When You Close Your Eyes

86: I’m Better Now

Allowing a soft yawn to fall out of his mouth, Lionel moved to pull his key out of his pocket, slipping it into the lock of the door which stood ahead of him. It had been a while, with Argentina having progressed to the quarter finals, it had been a few weeks since he had been home, but with the team having been knocked out, he had opted to head home as soon as possible, not wanting to spend any more time away than he had to. He had missed it, being around Isla and Isabelle, and he was glad to be home, even if it had come at the expense of Argentina’s failure to win another international tournament, he was simply glad to be back.

Pushing the front door open, he moved to settle his suitcases out of the way before he closed the door behind him, his ears doused by the quiet which filled the house. It was early, after taking a little while to pack up his things, Lionel’s flight had landed a little after 7 in the morning, but still he was glad to be home, even if it would be a while before Isabelle or Isla started to stir, he was merely glad to be back. Allowing another soft yawn to fall out of his mouth, he toed off his shoes before he quietly padded through the house, pausing in the kitchen door way as his dark eyes settled on Isabelle who sat at the kitchen table, her blue eyes fixed on the laptop which sat ahead of her.

Pausing for a second, he allowed his dark eyes to survey her before he cleared his throat, something which caused Isabelle to startle a little before she lifted her head, her blue eyes widening a little at the sight of them. “Lionel” she squeaked “I…I thought you weren’t due back for a couple of days” she added.

Lionel admired the surprised expression she wore before he offered her a small shrug, a nonchalant smile playing at the corner of his mouth. “I got an earlier flight” he noted “After the result, I figured there was no point in hanging and so I got an earlier flight. You’re not happy to see me?” he posed, his voice warm and teasing.

Isabelle rolled her eyes playfully before she pushed herself up to her feet, moving to wrap him in a soft hug. “You know I am” she mumbled, holding onto him for a couple of seconds. She knew that it was a little silly, the idea that she had missed Lionel whilst he had been away was slightly sentimental, but still she was glad to see him, even if he had caught her off guard. She had missed him.

Lionel smiled a little at her words before he gently turned his head, pressing a soft kiss against her cheek. “I’m pretty happy to see you too, Isa” he mumbled softly before he ducked back slightly, moving to rest his forehead against hers.

Isabelle admired the soft expression on his face briefly before she leant into him, pressing a soft kiss against his lips. Lionel startled a little, not quite expecting the kiss, before he wrapped his arms around her, holding her close for a couple of seconds before he ducked back, offering her a soft smile as he brushed some of the loose blonde hair off of her face. “I’ve missed you” he mumbled softly. He knew that it was a little silly, since he had joined up with the Argentina squad, he and Isabelle had endeavored to speak at least once a day, but still he had missed her. Hearing her voice over the phone was nothing in comparison to being in the same room as her.

“You missed me?” Isabelle quipped, a small smile on her face.

“You know I did” Lionel countered “And I know you missed me too” he added, a grin on his face.

Isabelle rolled her eyes playfully before she shook her head. “I did” she confirmed “I mean, I know we talked all of the time, but it’s nothing like having you here” she added, her voice softening a little.

Lionel noted the tone of her voice before he stepped towards her, sneaking another couple of soft kisses before Isabelle ducked back, her fingertips gently pushing the dark hair off of his forehead. “How are you feeling?” she posed softly. She knew that he was likely to be disappointed, as was often the case with Argentina, they’d stumbled before the final hurdle, and she wanted to make sure that he was alright, even if she knew that he wasn’t likely to want to talk about it, she wanted to ensure that he wasn’t letting it get to him.

Lionel sighed a little at her question before he shook his head. “I’m disappointed” he noted “I mean, I know it isn’t the first time, but still, I hate that we weren’t able to do better. We’re a good team, Isa, and we should be doing better than we are and I hate that we’re not. I know that we can do better than that” he added, a frown playing at the corner of his mouth.

Isabelle spared him a soft look before she shook her head, pressing a soft kiss against the corner of his lips. “You know I am proud of you, don’t you?” she posed softly, her lips moving to press a kiss against the other side of his mouth.

Lionel lifted an eyebrow, wordlessly asking her to go on.

“I mean, I know that it didn’t go as you’d planned, but I am still proud of you. You played so well, mi amor” she mumbled, pressing a soft kiss against the side of his nose. She knew that there wasn’t a lot that she could say, no words she uttered would change the fact that Argentina had stumbled again, but still she wanted to try and buoy his sprits slightly, even if it was likely to be in vain. She wanted him to know that, regardless of their early exit, she was still proud of him.

Lionel closed his eyes at the feeling of her lips against his nose before he gently shifted his hand, tilting her head so that he could press a soft kiss against her lips. “Gracias, mi amor. I needed that” he mumbled quietly, not wanting to disturb the comfortably quiet atmosphere which had settled around the two of them.

Isabelle offered him a small impish smile before the sound of Isla’s stirring emanated away from the monitor which stood on the kitchen counter, something which caused her to pull away from him slightly. “I should go and get her” she noted softly “You should wait here” she added, offering him another cheeky smile before she padded out of the room.

Lionel watched her go briefly before he moved to collect a glass of juice, settling down at the kitchen table before Isabelle padded back into the room, Isla settled against her hip. “Look who it is, princesa” she mused softly “Who’s that?” she added, gently leaning Isla towards her father.

Lionel lifted an eyebrow, a slightly amused smile playing at the corner of his mouth, before the word ‘papa’ filled his ears, causing him to flick his eyes down towards Isla who had her little arms stretched out towards him. “Isa, did she just…?” he babbled softly.

“She did” Isabelle confirmed “We were watching your match last night and she just came out with it when you were on the television screen” she added softly.

Lionel blinked a couple of times, trying to wrap his head around it, before he carefully moved to lift Isla into his arms, pressing a soft kiss against her forehead. “I am so proud of you, Lala” he mumbled softly.

Isabelle, who’d moved to settle down in the seat beside him, watched the small interaction before she quirked a small smile, wordlessly hoping that he felt a little better than he had done before.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)