If You Love Me

Seventy: I Like That Smile

Gently rocking Alba’s pushchair back and forth, Nora spared a glance around the room that she sat in, her teeth gently gnawing on her lip. It wasn’t something she’d done a lot, since she and Gerard had gotten together, she was certain that she could count on one hand the amount of times that she had dropped by at the training ground, but with his birthday having arrived, she had opted to surprise him, wanting to make a fuss of the occasion.

It had been a little while, after they’d discussed the idea of wedding planning, a couple of weeks had passed, and Nora was keen to take a little time out. It had been a busy time, with Barcelona playing twice a week and her distracted by making the first few plans for their wedding, both she and Gerard had been busier than usual, and she was keen to make a little time for them, even if it was something as simple as lunch, she wanted to spend some time with him.

Gently chewing on her lip, she briefly peeked into Alba’s pushchair before the sound of footsteps reached her ears, causing her to turn her head, her eyes settling on Lionel who stood a little away from them, a warm grin on his face. “You’re waiting on Gerard?” he asked, moving to sit down beside her.

“We were in the area” Nora replied “And, seeing as it is his birthday, I thought I’d come by and surprise him. Is he nearly ready to go?” she added, gently twisting her engagement ring around her finger.

Lionel watched her fuss over her ring for a moment before he quirked a small smile, nodding his head. “He shouldn’t be too much longer” he noted “The last time I saw him, he was perfecting his hair” he added, his voice warm and teasing.

Nora smiled softly at his joke. “It could still be a while, then?” she poked.

Lionel chuckled gently before he nudged her side. “How is wedding planning coming along?” he posed, breaking the silence which had settled over the two of them. It hadn’t come as a surprise, when Gerard had shared the news that he had proposed to Nora, no one had been overly shocked, but Lionel was happy for them, even if things between them had moved a little more swiftly than he had been expecting. He was pleased the two of them had figured things out.

Nora, who’d been messing softly with her engagement ring, looked up, meeting Lionel’s eyes. “It’s coming along” she noted “I mean, we’re still a way away from the big day, so we’ve still got some time, but we’re making some progress. We’ve sorted out a lot of little things, like a guest list and a menu, but we’ve still got the bigger things to handle” she explained, a small smile appearing at the corner of her mouth.

Lionel noticed the smile before he gently nudged her ribs, offering her a smile of his own. “You know, I like that smile. I’ve seen it a lot recently, more so whenever someone mentions a certain defender” he quipped warmly.

Nora blushed a little at his comment before she ducked her head shyly, something which made the argentine chuckle gently before the sound of someone clearing their throat reached his ears. Spotting Gerard stood beside Nora, he gently patted Nora’s shoulder before he excused himself, leaving the two of them alone.

Gerard watched Lionel walk away before he flicked his attention towards Nora, tilting his head slightly. “Did I forget that we had plans?” he posed, his voice a little confused.

Nora smiled, slightly amused by the confusion in his voice, before she shook her head. “You didn’t” she noted “But, I figured, since it was your birthday, that me and Alba could come by and surprise you by taking you to lunch. Does that sound like a plan?” she posed, her voice caught between teasing and shy.

Gerard noticed the slight nervousness in her voice, but opted not to comment on it, instead offering her a boyish grin. “You remembered my birthday?” he teased.

Nora offered him a playful glare, making him chuckle gently before he stepped towards her, stealing a brisk kiss. “I think that sounds wonderful” he enthused, kissing her softly

Nora held onto him for a moment, enjoying the soft kiss, before she pulled away from him, moving to steer Alba’s pushchair out of the door. Gerard watched her briefly, a familiar grin on his face, before he followed after her, fussing over how well things had settled down for the two of them.

Sipping on the glass of lemonade which sat ahead of her, Nora peeked across the table, her blue eyes marveling at Gerard who sat opposite her, quietly babbling to Alba who sat in his lap, a soft smile playing on her lips. It had been a nice afternoon, after they’d headed out for lunch, Gerard had insisted that he and Nora take Alba for a walk before they’d settled down in a small café, and Nora had enjoyed spending the afternoon relaxing with Gerard and Alba.

“You’re staring”

Nora, who’d drifted off a little, startled at the sound of Gerard’s voice before she shook her head. “I was just admiring the two of you” she noted “I mean, I’m sure that I’ve said it before, but you two together, it’s pretty adorable” she fussed warmly.

Gerard smiled at her warmly. “We made a pretty adorable baby” he fussed “I can’t quite believe that she’ll be a year old in few months” he added, pressing a soft kiss against Alba’s cheek.

Nora admired the interaction with a smile before she shook her head. “I can’t believe it either” she noted “But she will be. She’s growing quick” she fussed as she reached out, lightly smoothing out Alba’s dark hair.

Alba, who’d been grabbing at Gerard’s t-shirt tiredly, snuffled a little at the feel of her mother’s fingers before she let out a soft yawn, something which made the defender smile before he dipped down, kissing the top of her head softly. “I think someone is ready to head home” he noted.

Nora nodded. “I’m not surprised” she noted “It’s a little past her nap time” she added before she pushed herself up to her feet. Stepping around the table, she gently lifted Alba up into her arms before she moved to settle her down into her pushchair, something which caused the little girl to grumble for a moment before she settled down, allowing another yawn to fall out of her mouth.

Smiling, she ensured that the little girl was comfortable before the sound of someone calling her name reached her ears, causing her to stand up before she turned around, her blue eyes settling on the man who stood a little away from her, a warm grin on his face.

“Nora” he greeted warmly “I did think it was you. It’s nice to see you” he enthused.

Nora blinked a couple of times, slightly surprised to see him, before she shook her head, a soft smile appearing on her face. “Dani” she greeted “It’s been a long time” she fussed before she stepped towards him, pulling him into a quick hug.

Gerard, who’d stepped towards Alba’s pushchair, frowned at the name ‘Dani’, before he shook his head, not liking the sight which stood ahead of him.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)