Where We Are

14: For What It Is Worth

“Are you sure that we’re not interrupting, Maia?” Hector posed as he padded into the living room, his dark eyes peeking back towards his daughter who followed along behind him and his wife quietly. He knew that she was surprised, the look on her face when she had pulled the door open to him and her mother had confided it, and he wanted to offer her the opportunity to duck out, even if he knew that Carolina was looking forwards to catching up with Maia. He didn’t want to make her, or Iker, uncomfortable.

He wasn’t surprised to see the keeper, with Maia’s pregnancy progressing quickly, he had little doubt that he would be around a lot, and he didn’t want to make him feel awkward, especially with the way things were between him and Maia. The last thing that Maia needed was him or his wife sticking their noses into her business.

Maia, who’d been quietly following her parents through her apartment, lifted her head at the sound of her father’s voice before she shook it, offering him a small smile. “You’re not interrupting” she noted “Although, I am a little surprised by your visit. I thought we were supposed to be getting dinner together this weekend?” she posed, moving to settle down in the armchair which sat opposite the couch.

Carolina, who’d moved to settle down on the couch, nodded. “We were” she noted “But your father and I were having dinner nearby and we thought we could drop in and see how you were doing. You had a scan this morning, didn’t you?” she posed, her voice curious as she peeked over towards Iker who’d moved to settle down on the arm of the chair which Maia sat in, his hands fiddling nervously in his lap.

Maia offered her mother a slightly warning look, knowing that she was curious about what was happened between her and Iker, before she nodded gently. “I did” she noted.

“How was it?” Hector posed “Is baba doing OK?” he fussed.

“Baba’s doing great” Maia enthused with a fond smile “Lola’s really happy with my progress and she actually gave us a little news. Do you mind us sharing it now, Iker?” she posed, looking up at him. She could see that he was uncomfortable, with her parents around and their previous half finished, she could see the nervousness on his face, and she wanted to try and alleviate it slightly, even if she wasn’t certain of how her parents would react to him. She wanted him to know that it was important to her that he was there.

Iker, who’d been fiddling nervously with his hands, looked up at the sound of his name before he shook his head, offering her a half-hearted smile. “Go ahead” he enthused.

Maia returned his smile gently and offered his hand a brief squeeze before she pushed herself up to her feet, moving to collect a copy of the sonogram picture from her bag. “We thought about waiting” she mused “I mean, I’ve always been a fan of surprises, and although he’d never admit it, Iker likes them to, but we decided that we were too curious, so we opted to ask Lola if she knew the sex of the baby. We’re going to have a little girl” she enthused, gently offering the picture towards her father.

Hector blinked a couple of times before he dropped his stare, scanning the picture speechlessly.

“A girl?” Carolina breathed, peeking at the picture over her husband’s shoulder “We’re getting a little granddaughter?” she added.

Maia flashed her mother a bright grin before she nodded in confirmation. “You’re surprised?” she posed.

Carolina nodded. “A little” she mused “But I am so happy for you, both of you” she added, her stare settling on Iker who sat awkwardly behind Maia.

Iker looked up, catching Carolina’s glance, before he offered her a small smile. “Gracias, Mrs Varela” he mused.

“It’s Carolina” the older woman corrected, offering him a fond smile.

Iker noticed the warmth in her smile before he nodded, grateful for the reassurance. “Carolina” he noted “Gracias” he added.

Carolina flashed him another bright smile before she flicked her attention back towards Maia. “You padre and I have a few gifts for baba in the car” she noted “I mean, it’s only a couple of little things, but it’s a start. Do you want to help me bring them in?” she posed.

Maia tilted her head, slightly surprised by her mother’s offer, before she nodded. “Ok” she agreed “Iker...”

“I’ll be fine” Iker interrupted, not missing the slightly apprehensive look which had passed over her features. He knew why she wore the look, the thought of being alone with her father was one which unsettled him too, but he knew that he couldn’t duck out of it. Hector was Maia’s father, his little girl’s grandfather, and the two of them had to figure something out, even if it was only for Maia and the baby’s sake. They had to have some kind of relationship.

Maia spared him a dubious look, asking if he was sure, before she nodded. “Ok” she noted “I should only be gone for a few minutes” she added before she padded after her mother, leaving Iker alone with Hector who was still sat on the couch, his dark eyes not shifting away from the sonogram picture which he held in his hand.

Iker watched the older man for a few moments, allowing a thick silence to hang over them, before he shook head. “Mr Varela...”

“Hector” the older man interrupted “My name is Hector to you, Iker, and it’s been that way for a while” he added, looking up towards the keeper.

Iker blinked, surprised by the interruption, before he nodded. “Hector” he breathed “Things between me and Maia...”

“You’re trying to figure it out?” Hector cut in.

Iker hesitated briefly before he nodded tentatively. “It’s a work in progress” he admitted.

Hector offered him a stiff nod. “I’m glad” he noted.

“You are?” Iker posed.

“You were good for Maia” Hector mused “You’re the first one of her boyfriends that I actually liked, and I am glad that you’re trying to figure it out, because together, you are both happier than you are apart, but Iker, there is a priority here and that is that little girl that my daughter is carrying. She comes first, always, right?” he added, his voice firm. He didn’t want to stick his nose in where it didn’t belong, things between Maia and Iker would figure themselves out one way or another, but he wanted to ensure that Iker intended to stick around for the baby, even if things with Maia didn’t work. He didn’t want his granddaughter to suffer for it.

Iker noted the tone of Hector’s voice before he nodded. “Of course she does” he insisted “Hector, that’s my baby, my little girl, and I am not going anywhere. I promise you” he added firmly.

Hector allowed his eyes to scan over the younger man’s face, searching it quickly, before he nodded. “Good” he enthused, a faint smile on his face.

Iker returned it hesitantly before he moved to shuffle himself up, padding towards where his shoes sat. “I think I ought to go” he noted “You came to see your daughter and I don’t want to get in the way. You’ll tell Maia that I’ll call her?” he added.

Hector nodded.

“It was good to see you, Hector” Iker mused before he stepped towards the door, only to pause as Hector pushed himself up to his feet, patting his shoulder warmly.

“For what it is worth” Hector noted “I hope that you and Maia do figure things out. I’ve always kind of liked the two of you as a couple” he added kindly before he stepped away, musing about fixing himself a drink.

Iker stared after him, allowing his words to hang in the air for a couple of seconds, before he shook his head. “I hope so too” he mumbled to himself.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)