Where We Are

00: I Don’t Know That We Can

Lightly brushing his fingers over Maia’s bare shoulder, Iker sighed quietly to himself, his dark eyes marveling at her as she quietly slept beside him. It was infrequent, with Maia’s schedule and her travelling, he couldn’t quite recall the last time they’d spent more than a couple of weeks in the same place, and whilst he was excited to see her and spend time with her, he knew that their time together was reaching an end, something which already had a familiar knot in the pit of his stomach.

It wasn’t a new thing, in the year that they had been dating, Maia had spent almost 4 months away from him in total, and whilst he had known that she loved her job when they’d gotten together, it had left him frustrated. He liked them, when Maia was around, they were happy and settled, and whilst he knew that she loved her job, he was frustrated that she wasn’t around more often, allowing them to move their relationship forwards.

Allowing another soft sigh to fall out of his mouth, he quietly dragged his fingers over her shoulder before he carefully leant forwards, kissing her skin tenderly. Maia stirred a little at the feel of his lips against her skin, but didn’t wake up, something which caused Iker to let out a soft sigh in relief before he pushed himself up to his feet, his dark eyes settling on the set of suitcases which were settled beside the bedroom door, a sight which caused the knot in his stomach to twist. He knew that it was coming, since she had arrived back from three weeks in Germany, it had only been a matter of time before she set off for her latest piece, but still the thought unsettled him, even if it wasn’t a new sensation. He hated the idea of her leaving so soon.

Eyeing the suitcases for a moment, he shook his head quietly before he moved to pad towards the bathroom.


Iker, who’d moved to quietly nudge the bathroom door open, startled at the sleepy sound of Maia’s voice before he lifted his head, offering her a small smile. “I thought you were still sleeping” he noted “Did I wake you?” he posed as he padded towards the bed, settling down at the foot of it.

Maia, who’d sat up slightly, offering him a sleepy look before shook her head. “You didn’t” she noted “But you could come back over here. It’s still early and neither of us have anywhere to be for a while. What do you say?” she added, a small impish smile on her lips.

Iker admired her smile, briefly contemplating her offer, before he quirked a feeble smile of his own, something which made Maia tilt her head, not missing the fact that his smile seemed a little forced. “Are you OK?” she posed curiously.

Iker, who’d shuffled up the bed slightly, nodded. “Of course I am” he replied “Why wouldn’t I be?” he posed, his eyes not meeting hers.

“You can’t look at me for one” Maia quipped “And your smile, it seemed off to me. So, you can pretend that there’s nothing on your mind, or you can talk to me about what’s bothering you. It’s up to you” she added, her voice soft and encouraging. She could see that there was something bothering him, the way that he refused to look at her confided it, and she wanted to encourage him to talk to her, wanting to know what it was that was on his mind.

Iker was quiet for a moment, mulling over her words, before he turned his head, his dark eyes peeking up at her softly. “We’ve had this conversation before, Maia” he noted “I mean, I think we have this conversation every time you come home, but I am tired of it. I like having you here, Maia, when you’re here, things between us are good, but the problem is...”

“I have to go, Iker” Maia interrupted gently “It’s my job” she added.

Iker blinked a couple of times, slightly surprised by her interruption, before he nodded. “I know that” he noted “But every time I get used to you being here, you go again and I am getting tired of it. I know it is your job, and that you love that job, but Maia, I hardly see you” he added, his voice soft.

Maia noticed the tone of his voice before she shook her head. “Iker...”

“I’m tired, Maia” Iker interrupted gently “I’m sick of saying hello and knowing that in a few weeks, I’ll end up saying goodbye to you again for weeks at a time. I’m tired of video chatting and not being able to kiss you or hold you, and I know what you’re going to say, that I knew what I was getting into when we got together, but I thought...I thought things would change” he admitted, his brown eyes peeking up at her softly.

Maia held his stare for a moment, her blue eyes mirroring his darker ones, before she shook her head, her fingers messing shyly with the ends of her dark hair. “Iker” she murmured “I don’t know what you want me to say” she added, chewing her lip sheepishly.

Iker watched her for a moment before he shook his head, a soft sigh falling out of his mouth. “I don’t know what to do, Maia” he murmured “I love you, you know that, but this...this isn’t working for me anymore. I want us to start thinking ahead, about settling down, but I don’t know that we can do that if...” he trailed off, offering her a soft glance.

Maia mirrored his stare for a moment, allowing his words to linger around them, before she shook her head. “Are suggesting that we...?” she babbled softly.

Iker hesitated momentarily before he nodded his head gently. “This...us...it’s not working for me, Maia” he noted “I love you, and I want to make this work, but I don’t know that we can. I’m just tired, Maia, I’m tired of putting us on pause every time you leave, and I don’t think it is fair, not to either of us. I’m sorry, but I think...I think this probably for the best” he babbled, not quite sure of his words.

Maia blinked a couple of times, a few tears stinging the corner of her eyes, before she lifted her hand, lightly brushing the tears away. “I...I guess I should go” she babbled as she pushed herself up to her feet, quickly moving to collect her clothes.

Iker watched her for a moment before he carefully pushed himself up to his feet, padding towards her. Reaching his hand out, he lightly cupped her cheek before he leant down, pressing a soft kiss against her lips, something which startled Maia slightly before she reached her arms up, holding him close. She knew that he had a point, for a long time, things between them had been strained, but still the idea of ending their relationship stung, even if she knew that it was probably the right decision. The idea that things between her and Iker were over wasn’t one she was going to get used to easily.