The Things That You Do

02: Why Did You Come?

Slipping her feet out of the pair of shoes that she had worn for the funeral, Alexa sat down at the foot of the bed, allowing a soft sigh of relief to slip out of her mouth. It had been a long day, after the service had concluded, they’d headed back to her mother’s house for the wake, and after a couple of hours, she had opted to slip away from the guests, wanting to be alone for a while. She had been under no illusions, from the moment that she had woken up that morning, she had known that that day was going to be hard, but still it had taken a lot out of her, something which had led to her ducking out, even if she knew that her mother and Marco needed her. She simply wanted to be alone for a little while.

Rubbing her feet gently, she lightly readjusted the material of her tights before she shuffled up the bed slightly, resting her head gently against the pillows. Letting another gentle sigh fall out of her mouth, she allowed her eyes close before she felt the weight of the mattress shift, causing her to let out a soft groan. “I just need a few minutes, Marco” she mumbled, not opening her eyes.

“I am not here to make you go back downstairs”

Alexa startled slightly, caught off guard by the sound of Lionel’s voice, before she opened her eyes. “Lionel” she spluttered.

Lionel smiled shyly. “I didn’t mean to startle you” he noted “I just noticed you slipping away and I thought I’d come and check on you. If you want, I can leave you to it” he added, gesturing towards the door over his shoulder.

Alexa stared at him for a moment, briefly contemplating telling him to go, before she shuffled across the bed slightly, making a space for him at her side.

Lionel lifted an eyebrow, wordlessly asking if she was sure that she wanted him to stay, before he settled down beside her, leaning his head back against the pillows as a silence fell over them. It wasn’t the first one, since they’d encountered one another at the church, their interactions had been littered with awkward silences and forced out words, but Lionel didn’t want to push her, even if there were questions playing on his mind. He knew that that moment wasn’t the right one to ask them.

Sitting up slightly, he shrugged out of his suit jacket before he laid back down, something which made Alexa shake her head, scoffing slightly. “You know that you don’t have to stay, right?” she posed “I mean, I...I was glad that you were there, but you’re under no obligation to stay. You can leave if you want to” she added as she turned onto her side.

Lionel mimicked her action, turning so that they were laying face to face, before he nodded. “I know I can” he noted “But I don’t want to leave. You want me to go?” he asked.

Alexa simply shrugged, something which made Lionel roll his eyes. “Where is Poppy?” he asked.

“She’s been in London for the past couple of months” Alexa mused “She got a job over there for a few months. I did call her, but it was pretty last minute and she couldn’t get away” she explained.

Lionel nodded his head quietly, allowing another brief silence to fall over them before Alexa spoke up again. “Why did you come?” she asked.

Lionel quirked a small smile. “I told you, Marco called me” he noted.

Alexa shook her head. “That’s not what I meant” she noted “I didn’t ask how you found out, I asked why you came” she clarified gently. Seeing him had knocked her for six, when she had first seen him at the church, she hadn’t quite known how to respond, and she curious as to why he had shown up. Things hadn’t been good between them, after his revelation about having met someone else, Alexa hadn’t hesitated when it came to putting distance between them, and she wanted to know why he had shown up, even if she knew that Marco had invited him. She was a little amazed that he had shown up in spite of everything.

Lionel met her stare for a second before he quirked another soft smile. “You needed someone to be here” he quipped “When Marco called me, he said that you were struggling, and that he thought that you could use someone there with you, and I wanted to be that someone. I know that things haven’t been great between us...”

Alexa scoffed. “That’s an understatement” she mumbled.

Lionel nodded in agreement. “There’s clearly something going on between us” he noted “Something I don’t really understand, and something I would like to talk about at some point, but when Marco called me and told me you needed a friend...I couldn’t say no to that” he explained.

Alexa shook her head before she rolled onto her back, her blue eyes peeking up at ceiling. “I’ve not been much of a friend to you for the last few months” she muttered, breaking another brief silence which had passed between them.

“That’s not important right now” Lionel mused.

Alexa shook her head. “Lionel...”

“Leo” Lionel interrupted “And I mean it. I’d like to talk, of course I would, but right now it isn’t the most important thing. I want to know what happened, Alexa, I want to know what changed between us, but it isn’t something we need to talk about right now. Right now, I’m here for you” he insisted as he reached his hand out, offering hers, which pulled at the duvet cover, a tight squeeze.

Alexa startled, not quite expecting him to take her hand, before she shook her head, a soft sniffle falling out of her mouth. “I’m sorry” she babbled.

Lionel shook his head gently before he moved across the bed, wrapping his arms around her in a tight hug. Alexa stiffened at his touch, surprised by the hug momentarily, before she wrapped her arms around him, hugging back tightly as she buried her face in his shoulder, quietly crying into the material of his shirt. Lionel held her close, mumbling soft reassurances into her ear, before he spotted some movement out of the corner of his eye, something which caused him to look up, his eyes settling on Marco who stood in the doorway, wordlessly asking if everything was alright.

Quirking a feeble smile, Lionel nodded his head gently, something Marco was quick to mimic before he stepped out of the doorway, leaving his sister and the footballer alone. Watching Marco out of the door, Lionel offered Alexa a light squeeze before he gently moved his head, resting it against Alexa’s. He knew that they needed to talk, for months, it seemed as though she had been avoiding him and it was something he wanted to talk about, but he knew that it could wait. In that moment, he simply wanted to let Alexa cry on his shoulder.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comment :)