Where We Are

10: It’s Not Like You Asked

Scanning her reflection briefly, Maia sighed quietly to herself, shyly brushing a few loose hairs away from her eyes. She had known that it was coming, after the way that she had abruptly put an end to the first attempt that she and Iker had had at talking about their relationship, she had known that it would only be a matter of time before the subject was broached again, and whilst she knew that Iker had a point, and that they did need to talk, she couldn’t shake the lump in her throat at thought of it.

It scared her, the idea of them trying to piece thigns together only to fail frightened her, and a small part of her wanted to shy away from it, even if it did mean that it was always hanging over their heads. She was worried about the prospect of him saying that things between them were too broken to put back together again.

Offering her reflection another quick gander, she smoothed her shirt out over her bump before the sound of the doorbell filled the ears, causing her to let out a small shaky sigh. Taking in a couple of nervous breaths, she stepped out of the bedroom and made her way down the hall, pulling the door open to Iker who greeted her with a tender smile. “You remembered I was coming?” he quipped softly.

Maia offered him a pointed look. “I saw you a couple of hours ago” she retorted.

Iker nodded. “I know” he returned “I was just trying to lighten the mood. I bought dinner” he added, showing off the bag which sat in his hand with a proud smile.

Maia’s lips quirked upwards at the sight of his grin before she stepped out of the doorway, allowing him to move inside. “Do you want to put it down in the kitchen?” she posed, closing the door behind him “I mean, I only ate a little while ago and I thought that you wanted to...”she trailed off, offering him a timid glance

Iker met her stare briefly before he nodded his head, flashing her a brief smile before he ducked into the kitchen, settling the bag down onto the counter. Maia watched him, shifting her feet awkwardly, before he appeared ahead of once more, something which caused her to take a couple of steps, guiding him through towards the living room as an awkward silence settled around the two of them.

Iker followed her into the room before he took a seat on the couch, something Maia mirrored before she turned slightly, offering him a soft look. “I’m sorry for last time” she murmured, fiddling nervously with her hands.

Iker watched the timid movements of her hands before he shook his head. “I’m sorry for just dropping it on you” he replied “I should have been more tactful. I mean, this is pretty complicated anyway and I imagine the pregnancy hormones don’t help all that much” he added.

Maia simply shook her head, something which caused Iker to stretch his hand out, wordlessly asking her to take a hold of it. Maia glanced at his larger hand, hesitating briefly, before she stretched her arm out, lightly placing her hand in his. “I am not trying to upset you, Maia” he breathed, slotting his fingers through hers “I want your pregnancy to be as smooth and as easy as it can be, I want out little baba to come along and be as perfect as we both know he or she will be, but this is a hurdle that we need to clear and we need to do it sooner rather than later. We need to figure it out for ourselves, Maia, before baba comes along, and that means just getting through it. Can we do that?” he posed as he brushed his thumb over her hand, trying to offer her a little comfort.

He knew that she was uncomfortable, the look on her face as soon as she had pulled the door open to him confided it, but he also knew that they couldn’t avoid it. It needed to happen, they needed to talk, and it was simply something that Maia had to get through, regardless of how uncomfortable it was. They needed to do it.

Maia, who was watching their hands, nodded. “We can give it shot” she murmured, not even attempting to look up at him.

Iker noted her lack of attempt to look at him, but didn’t comment on it, instead offering her hand a soft squeeze.

Maia look at their hands for another moment before she let out a quiet sigh. “I messed up, didn’t I?” she posed.

“You didn’t mess up” Iker countered “Things between us just got a lot more complicated very quickly. I was looking at one thing, the idea of settling down and starting a family, and you were focused on something else, your job, and those ideas butted heads. Your job was your first love, Maia, and I never really caught up with it, did I?” he posed, his brown eyes looking down at her softly.

Maia shook her head. “It wasn’t like that” she murmured.

“Then what was it like, Maia?” Iker pressed gently “You kept leaving and coming back, and you never put your job on the backburner for me, but you put me on the backburner for you job more than once. I was in second place, Maia, and it bothered me. I was crazy about you” he insisted, his voice slightly strained.

Maia shifted at the strain in his voice before she shook her head. “I didn’t do well” she murmured “I’d never had to balance my job with a relationship like I did with you, and I didn’t handle it very well, but I never meant to put you second. You know how I felt about you, Iker, and I hate that you could possibly doubt it. I wasn’t the perfect girlfriend, I don’t pretend that I was, but you cannot doubt that I loved you. I loved you more than anything” she insisted, her blue eyes slightly tearful.

Iker admired the tears in her eyes before he shook his head, trying to choke back a few of his own. “It didn’t feel like it sometimes” he murmured carefully “Video calls were never enough, Maia, and two weeks of being with you followed by six or seven of not being with you was even worse. I knew what I wanted then, but I never got the idea that we were on the same page” he added.

“It’s not like you asked” Maia countered, meeting his dark eyes briefly “You never asked me if I had thought about settling down, if it was something I wanted, and then you ended it, not me. You jumped to it, Iker, without talking to me, and I went along with it, thinking that it was what you wanted. I never wanted to make you unhappy” she added, a few loose tears trailing down her cheeks.

Iker stared at her, a lump in his throat, before he lifted his spare hand, carefully trailing his thumb along her cheekbone to wipe away the loose tears. “You didn’t make me unhappy” he breathed “Our situation, it frustrated me, but you never made me unhappy, Maia” he insisted.

Maia sniffled, something which caused Iker to duck his head, carefully pressing their foreheads together. “I loved you then” he murmured “And I still do now” he added, brushing their noses together.

Maia stiffened a little, her ears ringing with his words, before she leant back, her tearful blue eyes meeting his darker ones.

Iker smiled at her weakly. “Is that stupid?” he murmured, trying to shift the slightly awkward atmosphere which had filled the room.

Maia stared at him for a few long seconds before she carefully cupped his cheek, brushing a few tears off of his skin.

Iker closed his eyes at the feel of her hand, something which made Maia smile tearfully before she edged forwards, lightly nudging their noses together. “It’s not stupid” she murmured “And if it is, we’re both stupid” she added, meeting his stare.

Iker held her stare, allowing her words to hang around them for a few seconds, before he tentatively leant forwards, brushing his lips over hers. Maia stilled at the contact, not expecting the cautiously light touch, before she leant into him a little more, encouraging him to kiss her properly. Iker hesitated for a fraction of a second but responded to her move, kissing her warmly before he pulled back, offering her a tearful smile that she quick to mirror.

“You kissed me” she babbled, causing him to let out a small amused laugh.

He was under no illusions, one conversation and one kiss was not enough to patch up whatever it was that was between the two of them, but it was start. There was a lot that needed to be said, a lot that needed to be figured out, but for Iker, it was a step in the right direction and he could only hope that Maia was on his wavelength.
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Thanks to FootieJo, Twisted;;Symphony, mslou1 and Jayme112234 for the comments :)