The Things That You Do

34: You’ve Got Nothing To Be Worried About

Pushing a hand back through his hair, Lionel tried to straighten it out slightly, his eyes trained on the small mirror which hung inside of his locker. It wasn’t overly late, with Barcelona having played a match in the early evening, it was only a little after seven, but a small part of him was dreading leaving the changing room, even if he knew that Alexa was waiting for him, he also knew that her mother and brother were waiting with her. It had been his suggestion, with the two of them having been dating for a while, he had suggested that it was about time that they started to spend with each other’s friends and families, but still he was nervous about the prospect of heading out to dinner with Marco and Madeline, even if it wasn’t the first time that they’d done it. He was a little worried about their reception to him as Alexa’s boyfriend.

Trying to straighten out a few wayward hairs, he spared his reflection a brief gander before he let out a heavy sigh, something which made Luis, who was changing beside him, look up, a curious look on his face. “You look like you’re about to throw up” he teased “You alright?” he asked.

Lionel, who’d moved to sit down on the bench, shook his head, a small smile on his lips. “I’m just being stupid” he noted.

“About what?” Luis quipped, sitting down beside him.

“Alexa’s here” Lionel noted “She came to watch the match with her mother, brother and sister-in-law, and we supposed to go out to dinner now, and I guess I am a little nervous. It’s not the first time I’ve met Madeline and Marco, I’ve met them a few times over the years, but this time it’s different” he explained, fiddling with his hands nervously.

Luis watched his hands for a few seconds before he shook his head, a grin on his face. “You two are at the ‘meet the family’ stage?” he pressed.

Lionel smiled shyly and nodded. “It’s going pretty well” he admitted bashfully.

Luis grinned fondly, not missing the shyness in his voice, before he leant forwards, patting his shoulder reassuringly. “You have no reason to be nervous” he noted.

“You think?” Lionel asked.

“You’ve met them before, right?” Luis posed.

“A few times” Lionel confirmed.

“And they like you?” Luis asked.

“Alexa says that they do” Lionel replied “But I think she would say that regardless. I don’t think she wants me to worry” he added, a slight grin pulling at the corner of his mouth.

Luis admired his smile for a moment, just about refraining from making a comment about how cute it was that he grinned at the mere mention of Alexa’s name, before he leant forwards, offering his shoulder another reassuring pat. “Whether she’s just saying it or not doesn’t matter. She likes you, Leo, she likes you a lot, and if her family care about her like I am sure that they do, they’re not going to do anything to jeopardize something which makes her happy. Besides, you’re a pretty likeable guy, I don’t think that you’ve got too much to be worried about” he insisted warmly before he pushed himself back to his feet, musing about wanting to get home.

Lionel watched him walk away before he stood up himself, moving to collect his jacket from inside of his locker. Quickly wrapping it around his shoulders, he took in a nervous breath before he stepped across the locker room, ducking out of the door and into tunnel, his eyes quickly searching for, and finding Alexa who stood a little away from him, laughing at something Marco had said. Watching her for a moment, he took another nervous breath before he walked over to her, greeting her with a soft kiss on the cheek. “Hola” he chirped as brightly as he could.

Alexa, who’d been talking to Marco, jumped at the feel of his lips against her cheek before she lifted her head, smiling at him. “Hola” she greeted.

Lionel mirrored her smile for a second before Marco cleared his throat. “Aren’t you going to introduce your boyfriend, Alexa?” he quipped teasingly.

Alexa scoffed and offered Marco a glare, something which made the older man laugh before he stuck his hand out towards Lionel. “It’s good to see you again, Leo” he mused.

“You too, Marco” Lionel replied, shaking his hand firmly.

“Are we ready to go?” Madeline asked “I’ve got us a reservation, and I’d like to keep it” she fussed.

“We’re going, mama” Marco quipped, rolling his eyes boyishly before he took a step forwards, leading Madeline and Isabel away.

Lionel moved to follow after them before he felt a hand squeeze his own, something which caused him to look up, returning Alexa’s reassuring smile.

“How long do the two of you have until you need to get back to the children?” Alexa asked as she hung her coat on the back of her chair, her blue eyes peeking across the table at Isabel who’d moved to pour herself a glass of water.

It was still early, with Lionel’s match having taken place in the early evening, they’d been able to get an early reservation, but a small part of her was hopeful that Marco and Isabel couldn’t stick around for too long, even if she was keen to see them spend time with her boyfriend. She didn’t want to put too much on him too soon. She knew that Lionel was nervous, since he had stepped out of the changing room, he hadn’t dropped her hand for more than a few seconds, and she wanted to make it slightly easier on him, wanting him to be as relaxed as he could be.

Marco, who’d moved to sit beside Isabel, snorted. “You trying to get rid of us already, baby sister?” he quipped.

Alexa’s cheeks flushed a soft shade of pink. “Of course not” she retorted “I was just asking. This is the first night out you’ve had since Antonio was born, isn’t it?” she asked.

“It is” Marco confirmed “But we couldn’t miss it. It’s not every day that your little sister brings home a boyfriend, Alexa, and we wanted to be here. We’ve been looking forwards to spending a little time with you and Lionel” he added, his voice softening slightly as he spared a glance towards the argentine who was preoccupied by a conversation that he was having with Madeline.

Alexa noted the shift in his voice before she flashed him a small smile, something Marco was quick to return before he lifted up his menu, perusing its content. Alexa mimicked his action, collecting her own menu from the table, before she lifted her glass, taking a sip of her water.

“Are we ready to order or do we need a little more time?”

Alexa, who’d been quietly perusing her menu, stilled a little at the sound of the familiar voice before she cautiously lifted her head, her blue eyes settling on Andres who stood at the end of the table, a notepad perched in his hand. “Andres?” she squeaked.

Lionel, who’d been talking happily with Madeline, stilled at the sound of Andres’s name before he turned in his seat, his stomach turning as the waiter’s face lit up with a smile which was clearly directed towards the blonde.

“Alexa” Andres greeted warmly “It’s been a while. It’s so good to see you” he quipped as he stepped towards her, offering her a quick hug.

Alexa returned it hesitantly before she turned her stare towards Lionel, not missing the frown which had been quick to form on his face.
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Thanks to mslou1, Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)