If You Love Me

Eighteen: Why Are You Laughing?

“Are you going to be joining us for lunch, Gerard?”

Gerard, who was sat in front of his locker sending a text to Nora, startled a little at the sound of Lionel’s voice, lifting his head to peek towards the argentine who stood ahead of him, a small smirk playing at the corner of his mouth. It wasn’t the first time, for a few weeks, Gerard had been more and more preoccupied with his phone, and Lionel had to admit that he found it slightly amusing, even if Gerard had yet to say anything about the person who was on the other end of the texts. It had been a little while since the defender had looked as contented as he did when he was sending texts.

“What?” the defender spluttered softly.

Lionel, who’d moved to lift his bag onto his shoulder, shook his head. “Lunch” he repeated gently “A few of us are heading out for some and we were wondering if you planned on joining us. You know, if you can pull yourself away from your phone for a few moments” he added, his voice bright and teasing.

Gerard, who’d moved to scan Nora’s reply, rolled his eyes slightly before he placed the phone back into his pocket. “I would do” he noted “But I have a better offer” he added, moving to slip his feet into his shoes.

Lionel, who rested against the locker beside the defender’s, tilted his head. “A better offer?” he quipped curiously.

Gerard noted the curious tone of his voice before he nodded his head. “I have some other plans” he rephrased “And, as fun as I am sure having lunch with you guys would be, I am not about to cancel them. Are you going to be alright without me?” he teased, moving to lift his bag onto his shoulder.

Lionel spared a laugh before he shook his head. “I am sure that we’ll cope” he noted gently “But I am curious. You have other plans?” he poked, his voice caught between teasing and curious.

Gerard rolled his eyes slightly at the tone of the argentine’s voice before he nodded his head. “I do have other plans” he noted “But, for the time being, that’s all you’re getting out of me. It’s new, Leo, very new, and for a little while me and my…my girlfriend, we kind of want to keep it between ourselves” he explained softly, stumbling slightly at the word ‘girlfriend’. He wasn’t the first person to get a little curious, for a while, people had been looking at him inquisitively, but he didn’t want to let them in so soon, even if he was excited about the idea that he and Nora had started to date. For a little longer, he wanted to enjoy things before other people got involved.

Lionel’s expression softened a little at the mention of the word ‘girlfriend’ before he nodded his head. “I understand” he noted softly “But, when you start introducing her…”

“You’ll be somewhere near the top of the list” Gerard finished for him, offering him a small smile.

Lionel offered him a small nod before he gently patted his shoulder. “Enjoy your day, amigo” he quipped as he stepped out of the room. Gerard watched him go for a couple of seconds before he moved to slip his phone back out of his pocket, a slight smiling pulling at the corner of his mouth as he read over Nora’s text. Smiling a little to himself, he sent her a quick reply, asking if she was home, before he pushed himself up to his feet, slightly excited by the idea of spending a little time with his girlfriend.

“You know, there was a period of time where you and I used to be able to get through more than a couple of days without seeing one another”

Gerard, who’d moved to follow Nora into her apartment, rolled his eyes slightly before he stepped up behind her, his arms taking their familiar place around her waist as he moved to press a soft kiss against her shoulder. It had been a couple of days, after Nora had first spent the night in his guest room, a few days had passed, and whilst it was a little silly, he couldn’t wait to see her again. “You know you missed me really, Nora” he mumbled softly, pressing a soft kiss against her neck.

Nora’s eyes closed at the feel of his lips against her neck before she gently leant back into him, something which caused him to smile softly against her skin. It was still a work in progress, sometimes, when he kissed her, she shied away from him slightly, but she was getting better, something which pleased him. He knew that it wasn’t going to happen overnight, for a while, things between them were likely to be slightly weird, but he was content with their progress. They were settling into it, into them as a couple, and Gerard was confident that they’d keep making little steps forwards for a while yet.

Smiling gently, he pressed a soft kiss against the side of her head before he gently stepped back slightly, turning her to look up at him. “I can go if you want me to” he noted softly “I mean, we have spent a lot of time together recently and…” Gerard’s voice trailed off as Nora looked up at him, a soft smile pulling at the corner of her mouth. Admiring her smile briefly, he shook his head slightly before he leant down, pressing a soft kiss against her lips. “You’re mean to me” he mumbled softly between soft and light kisses.

Nora let out a small laugh before she gently leant into him, sneaking another couple of light kisses before she stepped away from him, moving to pad into the living room, Gerard following along behind her. “How was dinner with your mama and sister?” he posed, watching as she settled down on the couch, lifting her laptop from the coffee table.

Nora, who’d moved to resume the work that she had been doing before Gerard had arrived, lifted her head. “Huh?” she posed softly.

Gerard, who’d moved to settle down at her side, rolled his eyes playfully before he shook his head. “I asked how dinner with your mama went” he repeated gently “You went over there a couple of days ago, remember?” he added, playfully poking the side of her head.

Nora offered him a small playful glare before she shook her head. “It was alright” she noted softly “I mean, you’ve met my mama and Emmy before. You know how they are” she added gently, her fingers fiddling with the bottom of her shirt.

Gerard noted the small movements of her hand before he tilted his head, catching her stare. “Is there something else?” he posed softly.


“Nora, I know you” he interrupted softly, a slight smile on his lips “So, let’s skip the routine where you say that it’s nothing and get to the part where you tell me what’s actually on your mind” he added as he moved to knot their fingers together, offering Nora’s hand a light encouraging squeeze.

Nora spared a brief look down towards their hands before she quietly shook her head. “I…I sort of told my mama and Emmy about us” she revealed softly.

Gerard tilted his head. “You did?” he posed, the tone of his voice hard to place.

Nora offered him a shy look before she nodded. “They were talking about me trying to move on, about setting me up with one of Mateo’s friend, and so I told them that…that I had a boyfriend. That you were my boyfriend” she babbled softly, her cheeks tinting a soft shade of pink.

Gerard was quiet for a couple of seconds, mulling her words over, before he lightly shook his head, a small laugh falling out of his mouth.

Nora tilted her head at the sound of his laugh. “Why are you laughing?” she posed.

Gerard shrugged. “Because you’re cute” he noted gently “Nora, I don’t care if your mother knows about us, I don’t care if the world knows about us or no one knows about us, I just care that you and me…that we’re going to make this work. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want us to make a huge fuss about it, but if someone asks me, I am not going to deny it. I am pretty excited about this, Nora” he enthused gently. He knew why she was nervous, the idea of people knowing about them increased the chances of people trying to get in the middle of things, but he didn’t want her to worry. It was their relationship, whatever happened between them was between the two of them, and he wanted her to know it.

Nora blinked a couple of times, slightly surprised by his words, before she peeked up at him. “You don’t mind that I told my mama?” she posed softly.

Gerard offered her hand a light squeeze before he shook his head. “Not at all” he noted “Just as long as it doesn’t mean that I have to start going to lunch with her and Emmy. Don’t get me wrong, they’re lovely, but they’re a lot” he added, offering her an impish grin.

Nora scoffed a little at his comment, quipping something about him being an idiot, before she shifted a little closer to him, cuddling into his side briefly. Gerard smiled a little at the soft embrace before he bent down, pressing a soft kiss against the top of her head, something which caused Nora to cuddle into him a little more, fussing quietly about how well thing seemed to be going for them
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)