The Things That You Do

22: We’ll Get Better At This, Won’t We?

“Are you happy now?” Lionel quipped as he shrugged out of his jacket, his dark eyes peeking towards Alexa who sat beside him, happily eating a spoonful of the ice cream which had been placed in front of her. It had been a quiet walk, after they’d left the restaurant, neither one of them had said very much, but still already things felt a little more comfortable between them, something which relieved him slightly. He knew that it was just nerves, since he had arrived at Alexa’s apartment, he had felt more than a little nervous about the prospect of messing up their night, but he was a little glad to see that Alexa was just as nervous as he was, even if it had led to an awkward night. He was relieved that he wasn’t the only one of them worried about screwing up.

Alexa, who was happily eating her ice cream, offered him a bright smile before she nodded. “Very much so” she quipped “Are you sure that you don’t want to get anything?” she asked, placing another spoonful of ice cream into her mouth.

Lionel admired her smile briefly, wordlessly noting how much he liked seeing it, before he shook his head. “I’m alright” he noted.

Alexa offered him a playful look before she shrugged. “Your loss” she chirped impishly.

Lionel let out a warm laugh at her teasing before a small silence settled over the two of them, something which caused Alexa to shift slightly in her seat before she felt a warm hand on her own. Quirking a timid smile, she peeked down towards her hand shyly before she gently slipped her fingers through Lionel’s, causing him to offer her hand a light squeeze. “You’re still nervous” he pointed out knowingly.

Alexa rolled her eyes, but didn’t say anything, instead offering him a small shrug.

Lionel smirked a little at her response before he squeezed her hand once more, trying to comfort her a little.

Alexa kept her hand in his as she placed another spoonful of ice cream into her mouth. “So” she mused, breaking the silence which had settled over the two of them “Are you excited about heading out to Russia?” she asked, trying to spark a conversation that wouldn’t end in an awkward silence.

She knew that it was going to happen, after what had happened between the two of them, they were bound to be awkward around one another, but she wanted to try and push past it, even if she was sure that it would take them a while to settle into things. She wanted to try and get back to a point where things felt easier between them.

Lionel shrugged. “A little” he noted “I mean, I am thrilled that we got there, for a while, it looked like we might not, but I am nervous. I know we’re a good team, we’ve got a lot of good players, but we’ve not quite clicked yet and I guess I am worried that it might not” he explained, his voice a little a fretful.

Alexa smiled, not missing the worry in his voice, before she offered his hand a tight squeeze. “For what it is worth, I think you’ll be fine” she mused warmly “I mean, you’re right, at times things had looked a little disjointed, but this is something else and I think that you’ll pull it off when the pressure is on. You might not win it, but...” she trailed off impishly.

Lionel arched a playful eyebrow. “You think Spain will?” he posed.

“We’ve got a pretty decent team” Alexa mused with a confident shrug “We’ve got a decent mix of experience and youth, and I think we’re in with a shot. I know that the last world cup, and the last Euros was a bit of a letdown, but I think we’re on the up again. I can see us going a long way” she enthused brightly.

Lionel watched her for a moment, a fond smile on his lips, before he lifted her hand, gently pressing a kiss against the back of it.

Alexa’s cheeks flushed a soft shade of pink before she shook her head, one of her eyebrows lifted quizzically. “What was that for?” she asked. It still felt a little strange, after their first kiss, Lionel had grown to be a little more affectionate around her, and whilst she liked it, she knew that it was going to take a little getting used to.

Lionel blinked a couple of times, his eyes a little wide. “Should I not have done it?” he asked cautiously.

Alexa shook her head, a comforting smile appearing on her lips. “It’s fine” she noted “It’s’s a little new and I am still getting used to it” she explained.

Lionel let out a small awkward laugh, shaking his head slightly. “We’re going to get better at this, aren’t we?” he asked.

Alexa nodded quickly before she shifted her thumb, gently brushing it back and forth over the back of his hand. “It’s new” she noted “I mean, up until a few days ago, we weren’t even really talking and now we’re trying to start dating and it’s a little strange, but I am pretty confident that it will get easier in time. We just need to figure out how to be around one another again, Leo, and that’ll come with time” she explained confidently.

Lionel looked at her for a moment, mulling over her words, before he nodded his head, flashing her a small smile. “So, you’re not ruling out a second date?” he asked boyishly.

Alexa laughed. “Not completely” she teased.

“Not completely?” Lionel quipped, playing along.

Alexa let out another warm laugh before she shook her head. “You’re going away in a few days” she pointed out “But, when you come back, I am sure that we can put something together. I’d like it if we could” she insisted warmly.

“I’d like it too” Lionel agreed.

Alexa nodded before she pushed herself up to her feet, moving to wrap her jacket around her shoulders. “I’ll see you when you get back?” she posed.

Lionel shook his head. “I’ll call you” he corrected.

“You don’t have to” Alexa countered.

“I know” Lionel quipped “But I’d like to” he added with a soft smile.

Alexa admired his smile for a moment before she nodded, trying to hide the soft hint of pink which had appeared on her cheeks. Tucking a piece of hair behind her ear, she took a hesitant step towards him before she gently pushed herself up onto her toes, briefly kissing his lips before she took a pace back. “Buenos noches, Leo” she mused gently before she turned, padding towards the door.

Lionel watched her across the room for a moment, slightly surprised the sudden kiss, before he smiled a little to himself, wordlessly reassuring himself that things between the two of them would get easier with time.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)