomfort.

Shakira didn’t miss the slight twitch in Gabriela’s voice, but opted against commenting on it. She figured the brunette would notify her if she needed anything. “Have you picked out her name yet? I know that when Thiago came along, they had the name planned for months” she mused.

“Not yet” Gabriela noted.

Shakira smiled. “I bet whatever you go with will be lovely. I somehow don’t imagine you and Leo as the kind of parents to name their children something weird like Apple” she teased.

Gabriela smiled briefly before she felt a strange sensation run down the top of her leg. Lifting a hand, she brushed it up her thigh before she let out a little squeak, noting the dampness. “Shakira” she murmured.

“Hm?” the singer posed, turning away from her youngest son who had asked for something to drink.

“We…we need to find someone to watch the boys” Gabriela noted.

Shakira lifted an eyebrow before she looked at Gabriela’s hand. “Your water just broke?” she murmured.

Gabriela nodded.

“Ok” Shakira noted “Ana will watch the boys” she noted, looking at the other woman for confirmation.

Ana nodded her head swiftly “I’ll get word down to the bench. Enrique’s a reasonable guy and they’re not playing for much, I am sure he’ll let Leo go” she explained.

Gabriela smiled at her gently before she shuffled towards Noah and Thiago. “You two need to stay here, Ok?” she murmured.

“Mama?” Noah posed, his little forehead furrowed.

“I am going to go and have the baby” Gabriela noted gently “And for a little while, you will have to stay with Ana and probably Gerard when he gets off, but it will be Ok, sweetheart, I promise you” she smiled kindly before she kissed the two boys’ heads gently. Noah hugged her tightly before Shakira moved to take Gabriela’s hand, noting that they needed to go.

Gabriela nodded her head swiftly and followed the blonde girl out of the room, both nervous and excited by the prospect of being in labour.

Listening to the whistles of the crowd, Lionel turned towards the touchline, noting the red number 10 which was illuminated on the fourth official’s board. It had been a good game for him, he’d scored twice and assisted once, and it irked him. Even if it had little impact on the title race, he wanted to play the end of the match. Shaking his head, he trudged towards the touchline and high-fived Sergi Roberto who made his way on in his place. Sparing his coach a look, he made for the bench, only for Luis Enrique to step ahead of him. “You need to get up the tunnel” the coach noted.

“But I am fine” Lionel replied.

“I know” the coach refuted “But your wife…”

“There’s something wrong with Gabriela?” he pressed.

The coach rolled his eyes. “She’s in labour” he noted “She left the ground about 10 minutes ago to head to the hospital” he added.

Lionel stared at him for a moment, trying to get his head around what he had said before he sprinted up the tunnel, not wanting to miss a thing.
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Thanks to Luuuc_19 and Jayme112234 for the comments :)