If You Love Me

Eleven: I Don’t Know What To Say

Shifting his feet slightly, Gerard spared a brief glance towards the door which stood ahead of him, trying to shift the irksome lump which had appeared in his throat at the thought of spending time with Nora. It had been a while, after his conversation with Andres, a few weeks had passed, and despite the fact that they had talked over the phone on a few occasions, Gerard knew that they couldn’t avoid seeing one and other forever.

Things were awkward between them, even despite his best efforts to pretend that they weren’t, things felt strained and uncomfortable, and Gerard knew that it was something that they needed to talk about, even if he was running the risk of hearing Nora say that she didn’t feel the same way as him. He knew that it was simply a bridge that they had to cross. It worried him, the idea that Nora could tell him that things were simply never going to happen between the two of them, but he knew that it was something that they had to talk about. It wasn’t fair on either of them if they avoided it for much longer.

Pushing a hand back through his hair, he offered the door another soft glance before he gently reached his hand out, pressing the doorbell for a couple of seconds before he ducked back, watching as Nora pulled the door open, her blue eyes not shifting from the tablet which she held in her hand. Quirking a small smile, he admired her for a brief second before he cleared his throat. “Aren’t you even going to say hola, Nora?” he posed, his voice soft and teasing.

Nora, who’d been reading the screen of her tablet, blinked a couple of times at the sound of his voice before she lifted her head, a small smile appearing at the corner of his mouth. “Gerard” she breathed softly “I didn’t know that you were back. I though you still had a few days before you needed to be back in town?” she posed gently.

Gerard shrugged. “I did” he confirmed softly “But I figured I could come back a few days early. You’re not happy to see me?” he posed, flashing her a small grin.

Nora rolled her eyes softly before she gently stepped out of the doorway, allowing him to step into the apartment. “I’ve just made a pot of tea” she noted, following him through towards the living room. “Do you want me to get you a cup?” she posed softly.

Gerard, who’d moved to settle down on the couch, shook his head. “I’m alright, Nora” he noted gently.

Nora spared him a soft look, wordlessly asking him if he was sure, before she padded out of the living room, quietly stepping into the kitchen before she let out a soft sigh. It felt awkward, just from the small interaction that she and Gerard had shared, she could tell that things were likely to be tense between them, and a small part of her wanted to avoid it for a little longer, even if she knew that she couldn’t shy away from him forever. She had been hoping to put it off for a little longer.

Sparing a soft sigh, she moved to pour herself a mug of tea before she turned around, hesitating briefly before she stepped back into the living room, settling down in the armchair which sat opposite the couch. “So” she mused softly.

Gerard, who’d been quietly messing with his phone, looked up at the sound of her voice before he quirked a feeble smile. “So” he played along.

Nora offered him a small playful glare before she shook her head. “Come on, Gerard” she quipped “You didn’t show up at my door just to sit awkwardly on my couch. What’s going on?” she pressed gently, her fingers messing shyly with the ends of her hair.

Gerard watched the small movements of her fingers for a moment before he shook his head, pushing his hand back through his hair. “I…I want to talk to you about something, Nora” he murmured softly “And I want you to let me get through it before you say anything, OK?” he posed gently, his blue eyes briefly mirroring hers.

Nora frowned, slightly confused by his words, but nodded her head. “Ok” she breathed softly.

Gerard spared her another mall glance before he carefully dropped his stare, settling it on his hands which fiddled nervously in his lap. “I…I guess that this has been on my mind for while” he murmured softly “I mean, I know it has been, but I think…I think that it’s something that we need to talk about. Things between us…they’re awkward, Nora” he added gently.

Nora tilted her head. “Gerard…”

“It is awkward, Nora” Gerard interrupted softly “I mean, since the last ‘almost’ moment we shared, we’ve barely been able to talk to one another, and I know that you’ve noticed it too. You’re not quite as subtle as you think you are” he added, flashing her a brief smile.

Nora’s cheeks tinted a soft shade of pink before she quietly shook her head, something which made Gerard shuffled forwards slightly in his seat, his hand gently moving to take a hold of hers. “I think I know why things aren’t quite comfortable between us, Nora” he mumbled softly, his finger knotting through hers.

Nora chewed on her lip. “You do?” she posed softly.

Gerard, who was focused on their hands, nodded his head quietly. “I think so” he mumbled softly “I think I have feelings for you” he added quietly.

Nora, who’d moved to mess with his fingers quietly, stilled slightly at his words before she lifted her head. “What?” she squeaked softly.

“I think I have feelings for you” Gerard repeated quietly “I mean, I’ve thought it for a while, but then when Emilia tried to set you up on a date, it irked me, Nora and I guess…I know that that was because I hated the idea of you moving on. I know that it is stupid, I mean, we’re friends, but it still irked me and I think it is about time we stopped dancing around the elephant in the room. I like you, Nora, and I thought you should know it” he babbled softly, his eyes avoiding hers.

Nora sat quietly, allowing his words to hang around them for a few long seconds, before she quietly shook her head. “Gerard…”

“I know it is a lot to take in” Gerard interrupted softly “And I get it if you don’t feel the same way, but I thought that I should tell you, Nora. I don’t know that we can make this friendship work anymore if we just keep avoiding it” he added gently.

Nora blinked, slightly surprised by his interruption, before she quietly shook her head. “I don’t know what to say” she breathed softly.

Gerard shook his head. “You don’t have to beat around the bush” he mumbled softly “If you don’t feel the same way…”

“I’m not saying that” Nora interrupted softly “I mean, for a while, I’ve been pretty convinced that there is something a little more between us, but Gerard, this is a big deal and I am worried. I like us, even if we are awkward from time to time, and I am worried that…”

Nora’s words trailed off as Gerard leant into her, pressing his lips against hers. Nora startled, caught off guard by the kiss, before she carefully wrapped her arms around him, holding him close for a few seconds before he gently ducked back, pressing his forehead against hers. “I like you, Nora” he murmured softly “I like you a lot” he added, his fingers lightly brushing some of her blonde hair behind her ear.

Nora’s cheeks warmed a little at the feeling of his fingertips before she ducked her head, a shy smile on her lips. Gerard admired the small smile for a brief moment before he leant down, kissing the top of her head. "Nora" he murmured softly "I need you to say something" he added gently.

Nora, who was still looking down at her feet, paused for a moment before she quietly shook her head. "It's not going to be fast, Gerard" she mumbled softly "I mean, I don't want to rush anything which happens between us, but...but I guess what I'm trying to get to is that...I sort of like you too" she babbled gently, a faint smile passing over her lips.

Gerard smiled a little, slightly amused by her babbling, before he quietly leant forwards, pressing another soft kiss against the top of her head. He knew that she had point, if anything was to happen between them, it was likely to be slow moving for a while, but he was simply pleased that he hadn't fallen flat on his face.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)