You Loved Me Once

80: Give It A Chance

Stepping inside of the house quietly, Lionel pushed the door closed, resting back against it for a few seconds. It was late, after a long flight, Lionel hadn’t been able to make it home until well after midnight, but he was grateful to be back, even if he had only been away for a few days, he couldn’t wait to see Isabella or kiss Alba. He knew that they had to talk, before he had boarded his flight, he had received a message from David which suggested that he and his wife would be on their way to Barcelona in the not too distant future and he knew that he had to tell Alba, but for a little while, he merely wanted to enjoy being around her and their little girl.

Placing his suitcase beside the door, he shrugged out of his jacket and hung it up before he padded up the stairs, quietly ducking into Isabella’s nursery. Ensuring to be quiet, he carefully closed the door behind him and padded towards the crib, smiling a little as he watched Isabella stir a little in her sleep. It had been a few days, with training and the latest match, his chances to call Alba had been limited until late evening in Barcelona and it meant he hadn’t seen Isabella in a few days, something which had upset him a little. He had missed the little girl.

Leaning carefully against the side of the crib, he ducked down and pressed a kiss against the top of Isabella’s head, smiling a little as she let out a slight whimper. “It’s Ok, princesa” he murmured gently “It’s only me” he added, his fingertips gently brushing through her dark hair.

“You’re back early”

Lionel, who’d been mumbling softly to Isabella, smiled a little before he turned around, his dark eyes admiring Alba who rested against the doorframe, smiling back at him sleepily. “I thought you’d be asleep” he noted.

“I was” Alba noted “But when I heard a voice on Bella’s monitor, I thought I ought to check it out. I thought you were due back tomorrow afternoon?” she posed.

“I was” Lionel noted “But then I found an earlier flight and here I am. Did you not miss me?” he posed, offering her an impish grin.

Alba scoffed. “I hardly noticed that you weren’t here” she quipped with a grin.

Lionel rolled his eyes a little before he stepped towards her, pulling her into a soft hug. He knew that it was silly, it had only been a few days since he and Alba had been in the same room, but he had missed her, even if they had spoken every night. It bore no comparison to being in the same room as her. “Hola” he mumbled, holding onto her.

Alba smiled a little at the sound of his voice before she tugged back. “We ought to get out of here” she mumbled as she moved to take his hand “She’s been sleeping in until about 4 in the morning and I don’t want to disturb her” she reasoned.

Lionel nodded his head and allowed Alba to tug him out of the room, quietly closing the door behind him. “You should have mentioned that you were getting an earlier flight” she mused as she led him towards their bedroom.

“Why?” Lionel posed.

“I could have come to get you” Alba pointed out.

Lionel rolled his eyes. “And you’d have done what with Isabella?” he posed with a knowing look that made Alba roll her eyes. She had always hated it when he knew he was right.

Lionel smiled a little as he shuffled out of his jeans. “Just be glad I am home, Alba” he teased.

Alba shook her head and padded towards him, her arms gently wrapping around his neck. “I am very glad you’re home” she mused gently “I know it’s only been a few days, but I have missed you” she added, her expression a little sheepish.

“I missed you too” Lionel mumbled as he pushed some loose hair off of her face “You and Bella” he added.

Alba smiled a little before she leant up on her toes, gently pressing a kiss against his lips. Lionel grinned at the contact, his arms happily wrapping around Alba’s waist before he ducked back, chuckling a little as Alba let a small yawn fall out of her mouth. “You really ought to go back to sleep, nena” he teased as he tucked some hair behind her ear “We can catch up tomorrow” he offered.

Alba nodded. “You’re probably right” she noted as she moved to step away from him, returning to her side of the bed.

“I am not due back at training until Friday morning” he mused softly “Why don’t I take you to breakfast?” he added.

Alba smiled. “I think you have yourself a date, Senor” she teased as she slipped beneath the duvet, cuddling up to her pillow.

Lionel smiled a little at her response before he moved to his side, wrapping his arm around Alba’s waist as he moved to get a little more comfortable, wanting to enjoy a moment of quiet before he broached the subject of her parents.

“How was your week without me then?” Lionel posed as he peeked across the table, offering Alba a teasing smirk.

Alba, who was checking on Isabella, rolled her eyes. “Do you want me to say miserable?” she posed.

Lionel chuckled softly, but shook his head. “I was honestly asking” he mused, waving his hands in surrender.

Alba offered him a slightly dubious look before she nodded. “It was nice” she mused gently “We spent a bit of time shopping for new baby clothes with Jess and we had lunch with Shakira and her boys. We went to the park a lot, Bella seems to love it there” she enthused with a small look down towards Isabella who sat in her arms, her big blue eyes studying the small café curiously.

Lionel, who’d moved to sip on his drink, smiled a little. “I’ve missed that look” he teased gently.

Alba’s cheeks warmed a little, something which made his smile widen a little. It was a familiar look, since Isabella had come along, Alba had developed a habit of merely admiring their little girl, and it was a look that Lionel loved to see on her face. She still looked in awe of their daughter.

Smiling, he moved to press a kiss to Alba’s cheek before the sound of his phone caught his attention, causing him to pull it out of his pocket, his forehead furrowing a little at the sight of David’s name on the screen.

“Who is it?” Alba posed as she flicked her attention away from Isabella who stirred a little in her mother’s arms, a small squeak falling out of her mouth.

“It’s nothing” Lionel mused, briefly reading the older man’s message “Nothing that requires me to take my attention off of my two favourite girls at least” he enthused, attempting to stow his phone in his pocket.

Alba, however was quicker. In one movement, she had placed Isabella into Lionel’s arms, allowing her to take the phone from his hand, her blue eyes widening a little at the message which filled the screen. “Leo” she muttered.

Lionel shook his head, a small sigh falling out of his mouth.

“Why is my papa contacting you?” Alba muttered.

“He came to see me whilst I was in Argentina” Lionel noted as he tried to settle Isabella who’d started to get a little fussy “He showed up to my hotel room wanting to talk and I might have suggested that he and your madre come out to see us” he explained sheepishly.

Alba frowned a little. “You invited them?” she posed.

“I know you miss them, Alba” Lionel countered “You might not say it, but I can tell and when he appeared wanting to make amends, I wanted to help. You miss them, they miss you, and I don’t see the harm of talking to them, Alba” he explained, his expression soft and sheepish.

Alba offered him a look.

“I am not for a second suggesting that you make it easy on them, Alba” Lionel added gently “But I know that you want to at least start to make amends and I thought I was helping. If that was wrong, I’d be more than happy to pay for their flight home” he mused.

Alba shook her head. “You don’t have to do that” she mumbled.

“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do” Lionel mused gently as he moved to place Isabella back into pushchair, allowing him to take Alba’s hand “And if you want them to leave, I will ensure it, OK?” he added.

Alba nodded. “You’ll be there too?” she posed, a shy look on her face.

“If you want me to be” Lionel smiled.

“I think I’d prefer it” Alba noted.

“Then of course I will be” he assured her, squeezing her hand gently.

Alba offered him a shy look before she nodded her head, wordlessly agreeing to at least try to talk. She knew that it would take a lot, as far as she concerned, her parents had done a lot of damage to their relationship and it was going to take a lot to fix it, but Lionel did have a point. Whether she wanted to admit it or not, she had missed them and did want to at least try and make amends.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)