When You Close Your Eyes

02: What Do You Want To Do?

Sparing a small yawn into his hand, Lionel rested his weight back against the kitchen counter, his ears doused by the soft rumble of the kettle which boiled a little away from him. It was early, earlier than Lionel was accustomed to waking up, but after the conversation that he and Isabelle had had the night before, he had found sleep hard to come by, even if he had spent hours curled up beneath his duvet, he hadn’t quite been able to will himself to fall asleep for longer than a period of minutes.

Allowing another soft yawn to fall out of his mouth, he rested his head back for a couple of seconds before the sound of footsteps reached his ears, causing him to look up, his dark eyes peeking towards Isabelle who stood in the doorway, an uncertain expression fixed on her face. Blinking a couple of times, he admired her briefly before he shook his head. “You’re up early” he babbled softly.

Isabelle, who’d moved to pad towards the fridge, shook her head before she quirked a weak smile. “So are you” she countered softly.

“I am” he agreed softly “But I couldn’t sleep and so I figured coming down here was better than disturbing you. I didn’t wake you, did I?” he posed, moving to collect two mugs from the cupboard. He knew that they had to talk, after the conversation that they had had the night before, there was no avoiding it, but he wanted to be tentative, even if they were about to end their relationship, he didn’t want to upset Isabelle more than was necessary.

Isabelle shook her head. “I didn’t exactly sleep a lot either” she mused, her voice caught between soft and nervous.

Lionel allowed her words to linger around them for a couple of seconds, not missing the nervousness in her voice, before he shook his head, a small sigh falling out of his mouth. “We need to talk about this now, don’t we?” he posed softly.

Isabelle, who’d moved to collect the mug of tea he had made for her, spared him a soft look before she nodded her head. “I think so” she murmured softly “I mean, we can put it off for a little longer, but…”

“What do you want to do, Isa?” Lionel interjected, cutting off her nervous joke.

Isabelle blinked, caught off guard by his interruption, before she shook her head. “I don’t know” she admitted softly “But right now, this isn’t working like it did before and I’d hate for one of us to end up hurting the other. The last thing I want is for us to end up hating one another, Leo” she added, peeking towards him softly.

Lionel admired the nervous expression on her face for a moment before he nodded his head softly, stepping a little closer to her. “I’d hate that too” he mumbled softly as he moved to pull the mug of tea out of her hands “But, I also don’t know that I want to end things, Isa. We’ve been doing this for three years, almost four, and I’d hate for us to make a decision right now that we’d end up regretting in a few weeks or months” he added, his fingers softly lacing through hers.

Isabelle peeked down at their hands for a couple of seconds before she lifted her head, her blue eyes looking into his darker ones. “A month” she mumbled quietly.

Lionel tilted his head. “What?” he posed.

“My sister, Grace, she’s getting married at the end of the month” Isabelle explained softly “And my parents, they’re flying out to stay in Barcelona in a couple of days…”

“Isa” Lionel interrupted softly “What has this got to do with us and what we’re talking about right now?” he added, a small frown playing at the corner of his mouth.

Isabelle blinked a couple of times, surprised by his interruption, before she shook her head, her hand offering his a soft squeeze. “I want to give us another month” she mumbled softly.

Lionel tilted his head. “You do?” he posed softly.

Isabelle nodded her softly. “I do” she confirmed softly “I mean, I know that it seems like I am just trying to put off the inevitable, but I don’t want the next month to become about me and you, something we both know it would if I tell my parents that you and I have decided to break up” she added, looking up at him shyly.

Lionel mulled her words over for a couple of seconds before he shook his head. “I don’t know, Isa” he mumbled softly.

“I know that it is stupid” she mumbled softly “And I know that I should just be honest with them, but…but, I just want to ensure that, for the next few weeks, Grace is the centre of attention. Once the wedding is out of the way, if we still decide that breaking up is for the best, I will tell them that we decided to end things amicably, but I would appreciate it, Leo” she added, her thumb gently brushing against the back of his hand. She knew that it was selfish, with their relationship faltering, it was best for them both that any breakup between them was clean, but she didn’t want to pull attention away from her sister, something she inevitably would if she showed up without Lionel at her side.

Lionel watched the slow movements of her thumb for a couple of seconds before he shook his head, moving to rest his forehead against hers. “You’re sure about this?” he mumbled, his nose lightly brushing against hers.

“I think so” Isabelle mumbled softly, her eyes closing “What about you?” she added, stealing a brief kiss.

Lionel startled a little, slightly surprised by the kiss, before he shifted his hands, carefully settling them on her hips. “I think I can handle another month” he muttered softly.

Isabelle smiled a little at his words before she ducked in, pressing another brisk kiss against his lips. She knew that it was silly, hiding the fact that they were breaking up from her parents had the potential to cause a few problems, but still she wanted to give it a shot, even if it did have the potential to make things harder than they needed to be.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comments :)