If You Love Me

One: We’re Not Talking About This

Chewing on the side of her thumb, Nora shifted a little in her seat, her blue eyes not moving away from the pitch which sat ahead of her. It had been a long match, after a tight and tense goalless ninety minutes, the match had gone to extra time and Nora, who’d barely been able to sit still throughout the duration of the match, was looking forwards to it being over, wanting to relax slightly.

It had been tense, with Sevilla as keen as Barcelona to win the trophy, the atmosphere within the stadium had been a little tenser that Nora had been expecting, and it had Nora a little worried, even if she knew that Barcelona were a good side. She was a little worried that Barcelona, who had only had 10 men for a lot of the match, would tire more the longer the match went on.

Nervously fidgeting with the bottom of her shirt, she watched as Lionel squirreled another shot wide before she felt an elbow nudge her ribs, causing her to lift her head, her blue eyes peeking towards the woman who sat beside her, a playful smile on her lips. “Are you Ok, Nora?” Antonella teased playfully “I mean, you’ve been particularly fidgety in the last 10 minutes. You know that this is just a game, right?” she added impishly.

Nora, who’d flicked her eyes back towards the pitch, rolled them gently before she nodded her head. “Of course I do” she noted “But I would still like to see them, even if it’s not the biggest deal. I’d rather they won than lost” she added, flinching a little as Sevilla managed to waste another opportunity.

Antonella nodded. “It would be nice to see them win” she agreed gently “And if they do win, that ‘friend’ of yours will be in a lot better mood. We both know how well he takes losing” she added, putting extra emphasis on the word ‘friend’ as a small smirk appeared on her lips.

Nora, who’d moved to peek at her slightly, noted the smirk before she shook her head. It wasn’t the first time, for a while, Antonella had had a habit of teasing her whenever Gerard came up in conversation, but Nora wanted to avoid it, not wanting to go through the familiar routine of denying that there was anything more than their friendship between the two of them. It was something she was asked a lot, with her and Gerard having been friends for years, many people had speculated that there was more between the two of them, and Nora was a little tired of denying it. They were friends, good friends, but that was all it was.

“We’re not talking about this, Ella” she noted gently, flicking her attention back towards the pitch.

Antonella shook her head. “I know we’re not” she replied gently “You’ve made it pretty clear where you stand when it comes to him, but I still think that you’re missing out. You two, you’re pretty great together” she added, gently nudging Nora’s side again.

Nora offered her a playful glare, wordlessly warning her to steer clear of the topic of her and Gerard, before the sound of cheers reached her ears, causing her to flick her attention back down towards the pitch, smiling brightly as she watched Jordi Alba speed away from goal, celebrating with his teammates. Watching the team, she pushed herself up to her feet and applauded, more than a little relieved that the game seemed to have gone the way that she was hoping for.

Nibbling on her lip, Nora attempted to stifle her smile, her blue eyes settled on Gerard as he wandered around the pitch, playfully babbling to Thiago who was rested against Lionel’s shoulder, his little hand tugging at the winner’s medal which hung around the defender’s neck. It had taken a while, with the final having gone to extra time, the trophy presentation had been delayed until a little after midnight, but Nora didn’t mind, even if she had been hoping to head back to her hotel early. She was glad that she had stuck around.

Gently smoothing out her shirt, she watched the team celebrate for a few more seconds before she felt an arm wrap around her waist, something which caused her to let out a small squeal in surprise before she lifted her head, her blue eyes settling on Gerard who stood behind her, his familiar bright grin perched on his face. “This is where you’ve been hiding then, Nora” he teased “I was starting to think that you’d ducked out early” he added, not pulling out of their hug.

Nora scoffed. “Like you’d let Antonella let me leave” she teased softly.

Gerard rolled his eyes. “You know that you love it really” he mused “I am sure that there’s nowhere you’d rather be tonight” he added, nudging her side playfully.

Nora feigned thought for a couple of seconds before a small teasing smile appeared on her lips, something which made Gerard chuckle gently before he pulled her back into another hug, holding her tightly for a few seconds before she stepped back, peeking up towards him softly. “Congratulations” she mused softly “I mean, I could have done without it going to extra time, but I am still very happy for you. You all played really well” she enthused kindly.

Gerard nodded his head in agreement before he quirked a small smirk. “I was still your favourite though, right?” he quipped teasingly.

Nora rolled her eyes playfully before she stepped towards him once more, pulling him into another soft hug. “Of course” she played along.

Gerard laughed gently before he offered her a small squeeze, holding her close for a few seconds before the sound of Lionel’s voice calling Nora’s name reached them, causing him to duck back. “I think someone else would like a little of your attention” he noted softly.

Nora nodded her head gently before she tucked a few loose strands of her blonde hair behind her ear. “I’ve still got a few of your teammates that I want to give my congratulations to” she noted “But I will see you when we get back to the hotel, won’t I?” she posed, looking up at him softly.

Gerard nodded his head. “Of course you will” he mused gently “I mean, it’s late, but I am sure that I can make a little time for you” he added, flashing her another bright smile that made Nora roll her eyes once more before she pushed his shoulder, quipping something about him being an idiot before she made her way across the pitch, greeting Lionel and a few of his teammates with soft hugs and congratulations.

Gerard stood in place for a couple of seconds, his blue eyes contently watching Nora before he shifted his gaze, catching that of Andres who stood a little away from him, a knowing look on his face. Quirking a feeble smile, he offered the midfielder a shake of his head. “Don’t” he muttered quietly before he stepped away. Andres watched him go for a few seconds before he quietly shook his head, wondering just what it would take to encourage the defender to say what everyone knew he was itching to.