The Things That You Do

11: That’s What Changed

“Have you got plans for the rest of the night, Leo?”

Lionel, who’d been quietly getting changed, startled slightly at the sound of Gerard’s voice before he whipped around, offering the defender a light shrug. It wasn’t overly late, with Barcelona having played an earlier match, he still had most of the evening ahead of him, but he hadn’t given much thought as to what he wanted to do with it, even if a large part of him was tempted to drop in on Alexa. He didn’t want her to get frustrated with his frequent and almost always unannounced visits.

It had been a few days, after the conversation that they had had about the prospect of her and Andres dating, they’d not spoken, and whilst a small part of him wanted to call her, he had opted against it, not quite sure that he had it in him to listen to her fuss over what was going on between her and the waiter.

“I’ve not really given it much thought” Lionel replied as he pulled his t-shirt over his head “I was thinking about dropping in on Alexa, but I’ve not made my mind up yet” he added.

Gerard, who’d moved to wrap his jacket around his shoulders, nodded. “How is she doing?” he noted “I mean, I heard about her papa. Is she doing alright?” he posed gently. He didn’t want to push it, for a while, the subject of Alexa had been one which had been sensitive for the argentine, but he was a little curious about what was going on between the two of them, even if he was glad that they were simply spending time together again. He wanted to know whether or not they’d managed to fix whatever it was that had happened between them.

Lionel, who’d moved to tie the laces of his shoes, glanced up at the defender briefly before he shrugged, a light sigh falling out of his mouth. “She’s not quite herself” he noted “I mean, most of the time, she’s fine, but her emotions are still a little all over the place. She’s getting there, but I think she still needs a little more time” he explained.

“And what about the two of you?” Gerard posed “How’s it going?” he added.

Lionel merely offered him another shrug, something which caused Gerard to frown as he settled down onto the bench beside him. “I thought that things were getting between the two of you?” he posed curiously.

Lionel stared at the taller man for a moment, briefly contemplating lying to him and telling him that things were fine, before he let out a small sigh, shaking his head gently. “I don’t know what happened” he noted “I mean, one minute, things were fine between us, and the next she was suddenly pulling away from me, but she won’t explain it to me and that makes us both pretty awkward around one another. I want to put it right, Gerard, whatever it is, I want to fix it, but she seems pretty reluctant to talk to me about it and I don’t want to push her right now. It’s not exactly the best time” he explained as he pushed a frustrated hand back through his hair.

Gerard watched him for a moment, not missing the frustration in his voice, before he shook his head, his hand gently patting Lionel’s leg before the sound of a phone vibrating filled the air, something which caused Lionel to look up, glancing back towards his locker. “I think that that’s mine” he noted.

Gerard nodded before he offered his leg another reassuring pat, pushing himself back up to his feet. “Give it time, Leo” he noted simply before he padded away, leaving Lionel alone.

Lionel watched the defender across the room briefly before he stood up, moving to collect his phone from inside his locker. Unlocking it, he brightened slightly at the sight of Alexa’s name on the screen before he scanned the message, frowning slightly at the words ‘I need to talk to you’. Hesitating slightly, he sent her a swift reply before he moved to collect his bag, more than slightly anxious to know what it was that she wanted to talk to him about.

Staring up at the front door, Alexa let out a small sigh, her ears doused by the sound of knocking. She knew who it was, as soon as she sent the text that she had sent to him, she had known that it wouldn’t be too long before he arrived at the door, but still she couldn’t quite work up the nerve to open the door, even if she knew that it wasn’t something that she could avoid forever. A small part of her was tempted to just ignore the knocking and let the conversation go for a little longer.

Pushing a hand back through her hair, she chewed on her lip for a few more seconds, before she stepped towards the door, pulling it open to Lionel who stood on the other side, his dark eyes wide. “You’re here” he spluttered “I was starting to think you weren’t” he added.

Alexa offered him a feeble smile. “I’m sorry” she murmured “I was in the other room and I didn’t quite hear the door” she lied as she reached up, tucking some of her blonde hair off of her face.

Lionel offered her a slightly dubious look, not quite convinced by her lie, but he opted not to comment on it, instead offering her a small smile. “Do you think I could come inside?” he posed “I mean, unless you want to talk in the hallway” he teased awkwardly.

Alexa smiled half-heartedly at his joke before she stepped out of the doorway, allowing him to step past her and into the apartment.

“So” Lionel quipped over his shoulder as he walked through the apartment, making his way into the living room. “There’s something on your mind?” he asked as he sat down, his dark eyes settling on Alexa who stood in the doorway, her hands awkwardly fiddling with her sweater she wore. He could see that there was something on her mind, the look on her face when she had opened the door screamed it, and he wanted to encourage her to talk to him, even if she did take her time. He wanted to know what it was that was bothering her.

Alexa, who’d been watching the shy movements of her hands, nodded her head, but didn’t look up at him, instead keeping her stare locked on her hands. “I...I have something that I need to tell you” she babbled “I mean, I think that this conversation has been a long time coming, but I...I think now is the right time to have it. I don’t think that we can avoid it much longer” she rambled shyly.

Lionel, who was sat on the couch, noticed the shyness in her voice before he shuffled a little closer to her, gently moving to take a hold of her hand before he offered it a gentle squeeze, something which made Alexa sigh gently before she pulled it back, jamming it into her pocket. “I need to say this, Ok?” she babbled.

Lionel nodded. “OK” he agreed.

Alexa took in a soft breath, allowing a quiet to fall over them for a moment, before she shook her head. “You got a girlfriend” she mumbled.

Lionel frowned. “What?” he posed.

Alexa shook her head, chewing on her lip shyly. “You asked, a while ago, what it was that changed between us. That’s what changed, you got a girlfriend” she explained.

“And that changed things between me and you?” Lionel posed confusedly “Alexa...”

“I liked you” Alexa cut in suddenly “I mean, I really liked you, Leo, and the night that you told me that you had a girlfriend...that was the night that I was going to tell you how I felt. That’s why things changed between us. I... I couldn’t be around you then” she babbled shakily.

Lionel, who had been caught off guard by her interruption, stared up at her quietly for a few awkward seconds before he swallowed, not quite sure how to respond to what she had said.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to FootieJo, Twisted;;Symphony and mslou1 for the comments :)