The Things That You Do

36: It’s Good To See

“You know, it’s really not too late for you to change your mind about coming tonight”

Lionel, who was sat on Alexa’s bed, flicking through his phone, lifted his head at the sound of her voice before he quirked a boyish smile, his brown eyes settling on where she stood in the front of her mirror, fiddling with her dress timidly.

He knew that she was a little nervous, with her having accepted an invitation to Poppy’s birthday party for the two of them, that night was to be the first time that he’d been introduced to her friends as her boyfriend, and he knew that she was slightly apprehensive about it, even if he told her more than once that he would be fine, he doubted that there was much he could say that would stop her worrying. It wasn’t uncommon, with things still being relatively new between the two of them, they were both still a little shy when it came to letting other people in on their relationship, but he wanted to go, even if Alexa had offered him an out more than once. He wanted them to keep taking little steps forwards.

Watching her for a couple of seconds, he smiled amusedly to himself before he shook his head. “I thought you wanted me to come?” he quipped “I mean, you’ve told Poppy that I’ll be there, right?” he added as he shuffled towards the foot of the bed.

Alexa, who’d been adjusting her dress, spared him a small glance over her shoulder before she nodded. “I mentioned that you might be” she mused “But I didn’t say anything for definite, so that means, if you want to, you can still drop out. I don’t think Poppy would notice” she quipped as she brushed her hands down her dress, smoothing out a few small wrinkles in the material.

Lionel watched her for a moment before he gently reached his hand out, slipping his fingers through hers as he gently turned her to look at him. “You know” he mused “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that you were trying to get me not to come tonight. Is that true?” he asked gently, his thumb lightly brushing over the back of her hand.

Alexa glanced down at their hands for a moment before she shook her head, peeking up at him softly. “I want you to be there” she admitted “I mean, I know that I have a better time when you’re around, but our first attempt at introducing ‘us’ to other people ended pretty badly, and I guess I’m just a little nervous. Is that silly?” she posed, nibbling on her lip softly.

She wanted to do it, with things between her and Lionel going well, she wanted him to start spending time with her friends, but still she was slightly nervous, even if she knew that there was nothing really to be nervous about. She didn’t like the idea of a repeat of what had happened when they’d headed out to dinner with her mother and Marco.

Lionel shook his head. “It’s not silly” he noted.

“It’s not?” Alexa quipped, offering him a shy smile.

“Things didn’t go to plan when we went out with your mother and Marco” Lionel mused “I mean, it got pretty awkward, pretty quickly, and I don’t blame you for feeling a little nervous, but we can’t just avoid things like this forever. We’re a couple, Alexa, you’re my girlfriend and I am your boyfriend, and I want to show that off. I’m pretty proud of us” he insisted, grinning up at her.

Alexa admired his smile for a second before she shook her head, failing to hide to smile which had quickly formed on her face, something which made Lionel’s smile widen before he pushed himself up slightly, sneaking a soft kiss. “Come on” he mused “I know that Poppy wouldn’t notice if I didn’t show up to her birthday party, but she would almost certainly notice if you didn’t. So, let’s go” he insisted, offering her hand a soft squeeze.

Alexa offered him a small look, wordlessly asking if he was sure, before she nodded, offering him a slightly shier smile. “Let’s go” she mused.

Lionel offered her hand another soft squeeze before he gently pulled it against his lips, allowing him to brush a light kiss over her knuckles before he stood up, guiding her towards the door.

“You know, you and Alexa aren’t actually joined at the hip”

Lionel, who was sipping on a glass of water, smiled a little at Poppy’s joke before he turned around, offering her a quick embrace. “It’s good to see you, Poppy” he quipped “Happy birthday” he added as he pulled away. It had been a good night, even despite Alexa’s nervousness, the party had been a good one, and he was pleased that they had gone, even if Alexa had spent most of the night introducing him and talking to friends of hers that she hadn’t seen in a while. He was pleased to see that she had relaxed.

Poppy smiled. “Gracias” she quipped “Are you enjoying yourself?” she asked.

Lionel nodded swiftly. “It’s a great party” he noted “I mean, for me, it’s a little awkward seeing as these are all Alexa’s friends, but I don’t mind. She’s going to have to go through the same thing when we start spending time with my friends” he added, his dark eyes briefly flashing towards Alexa who was stood a little away from them, giggling at something that the woman in front of her had said. Watching her briefly, he caught her eyes for a second before he flashed her a warm smile, something which made her cheeks flush a soft shade of pink before she returned his grin shyly.

Poppy, who was stood beside him, watched the interaction between the two of them before she shook her head, a grin on her lips. “You two are just adorable, aren’t you?” she fussed, nudging his ribs lightly.

Lionel laughed warmly. “I don’t know about that” he quipped modestly.

“You are” Poppy noted “And it’s good to see. I like you two together, it works” she enthused warmly.

Lionel smiled at her sheepishly, something which made Poppy giggle before she gently nudged his shoulder, directing his attention behind him. “I’ll leave you to it” she quipped before she padded away.

Lionel watched her walk away for a second before he felt a hand take his own, something which caused him to turn, offering a small smile to Alexa who stood beside. “Hey” he mused gently.

“Hey” Alexa mimicked “Were you talking to Poppy?” she posed.

“She wanted to see if I was enjoying myself” Lionel replied.

“Are you?” Alexa posed as she stepped ahead of him, gently hooking her arms around his neck.

Lionel smiled a little at their embrace before he wrapped his arms around her waist, offering her a small nod. “I’m having a good time” he quipped “What about you? Are you enjoying yourself?” he added.

“I am” Alexa confirmed “I mean, I’d not have minded dancing with my boyfriend, but it’s been good to see some people I’ve not seen in a while. I’m glad that we came” she enthused softly.

Lionel scoffed playfully. “I’m the worst dancer” he mused “I’d only have embarrassed you” he added.

Alexa shrugged. “I wouldn’t have minded. I’m not much of a dancer either” she quipped warmly.

Lionel smiled at the warmth in her voice before he gently leant into her, kissing her softly for a few moments, something which earned a few playful hoots from Poppy who was stood a little away from them. Alexa smiled a little at her friend’s teasing before she gently pulled away, looking up at Lionel through her eyelashes. “You want to get out of here?” she murmured, a faint coy smile appearing on her lips.

Lionel tilted his head, catching onto to what she was hinting at, before he offered her a questioning look, something which merely made Alexa’s smile widen a fraction before she took a hold of his hand, offering it a warm squeeze before she dropped it, making her way towards the exit, Lionel following.
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Thanks to mslou1 and FootieJo for the comments :)